Had you had that confidence at the age of 17, I’m confident I would be in a very similar situation as I am right now but with a memory of a life lived differently. I can’t tell if it would be happier or not, but I do know I would have had more time for doing what I love most: solitude, contemplation, and living simply. I’m guessing I would be here similarly situated but with more stories that I would be eager to tell. My lack of confidence in what I knew to be true denied me those stories of living an authentic life.
Consider the case of a big-data store the was able to store all of the individual answers keyed with sequence numbers, time stamps, and specific individual identification. I don’t think anyone would voluntarily discard that data in exchange with anonymized data consisting of just a few categories. The value of data reduction into categories is for people who don’t have access to big data. Those people are the consumers who wish to have an external assessment of what kind of person they are, allowing them a shortcut to introducing themselves, similar to the 1960’s approaching of introducing oneself as a zodiacal sign.