curiosity across disciplines

Choos and choices

There's been a lot of trains in the news lately.

Most prominent was the derailment of the freight train in East Palestine, Ohio a few weeks ago (February 2023 for you time-traveling readers).

One of the things that stands out has been the oft-repeated phrase, "perfect storm."

Now, outside of real, extreme weather conjured at the behest of our maternal space rock, "perfect storms" are little more than engineering inevitabilities[1]. They're certainly not the surprise the sudden deluge of awry choo-choo coverage we've seen implies.

And the folks that design and run these systems every day would, and have been, the first to point that out.

So, when hundreds of people are left not knowing if their water is safe or if merely staying in their own homes is exposing them to substantially-elevated cancer risks, that's a choice.

It's a choice made by a small subset of people to eke out marginal returns on shareholder value.

Anyway, it's just a thought. Y'all have a good day.

  1. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "Train Fatalities, Injuries, and Accidents by Type of Accident" ↩︎