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How do the authors represent the role of the “human factor” within the rationalized and “mechanized or technologized” system?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The overall perspective on the human factor is concerned with duty. While the key characters have little opportunity to interpret possibly erroneous information, they must act based on their understanding of their duty, which includes allegiance to their civilian or military position. The primary representation of the human factor is through the character of the US president. Although technically a civilian is most regards, the president is the Commander in Chief so ultimate military authority resides in him. As such, he must make the difficult decisions to send the Skyscraper fighters after the Vindicator bombers, and then to negotiate with the Soviet premier. The other important character in this scenario is Colonel Cascio; his sense of duty combined with mistrust of the Soviets lead him to open rebellion. In terms of implementing the plans, both Colonel Grady, the leader of the attack squadron, and General Black, who must ultimately carry out the New York attack, exemplify true...

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