OT(?): "Big Blue" tragedy and Y2k

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"Big Blue" was the name given to a huge crane used for the construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee. I haven't seen mention of the recent accident here. For reference, see http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/jul99/091599millerparkanimation.asp (requires flash plug-in). Here are some of my thoughts, with more to follow...

The workers were on a tight deadline. TPTB (Milwaukee Brewers, and, by extension, Bud Selig, the commisioner; the Stadium Board; and others) decreed that the stadium be ready in time for April, 2000 (opening day). The schedule was by all accounts slipping. (Starting to sound familiar?)

Many problems had been reported previously, and conditions were poor for a lift of this type on the day of the accident. Winds were far above the acceptable limit. See http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/jul99/millerparkindex.asp for reference.

Three lives were lost. The investigation will take months. There is plenty of blame to go around. For those in the Milwaukee area, this story has dominated the local news for the past week.

I believe there are many lessons to be learned from this tragedy. I also believe that there are many lessons that relate to Y2k. In addition to the above, consider:

-Management insisted (against the judgement of the workers) that the lift be conducted in poor conditions.

-Workers complained of 12-hour shifts 7 days/week and the resultant fatigue. Safety issues, normally paramount, apparently took a back seat in this instance.

-After the initial shock and mourning period, tempers have flared and the blame game has begun in earnest. Numerous lawsuits are expected.

There are many other lessons, of course. Being a baseball fan from Milwaukee, I am closer to this than most of you, and can't be as objective. I appreciate any other thoughts on this incident...

-- regular (zzz@z.z), July 20, 1999


I think if you can relate a crane tipping over to a computer bug you need to go back to school and learn about logic again.

Not to mention that fact that the stadium is still being built, with much support from the citizens of Milwaukee I might add. Even after numerous lives were lost and when all seemed hopeless they construction continued. Even in the face of "The Big Blue Tragedy" somehow, in some futile gesture of human endurance, the work still goes on.

In order for your analogy to work I guess Y2K is like a million cranes all tipping over at the same time though right? I'm sure with THAT much horror in the world then we can just kiss baseball games goodbye. Oh well, I guess we'll all just have to fall down and die now. The is no hope, only more Big Blue incidents.

-- (doomers@suck.com), July 20, 1999.

Some years back, a major supplier to NASA (you guys in electronics will recognise this story) was in a rush to deliver a fuel tank assembly. After filling the tank with fuel, they found some possible seam leaks. The tank was drained, and three welders were ordered to go in and fix the seams.

They didn't refuse....they needed the paychecks.

The blast killed two immediately, and one wandered around the site in a daze, most of his skin gone, until he collapsed from fluid loss and died.

Management overroad safety, and people died. It's not a new story.

And, yes, it does apply to y2k.

It tells us a lot about human nature, the behavior of management, and the willingness of the rest of us to believe those in positions of authority.

Anybody remember Stanley Milgram's milestone study, published as OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY? Seems like some 60% of the subjects were willing to kill someone, as long as a guy in a white coat told them it was "for science". Pretty scary stuff. REAL stuff.

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), July 20, 1999.

Yeah and the speedometer in my car goes up to 140 mph too. But does it mean that I am forced to drive that fast where ever I go???

I love it when you Doomers drag human nature in Y2K remediation. Okay, so things don't always go perfect. But 9 times out 10 we can get things to work the way we want them to, safely and efficiently.

Other than, shit happens, what do you want? A written guarentee that from this day forth humans will never do things that are beyond their means? If you people ruled the world then we would have never have landed on the moon. And the Hubble Telescope would have never been built. And the remains of the Titanic would still be unseen. In fact in you people ruled the world then most humans would probably never leave their house for fear of some negligence from some man made creation.

-- (doomers@suck.com), July 20, 1999.

"I love it when you Doomers drag human nature in Y2K remediation."

Y2K will not happen in a vacuum.

-- Jim (x@x.x), July 20, 1999.

Mr. Suck,

You need to finish your thought. If it weren't for human nature, there would have been NO:

World War I World War II Korean War Vietnam War Atomic weapons

and, computers that only go to 1999....

I hate it when people only use half of a subject to justify their stance.

Why are you here? The people you are trying to influence are as hard headed as you are, just on a diametrically opposed position.

The government lies... They always have... get used to it... don't take it for fact. The 'net by its nature is unregulated... it lies... get used to it... Learn to glean information, verify it, and use it effectively. Learn to THINK for yourself... Don't try to sway opinion with your own biased outlook. I don't. You can take whatever I say and toss it for all I care...

My conscience will not let me tell other people what is what. It is up to them to see what they need to see, and do what they need to do. If they ask me a question, fine, take the response you get for what it is worth and continue on.

You yourself may think 010100 is a non-issue. That is YOUR opinion. I personally DO NOT KNOW what is about to happen. Nothing I hope... but it is foolish to not do anything because you think nothing will happen.

Telling other people nothing will happen and them believing you, and then come rollover something DOES happen... well, my conscience won't let me go there...

I pray you are right Mr. Suck... for everyone... if you are wrong, and Milne, Infomagic, and such are right, lots of lives will be lost... will their blood be on your hands, if they listened to you and did nothing??? You tell me...

