Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Followup on Chinese engineering problems

I'm a big fan of the book "To Engineer is Human", so I can't be too hard on the people involved in the investigation of a bullet train crash in China. (See my previous article and Carl's comment on it) The adults in the room took a serious look at the causes of the accident and they will clearly learn from it.

What I wonder is whether the fawning business media will also learn a lesson: It is one thing to say you have software engineers and quite another to have ones who eliminate dangerous flaws before the product goes into use in an environment where there is a major risk to innocent life. The fact that managers were also singled out for blame brings back memories of the Challenger explosion, where management ignored the pleas of engineers who knew better.

Here's to hoping the same people aren't working on their aircraft.

The article appears to blame the crash for reduced spending on their train system, but I suspect this is just cover for the severe budget problems China is facing. What has been bad for low-end retailers in the US has been really bad for China.

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