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Just read Gary N. post today....said does he think people who live in city will die? Yes..... It is what he said. What are your thoughts.?

I live in the city. / A big one.

-- consumer alert (private@aol.com), October 27, 1998


Unfortunately, YES.

The L.A. riots were only a few days. Extrapolate exponentially.

-- P.O.ed (also@stuckinthecity.com), October 27, 1998.

Actually, I believe he said that HALF of the people who live in cities will die. He didn't say which half...

I don't know precisely what Gary North had in mind when he made that (hyperbolic?) statement. But it touches upon one of my greaest fears.

I live in New York City, in a "decent" section of Brooklyn. A block away, across a major street begins a "not so decent" section that quickly morphs into a "lousy" section and then a "horrible" section. It stretches on for miles. Now, little white boy yuppie here doesn't particularly want to get into race relations issues, or why one section is considered decent and another is not. That just APPEARS to be the reality of it.

The folks on my side of the line seem to be a little better educated, a little friendlier towards strangers, a little more tolerant, a little less likely to solve problems using violence, a little less likely to commit crimes. (though not much. we yuppies are masters of deceit and appearances) The folks on the other side of the line are what might be called "The Masses." There are lots of them. Many of them speak no english. Most of them are poor. Many of them are not very educated. Most of them are good people with good hearts. Many of them have been hardened by life's experiences. We're not all that different, and the biggest barrier between "Us and Them" is perceptual.

So, there are a few people in my neighborhood who are beginning to become aware of Y2K. I don't know of anyone who is actively preparing, but there are stirrings of awareness. I can't say about "the masses." As this thing heats up in the next 14 months, the yuppies will start to get it and won't be completely shocked when TSHTF. It'll probably take the masses by surprise. And I'm sure they'll be rather mad about it. In the worst case (I'm leaning towards a 8-9), when there's no heat or electricity, people are going to start burning things! Those who don't may freeze! (especially the elderly). After the stores run out of food (no big mega supermarkets around here, it's all small places) people will be desparate! (Jan. 15th?) Dude will do ANYTHING for a pack of smokes. I heard that chick on the fourth floor been feeding HER kids! Let's go break her door down! And these are the yuppies!

Anyway, this is my private nightmare, and I didn't even mention martial law, food riots, or that I expect huge swaths to burn to the ground.

I don't know what you're planning, consumer, but my aging parents live in a small suburban town about an hour outside the city, and my yuppie sister and I and a few others are planning on being there. Yes, there is a 7-11 within 5 miles, but I think we could still get through in an 8-9 scenario. And besides maybe Gary North and I are both wrong!?! I certainly hope so!

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), October 27, 1998.

Course Gary also thinks the Power Grid is going down foor good. I expect interuptions, but to say the Grid will be down for good is a pretty far fetched idea. (what? The world will never settle down again? There will never be anyone who in the calmer years will go "Remember that thing called elictricity?") Gary gets by on one basic concept, spread as much fear as possible....and oh yeah, don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter. Remember to ALWAYS take Gary with a grain of salt. Don't totally ignore him, but don't take him at face value either.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 27, 1998.

You have every right to be concerned. Stock your fallback position. Get the basics there soon (ie before 1/99). Don't think you can wait to 4Q 99. Imagine the worst scenario then double it, prepare for it, then pray it doesn't happen. Too many indicators are going red all at the same time.

-- R. D..Herring (drherr@erols.com), October 27, 1998.

I wonder what will happen to Gary North if what he says does not happen. Do you suppose he is an extreme alarmist? What is it about him and what he is saying is believable? I haven't heard too many "experts" dispute what he is saying. If the logic that he presents does happen, then it is true that living in the city will certainly be a disaster. Since we aren't going to start a war to thin out the population, then perhaps Y2K will thin out the weakest of our species.

-- Wondering (Wondering@net,.com), October 27, 1998.

Rick, I take your post with a grain of salt. Is North infallible? Of course not. Do the facts support his conclusions? Yes. It is just that no one has the guts to say it. I'm from Philly and now a hundred miles from there. Believe me, I don't like to think about what it will be like there if electric goes down for thirty days. No one does. It is hard to hope for the best and at the same time prepare for the worst.

