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Jan 07, 2005


John D. Mitchell

Um, er, well, I guess I'll have to say yes and no to your claim of breadth is better than depth. Given the quote, I must say that the guy didn't have enough depth of vision or understanding of the *consequences* of earthquakes.

Evelyn Rodriguez

John, that's a good point....

In so many cases one subject area/discipline trickles into another and the idea that boundaries actually exist between things mostly arises out of convenience, not reality. Almost any real problem is multi-disciplinary in its nature in the real world. It feels from this story that the meteorologists were too fixated on one narrow segment to see the big picture of the problem.

John D. Mitchell

Indeed. Though, I'd say the "fixation" was on escaping blame/guilt. Reality, as it were, is about consequences and his job was understanding the consequences of the earthquakes and, presumably, to communicate and otherwise inform people of those consequences so that they could better prepare. Incompetence is no more or less of an excuse than is ignorance.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Consequences - yes, in this particular case it should have been more obvious. But that we were cognizant of all the consequences of our actions and inactions - that's the trick, isn't it? Seems to go beyond even being a "systems thinker."

Stephan F

It's funny I always get my best ideas when I look outside of my current industry.
most problems seem to have been solved but in different ways for different industries. Adapting them is the key.
How many people would think of using the anti-contamination protocols of a meat packing plant to computer security? The particulars are different but the objective is the same. Keep your stuff clean. Keep the bad stuff in one place and handle it carefully as you take it away from the good stuff. Clean everything often.

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