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There is a large economic literature on the role of trust in economic prosperity. Survey reports show Nigeria is a low-trust society, but still ahead of countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey.

I think you are going overboard with the folktale analysis, though. We do in fact have a folktale like this called the Frog and the Scorpion. And universally learned aphorisms (succinct folktales) exist to express every contradictory sentiment (e.g. 'the early bird catches the worm', but 'the second mouse gets the cheese'). We don't have the parable of the snake in the anus, but everybody in the high-trust Anglosphere has heard that 'no good deed goes unpunished'. No?

Related: The wacky "science" of "Unusual Events" and "Mysterious Circumstances":

If an accelerator potentially existed that could generate a large number of Higgs particles and if the parameters were so that such an accelerator would indeed give a large positive contribution, then such a machine should practically never be realized! We consider this to be an interesting example and weak experimental evidence for our model because the great Higgs-particle-producing accelerator SSC [17], in spite of the tunnel being a quarter built, was canceled by Congress! Such a cancellation after a huge investment is already in itself an unusual event that should not happen too often. We might take this event as experimental evidence for our model in which an accelerator with the luminosity and beam energy of the SSC will not be built (because in our model, SI will become too large, i.e., less negative, if such an accelerator was built) [17]. Since the LHC has a performance approaching the SSC, it suggests that also the LHC may be in danger of being closed under mysterious circumstances.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.2991 http://arxiv.org/pdf/0802.2991v2

"Then, I considered the question of how many mysterious failures at the LHC it would take to make me question whether it might destroy the world/universe somehow, and what this revealed about my prior probability..."

From the previous thread:

"Inevitably, many commenters said, "Anthropic principle! If the LHC had worked, it would have produced a black hole or strangelet or vacuum failure, and we wouldn't be here!"... After observing empirically that the LHC had failed 100 times in a row, would you endorse a policy of keeping the LHC powered up, but trying to fire it again only in the event of, say, nuclear terrorism or a global economic crash?"

If the LHC fails repeatedly it can only be because of logical engineering flaws. In fact, the complexity of the engineering makes it easier for people to attribute failures to unseen, unnatural forces.

If a marble rolling down an incline could destroy the universe, the unnaturalness of the failures could not be hidden. Any incline you approached with marble-y intent would crumble to dust. Or instead of rolling down an incline, the marble would hover in midair.

If the LHC is a machine based on know physics and mechanics then it would require causality-defying forces to stop it from working, just as it would take supernatural forces to stop anyone from simply rolling a marble down a slope.

And if this is the case, why should the LHC supernatural stop-gaps appear as they do -- as comprehensible engineering flaws? Why not something more unambiguously causality-defying like the LHC floating into the air and then disappearing into the void in an exciting flash of lights? Or why not something more efficient? Why should the machine even be built up to this point, only to be blocked by thousands of suspiciously impish last-minute flaws, when a million reasonable legislative, cooperative, or cognitive events could have snuffed the machine from ever even being considered in the first place?

More importantly, if the reasoning here is that some epic force puts the automatic smack-down on any kind of universe destroying event, then, obviously, repeated probability-defying failures of the LHC more logically reduces the probability that it will destroy the universe (by lending increasing support to the existence of this benign universe-preserving force). It doesn't increase the probability of destruction, by its own internal logic.

The argument for stopping the LHC then could only be economic, not self-preservational. So nuclear terrorism would actually be the worse time to start it up, since the energy and man-power resources would be needed more for pressing survival goals, then to operate a worthless machine the universe won't allow us to use.