Monday, August 13, 2012

Automated Systems & Excessive Optimism

On the PPT, they can seem so clean. To the green eye-shade types, removing the human element seems very sexy. Humans are imperfect and subject to failure. Computers are always "on." They don't need to be fed or have personal lives. They don't complain - and in the long run are so cost effective.

If so many of your problems are the result of human error or limitations - then remove the humans and the problems go with them - right?

Well ... you can't totally get rid of the human element, mother nature, or the fact that even computers are products of man.

Personally - I am a firm believer that you must have a human as the primary and on the front line. Use technology to enhance, reinforce, and enable ... but replace?

Never quite works out operationally like it does on the contractor's PPT.
A man whose jet ski failed him in New York's Jamaica Bay swam to John F. Kennedy airport, where he was easily able to penetrate the airport $100 million, state-of-the art security system.

Daniel Casillo, 31, was able to swim up to and enter the airport grounds on Friday night, past an intricate system of motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras designed to to safeguard against terrorists, authorities said.


Once he made it to land, Casillo climbed an eight-foot barbed-wire perimeter fence and walked undetected through the airport's Perimeter Intrusion Detection System and across two runways into Delta's terminal 3.

Unnoticed until then, Casillo walked into the airport dripping wet and wearing his bright yellow life jacket.

When he was eventually spotted by a Delta employee,
Typical of an insecure and ineffective governmental security apparatus - they arrested him.

I guess he should have just died so bureaucrats wouldn't be embarrassed.

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