Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cable Cuts, Accident Clusters, and the
Information Age

"Internet provider in Emirates confirms undersea cable cut in Persian Gulf between Dubai, Oman, cause unknown"

This is getting interesting.
  • Two cables north of Egypt got cut earlier this week, possibly by a ship's anchor. That sounds like an accident
  • Now a third cable has been cut, less than a week later, in the Persian Gulf
The latest cut sounds like an accident, too. Unlikely, but an accident.

Another curious coincidence: U.K. FLAG Telecom, a British company, owns the most recently cut cable, and one of the two that went down earlier this week. Again, a coincidence. My guess is that it's about as unlikely as two out of three cable breaks in America involving, say, Qwest.

Some good news: more of India is getting back online.

Outages do happen. An earthquake near Taiwan in 2006 damaged undersea cabes, and gave East Asia almost two months of outages.

I do not think that these three cable cuttings were intentional. On the other hand, it's curious that three cables got cut
  • In two probably-unrelated accidents
  • Within a few day of each other
  • In a troubled part of the world
  • Where some people don't seem to like what's happened in the rest of the world during the last several centuries
Those cut cables seem to be disrupting the lives, and jobs, of people in the Islamic world who have made the transition to the Information Age: On a scale that Sheik Osama bin Laden tried for in the 9/11 attacks.

If a fourth, or fifth, or sixth cable gets cut in the next few days, I'll start re-evaluating my 'cluster of accidents' opinion.
UPDATE (December 19, 2008)

Another three undersea cables were cut in the Mediterranean ("Mediterranean Internet Cables Accident-Prone?" (December 19, 2008)).

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.