When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we asked our doctor if it was safe for her to fly. First, he told us that the statistics showed there is an eight-fold increase in the chance of problems during a flight, for pregnant women.
It sounds frightening, doesn’t it?!
Then he also said that the chance of a healthy young unpregnant woman having problems during a flight is close to zero and that eight times that is still very close to zero.
That changed our whole perspective.
When using your current limited knowledge, primarily, if you rely on statistics, you can make the wrong decision if you don’t consider both the relative AND absolute data.
I want to add another parameter that can change your perspective when making decisions: survival when a failure occurs.
It’s good practice to protect your downside, to try and minimize the adverse outcome of your decision if things go wrong.
So also consider the worse possible outcome of your decision. It may change your perspective enough to decide not to take a risk, even if that risk is minimal in both relative and absolute terms.
I would appreciate your anonymous feedback. What did you find interesting?
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