No news is worse news (and Happy Halloween) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This weekend, as we slide out of October and into November, the Y2K situation will only worsen. Why? Well, today, this day, Friday, Oct 30, 1998, there is not one single Y2K compliant bank, electric utility, telecomm, etc., even at this ridiculously late date. Regardless of how big or small, whether the effort was started early or late, etc., there is not one, no, not one. Come Monday, Nov 2, this status will have not changed, but the situation will be worse, because the Y2K problem is a time bounded problem, and the time cannot be extended. Not by any amount of money, not by any number of people. The Y2K problem is a problem that cannot be fixed within the amount of time remaining.

-- Jack (, October 30, 1998


I know but their working on it. Check out this feelgood info(picked up at the credit union. What about Year 2000 disaster stories? There has been some pretty scary stuff published. But don't fall prey to this type of propaganda. The world didn't end on Jan.1,1900,as predicted, and it won't end on Jan.1 2000. You won't need to bury gold and silver in your back yard or remodel a cave in the desert. Keep in mind, the credit union already keeps backup records for account transactions, so in case of emergency, we could recover this information. And you too, likely,already keep transaction receipts and statements, so your own records would help to quickly resolve any account errors-in the unlikely event that any occur. The credit unions in America are united ina single goal. All are working very hard to ensure that it will be business as usual on Jan. 2 2000. We cannot guarantee perfection, but we pledge our 100% effort. Our quality staff, vigilant regulators, and our hardworking business partners are teamed up to accomplish this goal. If you have any questions about Year 2000 preparedness, please contact the people at your credit union.

-- Arthur Rambo (, October 30, 1998.

This sort of nonsensical proclamation starts to really narc me after a while. When faced with a sizeable battery of 'we are finished' announcements, the doomist say, well, those don't count. When told that half the small businesses in the US don't use or can easily do without computers, the doomists say, well, they don't count. When the doomists say 'regardless of how big or small' and you point out the facts, they say, well, they're lying. When a larger organization started lighting a fire under their remediation 6 months ago and they're nearly finished, the doomists say, well, they aren't done yet. The doomists never seem to explain why their schedule counts, and the schedules set by those doing the remediation don't count. As time goes by and more and more organizations declare themselves finished, are you going to say they're irrelevant, or they're lying, or what?

I'm not saying everyone will finish, or that there will be no problems. Problems will be major, and everywhere. But to say that 'there is not one, no, not one' ready is flat false. There are many.

We've discussed the theoretical impossibility of testing everything. We've discussed the legal ramifications of saying anything definite. We've talked about the fact that computer systems have always had bugs and always will. Weren't you listening? Can't you listen?

Remediation is like horseshoes -- close counts and closer counts more. We *are* getting closer, day by day. How close is close enough? You'll never get any two people to agree on that. I'd say if you can get on some internet forum in two years to spout about how right you were, the fact that you can do so proves you wrong.

-- Flint (, October 30, 1998.

Flint - if we can get on the internet the first week of January in 2000 we will get together and give em the horse laugh. I don't care how many are ready in October of 98, what counts is how many are ready by their critical dates.

-- Paul Davis (, October 30, 1998.

>Well, today, this day, Friday, Oct 30, 1998, there is not one single Y2K compliant bank,<

Went to a y2k presentation by a little 6 branch bank in farmland. Man said first thing: "Will your money be safe with us? Yes. ....We are all ready, but for the certication letters from our big depositors (over $250,000) and from some of our vendors.

He concluded: "There's no need to panic."

Why should I panic, I'm only a number!

-- 321 (1@2.3), October 30, 1998.

Paul, I agree with you. And I also agree with Flint. If a company says "We are close!" the HD's (Hardline Doomers) scream "Close?!? CLOSE?!? That doesn't count for anything!" What? Are they supposed to jump from 0 done to complete without ever saying anything in between? When a company issues good news the HD's scream it has been run through the PR hyperbole machine. When people in an industry say "I work in such a such industry and this is what we are doing" the HD's question if he really works in that industry. Then we see things like the following from Roleigh Martin:

"Heres something else that makes me nervous. How come so many utility company employees and executives are ordering generators from the sellers of backup power or wind generators? How come so many engineers in Public Utility Commission offices nationwide--who are studying this problem--are ordering backup power generators? I am not going to name names and embarrass people, but the number is significant--at least to me. You can learn a lot by hanging around people who work at the utilities and in state offices, by emailing them or calling them up on the phone, particularly if you keep the conversations off the record."

But hey, this is ok!

