PYP

Be careful of optimizing for the rare but extreme event at the expense of the less painful but more routine one.

Here are two small examples. First, I live in an urban county that is bankrupt. They have some issues, and doing business with them is a pain. I have an extreme event about once a year - having to stand in line for 5 hours and sometimes make 3 trips to get a car tag - which is outrageous. Many people in my city cite this a their reason for not living in this county and living out in the suburbs. But, it is a huge optimization win, because my commute to work is only 15 minutes in light traffic, while the majority of folks have a commute of 60 minutes or more. I have optimized for the common event, because I know that the extreme event, while outrageous, is bearable. Another example is the massive creation of the TSA and the surveillance state so that we can hope to prevent another 9/11. We have chosen extreme inconvenience and loss of freedom on a daily basis - in hopes of not having another extreme event. I believe we are optimizing for the wrong thing.