North's latest post on his power grid catagory did reveal North stating uncatagorically his conviction that there will be no power at the turn of the millennium. Before this he always made the disctinction that he sees no way it can stay up, inviting anyone to prove how the grid is going to stay up. Rick Cowles has always been on the cutting edge of the utility problem. What he just had to say unnerves me and I'm y2k ready. The electric is going down. IT IS THE POWERGRID STUPID. The facts have nothing to do with your like or dislike of North. Read Yardeni's report on electricity. Read Cowles. Observe Yourdon's move out of New York to Taos, N.M. , Read Roleigh Martin's article on power on y2ktoday, Read the quotes of Sen. Bennett and Sen. Dodd after a secret meeting with ten utilities, then get out of the city. It is truly a matter of life and death. Take North out of the equation if you want. Not me. He is the only one who is keeping me awake. I have serious disagreements with Dr. North but not with his warning to get out of the city.

I will leave you with this question? What utility has announced that it has started work on its embedded controls? And while you are at it make sure you read the response or rather the lack of response the state of Minnesota got from its state utilities on Cowles site. Good luck and God bless. y2k is an all or nothing bet. Peace, Bob

-- bbrown (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), October 27, 1998.

All this talk about North leads me to believe that many of you haven't read any of the real experts in a while. North knows nothing about this problem other than the myriad of possible scenarios. He is stirring up fear for his own purposes.

You know what gets me the most about North and Milne? If we all agree that nobody knows what actually will happen, then why are they so certain about the outcome?

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), October 27, 1998.

My real experts are Ed Yourdon, Cory Hamasaki, Rick Cowles, and programmers in the trenches trying to fix this thing. Who are yours?

-- bbrown (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), October 27, 1998.

Dick Mills

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 27, 1998.

Regardless of North's personal agenda, his website is a valuable reference to discussions and news on Y2K,

But it's important to put his own commentaries on Y2K in perspective. Skim through href= http://www.serve.com/thibodep/cr/words.htm>this site. Paul Thibodeau (himself a strong advocate for Y2K being only a bump in the road) has collected a number of quotes from North's writings. They're quite surprising.

That's why I always go to the sources for the materials on North's site. And don't put too much weight on his own interpretations of them.

North himself states that the comments with which he introduces the articles on his website are intended to spin the reader's perceptions so as to forward North's desired outcome. Which is, as he says: "... of course I want to see y2k bring down the system, all over the world. I have hoped for this all of my adult life." (Quoted href=http://www.erols.com/steve451/doom>here)

I know many readers here are aware of this situation, but I expect many others are not.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), October 28, 1998.

"Rick, I take your post with a grain of salt. Is North infallible? Of course not. Do the facts support his conclusions? Yes."

When you take the facts as HE presents them they do. Quite often when you click through to the source material though you will find he left out key parts, but they would just muddle up your thinking.

"North's latest post on his power grid catagory did reveal North stating uncatagorically his conviction that there will be no power at the turn of the millennium. Before this he always made the disctinction that he sees no way it can stay up, inviting anyone to prove how the grid is going to stay up."

You can't. You also can't prove that it won't. Until 01/01/00 no one can say with any form of certainty what will happen. We simply do NOT know. We all have speculations, guesses and theories. Yes, I will agree things will do look grim, and yes I am preparing, but no one knows!

"Rick Cowles has always been on the cutting edge of the utility problem. What he just had to say unnerves me and I'm y2k ready. The electric is going down. IT IS THE POWERGRID STUPID. The facts have nothing to do with your like or dislike of North."

What "facts"? The fact there are problems? I'll give you that. The fact that no matter how hard we wish 01/01/00 will come? I'll give you that too. Heck, I will even give you if 01/01/00 was today we would be in a world of hurt. But no matter what stage any utility is at, you have to agree THEY ARE WORKING ON IT! There is not one fact though that shows a complete grid shut down. There is a lot of speculation.

"Read Yardeni's report on electricity."

When was it published? What data is it based on?

"Read Cowles."

I do read him, but I also take him with a grain of salt. "Hello, welcome to my site...buy my book"

"Observe Yourdon's move out of New York to Taos, N.M."

Ed has given alternate reasons for his move besides Y2K. He last mentioned it was a combination of Y2K and the fact it was just him and his wife now and he did not see why they needed to stay in NYC. Yes it was partially because of Y2K, but he has amended it.

"Read Roleigh Martin's article on power on y2ktoday"

I will admit I have not read that one yet, but I will when I get a chance (I am spending so much time a day now as it is, it is hard to do anything else)

I could go on and on, point for point, but it is 2AM and a heck of a day ahead of me tomorrow. Yes, I agree 100% things are grim, but I refuse to believe at this date that the our fates are sealed. (and because I know someone will bring this up, yes I a solidly in the "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best" camp as my bills can prove) Too many people though seem to think that the game is over, it is just a matter of time. It's not. Yes things are close, yes things will be bumpy, but no one, no matter what they say, they do not know for sure what will happen


P.S. if any of this was excissvley abrasive it was not meant to be, I was in a hurry.

