Something about c4i smells fishy : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In c4i's first appearance this statement was made:

"With regard to the power question, this is the min time. If the power can be turned-back on. You will need to have users. 2nd law of thermo "energy neither created or destroyed" If the power is running and there aren't any users, it has to go somewhere and be expended. The lines will burn. Most manufacturing is not going to know if and when the power is on. They aren't going to be able to maintain a crew there for several weeks."

c41 (, June 10, 1999.

====== BUT....this statement was refuted by Robert Cooke who responded:

Strongly disagree with you there on "power" - the plants create the potential (high voltage) and place that potential energy "at the fence" in their tranformer yard. Current flows on demand from the transformer yard based on the difference in voltage between the grid and the plant - which is closely regulated by the generator curve (voltage = constant, speed= drop with higher use) so that load sharing is matched.

Sorry - they don't "burn up" as demand lowers - only speed up slightly, and use less energy from the prime mover by speeding up. Get hold of a couple of Navy nukes from those available, have him sketch the load demand curves for you.

Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, June 10, 1999.

====== THEN....c4i shows up yesterday and throws the *same* damn supposition on the table:

c41: "Grid is a complete unknown, too many Big Manufacturers are planning to unplug, if they do not coordinate, (Correct us if we are wrong) but it was explained to us that since energey is neither created nor destroyed and there is a definite drop in demand the power has to go somewhere and we understand it would burn up the transmission lines. Robert Cooke are you out there?"

c4i (, December 23, 1999.

Now doesn't it seem odd that the question was asked a *second* time when it was already ASKED AND ANSWERED months ago?

Isn't it odd that Robert Cooke was specifically invoked on yesterday's thread when it was HE who answered c4i the first time around?

c4i needs to start paying attention methinks! This little faux pas is a bit of a tip-off that something isn't kosher.


-- LunaC (, December 24, 1999


Interested Spectator,

The statements I've made about Y2K have generally involved issues about which I feel I have some experience, competence, or expertise. When I've made comments about the economic impact of Y2K, I've tried to be very careful to remind people that I'm a software engineer, not an economist (though my daughter IS an economist, and she wrote the relevant chapters on banking and the economy in our book).

When it comes to things like martial law or a declaring a state of emergency -- and predictions about whether the government is or is not going to do such a thing -- I'm completely out of my league. Yes, I do have opinions and hunches, just as I imagine most other intelligent adults would; but I don't want to make any public statements that would imply or infer that the statements were being made on the basis of some specific knowledge.

As for the March 1999 GWU issue: yes, I did give an evening presentation there, at the invitation of Dr. Paula Gordon, to an audience of some 50-75 people. I remember meeting Cory Hamasaki and Sally Strackbein, whose names I had seen before; and a few other people introduced themselves to me without my knowing who they were. You may recall that when c4i first began posting back in the late spring (May?), he/she/they mentioned having heard my presentation at GWU. I have no idea whether he/she/they were one of the strangers who introduced themselves to me, but if so, they didn't identify themselves with a secret handshake and a reference to "c4i" as their code name. And while I'm flattered that they thought my presentation was a good one, I have to admit that I don't remember saying anything especially different on that particular evening than any one of the dozens and dozens of other talks I've given.

You're welcome to be as suspicious as you want of any, and all, of the details; it's of no concern to me whether you believe c4i's information or not.


-- Ed Yourdon (, December 24, 1999.

While it's true that if *enough* major consumers go offline at the same time there may indeed be a short-duration surge (on the order of seconds or less), it has nothing to do with the law of conservation of energy. It's more like having your accelerator floored as you drive up a steep hill, then suddenly stepping on the clutch. Your engine will race until you pull your foot off the gas.

Saying that the "energy has to go somewhere" is like saying that your flashlight will explode if you turn it off, since the energy from the batteries has to go somewhere.

Energy *doesn't* have to go *anywhere*. It can sit (for varying amounts of time) as a charge in a capacitor, in a battery, or as a magnetic flux. There's probably *easily* 100 amps *potential* at the main box to your house. If you only plug a neon nightlight in, you'll only *draw* a few milliamps.

That said, the poster claimed to be several people -- which raises an eyebrow when *others* say that the writing style makes it obvious that it's the "real" "c4i".

What to make of the whole thing? We'll find out in a week or so, won't we?

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 24, 1999.

You are 100% correct. I had noticed this very same point and came to exactly this conclusion. They know what Cook said, that's why they asked if "he's out there". So since that is the case why not answer the question? Professionals, as these people claim to be, do not make issues personal. One gets the impression they were looking to have it out with Cook if they could.

Also they claim to have 89.3% (love that .3, really makes it looks legitimate - first rule of advertising when presenting figures: never give a round number) accuracy on their predictions, yet of the 22 they made the first time round (as I listed in FORUM READERS - GET REAL WITH THIS C4l GROUP), they are already down to 81% assuming all of the 17 remaining ones pan out as they have said.

