I happened to read this Bryan Caplan post on "fear budgets" at the same time as listening to a recently downloaded song titled "There Goes The Fear." It's so rare that I read blog posts with appropriate musical soundtracks. For the record, I actually don't know what I think of the fear budget hypothesis; it's certainly interesting, but I have no real expertise vis-a-vis these things.
Side note: I've had surprisingly good luck finding likable music from whatever's being played over the store loudspeakers in Anthropologie, including the album from which "There Goes the Fear" comes. This fact is probably deeply probative of uncoolness on my part, but I never claimed to be cool. My music collection largely signals that I had two friends from the Dartmouth paper who were semi-serious music nerds who could orient me toward suitably cool music c. 2003. Since graduating, they moved to Brooklyn and took up endeavors like working for The Daily Show and various independent film and music producers. I, on the other hand, moved to D.C. and took up endeavors which involved working with actual Republicans, which made it harder and harder for them to stand me. So, thus lacking in guidance, my coolness has declined exponentially, and I flail about cluelessly. But at least I make a point of flailing non-pretentiously.