You can see robust thinking in financial services, too. In the past, banks used to hold much less capital than they're required to today, because holding so little capital, being too efficient with it, is what made the banks so fragile in the first place. Now, holding more capital looks and is inefficient. But it's robust, because it protects the financial system against surprises.
Countries that are really serious about climate change know that they have to adopt multiple solutions, multiple forms of renewable energy, not just one. The countries that are most advanced have been working for years now, changing their water and food supply and healthcare systems, because they recognize that by the time they have certain prediction, that information may very well come too late.
You can take the same approach to trade wars, and many countries do. Instead of depending on a single huge trading partner, they try to be everybody's friends, because they know they can't predict which markets might suddenly become unstable. It's time-consuming and expensive, negotiating all these deals, but it's robust because it makes their whole economy better defended against shocks. It's particularly a strategy adopted by small countries that know they'll never have the market muscle to call the shots, so it's just better to have too many friends.
But in our growing dependence on technology, we're asset-stripping those skills. Every time we use technology to nudge us through a decision or a choice or to interpret how somebody's feeling or to guide us through a conversation, we outsource to a machine what we could, can do ourselves, and it's an expensive trade-off. The more we let machines think for us, the less we can think for ourselves. The more time doctors spend staring at digital medical records, the less time they spend looking at their patients. The more we use parenting apps, the less we know our kids. The more time we spend with people that we're predicted and programmed to like, the less we can connect with people who are different from ourselves. And the less compassion we need, the less compassion we have.
What all of these technologies attempt to do is to force-fit a standardized model of a predictable reality onto a world that is infinitely surprising. What gets left out? Anything that can't be measured - which is just about everything that counts. Our growing dependence on technology risks us becoming less skilled, more vulnerable to the deep and growing complexity of the real world.