Tuesday 3 January 2017

Information is provisional - sinking of the Titanic

For an example of the provisionality* of information I've previously used the case of Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France wins.

*In, for example, the talk at DTMD 2013 (see 'Information is Provisional' in the Abstracts Booklet - it looks like I didn't mention it in the follow-up paper).

This might turn out to be a more interesting example:
The sinking of the RMS Titanic may have been caused by an enormous fire on board, not by hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, experts have claimed, as new evidence has been published to support the theory. [...]

Journalist Senan Molony, who has spent more than 30 years researching the sinking of the Titanic... said: “The official Titanic inquiry branded [the sinking] as an act of God. This isn’t a simple story of colliding with an iceberg and sinking.

“It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence.

“Nobody has investigated these marks before. It totally changes the narrative. We have metallurgy experts telling us that when you get that level of temperature against steel it makes it brittle, and reduces its strength by up to 75 per cent.

“The fire was known about, but it was played down. She should never have been put to sea.”

Titanic sank due to enormous uncontrollable fire, not iceberg, claim experts. Rachael Pells, The Independent, 3/1/2017
I share some of the skepticism of some of the below-the-line comments under this article, but there is no doubt that, even without the fire, the story of the Titanic is an interesting case study of history and narrative.

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