I have always wondered why professionals that are supposed to be in the know, such as c4i, Mr. CEO, etc. don't come out and give some solid information (even under an alias) that can be verified by those on this board with expertise in the areas presented so that we know these people are knowledgeable and giving us a line of technobable. And what is odd, when they are questioned like Cook did above, they run away and don't answer. Very confidence inspring I must say c4i - smart move. Do you have any more?

Instead they hide behind this "holier and thou" attitude about their integrity to their customers, and so forth. Well as far as I have ever seen, when there is information that is supposed to be as vital to security of being as the information these people are supposed to have, those with a concience speak their mind. These guys think that we are all some sort of low-life and they are sitting on their high horses operating under some sort of Star Trek "Prime Directive" mode (mustn't interfere with the normal collapse of the herd, you know).

FWIW I'm a serious GI, and find that these folks playing games. I mean lets see here, if I understand these folks their position is essentially that we are headed straight for level 10 and TEOTWAWKI. Ok then what the hell does it matter if they tell us? Who's going to get mad at them? Their clients? Their bosses? Their going to be to busy seeing if they can survive for a few more months before they're dead.

Oh yeah I forgot, why they don't want to come out is that they don't want to start a panick. Yes, that's right. But let me see if I understand this, they state that TPTB have got this mass campaign on to keep the herds thinking this will be a BITR, and therefore anything they say will make no effect on those that DGI and those that do GI already know (this was Mr. CEO's execuse for not showing up on the radio show (even anonymously) a while back), so all they they can therefore do is play these games. So then help me out here, did they just not contradict themselves with their own excuses.

I also found Ed's comment that:

"I have guesses, hunches, and opinions -- like everyone else on this forum -- but I think that it's more appropriate to keep them to myself."

Excuse me, Ed but it seems we are all here because you didn't keep them to yourself for the past X years. Are you know just playing both sides of the fence or have turned into a polly like de Jager and are just acting out the motions right now as a GI? Seems very odd when things are about to come to head, you bury yourself in that line. What have you got to worry about? May be your reputation incase you were wrong and are just trying to hedge your bets a bit at the end here? Well I would think that if you had the courage of your convictions then you wouldn't have come up with this line.

While we are on the topic of c4i and Ed I also found the exchange between the two interesting and rasises a number of questions:

ED: If it is indeed you, c4i, welcome back.

c4i: Ed, Nice to hear from you, and thanks for making it to GWU in March, it was an impressive presentation.

Hmmm. Ed, did you actually meet c4i at GWU (wherever that is) or were they just in the audiance? It seems unlikely Ed does not know them since they say "Thanks for making it". This sounds like they know ed and ed knows them and ed did them a favour. If you've met them why have you not given this forum your own endorsement of who these folks are?

Now about the GWU presentation in March. I presume March 1999. Now Ed what could you have presented that would be new in March 1999 that would impress these guys? Could you share that with us? Perhaps it was just your usual presentation on Year 2000 and these guys just woke up then, notwithstanding they state they have been studying y2k for so long. Also if they are for real, they claim they get more info than most because of their position, then again what could Ed have told them in March that impressed them. That must have been some presentation Ed.

I don't mean to be critical of Ed, but things don't smell right. My experiance has always been that when professionals are presented with a case that they are off base they come out and clear the air.

Can we expect to here from you: Ed, c4i, Mr. CEO?

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), December 24, 1999.

Someone is having a good laugh at the your expense.... Playing this forum like a cheap violin.!!

-- Snacks (3cpo@star.war), December 24, 1999.

Aloha Ed!

I just want to say mahalo for you and gary north being on the news over a year ago! You made me aware of the potential of y2k. If nothing bad happens great! I still give you thanks for your courage to put your name and career on the line. I am one of those who prepared but not with the its *IS* going to happen, but the it *MIGHT* happen. I have a wife and 3 young kids and it is not a joke or a game to me. So I just wanted to say thanks and I hope it is only bad enough to humble this spoiled country! As for you my friend I give you my deep thanks and respect!!!And Melekalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou:) Lokelo in Hawaii

-- Lokelo (, December 25, 1999.

I.S.: I've got "concerns" about "c4i". Just a bit *too* much of the cloak and dagger wink-wink/nudge-nudge stuff IMO. (Say no more, say no more.) That's *apart* from the relatively minor issue of the "energy has to go somewhere" nonsense. (And he/she/them *did* equivocate on that one anyway.)

As I understand it -- and I think I've read all the relevant threads - - c4i's credibility hinges on the IP of the initial posts. That can mean almost *anything*. Simple logic would include anything from "heavy duty leaks" to "disinfo campaign" to "probing the herd to see how it reacts" to "intern or weekend warrior having fun" to "janitor with chemical imbalance".

