In preparation for my career as an Air Force intelligence officer, I earned a bachelor of science degree in history at the Air Force Academy. (Yes, not a bachelor of arts degree. Because of the number of core engineering, math and science classes -- 12 I think? -- the degree is "science". At a civilian school I would have qualified for a minor in engineering, so I was told.) I really enjoy history because anyone who takes a minute to look backwards realizes 1) nothing is new; 2) we are not smarter than our predecessors; and 3) we enjoy the same successes and suffer the same mistakes.
With this background you might expect me to like reading Michael Assante's paper Infrastructure Protection in the Ancient World. (The link points to a summary written for CSO magazine. You can learn a little more about Michael at INL employee to advise next U.S. president on cybersecurity.) I did indeed find the paper interesting because it compares the security of Roman aqueducts with the security of the modern electricity grid. I would have preferred a comparison of ancient water systems with modern water systems, but Michael is a former electric utility CSO.
This quote resonates with me:
By the time the Romans realized the real risks they faced it was far too late. Much like today, the consequences are not fathomable without a clearly demonstrated threat.
Those words remind me of my post Disaster Stories Help Envisage Risk.
I hope to read more of these sorts of comparative papers.