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does Society expect engineers to stop people dying?


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#101 Bob Riebe

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 16:26

Since a court in Georgia last week awarded $150 million to the family of a child roasted to death in a Chrysler SUV fire, folks might want to revise their figures upward a bit. 

 

The fact is that a dollar value cannot be placed on a human life in any coherent moral system yet devised.

Did they get the money?

 

Many asininely huge awards have given by courts that never get paid due to other courts changing the judgement.



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#102 Bob Riebe

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 16:38

Sadly society probably has become so inept, self-centered and self-righteous they do.

 

When I grew up stupidity having just rewards was accepted as part of life. Death could and did result due to stupidity but then death was simply accepted as a result of risks one chose to take, or was exposed to, in life.

Buyer beware was a creed everyone I grew up with was taught. Any misery one experienced due to walking around with one's head up ones arse was a reward one brought on one's self, it was NOT some one else fault.

 

Add to that the fact that the old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me" has been replace with "sticks and stones may break my bone but you say the wrong thing and I will get your arse thrown in jail" society is on the fast boat down the poop shoot river into t he toilet.

 

Some day, probably sooner rather than later, there will be an event where deaths are measured in the thousands, if not tens of thousands and this big brother controlled society will reap the rewards such a sheep being led to slaughter society deserves.


Edited by Bob Riebe, 16 April 2015 - 16:39.


#103 munks

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 16:47

 

Reasonable moral judgement would have prevented the ... Corvair swing axle ...

 

This is a tangent, but is there a good place to read an unbiased account of the whole Corvair/Nader thing? I just cracked open my copy of Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, on which page 449 claims that the Corvair was 'exonerated' among other things. Obviously Unsafe At Any Speed would be the counterpoint. Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but I was born a good decade after it all happened and I've only heard snide remarks about the subject.



#104 BS1

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 17:05

Totally irrelevant. A manufacturer does not have the power, nor the right, to place a dollar value on your life just because you purchased their product.


Then, who has that right?


Edited by BS1, 16 April 2015 - 17:06.


#105 Fat Boy

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 17:57

So what about the Tata Nano that is solid without all sorts of safety equipment? People buy these cars knowing damned well what they're getting. Tata is completely transparent in what they're doing. They are simply making the least expensive form of transportation they can. Are they morally corrupt by selling a car that is less safe than they know they can make?



#106 Fat Boy

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 18:01

Seriously, you wouldn't be able to pick better tires than standard fitment for your vehicle?

 

Perhaps I'm completely misunderstanding the communication here - is your question a literal question or sarcasm?  In light what you've noted in the 2nd post here, I would have to (and would have anyway) responded to your first thusly: how am I, an enthusiast, licensed mechanic, gear-head sort of guy, able to do a better job of picking safer tires than the team of engineers that picked the OEM ones?  And if I can't, I humbly submit your average consumer can't either. 

 

 

 

Canuck, there's a relatively simple test. Does the tire have these letters on the sidewall? M-I-C-H-E-L-I-N  If not, get ones that do.



#107 Canuck

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 19:21

Hahahahah. Taken under advisement!  Though my winters say "N-O-K-I-A-N H-A-K-A-P-A-L...." oh forget that nonsense.

 

My position is not that a company needs to make "the safest", but they do need to be non-negligent...that's an awkward word.  If, sometimes the brakes don't work the way they should because this batch of boards or that run of sensors or this combination of otherwise normal conditions we failed to take into account, that's not okay.  That needs to be fixed.  If my side impact rating doesn't include being hit by runaway locomotive at the bottom of a mountain, that's not negligent.  However, if I'm stuck on those tracks because my ignition switch likes to randomly shut my vehicle down, then we're back to being negligent.



#108 Magoo

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 20:29

This is a tangent, but is there a good place to read an unbiased account of the whole Corvair/Nader thing? I just cracked open my copy of Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, on which page 449 claims that the Corvair was 'exonerated' among other things. Obviously Unsafe At Any Speed would be the counterpoint. Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but I was born a good decade after it all happened and I've only heard snide remarks about the subject.

