I am reading Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology, by James R. Chiles. The book focuses on how even though we have gone so far with technology, the machines we have created have sometimes allowed us to be even further removed from the machine and allows us to not be as aware to what is going on. The book looks at all kinds of disasters, from plane crashes to three mile island and so on. I am actually finding this book quite interesting. It doesn't just focus on technology, but also on the psyche of the users of said equipment and tries to find answers on why they do what they do.
here is the books summary on the back cover:
Inviting Disaster, by technology and history writer James R. Chiles, is an unusual book: it appeals to the macabre desires that keep us riveted to highway accidents, while knowledgeably discoursing on the often preventable mistakes that caused them. At its heart are colorful stories behind more than 50 of the most infamous catastrophes that periodically chilled the advance of the industrial age. There are both those well remembered (the 1986 Challenger explosion, for example) and those now largely forgotten (a 1937 gas explosion at a Texas school that killed 298). But along with lively depictions of these deadly devastations and white-knuckle calamities--the U.S. battleship Maine, Apollo 13, and Three Mile Island among them--Chiles offers an informed analysis of the unfortunate chain of events that brought them about. And by grouping like incidents to show how fatal "system fractures" eventually developed through a combination of human error and mechanical malfunction, he also suggests how we might sidestep such tragedies in the future. In so, doing he fashions these spectacular accounts of failed planes, trains, ships, bridges, dams, factories, and other conveyances and facilities into a cautionary tale about technological progress. --Howard Rothman
The book has an interesting perspective that you often don't get from shows on TV about disasters, or anything I learnt while getting an engineering degree. I honestly think this is one book that could help me become a better engineer.