Getting Ahead of the Problem

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In 1915, the British poet Thomas Hardy wrote a short masterpiece about the sinking of Titanic, which had occurred several years earlier. He describes the long string of separate events by which both the ship and the iceberg are formed – one in a shipyard and the other in the sea.  The climax of the poem is the collision and destruction of the ship; but the real point of the work is how all the industrial might and hubris of the industrial age was unaware of a malignant force slowly growing in shape, form, and destructive power.  In Hardy’s words:

And as the smart ship grew

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