-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 28, 1998.

Half would be a pretty silly estimate. The largest city that could be supported without electricity, rail or trucking would probably be on the order of 100,000. That is on the order (I did not say on the 'close order' of - I mean within a power of 10) of London during the Roman years - and they had a very advanced government supporting the needed civil structures. So assuming a total loss of transportation and power would give smaller maximum supportable city sizes for the US due to not having the governmental structures in place to prop up the necessary - aqueducts and so forth. So if we get really optimistic about what can be done in a hurry we would get figures of over 200 million deaths in USA. Pessimistic figures would be even higher. Now do you see why I don't think you can plan for TEOTWAWKI? Who lives and who dies would be very nearly a random thing - and would depend almost as much on luck as planning. When a starving cannibal mob comes in your front door the only safe place is somewhere else - and you don't know where the mobs are going to be. And they would get very crafty about picking victims after a while too - and as they would have lost all inhibitions and restrictions by becoming cannibals - you will not be able to predict their actions. Better watch out for women especially, they are easier to run down and catch, and have other uses before they go in the pot. Other things - Bears were humans biggest competitors for this continent - and they will be making a huge comeback if we all die off. Plague - gee whiz - 200,000,000 corpses at 150 lbs average - thats a lot of rotten meat - better be up stream from any city - whoops that is the direction the cannibals will go - following the river upstream. Go to the mountains? Better - but then you have bears already and a really tough climate to contend with. That's why there aren't many people in the mountains - it's hard to grow food.

I guess I am feeling morbid because of being sick, but I really think that a detailed analysis of the carrying capacity of the USA without any working infrastructure would support the above. UN figures say that 2 weeks without food and the cannibals start up. Another couple of weeks and human meat is openly traded. Kinda makes a recession look like nothing, doesn't it?

Frankly I think both North and Milne are way out in left field on this one - and you better hope I'm right, because if I'm not most of you folks won't be alive two years from now.

Oh, I forgot to mention food slavery - no I'm just gonna drop it - if some of you are planning secretly to control slaves with food I don't think I want to know.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 28, 1998.

Y'know, I'm no great expert on demographics or how the damages of a catastrophie radiate and grow or diminish, etc., but...

I don't think that the grid has to be down for good, or even for very long, before things get really nasty. In NYC, for example, you have a huge population living on a mainly JIT supply of food and water. It won't take more than a week before the vast majority are out of food and are having big trouble getting it. For water, it will only take a day or two. Throw in the lack of heat, and you have a BIG bunch of people who are struggling for the basic necessities.

What about the subways? Don't they need electricity? Picture downtown Manhattan without functioning traffic lights. We don't even need to throw in the cars that quit due to embedded systems to have a massive traffic jam. How will supplies get in or out of large urban areas when the streets are full of gridlocked traffic?

Even if the lights are only out for two weeks, a city will get pretty unpleasant. So don't let yourselves be led to a false sense of security by the (hopefully correct) folks who say the grid won't be down for long. It won't TAKE long.


-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), October 28, 1998.

Well you have to keep in mind that North is assuming that there will be no relief effort mounted whatsoever. Just how Y2K is supposed to keep a diesel generator with no IC's in it from running is a question he has not answered - nor just what is supposed to destroy the millions of gallons of diesel in storage tanks - nor why the national petroleum reserve would not be used in such an emergency - nor about a thousand other buts that North has ignored entirely. For that matter why should a diesel truck rig not run? Are the roads supposed to explode? And no one can switch a diesel train loaded with grain for NYC with a sledgehammer and get it through? And even if there are riots one would think they would either be put down or burn themselves out in a day or so - North thinks the cities will burn flat. North assumes we are totally helpless without computers - and that ALL computers are going to totally and suddenly quit flat. Wishful thinking on his part.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 28, 1998.

Paul, granting your comments - and they are correct

It's more important to get the right cargo loaded in the right truck or container, move the container to right place in the right train, get that car to right dropoff point, unload it, and reload it into the right truck, assign that truck to the correct route, get it to the correct market, account for everything, inventory everything, and sell it.

Just running the diesel or switching the train is not the whole problem. Its a small symptom of a part of the whole problem.

