Why Sometimes We Analyze The Data Wrongly
A lot of stuffs nowadays are represented by data since the information age. However, as a mundane person out there, do we really understand the data given to us? Perhaps you see a probability on how probable something occurs, does it reflect your situation? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Consider that you're told that car accidents happen 1 every 5000 journey, globally. So, the probability is 1/5000. Is the probability you're involved in car accidents also 1/5000? One don't think so. Firstly, different location have different accident rate. Some location are more prone to accident than others. For example, a busy highway with more traffic is more prone to accident than a deserted road, with few traffics. A deserted highway might means people tend to drive faster, thinking no one else would be on the highway, and causes accidents more easily. Perhaps you're living to a street that have a blind spot, and unknowingly some people forgot to horn before passing through, hence causing frequent accidents. Different situation may inadvertently raise your probability of involving in car accidents.
And it might involve driving ethics. Some countries have drivers whom drive less recklessly than other countries, hence less chance of accident. Or perhaps your country have bars, hence its more chance of drunk driving than countries where alcohol is either banned or import in small amount per person only. Or different car designs might be more prone to accidents, such as cars with skid tyres. Or perhaps you never learn how to properly handle a skid, and a normally could-be-avoided accident becomes a serious/fatal accident. These changes to the original 1/5000 probability.
Similarly goes to aviation. Something that can be predicted with higher chances of accident includes: you're flying with an airline company that doesn't follow official regulations properly (in the past, when airlines try to save money, this happened before; not sure if there are still now). Maybe you're flying to/from difficult-to-land airports (called the dangerous airport, which may be very short runway, or perhaps runway located between mountaineous ranges, etc).
Others might not be as predictable. How do you know the pilot you're flying with doesn't have a mental issue that frequently drive him wanting to kill himself/herself? Or perhaps you're unlucky today and board a plane that have mechanical issue not checked against. It may happen, right? You never know. Though, aviation learned from the past, unlike car accidents, so it's safer to ride in a plane generally than the ride from your house to the airport.
The saying goes: prediction are made based on past statistics. Yet it's only partially true. Just because something never happen doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. Perhaps your country never involved in airplane accidents. That doesn't close the probability that it won't be involved in an airplane accidents in the future, despite following rules and regulations. The probability is always there, we cannot feel relaxed as past experience doesn't meant anything in probability prediction.
Though, you might not feel so. Psychologically, if you ever involved yourself in an airplane accident, you think you're more prone to future accidents. The thinking goes like this: when you have a safe flight, you say to yourself, "God let me go this time. Next time, he won't let me go." and when you have problematic flight for the second time (or the next time), you say, "See, here it is. I'm in an accident again!" Completely ignoring the fact that how many times God had letten you go. That's more psychological. Rather, probabilities are independent, at least in this case. Your involvement in an accident now doesn't increase your chance of getting involve in another accident in the future. Otherwise, why would the passengers sitting around you, whom might never get involved in an accident or have involved in more accidents than you, also get involved in this accident?
Be prepare for the worse, as probability always haunts. You never know if you're the 4999 of the 5000, or the 1 in the 5000.
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