There is only one deadline that matters, 01/01/00. Anything before that is just nonsense. The work is being done, you can NOT argue with that. But alas, all those people putting so much hard work into this just don't matter I guess, bacuase here it is October 31st, and the next 14 months of work just do not matter because " there is not one single Y2K compliant bank, electric utility, telecomm, etc., even at this ridiculously late date."

Ok...TIME people...put down your pencil, turn out the lights on the way out. Because as of the end of October 1998 it's over. No need to do anything in the remaining 14 months.

Rick "I've-had-it-with-the-HD's"Tansun

-- Rick Tansun (, October 31, 1998.

For what it is worth, here is an e-mail I received concerning your comment Jack.

-------------------------------------------------------------------- Anna,

I have enough trouble accepting the traditional information provided to stock holders by corporate managements. That's one reason I concentrate on large companies and rely solely on the "technical" analysis of the market and individual stocks. After more than 30 years playing with Wall Street, I really don't believe much of anything that comes from there. However, the footprints left by buyers and sellers usually tell enough of a story to provide decent insights.

Your comments about the telcom area are disturbing enough. I have gained similar insights into the y2k preparation for three corporations headquartered here in Charlotte. Duke Energy is having significant problems in managing their y2k remediation efforts. They present a bland "we're working on it and will be ready" sort of "legalese" smiley face to their customers. However, I know a couple of their IT guys and they say otherwise. One problem is retaining project managers.

NationsBank (now BankAmerica) is spending their energies on melding the computer systems of all their merged banking activities. Their interface with the Euro conversion is also impeding any chance to become y2k complant in time to avoid problems. Also, B of A brought a lot of baggage to the merger in the form of "problem loans" and trading losses. This is distracting top management and they don't want some IT guy buggin' them right now. My spies over there say there "ain't no way they'll make it".

FirstUnion is another local megabank that will never make it. They recently acquired CoreStates Bank in a $16 billion transaction. The president of CoreStates said that one of his reasons for selling the bank was because they could never become y2k compliant. Meanwhile, FirstUnion has assigned top priority for merging accounting systems to their IT managers. Y2k has been "back burnered". I know this because my "snipped for obvious reasons" is a COBOL programmer working for FirstUnion. "Snipped" works on the CoreStates merger project and has repeatedly rejected offers to move over to the y2k project.

Finally, several analysts have had time to evaluate the September 17 NERC report on the y2k readiness of the nation's utilities (as you might have seen on Gary North's web site). This category of concern seems to have taken a step backward. If these guys aren't ready, we're all in trouble.

For some reason, I can't seem to find anything that suggests this problem is getting any better. To the contrary, it seems like accumulating evidence is pointing toward a certainty that some sort of dislocation will occur. If the realization begins to spread into the general population, then we will have to cope with "social dislocations". This potential is as scary as the prospect of blackouts. Sort of a "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" scenario.


------------------------------------------------------------------ I receive this type of information on a daily basis. I just hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Best Regards,


-- Anna McKay Ginn (, October 31, 1998.

When I first started reading all this y2k info I was ready to panic. I really believed all of the "bad "stuff getting ready to happen. I still don't know exactly what will happen...and nobody does...but my husband is at the top of his field in telecommunications and I trust his opinion...(and not because he's my husband) He works for utility company and KNOWS how the inside works. I tried really hard to convince him it was going to be really terrible. We discussed vendors, time problems everything....He untwisted alot of twists for me..He says there will be some interruptions but not TEOTWAWKI. He agrees there are problems...but thinks there is a lot of hype out there. Just thought I'd let you all benefit from his wisdom. Not to say, I don't believe in preparation...there could always be a terrorist attack etc. We should not live on our own fractional banking system..

-- deborah cunningham (, October 31, 1998.

My thoughts as I posted that feelgood info; I was imagining what an unaware, say 65 yr old with savings and a pension would think when they read it. I think that that person might be lulled into complacency by it. After all, what are your options? Bury gold and silver in the back yard? Remodel a cave? But you gotta give them credit, They did admit there would be problems. (that is "in the unlikely event that any even occur")

-- Arthur Rambo (, October 31, 1998.


So they are " ... going to be open for business as usual on January 2, 2000." are they?

Thought Jan 1 was a Saturday, Jan 2 was a Sunday, Jan 3 will be a Monday. Of course they will have business as usual on Jan 2, 2000. they will be shut, as usual on a Sunday.

Now, maybe Jan 3 will be interesting......but they didn't talk about Jan 3.

Remember, kids, it's the accululated transfers of millions of transactions that you have to trust with your money, not any single bank. Every little brick in a wall that is falling is still perfectly good brick. You can still use the brick - to build a new wall. But you need mortar, a good foundation, a scaffold, a ladder, and a mason to turn the fallen bricks back into a wall.

