an anti-Milne? Hmmmm : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

maybe there should be a person who counters Milne's inflammatory idiocy in equally as a strong fashion....though certainly in not as low a way....(why should Shakespeare reply to a cow fart...)

-- John Howard (, October 25, 1998


The big problem here, John, is that Milne posts an incredible amount of evidence to support his position. You may not like the idea that he generally unmercifully flames people who have been warned of a potential disaster and who have refused to address the seriousness of this disaster. That doesn't take away from the overall message that things will be bad, and that people should prepare. You've chosen to reject the message, but evidently you've become obsessed with the messenger.

Milne's evidence does not include such things as an 82 year old ex-ww II vet telling us that all will be OK (which is your latest contribution). It includes references to articles.....the articles are used to strongly re-inforce Milne's position.

Oh, my. You speak of Milne's being the 'low' way, but you manage to get 2 gratitious insults into a 2 line post. And this in a forum that Milne's been known to visit about 3 times.

Get a grip, John. Let it go.

-- rocky (, October 25, 1998.

Certainly I and many others have made attempts to point out Milne's misinterpretations. Sadly, we lack his time and energy, and eventually we simply give up and hope people read and understand the 'evidence' rather than swallowing the distortions.

Truth is, there is no clear evidence of many things. Yes, we know there are a lot of bugs, we know we can't properly correct them in time, we know they will affect us and the effect cannot be good. We know we are heavily reliant on computerization and can't go back to the good old days if we wanted to. We are vulnerable and endangered, very seriously. If you are hoping for someone to deny any of this in strong fashion, you're hoping for yet another idiot.

But beware of what Milne carefully loses in translation. If a company says they expect to be ready, this is *not* 'proof' that they won't be ready, regardless of how often or strongly Milne claims otherwise. If there are competing claims (and there certainly are) that embeddeds fail 40% of the time, and 4%, and 0.4%, Milne selects the 40% number and never mentions the rest. If lawyers prohibit their clients from declaring themselves compliant even if they believe they're ready (and lawyers certainly do this), you won't EVER find Milne taking this into account, or even mentioning it. If Milne presents an argument based on numbers which are demonstrably preposterous, he vanishes from the thread, waits a month or two, and then produces the *same argument with the same numbers*, and you have to debunk it all over again. If the 'bad' statistics are produced by someone selling a remediation product, Milne never mentions this. If 'good' results are claimed, he shouts bias instantly. And so on, and on, and on ad nauseum.

I suspect the human mind prefers things to be black and white, and imposes these colors on a world where reality is an infinity of shades of gray. When you try to point out that gray is not black, Milne instantly abuses you for claiming that black is white, when any idiot can see it isn't! Milne likes things clear, obvious, and simple (whether they are or not). Some of us also like them accurate, which is hard when all the information we have is highly equivocal. Milne's technique of forcing ambiguous, unreliable information into a predefined mold and claiming the deformed result is 'evidence' is a hard technique to counteract. All I can say is, read what's there, not what you *want* to be there, however much you want it.

-- Flint (, October 25, 1998.

Nobody, repeat nobody, knows what's going to happen.

Nor for how long the troubles will last unitil technology recovers (and "life as we know it" resumes its bumpy path into the future); or until the general world "restabilizes" at some unknown "pre-technology/pre-computerized" level. At which time life will also resume its bumpy path into the future.....

I've never minded alternate views (as long as they are clearly defined as views, not facts) because those views forse me to continually re-evaluate a changing situation.

The most foolish thing (now, end-October 1998) is to pretend the government will either "not let that happen", "will fix it", or "will take care of us."

The second most ill-considered attitude is to assume that any prediction is absolutely, positively correct. Every prediction must be continuously updated by feedback until it is no longer useful.

Then you discard it, and start over. With new information, from a new starting point. towards a new goal.

So I want to keep hearing from anybody who has the sense to contribute, but I also request everybody be polite. I refuse to believe rants and screams and curses contribute .... besides I already how to do that, and I don't need more info on how to scream and curse at people.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (, October 25, 1998.

Paul Milne said, "Check out the Sunday edition of the Bergen Record for a piece containing 'yours truly'. Nice pictures and eveything. I don't know if the pictures will be carried in the online version.

I hope they use the picture of the hogs. Both of them are named 'Flint'."

NOW I get it! :-)

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 25, 1998.

Really? I LOVE it! y2k has so little humor. That's great.

-- Flint (, October 25, 1998.

"Sadly, we lack his time and energy,"

Because silly us, we haven't "bugged out" yet like Milne has.

"I suspect the human mind prefers things to be black and white, and imposes these colors on a world where reality is an infinity of shades of gray. When you try to point out that gray is not black, Milne instantly abuses you for claiming that black is white, when any idiot can see it isn't! "

This is what I have thought about Y2K since about 4 weeks after I learned of it. A lot of people in Y2K (not saying everyone mind you) only sees two possible scenarios...remeiation and TEOTWAWKI. Personally I am just going for TEOTAWKT (The End Of Times As We Know Them). Life will change I am pretty sure, but to think of it as the end of the world is a decidedly black/white view.


-- Rick Tansun (, October 26, 1998.

