Flame Target

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I just really wonder sometimes, if we aren't victims of negative groupthink.

I've read all of the stuff you folks read. Stay right on top of all of this, every day. Have an MBA. IQ of 140, tested as such.

But I just don't see where I need to store food for 6 months; buy gold and silver coins, do all this stuff in preparation for a catastrophe due to Y2K.

I certainly see where there will be big problems, and this is what I am am telling my friends to prepare for. But buying nitrogen-packed wheat? As if food will be nonexistent after 1-1-2000? I think someone's buying into someone else's la-la-land scenario.

We'll certainly see; and I'll sure get a bunch of flames due to this post LOL

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998



You've gotten a lot of thoughtful responses to this post, in addition to a couple of mild flames. Here my thoughts:

While it's intellectually stimulating to discuss and debate the merits of food storage, gold/silver, and other strategies, we'll all end up making personal decisions for which no one else will be accountable. Whether you stockpile 6 months of food, 6 days of food, or no food at all won't have any impact on my life; likewise, my decisions won't have any impact on your life. But my decisions COULD have an impact on the comfort and safety of my family, for which I do hold myself responsible. Various people on this forum (and other places, too) may have scenarios that you consider "la la land", but I don't think anyone is asking, let alone demanding, that you buy into it.

For me, the issue is very simple: it's insurance. But if you think of it in those terms, it's again evident that different people have different opinions, and different tolerance levels for risk. Teenage kids, for example, tends to think of themselves as omnipotent and immortal; hence, they're willing to drive a convertible jalopy, with no air-bags, no seat-belts, and no insurance. Most of us tend to get a bit more conservative as we get older; I don't drive motorcycles or convertibles any more, I do look for a safe car, I insist on air-bags, I use seat-belts as a reflex, and I sign up for every available form of optional insurance whenever I rent a car. That's my mindset, but I fully understand that not everyone shares it.

To pursue the auto insurance metaphor a little further, consider the following numbers: suppose I told you that you had to pay, say, $4,000 per year to protect yourself from a threat to yourself and your family -- a threat that has approx odds of 1 in 5,000 of killing you in the course of a year. One chance in 5,000 sounds pretty safe, certainly better than ordinary Russian roulette; would you spend $4,000 to protect yourself from such a risk? If you live in New York City, the answer is: yes! That's the typical cost of an annual auto insurance policy. As for the numbers: approx 50,000 people are killed each year in auto accidents, out of a total population of approx 250 million citizens. I think my arithmetic is correct, but I'll defer to your excellent IQ of 140 to check it out ...

I debated and agonized over the issue of buying emergency food last year, and when I thought of it in terms of the auto insurance metaphor, the debate ended abruptly. I don't know what the prices are now, but in 1997, you could buy a year's worth of nutritionally balanced food for a family of four, for a total cost of approx $4,000. Hmmm, I thought: I don't expect to be killed or maimed in an auto accident this year, but that doesn't stop me from spending $4,000 for auto insurance. Similarly, even if I don't think y2k will be bad enough to require the emergency food, it's probably worth spending the same amount that I would have spent for a year's auto insurance.

And emergency food is better than auto insurance: it's EDIBLE insurance. If you survive a year with no accidents, you've "wasted" your insurance payment in the sense that you have nothing to show for it. With regard to food, the situation is obviously different: if we're lucky enough to sail through y2k with no problems, the food is still edible. I may end up being too lazy to grind my own wheat and eat all of those pinto beans and rice -- but I can donate it to a church or charitable organization, and it won't go to waste.

Having said all of this, please remember: I'm not trying to convince you that the decision I made for myself and my family is necessarily the right one for you and your family. But since all of this involves a risk that none of us has experienced before, and none of us knows how to quantify precisely, it's helpful to have a forum like this to brainstorm and bounce ideas back and forth. Then we can exit from the virtual world of the Internet, return to our families in the real world, and make whatever decisions we think best.

Best of luck with your own decisions, whatever they turn out to be.


