Professor Moshe Vardi with Rice University provides an excellent article on the impacts of prioritizing efficiency over resiliency.  As we build technology and communication systems some of these key ideas should be considered as we plan for the trade-offs and between cost efficiency and the need for resilient systems needed to provide critical communication capabilities during emergency incidents.

Professor Vardi writes, “

There is a trade-off between efficiency and resilience. Efficiency requires optimal adaptation to an existing environment, while resilience is an ability to adapt to large or sudden changes in the environment. Society’s emphasis on short-term gains has long tipped the balance in favor of efficiency.

The bottom line is that resilience is a fundamental but underappreciated societal need. But both computing and economics have underemphasized resilience. In general, markets and people are quite bad at preparing for very low-probability or very long-term events.

Three recent crises – the 2021 winter storm in Texas, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Boeing 737 Max software failure – highlight the cost of valuing efficiency over resilience and provide lessons for bringing society into balance. “

Read the rest of this thought-provoking article here:

Engineers and economists prize efficiency, but nature favors resilience – lessons from Texas, COVID-19 and the 737 Max
Moshe Y. Vardi- Professor of Computer Science, Rice University
Article in “The Conversation” May 18, 2021

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