Bad things happen every day.
And incredibly rare, incredibly bad things happen only once in a while.
Because of our complicated relationship with anxiety, we build fail safes into our culture — even if it’s not a matter of life and death.
If something bad happens, there’s a parachute. If you don’t want to initiate a difficult conversation with a friend or coworker, you can send an email. If you don’t want to start important work, there’s a never-ending pile of email to go through.
It’s safe. And we love it.
But what if something happens to your parachute? What if your friend speaks to you first? What if you’re out of email?
Incredibly rare, incredibly bad things happen because of a series of cascading failures. It’s the same reason things go viral, and the same reason it’s nearly impossible to make something go viral.
Cascading re-shares are difficult to get.
The Universe has a direction — entropy always increases. It’s the same reason you never see an egg put itself back together. There’s no coming back from that.
When a static system falls apart, you must start over and rebuild one piece of eggshell at a time.
But our lives are different. We can experience a series of cascading failures and recover.
Dynamic systems are complicated.
They can adapt.
And they can recover.