Posts tagged engineering
Can you handle the truth - part I
Last year I read ‘The Ghost of the Executed Engineer’ by Loren Graham. The book focuses on Peter Palchinsky, a Russian engineer, who served both the Tsarist and Stalinist regimes. Using Palchinsky as a proxy for the Soviet Union, Graham proposes that it was the Soviet’s lack of appetite to receiving (negative) feedback that lead to a paucity of innovation in the centrally managed economy, and its ultimate failure.. In CE terms, solutions to complex problems were always treated as fail-safe, rather than safe-to-fail. The claim may be exaggerated, but should not be dismissed too quickly. Peter Palchinsky loved presenting damming conclusions, but did so too gleefully. He seems never to have read the body language of the recipients of the feedback, and this lack of interpersonal awareness eventually cost him his life.
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