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Re: Did Sean Gorman's maps show the cascading vulnerability in Ohio?

  • From: hackerwacker
  • Date: Sun Aug 17 22:11:45 2003

On Sunday 17 August 2003 06:28 pm, Having folded space, the Third Stage 
Guild Navigator said:
> So, the US Government wants to classify Sean Gorman's student project.
> The question is did Mr. Gorman's maps divulge the vulnerability in the
> East Coast power grid that resulted in the blackouts this week?
> Would it be better to know about these vulnerabilities, and do something
> about them; or is it better to keep them secret until they fail in a
> catastrophic way?

Please correct me if I misunderstand this, but I have a different take on 
all of this. Power Cos. have for some time traded power in a futures 
market system. Org A buys x gigawatts at an attractive price to be 
delivered at a specific time in the future from Org B, via the grid. Org C is facing a 
brown/blackout today so they are highly motivated to pay any price; Org 
A's  contract terms with Org B fit Org C's needs so Org A makes a killing.
Given that the players were producers, buyers and sellers of the same 
product this creates no incentaive to build out additional capasity. Quite 
different from say, Hog futures, were the supply side and demand side are 
not the same person. According the the NPR report I heard on this, the money to be made 
here is huge  provided there was just enough power or not quite enough. So 
there were not market checks and ballances. having additional capasity on 
hand, in this system, drives down price in a futures market.

So back on Sean's question, maps did not divulge this; at least not the 
primary cause. I see the primary cause as economic. It seems to me 
we are seeking a mechanical cause instead of looking at the fauly business
model that allowed this to happen. 

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