Who do you Trust?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Let's face it; almost none of us are privy to the actual facts that would allow us to reach an accurate conclusion as to whether the power grid will stay up, whether the FAA is really going to be "compliant", whether the banks will "make it" or any of the endless questions we discuss and argue endlessly on this and other forums like it.
We attempt to use "reason" or logic to discover "the answer", or we express our hopes, fears or beliefs. Still, we do not "know".
The "Powers That Be" (PTB) all seem to want us to "calm down" and believe in "Them". Not to put too fine a point on the matter, the American Public is righteously skeptical of the reassurances and pronouncements of the PTB; no one I know trusts lawyers (or their motives) and not even "Management" believes the words of managers.
I wish to ask a question. Would you believe Walter Cronkite if he spoke to the issue of Y2K? How about General Colin Powell or General "Stormin' Norman"? If not one of them, who would you trust and/or believe?
-- "C" Student (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 1998
You are talking about two different things: whether any given spokesman has an axe to grind, and what the future will actually bring.
Although there are many thousands of people (mostly programmers) who have detailed knowledge of their very tiny piece of the problem, the exact state of remediation worldwide is unknowable by anyone. Those paragons of honest virtue you mention might be relied on to state their unvarnished and sincere beliefs, but they're as much in the dark as anyone else.
Very few people claim the ability to foretell the future precisely, and all they have in common is being consistently wrong about it. Without question, y2k bugs have the potential to lay waste to just about everything. How much of that potential will eventually realized, only time will tell us. Nobody else can.
-- Flint (email@example.com), September 29, 1998.
Good answer Flint. The unknown future will lead the "rational man" to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. So we cover the basics (food, water, shelter) and worry about the rest (riots, cash flow, etc..) The fear of a potential meltdown, will drive bank runs, food storage panics, rural retreats, etc... The time to prepare is right now. Panic travels fast, no "rational man" will want to be left unprepared.
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 1998.
If you think that FEMA, the CIA/NSA/NRO, the Fed, the White House, aren't receiving exhaustive analysis of the global Y2k picture by the hour, you're dreaming. They know. The fact that they are absolutely silent about it (except for the Executive Orders protecting critical infrastructure) gives us some idea of how grave the problem is. Once people figure it out on their own, and bank runs begin, you can bet that Wilford Brimley (or whomever) will be on every channel, soothing our fears and bucking us up to face the final blow on 1/1/00 and after.
-- E. Coli (email@example.com), September 30, 1998.
I trust knowledge and truth. I trust the collective insight and wisdom of those who are most involved with the problem. I take all the "happy-faced" reports with a grain of salt, as the "big picture" is all that matters, and it is very grim. The crucial fact remains: most of the world is doing nothing. From that fact alone, the conclusion is inescapable.
-- Steve Hartsman (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 1998.
E. Coli, you've made a point that has been only hinted at around the margins of discussion. More than a month ago, the CIA advised its overseas personnel to take precautions against shortages and civil unrest related to y2k problems. Has anyone seen the analyses or raw data or finished reports that led the agency to make that recommendation? If CIA is putting together this information on other nations, it seems a safe bet that other agencies -- FBI, NSA, FEMA, someone or ones -- are doing the same for the USA. So where are those reports? What9s the Treasury Department9s internal take on 1/1/00? Has anyone filed a Freedom of Information Act request for those documents, or does anyone know they even exist outside Eyes Only circles?
-- J.D. Clark (email@example.com), September 30, 1998.
Steve, the fact that most of the world is doing very little about the y2k problem is, face it, most consistent with the notion that the problem itself isn't very large. I'm not arguing that the problem is small, I'm simply pointing out that this is what your observations most clearly indicate.
If you assume that you are right, and that everyone in a position to know their own problems are all wrong, and therefore aren't doing as much as you 'know' they ought to be, then of course you can conclude that the eventual outcome will be very bad. But this conclusion is not inescapable, it is an artifact of your presuppositions.
Taking all the precautions you can is still eminently sensible.