-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), October 06, 1998.

I don't think you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if there's no gasoline, power, etc., that everything comes to a virtual halt. That is if TSHTF as predicted. I recently saw pictures in the newspaper of long lines of people in Russia waiting to get just a cup of oil. We can't comprehend this because our generation has never experienced anything like what's happening in Russia and other countries. But whose to say "it can't happen here?" I'd rather have 6 months worth of food than to have nothing at all and wait hours in line for just a cup of oil. I plan on rotating my supply and giving some to food banks.

-- Bardou (bardou@baloney.com), October 06, 1998.


Not as flame, more as comment/question:

I have had contact with folks from McKinsey, Booz Allen, Arthur Anderson, etc, and only one of them had a clue about the situation when we started talking . However, as I start to list the interconnectedness of the world, each of these arguably rocket scientists comes to the same snap judgement that we are working with and, as I see them later, they are likely to thank me for opening their eyes. (Always assuming that they haven't glazed over and not recovered)

Parenthetically, a friend at NASA LEWIS is fond of saying that even Rocket Science isn't, really!

-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 06, 1998.

OOPS The question part is

"Who is to know??

We may all be simply uncovering our god-wires and offering the proper devotions to elect some higher being"

and I wish I could remember the author/name of the short story I just referenced!!


-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 06, 1998.

Answers came right quick, as hoped for...

the deal is....

The Creator is in control

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.


I regret to inform you that there was a terrible mistake when we calculated your IQ. The computer we were using was not Y2K compliant. Your actual IQ is currently unknown, but we will have our programmers working overtime to meet our goal of total compliance by December 31, 1999.

-- Dr. IQ Tester (not@140.com), October 06, 1998.

John, the Creator was also in control when he told Joseph to store up enough food to last 7 YEARS!

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 06, 1998.


I won't be shooting for 6 months worth of food and water either. I'm concentrating on being able to keep warm for three or four weeks if the power goes out. I'm also trying to have enough food stored up so we don't have to spend two weeks eating cake mix and pickles if there's a problem getting groceries. We'll have extra batteries for the flashlights and radios, plenty of emergency candles, and some water stored up too. I'll try to keep the gas tanks full in both cars, and make sure we're all together on New Years Eve.

I'm not in a position to become self-sufficient, leave town for the woods, or start a chicken ranch. Folks who are doing this probably have a great desire to be more independent, Y2K or not. This is just the extra push they need to get on with that lifestyle.

I must say, that aside from Y2K, things are not going well in the world. The current economic problems will probably get worse, so anyone preparing for Y2K will be ready for other troubles which might develop. I don't see TEOTWAWKI coming, but it does look like there are tough times ahead.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 06, 1998.

Dr. IQ:

You must be correct sir! judging by some decisions that have been made by this personage in this lifetime.

However, as much as I respect your collective opinions, I still see no reason to expect the end of the world as a result of Y2K.

The end of the world will occur when Jesus Christ appears in the sky, for all the world to see. Y2K might be a prelude to that.

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.


that's more along the lines of what I consider 'sensible'

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.

It's like, if you don't subscribe to the Gary North/TEOTWAWKI scenario. you don 't know scratch...

There are other people in the world, who have good minds. Believe it or not.

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.


Y2K is a complicated first-time-for-humanity problem. If we'd been through this sort of thing before, there would be a narrower range of responses. But since no one really _knows_ just how bad the consequences will be (aside from some samples of small localized Y2K troubles so far), we're going on guesses, and part of the natural human response to such a situation is for some to panic while others pooh-pooh it as a non-event.

This wide range of response to a possibly-very-serious-but-unknown problem is a positive survival trait. The optimum response, in retrospect, will be seen to have been somewhere along this wide spectrum, but no one now knows where it will be.

If Y2K consequences turn out to be trivial, then the people who expended resources on elaborate preparation will suffer embarrassment and perhaps some waste of their expenditures. (These aren't necessarily all wasted -- they may be applicable to potential future natural disasters. And that nitrogen-packed wheat won't go to waste -- it'll still be edible.) OTOH people who did nothing special to prepare will be able to feel superior, and will have wasted no resources on unused preparation. On the average, humanity will have lost very little.

