For years I assumed that the Titanic tragedy was a result of human arrogance, a belief in the indestructibility of the newest, largest, fastest, fanciest ship of all time.

But, in fact, the Titanic went down because of distraction. It was sailing in iceberg-filled waters, and other ships had been warning them for many days prior. The captain changed course, but only slightly, and did nothing about speed. On the night of its sinking, two ships sent warnings of icebergs, but the radio operator never passed them on. When he received a call from a ship nearby surrounded by ice, less than an hour before the collision, he ...

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