An interesting notion arose from this Hacker News comment thread about the life and legacy of John von Neumann – specifically the contrast between decision making under certainty (i.e. hindsight) vs decision making under probability. The topic in question was pre-emptive war with the Soviet Union in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After thinking about it for a while I came to the horrible realization that it wasn’t the worst idea in the world. bit actually something of a close call.
I’m left being even more grateful for the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. The 20th century was a scary time.