However, if Y2K consequences turn out to be severe (widespread disruptions of basic services, governmental incapacitation, etc.), the folks who did nothing to prepare may suffer and lose a lot, while the heavily-prepared will turn out to have been very prudent. In the extreme cases, the difference could conceivably be life-and-death.

The portion of people who are preparing for such severe Y2K possibilities are, of course, highly represented in this forum's discussions because of the nature of the forum. While I personally don't expect the Y2K consequences to be as severe as some of this forum's participants do, I _DO_ respect their preparations and think it's good for our society that a certain number of people are making extensive preparations.

If you don't expect to need the gold coins or nitrogen-packed wheat, fine. You just have to ask yourself where you're comfortable in balancing resources versus risk. But unlike the cases of fire, flood, storm, and so forth, there are no actuarial tables available for Y2K in general.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), October 06, 1998.

NoSpam and Mike have hit right dead on what I'm trying to say.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.

It's certainly nice to see your intelligence insulted (but guess I set myself up for that, by those who aren't ruled by scruples)

The big thing I see in the posts which argue against what I'm saying is one big word. IF. IF. IF.

The whole planet could cease to exist next week IF the premise of several present Hollywood movies were to prove true. Somehow I choose not to believe them. IF is a big word. Be careful how you use it.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.

maybe you are right. But what-if you are wrong? it is a tough issue!

I have just publish the Year 2000 Millennium Bug report a 61,000 word world view on the Y2K cause and effect with first hand accounts of insider observations re private / public remediation project advancements and problems.

The Y2K is not the only expected economic disruption descending upon us this century, there is also the EMU's global push to introduce the Euro dollar this coming January [my sources in the UK tells me it will be an economic disaster that may bring the world economic system to it's knees long before Y2K hits full force.

Then there is 'cycle 23 of Solar Max' which is shaping up to be the biggest solar flare ever recorded, the last one 11 years ago knocked out the power grid in Canada and vast parts of the US destroying transformers as if they were toys NASA is particularly troubled by this coming cycle 23 as it is due the same time as the meteorite shower both of these, it is predicted will knock out many of the communications satellites and effect the electromagnetic fields within all DC/AC power generation plants worldwide.

Take into account the growing decline of the Asian market, Russia's socio/economic fall and Germany's 60% investment in Russian banking industry. check out the step by step incremental decline in the NASQUE the Nikki, DOW and Wall street over the last 6 months period since the Asian market deteriation. Also take into account the fact the china [one of the biggest manufacturing market bases to supply America, Australia, and Britain] has 80% pirated software in their manufacturing base.

In my report I address this issue. It has been estimated that [with out taking China into account] there is a whooping 40% pirated software in use globally. What does this mean? It means that these industries that are using pirated software will be in no position to declare compliance status, they will be in no position to go to the software manufacturers and ask for help with an up grade.

The reason that this is such an issue is that for the present global economy to survive in it's present form, there needs to be a 100% Y2K fix of every system worldwide, otherwise the spin-off effect will cause a domino phenomenon that may take 6 months before it runs it full course.

Mr Graham Inchly the Australian governments Y2K anchor man, has stated that all it takes is for 10% of small business to go to the wall at the same time to bring on a major recession, he goe's on to state that the Australian Gov, expect much more than 10% to go down; quote 'we are expecting much more than 10%, we are expecting economic meltdown'. These are bold words form a government man.

In my report I go into detail analysing the Auditor Generals Report # 27 on the compliance of over 60 Australian Commonwealth agency's. 35 of which had never heard about Y2K until they received the questionnaire and this was in late 1997 early 1998. Get the picture? Read my report it took me 6 months 10 hours a day 6 days a week to research and write.

