It Depends On What The Meaning Of Local Is : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Snip from Dick Mills article

It Depends On What The Meaning Of Local Is This week I was complaining to my wife Libby that I didn't know what local meant in public statements such as, "expect Y2K effects to be localized." The next day she called 1-888-USA-4Y2K and asked for the "official" U.S. government definition of localized within the electric utility.

She got an answer --

Localized means one state at a time.

Regional means an area like the Northeast.

Gee, I would guess that most people would assume that localized would mean one neighborhood, not a whole state. Of course big states like Texas and Alaska probably think of small ones like Rhode Island as just neighborhoods.

This week's report from the Senate committee appears to use a different definition of local. That's one reason why I really hate the use of undefinable quantitative (adjectives) in public debate, such as local or many or most. Such words degrade the quality of debate because you can never be sure how the other person is defining the adjective. It's almost as bad as those infamous words "sex" and "is."

-- flb (, March 16, 1999


Local = state

So.... we can then assume that the maximum local outages will be 50.... numbers aren't so bad to them.

flb, glad that your wife took the time to find out, as I have often wondered the same thing. I keep thinking that if there are many localized failures, it won't be long before it is regional.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), March 16, 1999.

Us is local. Them is not local.

We all prefer good news for us. If there is bad news, we hope it is only for them at their local and not us at our local. Wanna feel good and OK at our local here which will not be the afflicted local.

F.L.B., It is worse than the infamous words. Sort of like; it's not really dark, it depends on how you define what a lack of light is.

Thanks for posting.

-- Watchful (, March 16, 1999.

To cannot-say,

Sorry if my post was in any way misleading. I am new at this so did not specify where article ended. Article was written by Dick Mills, and it was his wife Libby who called and asked for their definition of 'localized'. Don't want to take credit for someone else's work.


Know what you mean. When people hear the word 'local' it doesn't sound so bad, and afterall it clearly doesn't apply to them anyway. Sad to say, but I am sure most people think 'local' means a city/town - not an entire state.

-- flb (, March 16, 1999.

If local is a state, how does it not go regional? How many states are totally independant in their power production without input from other "locals"? For instance, western Washington gets part of it's power from B.C. - and sells some of the power from Grand Coulee in eastern Washington to California and other states. Puget Sound Energy who serves the Seattle area only makes 32% of its power. The rest is purchased. I believe some of the Northeast gets power from Canada also. Sounds to me that we have to worry about the Canadian grid readiness as well as our own. Anyone know anything about their progress? Know their government seems to be a little more forthcoming in their reports to their people.

-- Valkyrie (, March 16, 1999.


The error was mine. Upon re-reading, I see my mistake. Anyway... thanks for the post.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), March 16, 1999.

If local means neighborhood, then they're lying. There are ALWAYS local power outages 24hours a day SOMEWHERE in the US. How many big ice storms did we have this year? Last year? Hurricane outages? How many thousands of linemen were called in from out of state? Puhleeeze!

-- finaegle's Law (, March 16, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