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In WW2, the US military was trying to determine where to add more armor to their planes.

Planes would come back with massive amounts of bullet holes in the fuselage, wings and fuel system.

Naturally, they assumed that planes were getting shot most often in these areas.
A mathematician named Abraham Wald disagreed with this intuition.

Assuming the bullet holes should be randomly distributed, he noticed that there were very few bullet holes on the engines of the returning planes.

His recommendation was to maximally armor the engines.
You see, the planes with relatively few bullet holes in the engines were the ones that survived.

Planes that took too much damage to the engines simply *weren’t making it back*

The areas with the most bullet holes were actually the noncritical ones.
Moral of the story is, look at all the angles.

Our brains are notoriously unreliable on intuition alone. The continuity of a species only requires the meets-minimum effective functionality for a given environment.

Evolution has no intentionality.

That’s one of our advantages.
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