[luv-talk] Why is there a protest over the East West Link?

Lev Lafayette lev at levlafayette.com
Mon Jun 30 13:54:12 EST 2014


On Mon, June 30, 2014 12:46 pm, Russell Coker wrote:
> On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:00:07 Carl Turney wrote:
>> e.g. The Vietnam War was called off in the USA in SPITE of the protests,
>> NOT because of them.  First-year introductory Public Relations case
>> study material.
> Wrong.  Without the protests the Vietnam war would probably have involved
> the
> use of nuclear weapons, while that's grossly stupid with the involvement
> of
> the USSR the whole war was stupid enough that it wouldn't be
> inconceivable.
>
> Generally courses don't teach about their failings.  I've never heard of a
> CS
> course teaching about how bad computer projects made things worse than the
> manual systems they replaced.  I don't expect PR courses to teach about
> how
> you can't always manipulate people.

Getting a little tangential to the subject heading, one of the remarkable
things about the Vietnam war was how the intelligence agencies were
reasonably well aware of the situation on the ground (c.f., The Pentagon
Papers), but politicians continued to lie about the real situation. "Lie"
in this context (as Hannah Arendt's essay "Lying in Politics: Reflections
on the Pentagon Papers") means, "politicians engaging in public
relations". Rather than provide the truth about the situation, the
politicians seem to had deluded themselves into thinking that if local
morale was altered to believe that they were winning the war, then the war
would be won in Vietnam too. They were existing in a "defactualized
world".

We may recall, in a similar manner, the notorious Auckland blackouts,
beautifully illustrated in Paul Fenwick's "An Illustrated History of
Failure". The real problem was the electricity grid was carrying 150 MW of
load on four main cables that could manage 110 MW. Network engineers had
been aware of the problem for some time and even in the 1980s
recommendations were made to make contingent upgrades. But management
decided against informing the public of the need to engage in load
reduction as it was deemed that this would cause bad publicity. So then a
cable failed, increasing the load to 150MW on 85MW; then another to 150MW
on 65MW and still nothing was done. Not surprisingly all cables eventually
failed and when confronted with the reality of the situation, the
electricity company's official response - contrary to the truth which they
knew - was that El Nino was to blame.


-- 
Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
Mngmnt) (Chifley)
mobile:  0432 255 208
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