 

On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors by John Z. DeLorean.

 

JZ had no use for Nader, obviously, but his contempt for the Corvair was pure and complete. One aspect of the issue discussed by JZ, glossed over elsewhere, was the considerable resistance to the Corvair inside GM -- and he names names of execs who opposed the car or had family members injured in Corvairs, etc. But the car had gone forward because Cole had fallen in love with it, and nobody had the power to buck him. Jack Winchell barrel-rolled a Corvair in testing but the bandwagon rolled on. 

 

....there was an internal whistle-blower at GM who tried to get a leaf spring-type camber compensator (cost $14) on the car, but that didn't happen because the car was already so far over budget elsewhere. George Caramanna, an engineering tech at Milford Proving Ground who, among other things, built Smokey Yunick's Chevelle. Later he owned an import service in CA. 


Edited by Magoo, 16 April 2015 - 21:02.


#109 Magoo

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 20:54

Then, who has that right?

 

Nobody really, though the government can sort of claim a de facto right for utilitarian purposes. 



#110 Magoo

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 21:09

So what about the Tata Nano that is solid without all sorts of safety equipment? People buy these cars knowing damned well what they're getting. Tata is completely transparent in what they're doing. They are simply making the least expensive form of transportation they can. Are they morally corrupt by selling a car that is less safe than they know they can make?

 

The Tata Nano is not legal for sale anywhere in the developed world that I am aware of. Since it would be a total death trap on American roads and speeds, I would describe sale in the USA as recklessly irresponsible at the very least. 



#111 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 21:19

Canuck, there's a relatively simple test. Does the tire have these letters on the sidewall? M-I-C-H-E-L-I-N  If not, get ones that do.

Grins, yes that was my first thought. There are two tire companies that /design/ tires, everybody else builds something and see how it turns out.



#112 275 GTB-4

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 22:38

The Tata Nano is not legal for sale anywhere in the developed world that I am aware of. Since it would be a total death trap on American roads and speeds, I would describe sale in the USA as recklessly irresponsible at the very least.


But Mac...the US allowed Yugos, AMC Pacer etc...and small is currently selling nearly as high as mid...

http://online.wsj.co...-autosales.html

Just saying...

#113 Canuck

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:12

Now see Greg, that right there is something I didn't know. Who is the 2nd?

#114 Magoo

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:32

But Mac...the US allowed Yugos, AMC Pacer etc...and small is currently selling nearly as high as mid...

http://online.wsj.co...-autosales.html

Just saying...

 

 

Totally different league. Cheap and nasty as it was, the Yugo met the letter of all the U.S. govt. standards at the time. The Tata comes nowhere close. I have no idea why the Pacer would be mentioned here. Despite its odd looks, it was a perfectly decent car for the time and not small. 



#115 Magoo

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 13:31

I am repeating myself here, but: Except in the most casual, conversational sense, consumer shopping for retail goods does not involve cost/benefit analysis. The practice of shopping goes back many thousands of years to the dawn of civilization. Cost/benefit analysis was invented in 1848 by French civil engineer Jules Dupuit. 

 

Of course, the automakers very seldom employ true cost/benefit analysis themselves; more often a rough and simplified form of risk/benefit analysis designed to capture the property of allocative efficiency. One familiar example, of course, is the Ford Pinto gas tank. 

 

In the development of this model, rear crash testing of 12 vehicles determined that a rear suspension bolt would pierce the fuel tank upon impact, generating a large fuel leak and most likely a serious fire. An effective fix for this defect, an impact overrider or shield, was engineered at a unit cost of $11 per vehicle and tested successfully. However, the shield was not adopted in production as Ford calculated that the cost was too great for the potential reward. 

 

The math went like this: Ford estimated that Pinto fuel tank fires represented a potential economic liability of $49 million, projected on 2,100 vehicle fires producing a loss of $700 per vehicle, $67,000 per person injured, and, notably, $200,000 per death. On the other side of the ledger, the $11 shield installed on 11 million vehicles represented a cost to Ford of $137 million. So Ford shelved the shield, booking a cost savings (on paper) of $88 million and resolving to limit the fire liabilities in court. 

