The Impact of Y2kgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The Impact of the Y2k Problem
The Y2k problem will have it's major impact on the ECONOMY. Although there are certain to be other disruptions in the short-term around the critical dates, the adverse economic effect will be most noticeable throughout 1999 (maybe sooner) and 2000.
The infrastructure is bound to be spotty for a while in January 2000, but there will also be intermittent failures throughout the next 2 years or so. When Smith-Barney was testing out Y2k code patches, they accidentally deposited $19,000,000 in every account. They were trying to add 19 million to the 6-digit 981026 type of Date numbers but they made a mistake and added it to the Balance column instead. They caught it before it was too late (pulling an all-niter) and fixed it promptly. But you can expect more of that.
The infrastructure is sometimes conceptually divided into the Copper triangle (Electricity, Telephones, and Internet and other media prepared with electronics) and the Iron triangle (Water pipes, Oil pipes, Trucking & Shipping). Something like that. Power and communications could go down for days, weeks, or months, and the iron and petrochemical-based systems (including transport) will likely be impaired for even longer. It seems unlikely that everything would go down completely and permanently. Many systems will be intentionally powered down during the critical date transitions but they will also be powered up. So service is likely to be spotty, not all gone, not all there.
The concern is about whether people will start looting and robbing for money, guns, and food when faced with supply shortage combined with a failed infrastructure. The infrastructure is like the skeleton of civilization. As long as the power grid is up, there is bound to be the mass-media component available to assist in the management of the post y2k mindset. The media is like the top handle and the strings of the marionette, which is like the average citizen who is habitually exposed to and immersed in mainstream media programming.
Although TV, radio, and publications can easily go on, the Internet requires the phone system. Subsets of the internet may be reachable by wireless comm. Y2k may be a good reason to go wireless, not having to depend on the phone links, or at least using a cell-phone (in case the CO is operating) or a cable-modem. You also need solar panels for your notebook. PacBell is selling the Mercury II Solar System (3 lbs, 14 watts) for $400 (800-327-6882).
From the economic standpoint, businesses are going to want to be fault tolerant with the infrastructure and have alternate data links. Individuals are going to want to band together in clusters of communities for greater self-reliance and autonomy. Division of labor can be setup in each community according to the needs and resources available. Some amount of lawlessness and civil disruption is to be expected, as a representation of the degree of selfishness and ignorance present among the community members. Both the inner-city domicile and the isolated rural homes are likely to be at most risk from crime. Some amount of curfew and martial law is also inevitable if the infrastructure fails for more than a day. With infrastructure failure however, authority will tend to become decentralized, as the paternalistic systems of "government as provider of security and more" will not be able to function properly without communication and supply lines. This will make the government even more defensive (or offensive depending on your point of view) than they already are. Nervous with insecurity of losing control, they are likely to clamp down on freedom.
Banks are not going to suddenly 'forget' how much money you have, but they will have to place limits on how much currency can go out of each account because they simply do not have enough printed up for everyone. Banks and credit card companies need to be y2k compliant and y2k immune. In other words their software has to be smart enough to deal with non-compliant systems and not just give it up. This way I can still order books from Amazon.
In the post y2k world people are still going to want to earn money, and assuming there hasn't been an apocalyptic eclipse of civilization, there will be a lot more telecommuting and companies having web-enabled databases. This refers to the IT sectors of the business world, but there are many jobs which only require terminal access to a computer system and this will be a convenient way to work, from home on the range.
If the whole technology world did collapse suddenly and permanently (it may be unlikely, but suppose there were a powerful solar blast that wipes out all the chips, or perhaps a change in the dielectric properties of the atmosphere that prevented wireless transmission), then security, food, and communications will be the priority and money will have little meaning anymore. The world could go back to the way it was in 2000 BC, except with a lot more people on the planet (initially) and a lot of knowledge and other information including belief systems. This scenario calls even more for stocking up on heirloom seeds, and for the short term, water, food, herbs, vitamins, minerals, chlorella and other algae, phyconutrients, and gluconutrients.
In any event it is useful to remember that technology is a mirror of humanity (are you mired in it), and as a reflection it will illustrate our attitudes towards the world. Technology is like a toy for training people how to relate to others and the world around them. They are just training wheels and tools that we use along the path to greater consciousness. Whether the type of consciousness you are seeking to increase is football, doritos and beer, or a better grasp of metaphysical truths, you are going to use technology to satisfy your desires (less so in the latter case). Information technology is a mirror of the mind, and computers are objective, lifeless tools, just like any other artifact. Do you get ever mad at your computer? Is the discontent with the computer or the software, or the software author. Or maybe it is with the person that tells you what you have to do with your computer. Or maybe it is discontent with your self because you don't know how to do the job efficiently and you don't know how to figure it out. It's the last one: your attitude towards the computer (and the Machine World in general) is a reflection of your attitude about yourself and the situation you have ended up in. Your world is an illustration of your ego. If you want to change it, learn how to recognize it, get to know it, and understand how it works, first. After identifying the condition-action patterns, you can create an effective upgrade plan and execute it.