Russ Kelly and Associates Inc have done the book review for me see www.russkelly.com for their qualifications; Russ stated 'without a doubt, the best single book I have seen on the topic of the "Millennium Bug". I may be blowing my own trumpet here, but i believe that the issue of Y2K is the most important issue to face our present globalisation network at a systemic level ever, I repeat ever. and you need to read my report to gather the facts before you make statement about it only lasting 6 months;

My personal views are - I believe we are up dung creek in a barbwire canoe without a paddle

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

Timothy J Wilbur soc sci; Hom; maiwcw; Beyond 2000 Awareness Project 'The Year 2000 Millennium Bug Report' Rosebank 2480 NSW Australia timkaz@nor.com.au http://expage.com/page/beyond2000

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Ps; if you read revelation 18 in the New Testement of the Bible, you will read a discription of the current world economic system you will also read how this system gets destroyed in 1 hour, it goes on to describr what will be missing in the destroyed city of babylon; no light of the lamp; no grinding of the millstone; no music; no giving or reciving in marriage; to my mind this is a graphic discription of what we are told y2K will produce. Also to my mind for this phrophecy to be fulfilled in 1 hour; a worlwide financial economic network is the only means I can see of it happening. and at no other time in history are we more poised to see scripture unfold in this fasion.

-- Timothy J Wilbur (timkaz@nor.com.au), October 06, 1998.

John - My experience with the unknown is that it is always a lot worse than you expect. Depending on where you live, you could potentially have six feet of snow unexpectedly dumped on you, making it impossible to leave your house for weeks. Fish or cut bait, don't just stand there looking in the water.

"God helps those who help themselves"

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), October 06, 1998.

John, you write:

"The big thing I see in the posts which argue against what I'm saying is one big word. IF. IF. IF.

The whole planet could cease to exist next week IF the premise of several present Hollywood movies were to prove true. Somehow I choose not to believe them. IF is a big word. Be careful how you use it."

Interesting. You come to the conclusion that everyone who argues for severe consequences depends on "IF." Didn't it occur to you that you, too are using the IF word......"If these people are wrong, then I don't have to do this!"

Every time we use the word IF we are defining a scenario. We also have to define the probability of that scenario occuring.

Everyone who even considers Y2K will end up with an IF scenario, John. You've just chosen your IF to not include the need to provide food for yourself and family. Many here have decided that is a low probability scenario, and that preparation and advance action are required. I firmly believe they're right.

BTW, it's interesting that there is an amazing surplus of food in this country today. People cite this as a reason why we shouldn't worry about food. Yet, in Russia today the problem isn't quantity of food......it's distribution. And, it's the distribution chain that is heavily dependent on computers, that will most probably be effected. Grain in Kansas doesn't do me any good in West Virginia.

What must also be factored in is that someplace in this tableau will come the realization by a large number of people.....nearly simultaneously, I might add.....that there MIGHT BE (that's your IF, restated) a problem with food. So, when a lot of people decide that they need to lay in several weeks of groceries in one shopping trip the natural result is ----- bare shelves. I believe the probabillity of this happening to be quite high. Actually, the longer it takes before this happens the worse we'll be because the supply system will have less time to react to perturbations.

I expect urban areas to see the greatest effects here. Urban areas also contain the greatest number of people who will be adversely effected by failure of welfare and other entitlement systems. People in urban areas have been known to help themselves under these circumstances. I really don't want my wife strolling down the aisle in a supermarket, shopping list in hand, while the building is being trashed by those who are helping themselves. BTW, there was some minor playout of this in Australia in the past two weeks because of a natural gas disruption in Victoria, so this is anything but a far fetched "IF." I believe the probability of disturbances in urban areas to be quite high.

Put enough factors with a high probillity of occurance into the picture, and food supply disruptions become worthwhile considering. And, this isn't a condition where we need scenario X AND scenario Y to occur, so that the overall probability decrease as we add factors. Any one of several things could put us in the tank.

