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Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer reading: Spin
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Learning from Accidents
Monday, September 13, 2004

I just finished another Dan Bricklin essay whose concern is how we, as designers and engineers, can learn from failures. He covers Charles Perrow's "Normal Accidents", Trevor Kletz's "What Went Wrong? Case Histories of Process Plant Disasters" and the 9-11 report. To quote from Normal Accidents:

The main point of the book is to see...human constructions as systems, not as collections of individuals or representatives of ideologies. ...[T]he theme has been that it is the way the parts fit together, interact, that is important. The dangerous accidents lie in the system, not in the components. (page 351)

It's a strong essay and worth serious thinking.


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