There is an excellent opinion piece by David Brooks in today’s New York Times that focuses on the complexity of our world and the issues that we face when dealing with risk. Brooks speaks to the complex and intricate web of high tech systems that support our lives, and yet we fail to assess and deal with risks adequately due to common human failings.
Brooks asserts that, “This isn’t just about oil. It’s a challenge for people living in an imponderably complex technical society.” The catastrophe should serve as both a reminder that we need to improve our ability to measure and respond to impacts, and that our systems need address human factors in decision making first and foremost.
Sensors can inform our models, and geovisualization can help analyze and communicate when systems are too complex for us to understand individually.