Where does the path to greater consciousness and evolvement of the spirit lead to...eventually, self-reliance and independence from the Machine World. It's going to be time to put away the toys of technology, just keeping them in schools and museums, and move beyond the crutches and training wheels. But we are a long way from that.
Although it would be highly beneficial, having everybody just sitting around and praying and meditating on abstract spiritual truths isn't that likely in the near future, as there has been commercially programmed into mass consciousness the beast of consumerist desire. People need to realize that what they desire is the pleasant sensations of the world, and less so the effort of obtaining this. But while these sensations are not that important, desire has been programmed with marketing budgets to support whole companies of people. This way the system feeds on and reinforces itself, because everybody wants to make money to buy nice things and have a comfortable life. Capitalism is fueled by consumerism propaganda and attitudes, but should operate equally in a survivalist world as well.
The grid and other components of the infrastructure are unlikely to go down permanently, but when they are down, consumerism would be replaced with survivalism, luxury with necessity, modern living with modern danger. Whether or not we can maintain the charades of the fractional reserve system, the stock market and deficit spending in general remains to be seen. The financial infrastructure is most prone to emotional turbulence and so the stock market has devised 'circuit breakers' which will shut off the trading for various delay times. They have them set up to trip at Index drops of 20%, 30% and 40%, etc.and the shut-off time ranges from an hour to the rest of the day depending on the amount of drop. This lets the traders and stockholders regain their composure while the bottom drops out. People in the financial world tend to be arrogant and smug about the reliability of their systems, but this is because their world is predicated on predictability and maintaining beliefs in the status quo.
Earth is a valuable residential and industrial district in this neck of the universal woods. The resources need to be managed intelligently, and this is our responsibility. The Native Americans knew about that and were able to preserve North America for many centuries without any Bureau of Land Management or other administrative system. Little did they realize they were saving it for the inevitable takeover and exploitation by colonialist settlers from Europe with paternalistic, utilitarian, and self-centered religions and economies. There's plenty to go around as long as people are not hoarding and fighting over it.
A lesson from Y2K: Go back to nature where you came from, and find your peace. Network and live with people of like mind.
-- Jon (email@example.com), October 29, 1998
Objection, assumes facts not in evidence.
-- Arnie Rimmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 29, 1998.
Heard on the radio today that "y2k is only the tip of the iceberg." Everything bad will happen at once.
1. Major solar flares 2. meteor showers 3. earthquakes 4. volcanic eruptions near the drizzly, gray city of Seattle with "the bluest skies you've ever seen." 5. Alignment of the planets.
Any factual basis for all of these events?
-- optimist pessimist (email@example.com), October 29, 1998.
Chicken Little was right, the sky is falling. If Seattle goes, will there be a Windows 2000?
Green Acres is the place to be .......
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 29, 1998.
"1. Major solar flares"
Yes. We will be at the peak of Solar Max 23 (the 23rd cycle of the 11 year cycle of solar flares)
"2. meteor showers"
Yes, the Lenoid Meteor Shower will be coming at that time.
"3. earthquakes 4. volcanic eruptions near the drizzly, gray city of Seattle with "the bluest skies you've ever seen.""
People can only guess and make estimates on 3 & 4, no one knows for sure when earthquakes will happen, and scientists can SOMETIMES predict volcano's, but not this far in advance.
"5. Alignment of the planets."
May 5,2000. A planetary alignment that happens every 3600 years will occur again. It will be Mercury, Venus, Earth, our Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Sun will all be in a line. Go to:
To read up on it. Some people think it will shift our planet's pole's, but this is highly unlikely as all the other planets will be on the far side of the sun. Read the page I listed to see a breakdown of the math.
-- Rick Tansun (email@example.com), October 30, 1998.
Solar Max comes around every eleven years. There is always some trouble - always much exaggerated in the media. But we had more reliance on comsats in 1988 - and we were still able to phone home. Makes for nice auroras though.
Leonid shower maximum is this November 17, not next year. Next year the stream will be a lot farther from us.
Back in 1976 there was a major alignment of the planets on our side of the sun. Really nice to see in a telescope - if you can find some old copies of Astronomy magazine some of the pictures are great. I had a lot of fun with that - but there were no effects on earth.
