The bigger you are

It had been a long week at work. End of sprint, we’d somehow managed to graft our contraption onto business’ operations without causing too much damage. It wasn’t without its hiccups but I’m led to believe that it was an overall win.

So I was looking forward to my usual 2.5km ride to the station, and my 40 odd minute journey in a metal can. Metro had other plans for me.

The train was stopped at the station – all the doors were opened, and people were emptying out the carriages and making their way to the bus stop.

There had been a train/car accident at Cheltenham station. The staff at the bus stop suggested I rode to the Moorabbin station since taking the bike on the bus would be a bit of a stretch. “You look like a good rider”, he said, probably referring to my very manly looking cycling tights.

So I tried to mirror the severe disappointment around me at Metro. Secretly, I was delighted at the opportunity to do something out of the norm. I powered up the GPS tracker on my phone and was on my way.

This, I had to capture – all 11km’s of it. It would make good conversation fodder for the weekend compared to my usual nerdy contributions.

Along the way, the road blocks set up by the police nearer to the scene of the accident hinted at the seriousness of the matter, but nothing prepared me for the swell at Moorabbin station.

Lots of other less fortunate people having a less than ideal start to their weekends. At that point, any sense of mine being predicament quickly vanished РI was having a ball by comparison.

These photos are a stark reminder of the fire that I play with on a daily basis. I engineer information systems for an high volume online retailer. Not quite the scale of a metropolitan train network, but analogous enough.

The fundamental goal of any large scale system is to harness the economics of scale to reduce waste and increase efficiency. But what many fail to understand is with any large-scale monolithic system, the stakes increase exponentially with the gains. Potential points of failure proliferate with every corner cut, and it only takes a few minute defects before the whole thing crumbles in a sorry heap.

Scale is a gallant champion, but makes for a horrendous and putrid failure.