Friday, July 13, 2012

Swiss Cheese Model, Murphy's Law and Feng Shui

As the Archbishop said to the Selfish Gene…

Archbishop: It’s Friday the 13th.
Selfish Gene: So?
Archbishop: Bad things might happen.
Selfish Gene: Superstitious nonsense.
Archbishop: You believe in Murphy's Law.
Selfish Gene: That’s not superstition. That’s science.
Archbishop: How so?
Selfish Gene: Example: Swiss cheese model. When the holes line up, the bad event flies through, unhindered … you’ve got a Murphy situation. Like the Air France 447 incident. Scientific explanation for bad luck.
A new Murphy Law? The holes in Swiss cheese will be in alignment at the worst possible moment.

Feng shui has science behind it too. Don’t build a house where, if you open the front door, you can see clearly through to the back door. The good energy will rush through the house without stopping.

While we're about it, how about a new feng shui law? Arrange the holes in slices of Swiss cheese so there is no clear through path.


Anonymous said...

The 13th on Friday? Bad luck? Superstition person think, it's for sure, bad luck. The Murphy Law believer thinks, that's truth. Whatever it becomes, it's the same for both. To trust neither the superstition nor the Murphy, the one who is smarter than those of two.

Barry Natusch said...

If I may rephrase what I think is meant here. A superstitious person thinks bad luck causes a bad event. A Murphy believer thinks Murphy is a real devil who causes the bad event. But these are fatalistic attitudes. Smarter is the one who acknowledges organizational weaknesses, supervisional inadequacies, and preconditions for unsafe acts. In other words, the Swiss cheese model.