The Gift of Fear
survival signals that protect us from violence
"A Dell trade paperback."--T.p. verso.
2: Technology of intuition
3: Academy of prediction
4: Survival signals
5: Imperfect strangers
6: High-stakes predictions
7: Promises to kill (understanding threats)
8: Persistence, persistence (dealing with people who refuse to let go)
9: Occupational hazards (violence in the workplace)
10: Intimate enemies (domestic violence)
11: I was trying to let him down easy (date stalking)
12: Fear of children (violent children)
13: Better to be wanted by the police than not to be wanted at all (attacks against public figures)
14: Extreme hazards
15: Gift of fear
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My childhood wasn't a movie, of course, though it did have chase sequences, fight scenes, shoot-outs, skyjacking, life-and-death suspense, and suicide. The plot didn't make much sense to me as a boy, but it does now.
We want to believe that with all the possible combinations of human beings and human feelings, predicting violence is as difficult as picking the winning lottery ticket, yet it is usually isn't difficult at all. We want to believe that human violence is somehow beyond our understanding, because as long as it remains a mystery, we have no duty to avoid it, explore it, or anticipate it. We need feel no responsibility for failing to read signals if there are none to read. We can tell ourselves that violence just happens without warning, and usually to others, but in service of these comfortable myths, victims suffer and criminals prosper.
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