It is one of the oddities of our day that the greater the power of any particular group or project, the greater the vulnerability and weakness. Early in the 20th century this was made clear by the experience of the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic. It was sunk by a chunk of ice.
Thirty years ago we were witnesses to the explosion of a huge rocket, the Challenger, destroyed because an O-ring didn’t work well enough in cold temperatures. A mere seal that was too cold.
Then we lost seven more space travelers in 2003 when the Columbia exploded, having been damaged on takeoff by a piece of foam that broke loose from its exterior. A piece of foam.
Now, a century after the Titanic, we are reminded again of this lesson. The most expensive and massive scientific equipment in the history of the world — the large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, has been knocked out for a few days because a weasel got into the electrical system and shorted it out.
The lesson is not that we should try no more big projects, but — at the very least — we should be growing in humility at least as fast as we grow in pride. That is a lesson for you and me as individuals as well as for nations. Pride without humility is mere hubris, which is very ugly. . .as a glance at Donald Trump proves so well.