To commemorate the last decade’s worth of failures, we organized and analyzed the data we’ve collected. We cannot claim—nor can anyone, really—to have a definitive, comprehensive database of debacles. Instead, from the incidents we have chronicled, we handpicked the most interesting and illustrative examples of big IT systems and projects gone awry and created the five interactives featured here. Each reveals different emerging patterns and lessons. Dive in to see what we’ve found. One big takeaway: While it’s impossible to say whether IT failures are more frequent now than in the past, it does seem that the aggregate consequences are worse. [more inside]
"The academy is no longer an investment of time worth making... I was a priest who had lost his faith, performing the sacraments without any sense of their importance." Yet another sad piece on academia, woe.
After a failed attempt to overthrow the president of Gambia in December 2014, the US authorities charged two middle-class Americans from Texas and Minnesota. But why did they think they could succeed?
19 years after releasing underrated space-rock masterpiece Fantastic Planet, Failure have returned with The Heart Is a Monster, due out June 30th and streaming now.
After the Thrill is Gone: Has a director ever gotten so bad you start to wonder whether you were wrong to love their earlier movies?
Dr. Yotarou Hatamura, who runs the Association for the Study of Failure, is also supervisor of the Failure Knowledge Database Project. He proposes adopting the "Failure Mandala" to promote the systematic understanding and dissemination of failures. To support this approach, he presents a compilation of 100 case studies of failure events organized by topic (also viewable as a single list of PDF files; and available in Japanese). Dr. Hatamura subsequently chaired the investigative committee into the Fukushima nuclear incident, which he discusses here.
Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower [previously] was designed to be upgraded every 20 years or so. Instead it's been slowly disintegrating for more than 40. Two young architects lived there for a year and described what it's like. [more inside]
Falling short: seven writers reflect on failure is a collection of seven short essays on failure by writers Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Julian Barnes, Anne Enright, Howard Jacobson, Will Self and Lionel Shriver. These range from the meditative to the funny. Essays reflecting on literary failure are legion, but let me point you towards a couple more, the brief Failure Is Our Muse by Stephen Marche and the longer Fail Better by Zadie Smith.
Over Christmas engineering works on train lines into London failed. This is a review of the report into that failure. It's a fascinating read about cascading failure and errors in project planning. And, for once, read the comments.
The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution - "Unregulated banking with access to government guarantees is an enticing business model. It offers the profits of excessive risk-taking in good times, and allows passing on the inevitable losses to taxpayers in bad times." [more inside]
The most recent episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast — #179 Accountability and Diversity with Meagan Waller — is a treasure trove of insights and info about unconscious biases, diversity, employment, culture, tech, and more. The podcast page features a timestamped topic outline of the discussion, as well as many links to the Ruby community websites, projects, studies, conferences, and controversies they discuss… [more inside]
DashCon and Las Pegasus Unicon imploded in front of a live international audience. Tentmoot never even happened. Running a con is difficult business.
But what about those tech entrepreneurs who lose – and keep on losing? What about those who start one company after another, refine pitches, tweak products, pivot strategies, reinvent themselves … and never succeed? What about the angst masked behind upbeat facades?
Fail Better "The goal of FAIL BETTER is to open up a public conversation about failure, particularly the instructive role of failure, as it relates to very different areas of human endeavour. Rather than simply celebrating failure, which can come at great human, environmental and economic cost, we want to open up a debate on the role of failure in stimulating creativity: in learning, in science, engineering and design."
Is accepting failure essential to empathy? Reading this made me think of how we are very fortunate to experience failure and how it's essential to human progress. Interested in reading about the greatest failures that lead to your success in another area of your life.
Twenty-five years ago, David Raether was a successful comedy writer -- a member of the writing staff of Roseanne. Five years ago, he was homeless. This is his story.
The Myth of the Visionary Leader. "But just knowing that great leadership is not always going to look great, or even make us feel inspired, could help gird us against the power of big personality and encourage us to make more sober choices."
I signed up for an account on Healthcare.gov last week. It wasn’t the smoothest process, but I was able to create an account. Some parts are slow; sometimes you have to reload a page to make progress. But it’s starting to work. It will be fixed, because it has to be. And now that the launch and inevitable crash has finally happened, in a way the worst is over. Real-world traffic is providing programmers all the debugging data that they could ever want, and “all bugs are shallow with the president watching,” as Paul Ford writes in Bloomberg Businessweek, paraphrasing the open-source-software advocate Eric Raymond’s assertion that “with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” -- Rusty Foster in The New Yorker
When Turntable.fm launched in 2011 it served as a unique way to listen to music virtually with friends on the web. It works on the basis of groups that let users play music on virtual decks with a queue system, chat room, and the ability to search and upload music. Two years after its introduction, its creators are fighting to keep it alive.
