The self-preservation instinct quite a useful behavioural mechanism for genuinely threatening situations - helping us to get out of the lounge room extremely quickly when Dancing on Ice is on the television, for example.
But thinking of our immediate survival doesn't always tend to help us quite so much when dealing with volatile markets - and volatility tends to be part and parcel of markets which produce capital and earnings growth.
The power of capitalism
Heck, when I talk about or even just remember how life was growing up in Yorkshire, it sometimes almost sounds as if I was growing up as a Victorian chimney sweep compared to today. Yet it wasn't even that long ago!
And, strewth, when my parents talk about growing up in Liverpool and the West Midlands, it's as if they lived through the Long Depression of the 19th century (in reality it wasn't that long after The Blitz, to be fair).
The world moves on at an exuberant pace, and in the future earnings and employment will be created in sectors, businesses, industries, product lines, and services that today have not yet even been imagined.
And over a long enough time horizon the future earnings generated as a result of this boundless creativity will approach infinity, pushing markets and total wealth created ever higher.
But over the long term it's all come to nought, at least in the capital cites (granted, some mining towns are rural areas have deflated).
Capitalism: short and long term
We saw this in Australia through the latter stages of the resources construction boom, when a fair number of marginal mining projects passed feasibility to the construction phase even though history will probably record that they should never have been awarded a green tick.
Still, eventually the unviable and unprofitable projects will fail, be sold off, mothballed, or shuttered (alas Dancing on Ice was axed after only one series, even before cashing in on the reunion show).
And through creative destruction capitalism ultimately does a fantastic job to ensure that capital flows to where the next new profitable ventures can be found.
Capitalism to the rescue
There were people saying the same thing five years ago, and ten years before that, and twenty years before that. But they've always been proven wrong in time, so the odds are good that you'll probably do better not to join them.