John Hopkins on Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:10:50 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Command and Control

ISBN-13 9781594202278

Schlosser, E., 2013. Command and control: nuclear weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the illusion of safety, New York, NY: The Penguin Press.

I found this 2013 book a well-researched and readable insight into the techno-social system that is intimately intertwined with the rise of computing, simulation, and the internet. Although there is not much specific history in that regard, among other subjects, it explores the development and tactical/strategic deployment of nuclear weapons and the management of the communications systems that were/are so crucial to their potential use via first-hand accounts of events during the entire Cold War.

In the light of recent C&C failures in the US nuclear weapons systems, reflecting on Charles Perrow's NAT (Normal Accident Theory) this account is a disturbing reminder of the reliable fallibility (!) of complex techno-social systems...


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
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