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Regression toward the mean (statistics)
if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the mean or average on its second measurement, and if it is extreme on its second measurement, it will tend to have been closer to the average on its first.
tripwire force / glass plate (deterrence theory)
a comparatively weak military force employed as a first line of defence, engagement with which will trigger the intervention of stronger forces.