This post does not contain Harry Potter spoilers

Alex at Marginal Revolution has some anti-mugging tips up. I'd like to suggest some additions and revisions.

0) Presupposition: you are traveling alone. The rules he suggests, in particular rule one, are not as important for group travel, even a group of two.

1) Proviso to Tabarrok's rule one: This is especially important to follow when exiting some kind of mass transportation system, a subway for example. If one thinks they're in an area of potential muggers, start walking purposefully as soon as one is out of the station, don't bother to get your bearings. Of course, this could lead to walking into a more dangerous area, so once you've started walking, get your bearings. Depending on how paranoid one is, one may not want to turn around directly after realizing one has gone astray. Rather, take a semi-circuitous route (walk around the block) to turn yourself back in the proper direction.

2) I tend to substitute a heavy looking (and actually heavy) casebook instead of the glass bottle that his rule two suggests. This is more likely to cause blunt force trauma, but probably less scary to an attacker, since it won't shatter into shards and cause bleeding. Also, it causes one to look bookish, which might lead to an assumption of weakness. I have of course never been in a situation where I needed to use a casebook as a weapon, but that hasn't stopped me from thinking about it. I don't think casebook or glass bottle exhaust the options, it's more a matter (as Alex notes) of having something in ones hands that suggests a slightly greater difficulty of attack.

3) My only addition to three would be that if you are lost, go into a business establishment of some kind to ask for directions, rather than asking people on the street. I actually have offered people "help" on the street, but only because I was eavesdropping and knew I had the answer to something they were discussing. This kind of help is also called, "being a know-it-all."

4) I have no expertise in any of these areas, have never been mugged or traveled to anywhere particularly dangerous by myself or otherwise (Moscow maybe, but I was in a large group), and am in general talking out of my ass.

5) I am not going to acknowledge how long it's been since I last posted to this blog (paralipsis!). I forgot to post a link to my friend Scott guest posting on Steve Clemons' Washington Note. Self-pityingly, I am fairly sure his three guest posts got more eyeballs than all the blogging I've done since January.

6) I'm recommitting to my at least one post/day policy as of today.