...extremely readable and fascinating... recommended to anyone, particularly those interested in human factors research or design. Marine Technology -- Marine Technology
Shows how basic paradigms, assumptions, and minor oversights of the designer combine with those of the user to produce disastrous consequences. Health Physics -- Health Physics
Steven Casey has put together an astonishing collection of graphic and depicting stories of human and technological error... you will not be able to put it down. American Scientist -- American Scientist
These skillfully told anecdotes take the reader through an array of settings from an A320 Airbus, to ConEd, to the wizardry of Wall Street... Casey has written a book that demonstrates to laypersons and technocrats alike how far we are from adequately controlling hazards and managing risks. How safe is safe enough? Design Management Journal
-- Design Management Journal
From the Inside Flap
In the new and expanded Second Edition of 'Set Phasers on Stun' and Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error, noted designer and author Steven Casey presents 20 factual and arresting stories about people and their attempts to use modern technological creations. Set Phasers on Stun demonstrates - - 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.
Two new chapters, as well as a new introduction, have been added to this Second Edition. In Murphy's Law and Newton's Law', listen in as a team of Swedish rocket technicians prepare to launch a payload into space above the arctic circle, and learn how the user interface on a simple device resulted in one of the most horrific but least publicized accidents in the history of rocketry. In The Price of the Amagasaki', accompany British Navy diver James Kull as he attempts a night-time attack on a Japanese warship off Singapore while using a new and poorly understood oxygen rebreather. Read the gripping stories of a tragic air show demonstration in France involving a new computer-controlled cockpit, the disaster of the supertanker Torrey Canyon, the human factors at play in the runaway chemical reaction that we have come to know as Bhopal, and, last but not least, Set Phasers on Stun, the tragic tale of a medical patient who meets his fate beneath a poorly designed radiotherapy machine in Texas.
From space above Russia, an island in the South Pacific, the hustle and bustle of Wall Street, remote Newfoundland, a bar in Topeka, northern Iraq, and the Pacific Northwest, Steven Casey lets the reader understand first hand how the combination of technology and human limitations can go wrong.
Set Phasers on Stun' and Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error affirms the harsh consequences of designing things that are incompatible with the characteristics of the people who will use them.