The disaster to the Challenger shuttle was similar to the disaster that struck the steamship Titanic in 1912. In both instances there was great pride, with justification, in the technological capability of the equipment and the people. "Unsinkable!" In both instances there was delight and high self-confidence in humanity's achievement in building such a remarkable ship. The crew was noticeably exuberant. In both instances nature found a flaw, and humanity was humbled. Again we have lost our best and our brightest. There was learning from the Titanic disaster. Iceberg patrols were established, and there was better ship construction and radio practices. New learning will come from the shuttle loss. Sadder and wiser, we push on. There are great things to be done.
CHARLES WALTON, another Silicon Valley denizen, operates a product development and consulting business in Los Gatos, CA.