Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If You Have "Visit the Mosul Dam" on Your Bucket List, Better do it Soon
...This isn't a condemnation of Saddam's Iraq per se: It's a condemnation of ANY country where political connections among contractors and subcontractors, sketchy material suppliers and corrupt or frightened quality control inspectors come together in a big Venn Diagram of "Oh Shit!" Hell, it's hard enough to keep infrastructure standing tall in America (remember the I35 West bridge collapse in Minneapolis/St. Paul?), but The Third World? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Three Gorges? Toast. The Mosul Dam? Toast. Burj Dubai? Toast. It doesn't matter how many First World engineers and architects participate in the design process. As long as the construction or maintenance process is left up to a 3rd cousin of the King in the Middle East, or a business subsidiary of the PLA in China, the structure will never live up to the promise of its design life. Ozzymandias by any other name is still a big pile of debris. And a big-name project that is touted as a crowning achievement of a country where a significant portion of its population has to burn animal dung for cooking or haul their own "night soil" out to fertilize the crops will fail before it should. Every time....