Finally, John, don't confuse either IQ or formal education with common sense. You don't know how frustrating it can be to argue an engineering problem with a Phd who simply 'doesn't get it,' but is totally wrong because he doesn't understand the common sense issues. BTDT and have the T-shirt to prove it.


-- rocky (rknolls@hotmail.com), October 06, 1998.


I'm in line with Timothy, methinks Y2K is going to merge with a lot of other things going on and amplify the effcts of all of the negatives. At the minimum food is now cheap, even relatively minor rail problems can have a large effect on prices. Many of Russia's food problems are a result of distribution faults in their system, rather than a total lack of food.

I'm doing all that I can afford to, it makes me feel better knowing that I will not look back and say "I coulda done more" if the worst should come. Unfortunately, I found out too late to do anything about my location due to finances and the amount of time involved in selling a home here (unless I'm willing to give it away). We have a source of water out back, room for gardening, mild winters, and a firm belief in peace through superior firepower.

BTW, Mr. I Q Tester said "currently unknown". I would, in that case, assume a higher I Q would be impied.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), October 06, 1998.

Higher I Q IMPLIED, mine has not been tested, I hate bad news ;)

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), October 06, 1998.

If only everything could be figured with actuarial tables, calculators, algorithms and slide rules...unfortunately, life is full of hidden surprizes and hidden variables that tend to skew things.

So, here's another question to the group: If you had to choose, would you rather have street-smarts, or book smarts? If it were me, I'd have a little bit of both...

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 06, 1998.

I think Rocky especially summed it up nicely, in terms of legitimate reasons to be worried, and to get prepared. My $0.02 here is the use of the term "negative groupthink". This forum is not some kind of cult, perpetuating some kind of doctrine. Data is presented, opinions are expressed, conclusions are drawn.

-- Joe (shar@pei.com), October 06, 1998.

John, haven't got MBA, but IQ 151 British Mensa (its no big deal so have 2% pop.), but I'd prefer to have it than not, you're more hard working. Its the first time that people have started thinking about cause and effect for once in their lives (pity the programmers didn't). What you do now shapes the future, events are not normally so predictable. But y2k is unpredictable in the sense that non-one will know the overall y2k readiness of every computerised organisation. I don't believe we can look at compliance as being black and white, ie if you're compliant you're ok non-compliant you can't function at all. In reality there will be many shades of grey. Re getting prepared, it'll do no harm to take simple preparations, they won't even be that expensive. The worst you can end up with is a little egg on the face (the yolks on you).

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 06, 1998.

Richard's response sounds like the kind of middle-of-the road position that will usually work for most things. "Some people say it will be no problem, some people say that it will be the end, so I'll just sort of take a middle position." If you honestly believe that Y2K will be just a short term and fixable problem based on your own conclusions about the evidence that you have considered, by all means you are doing the best that you can. But if you have arrived at your position only because you sort of "took an average" of all the Y2K scenarios, you are not giving this problem the attention that it deserves. Bad computer code does not care about anyone's position, what will come will come, and it will catch us "as we are".

-- Joe (shar@pei.com), October 06, 1998.


The End Of The World As We Know It

Let's examine that phrase for a moment: To me, the key notion in that phrase is the "As We Know It" portion. I think that the only people who see "The End Of The World" part as being the key are certain fundamentalist types who have an emotional attachment to seeing their worldview come about. Let's ignore them for the moment.

"As We Know It." I've been in this body, on this planet for 35 years. I've seen a slow steady movement in "progress." As a civilization, we've come to a place, and here we are. You can describe it however you choose. The last major world changing event, (or series of events) which happened before my lifetime, when my parents were children, would have been the Great Depression, which led to the Rise of Fascism, and World War II. (followed by the biggest baby boom in history) (obviously, I'm ignoring WWI and its effects).

The world was a very different place before all that, and it wasn't that long ago.

What other sorts of world changing events have there been? Columbus discovering the Western Hemisphere? Sure. The fall of Communism? A minor one, but we'll count that. The fall of the Roman Empire coupled with the rise of Christianity? Certainly! And, whatever happened to Ancient Egypt? Don't know!