 

The theory of cost/benefit analysis, as expressed throughout this discussion thread, is that here, Ford placed an economic value on a human life, and that in this case, the value of one human life was $200,000. However, if you have any critical thinking skills at all, you can see that's not so. In truth, in this instance Ford placed the value of a human life at $11. 



#116 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 14:34

The theory of cost/benefit analysis, as expressed throughout this discussion thread, is that here, Ford placed an economic value on a human life, and that in this case, the value of one human life was $200,000. However, if you have any critical thinking skills at all, you can see that's not so. In truth, in this instance Ford placed the value of a human life at $11. 

I have critical thinking skills, and I don't see it.  Can you elaborate?



#117 Magoo

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 14:52

I have critical thinking skills, and I don't see it.  Can you elaborate?

 

Study it for a few days. Take a week or two if you need to. No pressure. 


Edited by Magoo, 17 April 2015 - 15:01.


#118 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 15:29

Study it for a few days. Take a week or two if you need to. No pressure. 

No, I'm serious.  You're making a claim that, at the very least, runs counter to accepted theory.  It's not on your readers to work on figuring out why this claim is not as absurd as it seems on the face of it.  This "oh, poor thing, you can't figure out why I'm right" sophistry isn't going to fly on a technical forum.



#119 Fat Boy

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 16:17

Grins, yes that was my first thought. There are two tire companies that /design/ tires, everybody else builds something and see how it turns out.

 

A bit like Eddington, I'm struggling to come up with the other.



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#120 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 16:22

Continental?



#121 Fat Boy

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 16:26

Totally different league. Cheap and nasty as it was, the Yugo met the letter of all the U.S. govt. standards at the time. The Tata comes nowhere close. I have no idea why the Pacer would be mentioned here. Despite its odd looks, it was a perfectly decent car for the time and not small. 

 

OK, the Yugo was crap, but met the standards. Isn't your whole point that the 'standards', whatever they may be, should be trumped by moral judgement? If so, that puts the Tata in a strange limbo. It doesn't meet governmental standards, but because the consumers are well aware that it's an unmitigated P.O.S., then morally, at least in India (where life is a bit of an existential merry-go-round) it somehow passes that test. I guess that's why I say the moral issue is such a squishy one. Obviously, if it's going to be sold in the US, then it has to fulfill both US standards and should also get over the moral hurdle as well. One would think that the moral hurdle for a Tata would be quite a bit lower than for, say, a Volvo?

 

Agreed about the Pacer. I didn't care for the styling, but it wasn't necessarily a 'bad' car.



#122 Fat Boy

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 16:28

Continental?

 

<In the voice of The Man in Black>

 

No good. I've ran too many Continentals.



#123 Magoo

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 22:23

OK, the Yugo was crap, but met the standards. Isn't your whole point that the 'standards', whatever they may be, should be trumped by moral judgement? If so, that puts the Tata in a strange limbo. It doesn't meet governmental standards, but because the consumers are well aware that it's an unmitigated P.O.S., then morally, at least in India (where life is a bit of an existential merry-go-round) it somehow passes that test. I guess that's why I say the moral issue is such a squishy one. Obviously, if it's going to be sold in the US, then it has to fulfill both US standards and should also get over the moral hurdle as well. One would think that the moral hurdle for a Tata would be quite a bit lower than for, say, a Volvo?

 

Agreed about the Pacer. I didn't care for the styling, but it wasn't necessarily a 'bad' car.

 

While the Yugo met the letter of the law, presumably, I didn't assert that its marketing in America was morally sound. A large number of Yugo buyers felt cheated by the experience (as opposed to simply disappointed). If you're cheating people, that's not moral behavior, obviously. 

