May 26, 2012

"The locksmith told him that locks are on doors only to keep honest people honest."

"One percent of people will always be honest and never steal. Another 1% will always be dishonest and always try to pick your lock and steal your television; locks won't do much to protect you from the hardened thieves, who can get into your house if they really want to. The purpose of locks, the locksmith said, is to protect you from the 98% of mostly honest people who might be tempted to try your door if it had no lock."

We're only relatively honest. So don't tempt us!

Lots of great material at the link, various studies and so forth. Also this joke:

There's a joke about a man who loses his bike outside his synagogue and goes to his rabbi for advice. "Next week come to services, sit in the front row," the rabbi tells the man, "and when we recite the Ten Commandments, turn around and look at the people behind you. When we get to 'Thou shalt not steal,' see who can't look you in the eyes. That's your guy." After the next service, the rabbi is curious to learn whether his advice panned out. "So, did it work?" he asks the man. "Like a charm," the man answers. "The moment we got to 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' I remembered where I left my bike."

34 comments:

Mitchell said...

Nobody should give credence to psychology experiments that test people too dumb to realize they're actually being tested for something else.

traditionalguy said...

The Great Depression many are in today has created a new trade of hard working copper thieves.

They go out in teams at night and cut the cables between a Georgia Power transformer and the business's electrical panel, then use a pulley to drag the cable from the buried pvc pipe and roll up in 50 foot segments weighing 200 lbs to be hauled off by other gang members and then sold at about 40% of the cost of new copper cable.

The only good news is that electricians never had a busier time and are setting their own price to get the businesses up and running the next day.

Even when the police catch these hard working copper thieves with the cable still in their truck, the stolen cable gets impounded as evidence and the business cannot afford to wait around until it released.

Tell your Law School Grads to go back to Electrician's Trade School. Then they can make enough to payoff their student loans in a year.

Mitchell said...

"The locksmith told him that locks are on doors only to keep honest people honest."

The same reasoning might also apply to chastity belts, I'd imagine.

ndspinelli said...

Good article, thanks. Real comedians can capture the core of truth. We took our teenaged kids to Vegas back in the 90's. Louis Anderson was one of the few acts for kids. He does this bit about maid carts and stealing from them. He nailed in a 5 minute bit something we all could relate to our lives. Have you stolen from a maids cart? I have.

rhhardin said...

The first interesting thing a freshman learns in college is how to pick locks.

So there are dorms full of guys who can easily pick locks with two paperclips and yet nothing gets stolen.

Its appeal is undermining what appeared to be authority.

rhhardin said...

There are two schools on locking private airplanes.

Mine was keep the airplane unlocked. It makes stuff easily stolen but protects the airplane itself from damage from entering by people who can't pick locks.

Not that there was anything worth stealing.

edutcher said...

They say only about 1 man in 10 really is a fighter in any army and a great many can't even bear to fire a weapon, so the 98% thing may be stretching it quite a bit as to who will steal.

Paco Wové said...

One of the neat things about living in a smallish Midwestern town is never locking the car doors.

When we go to the fleshpots of Des Moines, however...

Richard Dolan said...

If these guys played golf, they could have dispensed with a lot of the 'testing'. But it' s nice nonetheless that they proved to themselves the ancient idea that few among us are saints, and most will spend time on Mount Purgatory before ascending to the summit.

AJ Lynch said...

The pithy version is "locks are made for honest people".

Paco Wové said...

Have you stolen from a maids cart? I have.

What would you steal from a maid's cart?

Roman said...

I have always thought the people who have the biggest, most secure locks on their property are the largest crooks.

campy said...

Locks on ballot boxes also work only on honest people.

bagoh20 said...

The other day in a confused and hurried exit from my home, I left the front door wide open. My home faces an urban high school. I came home 8 hours later to the door still wide open and nothing touched. It felt good.

I've done this 3 times in 16 years, and never has anyone taken anything. But when it's been locked up tight, I've have had my home broken into 3 times. Once a successful burglar stole some cheap jewelry and a handgun. Another was some school kids who just hung out for a couple hours and ate my food. The last one was some young adults and teenagers who were busted mid-burglary by my neighbors who called the cops and they were all caught carrying stuff out of my house.

I've also had my car burglarized a few times. Last year I had 6 people arrested for trying to rip me off and all were convicted. I'm like flypaper.


I live in a relatively low crime area, but have high schools directly in front and behind my home. Children are our future.

ndspinelli said...

toiletries and pens. Only from 4 star places. I don't steal from Best Western maid carts. I'm a thief w/ taste.

elkh1 said...

We don't need to be dishonest and steal from our neighbors when the govt is stealing for us.

kcom said...

Does everybody really think that first 1% number is accuate? It seems low to me.

Christy said...

I don't believe the study. I think there are more consistently honest people in the world than that. I just do.

Freeman Hunt said...

That's why I throw a coat over anything tempting in my car. I used to think, "Oh well, if someone wants any of this so badly, I don't care if he takes it." Then it occurred to me that that might be offering a serious temptation to someone who might not otherwise stumble.

Freeman Hunt said...

Does everybody really think that first 1% number is accuate? It seems low to me.

Seems low to me too. Probably just trying to be symmetrical with the other side.

Leon said...

Maybe but my tools are in my work truck. If they all get stolen I'm out of work. I invest in locks.

DEEBEE said...

This Dan guy has the credentials to be a climatologist.

I did the given matrix in less than 10 seconds, so assume that I can do close to double digits in 5 minutes. If the average is 4 then the variance must be very high. So having a value of 6 for the shredder could be sheer variation given the "control" has large variance.

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