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When looking at datasheets of electronic equipment, especially the expensive ones, you can often see the MTBF or mean life value. Naturally high values are better, but that number can be misleading exactly in the same way as average salary values given in the press – the majority of people get less.
Keeping eye contact when trying to think puts a significant burden on our brain. Surprisingly heavy burden, as researchers discovered.
If you happen to be a new reliability engineer in a company I urge you not to focus solely on that task in front of you. Instead, step back and take a broader view.