Alles wat Jan bezig houdt, interesseert en irriteert... en ook een beetje onzin...

vrijdag, januari 13, 2023

How a loving son killed his mother

A lesson about Fragility in big complex systems.

Why did the train derail and kill 66 passengers?

Because it was driving 5 mph faster than it should have!

Why is the train not allowed to go above 70 mph on this particular track?

Because there are often headwinds combined with a track that is quite winding. 

If the train were to go any faster on a very wet (slippery) and windy day, there is a slightly too big change of derailing.

So, Why did this train go faster then is allowed? 

Because the mother of the system planner complained to him on multiple occasions that she only has 3 minutes to get from the Platform 3 in Deventer to platform 6 to catch the train to Utrecht. 

So , her loving son devices a solution.

Change the wait time of the train to Utrecht from 3 to 8 minutes. And catch up those 5 missing minutes somewhere else.

Then, make that train that is slightly too late go slightly faster to catch up the lost time.

And voila! When examining the train schedules, the train will arrive on time and no one will be the wiser.

Except when a train derails.

Now the planner is in jail and even missed his mothers funeral.

The lesson here? Rules and guidelines are there for a reason. Don't ignore the rules. If you do the sin will go unnoticed for a while, but in the end the truth will come out.