 

I don't believe you are endorsing it, but yes, we do have the crap-in-a-sack school of commerce. That is, in a free market you have every right to sell crap in a sack -- as long as you don't try to represent it as other than crap, or claim that the crap cures acne, freshens breath, etc, or imply suitability for any purpose. Is this legal? Yes, sort of, depending. Is it moral? No. Of course not. It's all well and good for a seller to claim the buyer knew he was getting crap. But if the buyer truly knew what crap it was, why would he buy it? 



#124 gruntguru

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 23:14

Fat Boy, on 18 Apr 2015 - 02:26, said:snapback.png

 

OK, the Yugo was crap, but met the standards. Isn't your whole point that the 'standards', whatever they may be, should be trumped by moral If so, that puts the Tata in a strange limbo. It doesn't meet governmental standards, but because the consumers are well aware that it's an unmitigated P.O.S., then morally, at least in India (where life is a bit of an existential merry-go-round) it somehow passes that test.

 

In SE Asia and the subcontinent where the majority of the worlds 1.2 million road deaths per annum occur, the Nano probably represents a leap forward in safety terms.



#125 GreenMachine

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 23:41

A large number of Yugo buyers felt cheated by the experience (as opposed to simply disappointed). If you're cheating people, that's not moral behavior, obviously.


Really?! Just because someone feels cheated does not make it that the maker 'cheated' them (by inference, knowingly and/or deliberately). Similarly sloppy argument to your $11 statement above, when an alternative figure might be $137m, or $137m divided by the number of deaths.

Either way, you now seem to be accepting that people can, and do, put a value on human life. Yes, we get you don't like it, or disagree with them doing it. 

 

So what is the point of this discussion again?



#126 imaginesix

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 23:59

Cost/benefit analysis was invented in 1848 by French civil engineer Jules Dupuit. 

Didn't he just formalize and quantify what we'd always been doing intuitively? Oh, and it's been given a fancy name. But I've always held that ANY decision we make as adults is some form of cost/benefit analysis.


Edited by imaginesix, 17 April 2015 - 23:59.


#127 Magoo

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:06

Really?! Just because someone feels cheated does not make it that the maker 'cheated' them (by inference, knowingly and/or deliberately). Similarly sloppy argument to your $11 statement above, when an alternative figure might be $137m, or $137m divided by the number of deaths.

Either way, you now seem to be accepting that people can, and do, put a value on human life. Yes, we get you don't like it, or disagree with them doing it. 

 

So what is the point of this discussion again?

 

 

I didn't write that Yugo owners were cheated. I wrote that they felt cheated. Whether they were ultimately justified in that belief was not at all the point. 

 

Sure, we all know arbitrary dollar values are often assigned to human lives. That doesn't make them valid. Quite the contrary. We can see from the methodology and the results that very often they are not. 

 

My objectives in this discussion include showing how (alleged) cost/benefit analysis techniques are often used to evade rather than enable sound decision-making; and that value of life estimation is a very dodgy process and not what it purports. 


Edited by Magoo, 18 April 2015 - 01:13.


#128 J. Edlund

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:53

This seems like someone moved the decimal point over accidentally. Most of the time on the freeway I can see when someone is doing something stupid before they actually do it and I'll position myself accordingly.

 

I'm afraid the decimal point is correctly placed

 

http://citeseerx.ist...p=rep1&type=pdf

 

You cannot place a dollar value on a human life.  That, among other things, is the lesson of the Ford Pinto debacle, as well as any number of other disasters that purported to use cost/benefit analysis to perform this dubious feat. I don't mean that it's simply wrong. I mean also it can't be done. It's a lie, a fraud. When the geniuses at Ford calculated the cost of a defective fuel tank design in human lives, they presumed the cost to Ford, not the cost to their customers. You will find similar logical blunders in all such attempts. 

 

...every year a few hundred utility workers are killed on the job supplying electrical service across the USA. In the customary cost/benefit analysis as performed by the usual ****wits, this is determined to be a sound tradeoff: electric power for millions vs. the death of a few hundred workers. Great, super. Except that when we examine each one of these accidents individually, we find that not one was actually required in order to distribute electrical energy. Every death was needless and unnecessary and accomplished nothing at all. If there is any value at all in these tragic accidents, it is as teaching examples to avoid such disasters in the future. To claim these deaths are justified in cost/benefit analysis is a lie. There is no benefit. 

