Another false alarm? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Back in 1980-81, I think, I read a couple books about The Coming Crash that was supposed to happen around 1980. What ever happened to that? I got all prepared and nothing ever came of that. Those books didn't talk of crashing computers, but of our financial system, I believe. How is one to know what's for real? How is now any different from that time?

-- johan (, August 23, 1998


Well, the difference is that last time was a socio-economic prediction: all soft science, nothing tangible. This time is rooted in hard fact: there ARE computer programs and embedded systems that WILL fail, as surely as the sun will set this evening.

Whether the predictions being drawn from that fact are any more valid this time than last won't be clear until shortly after 1/1/2000. Since by then it will be too late, you have to decide if and to what extent you wish to prepare for things going pear-shaped in advance.

Some sorts of preparation are expensive, others cost very little. At the very least, it seems like a good idea to have a month ot two's provisions to hand, and since there's no way everyone could get that in October 1999, you're best starting now. Think insurance: the cost of not preparing at all could be very high.

-- Nigel Arnot (, August 24, 1998.

Take a look at what is going on with the approaching hurricane Bonnie! People are stocking up on supplies and they don't even know where the hurricane will hit! I think those of you who doubt Y2K is an issue better think twice. Even if there is only a one percent chance Y2K will cause trouble is enough for me to prepare. Who knows where or how hard it will hit?

-- Dave (, August 24, 1998.


I must concur with your assessment of panic buying. I live in FL and see this type of behavior every time a storm approaches. In the past I have been the one who has stood in the aisle wondering where all of the water and batteries have gone. I have learned from experience that you need to be ready well in advance.

When Y2K hits the news big time, you will see a lot of very empty shelves, and a lot of panicked people wondering where all the stuff has gone. SORRY TOO LATE!!!

Be prepared ahead of time, months and months ahead of time. At the minimum.

-- Uncle Deedah (, August 24, 1998.

Having supplies for an emergency is also good for ones state of mind. When you hear of impending troulbe, it's a good feeling to know that preparations have already been made, and there is nothing to panic about. Let the sheeple do it.

-- Dave (, August 25, 1998.

Dave and I haven't agreed on a lot lately, and I really hate the word "sheeple," but I otherwise agree with him wholeheartedly on this point.

Preparedness is all. My family and I can generally live for at least a week with the supplies I keep in the house at all times. It's a habit that comes from having grown up in Tornado Alley and having since lived in two high-risk hurricane areas. I will probably be slowly increasing that supply to a couple or three weeks' before 1/1/00.

The level of preparedness is the key issue. For instance, I'm not going to prepare for a prolonged failure of the power grid because I believe it to be a remote enough possibility that my resources are better spent elsewhere. If you do believe such a failure is possible, and certainly if you believe it probable, then you should do what you can to be prepared for it.

This gets back to my main mantra about Y2K: Read, evaluate, decide, act. Skipping any one step makes effective implementation of any following steps accidental at best.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, August 25, 1998.

Sorry I have not been around here for a while to post, but here's my silver piece of opnion... 1. Y2K will only be an additive to the fire that has started. Y2K will prevent a rapid recovery from what I now agree (with other postings), will be a severe depression. My guess is that it will last around 10 years. 2. The collapse of the Asian tigers has been followed by the absolute devastation of Russia. Look for the Eastern European dominoes to fall next. And keep this in mind; Latin America has already sent up the first signal flare. The U.S. might be large and powerful, but we can not bail out Russia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the same time. 3. Denial. It's everywhere. In the history of civilization, as individual nation states achieve their "peak", it is the common mantra to say that our nation has solved the problems of mankind. We have created or "Pax Americana" and no longer can we be victimized by business cycles, natural disasters, political upheavals, etc... This denial flies in the face of historical cycles. Ask the Romans, oops hard to do. Ask the Mongols. Ask the Turks. You get the idea... 4. Deflation is a reality. Look at the problems in Asia and multiply by a factor of 100. We currently are just at the start of this cycle. However, once the Latin American nations begin devaluing their currencies, look for our banking system to experience major collapses. Although the Fed has a policy in place to prevent this, the method of doing this involves, of course, computers. No one has answered my question about this. HOW DO RAPID TRANSFERS OF FUNDS OCCUR WITHOUT A TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE? See how all of this is linked together? Are we going to line up armored cars at every Federal Reserve Bank and transfer billions in cash daily as the money center banks collapse under not just the international banking crisis, but the domesting debt crisis. If you and I are unemployed, I seriously doubt that our Citibank, Chase, Melon, etc. credit card bill will be as critical a payment as say, FOOD, RENT, etc.

