Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Six Degrees of Electrical Grids

August 15th, 2003 · No Comments

Reading this introduction about the electricity bloackout in parts of the US and Canada in the New York Times – “In an instant that one utility official called “a blink-of-the-eye second” shortly after 4 p.m., the grid that distributes electricity to the eastern United States became overloaded. As circuit breakers tripped at generating stations from New York to Michigan and into Canada, millions of people were instantly caught up in the largest blackout in American history.” – reminded me of the first few pages of Duncan Watts’ book “Six Degrees“. Watts talks about small worlds and the interconnectedness among people and things. Sometimes, this same “small world” theory can work in a way that can cause problems for many.

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