Giving Voyage Plans a Stress Test: In praise of negativity

This Crooked Timber post is about arguments about public debate including on the internet but applies more broadly.

The problem is that our individual reasoning processes are biased in ways that are really hard for us (individually) to correct. We have a strong tendency to believe our own bullshit. The upside is that if we are far better at detecting bullshit in others than in ourselves,

I’ve said here before it’s a good idea to lay out operational type plans in the open so various crew members can critique, the C/E in particular can be valuable in this role…

The post mentions a couple of books, I reading this one right now.

The reviews on Amazon say it’s tough sledding in places but so far it’s been OK, very interesting.

It helps to have read this already.

This book is classic Michael Lewis, a very good read.

Finished The Enigma of Reason, it’s an eye opening book. I’d say a must read for any teaching BRM or crew management.

It was a little slow going in places but overall not to bad.

Ran into a new acronym. WEIRD: (western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) societies

That alone separates into various paths.

This I assume is non-WEIRD.

Also related… Funny video

I agree, but maybe not for the same reasons. I’ve always appreciated Eisenhower’s dictum: “Plans are worthless. Planning is everything.” The purpose of planning is to educate yourself about the context in which your plan is to be executed, so that when assumptions upon which the plan was based turn out to be wrong, you can intelligently replan. Making the planning process open enables that education to be shared by the whole team. And as you noted, there is great benefit in asking people in every level of the hierarchy “What could possibly go wrong.”




UK P&I Club will host a Webinar on Voyage Planning and BMR on 14, 9AM BST:
Maybe not a convenient time for those in the US.

Why not bug?

I believe he was saying it would be inconvenient because 9AM BST (when the webinar starts) is 4am on the East Coast and 1am on the West Coast.


Maybe OK for pensioners like you who can be awake at night and sleep all day?

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Gotcha. Wish I could sleep all day sometimes but then I would miss the Beaver, Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith. Bear Dog,Bride, and Victory Garden won’t let me either… Not too interested in BRM / BMR as I was when employed. Am interested in some of these “accidents” lately which have me scratching my head over WTF were you thinking on the bridge… I will miss that Webinar perhaps… It does sound interesting though if anything new pops up regarding P&I.

The issue in ship operations often is a reluctance to abandon or change the original plan.

In the case of a ship with a highly hierarchical command structure the captain becomes a possible single failure point. In some cases the captain will be very motivated to maintain the schedule in spite of changes to the situation.

This is from the linked post in the OP.

First – that reasoning has not evolved in the ways that we think it has – as a process of ratiocination that is intended independently to figure out the world. Instead, it has evolved as a social capacity – as a means to justify ourselves to others.

Another way to show this phenomena is when it happens in actual incidents which is what NASA and the aviation industry did with CRM.

On the maritime side the attitude is “well that guy was an idiot and that would never happen to me”.

A timely report on Voyage Planning from UK P&I Club:

In case you missed their Webinar.

The importance of accurate Voyage planning is given a “stress test” in UK High Court: