A Timeline of Failure

Perhaps this is a stretch, but stories like this make me think of the general problems with central planning.

History's Worst Software Bugs

With that recall, the Prius joined the ranks of the buggy computer -- a club that began in 1945 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system.1The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer's logbook with the words: "first actual case of a bug being found."

Waxing philosophical for a moment: writing code isn't easy. Writing flawless code is just about impossible. And that's when you pretty much know how everything is supposed to function, or it functions in a very limited set of ways. Now imagine trying to design systems that include something as uncertain -- and ingenious in finding ways around the system -- as people.

Why, then, do people not entirely expect centrally-planned programs to be flawed in direct relationship with their complexity? And seeing this, why would anyone believe that the answer is to more fully centralize the entire system for providing health care?

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This page contains a single entry by published on November 14, 2005 11:16 AM.

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