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Moral Railroads again

Back in my Moral Railroads post I opined:

Unless I am completely mistaken and deluded, there was and is nobodyassociated with the DC train system who wanted the crash to happen. It’s not a question of morality at the level of bad intentions, either of people or machines.

It was, in simple terms, a case of incompetence. It may have been of design, or of management, or of implementation, or maintenance. It may have been software or hardware. Most likely it was some combination. But the bottom line is simple: things didn’t work the way they were supposed to.

Results are now in; it seems to have been a hardware design flaw allowing a spurious signal generated by a power transistor to flow through a heat sink across equipment cases and racks in such a way as to simulate a false “track clear” condition.

Read the story at IEEE Risk Factor blog

One Response to “Moral Railroads again”

  1. Tim Tyler Says:

    The “Moral Railroads” post isn’t really right :-( In biology, agents want to do better than their fellow agents. Their fellow agents want the same thing for themselves. Thus, their goals naturally conflict. Agents fight with each other over territory, resources and mates. They fight with predators, pathogens and manipulators over who gets to make use of their own bodies. They simply don’t all want the same thing to happen.

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