A sequel to “A Grandfather’s View” posted on March 4, 2019
Within 6 months of a crash, another brand new
Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft , a technological marvel, has crashed, flown by one of the most reputed airlines, killing all 157 on board. India, China, Australia, Indonesia, UK, Europe, many others have grounded the aircraft and/or closed their air spaces for it. Too much of technology is said to be at the heart of the crash.
Donald Trump, President of the United States, has tweeted:
“Airplanes are becoming too complex to fly. Pilots are not needed-rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one step further when older and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost and very little gain. I dont know about you but I do not want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals who are allowed to easily and quickly take control of my plane.”
As a product of two Indian Institutes of Technology and a life time of manufacturing sophisticated products for them, I am for technology and science. But there are indeed places where technologies are carried too far.
Take auto spell check in cell phones.
After delay in execution of a project, I requested the customer: “…….delay in the project may kindly be condoned“. But I failed to check the nagging wife that is auto spell.
My customer received: “Delay in the project may kindly be condemned.”
Luckily it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He had a great laugh and condoned the delay.
No doubt auto spell can be turned off. I suspect the Ethiopian pilot was trying to figure out how to do just that, when the plane hit the ground.
And I can imagine Grandfather Willet, shaking his head and saying:
”I warned you, my child.”
images by courtesy of google images