Another handy-dandy equation for life:

Confidence = Experience * Alternatives

In other words, one can feel justifiably secure in a given situation if one has both background in similar circumstances and a range of choices for what to try next. Without real-world experience (as a metaphorical "virgin") it's tough to be sure that things will go well; likewise, without a range of possibilities (no "Plan B" fallback strategy) the entire enterprise hangs from a single thread. Dicey business in either case — as opposed to "Been there, done that, know five other ways to do it."

(cf. KnowHowAndFearNot (19 Nov 1999), HandicapJogging (8 Oct 2003), OneThirdEach (11 Jan 2004), ...)

TopicLife - TopicScience - 2006-01-23

(correlates: DisAvowal, VitalAndNegligible, TemporalUtilitarianism, ...)