McCormick's IT law of conservation of effort/complexity states:
In a closed system, i.e., a system isolated from its surroundings, the total effort/complexity of the system is conserved. Simply automating something does not make effort or complexity disappear. It just transforms it behind the curtain for system administrator to manage, resolve, handle. The effort/complexity still exists in the universe, just in a different form, handled by a different SME.
-Have you heard of Murphy's Law?
-Yeah, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
-What about Cole's Law?
-No I haven't heard of that one.
-It's thinly sliced cabbage dipped in mayo and sour cream.
Gartner analyst Marc Halpern looked a bit worried when talking about digital twins during this year’s PDT Europe conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. He voiced concerns regarding the turn things have taken.
“It really scares the heck out of me,” he said, pointing to the seemingly unfazed attitude surrounding this complex concept in the wake of the hype of recent years.
“There’s a naïveté about the possibility of bringing together digital twin concepts in terms of cost and time," Halpern claimed. Although he was positive about the basic content and thought structure, he warned the audience, “It will take longer and will be more resource-consuming than anyone can imagine to get these solutions in place.”
It is not impossible, he added, but there are a couple of crucial factors to consider. Which are they? Halpern discussed eight success points under the headline, “Busting the Myth of Digital Twins and Planning Them Realistically”.
"Contrary to common sense belief, attempts to measure productivity through performance metrics discourage initiative, innovation and risk-taking. The intelligence analysts who ultimately located Osama bin Laden worked on the problem for years. If measured at any point, the productivity of those analysts would have been zero. Month after month, their failure rate was 100 per cent, until they achieved success. From the perspective of the superiors, allowing the analysts to work on the project for years involved a high degree of risk: the investment in time might not pan out. Yet really great achievements often depend on such risks."
Human error, an event cascade, not the iceberg, sank the Titanic:
1. A steersman panicked and turned the wheel the wrong way, leaving only four minutes to correct course of a 52k ton, 890 ft ship.
2. Titanic sank faster than it should have because Titanic kept sailing. J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of White Star Line, pressured the ship's captain to keep sailing. If Titanic had stood still, she would have survived at least until the rescue ship came and no one need have died.
3. The key for the cabinet to the binoculars for the crows nest was left behind. Second Officer David Blair, who kept the key, was removed from the crew at the last minute and in his haste forgot to hand it to his replacement. This was especially grievous in the time before radar.
4. The ship was traveling too fast, in order to beat the speed record of her sister ship, the Olympic.
5. Low grade iron rivets were used in the bow and the stern.
6. Iceberg warnings went unheeded. The Titanic received multiple warnings about icefields in the North Atlantic over the wireless. The last and most specific warning was not passed along by senior radio operator Jack Phillips to Captain Smith, apparently because it didn't carry the prefix "MSG" (Masters' Service Gram). That would have required a personal acknowledgment from the captain. Phillips interpreted it as non-urgent and returned to sending passenger messages to the receiver on shore at Cape Race, Newfoundland, before it went out of range. The two wireless operators on board, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, neglected to deliver to the bridge four of the seven ice warnings received on the day of the disaster. Around noon that day, the Titanic's Marconi wireless operators received the first of at least four cautionary messages about large ice floes just ahead. A second message came in at 5:35 p.m. (EST) from a ship that reported three icebergs just 19 miles (30.5 kilometers) north of the Titanic's path. And just one hour before the Titanic's collision at 11:40 p.m., a vessel named the Californian messaged to the Titanic, "We are stopped and surrounded by ice." The response from the Titanic? "Shut up. I am busy. I am working Cape Race." (Newfoundland, the nearest and therefore the wireless station in range.
7. Not enough lifeboats or lifejackets, although simply lifejackets without the capacity to get into a lifeboat quickly enough, would not have saved anyone due to the freezing, 28 F, Atlantic. Passengers disliked lifeboats because lifeboats blocked the passengers' view of the ocean and took up deck space for strolling in the sea air. The required capacity of lifeboats legally required at the time was far too few, due to outdated standards and requirements. There were no safety regulations for a ship of the size of Titanic. The last time the regulations had been updated was in 1894 and only went so far as ships of 10k tons and lifeboats were based on tonnage, the maximum requirement being sixteen. Titanic was five times that size, but only carried twenty life boats.
8. Lack of Training. The 20 lifeboats were not used to full capacity. At least four lifeboats were filled at 50 percent capacity or less. One lifeboat that could carry 40 people only had 12 passengers. The lifeboat drill that was scheduled to take place the day the Titanic hit the iceberg was cancelled by Captain Edward J. Smith.
