Who Failed at BP, and Why?

More

The accounts from BP on what happened at the well are sounding more and more troubling.  Warning signs were ignored; BP officials refused to listen to a specialist team that had just arrived, even when said team demanded evacuation (and got it, but only from their own company).  The well blew up a flew hours after their helicopter took off.

When events like this happen, we always ask the same question:  how could people be so stupid?  How could they ignore what is now plain to us?  There will be a lot of answers to that question, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of it will end up sounding like "We'd ignored those problems before, and it always turned out all right."

Update:  A reader sends along this Malcolm Gladwell piece from 1996.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In