Everything is linked together. Read your history. Especially stories about the depressions that all economies have experienced. Don't use the 1930's as your only model. Read about the 1890's and the Dutch Tulip collapse. Then judge for yourself.

-- John Galt (, August 26, 1998.

New here, but I surely felt compelled to respond to this one. One of the "best" things about this whole situation (if there can be such a thing) is that people are truly waking up to the cost of NOT beoing prepared for unforeseen occurrences that can threaten anyone's lifestyle- natural, man made, or personal crises. Think you won't be affected by a natural crisis? Talk to those folks watching the hurricane right now OR the farmers and ranchers in Texas who saw crops shrivel and livestock die this summer OR the people in Des Moines, Iowa who were without drinking water for up to 3 weeks in 1993 with the floods.

Think a man made crisis won't affect you? John Deere & Co - the world's largest manufacturer of farm equipment and the employer - direfctly or indirectly - of half the people in the 3 counties surrounding me - just shut down their plants for a week here IN ANTICIPATION of markets softened by the Asian and Russian economic woes. Sorry - no work and no paycheck this week. Remember the UPS strike last year. Remember the Teamsters strikes in the 60's?

Think a personal crisis won't affect you? Ever lived thru a divorce thsat chnged your standard of living almost overnight? A long term disability or illness? Loss of income or home?

OR have you ever sat down alone of an evening and thought, "You know, this crazy consumptive lifestyle is driving me around the bend - I want to do something to change my lifestyle and make it more simple?" If, by the grace of God, we were to escape major chaos with this, I think at least people are starting to wake up to the fact that our dependent lifestyle has left us, as a society, broke, vulnerable, exhausted, and unwell.

If you buy car insurance or homeowner's insurance, you are doing the same as those of us who are learning to can and preserve food, grow food, stocking up, storing water, etc.

PS I am always half scared to post here - tempers run so high sometimes but you have all been such a blessing to me with your insights! Thanks!

-- Melissa (, August 26, 1998.

Melissa, that was one of the best posts I've seen on this website. If only people would take heed. The sheeple and denial heads will find out soon enough though, that our wonderful world is about to change.

-- Dave (, August 26, 1998.

John said


Okay, I'll answer. They don't.

That was easy.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, August 26, 1998.


2-3 weeks? You call that prepared?

I have just finished reading "The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous With History", it is one of Ed's cool books. And cool it is. This work really ties together all of the loose threads of world and American historical patterns and cycles, in support of a premise that is hard to disagree with after reading this book: We are headed into a crisis of historical proportion.

Y2K is not even mentioned in the book.

I shall not go into great depths describing the theory, but I do want to point out the pattern of a crisis occuring about every fourth generation.

The Fourth Turnings in our near past are the Revolution, the Civil War, then the Depression/WWII. Right on schedule will be the Millennial Crisis. IMHO, Y2K will be the trigger that sets off this next turning.

I would strongly suggest that everyone read this outstanding book, but the no big problem crowd is the group that has the most to gain. You will all gather some wonderful insights concerning why we are headed for a big change in the future of our daily lives, without ever seeing the phrase computer problem. It will make you a believer, or at the minimum give you some doubt about the wisdom of a no problem attitude. Please make some preparations folks, anything can happen.

PS, Mellisa, welcome aboard. Posters with good insights are always appreciated.

-- Uncle Deedah (, August 26, 1998.

Uncle Deedah just posted a note about having read "The Fourth Turning." I thought it would be worth pointing out that the authors of that book have a web site at . I just checked again to ensure it's still there, but did not have time to search through any of the details. Last time I looked, though, there was no mention of Y2K in their discussion; I recall someone telling me a few months ago that they had personally queried the authors to see if they felt Y2K might be the "catalyst" that would cause the next "turning" to occur. The authors had apparently never heard of Y2K, and when it was explained to them, they shrugged it off. Oh, well ... it's still a VERY interesting book.


-- Ed Yourdon (, August 26, 1998.

<< Paul

2-3 weeks? You call that prepared? >>

If I believe that to be the likely extent of any hardships induced by Y2K, yes. That was my whole point.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, August 26, 1998.

Thanks Paul. You've supported the point I have been trying to make to the skeptics everywhere. Without the telecommunications infrasturcture NOTHING MOVES. NOTHING GETS REPAIRED, Y2K OR PHYSICALLY. BUSINESS COMES TO A GRINDING HALT. I think I'm going to try to open up an old fashioned farmers market in the country. Barter will be better than anything we will have soon.

-- John Galt (, August 26, 1998.

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