You stand a higher chance of being crushed by a vending machine.

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

There’s something I’ve always found mesmerizing about watching animals in the wild.

They have the most incredible instincts, honed from countless generations of survival against constant threats.

Animals have a keen sense of danger. They know immediately when something doesn’t feel right, and they act on it without hesitation.

I saw an incredible example of this last year when I was visiting a remote wildlife reservation in Zimbabwe.

It was late in the afternoon on a hot summer day, and my friends and I were ensconced in a hidden observation bunker situated on the edge of a water hole.

The animals all began to arrive, one species at a time, to cool off before nightfall. First the elephants. Then Rhinos. Zebras. Giraffes. Baboons.

It was a playful mood; all the animals seemed to be enjoying the water, when without warning, there was a stillness. The gazelles froze. The zebras’ ears perked.

Something wasn’t right. A smell. A sound. Something.

So they got the hell out of there.

We found out later that a ravenous pack of hyenas was on the prowl nearby, so the animals’ instincts were spot-on.

Deep, deeeep down, human beings have the same highly refined instincts.

Our long-lost ancestors struggled against every imaginable danger. And those lessons are hard-coded in our DNA.

We sense threats. We can feel it when something’s wrong.

The difference between our species and animals in the wild, though, is that we humans have way too many external influences that muck it all up.

Case in point: last week was obviously a tough one for anyone with any sense of humanity.

Acts of terrorism are scary.

And hearing about completely innocent people on a popular pedestrian promenade getting mowed down like bowling pins by some madman is definitely going to cause some discomfort.

But down here in Latin America at least, there was ensuring wall-to-wall news coverage for the next several days in a way I hadn’t seen since 9/11.

It’s all we saw. Terrorism. Terrorism. Terrorism.

This really amps up the fear factor for something that is already difficult to stomach.

So it’s easy to understand why I keep hearing people say things like, “We’re living through the most dangerous times in human history.”

It’s easy to lose perspective. But on the balance we have it pretty good.

13th century Europeans faced a far greater threat with the approaching Mongol hoard.

A century later they faced an even more terrible fate with the onset of the Bubonic Plague, which ultimately wiped out around 30% of Europe’s population.

Even in more recent times, the threat of nuclear annihilation between East and West posed a constant threat.

Yes, acts of terrorism are appalling. But taken in historical and mathematical context the danger is actually quite low.

The Cato Institute published some data recently showing that the chances of dying in a terror attack are around 1 in 3 million.

Statistically speaking, you have a better chance of being crushed to death by a vending machine.

But we don’t demand that our governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars that taxpayers cannot possibly afford in order to protect us from vending machines.

That’s because deep down we sense that vending machines don’t truly pose a threat.

But with terrorism our senses are heavily manipulated until we believe that the threat is far greater than what the statistics show.

The real irony is that the manipulation works both ways.

Just as we are manipulated into being terrified of certain risks that pose no real statistical threat, we are manipulated into ignoring other risks that are far more likely.

I would raise financial markets as an obvious example.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com