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Minding the Machines: Preventing Technological Disasters by Mark Manion, William M. Evan

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Chapter 9. Lessons Learned from the Case Studies of Technological Disasters

 

“It is important to acknowledge mistakes and make sure you draw some lessons from them.”

 
 --Bill Gates

A startling fact emerges from the 12 exemplary case studies of technological disasters presented in Chapter 8: Many of the cases of technological disaster considered in that chapter, as well as those discussed in Chapter 5, could actually have been prevented! Indeed, an argument can be made that many of the technological disasters could have been anticipated on the basis of what experts and executives in the various industries involved already knew. According to the civil engineer Henry Petroski, “the greatest tragedy underlying design errors and the resultant failures ...

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