Consider (if TSHTF) what happens if riots hit the commercial distribution centers for the supermarkets - remember the damage done to the Superdome in New Orleans by squatters who were there courtesy of the city as hurrican protection - then how's the food (if any is left) going to get to the remainder.

(The national petroleum reserves are just "margins" of oil set aside in known field ready to be pumped. Then piped, then refined, then stored distributed, and used. Not an emergency use, ready-to-use tank farm supply.)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 28, 1998.

As a Computer technician involved in y2k evaluations and repairs, I do believe that SOME of what Gary and Rick Cowles say is right on target. I have been involved in advising companies on what they need to fix for Y2k compliance and most of what I hear is "Its not till 2000 we can wait until then" or "I don't have time to worry about that now" or "I'd like to fix it but its not in the budget right now" If the Power Companies are approaching this from a similar standpoint, we are definitely in trouble. My main question is "If the grid goes down from embedded chip failure, will they have enough compliant chips on hand to repair and bring it up again?" Remember, there are LOTS of power companies out there fighting for a limited supply of chips. My own belief is that the actual Y2K Effect will hit somewhere alittle below the 1/2 way point between TEOTWAWKI and no effect(more towards TEOTWAWKI than towards no effect.)

-- Steve L. (levins@csps.com), October 28, 1998.

Ok...here is a new one I enjoyed today


Um...Gary....put the tinfoil hat back on, the black helicopters are on their way. He has now dived into the deep end of the conspiracy pool and is looking for it to help his credability. He says

"If the government will lie about this, it will lie about y2k, fear of which could create public panic.

The media are in cahoots with the government on this. "

He ALMOST had me with him until I got to that last sentance. The media is in cahoots? Um...ok. Why he felt this was necessary for his site I have no idea. I see the analogy he was trying to draw, but it was a pretty far piece to reach for, and if anything will just serve to damage his credability with the majority of the pepople IMHO.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 28, 1998.

Thank you Paul for your vision of the future dark ages. Hadn't thought of cannibalism. Hope they like lean meat.

Dick Mills is an expert. But he said in one article, they MUST start contingency planning now for it to succeed. They haven't and they won't until it's too late. One third of utilities haven't even started on y2k remediation. And finally, no one has an answer to the embedded chip problem.

Some of you are evidently going to wait around to see if they make it. Not sure yet, huh? Read Roleigh Martin's part 2 article just posted today on y2ktoday.com You denial-heads make it easy for us to prepare on the cheap. Thanks.

-- bbrown (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), October 28, 1998.


Regarding TWA Flight 800, you wrote:

>>Why he [GN] felt this was necessary for his site I have no idea. I see the analogy he was trying to draw, but it was a pretty far piece to reach for...

Have you bothered to PERSONALLY research the evidence on TWA Flight 800? If not, you might want to actually read the special report Gary referred to in his comments before you pass judgment on him and this issue. It can be found at:


Happy reading...

-- Nabi Davidson (nabi7@yahoo.com), October 29, 1998.


I have read more TWA 800 then I care to remember. I have read just about any report that comes out, I am really good friends with a TWA pilot who lost a friend on the flight and so on. So basically it boils down to this, No I do not think it was a missile. The cover up would be so danged immense there is no possible way it could be handled. At last estimate when I was talking with some friends about this, we figured at minimum there would have to be 10,000 people in on it. (Naval crews, radar operators, FBI, investigators so on and so forth)

And my second point was, I still, for the life of me can not figure out why int he world Gary put something like this on his site. It is beyond me. Or that stuff about hackers he put up today (which is being covered in another thread) All in all, it was a "questionable" day for Gary at best.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 29, 1998.

Robert, I would imagine that relief trains going into any city that had been without power or food for several days would be manned by Regular US Army, and they would have orders to shoot to kill at any attempt to interfere. The only train crew would be those who were needed to run the engine. Somewhere I remember reading what some country did during extreme crisis some time back (WWII? I have forgotten). They put a flatcar in front of the engine with troops on it behind metal shields - then another flatcar about every tenth freight car. They got the freight through.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 29, 1998.

I wouldn't spend New Years Eve in the city. If you have relatives or friends whom live in remote areas, you should plan a Christmas/New Years visit to them. Pack your car with supplies, keep your tank full of gas and see what happens. If the power is on and all is well head back to the city. If not, stay with your family or friends. Easy solution for city folks. If you plan to stay with the ship, prepare to sink.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), October 29, 1998.

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