"The narratives belong to the genre of tragedy."
November 30, 2018 8:27 AM Subscribe
Brian Hayes, author of Infrastructure, writes about the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, which killed 1, injured 25 and burned 40 homes in and around Lawrence and Andover, Massachusetts last September: Another Technological Tragedy
I admit to a morbid fascination with stories of technological disaster. I read NTSB accident reports the way some people consume murder mysteries. The narratives belong to the genre of tragedy. In using that word I don’t mean just that the loss of life and property is very sad. These are stories of people with the best intentions and with great skill and courage, who are nonetheless overcome by forces they cannot master. The special pathos of technological tragedies is that the engines of our destruction are machines that we ourselves design and build.
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