Well, gee, if someone only mentions the data that supports his or her argument best, perhaps what one ought to do is bring up the data that refutes it. I mean, isn't that what DISCUSSION forums are all about??? Coming up with some (alleged) litany of "Well, back a few months ago, he did this, or he did that, or he called so-and-so a such-and-such" does not convince anyone of anything.

-- Jack (, October 26, 1998.

I think one of the problems people have in dealing with Milne and his postings is that he tends to post his views in two distinct ways. He does, as one poster here pointed out, support many of his arguments with cited references. Even when you don't agree with him, it's obvious he has done his homework.

Unfortunately, he also posts numerous "you're a butt-head because you don't see things as I do" messages. Many of the opinions in these petulant rantings are posted with nothing to back them up but his say-so. It is these messages that tend to weaken (or even destroy) his credibility with some people.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 26, 1998.

In any discussion there are matters of fact, matters of opinion and matters of taste. Unfortunately Milne mixes all three without discrimination. Nonetheless, (and I have been the recipient of his vitrol) the prophets of doom such as Milne convey a valuable service - to warn everyone of every possible danger our society could face. If everyone was all smiley faced about Y2K, the lawyers didn't care and it was all peaches and cream - I'd probably be on the next hill over from Milne figuring disaster was inevitable. Of course the essence of whether or not we have a disaster relies not only on how much of the Y2K bug is fixed, but on how much redundancy is in the system overall - but thats for another post.

-- Paul Davis (, October 27, 1998.

Seems to be my day for anti-Milning.

If you want evidence, go to Gary North's site. If you want to make up your own mind, read the sources, not Gary's commentaries on them. If you want "rational" doom and gloom read the commentaries. I respect Gary North, even though I'm more optimistic than him.

Paul chooses evidence and uses it as propaganda. If you try to argue you get subjected to insults and name-calling. In fact, if you wanted to persuade everyone that only crazies take Y2K seriously, you'd have to invent Paul if he didn't already exist.

Just for the record: I'm not at all saying no problem. I'm just saying I don't think it'll be the end of the world (and also that there are no certainties, especially when dealing with the unprecedented).

-- Nigel Arnot (, October 28, 1998.

Quick replies to Rocky...

(1) 'an incredible amount of evidence' can be used to support an erroneous viewpoint just as easily as it can be used to support a valid viewpoint. Ummmm... the O.J. Simpson case; the theory of evolution; Herr Goebbels of the 3rd Reich. Satan himself quoted Scripture in his stab at tempting Christ....facts can be twisted by those skilled at twisting them.

(2) you greatly oversimplify the issue of the WW2 veteran...and no one suggested that everything would be OK. Not me or my vet friend, at least. You read that into my statements; your own mental creation.

(3) I have a grip. Quite a good one, thank you.

(4) And I will not let it go. As long as Milne, and people like him, insult the intelligence of people who disagree with him, who have good reason to disagree with him, I will have valid reason to disagree with such Milne-esque sentiments; and as long as the First Amendment holds, I will have every right to express said disagreement, and will do so, whenever and however I please. If that displeases you, feel free to take up this issue with the Framers of our Constitution.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, October 29, 1998.

Join the debate and we'll destroy him.

-- Richard Dale (, October 29, 1998.

You have a grip, John?

The problem is Y2K and the effect it may (probably) have on our lives. So what do you want to discuss? Paul the point where you start a thread looking for an "anti-milne". That's a rant, not a grip.

Once upon a time I disagreed with a well known Y2K expert. I wrote a rebuttal and emailed it to him. We debated via email for a while. I didn't have to begin a thread attacking the man. I didn't worry the issue as a dog worries a dead rat. We still disagree, but we disagreed by exchange of messages, not by posting an attack.

Such an attack, out of the blue, would seem to me to be worse than anything you could accuse Milne of.

If you want to counter Milne, and you don't want to use his tactics, then why do you bother with the snide remarks -- Shakespeare and cow farts, indeed. The true counter to him would be proven remediation worldwide, proven economic good news worldwide: good news coming from all Y2K efforts, all presented with joy and without rancor. You won't counter him with odiforous'll only take the discussion to a name calling pig wallow, and that serves no purpose.

Does your post serve a valid point, John? Will it change Paul Milne and make a Mr. Milquetoast of him? I doubt fact I know it won't. So, what good does it do?

You have a grip? OK, if you say, so John.

-- rocky (, October 29, 1998.

Sheesh, Rocky, we sure have different ways of looking at things. But that's OK.

Posts don't have to exist purely and only for the purpose of changing people. Some people won't acknowledge the existence of water if they're drowning in it; but a post on the subject might let some other people know that water does indeed exist.

It's the height of irony that you would call what I say about Milne a rant. He's the king of the rant, as Y2K goes. I guess if I said something about Jerry Springer being tasteless, and you'd accuse me of lack of taste.

Out of the blue? He's in the newsgroup every night with his vitriol....this is a connected community after all. Just because he hasn't been here in this particular forum that much doesn't mean he can't be a subject here. Everything else can be a subject....why not Milne? Just because you like his viewpoint? Is that it? I.e. "everything is subject to review and critisism, except that which I hold dear"....nope, that doesn't work.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, October 30, 1998.

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