Further to the Deepwater Horizon fuckup

Previously, I suggested:

I bet this one’s gonna come down to unforeseen mechanical failure (“Holy shit, that part’s under torsional stress too?“) and result in a bunch of hasty but quiet upgrades to the rest of the oil-rig fleet.

Well, I was sort of right.  This one looks like it was unforeseen in the same way as the Challenger explosion — blissfully optimistic management committing a backwards Gambler’s Fallacy (“it’s done this before, and never failed then; it’s probably okay now too”) despite increasingly dire warnings from engineers they hired to know better than they do.

Rather than quote Ms. McArdle or the NYT story to which she links, I’mna quote Richard Feynman’s report on the Challenger fuckup:

It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask “What is the cause of management’s fantastic faith in the machinery?

(Emphasis added.)

Coming at this from the perspective of a glib dilettante economist, I’d guess that those managers have greater incentive to report that things are going well (even when they aren’t) than they do to flag potential problems (even when they might turn out to be harmless).  Note that I’m not talking about British Petroleum having incentive to do anything — at this point I think it’s pretty fucking clear that they’re in a world of hurt.  I’m talking specifically about the people who fucked this here dog.

Of course, this all happened because offshore-drilling regulations are too loose, right?  I mean, if there was a law to, um… do stuff… with that thing… or something… then this could have easily been prevented, couldn’t it?  Well, it turns out that offshore drilling is regulated — by the Minerals Management Service.  And they do what federal regulators always do, which is follow their consciences above and beyond the call of duty until obstructed by nefarious corporatist limitations no doubt imposed personally by Dick Cheney and enforced by gun-toting Blackwater operatives employed by teh ebil oil companies themselves.

HAHAHAHAHAHA lol n00b.  They took bribes, jacked themselves up on meth, and spent their workdays masturbating.  You think I’m exaggerating.  I’m not exaggerating.

Regulators in charge of overseeing offshore drilling cruised porn sites, shook off crystal meth hangovers, and accepted lavish gifts from oil and gas companies, according to an Interior Department report.

So of course what we need to do is give these people more money.  Yes, of course.


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anarchocapitalist agitprop

Be advised

I say fuck a lot



Statistics FTW


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