Everyday Adventures: Cost, Fun, and Risk Ratings

Published on February 18, 2014 (↻ February 5, 2024), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer contains one hundred activities that I share my experience with, but that I also rate in terms of cost, fun, and risk. However, the book doesn’t make it easy to rank and compare the different activities. In the hope that it’s useful for more than just myself, there’s now also a chance to poke at the data through a Google spreadsheet.

A spreadsheet with five columns.

Figure: All a book’s numbers at one’s fingertips.

My favorite Julia Tang then has created a little analysis (thank you!) that I like to share with you as well. Though addressed to me I like the idea that it’s of interest and use for others, too.

You had a lot of very positive experiences in which you gained positive net value (good fun with reasonable or low cost, or manageable risk): chocolate baking, painting, airsoft shooting, book-binding, arranging flowers, laser tag, drawing, drive-in theater, and ukelele.

One might objectively say that flying helicopters and operating a taser were the “worst” things you did, with the most negative net value (deemed as too risky or too costly that it outweighs whatever fun you gained). Other things that were about one standard deviation below the net value average were activities like hot air balloon, open water diving, and pepper-spraying.

You had way more activities that were a lot of fun without being as risky—that’s good.

You can take a look at some of the activities that were more risky than they were fun—that’s not good.

Fun and cost were not highly correlated—that’s good. This means it doesn’t mean that in order to have a lot of fun, you have to pay a lot of money.

Risk and cost are not highly correlated either. That means costly activities don’t necessitate additional risk, but that also means that reasonably-priced activities or cheap activities could present as much risk.

Fun and risk are most correlated among all the factors associated with your activities. If your 100 activities were any indication, then its moderate correlation would mean the higher the fun, the higher the risk, generally speaking.

Please see for yourself! And if you haven’t seen the book yet and are curious about how I’ve been spending my infinite free time and how one exactly becomes a little obsessed about trying everything, have a look at 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer. Cheers!

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!