Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Investigative journalist: Coal Fire, Not Just Iceberg, Doomed the Titanic

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Dan Bilefsky reports in the NY Times:

Maybe it wasn’t just the iceberg.

Ever since the Titanic sank more than 104 years ago, killing more than 1,500 men, women and children, mystery has swirled around the tragedy.

No one doubts that the ship collided at high speed with an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland.

But a new documentary posits that the sinking of the ship — hailed at the time as the largest ever built, and praised for its professed unsinkability — may have been accelerated by a giant coal fire in its hull that appeared to have started as long as three weeks before it set off on its fateful journey to New York from Southampton, England.

In the documentary, which was broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain on New Year’s Day, Senan Molony, an Irish journalist who has spent more than 30 years researching the Titanic, contends that the fire, in a three-story-high bunker next to one of the ship’s boiler rooms, damaged its hull, helping to seal its fate long before it slammed into the iceberg.

Mr. Molony’s potential breakthrough can be traced to an attic in Wiltshire, in southwest England, where a previously unpublished album of photographs chronicling the ship’s construction and the preparations for its maiden voyage had been gathering dust for more than a century. . .

Continue reading.

I sure hope that such (human) mistakes are not made as we collaboratively and competitively work frantically toward improved AI. And AI can help: I would think that AI, in reviewing the complete history of the technology, hardware and software and mathematical descriptions, could (from its pattern recognition/construction) find the most fruitful avenues of exploration and next steps, scaling upward. Heck, probably someone’s already working on that, just to see what would result. What’s the worst that could happen?

Written by LeisureGuy

3 January 2017 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

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