Accidentes y naturaleza humana

J. E. Gordon relata en su excepcional libro "Estructuras o por qué las cosas no se caen [Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down]como durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial los bombarderos tenían una alta probabilidad de ser derribados por el enemigo (1 entre 20), mientras que un accidente debido a un fallo estructural del avión era altamente improbable (1 entre 10 000).

Se propuso optimizar la estructura de los bombarderos (reduciendo su peso), lo que suponía un ligero aumento del riesgo de fallo estructural, pero eso hubiera permitido proteger mejor los aviones dotándolos de más armamento y de una coraza más potente, lo que hubiera reducido notablemente las bajas debidas al enemigo; todo lo anterior hubiera reducido el riesgo, pero a costa de algunas bajas más debido a accidentes propios. Esto no fue admitido por los aviadores, quienes preferían caer por fuego enemigo que arriesgarse a que el avión fallara en el aire por causas propias. Preferían un riesgo mayor de ser abatidos por el enemigo y mantener en valores insignificantes el riesgo de caer debido a un fallo propio. 

Nuestra naturaleza humana es la que es y debemos lidiar con ella.

------

Texto literal del libro:
"As Sir Alfred Pugsley points out in his book The Safety of Structures,* it is just at this rather interesting stage that we may have to abandon a strictly logical approach to the problem. As Pugsley says, the human emotions are quite exceptionally sensitive to the fear of structural failure, and the layman clings with great tenacity to the idea that any structure or device with which he is personally associated should be ‘unbreakable’. This crops up in all sorts of connections; sometimes it does no harm, sometimes the effect is counter-productive. During the last war aircraft designers had the choice, to some extent, of trading off structural safety against other qualities in the aircraft. Now the losses of bomber aircraft by enemy action were very high, something like one out of twenty in each sortie.† Against this, the losses from structural failures were very few, much less than one aircraft in ten thousand. The structure of an aeroplane accounts for practically a third of its total weight, and it would have been rational to have slimmed the structural parts of the bombers in return for other advantages.
If this had been done there would have been some small increase in the structural accident rate, but the weight that would have been saved could have been invested in more defensive guns or in thicker protective armour. In that case there would no doubt have been a significant reduction in the net, or overall, casualty rate. But the airmen would not hear of anything of the kind. They preferred the big risk of being shot down by the enemy to the smaller risk of the aircraft breaking up in the air for structural reasons.
Pugsley suggests that the feeling that it is in some way outrageous for a structure to break may be inherited from our arboreal ancestors, who were frightened, above all things, that the trees in which they lived might break beneath them – when down would come baby and cradle and all. And besides, the ancestors and their babies would fall into the mouths of their enemies on the ground, such as sabre-toothed tigers or whatnot. Whether this is the real reason or no, engineers have to take these sort of feelings into account, even though the extra weight incurred may involve dangers of its own."


Islands In the Stream; Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers



Baby when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb

I was soft inside
There was something going on

You do something to me that I can't explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on

Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

I can't live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothing if you got no one
And you just walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won't happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby I will hurt you never
We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between