Here’s a thought from Seth Godin, who thinks and writes about systems, for advocates of “data driven” systems, such as smart cities.
Systems with slack are more resilient. … One thunderstorm can cripple the air traffic system for six major cities, because each plane is stacked so efficiently that the ripple cascades, leading to failure and cancellations. In the old days, when efficiency was measured over a longer term, there was enough buffer to absorb a bump like that…. The mistake happens when we over-index on the easily measured short-term wins and forget to account for the costs of system failure.
Excerpted from his June 15 blog post, “Investing in Slack.”