The point is that major world changing events do happen. And they happen in SOMEONE'S lifetime. I personally believe that what is about to happen is really a global financial meltdown, the end of the current fiat money scam, the end of the credit is king, fractional reserve, unsustainable way in which we live. Y2K, will be one of many factors in the equation. I think we are heading into a minor world changing event, along the lines of the fall of communism.

But it won't FEEL minor when you're living in it. I've never been on a breadline, have you? I've never had to be concerned about survival, except on camping trips. Read the newspapers - a lot of the people in Russia are PISSED that "the system" broke down. People haven't gotten paid in YEARS! In the scheme of things, it'll be pretty minor, and it'll move at hyperspeed. But, society at the other end of it will be very different than what we now know...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), October 06, 1998.

Gayla, Great response. 7 years of famine, (prepare) if this perchance doesnt happen, where are we wrong? We are in the midst of "plenty" now.

-- Carrie (Privacy@aol.com), October 06, 1998.


I wonder why it is that you would open such a thread already having the belief that you would "get a bunch of flames". As someone who has never been tested for IQ my "common sense" tells me you are a man who is need of reassurance and a boost in self-esteem.

As a self-employed businessman in a fluid world not confined to the teachings of high education I find that anyone who allows themselves to become bogged down by a myopic vision of the world based on their perceived intelligence is destined to fail. The mental tool required to roll with the punches in today's world is common sense. This mental tool is much more important than a vague number based upon a series of tests. The only real tests that matter are out here, in the real world, not in the halls of higher academia.

I am a twin who's brother was tested early on for IQ. We were in grade school at the time and it was an interesting experiment. He eventually went to UCLA and received his MBA from Harvard, I went to a trade school as a commercial artist. He spent years in higher education, I began work in my field before trade school and at the age of 22 became a professional in my field.

We live on opposite sides of the country. He works in a U.S. Government job and I run my own home based graphic design business serving clients that do their business worldwide.

Where am I leading you?

We have both come the same conclusion regarding y2k and our respective futures. We are both preparing. We began preparations before we ever talked to each other.

The bottom line.

Do what your common sense tells you and don't be clouded by your intellect. If you listen to your intellectual self it will allow you a false sense of security that is not in your best interests.

The world is changing. There is a shift occurring. Get to the base level of your self and feel the earth and the air around you. Take your shoes off and walk on grass or put your feet and hands in the dirt. Everything you have learned is based upon a false sense of intellectual self-importance. Realize that those that are most responsible for the y2k dilemma were also self-important people who were highly trained and educated but who suffered a severe degree of shortsidedness. The world you reside in is a myth who's inter tangled web of interconnected communications and dependency is destined to fail in a little over a year. You are part of the machine. We are all part of the machine.

Every aspect of your life and mine is governed by the flow of electronic information. Simply turning on the light in the morning and talking a shower requires a hidden degree of technology that is exceptionally fragile and absolutely taken for granted. Little 1's and 0's are responsible for making our lives easier. But, there is a bug in the system and soon the bug will begin to manifest itself into the machine. What happens when the 1's in that flow of information begin to disappear? We are left with 0.

In the end it is your choice John. You can utilize the "image" of yourself as someone who is highly intelligent or you can look within to the root of your being and rely on the most basic of human instincts, survival.

My best wishes for a bright future on the ot

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 06, 1998.

This brings up the entire intellectual concept of how if we are so dependent on computers (machines), then are we then slaves to them? The following is a from a recent link on one of Gary North's commentaries. http://www. geocities.com/Athens/Troy/7854/leisure.txt

-- Joe (shar@pei.com), October 06, 1998.

Good points, good counter-points. My thanks to all.

We aren't slaves to computers per se, but the computers are slaves to their data, and to their programs. They won't listen, won't reason, won't "do the right thing" becuase it is logical and reasonable.

They will blindly go on doing the only thing they are porgrammed to do. (Kind of like bureacrats (in any industry, in any government) - no mind of their own, but capable of thinking and chaning IF ordered to.

