Talk:System accident

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Did Wikipedia "anticipate" 2018-19 Boeing 737 MAX crashes??[edit]

(I hope this isn't offensive/inappropriate/etc...)


Whether or NOT these crashes are/NOT (POSSIBLE?) "System accidents", is there ANY way/place to "link"?? (or simply need to wait for better sources??)

Thanks. Curious1i (talk) 23:59, 6 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, thanks for your recent interest and jumping in and helping with the article. In the next section, notice that one definition of system accident is when the complexity itself is the major contributing factor. And perhaps this is the main definition.
also please notice this source:
I'm not personally familiar with the Bangkok Post, but it does seem to have some potential. Please keep researching and editing! :~) Cool Nerd (talk) 17:53, 23 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Langewiesche talking about complexity itself as the major contributing factor.[edit]

The Lessons of Valujet 592, The Atlantic, William Langewiesche, March 1998. Second paragraph in section 'A "Normal Accident,"' which is about two-thirds of the way into the article.

" . . . Charles Perrow's thinking is more difficult for pilots like me to accept. Perrow came unintentionally to his theory about normal accidents after studying the failings of large organizations. His point is not that some technologies are riskier than others, which is obvious, but that the control and operation of some of the riskiest technologies require organizations so complex that serious failures are virtually guaranteed to occur [Emphasis added]. Those failures will occasionally combine in unforeseeable ways, . . . "

This might respond to some of the criticism and improve our article. Saying the complexity itself might be better than "unanticipated interaction of multiple failures." Cool Nerd (talk) 17:42, 23 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

demoting longish paragraph from lead[edit]

Once an enterprise passes a certain point in size, with many employees, specialization, backup systems, double-checking, detailed manuals, and formal communication, employees can all too easily recourse to protocol, habit, and "being right." Rather like attempting to watch a complicated movie in a language one is unfamiliar with, the narrative thread of what is going on can be lost. And other phenomena such as groupthink can be occurring at the same time, for real world accidents almost always have multiple causes. In particular, it is a mark of a dysfunctional organization to simply blame the last person who touched something.

This is not a bad summary of both Perrow and Langewiesche. For example,

The Lessons of Valujet 592, The Atlantic, William Langewiesche, March 1998, second to last paragraph:

" . . an entire pretend reality that includes unworkable chains of command, unlearnable training programs, . . "

But a little repetitive, and I think we may have added some stuff on our own. Cool Nerd (talk) 20:20, 24 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm going to go ahead and re-add it. It's just too good to leave it here languishing. Cool Nerd (talk) 15:14, 30 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"A system accident (or normal accident)" as first words in the article?[edit]

I just expanded the first 3 words to 6:

A system accident (or normal accident) ...

If you think this is NOT appropriate, then I think the article needs a separate section on '"system accident" vs. "normal accident"'.

A personal example I use to illustrate the concept is as follows:

A classmate came to school one day with his hand bandaged up.
I asked, "What happened to you?"
He replied, "I defeated the safety interlock on my food processor."

How characteristic is this of system or normal accidents?

More generally, what percent of system or normal accidents involve something like this, most commonly deferred maintenance, because managers knows their system can continue to operate without the designed level of redundancy, and managers also know they are rewarded for cost containment and punished for cost overruns but rarely punished for safety violations. DavidMCEddy (talk)

References vs. notes[edit]

@Vsmith: Can we please make a distinction between "Notes" and "References"?

I think it's not good to put {{reflist}} together with the titles of books and articles that might be cited multiple times, e.g.,

  • Charles Perrow (1984). Normal accidents : living with high-risk technologies. ISBN 0-465-05143-X. Wikidata Q114963622.
  • Charles Perrow (1999). Normal accidents : living with high-risk technologies : with a new afterword and a postscript on the Y2K problem. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00412-9. Wikidata Q114963670.

in perhaps different combinations or with different page numbers.

Wikipedia:Manual of Style, Wikipedia:Citing sources, and related style guides like Template:Reflist seem not to currently have a consistent standard on this, but I don't think it's wise to mix end notes with "references" or "general references" in the same section. I think they should be in separate sections like ==References== and ==Notes==</ref> I prefer the latter -- the way this article was structured before your recent edit with separate <nowiki>==References== and <nowiki>==Notes==</ref> sections. One reason is that this structure seems more consistent with the style of Real-World Economics Review, a journal two which I submitted "Wikiversity:Do copyrights and paywalls on academic journals violate the US Constitution?" last October. Roughly 13 months earlier, I had submitted a major revision of "Wikiversity:Externalities, contagious diseases and news"" to that same journal. That major revision was accepted without revision and appeared last March as Spencer Graves; Douglas A. Samuelson (March 2022). "Externalities, public goods, and infectious diseases" (PDF). Real-world economics review (99): 25–56. ISSN 1755-9472. Wikidata Q111367750.. To prepare those Wikiversity articles for submission to this journal, it seems easier to have the article as much as possible already written in a style with separate "References" and "Notes" sections, as I had this article, before your change.

I hope you will accept this logic and not be excessively upset as I revert your recent edit.

Thanks for your contributions to Wikipedia:Prime objective, making the "sum of all human knowledge" more freely accessible. DavidMCEddy (talk) 22:17, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]