Hubris, Technology and a Whale

A couple of New York Times articles today that point out (what others have pointed out too) that the roots of the disaster in the Gulf have a lot in common with those of the Economic meltdown last year:

“AS the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico follows on the heels of the financial crisis, we can discern a toxic recipe for catastrophe. The ingredients include risks that are erroneously thought to be vanishingly small, complex technology that isn’t fully grasped by either top management or regulators, and tricky relationships among companies that are not sure how much they can count on their partners.” (from: Recipes for Ruin, in the Gulf or on Wall Street)

How true, the similarities are striking. The world is so much more complicated and out of control than we would like to think:

“In the weeks since the rig explosion, parallels between that disaster and the proto-Modernist one imagined by Melville more than a century and a half ago have sometimes been striking — and painfully illuminating as the spill becomes a daily reminder of the limitations, even now, of man’s ability to harness nature for his needs.” (from The Ahab Parallax)

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