Now, as to "Mr. CEO", I'm going to wax McLuhanesque, and say that I think the biggest thing hurting his credibility is the *moniker* Jim Lord planted on him. It *sounds* like a joke name. Better to have called him "CEO X." or "a well known CEO who insists on remaining 'on background'", or some other description that didn't bear the dork- factor of "Mr. CEO".

I *do* believe Jim Lord when he says he knows the guy, and vouches for the fact that he's indeed a key player with the inside track.

As to Ed's unwillingness to divulge "things", I remember that at the time he wrote his book, he was up front about being under NDA, and while he could say *how* he reacted to what he found out (moving from NY to NM, etc.), he was constrained from saying *what* he'd found out, other than in the vaguest of terms. (Please correct me if I've mischaracterized any of that, Ed.)

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

GWU = George Washington University.

-- Sara Mealy (, December 25, 1999.


Thank you for clearing that up for me and the other readers. As I said true professionals will come forward and clear the air when there is an issue on the table.

I wish to thank you for all that you have done to help the world understand Y2k. I wish you and your family the very best of the season and hope that the new year is not what we come to belive it may be.

Best Wishes Interested Spectator.

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), December 25, 1999.

There is much trashing going on here and lots of statements that are irritating to an Engineer.

Generators do NOT speed up when their load is reduced as long as they are connected to the grid. They are phase-locked to the grid. Their speed is proportional to frequency (60 Hz). This is a neccessity for *many generators* feeding a common load *the grid*. If a generator goes out of sync, it gets disconnected. If a generator is "islanded", it will behave differently. So it's no use to study load/demand curves for ONE generator of the many on the grid.

One cannot *store* "flux".

One cannot store AC power. The grid has to be in balance ALL THE TIME. This means that the power plants RESPOND to the load that they see. Let's call that a Kilowatt Balance. (This is the unit of measure for power.)

In order to deliver a certain amount of electrical power, energy that can be used to generate power has to be generated first in form of steam. (In hydro-electric, we HAVE stored Energy (in form of water and elevation differential)to be converted into Power. Keep those terms apart! One can store energy (KWh), but not power(kW)for physical reasons.

Unfortunately, one cannot store steam for practical reasons. Steam therefore is kind of a transient energy source. Power plants want to hold loads constant, because then they can generate an constant amount of it, and use what they produce. (They hate demand-peaks and reward lopping off peaks, Time-of-use tarrifs.) And we do understand that even in nuclear plants, steam is generated, and then electricity, yes?

Steam production cannot be controlled as fast as a load can be turned on or off. Excess steam cannot be used and means lost money. Insufficient steam means the (demanded) power must come from somewhere else (some other plant of the grid.) This is why the grid is such a marvellous thing, it's not just the redundancy of sources, but also the sharing of load steps.

So the problem of kW-balance is a problem of the power that is used to turn the generators. Insuffient "prime" power will collapse the electrical power source (save for a a few tricks for reducing the load,like brownout). Yes, Brownouts are *controlled* events!

Excess prime power will have to be released UNUSED, until it is reduced to the needed level. (Power relased over time is energy.) It cannot be shoved into the generators. (Unless of course, it is used elsewhere, but then it is not "excess*.) Why don't we have steam locomotives any more? They were so nice to watch and think about when they let the steam out. (We are blowing off steam if we cannot use it to generate useful power! We are also wasting energy when we blow off steam. Couldn't keep from throwing that in.)

Substations getting fried because the power has to go *somewhere* seems to me as a gross misstatenment of cause and effect. Substations may blow up because the switching transients associated with unusual step load changes might result in overstressing breakers or shorting transformer insulation. At the user end the voltage transients would be perceived as *dirty power*, but they are also dirty power for the substations.

I imagine that kW-imbalances of unusual magnitudes could trigger disconnects as the supervisory controls sense unusual load flows. Maybe that's why Bennet talked about "local" outages.

My concern for the grid is that I don't know how much kW imbalance it can handle before it fractures. I don't know if the imbalances will come from the load side (remember that broken tree limb causing a heck of an unusual load?) or from power plants (shutting down "safely") due to control problems/computer problems. Normally, the power grid sees abuses by nature all the time: lightning strikes, ice shedding shorts).. Controls are in place for such cases: the affected line gets disconnected and reconnected. It works under normal circumstances.

Obviously, yes, there are outages "all the time". This seems to say that everything works just fine? But there is the chance that we get too many unusual load flows all over the country at the same time. Will the control systems work then?

The fail-safe mode is always: disconnect, vent steam, control rods down. Very technical. The part that is in question is how many *events* are required in an interconnceted system to upset it to the point of failure. Untested, just like the rest of the Y2k mess.

