Pay attention everywhere is bullshit – hijacking edition

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You do NOT have to pay attention everywhere you go. Watching out for crime is important, and a smart thing to do, but crime is mostly limited to specific places. If you’re not in those areas, you get to chill out.


Pay attention everywhere you go

Case in point:

There was a 9 day long, 100 mile traffic jam in China recently. Imagine being stuck in the middle of this:

Yes, those are cars. No, they’re not really moving.

Do you think any hijacker in his right mind will come drag you out of your car and try make a quick getaway? Probably not. First, how’s he going to get to you? Second, where’s he going to go? Third, will it turn into a comedy of you two taking turns just hijacking the car back from the other one (like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker doing gun disarms in the movie Rush Hour – pun totally intended).


This doesn’t mean you get a free pass

Thinking like this doesn’t give you a free pass to never pay attention. It means you actually put in more effort – up front.

First you have to know what to look for in the different fringe areas your day takes you through. This is less a case of having a huge mental list you have to sort through every time you change areas, and more a case of applying common sense.

  • In your car – people looking at you and trying to get close to your car, especially when it doesn’t make sense.
  • In a quiet/empty place – people without outward focus and coordinated movement.
  • Busy place, lots of people – look for guys with way different energy levels (agitated/highly withdrawn) carrying heavy bags or wearing bulky clothes that could hide a suicide vest.

Second you set a mental trigger (very similar to setting a habit) so that every time you change areas you scan the place for signs of BG’s, then go about your business. Then you scan again when you’re halfway to your destination. And once more when you get close. 3 scans, maybe 15 seconds worth of effort.

You don’t have to pay attention to everything, everywhere you go. But it is your responsibility to know when you do need to pay attention, and what to be on the lookout for.

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