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Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche
It was able to do this not because of unfair subsidies, as Boeing has claimed, but because of a culture of intellectual courage that existed in the 1980s within the Euro construct in Toulouse, a bet-the-farm determination to rethink airplanes from scratch and to challenge Boeing in the only way that might succeed—by leaping forward unhindered by tradition and without fear or compromise in the design. The effort was led by a charismatic French test and fighter pilot named Bernard Ziegler, now retired, who must stand as one of the great engineers of our time. Several years earlier, Ziegler had been behind the decision to go with the two-pilot cockpit in the A310, and as a result he was so despised within the French pilots’ union that he received death threats and had to live under police protection for a while. It did not help that he was vocal and smart, and was himself one of the most accomplished pilots around.
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr
Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche
It’s easy for a pilot to miss what his colleague is doing, particularly in emergencies when stress rises and focus narrows. Had Robert seen and corrected Bonin’s error early on, the pilots may well have regained control of the A330. The Air France crash, Chesley Sullenberger has said, would have been “much less likely to happen” if the pilots had been flying in a Boeing cockpit with its human-centered controls.32 Even Bernard Ziegler, the brilliant and proud French engineer who served as Airbus’s top designer until his retirement in 1997, recently expressed misgivings about his company’s design philosophy. “Sometimes I wonder if we made an airplane that is too easy to fly,” he said to William Langewiesche, the writer, during an interview in Toulouse, where Airbus has its headquarters. “Because in a difficult airplane the crews may stay more alert.”