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 1998.
The way the world works is that unless its on YOUR list of tasks to do, YOU are not expected (and don't) worry about it. My own belief is that at high-up levels, Y2K awareness is indeed there, but not stated to avoid what would be a lot of outrage (not panic -- at least not this year) and tough questions by John Q. Public. The mid and lower levels, if they are aware of the Y2K issues at all, simply assume that someone else is taking care of it (usually the "techies"). For any other event, The Blame Game results in delays, firings, unbudgeted expenditures, etc. For this event, The Game will be over, period.
-- Joe (email@example.com), October 01, 1998.
Flint quite stoopidly keeps harping on in this manner: >>> Steve, the fact that most of the world is doing very little about the y2k problem is, face it, most consistent with the notion that the problem itself isn't very large. I'm not arguing that the problem is small, I'm simply pointing out that this is what your observations most clearly indicate.<<<
It's cute that he's making even a blundering pass at epistemic sophistication, but his point is easily sunk. "The fact that most of the world is doing very little about the y2k problem" is entirely consistent with either "y2k is big problem" or with "y2k is small problem". So what. It is also entirely compatible with "y2k is a very big problem and the rest of the world has relatively no clue, and certainly no means to fix the problem" The question of whether or not the problem is big or small is best answered by 100 other ways than measuring the remedial efforts of "the rest of the world". I suggest that gaining an understanding of the technical and logistic and systemic aspects of the problem are plenty to convince all with ears to see and eyes to feel that this problem is immense. * We can easily discover that the rest of the world is also highly dependent on mainframes, d-d software, embedded chips, and we can further see that their infrastructures and markets are contingent upon such technology; and we can realise that failure to achieve y2k-compliance will devastate effected organisations, and the societies dependent upon them. Combining these easy-to-agree-to statements with "most of the world is doing nothing about the y2k problem" and one's reasoning ceases to equivocate.
-- e coli fan (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 02, 1998.
Okay, someone hinted at Y2K being largely determined by chance. In my opinion it is - physical chance. The entire universe runs on physical chance. No one likes it, no one talks about it. But our nervous systems, our immune system all work on physical chance. None of that helps resolve this problem any. What are the things you can control? What are the things you can't control? Take care of the things you can and let the rest go. What else can you do?
-- Sharon Schultz (email@example.com), October 05, 1998.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nazis no threat after all
Paris- Today world leaders were all in agreement on one thing, do not worry about the Nazis. That fellow Hitler will not cause any problems said an unnamed source, he continued We have looked into the situation, and everyone agrees. When asked by this reporter about the alarming arms buildup occurring in Germany he received this rebuff If that silly Charlie Chaplin look alike was up to no good, someone in authority would be worried, but there is no such fear that we can see.
Such sentiments echoed around this gathering of the worlds superpower leaders. Even the tiny Slovak Republics seemed unfazed by the unprecedented buildup of German air and land forces, in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty. Look, if there were to be a problem, surely Poland or France would be taking radical steps, they do after all share a common border with the Germans. The fact that neither of those countries are doing anything testifies to the absence of any valid threat.
So rest assured readers, that statement sums up the feeling of the free worlds brightest minds here at the summit of 38, peace and prosperity for the foreseeable future, and good will toward mankind.
-- Uncle Deedah (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 05, 1998.
I had a clipping of Wilfred Brimley on my refrigerator for the longest time...my archetypal father/grandfather...good choice !
-- Donna Barthuley (email@example.com), October 05, 1998.
E. Coli Fan says, "I suggest that gaining an understanding of the technical and logistic and systemic aspects of the problem are plenty to convince all with ears to see and eyes to feel that this problem is immense."
Ears to see and eyes to feel? What's wrong with this picture? :-)
-- Gayla Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 06, 1998.
Actual news clipping uncle deedah?
-- Vic (Light_servant@yahoo.com), October 06, 1998.
A parody based on more than a grain of truth.
-- Uncle Deedah (email@example.com), October 06, 1998.