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RE: Disinformation continues, unintended accel. etc.

Following this thread, I went into this guys's (Baecher's) site, regarding
the Audi unintended acceleration fiasco.  Apparently, this is one of many
case studies he uses in a course on technological, systemic, and
organizational failures at the University of Maryland.  Since the website
only listed the grand outline of his course, it's hard to judge what tack
Professor Baecher is taking re: Audi acceleration.  For instance, he could
argue that this problem was a failure for the company (which it was) not
because of anything technological, or problematic with the actual operating
systems of the cars, but because of other reasons, i.e., organizational,
marketing, etc.

Just a thought.  If anyone is interested in the general subject of
engineering and failure, I highly recommend Henry Petroski's work: To
Engineer is Human, Evolution of Useful Things, Design Paradigms, etc.  I'd
bet any money that Baecher's relies heavily on Petroski's work, and uses the
latter's published work in his course.

So I wouldn't get too upset that some fruitty-nutty professor is perverting
the youth of the world with disinformation.  Unless you're in his class, you
can't be sure what's going on (speaking from the perspective of one who
teaches on this subject).

- Jim