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    Here’s another nice summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemantics#System_failure

    Copypasta of my favourites:

    • The Fundamental Failure-Mode Theorem (F.F.T.): Complex systems usually operate in failure mode.
    • The Fail-Safe Theorem: When a Fail-Safe system fails, it fails by failing to fail safe.
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      That one is a trifle too cynical… A largish core of truth in there under the dark humour, but too little that you could translate into something useful.

      (Actually, usually I have seen the complexity of the fail safe is one of the factors that screws up the happy case, which then fails in a manner the analysts said we didn’t have to worry about as it would never happen.)

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      ..but I’m not sure what to take away from it beyond a vague sense of “We’re Screwed”.

      Except perhaps the importance of giving real people the tools to see how close the edge they are dancing…

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          Hmm.

          Following the trail of links, a Good take away is http://functionalresonance.com/basic-principles.html

          TL;DR: Shit happens, only the level fluctuates. When the blobs of shit just happen to fluctuate in sync, as inevitably it will sometimes do, it hits the fan.

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        There is also this presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S0k12uZR14