BLACKOUT! We're All On The Grid Together

Albert-lászló Barabási [8.21.03]

Edge can be an interesting venue for mounting a serious conversation about the blackout of August 14th. Within the community is invaluable expertise in many pertinent areas, not to mention the intelligence that the "Edgies" can bring to the subjects. I am asking for "hard-edge" comments, derived from empirical results or experience specific to the expertise of the participant.....



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.