Here’s another nice summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemantics#System_failure
Copypasta of my favourites:
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.)
..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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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.
There is also this presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S0k12uZR14