个例成为规则

纽约——很久以前,我在华尔街做过分析师的工作。我分析的第一家公司是联邦快递,当时这家企业还没有寄出一份包裹。

联邦快递的理念既简单又令人信服:复杂的成本高于空运,因此这家公司把所有包裹连夜运往田纳西州的孟菲斯。这样出入孟菲斯就成了公司唯一一条线路,从根本上简化了始发点和目的地的无数组合,因此所有包裹都可以在第二天确定无疑的交付。

信息技术的发展改变了所有这一切。今天的大型计算机可以查阅海量信息、模拟复杂状况并对诸多问题做出可靠预测:周二下午5点要求路口车辆绕行会对交通状况产生何种影响?服药患者有多大比例会出现好转——更有意思的是,哪些人会出现好转,而哪些人有可能恶化?

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