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Re: Survey of interest ..

  • From: Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine
  • Date: Tue Jan 11 12:59:12 2005

I first read their report on blogs ... We're holding the Koufax Awards _now_
for lefty blogs, so we're about as root on the left hand side of the radio
dial as one could hope for. It wasn't worth reading twice.

Turning to the Pew vetted punditocracy, I went to the questionaire. Q9a got
the belly laugh.

Q9a.	Prediction on attacks on network infrastructure.

	At least one devastating attack will occur in the next 10 years
	on the networked information infrastruture or the country's power
	grid.

Somewhere on my extended desk is a critical paper by a zoomie on the power
grid as a target.

OK. So one would have to be literate in a particular genre. The Army Air
Corp started targeting power generation and distribution in the metro NY
area in the late '30s, to see what a strategic bombing campaign against
national civilian infrastructure could accomplish. Results are mixed, from
the empirical experiences in the WW2 period, through GW1 and the Yugoslav
war, and the conclusion is ... it is wicked difficult, even with lots of
expensive planes and many, many fine bombs, and possibly effective by any
of several metrics _only_ when the targeted nation is isolated and the
campaign is of unlimited duration, as under all other models (and emperical
tests) the results are negative.

Sixty six percent of the Pew respondents agreed with the assertion. Only
seven percent challenged the prediction, another eleven percent disagreed
with the predictive model.

I'll cut to the chase.

The Pew questionaire in this instance is bad scholarship. It promotes an
already well answered question (vulnerability) as if it were not answered,
and as a side-effect, promotes the presumption that targeting the power
generation and distribution capacity of hostile states isn't a waste of
finite military and industrial resources. Boeing and its cognates and Bob
Dornan and his cognates may benefit, but that wasn't the apparent policy
goal.

As for the other part of the question, routers twinkle.

Worldcom, Enron and failed switches would be less ... fantastic lines of
inquiry.

Would you like some snow? We're celebrating the 1998 Ice Storm in NNE
today. http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001610.html

Cheers,
Eric




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