Boeing 737 chief engineer: "We don’t need fly by wire". So they put an electrohydrolical augmented mechanical system. That can be turned off. And that has a mind of its own due to MCAS.
9 years later, flight ET302's MCAS went haywire. So the crew shut off the electromechanical system which also shut off the MCAS. Which made the trim adjustment stuck inoperable due to lack of assists. So they turned it back on hoping to fix it, and crashed.
Regardless whether it's steel ropes, hydraulics, or fly-by-wire, I think what matters is that:
A) the pilot understands how the automation behaves and interacts with the plane, and
B) different layers of automation can be disabled separately, and
C) each piece of automation is fault-tolerant
If you add more automation but don't want to retrain the pilots, you can't have (A).
If you're redesigning a plane in a hurry, you tend to fail allvthese conditions.
And adding bigger engines to a plane, and using software workaround to avoid a necessary redesign of the plane, and then pretending that it's still the same plane, is IMO asking for a disaster.
So I'd say, keep original 737 if it works for you, but 737 MAX is a clusterfuck that should be grounded.
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