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Atomic Chef: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error
     

Atomic Chef: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error

5.0 1
by Steven M. Casey
 

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The Atomic Chef is an altogether new collection of 20 true stories about technology and design-induced human error by the author of the highly-acclaimed original, Set Phasers on Stun. The 20 stand-alone chapters of this new work describe — with shocking and graphic candor — how technological failures result from the incompatibilities between the way

Overview

The Atomic Chef is an altogether new collection of 20 true stories about technology and design-induced human error by the author of the highly-acclaimed original, Set Phasers on Stun. The 20 stand-alone chapters of this new work describe — with shocking and graphic candor — how technological failures result from the incompatibilities between the way things are designed and the way people actually perceive, think, and act. New technologies will succeed or fail based on our ability to minimize these incompatibilities between the characteristics of people and the characteristics of the things we create and use. This book is the quintessential 'must read' for all those who deal with technology in any fashion. From the frustration of an awkward ATM machine to the threat of accidental, nuclear Armageddon, Casey shows how the same crucial factors come into play told through the very eyes of those people who saw and experienced these things. No student of design, psychology, behavioral science, or technology should be without this book and then again, neither should any intelligent member of society who wants to know what goes on with the successes and failures of modern technology. Sit ringside to the action where compelling events unfold. The stories in this book will take you to airports and airline cabins, an amusement park, a fertility clinic, a pharmaceutical plant, an emergency dispatch center, the Olympic games, and a bank; to hospitals, spacecraft, ships, and cars. From the coasts of Peru and Monterey, in orbit aboard the International Space Station, the freeways of Southern California and the back roads of France, the battlefields of Afghanistan, and a nuclear fuel plant in Japan — this is The Atomic Chef.

Editorial Reviews

Ergonomics in Design magazine
"Start reading any of the true tales which Steven Casey presents in this compilation of events of design-induced tragedies (or near disasters), and there is no stopping until you complete the narrative. The end result, however, is another whetting of the appetite for the next event he presents...The Atomic Chef will and should haunt us as we travel in planes, trains, ships or cars, or are in our workplace or homes. It reminds us that we are frequently victims of haphazard design processes or bad design decisions, whether the design be for hardware, software, or operational procedures.

The author may have decided to share these tales with us because of his fascination with the scientific and technical ramifications in each; or rather that he has intentionally used these events to help educate the public about the importance of the proper design of things. In either event, he leaves the reader both entertained and 'gently instructed.'"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780963617866
Publisher:
Aegean Publishing Co.
Publication date:
06/01/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)

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Atomic Chef: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd been waiting years for another work from Dr. Steven Casey (president of and creative drive behind Ergonomic Systems Design) ever since I finished 'Set Phasers on Stun' years ago. Being in the medical field, I am continually aware of human error and the disasters to which it can easily lead. This book, comprised of twenty-some short stories, each unique and standing on their own, ranges from the dramatic to the comical, but all driving home the valuable lesson of usability as well as the basics of simple human behavior. I was particularly intrigued by the tale of one of the largest mistakes to ever be made in the field of epidemiology and vaccination, where the translation of batch size of the fledgling polio vaccine did not manage to produce a fully inactivated shot for hundreds of school children. But I was just as pulled in by the story of John Denver's plane crash, also caused by design error - the controls and gauges were poorly designed, and the world lost an amazing musical voice due to an obvious design oversight. Casey's narrative voice precisely describes the background of each story as well as the minute-by-minute breakdown of how each disaster unfolded he leaves the haunting conclusions and implications of each short story to be made by the reader. A must-read of 2006.