 

If there's anything to be learned from the Pinto debacle it's the flaws of the US legal system.

 

The Pinto may not have been the safest car ever built, but at the time its overall safety was comparable to other cars in its class, this include accidents with fire. It was however more prone to fires after rear impacts than other cars in its class, although not as prone as the AMC Gremlin.

 

Also, the often made claim that Ford calculated the cost of allowing a defective fuel tank on the Pinto is wrong, Ford never made any such calculations. They had however prepared a report for the NHTSA asking them to reconsidered a planned new safety standard meant to reduce the likelihood of fuel tank related fires. This report was not about the Pinto, and neither was it about rear impact integrity but roll over accidents. In this report Ford had calculated the cost of the new regulation to $11 per car putting the total costs at $137 million. This was not the cost to Ford, but the costs for all automakers together, costs which would obviously be transfered to the car buyers. Setting the costs at $200,000 per death and $67,000 per burn injury, the benefit was only considered to be $49.5 million which was considered low compared to the cost. If these numbers seem low, keep in mind that these are not the costs to Ford and other automakers but an estimation of the social costs of auto accidents from a then current NHTSA study.

 

I disagree with your statement that you cannot put a price on a human life. You certainly can do that, and doing so can be a good tool for evaluation even if there is a high degree of uncertainty in the number. Mostly this number is calculated using the "willingness-to-pay" principle, an estimation about what consumers are prepared to pay for increased safety. In any case, no matter what price you put on a human life it does give you a number that you can compare with other proposals for safety improvements. Although, when it comes to safety people are often irrational.

 

And speaking about deaths from electric power, coal fired power plants are estimated to cause about as many premature deaths in the US as traffic accidents. Yet, replacing them with the safer options currently available doesn't seem high on the agenda. Perhaps after we have gotten the utility worker fatality numbers down to zero?

 

Quite a few times, however, I believe that "SUV" (in Australia at least) are built to commercial standards and therefore may no have the crash protection of other "passenger" cars. Then there is the high CoG etc...I say the jury is out on why people feel safe just because they are riding high, wide and handsome!

 

There are usually smaller profit margins on commercial vehicles, so car manufacturers have less to spend on safety on these cars. Also, these kinds of vehicles are often bought by companies, which can value the lower cost higher. In any case, in real life accidents a higher weight is always beneficial and can compensate for a lower crashworthiness.

 

As I said before CBA is a blunt instrument. When we are selecting the targets for tires we don't have an exact way of working out what the braking distance is, so we approach it a few different ways and use our judgement. There still is a dollar sign in there, because we work with dollars. So it resembles shopping. The equations aren't exact, the correlation between stopping distance and tire performance isn't exact, we don't know many things exactly. We get the best figures we can and try it a few different ways.

 

As it happens I agree, some of  the big car companies do tend to whine a lot when new regs are proposed, and come up with some pretty stupid arguments sometimes. Despite your claims, I think that gruntgurus graph is a success story, and the tool used to drive safety improvements is CBA, whether for new street furniture, rerouting of roads, or new design features in cars. Everybody on the safety side of the transportation industry expects to use it.

 

Many companies do progress the state of the art through their own free will, I'd say in particular off the top of my head Volvo (safety), Toyota (HEV) and Mercedes (safety) have pushed the envelope in various positive ways WITHOUT being told to by anybody else in particular.

 

For the average consumer buying a tire from a premium tire brand is often good enough, even if you don't get the best tire you can avoid the cheap dangerous ones. Tires, like everything else is a compromise. Wet traction, dry traction, noise, rolling resistance, wear resistance; you can't get it all but some property will have to be sacrificed for another. With the safety at any cost principle, traction should be prioritized above all, even if we had to change our tires every week with the result that few would afford owning a car. Clearly safety cannot come at any cost.

