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The school beneath the wave: the unimaginable tragedy of Japan’s tsunami
The trick is to preserve compassion without bearing each individual tragedy as your own;

In ancient times, this region of Japan, known as Tōhoku, was a notorious frontier realm of barbarians, goblins and bitter cold. Even today, it remains a remote, marginal, faintly melancholy place, the symbol of a rural tradition that, for city-dwellers, is no more than a folk memory.

Then darkness overcame him. Everyone who experienced the tsunami saw, heard and smelled something subtly different. Much depended upon where you were, and the obstacles that the water had to overcome to reach you. Some described a waterfall, cascading over sea wall and embankment. For others, it was a fast-rising flood between houses, deceptively slight at first, tugging trippingly at the feet and ankles, but quickly sucking and battering at legs and chests and shoulders. In colour, it was described as brown, grey, black, white.

A clock in a second-floor classroom at Okawa elementary school, which stopped at 3.36pm, about 50 minutes after the earthquake.
japan  earthquake  tsunami  school  human  error  children  death  japanese  2011  instapaper_favs  management  fail  2011/3/11 
october 2017 by aries1988
Crash: how computers are setting us up for disaster | Tim Harford

The psychologist James Reason, author of Human Error, wrote: “Manual control is a highly skilled activity, and skills need to be practised continuously in order to maintain them. Yet an automatic control system that fails only rarely denies operators the opportunity for practising these basic control skills … when manual takeover is necessary something has usually gone wrong; this means that operators need to be more rather than less skilled in order to cope with these atypical conditions.”

Bonin seemed nervous. The slightest hint of trouble produced an outburst of swearing: “Putain la vache. Putain!” – the French equivalent of “Fucking hell. Fuck!” More than once he expressed a desire to fly at “3-6” – 36,000 feet – and lamented the fact that Air France procedures recommended flying a little lower.

In any case, Bonin silently retook control of the plane and tried to climb again. It was an act of pure panic. Robert and Dubois had, perhaps, realised that the plane had stalled – but they never said so. They may not have realised that Bonin was the one in control of the plane. And Bonin never grasped what he had done. His last words were: “But what’s happening?”
airplane  airline  accident  psychology  computer  technology  human  error 
october 2016 by aries1988

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