I just read this regarding New Orleans:
So all of a sudden this kind of situation is like being in a third world country. Because, you know, just imagine: any given third world country is like New Orleans now. It is so bad, so unbearable, it doesn't even have air conditioning! How ugly it must be to live in a third world country!
Man, what an unfortunate, uneducated, insulting, and bigoted comment to reproduce.
And this bugs me even more because this was uttered in a country that, unlike poorer regions of the world, has always had the resources and the opportunity to address issues like those that affect New Orleans today --- and in this case, with more than plenty of warning before the disaster happened.
Just like with what happened with the Shuttle. Fifty-plus flights with foam problems? It's so easy to think of Dilbert's manager going "la-la-la-la"... until Columbia is lost.
Then what do you say? I screwed up big time, therefore I quit? Of course not. Just pull emotional chains to save yourself. Poor astronauts!
Same deal here. Even when New Orleans has been flooded more than once already, even when everybody knows what will eventually happen, the decision was made to install a half-good solution.
Isn't a city with more than one million people worth a few more feet of reinforced dirt in the right place? Isn't it worth it even if you want to look at it cynically, from the point of view of the oil facilities?
What I hate the most is that amidst all these horrible yet avoidable losses of all kinds, there is zero accountability. Wake up and realize that some people put everybody and everything on the line, against available evidence placed a bet saying there would never be a higher-than-category-3 hurricane in the area, and lost it all!!!
When you deny the facts and make crap up under the influence of arrogance, you get stuff like Columbia and Chernobyl, the Kursk and Challenger, global warming and nuclear winter. We are much more humble and modest than we think. Now face reality and deal with the consequences.
Let's make sure we remember our lesson and build the thing right next time.