In Flirting With Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental Dr. Marc Epstein wonders how is it that humans have survived this long.
He claims that humans are good at making decisions that are critical to their survival. Their strategy is to avoid the worst mistake, rather than to make the best decision.
A major reason for the occurrence of disasters is that as humans we often choose keeping our job, protecting our reputation, getting promoted, maintaining access to inside information, assuring college eduction for our children, preserving our house in a nice neighbourhood- all considerations that are neither trivial or discreditable for any of us- over actions, including truth telling, to the public that would risk some of these but potentially save thousands of other people’s lives. When confronted with looming catastrophes people within large organizations often think somebody else will take care of this, and surely the top people know more than I do. It’s their job to take care of it and surely they will.
The truth is that there’s no likelihood at all that the leaders will take care of it. He hopes that the message readers will take from this book is that its up to me and if I don’t do it- it’s probably not going to get done.If the others aren’t going to do it. Maybe I’m the one who needs to do something.