Friday, March 1, 2013


It is interesting how the very things that make us safer can sometimes make life more difficult for someone trying to rescue us in an emergency. The trend toward school lock-downs to protect kids makes it more difficult for law enforcement officers to safely find a gunman hiding in the building. The design decisions that make cars safer, like the Nader pin that keeps doors from swinging open in a crash, also make them harder to get into in order to remove someone from a smashed vehicle.

So often the trade-offs are between opposing benefits, like cost vs longevity or efficiency vs safety: the air-tight nature of energy-efficient new home construction increases smoke damage in a fire, and material-efficient engineered joists increase the danger of a floor collapsing during a fire. It isn't so often than the trade-offs are both held within one benefit, safety vs safety.


Anonymous said...

Really interesting concept, I wonder if that means we should be told everything we are trading off for? Only that would take a lot of time because everything seems like a trade off some where.

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