Wednesday, February 21, 2007

EU proposes suspension of the laws of physics

If it isn't the Health and Safet Executive it's the EU! Apparently there is now an EU strategy to have a reduction of 25% in accidents at work by 2012 across the EU. Thing is, an accident is by its nature, a random unintentional and unexpected event, so how can you genuinely target a reduction in them? What's the EU going to do? Suspend the laws of physics? Make us all stay at home working from oxygen tents?

4 comments:

Caroline Hunt said...
21 Feb 2007 15:30:00  

Would be quite nice to work from home in an oxygen tent if you ask me.

Peter said...
21 Feb 2007 16:03:00  

Dizzy: I find the EU as ludicrous a body as you do, but your critique of its logic is wrong here, and as a paid-up member of the Geekhood I'm surprised that you let your instinctive contempt (admirable though it is) for Brussels and all her works, cloud your appreciation of the dynamics of complex systems, and the possibility of making random events more or less likely within them by altering one or more parameters.

dizzy said...
21 Feb 2007 18:34:00  

hmm behaviourism.. very 1970s. Human existence is not a complex system with measurable dynamics I'm afraid. You cannot predict when person X and person Y are going to act stupidly causing person Z to have an accident.

Yes you can mitigate risk, but even then you cannot arbitrarily make guarantees about how that risk mitigation will reduce accidents against an arbitrary targets.

Peter said...
22 Feb 2007 15:27:00  

hmmm... "hmm..behaviourism.."?! Hardly. Connectionism would be more to the point, and the decade is irrelevant. The systems I am referring to are environmental rather than psychological, and my really incredibly simple point is that random events are more likely to occur when the system is prone to instability. If, for example, there was no established convention for keeping to one side of the road while driving, there would be many more car crashes. That seems like an unexceptionable claim to me!


 

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