Y2K may only be the beginning....

growlin' at the neighbor boy...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), July 20, 1999.

World War One: It's over, we won

World War Two: It's over, we won

Korean War: It's over, we sort of won

Vietnam: It's over, thank God

Atomic Weapons: End WWII and saved perhaps countless lives, maybe even that of your own family.

You want to tell me what these things have in relation to Y2K? They are bad things certaintly, but why do you bring them up here and now? Atomic weapons haven't destroyed the world, in case you hadn't noticed. Yeah the potential in there but until they actually get used to end life on Earth I suggest you keep your anti-nuke rallies confined to another BB that is more sypmathetic. If you want you could say that if everyone on Earth decided to empty out every single can of hair spray, spray paint, etc. that contained CFC's all at the same time then life as we know it would pretty much cease to exist. But until it happens it's just speculation.

Your trying to send me over the edge on a Guilt Trip? Why don't you try sending Scary Gary on a guilt trip, he has done far more damage in this world than I could ever dream of doing. And his damage is already done, my damage is only theoretical in the mind of one pitful little Doom Zombie.

-- (doomers@suck.com), July 20, 1999.

Mr. Suck should be allowed only ONE post per thread, and then only if he is very, very, very FUNNY. Not boring.

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), July 20, 1999.

Mr. Suck,

I believe you would argue with a fencepost if it responded to you....

And as for "WINNING" a war... There are no winners in war...

You sir/madam are a waste of bandwidth...

Licking my doomer@suck.com...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), July 20, 1999.

The truth does hurt doesn't it? You don't see me getting into a little hissy fit because you doomers keep harping on me. That is because I already know the truth and your delusions bounce off me like ping pong balls.

-- (doomers@suck.com), July 20, 1999.

Mr. Suck:

Your logic reminds me of the old proof that 1 + 1 = 3 for sufficiently large values of 1.

Your seeming inability to make connections is nothing short of amazing. It's as if you heard only the melody when listening to a symphony.

Y2K is most certainly about human nature. It is about how people might react if any serious disruptions occur. It is about how much worse that reaction will be should people discover that they've been lied to and flim-flammed by their government and the multitude of PR firms serving the interests of their clients. It's about how errors tend to multiply during times of stress and deadlines (both fixed and politically imposed). It's about the effects of top-level management decisions on the bottom tiers. More than anything else today, it's about what people can do for themselves without either panicking or blowing the budget. It's about minimizing your dependence upon others. It's about being prepared and being quite happy if those preparations turn out not to be needed.

I pray no one's life depends upon your ability to make connections and draw inferences. Arrogance of depth you display can be fatal to both yourself and those around you.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), July 20, 1999.

Dear Suck,

Wondering why you feel so compelled to save all us idiots. Why do you post day after day? Why do you feel so strongly about this non-event that you must save us from?

Is it your inherant good natured will to mankind? A deeply rooted sense of civic duty and philanthropic zeal?

Or are you just some asshole that likes to hear himself talk? Ask yourself why.

You don't have a good answer do you? Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them.

-- Gordon (g_gecko_69@hotmail.com), July 20, 1999.

Anita E.: I remember the study, if not the author. The results were as you said.


-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafminnesota@hotmail.com), July 20, 1999.

doomers@suck.com muttered:

I think if you can relate a crane tipping over to a computer bug you need to go back to school and learn about logic again.

Sigh. No the event itself is not related, the events leading up to the actual event are related in how safety and work practises are compromised because of management.

I've been in many situations where bad management decisions have happened, if they had consulted with me first (Because I'm the one with the Technical Know-How) then a lot problems would have been avoided.

Management hires workers in particular fields for a reason. That reason is that worker is knowledgeable about that field, so why does management ignore the advice of that worker when that worker has been hired for that very thing?


-- Simon Richards (simon@wair.com.au), July 21, 1999.

Our resident optimist summarizes World War II: "We won."
WW2-- 17 million members of the armed forces of the various belligerents perished during the conflict.

WW2-- Civilian casualties in the USSR have been placed roughly at 2,500,000 killed. The loss of population (including both military and civilian casualties) caused directly or indirectly by the war has been stated at 20,000,000. Air raids against Germany killed approximately 300,000 Germans and seriously injured about 780,000 more. Numerous additional casualties occurred during the Soviet invasion of 1944-1945, but no specific estimates are available. Japanese civilian casualties probably approached 500,000 killed and 625,000 seriously injured, plus a considerable number reported as missing after the fire raids and atomic bombings. In addition, about 360,000 Japanese captured by the Russians in Manchuria, Korea, and the Kuril Islands were still missing in 1950; a large number of them have never been accounted for. Chinese civilian losses are unknown but probably numbered several million.

Relatively few of those who died did so painlessly. Many of those who died had parents, many had wives or husbands, and many had children. But for him, "So? We won." No problem. I'd say this individual's primary deficiency is imagination.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), July 21, 1999.

Indents off, I hope.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), July 21, 1999.

fyi for everyone EXCEPT doomer@suck.com:

doomer@suck.com = the south end of a northbound horse

for doomer@suck.com:

doomer@suck.com = horse's ass

and if it helps you out doomer, I typed your part VERY SLOWLY.

-- (mybit@cyberspce.com), July 21, 1999.

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