Local variations in severity of Y2k problems?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
It seems to me that the severity of Y2k problems will be highly variable based on geographic location (area of the country, city, suburban, rural, etc.), specific employer and industry of employment, etc. Is it possible that some will be almost unaffected, others will be deeply affected? ......
-- Dan Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1998
Dan- Due to how interconnected we have become, I believe that even if the initial disruptions affect one region more than the other, the domino effect will quickly even that right out! For instance (and I cringe at even saying this - it's so simplistic) I live in Iowa, where we grow a lot of the world's food. However, if transportation is disrupted (gasoline for trucks, railroad function, etc) then all this grain and stuff will sit here rotting while people we send it too will go without.
Big banks are buying all the little banks so if there is a major power or telecommunications disruption that affects the home office bank of whoever it is that owns the bank where I live now, I can't access my funds, or the information will be all screwed up.
Lots of examples like that but the biggest danger is public perception. Let people in New York see people in California experiencing bank runs and empty grocery shelves (and they will understand that it is not due to a weather problem that won't come east) and THEY will start running the banks and the grocery stores, and so on. Especially people who don't catch on to this until about this time next year. Fear, and the brutality fear brings out in people, looks to be our biggest enemy, which is WHY it's so important to keep talking to people now. Who cares if they think I'm a loony - better than watching them starve, or come after me and mine!
-- Melissa (email@example.com), September 09, 1998.
Actually it won't be New Yorkers looking at Californians, but Americans looking at Japanese, only it won't be till the next we get our chance and it will be tooooooo late.
-- Vic (Light_Servant@yahoo.com), September 10, 1998.
Further re my question, I was thinking more about after 1/1/00 than before. For instance, in the area where I live, within 50 miles of Bonneville Dam, it seems to me likely that there is less chance of a longterm power failure than in Illinois/Wisconsin or New England, which are both highly dependent (40%+?) on nuclear power. And in the southern parts of the U.S. an unheated house in January is less of a life-threatening situation than in Minnesota. And it is possible that some banks could be more seriously degraded than others. Isn't it possible that in some parts of the country (or the world), the effects could be at the nuisance level and in others it could be at the catastrophe level? <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>
-- Dan Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
I think that's an eminently reasonable assumption. Both my parents were children during the Lesser Depression of the early 1930's. They talked about life at that time fairly often. They lived in the rural south, where my father's father was a farmer and my mother's father owned a small country store.
My parents repeated often that the Depression really didn't change their lives a lot. Of course they were self-sufficient to a degree almost unimaginable to most people today. My father's biggest regret was that the piece of property next to the farm where he grew up could have been bought for about $5.00 an acre at the depth of the Depression, and they couldn't afford it even at that price. My mother's most often expressed regret from that era was having to wear dresses made from the cloth from flour sacks (that's 50 or 100 pound flour sacks, by the way, not the five pounds sold today) to school. She considered herself fortunate in that her mother could sew, and had a treadle Singer sewing machine to use.
It's important to note that they never really went hungry, though they often didn't get what they wanted to eat and treats were a once-a-year or so deal (oranges and peppermints for Christmas). Water was drawn from a well and there was no indoor plumbing.They didn't freeze (the woods were full of firewood) and there were no electric appliances anyway (there was a smokehouse and a root cellar). This was the case in much of the country- things were tough but people were tougher.
I really wonder if that's the case now. People are much, much "softer" today, I think. I wonder how well they will be able to cope with the degree of problems the next 2- 5 years are likely to bring. Certainly the degree of self- reliance has reached a low ebb. In rural areas there are likely to be more infrastructure problems of longer duration, but people are likely better able to cope with them. With much more population density and much greater dependence on functioning infrastructure I wonder how big cities will fare. If things are bad it will be a disaster of unprecedented proportions.
I frankly think the Greater Depression which will likely mark the end of this century will have a much greater impact than its 1930's predecessor. Y2K may be a causitive or contributing factor, but I think you should be more concerned about current economic and political problems. They will almost certainly complicate and exacerbate any difficulties that happen due to computer problems and related difficulties.
-- Lee P. Lapin (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
"It's important to note that they never really went hungry, though they often didn't get what they wanted to eat and treats were a once-a-year or so deal (oranges and peppermints for Christmas)."
I have often wondered 'whats the dillio' with all of the pack and ship fruit stands down here. After all they (oranges) are readily available in the local grocery store.
Not always though, duh! (as I slap my forehead)
-- Uncle Deedah (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.