Who could have foreseen
Any calamity that could have been prevented by the actions of a small number of official authorities will very likely be followed by baffled disclaimers from those authorities, asking rhetorically "who could have foreseen that this would happen?" Examples of this go back at least to the late 1800s.
We never anticipated that our critical infrastructure control systems would be facing advanced levels of malware.
Experts and others have been warning for years that our energy infrastructure is vulnerable to digital infiltration.
Forecasters significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in domestic demand associated with fiscal consolidation..."
Who could have foreseen that "austerity" policies are terrible for an economy, despite decades of evidence since at least the Reagan-Thatcher era?
Obviously, we had no idea that we'd have an end result like this, or what was going on outside of here.
...on the idea that bullying could lead to suicide.
I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.
Experts had been predicting for decades that the levee system was inadequate to deal with a really bad storm. Local officials had asked for federal help to repair and rebuild; see Hurricane Katrina/response and htwiki:User:Woozle/blog/2011-05-30 0908 Braindead Facebook comment of the day.
- David Brin: Reducing Blame to Fundamentals
- 2007-03-05 The Redirection
- User:Woozle/The Black Swan
- 2012-02-07 Roger Boisjoly dies at 73; engineer tried to halt Challenger launch: even having read Richard Feynman's account of the Challenger Commission investigation, I was unaware that this failure had been predicted in advance. Even this article reflexively shifts blame off the administrators who made the decision against the strenuous objections of the engineers, calling it an "engineering miscalculation". It wasn't that at all; the engineers. had it right. It was an administrative blunder.
- 2011-04-13 [PAYWALL]Shake-up time for Japanese seismology: "For the past 20 years or so, some seismologists in Japan have warned of the seismic and tsunami hazards to the safety of nuclear power plants, most notably Katsuhiko Ishibashi, now professor emeritus at Kobe University. Their warnings went unheeded. Yet in the immediate aftermath of the magnitude-9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku on 11 March, pundits could be found on many Japanese TV stations saying that it was *unforeseeable*."
- 2004-07-29 The Unbearable Costs of Empire: who could have foreseen that America can't afford to police the world?
- 2000 Corporatism and Regulatory Failure: Government Response to the Aberfan Disaster: 2000 analysis of 1966 event; see also: wikipedia:Aberfan disaster.