So it is the mindset of the group (pop. at large) that must be ready for the unexpected. So one (other than the less than 2% who are preparing/studying, ???) in the US is ready for the IDEA that the links binding them to food, transportation, water, power, and communications) are

(1) tied together through power and computer programs

(2) very vunerable to mutual failure

(3) assumed "reliable" (?better word is ??) and stable by the general populace.

(4) fed by the baby-sit attitude that the "government wouldn't let it happen." Also phrased as "the politician/lawyer/"social expert" claims "I guarantee that food will be on the shelves" ... "that our power plant will run" .. "that the government will be ready by March 1999."

It is when I see those lies that my doubts (that this problem could be minor, or of short term (only 2-4 days) ) are lessened. Those attitudes of glib assurances are most deadly.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 06, 1998.

Above should read "...so no one (other than those getting ready ..

Gotta talk to my proffreader about thta dnik fo opyt. On no.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 06, 1998.

I think it was Einstein who said:

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

I started from much the same position as yours John, and I think my IQ is similar. What I have found is that the more one researches the Y2K problem the more pessimistic one gets.

-- Beltway Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), October 06, 1998.

I don't know the difference between my age and my I.Q. But I sure do thank Mr. John Howard for letting me know that everything is going to be just fine. Now I don't need to worry about my sick wife and our 10 young'uns. BTW whats that address in Greenville if I continue to follow your advise and find out to late that you were wrong. JOHN, you wouldn't be pulling my leg would you? I been gettin most of my stuff out of the dempsey dumpster out back of Safeway butt I'm off to return it so someone more needy than me can have it.

-- Mr. T C Mann (trashcan-man@webtv.net), October 06, 1998.

I'm certainly sorry if talking about education and IQ ticked people off. That may have been ill-advised. I was NOT trying to hold myself up as better than anyone else; there are certainly a lot of smart people who participate and contribute to this forum.

Suppose I did a poor job of communicating that. If anyone was offended, I certainly apologize. That was not the intent.

What I WAS trying to do was to say that there are people with good minds who don't see Y2K as TEOTWAWKI. No, everything's not going to be 'just fine'; there will be big problems. But I just think that the severity gets exaggerated in here quite a lot.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (pcdir@prodigy.net), October 06, 1998.

John, you may be right about the severity of Y2K, but what about all of the other things going on globally right now? Does that fit into your equation of preparation?

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 06, 1998.

This is a great thread. There's nothing wrong with folks having differences of opinion, and no need for anyone to take it personally. (Can't imagine what the world would be like if everyone always agreed!)I see plenty of posts claiming that TEOTWAWKI is near. I'm not insulted, because they could be right. I think most of us have more in common than we realize. Very few participants in this forum seem to believe NOTHING bad will happen. Discussion is what this is all about. It's possible that some of us may drastically change our viewpoints in the future. Conditions change, opinions change.

I like Ed's insurance analogy, but I see it more like health insurance than auto insurance. I wouldn't be without health insurance, but so far, I've never felt I needed cancer insurance. There's a difference between believing that "something" could happen, and believing that a "more specific something" could happen. If I understand correctly, Ed moved to a small town and bought food for long term storage. As far as I know, he isn't buying farm animals or planting non-hybrid seeds. (Ed, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) Does that mean that no one else should? Absolutely not. Does that mean we should all move in next door to Ed? He probably hopes not!

I'm glad we have a place to discuss this openly and share opinions, information, ideas, and feelings. If I had all the answers, I wouldn't follow this forum. I'm sure that applies to most of the other folks here.

We all have fears. It's part of being human. If one of us has greater fears about Y2K than the next person, that doesn't mean it's a weakness - and I've never seen a post here that said it was.

I'll be hanging around, reading everything, putting in my $.02 worth, and learning a whole lot more.

BTW, John: At first I got the feeling that your original post was a bit egotistical. But I also knew that was only one way to read it. You've made it clear what your intentions were by graciously apologizing.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 06, 1998.


