Inviting Disaster Lessons from the Edge of Technology

ISBN-10: 0066620821
ISBN-13: 9780066620824
Edition: N/A
Authors: James R. Chiles
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Description: Combining captivating storytelling with eye-opening findings, Inviting Disaster delves inside some of history's worst catastrophes in order to show how increasingly "smart" systems leave us wide open to human tragedy. Weaving a dramatic narrative  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 8/20/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Combining captivating storytelling with eye-opening findings, Inviting Disaster delves inside some of history's worst catastrophes in order to show how increasingly "smart" systems leave us wide open to human tragedy. Weaving a dramatic narrative that explains how breakdowns in these systems result in such disasters as the chain reaction crash of the Air France Concorde to the meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, Chiles vividly demonstrates how the battle between man and machine may be escalating beyond manageable limits -- and why we all have a stake in its outcome. Included in this edition is a special introduction providing a behind-the-scenes look at the World Trade Center catastrophe. Combining firsthand accounts of employees' escapes with an in-depth look at the structural reasons behind the towers' collapse, Chiles addresses the question, Were the towers "two tall heroes" or structures with a fatal flaw?

James R. Chiles began writing about technology and history while a student at the University of Texas Law School. His first piece was a 1979 Texas Monthly article on the Pantex nuclear weapons assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas. He began writing features for Smithsonian in 1983, and since that time has published features and cover stories there and in Audubon, Air & Space, Harvard magazine, and American Heritage of Invention & Technology . He lives in Minnesota.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: On The Machine Frontier: New Technology And Old Habits
Shock Wave: High Tech On The High Seas
Blind Spot: Baffled And Bewildered Inside The Massive System
Rush To Judgment: When Flagship Projects Run Out Of Time
Doubtless: Testing Is Such A Bother
The Really Bad Day: Panic And Triumph On The Machine Frontier
Tunnel Vision: Go Away, I'm Busy
Red Line Running: Humans Have A Limit, Too
A Crack In The System: Failure Starts Slow, But It Grows
The Healthy Fear: Alive And Alert At Danger's Edge
That Human Touch: How Little Errors Make Big Accidents
Robbing The Pillar: Slacking Off With The High-Power System
Machine Man: Surviving And Thriving On The New Frontier
Disasters, Calamities, And Near Misses Cited In The Book
List Of Key Sources
Index

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