Trust the Computer?

Yet again, an example of a common phenomenon: if it came from the computer, it must be right.

An interim report on the August 14th, 2003 power outage has been published, and SecurityFocus picked up the story here: “Computer trouble had wide impact in Aug. 14 blackout”:

My eyes gravitated to this quote from the report:

bq. “Unknowingly,” the report continued, “they used the outdated system condition information they did have to discount information from others about growing system problems.”

This not to pick on First Energy; the problem could have (and has) happened to anyone. If someone is calling you and telling you there’s a problem, you should at least investigate, instead of blindly trusting the computer.

As Horatio Cain said on CSI:Miami last night: “Trust, but verify”.

posted at 11:11 pm on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 in Science and Technology | Comments (2)


  1. a says:

    “Trust, but verify” is a popular quote, usually attributed to Reagan I believe.

  2. Jeff K says:

    I rather like the National Post’s lead-in yesterday “Homer Simpson style chain of errors leads to …”

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