I have posted about survivorship bias and how it affects your career choices: how a Hollywood actor giving the classic “follow your dreams and never give up” line is bad advice and is pure survivorship bias at work.
When I read up on the wikipedia page, I encountered an interesting story:
During WWII the US Air Force wanted to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire. The Center for Naval Analyses ran a research on where bombers tend to get hit with the explicit aim of enforcing the parts of the airframe that is most likely to receive incoming fire. This is what they came up with:
So, they said: the red dots are where bombers are most likely to be hit, so put some more armor on those parts to make the bombers more resilient. That looked like a logical conclusion, until Abraham Wald - a mathematician - started asking questions:
- how did you obtain that data? - well, we looked at every bomber returning from a raid, marked the damages on the airframe on a sheet and collected the sheets from all allied air bases over months. What you see is the result of hundreds of those sheets. - and your conclusion? - well, the red dots are where the bombers were hit. So let’s enforce those parts because they are most exposed to enemy fire. - no. the red dots are where a bomber can take a hitand return. The bombers that took a hit to the ailerons, the engines or the cockpit never made it home. That’s why they are absent in your data. The blank spots are exactly where you have to enforce the airframe, so those bombers can return.
This is survivorship bias. You only see a subset of the outcomes. The ones that made it far enough to be visible. Look out for absence of data. Sometimes they tell a story of their own.
BTW: You can see the result of this research today. This is the exact reason the A-10 has the pilot sitting in a titanium armor bathtub and has it’s engines placed high and shielded.
My brother and I loveeee superheroes and all the shows that have been put out recently so we decided to compile a list of what high school stereotypes they would be if they were personified. (I like the motif my brother had for the extra kids but I added alternative names if you guys think it got a repetitive)
Smallville - The Star Quarterback
Supergirl - The Preppy Cheerleader
Gotham - The School Shooter
Arrow - The Moody Emo Teenager
The Flash - The Science Nerd
Legends of Tomorrow - Extra™ Kids/Theatre Geeks
The Defenders - The Other Extra™ Kids/Gang Kids
Daredevil - That One Blind Kid
Jessica Jones - The One Who Gets Held Back 4 Times For Senior Year and Is More Adult Than The Rest
Iron Fist - The Rich Kid
Luke Cage - The Try Hard
Agents of Shield - The Final Group of Extras™/Track Team
Legion - The Crazy Kid
Imagine this! Coulson is working undercover in London and accidentally becomes Q’s neighbor. Unfortunately, his double 0s keep breaking into the wrong apartment and Coulson just sighs and directs them to the right window. Occasionally, when Q is out, he’ll patch them up, a habit of being the Avenger’s handler. Now the double 0s keep showing up with worse and worse wounds trying to make Coulson lose his composure and later on try to woo him into working for MI-6. Q thinks the whole thing is hilarious and doesn’t tell them that Coulson is with SHIELD(fairly high up in the food chain) and not really an accountant. Coulson and Q have tea once a week and exchange stories.
If anyone wants to write this, let me know. I want to read it!
Thor was excited to be home, excited to be back at the compound with all his friends. He had been gone for so long, dealing with Asgard and everything had gone so wrong so suddenly…
Well anyway, he was relieved to be away from Asgard. He was ready for Tony’s ridiculous movie nights, and Clint’s haphazard breakfast creations, and sparring with Captain, and trading war stories with Natasha. He was looking forward to spending time with Bruce, the quiet scientist with a wicked sense of humour that was matched only by Tony’s cutting wit.
He was even looking forward to the mission debriefings, where Tony and Steve inevitably fought and bickered, and Tony usually ended up storming off in some grand fashion, the color high in his cheeks, dark eyes sparking dangerously.
The genius was beautiful in something of a delicate way, and Thor had always had a hard time keeping himself from staring. Tony was not a large man by any means, but his passion for whichever cause he was engaged in was unparalleled. Thor loved to sit and watch him talk, to watch him work, to watch him—
Thor just liked to watch Tony, period. And if he were honest, it took most of his self control to only watch, because Thor would love to see Tony flushed and passionate spread out across a large bed and bathed in firelight. In fact, he was sure Tony would look more beautiful like that than any other way. Of course, they had never had any time to discuss or explore any of those things, but now that Thor was back again, perhaps in between missions he and the soft haired genius could spend real time together, and Thor would get the chance to tell him how he felt.
So when Thor landed in front of the Avengers compound with a crack of lightning and a ground shaking boom of thunder, burning the pattern of the bifrost into the lawn, he was caught up in his thoughts and didn’t notice that the grass was brown and dead, that there were no vehicles parked in the driveway.
Too intent on seeing Tony, on giving the man a hug, on hearing that light hearted laugh, it wasn’t even until he was striding through the halls towards the common area, holding Mjolnir lightly in one hand, and calling for the team that he realized that most of the lights weren’t even on. The rooms were locked up, the windows dirty, the few plants wilted from neglect.
The compound was…silent, and Thor stopped uneasily at the door to the common room, noting that even though the room had been repaired since the fight with Ultron, it looked like it hadn’t been touched in months.
“Hello?” he called, and his deep voice echoed through the empty building. “Hello?”
Request:Hey doll❤ Would you do an imagine for me with Bucky where you were his wife back in the 40s but after he was taken by Hydra, you also end up there but he didn’t know. So after he joined the Avengers he still thinks you’re dead but then they get the Mission to save someone out of an Hydra Base, and it’s you. Buck fears you wont recognize him after they took you to the compound but after you woke up and see him you remember everything and then it’s all fluffy and cute and he helps you adjust ? :)
Word Count: 2510
She was in
front of the little wooden stove of the apartment she owned with her husband.
He was out with Steve doing god knows what; she knew this was going to be their
final dinner before Bucky goes out and into the war. She didn’t like it but accepted
her husband’s wishes, Y/n knew he would be able to take care of himself out
there but what worried her most was Steve. He wanted to go too, never stopping
to try and get cleared to go to war but they weren’t having it. They wanted all
men to go and fight but not the ones who were scrawny like Steve, she knew he
could do it; his will for helping others was something that she had yet to see
in anyone else.
passed before the two men arrived home, all three instantly digging into their
food, chatting and laughing away, completely ignoring the fact that he would soon
be gone by tomorrow morning. Steve was going to stay the night so he could
instantly be there for when his best friend left for the war and for you when
you’ll need his comfort. You didn’t think it would take a great toll on you but
it did, it had felt like your heart was being ripped out when you had watched
him wave towards you as the train went.
It was even
worse when you had learned Steve had soon joined too. It was now just you in
your little apartment with no one there, the silence slowly ate you away.
Missing all the banter, the jokes and laughter that your two boys always made
but after two years of them being gone; everything had changed.