how long will the effects of Y2K last : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What percentage of forum adherents believe that the flow on effects associated with Y2K global failures will last longer than - 1 month; 3 months; 6 months; 12 months; and to, what level of effect- [5] mild inconvenience to [10] bad news;

Who believes that if we experience any longer than 1 month at a 10, we may never get back on our feet again due to the anachy factor?

Re Timothy J Wilbur Rosebank NSW Australia

-- Timothy J Wilbur (, October 20, 1998


At the pace of global Y2K progress that we're in now, this is how I feel at this time (I monitor the progress regularly as best as I can and my feelings can change depending on how I feel progress is being made as we get closer to 2000):

- The "flow of effect" will last longer than 12 months, on the economy for sure. What will be the specific effect I don't know. No one knows. On a scale to 5 to 10, 5 bing minor inconvenience, 10 being worse case scenario, I give it an 8. (Worse case scenario is The end of civilization as we know it, and a large percentage of population death.)

- If the effects are at a 10 longer than one month worldwide, I believe we'll never get back anywhere on our feet to where we were before, and not because of anarchy alone, but because of a myriad of factors, the domino effect. Everyone and everything is interconnected in someway, at every level, personally to globally.

-- Chris (, October 20, 1998.

I hate these kinds of speculations -- its hard enough to get people to agree on what kinds of problems there will be, much less how long they will last, and at what intensity. Personally, I tend to believe longer than 12 months, at level 10, and that we will not be able to get back on our feet again. I tend to think that everything we think we "understand" about our %world% is really based on understanding the &layer-of-technology& that we interface with. We understand %clean water% as coming from a &faucet&, %food% from a &grocery store&, %light% from an &electric switch&, %refuse% to a &sewage system&, etc. That &layer-of-technology& is itself based on other layers, which are based on other layers, etc., that have slowly been woven into place over the years, with computers (including embedded chips) being integrated into so many of them. Many of those computers will fail or be unreliable within 15 months, and this will cause many of these diverse layers to fail or be unreliable within a very short time span. Trying to then put humpty-dumpty back together again may prove very difficult....

-- Jack (, October 20, 1998.

wow... Timothy, from the land of Mad Max...

I think the effects on the world economies will far and away be the worst of Y2k disruptions. Those effects could last well into the decade along with any unexpected y2k disruptions that pop up. I think these effects could easily be sustained at about a 6-7.

I also think that the arrogance of our US tech officials and our government in thinking that we, as "the most" technology driven and dependent society, can somehow get through this because we are "ahead of the curve" so to speak is really optimistic. I think that it could only make the disruptions more impactful. We may well be far worse than the rest of the world. There are still places in the world where information technology doesn't even exist.

We're a spoiled culture and used to our conveniences. It's most of the rest of the world that has learned that if you pick up the phone you don't always get a dial tone. They live with disruptions. We have 24 hour supermarkets. We're in for a major shock.

If we don't, as a society, prepare our people for disruptions, then we bump right up to 9-10 because of the back lash as people who depend on the system to sustain them are left with nothing. It's a big wake up call and an open invitation to panic, fear and anger.

If we are talking about a degree of 10 for a year or more then we should consider that this length of time would probably lead to cross border conflicts and wars as clans, or even what remains of governments, seek food, technology and other assets. Not a fun thing to consider but certainly not without historical context. We may even be talking about cross state border conflicts here in the US.

If war is something that is required to sustain a population and it's technology, then this might further their quest to reinstall their technology base, right? So, perhaps eventually, with this stimulated war driven economy a clan or government might gain back much of what had been losed early on and hopefully they improved upon it. I just hope they cannibalized the nukes for parts and made them useless.

If we use nukes... I think we're back to the dawn of human life and it's start from scratch time and most of us wont be around anyway. What are the chances that a nuke in California would be used to take out a city on the East Coast? I don't know, but in 10 years, under the impact of a 10, many things could be different.

Not a fun subject and the prospects aren't much fun to think about either. ________________________________________

-- Michael Taylor (, October 20, 1998.

How bad will it be? Like a previous post, I hate these conjectures. When I first began reading about y2k, I leaned toward a more apocalyptic view than today, if only because that first adrenalin rush has faded. TEOTWAWKI movements have been around for centuries and become more widespread recently. Back in 1981, I got a badly needed job on the basis of a report I wrote about people preparing for nuclear war in the coming age of Reagan. Before that it was internal revolution and external invasion. (Who remembers the Seven Armies of Mexico?) Then came the hyperinflation folks and the economic meltdown predictions. For ten years in the 1970s and early 1980s, Mother Earth News ran an economic column in every issue urging its hippie readers to head for the hills and to stock up on food and equipment, and, yes, guns. I guess what I'm saying is that TEOTWAWKI has been predicted almost constantly in modern times and it ain't happened yet.