The utter failure of the Lone Ranger movie - the 1981 one, that is.
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem talks about failure and about trying not to stifled by fear of it. (Referenced frequently in the interview: Losing My Edge)
Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
Take the twitch out of platforming with Bump, a delightful new little turn-based randomly-generated roguelikelike by clever game dev and creative fellow Aaron Steed. Jump at or on or over things! Collect diamonds with head-bumping! Avoid and/or destroy spikes and bad guys! Try not to die! Die anyway! It's a good time. [more inside]
Representative democracy is what's happening. Unfortunately, democracy is broken. There's a hidden failure mode, we've landed in it, and we probably won't be able to vote ourselves out of it. (via cstross)
"You might not have the talent you need. Success may no longer be available to you. Time will bury everything you care about."
Movie critic Matthew Dessem (previously) considers Edward Ford to be the greatest unproduced screenplay in Hollywood.
Perhaps putting a pro-life message on a coat-hanger is the Worst Marketing Decision of the Year. But there are other nominees. [more inside]
"... bitterness, instead of a form of disillusionment, is really the refusal to give up your childhood illusions of importance" - Brian Jay Stanley
I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I wanted to attend a screening on the Fox lot of Peter Bogdanovich's original cut of At Long Last Love. And the answer in a case like should always be yes. [more inside]
The learning paradox is at the heart of “productive failure." While the model adopted by many teachers and employers when introducing others to new knowledge — providing lots of structure and guidance early on, until the students or workers show that they can do it on their own — makes intuitive sense, it may not be the best way to promote learning. [more inside]
Brené Brown: Listening to shame. Filmed this month at TED in Long Beach, CA. (YouTube) Also see: The Power of Vulnerability (yt, previously on MeFi), and The Price of Invulnerability. [more inside]
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Kitchen Nightmares shows Gordon Ramsay helping restaurants make miraculous turnarounds. Ramsay helped relaunch Austin, Texas's El Greco, but the restaurant still ended up closing. Some people are saying that Ramsay's interference may have been the final nail in the coffin for the restaurant.
Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers.
Yesterday, Russia's first interplanetary mission in 15 years launched sucessfully from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It ran into serious problems almost immediately. In jeopardy are a sample return mission from the Martian satellite Phobos, The Planetary Society's Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE), and China's Yinghuo-1 Mars orbiter.
The Boston Globe's Bob Hohler gets to the bottom of the Red Sox's epic collapse: Inside are tales of alienated potential MVP candidates, pitchers playing video games and eating take out chicken and biscuits instead of being in the dugout, and older players chasing statistical glory.
Welcome to Exam Village, a neighborhood in Seoul where people live while studying for various professional entrance exams.
Why did William James Sidis - the reclusive boy genius fluent in Latin at 2, accepted to MIT at 8, conceptual physicist at 11 - spend so much time thinking about public transit transfers? [more inside]
Milton Glaser on fear of failure "This is the way to professional accomplishment: You have to demonstrate that you know something unique that you can repeat over and over and over, until ultimately you lose interest in it. The consequence of specialization and success is that it hurts you. It hurts you because it doesn't aid in your development. The truth of the matter is that understanding development comes from failure." [more inside]
Failure Magazine – no, not this – is a constantly updated gallery of articles focused on failure: of conceptions of history, eschatology, morality, acoustics and urban planning, among many other topics. [more inside]
Let's take a walk through the Google graveyard.
However, nobody quite remembers how they decided on 11-year-old Ralph Carter (who is black) to replace 23-year-old Geer (who is white).
Dude. Articles on the failed musical Dude by Hair cocreator Gerome Ragni. Where to start? Well, there is this summary of the disaster by the New York Times, which is just mind-boggling: "He also made demands, phoning Adela Holzer at 2 A.M. to say he wanted a hundred butterflies let loose into the audience before each performance. No? Well then what about having a couple of oinking pigs and chickens run down the aisle at intermission?" [more inside]
What if our economy was not built on competition? Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom talks about her work on cooperation in economics. [more inside]
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