Posts tagged ‘Tacoma Narrows Bridge’

I'd Feel Much Safer If A Government Bureaucrat Was In Charge

Marc Hodak found this gem in a newspaper article about the new Grand Canyon Skywalk:

The Skywalk's builders have said repeatedly that the deck is extremely
durable. It's essentially a huge steel horseshoe, capable of
withstanding 100 mph (160 kph) winds and holding several hundred
200-pound (90-kilogram) people at a time.

I had no reason to doubt them. But out on the edge, my mind was
racing: I tried to remember if any government regulatory agency had
checked how well this thing was anchored to the cliff.

Hodak observes:

News writers are notoriously wary of private agents and their
self-interests versus "the government," as if its agents were somehow
endowed with a greater degree of expertise or caring for their fellow
man. They often can't fathom that, even regardless of their economic
interests, the owners and operators would be any less concerned about
their guests tumbling down the side of the Grand Canyon than some
bureaucrat with a tape measure and some forms to fill out. It kind of
leaves me breathless.

Maybe they can bring in the government crew that built the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge.

Applying Coyote's Law to King County

Professor Bainbridge posted:

it's starting to look like the folks who ran the election in King County either (1) really did emulate old man Daley's Cook County elections or (2) are among the most incompetent morons in government.

Wow, the perfect application to test Coyote's Law in real time.  Coyote's law states:

When the same set of facts can be explained equally well by

  1. A massive conspiracy coordinated without a single leak between hundreds or even thousands of people    -OR -
  2. Sustained stupidity, confusion and/or incompetence

Assume stupidity.

Applying this to King County, I will assume stupidity.  I must say that having lived in King County, this is not the first time Meyer's Law has come up.  The city has made so many colossal blunders, including having a major bridge sunk in 1990 when someone accidental left the stopcocks open (that bridge, ironically, had been named after the State Highway director on whose watch was built the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which tore itself apart famously).  There have for years been rumors that the ridiculous constriction created in downtown Seattle on Interstate 5 by the building of the convention center (and which is almost impossible to fix) was made on purpose by anti-growth planners.