28 May 2010

From Morning Prayer

R: You have called us to a prophetic vocation in Christ,
-- help us proclaim your mighty deeds.

Isn't that neat?


David Brooks' last two columns have caught my attention.

Today, he wrote about the inherent uncertainty in our advancing technology.  Brooks enumerates all of the lessons that we've learned from the BP rig disaster in the gulf. 

Mighty interesting stuff.

One point that caught my eye in particular:

Second, people have a tendency to get acclimated to risk. As the physicist Richard Feynman wrote in a report on the Challenger disaster, as years went by, NASA officials got used to living with small failures. If faulty O rings didn’t produce a catastrophe last time, they probably won’t this time, they figured.

Feynman compared this to playing Russian roulette. Success in the last round is not a good predictor of success this time. Nonetheless, as things seemed to be going well, people unconsciously adjust their definition of acceptable risk.
Why does this catch my eye?  Simple: I'm a Mets fan.  (The sweep of the Phillies not withstanding)

Mets fans, as a general group, are completely aware that bad things happen.  A guy on the opposing team is on a cold streak?  He's due to kill the Mets.  Hot streak?  The Mets will help him continue it.  And so on and so forth. 

The solution to administrators who become desensitized to risk?  Hire Mets (or Cubs) fans.

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