What If?

In the What If? game you use your ecosystem diagram as a map to suggest ways of breaking the integrity of the system.

The physicist Richard Feynman illustrated this technique perfectly in a story he told in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! [Fey97].

While meeting with engineers designing a safety system for a nuclear production facility at Los Alamos, Feynman placed his finger at random on a symbol in the blueprints. “What happens if this valve gets stuck?” he asked. Feynman’s intention was to use the engineers’ reactions to help him figure out what the symbol meant. He expected them to say “That’s not a valve, sir. That’s a window.” Instead, here’s how Feynman described it:

So one looks at the other and says, “Well, if that ...

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