This Can't Be Happening. Can it? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've spent $3,000 getting ready for Y2K, so I was convinced that the awful events would transpire. But now, I'm feeling like a real dope for getting carried away. No one else seems to know. No one else seems to care. When I bring it up, peoples eyes glaze over with indifference. I'm beginning to think that everyone from Yourdon to North, to de Jeger (sp?) to Yardeni are wrong. Have I wasted $3,000 of my family's money? Things couldn't possibly get that bad could they?

-- zered (, May 15, 1998



This is not a time to stick a finger in the wind and make a decision based on what *other* people know (or don't know) about the problem. This is time to make a decision based on the evidence at your fingertips. That is what I am constantly doing; reevaluating the evidence and fine-tuning my response based not on my fluctuating emotions but the facts as I know them.

This is an extreme example but there were those who stayed in Nazi Germany until it was way too late; they kept saying to themselves that it couldn't possibly be as bad as all that, etc. etc. Then there were those who saw the handwriting on the wall *years* before the really bad stuff began to happen; they literally walked away from everything they had because of their firm belief in what was coming. I admire those people so much; to act on your conscience even when it is a contrary opinion is so strong.

I am not telling you one way or another what to do; I am simply saying, evaluate the evidence and act according to your own read of that evidence. Don't let the emotions of fear or feeling foolish get in your way.

Best regards,


-- David Palm (, May 15, 1998.

I will second the preceeding post. It's no secret on this forum that I personally don't believe that Y2K disruptions will be so bad that people need to head for the hills. Expect disruption in their lives, yes. Change their lives forever, no. But that's my view, and it's based on my interpretation of what I have seen in 16 years as a professional programmer, what I have read over the last few months and any personal biases and beliefs I have rattling around in my soul. You may or may not share that view. There are certainly other here who do not.

This situation is like any other in that it must be evaluated on a personal level and then responded to on a personal level. In the end, you can't be responsible for what anyone else believes, thinks or does. It's up to you. I would encourage you to keep reading, researching, and asking questions. This forum is a great place for all of those things.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, May 15, 1998.

stand fast!!! its hard as hell having many people tell you that you are warped for even thinking that the system could break down!! Think of it as this to error is human , so what makes tou think that they could build a system that is perfect ...

they will be back begging you to help them , thats where i run in to a delemia , how can i help so many who dont want to help them selves now. The answers that i have come up with is that its going to be real bad , real soon .


-- Ronald C Cash (, May 15, 1998.


I've gone through the same emotions. There are days when I wonder if I've made the right decisions, if the resources I've spent preparing have been wasted or misplaced. But then I go back and review the available evidence once more, and I see that most are moving toward my understanding of the severity of Y2K, not away from it.

I think the key is to continue to read about and research the problem. Every time I start feeling like I might be overreacting, I see another article where some expert admits that Y2K, if not remediated, could devastate their field or business.

My advice to you is to constantly reevaluate the evidence in a realistic manner, and don't let your emotions slow down your preparations. The "herd" instinct in humans is very strong; fight to keep from being among the 90%+ that will be unprepared when Y2K starts to hit.

-- Nabi Davidson (, May 15, 1998.

In most cases, whatever you spend money on now will be useful to you later. There may be some few things (perhaps like guns and ammo) that you normally would not ever use, but if you find that you have no need for them, you can probably re-sell them and recoup most of your expenses. And if you need them, you *really* need them.

My advice would be to try to prepare as much as possible in a way that the prearations will be useful later no matter what happens. If you end up loosing 20% or 50% or even 100% of what you spend on preparations, just consider it an insurance payment. We buy insurance all the time, hoping we will never need or use it.

-- George Valentine (, May 15, 1998.

This is from Dennis Elenburg, The "Y2K Weatherman:"

One of my email friends, Nick T., writes:

As far as I am concerned this is the "smoking gun" proof I need to get into even higher gear. Gary North has a long reputation as a pessimist - but he presents a compelling and persuasive argument for the likelihood of very serious disruptions. So I treat planning for the worst case as "insurance planning." When the optimistic and well-informed like Dr. Edward Yardeni and ITAA president Harris Miller echo Gary North's analysis I take heed and adjust accordingly.


Harris Miller, President of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) gave testimony before US House Ways & Means Committee on May 7, 1998. Here is a clip: "The focus of conversation among those best versed in this issue is about how we are going to clean up after what appears now to be an inevitable train wreck. As a society, we are on the point of conceding failure. Those unwilling or unable to move off the track are numerous. Federal agencies. State governments. Local and municipal governments. School districts. Private sector industries. Small and mid-sized companies. Critical infrastructure players. And most foreign nations. It's crazy. It's frustrating. It cannot be happening. But it is. Now the "smart" questions have shifted to concentrate on contingency planning, crisis management, and liability. Lawyers are circling, and that is not a good sign."

Full testimony can be found at:

Y2k Weatherman comment: This is serious folks. I simply cannot convey the seriousness of this issue. The proverbial dung has been flung against the fan. It is starting to look very hopeless here at the major telco where I work. People are having to get really honest about what is going on, and the truth is not pretty.


-- Annie (, May 15, 1998.


You are verbalizing a common thought among those of us researching the Y2K problem and trying to figure out how to prepare for it and how to discuss the issue with family and friends. It is a difficult issue to keep straight in one's mind because it is so all-encompassing and pervasive.

My approach to dealing with this is that I try to read everything I can find on the web (getting more difficult as the flow of info is increasing geometrically). Then I print out key articles, papers, congressional testimony, etc. I organized a 3-ring binder into topic areas (banking, transportation, electric power, various government agencies, etc). I also started copying key quotes into a word processor file. I now have well over 100 documents in two thick binders, plus about 15 key quotes from Yardeni, IRS Commissioner, Caspar Weinberger, the president of the ITAA, various highly placed figures who have testified before congress, etc.

