Thursday, July 15, 2010

Failure of the New Media

When looking for the official BP info about the status of the well in the gulf, I found the following comment on the Huffington Post's Social News prominently in the news stack on Google:


“Me either. When did Wells of BP issue email and comments during the past attempts. When did Obama ever go on TV during a past attempt?”
(This was a comment on a Huffington Post article reporting the great news that the well had been "shut in".)

Since Wells of BP issues a comment twice a day, and this one came during his regularly scheduled briefing, the answer is he always does this. How do I know? The link I was looking for when I Googled "BP" was their Gulf of Mexico response page. The schedule and transcripts of those briefings is the top link on that page, and shows a 2:30 CDT (3:30 EDT) briefing, the second of the day.

And anyone with a modicum of knowledge of politics knows that the President will hold a press conference or give a speech whenever he feels like it, usually several times a day.

Conclusion: This contributor to the New Media has no critical thinking skills and/or no ability to use the web to answer this question, or only has an interest in using rhetorical questions to malign the motives of the engineers trying to solve this problem and the politicians making sure they do what the law requires them (not the government) to do.

Much the same can be said of the following comment

85 days, 16 hours. Why was this not done the first day? All that planning to watch out for the walruses must not have helped much.

Correct, but even if the planning had said they would try this, they would still have had to build the device after being sure it was engineered to work in this specific situation. I don't know what they teach the great unwashed masses in school, but nothing of any complexity can be done in a day. (It takes years to take a new car model from design to showroom floor. I saw a version of the Ford Fusion in 1999.)

The reality is that this is a magnificent accomplishment. No other failure of this type (there have been others) was stopped prior to the drilling of a relief well, let alone one at this depth.

Now, even if the casing below lacks integrity and they have to keep the valve open (which is what they have expected all along), they can connect this to surface ships and keep any more oil from going into the Gulf. Lets hope the pressure and seismic tests show no oil leaking down in the drill hole itself. That would be even better news.

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