[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Bill Stoddard wgstoddard at gmail.com
Fri Jun 11 12:46:03 PDT 2010


On 6/11/10 2:56 PM, Dave Kammeyer wrote:
> On the nuclear energy front, this BP clusterfuck brings into sharp
> focus again the problem with having profit motivated people with their
> hands on the levers of very dangerous machines with multiple safety
> systems.  Any time you have a company with typical compensation and
> promotion systems (i.e. good rewards for small-moderate successes),
> people will cut corners on mitigation of low probability, high-impact
> negative events.  We install safety systems which should improve
> things.  However, making the negative events lower probability makes
> companies more likely to take on more dangerous work and cut more
> corners.
>
> I'm quite pro-nuke, but this is the biggest problem with really
> widespread and advanced nuclear plants.  Not having a meltdown doesn't
> get you promoted like saving a million bucks on maintenance does.
>
>    
Indeed.

Hair brained idea... Perhaps 75% of total C-level compensation in some 
industries should go into a bond that pays out incrementally over years 
if the company maintains a squeaky clean saftey record?  Provide some 
'from the top' incentive to not cut corners...

Bill


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