And a doctor to fix your bleeding head. In case you were still standing under the wall when (if) it falls.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 31, 1998.

Yep, that was a quote. BTW, Flint, I'd bet the rent that your preparing. I don't consider myself a "doomist". Yes I listen. And it don't sound good. So even though I have no way of predicting the outcome, I'm preparing "as if". Writing pamphlets discrediting people who are preparing is irresponsible.

-- Athur Rambo (, October 31, 1998.

I think it's important to remember that the pain of Y2K problems will not be felt equally by everyone. For example, if my employer is not ready, I may lose my job - but my neighbor is unaffected. If my credit union fails, it will mess up my car loan, but my savings is in another institution, which may not fail.

The issue of interconnection will cause cascading problems, but to varying degrees. We see this all the time. Lightning strikes and three blocks away the power goes out, while we have no problem. A large manufacturer goes out of business, so the bar & grill across the road can't cling to life anymore. There could be failures which will hurt most of us, or failures that will hurt only a few of us. If oil imports are cut off, the entire energy industry (and most of us) will feel the bite. If the PC containing the records of a pizza parlor fails, a few of us might end up buying pizza somewhere else, or just paying a little more for his product, to help the owner recover the losses.

So while some of us may feel little or no discomfort due to Y2K, others may get hammered. To a certain extent this will depend upon our ability to adapt, and also upon our level of preparation.

Most of us have little information about which specific areas will cause problems for us. Since this is the time to prepare, we need to do our best to cover all the possibilities - as related to our own particular situation. City dwellers have different concerns than rural folks, and people in warm climates have different needs than those in warm regions.

The big picture is made up of many little pieces, which have various patterns.

-- Mike (, October 31, 1998.

Mike, that's what I like about RD Herring's logrithimc "Diane scale" based on event, distance, and duration.

It let's you can talk with somebody else, or with a person new to Y2K about an individual's 5, another family's 3, and a company's 8, and a distant city's 10, without trying to assume that everybody will be affected the same.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 31, 1998.


I must have missed that. Could you (or maybe R.D.) explain the Diane Scale or point me to a previous post? Sounds interesting... Thx

-- Mike (, October 31, 1998.

#$%&^#!!! Aarrgghh!! try that again.


I must have missed that. Could you (or maybe R.D.) explain the Diane Scale or point me to a previous post? Sounds interesting... Thx

-- Mike (, October 31, 1998.

Boy there sure seems to be a resurgence of simpleminded optimism here lately...guess its denial phase again.

There is not one compliant bank now. You will not be able to name one compliant bank by 00/01/01 either because the whole system must be complaint for the banks to function (don't argue with ME on this minor technicality, its Alan Greenspan's assessment!). We lost our most senior coder to an insurance agency last month. His first task was to write an interface with Citibank. When he saw that the dates were still six digits, he asked the bank coder about guessed it: they're working on it. Well, the problem is, whether they are working on it or not, NEW CODE IS BEING WRITTEN AS WE SPEAK THAT IS NON-Y2K COMPLIANT. When will this code be remediated? It won't. You folks that think the s-h-i-t is not going to hit the fan in a major way still do not comprehend the true nature of the problem.

As for the _only_ date that matters being 00/01/01, that proves that Flint and the others that made this remark are nothing but idiots. Do a little more research guys.

Are the FAA, IRS, DOD, FED, NERC, et al now engaged in an all out campaign to allay fears and prevent panic? Well hell yes. They have no choice. But this doesn't mean the outcome is going to be made any rosier by taking this artificial stance. And its clouding the "get prepared" message to the point of total obscurity.

Look at the problems we are facing people...Y2K, global depression, CBN terrorism, deteriorating climate, solar communications disruptions, overpopulation, deforestation, pollution, etc etc. Can anyone here actually tell me THAT ANY OF THESE SITUATIONS ARE NOT WORSENING DAILY????

Have a nice day.

-- a (a@a.a), November 01, 1998.


(or whomever, or whoever, or whatever, Gayla/Donna help!!!!)

Oh calm down a bit and take a few decibles off ... "it ain't gonna be alright": those whom you critique have each in other listing addressed (or corrected, or made more complete, or gave full explanations) for the "single sentence sound bites" you're commenting about. Thinking that a complex issue can be condensed into a single quote is the kind a mistake I would expect only from a journalistic, not a person who is trying to solve the mountain & molehill problem.

Go back up and review each answer, look at it in context w/r to the previous answers and attiutude (personal condition) of the user. Then think about your reply - where you are trying to assume everybody's condition (and therefore everybody's relpies) will be the same.

