The sinking of the MV Sewol was a national tragedy in Seoul and what transpired really upsetted me at that time. My take was that many deaths could have been avoided if not for the blind adherence to authority.

Apparently, when the ship was already showing signs of capsizing, the 400 plus passengers (who were mostly Seconday school students) were ordered to stay in their rooms and not to move. Half an hour later, the Captain jumped ship and somehow, the decision to evacuate was not communicated to the passengers. Minutes later, about 150 to 160 passengers and crew decided to ignore the instructions and jumped overboard. Most (if not all) of these passengers were rescued. Those that had remained were trapped, and perished in this accident.

You could say that this was an isolated incident and failures of authority on such levels are rare. But I have had my fair brushes with authority and I …