Boundary Failure

Now that my son is 10 it seems that we always wind up talking about cars when we’re driving somewhere.  It’s classic father-son bonding, enhanced by shows like TopGear when we’re not in the car.  “They were talking about the new computer controlled suspensions,” he told me, “But they didn’t like them because when they lose control it happens suddenly and they preferred to use their own skill as drivers on a manual suspension that gives way slowly.”

Several points came to me quickly.  One is that George is definitely just like his Dad on this stuff.  The other is that he was talking about something that comes up an awful lot lately – and not just in cars or other engineering design.  We live in a world where we’ve learned to control just about everything that fits into our pre-designed limits – and then, like a 10-year-old boy, the world seems to race out to test those limits to see what happens.  I don’t even know if there is a good term for this phenom.  I’ll call it a “boundary failure”.

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