Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Friday, August 29, 2003:  
Failure Is Always an Option (The New York Times)
If engineers are pessimists, managers are optimists about technology. Successful, albeit flawed missions indicated to them not a weak but a robust machine. When engineers and managers clashed over the 1986 Challenger launch, the managers pulled rank. In the case of Columbia, engineers who worried about damage that the spacecraft may have suffered during launch were ineffective in getting it properly inspected before reentry.
It seems that NASA has some very interesting dynamics in their corporate culture. But what can anyone expect given they're balancing unknown risks of life-critical systems against limited budgets and political pressure? The managers must be more optimistic than the engineers. The interesting cultural variable is to what degree mangers take responsibility for the risks they take. Of course, political pressure may force managers not to admit responsibility...

    -  Ron  2:24 PM

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