Friday, May 2, 2014

The economics of a disaster

Ever since the metal tube vanished off the Asian skies, there has been a flurry of activities. The talking heads on the cable news network – some living in flight simulators for months, some parading an impressive array of “experts,” who repeat a few lines less adeptly than trained parrots, some worrying about black holes and others the lack of use of psychics in the search process, wolfs, jackals and green screen men – all came out ahead. The equipment manufacturers and service providers of search – sporting blue shrimp, whale and other such aquatic beings – all came out ahead. Those went looking for the black box and heard pings, here, there and nowhere – all came out ahead. The captains, admirals, security officials and their handlers – all came out ahead. Environmentalists, buoyed by sea garbage, found yet another cause to cry and shout, came out ahead. Politicians and leaders of countries – able to look and act like a leader and win bonus points from next year’s electorate, came out ahead. The engineers and data scientists who cut, diced and killed data to find the “final resting place,” came out ahead.

Was it incompetence or just merely for the show?  Who lost? The families of those lost in sea and the taxpayers who funded a grand show for nothing.