 

To prove that there are more factors in this than meet the eye initially, there is the case of winter tyres which are well known to be better, and therefore safer, in winter conditions, especially snow.  In the run of bad and snowy winters we recently had in the UK, people started to think of changing to winter tyres, only to be told by their insurance companies that they weren't to the manufacturer's original spec and therefore invalidated their policy.

 

You couldn't make it up....

 

Foolishness.

 

Here in Sweden tires specifically made for winter use are required by law during the winter when road conditions call for it, failure to comply means that not only can you be fined by the police you could also be in trouble with your insurance company, who could for instance require a higher deductible to pay out a claim. New cars are obviously tested with winter tires during winter conditions. Many European car manufacturers do their winter testing in northern Sweden with winter tires and all.

 

Lately though there have been some controversy with regard to studded winter tires. Studded winter tires, while considered safer than friction type winter tires, cause more PM emissions due to road wear which is a health concern primarily in larger cities where air concentrations of PM10 can be high, particularly during early spring.



#129 GreenMachine

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 02:52

I didn't write that Yugo owners were cheated. I wrote that they felt cheated. Whether they were ultimately justified in that belief was not at all the point.

 
If it was not the point, why go on to say: 

If you're cheating people, that's not moral behavior, obviously.

 
 

Sure, we all know arbitrary dollar values are often assigned to human lives. That doesn't make them valid. Quite the contrary. We can see from the methodology and the results that very often they are not.

Valid, for what? For whom? Of course they are valid, for those purposes. You or I might disagree with the actual numbers and even the results, but that is not the point - a process of evaluation is undertaken which incorporates numbers representing death and injury, as an attempt to make a decision which will impact company sales, revenues and costs. Good, bad or indifferent, that is the way these thing work and we can throw rocks from the sidelines, but until someone comes up with a better way, it's going to stay that way.
 

My objectives in this discussion include showing how (alleged) cost/benefit analysis techniques are often used to evade rather than enable sound decision-making; and that value of life estimation is a very dodgy process and not what it purports.

Well you haven't done a very good job. Notwithstanding some widely shared reservations about the way CBA is used, your 'morality' model is not getting much traction here. And I suspect the reason for that is you are doing no more than sloganeering. Morality is the way to go? Well, you need to develop that, show HOW it is better for realworld use, and ultimately into decisionmaking tools/models, and compare it to the CBA model, and show how companies, governments, and everyone will be better off. Do that, and the world will beat a path to your door.

Telling the world that CBA has hairs on it? The news is, that that is NOT news - every decisionmaker, every practitioner, every commentator knows this. Likewise, everyone knows that these decisions are often stuffed up, manipulated etc, no news value there either.

#130 275 GTB-4

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 07:53

Of course, the automakers very seldom employ true cost/benefit analysis themselves; more often a rough and simplified form of risk/benefit analysis designed to capture the property of allocative efficiency. One familiar example, of course, is the Ford Pinto gas tank. 
 
In the development of this model, rear crash testing of 12 vehicles determined that a rear suspension bolt would pierce the fuel tank upon impact, generating a large fuel leak and most likely a serious fire. An effective fix for this defect, an impact overrider or shield, was engineered at a unit cost of $11 per vehicle and tested successfully. However, the shield was not adopted in production as Ford calculated that the cost was too great for the potential reward. 
 
The math went like this: Ford estimated that Pinto fuel tank fires represented a potential economic liability of $49 million, projected on 2,100 vehicle fires producing a loss of $700 per vehicle, $67,000 per person injured, and, notably, $200,000 per death. On the other side of the ledger, the $11 shield installed on 11 million vehicles represented a cost to Ford of $137 million. So Ford shelved the shield, booking a cost savings (on paper) of $88 million and resolving to limit the fire liabilities in court. 
 
The theory of cost/benefit analysis, as expressed throughout this discussion thread, is that here, Ford placed an economic value on a human life, and that in this case, the value of one human life was $200,000. However, if you have any critical thinking skills at all, you can see that's not so. In truth, in this instance Ford placed the value of a human life at $11.