I hope I didn't offend you my friend. That wasn't my intention either. What I wanted to point out to you was that it seemed that you are really in need of assurance and a boost in self esteem. The initial impact of y2k can drain a person and leave them depressed and scared.

I wont go through my whole prior post I just want to wish you well. It's a tough journey we are all on. The great part about it is that in times like these it is obvious of what the human spirit is capable of. In times like these I am proud to be human and share the human experience with others. In times like these I look forward to what the future might bring regardless of the difficulties ahead.

You hear The End OF The World As We Know It. Really, if you think about it the end of the world could happen tomorrow. The future is really beyond our control every single day we live might be our last or the last day of someone we love. So, when you hear The End Of The World - AS WE KNOW IT -, that phrase leaves a chance for hope. We can get through this.


-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 07, 1998.

Well, I can see it would be a big mistake to admit on this forum that I, like Richard Dale, happen to have once been a member of Mensa (although I was a member of the US Mensa, not the British version, so I am sure the standards were lower here in the colonies). I think that what we have found is that so-called academically intelligent people's conclusions on the severity of Y2k vary widely, just as do the opinions of those whose extraordinary intelligence may be in non- academic areas such as understanding of people and relationships, or understanding of arts, music, poetry, or the critically important areas of plumbing, carpentry, auto mechanics or cooking.

To me, the main reason why it is so hard to predict is because the results will be highly variable based on geographic location, industry of employment, local preparedness levels, etc. - and the time it takes to recover after 1/1/00 will be equally varied.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), October 07, 1998.

But did you have drive in the left-brain or the right-brain section of Mensa, if you were only accepted into the English chaptres of that august society?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 07, 1998.

Robert I'm not sure, I always found the visual-spatial tests easy (though they probably are for most people) - right brained?. The Mensa diagrams are a lot harder that the Prof Eysenck (spelin?) Know your own IQ ones. There are plenty of logic tests, ie can what can you infer from a text,I think I did pretty well at that (left brained) but there's not so much emphasis on numerical ability, though that is not a problem for me. The Mensa test is pretty broad-ranging, not sure how you're marked (you never see it) but I assume ability in one area would compensate for a weakness in another. Another ability required is to be able to think quickly, the tests are conducted on a very tight timescale, you need to be able to concentrate fully. Also pace yourself, don't waste time on questions you can't immediately answer, obvious but many people fall down on that. You are also allowed to guess (how do they know?) but I didn't. As I am an insomniac, I had only a few hours sleep the night before, that may have actually helped. I was very surprised that I had passed (you need 148 min. IQ on the system they use), since I had thought that my IQ was struggling around the 135-140 mark. Its obviously not an exact science. You can train yourself to do tests up to a point. Mensa is largely a social society, pub meetings, events and the like, they also have very formal (black-tie) dinners for the "elite", ie Victor (the founder) and the relatively well-known faces in London. Where believe you have to stand up and give a dissertation on a theme, this is I suppose many people's idea of the society. They also have weekends eg in PortMeiron (the Prisoner), Cambridge University etc where there may be visiting lecturers, or theme weekends (eg the occult etc). Some weekends are purely social others a mixture of games, parties, lectures, dinners, visits etc etc. There are also SIGs, special interest groups, I am in French Sig, which has a fantastic newsletter, we hope to meet one and all at the eclipse of the sun in France next year, if not before.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 08, 1998.

Good points...

A generic observation, related to your left-brain/right-brain and the testing intended to evaluate people's usse of their brains (separately, others can question whether we should evaluate it, or how good an evaluation and judgement is made).

I've noticed most CAD users, and many programmers (many times the proportion of left handers in the world at large), are left handed. How would that be affected by the parts of the test into the society, and how does that skew the results of the general SAT/IQ tests?

In other words, are left-handed (right brained) people more naturally attracted into programming? Or is graphics design and artistry and programming easier for left-handed (right brained) people, so they gravitate that way.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 08, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