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

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Chapter 13. Assessing the Risks of Technology

 

“In all traditional cultures . . . human beings worried about the risks coming from external nature . . . very recently . . . we started worrying less about what nature can do to us, and more about what we have done to nature. This marks the transition from the predominance of external risk to that of manufactured risk.”

 
 --Anthony Giddens

The prevalence of technological disasters points to deficiencies in the way technology is assessed—the way technologies are determined to be or not to be risky. In this chapter we focus on two prominent methods for assessing risk: probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) and risk-cost-benefit analysis (RCBA). If we find the standard methods deficient, then it should not ...

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