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Minimal solution

Suppose an evil happens, and you don’t want anything like it to happen again. A proposal is made. The minimal criterion for such a proposal is that, enacted in good time, the evil from which you are now suffering would have been prevented.

For instance, the Challenger disaster, caused by a brittle O-ring, could have been prevented by an O-ring embrittlement prevention programme. This would not have been sufficient; the O-ring failure was the outcome of a chain of cause and effect, beginning in NASA’s culture, that could easily have produced some completely different technical outcome; however, any solution that would not have prevented a brittle O-ring is no solution at all.

Forty-nine people were killed yesterday by an Islamist terrorist in an Orlando gay nightclub. The terrorist was a natural-born citizen of the United States, working as a security guard, with a concealed carry firearms licence. He beat his ex-wife. He also happened to be of Afghani descent. His father, Seddique Mateen, was last year running for the presidency of Afghanistan! What? Anyway, under Afghan law, the terrorist, Omar Mateen, therefore held a second, jus sanguinis, Afghan citizenship – assuming he never renounced it. Continue reading