Fault Tolerance

You pay the insurance bills every month.  Car, home, life – they’re all about the same, a bet against yourself that you actually hope is money wasted.  But when things go wrong, like a drunk driver smacking into you one sunny day, it’ll be there when you need it.  If you listen to the commercials, what you get for your money is peace of mind.  It should help you sleep at night without anxiety.

Insurance is just the ultimate form of taking care of when things go bad.  Building fault tolerance into a system so that it never gets that far is a far more complicated and thoughtful process.  Anyone who designs a system of some kind – a physical thing or a process that involves checks and balances – is probably going to be proud enough of their achievement to not want to think about when things go horrible wrong and the whole thing breaks.  But that’s exactly what needs to happen for it to be truly robust.  It’s also something that a culture or society has to think about ultimately, painful as it may be.

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