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Dreams, Engineering, Failure: books by Henry Petroski

the role of failure in successful design

Reality defies perception and encoding in ways that failure reveals. Henry Petroski, a civil engineer and historian, writes about the inevitability of failure, failure as inspiration, success through repeated failure, and why there is no more certain path to eventual failure than modeling designs solely on past successes.

Petroski's books are excellent companions to F. A. Hayek's The Fatal Conceit, Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations, and Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge.

Books on failure by Henry Petroski:

Limitation of design in order to provide for fine grained rapid detection and correction of error is a fundamental principle of freeorder.
December 21, 2007; edited/updated May 16, 2020

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