Had anyone [at the FAA] checked, they might have flagged MCAS for one of several reasons, including its lack of redundancy, its unacceptably high risk of failure, or its significant increase in power to the point that it was no longer just a “hazardous failure” kind of system. When asked for comment, the agency said, “The FAA’s aircraft certification processes are well established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs.” Boeing defended the process as well. “The system of authorized representatives — delegated authority — is a robust and effective way for the FAA to execute its oversight of safety,” a spokesperson told The Verge. But that system only works when someone actually reads the paperwork.
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Uber — and to a lesser extent, its competitor Lyft — has indeed turned out to be a poster child for Silicon Valley’s messianic vision, but not in a way that should make anyone in this industry proud. Uber’s is likely to be the biggest tech I.P.O. since Facebook’s. It will turn a handful of people into millionaires and billionaires. But the gains for everyone else — for drivers, for the environment, for the world — remain in doubt. There’s a lesson here: If Uber is really the best that Silicon Valley can do, America desperately needs to find a better way to fund groundbreaking new ideas.