A simple solution to a complex issue

Bumper cars but where the cars are made of soap bubbles

I was thinking about those “in case of emergency, break glass” boxes that have like panic buttons or fire extinguishers or emergency stop levers or pull fire alarms or whatever behind them.

At first this seems like a bad interface, because you’ve put an extra hurdle between a person in an emergency and a thing to help them in their emergency. But then you think wait that’s actually good - it should be slightly difficult to do so you don’t accidentally push the button. But then you think but wait sure ok it shouldn’t be easy to mistakenly do it, but a piece of glass?! - you’re going to cut your hand on that thing! But then you think no wait that’s actually good — we’ve increased the stakes for “is this an emergency?” to include “is it sufficiently an emergency such that I will bear the risk of cutting my hand on a bunch of broken glass as I deal with the emergency?”, which I guess is good.

I wonder if places that have these little boxes have an annual budget for replacing the broken glass from their emergency boxes? I feel like if you had 10 boxes in your facility and you found yourself replacing more than like 2-3 or them in a given year you’d have to confront the unfortunate reality that either a) you were running an utterly dangerous incompetent operation which had regular emergencies; or b) your staff had been insufficiently trained in the art of identifying emergencies and were treating situations which were merely stressful or serious as also being emergencies.

Hard to sleep well at night with that knowledge isn’t it?