Sounds to me like an arrogant Engineering Group refusing to budge or come up with a few other solutions (could the bolt have been turned around?)..."its $11 per, that's what we will sign off on" :well:  :rolleyes:


Edited by 275 GTB-4, 18 April 2015 - 07:53.


#131 275 GTB-4

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 07:58

Agreed about the Pacer. I didn't care for the styling, but it wasn't necessarily a 'bad' car.


Let me invite you to use your family as crash test dummy's in one...I wouldn't put any of my family in one...

#132 Greg Locock

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 08:28

Sounds to me like an arrogant Engineering Group refusing to budge or come up with a few other solutions (could the bolt have been turned around?)..."its $11 per, that's what we will sign off on" :well:  :rolleyes:

 

 

You may be right about arrogant, but the price pressure came right from the top, Iacocca who was behind the 2000lb, 2000$ target. I don't know if you've worked in a hierarchical organisation with so called charismatic chief engineers, personally I'd rather deal with dullards.

 

Lots of info in this paper, I've never read it all the way through http://www.pointofla..._Pinto_Case.pdf



#133 275 GTB-4

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 08:35

Greg Locock said

You may be right about arrogant, but the price pressure came right from the top, Iacocca who was behind the 2000lb, 2000$ target. I don't know if you've worked in a hierarchical organisation with so called charismatic chief engineers, personally I'd rather deal with dullards.
 
Lots of info in this paper, I've never read it all the way through http://www.pointofla..._Pinto_Case.pdf


Unfortunately, I have worked in such an organisation...charismatic is not a word I would use for some of the narrow minded, ill informed, engineers I "experienced"...the good ones, however, were very good.

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 23 April 2015 - 23:53.


#134 Magoo

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 12:52

 
If it was not the point, why go on to say: 

 

Please. Here's the complete passage as written: "While the Yugo met the letter of the law, presumably, I didn't assert that its marketing in America was morally sound. A large number of Yugo buyers felt cheated by the experience (as opposed to simply disappointed). If you're cheating people, that's not moral behavior, obviously." 

 

Note I did not state that Yugo owners were cheated but that they felt cheated. Nor did I state that Yugo was cheating people. I plainly stated IF and YOU, a clear hypothetical. 

 

Also note that I did not raise the issue of the Yugo. Two other people inquired specifically to me personally about the car and I answered them. How dare me. 

 

All that said: You know, this is the Yugo you are talking about here -- universally regarded as one of the worst automobiles ever marketed in America. You chose a curious place to pick a fight. Is it your actual position that Yugo buyers were not cheated in the transaction, that they received fair value for their purchase? 



#135 Magoo

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 12:55

You may be right about arrogant, but the price pressure came right from the top, Iacocca who was behind the 2000lb, 2000$ target. 

 

Absolutely no question about it. If blame is to be focused anywhere in this case, it's right there. 



#136 Catalina Park

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 00:53

All cars have price and weight as priorities, weight = money. If you add more weight you are adding more cost.
Add a pound to the car and you probably need to buy a pound and a half of metal to make the one pound item. 

Towards the completion of the design is when they discover that the weight has crept up which means the cost to build creeps up, which means the profit per car creeps down unless the selling price is raised which will in turn make the production targets fall which will lead to.....



#137 Fat Boy

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 18:06

Let me invite you to use your family as crash test dummy's in one...I wouldn't put any of my family in one...

 

Let me invite you to delete your asinine post.



#138 desmo

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 18:36

Oddly--or not--I believe the Pacer was designed to not only handily exceed the crash test safety rules when it was designed, but to meet expected stricter limits in future making it in all likelihood one of the safest cars in its category at the time.



#139 275 GTB-4

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 22:24

Let me invite you to delete your asinine post.


!



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#140 Fat Boy

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 15:59

Oddly--or not--I believe the Pacer was designed to not only handily exceed the crash test safety rules when it was designed, but to meet expected stricter limits in future making it in all likelihood one of the safest cars in its category at the time.

