I watched “Free Solo” last night. It’s about Alex Honnold’s historic climb of El Capitan without ropes. It’s riveting, and I highly recommend it.
There is one idea Alex talks about in the movie that stuck with me. Interviewers continually ask him about the danger of what he does, and he says something along the lines of this.
His sport has high consequences. A single mistake will end in death. But with preparation, he reduces the risks. So while the consequences are high, the risk of that consequence is actually low. Further, the elimination of the ropes increases focus which decreases the chances of making a mistake.
It’s a fascinating perspective on evaluating risk. We tend to look at risk in terms of consequences rather than the likelihood of those consequences actually occurring.