Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014: A Startling Discovery

Do you know what day this is?  Of course, it’s the day you have to be compliant with NERC CIP Version 4!  You are compliant, aren’t you.....?

OK, enough April Foolery.  My real reason for writing this post is that I wish to share with you an important realization I made very recently.

To set the stage, you should know that I have been a great fan of The Lord of the Rings since I first read it as a boy twenty or thirty years ago.  I’ve reread it a couple times since then (once reading all three books out loud to my kids when they were young), and last fall started another rereading with the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring.

It was while reading that book that I made an amazing discovery: JRR Tolkein was really talking about NERC CIP!  This is of course even more remarkable because I don’t believe he ever came to North America, and he lived before FERC or NERC were even in existence.[i]

Why do I believe this is the case?  I think the best illustration can be had by simply making a few small word substitutions in the poem that appears in the first chapter of Fellowship and sets the stage for the remainder of the entire trilogy:

v1 for Cooperatives under the sky,
v2 for IOU’s in their halls of stone,
v3 for Municipals doomed to die,
v5 for five Commissioners on their dark thrones
In the land of FERC-dom where the Shadows lie,
v5 to rule them all, v5 to find them,
v5 to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of FERC-dom where the Shadows lie.

You may ask, “What about V4?”  People say it was superseded by V5, but I’ve learned that Tolkein was working on a book about V4 when he died. I think our recent history would have been very different if he had been able to finish that book.

[i] Actually, NERC came into existence in 1968 while he was still alive, but its standards were voluntary and the “C” stood for Council, not Corporation.

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