Friday, May 26, 2006
Breaking and entering
I got home on Monday around 8:30 in the evening. Walking up to the house, I noticed that my light was on, which I thought was weird. I unlocked the door to see if my roommates were rummaging through my stuff or something, but they weren't. Nobody was home. I was still curious, so I walked to the living room to see if anything was missing. Nope, the stereo was still there.

I figured I had just forgotten to turn off the light that morning. I trimmed my beard and did a little web surfing.

My roommate came home. "Woah, what happened to the door?" he said. He came in the back way. I walked out there. The door had been forced open and the wood by the handle was cracked.

Somebody had broken in while we were gone during the day. My roommate would often not bother to lock the deadbolt, and the deadbolt wasn't latched. I quickly did a check of my stuff. The only thing I noticed missing was the new Casio EX-850 that I got last week. That's about $375 I lost (including the SD card). My roommate's laptop was also gone.

So, Wednesday I got a chance to go see Daniel Gilbert talk, author of Stumbling on Happiness (surprisingly small crowd for a guy with the #23 book on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List—I would have gotten my copy signed but I gave my copy to a friend).

Sometimes, events in my life can totally throw me for a loop. Sometimes, I totally overestimate the impact they'll have on me.

One would think that a burglary would affect me profoundly—that I would, from that point on, feel insecure or unsafe in my own home.

Really, honestly, this being Friday, I'm pretty much over it. Gilbert talks (in the book and in person) about the impact bias, where we overestimate the severity (positive or negative) that an event will have on us. Had you asked me a week ago how much it would bother me if my house was broken into, I'd figure that it would affect me significantly.

Anyway, the book is a Doctor Awesome recommended read.
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