Jens Oliver Meiert

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Everyday Adventures: Cost, Fun, and Risk Ratings

Post from February 18, 2014 (↻ June 9, 2021), filed under .

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!

About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead—currently manager for Developer Experience at LivePerson—and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!

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Cover: 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer.

Find adventure anywhere? Try 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer (2013). During my time in the States I started trying everything. Everything. Then I noticed that wasn’t only fun, it was also useful. Available at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.

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