Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible

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.