Merry Christmas, one more time!

-- W (, December 25, 1999.

Ron Schwarz, what is up with *this* and "this"? I dont' know what the difference is between the two, but you are obviously getting off on it.

-- my (eyes.are@going.buggy), December 25, 1999.

Sure you can store flux, but not as a steady state. From the moment the current in a transformer primary cuts off -- creating a *collapse* of the flux in the core, until them moment the collapsing flux induces a current in the secondary, the flux is "stored". There is a latency, albeit *short*.

As to phase-lock, yeah, it's how it's supposed to work. The fact that Very Bad Things sometimes happen when parts of the grid *lose* it is evidence that it's not immutable. A small frequency variation (from 60hz) can be less than uneventful unless *quickly* corrected.

And, to complete my point, a generator that's running full-tilt, pedal-to-the-metal -- will, unless hit with an *overwhelming* external phase source, lose its lock even if only momentarily.

Islanding -- which will *reduce* the ability to phase-lock -- will only create potential for more serious voltage and frequency glitches.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

Bugeyes: stars indicate emphasis. Quotes indicate either quoted material, or soto voce.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

I guess I should complete my thought while I'm completing my thought.

Was: "And, to complete my point, a generator that's running full- tilt, pedal-to-the-metal -- will, unless hit with an *overwhelming* external phase source, lose its lock even if only momentarily."

Should have been: "And, to complete my point, a generator that's running full-tilt, pedal-to-the-metal -- will, unless hit with an *overwhelming* external phase source, lose its lock even if only momentarily, if a major current sink rapidly goes offline."

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

Thanks for explaining *that*. Sure would be nice if Bill Gates would get his ass in gear and design a bold key on the keyboard that works in any application.

-- bugsy (, December 25, 1999.

Bill Gates isn't in charge of ASCII.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

You're right. What I meant was build something into Windows that would recognize the key and execute the required commands to make the text bold. Can it be that hard to do?

-- bugsy (should@be.easy), December 25, 1999.

Sure, Ron *you* can store flux, but only in it's steady state?

Then I you can store AC voltage, but only at the peak of the waveform!

At least in science you can't spin! Even if you try.

-- W (, December 25, 1999.

Oh, please.

As to storing flux in a steady state, there's an ongoing debate. Are permanent magnets a source/store of energy, or not? The prevailing wisdom is "not", but common sense would dictate would dictate "is". (The only problem in tapping it is *interrupting* it.)

And as to storing AC voltage? Childs play. How much would you pay me for a black box that accepts AC in at one end, stores it for six months, and then feeds AC out at the other end upon demand? If your price is right, I'll contact you with an address you can remit payment to, and you'll have the device within a week or two.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

Getting there, Ron! A permanent magnet is indeed source of permanent flux, but the idea of "storing" it for re-use (isn't that what we are talking about?) is not even subject to debate. Power from refrigerator magnets? You still don't get it! AC power (as I should have said instead of AC voltage - because that is the issue) cannot be stored. Nobody debates the possibility of energy conversion "boxes"; there are just not enough pump storage plants to contribute any significant buffer.

Getting back to the power and energy definitions: Power cannot be stored, unless it is converted to energy and then converted again to power (pump storage or Ron black box).

What is important for the situation under consideration:

At any moment the total power consumed EQUALS the power generated in the grid! (Where, for picky ones, the power consumed includes all distribution losses.) THE ISSUE IS THE BALANCING ACT UNDER DISTURBED CONDITIONS. And I do have a degree in this field....

-- W (, December 25, 1999.

A permanent magnet motor was patented about 20 years ago. Was front page article in Science and Mechanics. I don't still have a copy, but I did read it at the time, and I know that there's a website somewhere (I have the URL, but not handy) that has scans of the article, and links to the patent filing.

Now, lest you -- correctly -- point out that *many* things have received patents due to having filings accepted with slipshod review, I'll point out that when the guy first tried to patent it, he got the standard "we don't patent perpetual motion machines" blow off. He then went in with several models of his engine -- some rotary, some linear -- and demoed the living hell out of it for the USPTO. They inspected the living sh*t out of it, scratched their heads, and granted the patent.

Now, consider this: look at the simplest form of "science fair" DC motor -- a couple of nails, some wire, and a permanent magnet. What is the *only* difference between that, and a permanent-magnet-ONLY motor? Simple: the commutator. Apart from the fact that the *electric* motor is able to have one of its magnetic fields *interrupted*, there's no difference.

It's *energy* that moves the motor. It's the *interruption* of that energy that prevents it from locking up.

BTW, the patented design did not rely on a "magnetic commutator", but instead cashed in on differences on field strength between carefully shaped N & S poles.

As to my "black box", all I had in mind was a UPS, an input socket, and an output socket. I was hoping for some easy money, heheheheheh.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 25, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