Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible

by purplerabbits1 min read25th May 201328 comments

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Personal Blog

I am just working on a list of rationalist rules I live by, and this is the one I have most confidence in, so it seems a good topic for my first ever post (which will be short as I have to be on a train in 15)

Since people routinely exaggerate risk, and social norms pull us towards the crabs in a bucket effect (especially for women) I want to correct for that. (Preferably without ending up with a giant Rob Me sign over my head, but that's not the direction I err in.)

For example, there was this rationalist walked into a bar. I had a lot of luggage - everything I need for a four day break, including over two thousand pounds worth of electronic devices and binoculars. I am insured, but it would be an especially annoying time to lose stuff. I had a coffee and then I needed the bathroom, which was far away through a lot of people.

I knew logically how little risk there was in leaving all my stuff; a Highland bar in the middle of the afternoon is even safer than where I live in Edinburgh, and no-one was pinging any alarm bells, but I still spent more time than I'd like to admit convincing myself I didn't have to drag the huge bag with me to the ladies and back. Yes brain, even though I'm alone, and the customers are men, and I'm a middle aged woman, and my mother would freak if she saw me... 

Of course it was fine, like it was the last  hundred times. One day I hope to not even have to persuade myself, but meanwhile I notice my prediction was correct and feel just a little bit pleased with myself.