As you probably know, in 4 August 2020, a huge explosion devastated Beirut. One of the largest peacetime explosions in history, it killed more than 200 people, injured 5 thousand, and destroyed the port, two ships, three hospitals, and many thousands of homes. A large fire was burning before the explosion and people were filming it on their phones, resulting in the explosion being captured from various distances and angles—a breathtaking sight shaming Hollywood.
Why did the explosion happen? Because dangerous material had been unloaded by a ship whose owner had gone bankrupt. It belonged to no-one. There were many agencies involved—port, customs and courts. Letters urging to do something had gone from one to the other, but the load remained there for six years.
Pretty much for the same reason we often don’t backup our company’s data properly, or we don’t secure its systems and processes.
When we have a hard problem but it doesn’t get in the way, it’s easier to postpone it for tomorrow. There are always more urgent things that need our attention. Until disaster hits, that is.
P.S. A close friend of mine has a loved one in Beirut, whose house was damaged but he was unhurt. I wasn’t affected in any other way, and this emotional distance enables me to contemplate about all this in cold blood. I don’t know if this is true for all my readers. If you lost a loved one, I’m sorry; I know that this email is premature for you—we need to mourn first and leave the conclusions for later.