PRACTICE CONSTRUCTIVE PARANOIA

Understand “the importance of being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk each time but are encountered frequently.”

Avoid the common tendency to “exaggerate the risks of events that are beyond our control” and happen infrequently and to groups (attacks, crashes, etc); focus instead on “risks of events that we can control…and of events that kill just one person in a mundane way.”

For example, if a daily activity has a 1/1000 risk of fatality, focus on reducing that risk substantially – or you may not make it through the next few years.

In the words of the polymath Jared Diamond, adopt an attitude of “constructive paranoia”.

 

Further reading:

Jared Diamond. 2013-01-28. That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer. NYT

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