Solve the problem, or give honest answers to those who ask for help, or improve things. do something more postive than criticize- whatever is easier and within your capacity.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 01, 1998.

If no news is worse news, then silence is ominous. Why is our leadership and media so silent?

Germans were very silent during the Weimar Republic and Nazi regime. Were they neurotic? Are we just getting all neurotic?

-- TTF (, November 01, 1998.

I'm going to try a biological analogy here, but if I get some of it wrong in the comparisons, I ask that RD make the necessary corrections since his particular skills and experience seem most relevant.

If we consider Society as a Human Body, and Y2K as a genetic defect, then progress reports in dealing with the situation might sound like this:

Left Ring Finger here--We are ready! Done. (OK news)

Liver here--We are about halfway finished. (Positive news, but still cause for concern)

Heart here--We've got major problems but we've been working on them since early childhood and we expect to be finished in plenty of time. (Whoa! This is worrisome but somewhat reassuring)

Lungs here--Our expert team of disease remediation technicians has a firm schedule which should result in blah, blah, blah. Remember that even after WE are 100%, you will still need your pancreas, your thyroid and many other parts of your body to continue Life As You Know It. (Sound familiar? What does this mean? Your guess is as good as mine.)

Brain here--Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain!

Depending on which message you focus on, the situation may appear under control or out of control or anything in between.

The problem with all of the above is that Y2K is a genetic defect in the connective tissue of the body.

Unless it's all eradicated there will be some effects and since that tissue is common to all parts of the body, you cannot predict with any accuracy where those effects will occur. Furthermore, since it's a design issue, if the design isn't changed, NEW tissue will have the problem too.

It seems to me that there is no way to know what remedial actions will be critical until after the fact. Everything anyone can do to correct a defect should be pursued. As they say in medicine, "First, do no harm".

It also seems apparent to me that the only two things that make no sense are to give up and do nothing and to accept failure before it might be forced on us.

If MY civilization falls, it will take me kicking and screaming with it, to my last breath.

-- Hardliner (, November 01, 1998.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far (and the biology lesson, too!). Looking over the posts thus far as to why Y2K non-compliancy today is not relevant is a lesson in "advanced" Y2K denial (i.e., Y2K denial graduates from "there is no problem, there is no need to worry" to "OK, there is a problem, but there is no need to worry"). I read that in fact there are PLENTY of banks and utilities that are in fact Y2K compliant, lots and lots -- but the names just seem to somehow get omitted. I read that hey, if it ain't 1/1/2000, quit being so doggone impatient -- like, I'm sure that this is the way a lot of people are about important things, like if you are depending on being able to move into a new house on a certain date, well of course you are just going to plan on doing that, you would not think of checking/verifying/etc., you would just show up and expect to move in, because that is the date that was agreed. Sure. And the saddest thing, quite frankly, is that a month from now, I suspect posing the same type of question will result in the same answers. Would this hold true a year from now???

-- Jack (, November 02, 1998.


First let me say that my family is prepared for whatever is coming as well as we can be at this point in time and we each do whatever we can do every day to further prepare, except the Dogs.

The Dogs do their usual thing and continually tell us, "We love you". They won't care if the lights go out, they'll still love us. If any bad people come, they'll help. They'll love us no matter what happens. Even if it's not going to be good, even if it turns out to be very bad, we know we can count on them. Dogs are Y2K compliant, 100%, today. They have been end-to-end tested over several eons and have always passed with flying colors.

We have for some time now been engaged in discussions with our neighbors about each and every Y2K possibility that we can individually or collectively imagine. We have made dynamic plans together, which have changed as time has passed and which we will most likely change again, and again and yet again, before 1/1/00.

Our little community of families awaits the coming of the 21st century with confidence and determination. We don't have any clearer picture of what it will be like than anyone else, but if you really think about it, none of us ever really knows what's in the future. In any case, as you so correctly observe, it is, ". . .a time bounded problem, and the time cannot be extended. Not by any amount of money, not by any number of people".

The argument that, "Not one single (whatever) is finished yet", strikes me as being a lot like standing at the finish line of the Indy 500 and saying, "Listen! Here we are, three and a half hours into this thing and not a single car has finished the race yet!

Everybody's not going to finish the race. Some, maybe lots, of the cars are going to be wrecked. Sadly, some of the drivers may even be killed. But some of them, maybe even most of them, will at least finish the race. Those that quit now will only acquire a guarantee of failure.

