Tonight I was returning home from dinner on the Subway subway when I was confronted with a difficult decision. I had taken the six-train (actually the five to the six, but that's not relevant to the point I want to discuss) from Grand Central to the Bleecker Street station. The dilemma was whether or not to transfer to the F or V subway for one stop which would leave me a short block from home (≅.08 mile), or walk ≅.43 miles in a heavy rain storm. This decision is made more difficult by the fact that at 10:30 PM it is unpredictable when the next subway might to arrive. It could arrive anywhere from simultaneous with to (I guessed) 20 minutes after my arrival at Bleecker, and I couldn't tell based on the number of people on the platform whether or not a train had arrived recently. Nor have I seen any data on the average wait-times during night time operation.

My goals were to avoid walking in the rain (walking is good, and rain can be appealing sometimes, but going for a stroll in a downpour wasn't what I was in the mood for tonight), but also to minimize the time taken to get home. My decision was to wait for five minutes, and if the train hadn't arrived by then, say screw it to the sunk costs and walk home. This seemed like a good strategy because it has as good a chance of the best outcome (there being a train immediately) as any other strategy, while avoiding the possibility of the worst outcome (waiting twenty minutes). Admittedly, walking home after waiting five minutes is worse than walking home immediately, but it seemed like a worthy gamble.

This post would give anyone who was interested the ability to figure out exactly where I live. Of course, so would asking me.