Saturday, August 16, 2003

You Can't "Fix the Grid" - All Networks Share Risk

There's a very insightful op-ed piece in the NY Times about how
the interconnectedness of the power grid exposes entire regions and
the nation to risk. He argues you CAN'T just "fix the grid" --
the network implies risk. (Think about last week's Microsoft
exposures on computers worldwide...)


We're All on the Grid Together


Once power is fully restored, it will take little time to find
the culprit: most likely, it will be a malfunctioning switch or fuse, a
snapped power line or some other local failure. Somebody will be fired,
promotions and raises denied, and lawmakers will draw up legislation
guaranteeing that this problem will not occur again. Something will be
inevitably missed, however, during all this finger-pointing: this
week's blackout has little to do with faulty equipment, negligence or
bad design. President Bush's call to upgrade the power grid will do
little to eliminate power failures. The magnitude of the blackout is
rooted in an often ignored aspect of our globalized world:
vulnerability due to interconnectivity.

We're All on the Grid Together