9. No searchlights. Searchlights were a new technology, and while used by navies, were not required for merchant ships. It was also felt search lights ruined a watchman's night vision, which is true, of both the using and passing ships, but still. There was no moon, and icebergs are notoriously difficult to spot in low light conditions if no waves are breaking upon them, which they weren't the night the Titanic sank. With searchlights, of the time, it is estimated the iceberg the size of which sank Titanic could have been spotted, night vision and all, about five miles away. Instead, lookouts only spotted the iceberg when it was 0.25 mi ahead.
10. The hull steel contained high levels of sulphur, which when combined with below freezing water temperatures, high speed, poor rivets, making the hull extremely brittle, bucking when struck.
11. Watertight compartments were not watertight. Titanic's sixteen "watertight", compartments were only watertight horizontally. The "watertight" compartments flooding were in no way "watertight" vertically, In fact, the "watertight" compartments with electric doors, were merely a wall vertically, open at the top, with only a few feet above the waterline. With only four compartments flooded, the ship could have remained afloat. Six were compromised. As the six flooded, the ship began to tip forward into the Atlantic, drawing the tops of each other compartment under water in sequence raising the ship up out of the water at a forty-five degree angle before it broke in two. Some scientists studying the disaster have even concluded that the watertight compartments contributed to the disaster by keeping the flood waters in the bow of the ship. If there had been no compartments at all, the incoming water would have spread out, and the Titanic would have remained horizontal. Eventually, the ship would have sunk, but she would have remained afloat for another six hours before foundering.
12. Delay. Captain Smith waited 20 minutes after hitting the iceberg before ordering his wireless operators to put out an alert to nearby shipping.
13. Management decision to reduce safety measures for appeal. White Star Line chief Ismay was savaged in the court of public opinion for insisting that the 32 lifeboats planned for the Titanic by chief designer Alexander Carlisle be reduced to just 16 (plus four collapsibles) on the grounds it would allow more space on the boat deck. (Better views and areas to walk around.)
14. Testing. Titanic underwent only about six or seven hours of testing. During this time, the ship's turning radius and equipment were observed, but Titanic was never even driven at its maximum speed. What's more, emergency drills required some crew members to practice lowering lifeboats, but they lowered only two of the sixteen, rendering an inaccurate estimation of time for evacuation procedures. One reason for these abbreviated tests and drills may have been that the full crew wasn't even onboard yet -- many didn't board until a few hours before Titanic took off from Southampton, and most of the crew weren't assigned official jobs or posts until they neared Cherbourg the following day.
15. Technology little understood. Marconi wireless telegraphy system onboard the Titanic was innovative, it was probably too cutting-edge to be effective: Not many people knew yet how to operate and receive Marconi messages.
16. Fire. At one point in departure, one of the ship's coal bunker's caught fire. Some speculate this weakened the ship's hull making the accident more devastating than it should have been. The standard technique for controlling and eliminating such fires on steamships was to increase the rate at which the coal was being removed from the bunker and put into the steam engine boiler in order to increase the rate of draw-down of the coal pile. This made for a lot of steam and may have been one of the reasons contributing to Titanic's rapid speed, along with hubris. In addition, speeding the ship along would put Titanic into port sooner where the coal fire could be extinquished.
17. Over confidence and under appreciation in/of technology. Captain, crew and passengers alike put their faith in the sturdy giantess. The ship's brute strength and size could forestall any disaster, and that might explain why Capt. Smith discounted the ice warnings he received on the night of April 14, 1912, and instead forged ahead -- full throttle -- at the record-breaking speed of 22.5 knots.
18. Lack of senior leadership involvement. An analysis of the timeline of the events of April 14, 1912 shows that the white bearded Captain Smith knew full well that the world’s biggest liner was heading straight for a 78-mile iceberg zone on her voyage from Southampton to New York. Yet even as the dangers magnified with the fading light, he chose to dine with wealthy passengers and go to his bed early, leaving first officer William Murdoch with the responsibility of dodging the ice. He did instruct that if it became hazy, he was to be awakened.
Compared to other contemporary ships, Titanic was a giant. Just because (shipbuilding) companies have the technology to build something does not mean that they should. In the case of the Titanic disaster, the causes for the sinking indicate that (shipbuilding) technology was far more advanced than the understanding which engineers had of the materials they were using to build (the ships).