Navigating the site:
Why Things Bite Back:
Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (1997)
"Anything can break. Only a system can have a bug."
tightly coupled versus loosely coupled systems:
"Charles Perrow... has argued that certain technologies are so inherently unsafe that what is called 'operator error' is actually made inevitable by the way in which the parts of the system are related."
Automotive engineering for cars and trucks was largely shaped by the engine:
The interior schematic view of the internal combustion engine.
Daimler crafted an internal combustion engine in 1885 when he took his owner's ideas for a gasoline driven motor and later Daimler and Benz put them in automobiles for propulsion.
"the complexity of wartime systems was already bringing home to to troops and civilians how many things could malfunction."
"If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will end in disaster, then somebody will do it that way."
"If ever anything can go wrong, it will."
Precautionary design as an example of a "fool proof" approach to user focused engineering.
"Murphy's Law is not a fatalistic, defeatist principle. Its a call for alertness and adaptation."
Seat belts in cars, for example.
"They were showing the power of innovation to master acute, sudden, catastrophic problems -- including those that other new technologies had created."
Learning from disasters
Good "Designers learn from failure."
"Maintenance compulsion" as a means to avoid mistakes and a powerful incentive to prevent inherent mishaps.