As far as I know there are only three noticable effects astronomical bodies besides the Sun and Moon have on the Earth - meteorites, lightening and cosmic rays. (Much lightening is due to electric equalization of charged cosmic ray particles.)
-- Paul Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 30, 1998.
The stock market has rebounded. The world's financial troubles are coming to an end. The economy is great. Life goes on. Cheer up folks. You might find it refreshing.
-- Believer (OYe@littlefaith.com), October 30, 1998.
Solar flares? Meteor showers? Earthquakes? Volcanic eruptions? Planets aligning? These things happen all the time and life goes on. Sounds like the radio report was authored by Jeanne Dixon. Or could it be that some of the panic element is starting to surface. I pretty much expect the human "fear" factor to kick in some time in the next six months. Just like folks who run to the store in a panic to stock up toilet paper and milk upon hearing that a 2 inch snowstorm is approaching. With Y2K, at least there's good reason to prepare in advance. But we need to keep our perspective. Let's not loose our heads over this and give in to fear. Prepare for what we believe we know, then add a measure "just in case". Remember, we also want to help others to prepare which means we have to be able to convince them that there is a genuine problem at hand. Let's not risk our credibility by entertaining predictions of disaster based on solar flares and planet alignments.
-- David (email@example.com), October 30, 1998.
I have never seen such a complete description of Y2K presented, with nothing to back it up, or even reasonable IF..THEN type qualifications. The description is the assumption, the assumption is the description. (Oh well, in Y2K we usually observe "Nobody knows". I guess we can now say "Somebody knows".)
-- Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 30, 1998.
Y2k Effect: Possible Problem Scenarios By Industry
Economy: the economy takes a weekend hit, around the y2k critical date, but it is likely to be real bear for awhile leading up to it. Takes a while to start the improvement, getting worse before getting better.
Petrochemical Industry: availability of oil and refinement decreases and price increases for aviation and motor vehicle fuel, heating oil, and other synthetic petrochemical products. Impaired transportation and commerce further declines the economy.
Power Grid: digital processing failures can impair but not destroy the grid. Electricity gets costly, with more use of smaller distributed localized energy (electric) sources. Price goes up mainly because of the expense of coal and gas, and the nuke downtime.
Phone, radio/tv, cable, internet systems: failures can impair but not destroy the phone system. Cell phone dialtone may be available. This layer is on top of the Power Grid. Mission-critical operations will require a backup power system such as a generator.
Real Estate: property in the country appreciates as acreage becomes 'real' valuable, an inversion of the traditional more developed areas having the highest real estate values.
Financial and accounting: bank failures, breakdowns impair processing but do not destroy cost-accounting data. At least some of the credit card companies are able to process some merchant transactions.
Taxation: tax liabilities are unlikely to be just forgotten about by the government, they will just require at least the previous year's tax payment.
Government: as it ever was, little more than legislated rules, enacted and carried out by civil servants, and enforced by authorities with service revolvers. Clampdown such as martial law is likely in the early phase around critical date(s), with FEMA as the de facto judicial, legislative, and executive authority.
Community: has key importance in the support of a cooperative resource planning. The objective will be for 1. developing a non grid source of electricity, 2. reducing dependence on the internal combustion engine, reducing dependence on federal and state government, and 4. growing produce on a localized basis with a food coop.
Legal activity: impaired as much as the rest of the world, in proportion to the economic decline.
Commerce: transportation and shipping gets expensive due to limited oil imports. Travel in the post-y2k world is hazardous. Luxury things don't sell and it's back to basics.
Industry: manufacturing goes through a y2k-compliance shakedown as unprepared companies drop out, along with economic wipeouts of specialty markets.
Medical: triage if chaos, economic problems due to fewer insurance-supported expensive procedures, in any case.
Food: produce and processed food get costly, and more synthetic consumables on the market. More use of local bio-intensive mini-farming.
Population: 10% to 50% reduction over two years.
Religion: all the looney tune crackpots come crawling out of the woodwork to join the Orthodox churches in capitalizing on the millennial fever to make their case. Fundamentalism gets a boost but is susceptible to getting replaced with a pantheologic modern synthesis, to support the One New World Order.
Crime: organized crime sprouts up to fill the spaces (power vacuum) left by impaired law enforcement and emergency response services.
Military: hot spots flare up and resources are triaged between domestic and international theaters.
Internet: reliability not 100% but survives to play a key role in expanding information-based economy.
Earth Changes: increasing toxicity and ecological disasters (accidental and intentional) magnify the y2k effect.
Awareness: y2k event awareness increases throughout 1999 and crescendos with the millennial fever.
-- Jon (email@example.com), November 04, 1998.