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yoda

Murphy's Law

Slashdot had an interesting article today:

‘Murphy’s Law’ rules outer space
... And NASA still needs to learn how to evade it


That's the kind of stuff I find fascinating as an engineer. I imagine that some of this is probably because civil engineering is forced to be unusually aware of the "human factor" in any project, design etc... In my field (construction) especially you have to look at how someone can possibly screw up (and either delay the project and/or hurt themselves) when you're building something, and you have to put some thought into how someone will be able to use the structure once it's built.

It's amazing to read about how someplace like NASA (which I think almost every geek/engineer always kinda wished they worked at) can stumble on something as simple as making a component that can be plugged in backwards (and which can't be checked without x-raying it). That's the kind of basic bulletrpoofing of designs that goes into things like batteries, computer cables etc.. and yet NASA apparently doesn't do it (and then things go splat or boom).

Pretty interesting stuff.

Comments

upside-down switches, decimals, it's all the same
Hmm... nope I've never had to do that. The construction industry is usually about 10-20 years behind the rest of the world so we're still mired in Imperial units.

Personally I always thought metric units worked pretty well for construction, but we pretty much stick exclusively to lengths and relatively simple measurements so they're fairly easy to apply. Even so, I'd hate to switch to metric right now though, a mass migration to metric would cause much chaos.

Life's going along ok. Not thrilling, but not too horrible. Well today kind of sucked but that's mostly thanks to the stomach plague I came down with (see icon ;).

How's everything going with you?