How to Avoid Catastrophe
How to Avoid Catastrophe is a fascinating article that examines several well-known disasters, and considers the common causes that led to each incident.
I’m not going to lie – it’s a dry kind of article, and in a lot of ways is more about management and process. But I’ve found myself thinking about things at a larger system level lately, and was re-reading this article again today.
There’s a large part of me, core to who I am, that just… worries. I don’t know that I would define myself as pessimistic or troubled, but I skew towards the worry. And I think about worst case scenarios often, almost as a default.
So a lot of what this article focuses on speaks to me, in a very automatic way. I’m trying to pull back a little from the mindset of “See, it’s good to worry all the time” to what I think the article is really trying to say: “signals exist and sometimes our cognitive biases prevent us from recognizing them.”
Of an interesting note, the last point (“Reward Owning Up”), reminded me a lot about a favorite video of me: Astro Teller, talking about failure.