mailing list archives
Re: Did Sean Gorman's maps show the cascading vulnerability in Ohio?
From: hackerwacker () tarpit cybermesa com
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 20:09:48 -0600 (MDT)
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
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.