Now if I am tempted to think that I'm over-reacting, I can quickly glance over this stuff and get it back in context. It has been helpful to share some of these documents with my wife, adult kids, and some acquaintances.

I think that one should also think about how the likely disruptions will not be of uniform unpleasantness everywhere in the world. It is likely that urban areas will be less well off than rural. Some countries will fare worse than others. Some industries will fare worse than others. Some regions will fare worse than others. Example, if only half the airplanes are flying, who would take a vacation to Hawaii? I happen to think that in the west, where much electricity is generated by hydro, there is somewhat less likelihood of electricity shortages than in the east where such a large percent comes from nuclear and coal.

Finally, I have found no one who has researched this deeply who is an optimist. So I would give much greater credibility to those who have spent a great deal of time investigating; and I would ask anyone who insists I am wrong to be so concerned how deeply they have researched.


-- Dan Hunt (, May 15, 1998.

I try not to think about what I've spent. And when I do I imagine it as simply a very self-sufficient retirement cottage out in the woods. If nothing happens I'll have a nice place to go, and if it does happen, I'll be at least abit prepared. Some of the skills I've learned about will be useful in my retirement. For example, I'm learning about well drilling and may become a small time well driller in my spare time later, or any number of other skills which I never had before. On has to reember that preparation is always essential but it never works. Whatever you didn't think you'd really need is what you'll really need and what you thought you'd really need you won't need as much as you thought. Weapons are probably in this latter category. Menstrual pads are probably in the former category for most guys, but I bet they'll have any girl lining up to be their friend, when they discover you have a supply of menstrual pads in your possession. Gary North in his 1978 book about the coming price controls suggests that you buy massive amounts of things that are very common now such as toilet paper and paper towels. These things my be worth more than silver coin!! GK

-- Glenna Kamoroff (, May 15, 1998.

Zered, when the event finally unfolds and we get to see who was right & wrong on this issue, look at it this way-humiliation is far easier to stomach than starvation!

-- Connie L. (, May 16, 1998.

Zered, If you're like my husband and I, you were of sound mind, skeptical, thinking very sharply and critically when you made the initial decision to invest in y2k preparations. That was not something you likely took too lightly, and you probably did plenty of reading before you made the decision. For us, however, since the point of that decision, we have had much planning to do, stressful things come up in our lives, the flack from people who don't agree, etc. etc. When these things happen, the last thing an overloaded brain wants to do is continue believing that a large shift in lifestyle could occur only one or two short years from now. We've had to constantly fight slipping back into denial. When we start feeling like the deadline isn't real and that our beliefs are wacko, we sit down and re-group. This involves reading the latest posts and articles on the internet (the newsgroup is a neat place to dig around for hard-core stuff and some healthy sarcasm and programmer banter), looking for even tighter information, and going over our plans again. Whatever it takes to get back into believing. It is a psychological hurdle, but one worth working past each time the brain wants to slip back into complacency.

-- Katherine M. (, May 16, 1998.

Zered I think $3,000 is a very conservative amount of money to spend in preparation. My assessment led me to conclude that I needed about $10,000 and the ability to convince my Father that he needed to prepare his land in Southern Illinois. For $3,000, I think you have bought things that will continue to have value no matter what happens. I live in South Florida. Prior to Hurricane Andrew, small generators could be had for $300. Immediately afterward, the only ones available were being sold from pickup trucks for $3,000. For those of us north of the hurricane, we still have a nice generator to use during power blackouts. So, be encouraged. The proverb says that the prudent man sees danger approaching and makes preparations. Also, that the man who does not provide for his own household is worse than an unbeliever. How could one more appropriately provide for one's household than to make preparations for what certainly looks like great danger ahead. We will all be greatly blessed if through some miraculous event, nothing terrible happens. We won't care that we spent a few thousand in preparations if we can still flick a switch and have lights in January 2000.

Rev. Stephen L. Bening

-- Rev. Stephen L. Bening (, May 18, 1998.

I like the analogy to insurance. Last year I spent several hundred dollars on fire insurance and a couple of thousand on life insurance, but I was not unhappy or embarrassed that I had spent all that money but my house didn't burn down and I didn't die.


-- Dan Hunt (, May 18, 1998.

This info from Peter de Jager's recent talk to banker's convention: Only 5% of Japanese companies are planning on doing an remediation, most European companies aren't planning to start work until '99, Denver Airport (model for 21st century) has 100 systems not compliant with 40 being mission critical. Hmmm.

-- skipper clark (, May 19, 1998.

We know it is happening and we know when.

But WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT? Only the man who put it alttogether knows! An interesting possibly biblical situation where the computer, the very tool which brought prosperiry to the twentieth century, may create the worst economical disaster since WWII.

Anyone trying to be precise about predicting the possible impact is a fool. Yet one can develop some scenarios. Mine is that at the very least a generalized public rush will take place on banks.

My research leads me to believe that most large financial institutions have plans leading to compliance in the early 1999 time frame. But I suspect the large population of latecomers businesses to the computer world do not and will be the cause of the onslaught.

There's a meteorite heading for the planet. The time of impact is as predictable as the impact is unpredictable. Throwing missiles at it can minimize the problem but not stop it: shelters are badly needed. In other words pressure should be applied on financial institutions to develop contingency plans to contain a possible rush for cash. Otherwise get ready to spend incomfortab;e nights on mattresses full of cash.

Any other creative suggestions welcome!

-- Jacques F. Tresse (, May 22, 1998.

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