The Most Appropriate Visual Metaphor

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On April 14, 1912, a ship called the Californian was stopped in an ice field 12 miles or so from the TITANIC. Titanic’s engines were shut down shortly after she hit a large iceberg. Titanic had received eight warnings about the ice field, one of them just minutes before the collision, but no one took the ice field seriously. After all, the ship was unsinkable.

The Californian’s officers and one crewman were on deck having a smoke. They watched the big ship they saw in the distance send up eight rockets. They then watched as her lights went out. They thought that the ship looked a bit odd, almost as if ‘she had a big side out of the water’. The officers notified their captain, but the captain did not wake the radio operator up or go topside to see for himself what was going on. He figured, if another ship got into trouble in that ice field, it was their own fault. The captain stayed in his quarters. The officers reported that the ship ‘disappeared’ around 2:20 AM on April 15.

The captain had to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

We are now in the interesting situation of having the Titanic and Californian conjoined into the same ship.

And this time there are no lifeboats.

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