 

Exactly, which is why our friend wanting me and my family to crash one is such a douche bag way to be.



#141 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 17:05

Let me invite you to use your family as crash test dummy's in one...I wouldn't put any of my family in one...

 

Would you let any of them ride a motorcycle?



#142 275 GTB-4

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 23:10

Would you let any of them ride a motorcycle?


Ummmm what is this? 20 questions or the usual "I have nothing up my sleeve but my arm" as far as debate is concerned so when in doubt, go for the man!?

Yes...off road!

My son does...out in the scrub, bush, forest whatever you want to call it...not without risk (I did it myself for years) but safer than on the road (also did that myself for years) because no matter how good a rider you are, you are the one with the least crash protection (similar to being in an AMC Pacer on American roads!)

#143 275 GTB-4

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 23:14

Exactly, which is why our friend wanting me and my family to crash one is such a douche bag way to be.


At least a douche bag is useful...it was a suggestion designed to make you think about what you were saying...for the record, I wish you and yours and most of mankind no harm at all :up:



#144 Fat Boy

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 17:12

You weren't useful. You weren't clever. You weren't thought provoking. You were a ********. Please stop.

 

Pacers may not have been a great car, but, to my knowledge, they passed all governmental safety regulations at the time and had no skeletons in the closet like the Pinto (which my family did own).



#145 Magoo

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 20:50

The internal whistle-blower at Ford in the Pinto fuel tank case, the man who testified that Ford chose to litigate the injury cases rather than install a cheap plastic shield, was Harley Copp. He was as good an engineer as the Ford Motor Co. ever had. 

 

A graduate of the Edison Insitute, Copp was the chief engineer on the Continental Mark II and a lead engineer on the Falcon. He then went to Ford of England where he set up and managed the Ford Engineering operation in Brentwood. Here he was a central figure in the Ford Panda program as well as the Ford GT40 and the Ford-Cosworth DFV projects. He then came back to the USA to head up Ford's new vehicle testing program. 

 

While Copp is remembered mainly for whistle-blowing the Pinto fuel tank, he actually got himself sideways with Ford management on three issues: 1) He discovered that Ford was keeping two sets of books on emissions test results, faked and actual; 2) He sent Ford's analysis and data regarding Corvair handling to Sen. Warren Magnuson of Washington, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee; 3) the Pinto fuel tank debacle, where he directed its crash testing. 

 

While Copp was revered by his associates (Bob Thomas described him as "a goddamned genius") and at one point was close to VP Bill Ford, Sr, the company resolved to get rid of him, naturally. But Copp refused to resign, forcing the company to fire him. He was progressively demoted and given pointless assignments over a span of three years until finally, he was terminated for "too long lunches."  Upon leaving Ford, he became a consulting engineer to the Center for Auto Safety. 


Edited by Magoo, 21 April 2015 - 20:53.


#146 desmo

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 00:42

Punishing whistleblowers when they have important things to say is one of the morally basest things that an institution can do.  When they go after them, you know there are big ethical problems with corruption at the top of the organization--whether it's private company or a government.



#147 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:12

Let me invite you to use your family as crash test dummy's in one...I wouldn't put any of my family in one...

Safer than a '59 Chevy or any GM product on a similar chassis.

 

This is just piling on AMC.



#148 Magoo

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 03:00

Punishing whistleblowers when they have important things to say is one of the morally basest things that an institution can do.  When they go after them, you know there are big ethical problems with corruption at the top of the organization--whether it's private company or a government.

 

 

One aspect that is so angering is the slander campaign -- while they go about demoting and debasing the whistle-blower, they spread the word that he or she is a drunk, a drug addict, a homosexual, etc. 



#149 gruntguru

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 03:44

Getting OT here, but the hardest gig would have to be whistleblowing on a police or other security agency. Nothing but respect for the brave souls that try.



#150 desmo

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 04:25

The problem of trying to vindictively silence whistleblowers seems to be an accelerating trend in the US, the US Government has prosecuted more whistleblowers under Obama than all other previous US Presidents combined.