Lately I've been wondering if this forum and others aren't suffering too much from the "preaching to the choir" syndrome, if we've become so ingrown that we're just feeding each other's fears. I look at these threads and c.s.y2k and GN's forums and the aol y2k thread and I see the same names all the time, saying esentially the same things. Out there in the larger world, though, there is so much inertia built into the system, so much self-interest at stake, that I don't see a high probability of a Mad Max apocalypse or even anything approaching it. Yes, there will be economic fallout and scattered power outages and pockets of corporate and government failure. I expect to see massive numbers of business bankruptcies. We will likely see a depression on the order of the 1930s, but it won't last as long or be as politically volatile, if only because the government has become more skilled in tweaking the eocnomy -- witness the current bull market. (Who here remembers Father Coughlin or the Silver Shirts of the 1930s or the newspaper articles about the Marine Corps general and World War I hero who was asked by a cabal of leading industrialists to lead a military coup against FDR?)

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I've always believed that a catastrophe named is a catastrophe avoided, and in recent months I've seen a lot of avoidance work being done. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a bump in the road and 10 being TEOTWAWKI, I vote for a 4-5 -- damaged economy, perhaps a bank holiday, a few panicked riots. Minimal casualties, very little long-term infrastructure damage.

-- J.D. Clark (, October 20, 1998.

And wouldn't it be nice if we all got to vote and our votes meant something where Y2K or much else is concerned. It is the powerlessness felt deeply about predicting outcomes that is so hard to deal with. Reminds me of something I recently read about the Da Vinci method of thinking...which included among other precepts "embracing uncertainty."

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 20, 1998.

Lets not forget, though, that bad computer code is bad computer code, and it does not care what we name it, how we feel about it, whether any similar events have ever happened or been predicted, etc. It will not be fixed in time, and time will be called.

-- Jack (, October 20, 1998.

Gosh, after reading the re-posted quote from Infomagic, (see thread "Who Is Paul Milne? Why Is He Famous?", I'd be more than happy to settle for just a good old healthy, naturally corrective economic depression. Now that I can prepare for. That looks like paradise compared to Infomagic's vision of the future.

I'll also be prepared if I have to go a few months without electricity. I'll have some food, some water, alternate sanitation, some heat, a couple spare pair of glasses, my dental work completed, etc. I'll have enough for my family and a bit to share. So I'm easily going to withstand mild to moderate disruptions. I am no longer frightened by such relatively easy to overcome obstacles.

Am I concerned that it could possibly be worse than that? Yes, I am. That's why I'm trying to convince those around me to prepare as well. The more prepared EVERYBODY is, the less likely it is that significant disruption, if they occur, will result in a worst case scenario.

There is a lot of speculation about what MIGHT occur. No one can tell you precisely what WILL occur - only that 'some disruptions' are inevitable. I know the term 'some disruptions' covers a lot of territory but I urge you to do what you can while you have time.

Can any of us prepare for Infomagic's scenario? I can't. Even Ed Yourdon's alledged 7 year food supply begins to look highly inadequet. On the other hand, I wouldn't bet my life on Infomagic being right.

Bottom line: Some preparation, even if never needed, is better than none.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 22, 1998.

Hey Timothy, Your question deems merit and does make us all think of "what if " and "How long". It will appear that you will know what the effects of 'Y2k' before any of us here in the States will. The USA will be the last to know what happens, because of the rotation of the Earth and it's time frames. I feel for you being on an Island out in the Ocean. But you could aways travel to PINE GAP and get supplies from the Underground City there. By the way have you asked your Government officals what they will be doing for "Y2K" ? I recently got a call from the JEB BUSH campain I told them I will not be voting for a man who will not be in office very long. When they asked why, I explained some things about Y2K. I also asked what Jeb Bush's stand was on Y2K, they couldn't answer me,but it was a good question. Realisticaly perhaps we all need a period of time to get back to real basics in our lifetime. Good Luck Down Under. Furie...

-- Furie (, October 26, 1998.

Y2k can only play out 2 ways. Either it will be very benign or it will cause total very prolonged wipeout. There won't be any in between. If the hardware and software can't be remediated while we have electricity, factories, fuel, etc., one cannot expect these to be fixed for years to come without a functioning infrastructure. I vote decades at 10.

-- sucked down (, October 26, 1998.

For what it's worth and I have been studying y2k for over almost two years, I would say a 10. I have talked to a lot of professional people and none are too knowledgeable. These same people still have their mutual funds. A friend of mine works for a multinational oil company and is doing y2k remediation. He says they started too late and will not make it by 2000. I think this is the scenario at most Corporate establishments be they insurance, banks, oil companies or whatever. The powers that be let out stories to the conventional press that there will be problems but nothing major to worry about. This is a disservice and will result in panic in second quarter of 99. This will exacerbate the problem and move the deadline up in countries like mine, Canada. I am afraid that Gary North looks more right with each passing day.

-- Rick Reilly (, October 27, 1998.

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