As long as our machines are working, the situation is NOT getting worse. Running out of time is NOT the same as the situation getting worse. In fact, every bean, grain of rice or drop of water that is stored, by definition, makes the situation better, whatever it turns out to be! My preparations' daily advance is solid evidence that I can see and touch that the situation is improving, and although the amount is small in comparison to the overall picture, I can quantify it and be assured that the change in the situation is in a positive direction!

You're right, Jack, the problem cannot be fixed. Not just fixed in time, not at all. We've changed our minds about how we want our machines to keep track of time and we've got to re-design them so that they'll do the same thing in the 21st century that they're doing in the 20th. We can't get to all of them by Y2K. That's just too bad for us.

How about if we just make sure that the "electricity car" finishes the race? Let's be sure that the "water car" makes it too. If we just make sure that those two "cars" finish, we can put up with the rest of the mess and deal with it as quickly as we can. Each additional "car" that we can make sure finishes the race will make the after-the-race party that much bigger a blowout! (We're gonna hafta' party somewhere along the way, or what's the point?)

After the "party", we'll try to make a workable society for ourselves out of whatever didn't get wrecked beyond hope and if the fractional reserve banking system didn't make it, Hooray! If the federal bureaucracy doesn't make it, we can count ourselves the luckiest of peoples and try to not make the same poor choices the next time around.

Here's your invitation to the winning team, Jack. Join us. When you hear some Y2K garbage statement about compliancy or remediation, don't tell US, we already know. Tell the folks that push the garbage that you know it's garbage and that if THEY don't get their act together, THEY'RE going to be OUT OF BUSINESS. I think you know how many zillions of emails you can send with the simple press of a key. DO IT! Vent to the corporate PR departments! Vent to the congress! Put as much psychological pressure on them as you can--and then forget it.

Work your preparations, work awareness when you think you can be effective, just keep going forward and don't stop. That's the closest you'll get to a guarantee that you'll see the other side of Y2K.

"But", as Dennis Miller says, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

-- Hardliner (, November 02, 1998.

I nominate the Leonard Cohen song "Everybody Knows" as the Official Anthem of this forum.

-- PNG (, November 02, 1998.

Help, help...I don't know "Everybody Knows", and I can't sing.

Not too bad at dancing though. Is it a waltz, two-step, foxtrot, ot polka? Maybe has a Latin beat?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 02, 1998.

Robert: Leonard Cohen can't sing either, but that doesn't stop him.

You MUST go out and buy it. I'm sure that even in little old north GA they have Leonard Cohen. You may have to go all the way to Marietta.

Spent a few years in Atlanta in the early 80's, myself. Loved it.

-- PNG (, November 02, 1998.

Hardliner, I like your style to a point. (I also love dogs!) But I want you and everyone else to understand the significance of what it means, at this late date, to not have a single Y2K compliant... yada-yada-yada. Your Indy race is a good example. Suppose some cars had gotten a head-start? Like maybe by a WEEK? Yet, they are still not finished yet. And, in order to make sure that the "electricity" car and the "water" car complete the race, it means that maybe other cars are going to have to move over, offer spare parts, fresh drivers, etc. -- but that is not the way it works, there is no additional incentive given for Y2K remediation work on an electric utility over some non-critical type of business. (Which brings up the side issue that there really is no one IN CHARGE of "the Y2K project" at any scale other than small ones.) I'm glad that you are personally prepared, and are helping those around you to. But as far as trying to get anything meaningful going above the small, local level, you might as well hang it up -- its too late!

-- Jack (, November 04, 1998.

Help, help...I don't know "Everybody Knows", and I can't sing.

Neither can Leonard Cohen.

Not too bad at dancing though. Is it a waltz, two-step, foxtrot, ot polka? Maybe has latin beat.

What a Leonard Cohen song with uptempo beat!!!

Is there another L Cohen, am I missing something, or has he changed fortunately haven't listened to him for years.

-- Richard Dale (, November 04, 1998.


I think your objective is satisfied, here. I've not read ANY posts that indicate that the writer does not appreciate (and by appreciate I mean, "to understand and place an appropriate value on") the significance of the lack of visibly compliant entities in our society.

As for, "not a single one", my local water utility IS Y2K compliant, 100%, right now. Sadly, it only has several hundred customers and a single well. At the bottom of that well sits a 3 phase 480 volt motor/pump that will be completely useless without utility electricity. It'll take a lot more than a Coleman 5 KW generator to get water out of that hole! But, the water co-op IS compliant. Will it make any difference in the end? We'll just have to wait and see.

The point of my comments, ". . .don't tell us", send the zillion EMails, work on awareness, etc. was that you're preaching to the choir here. Your message and your point is extremely important and relevant, but I think that you'd accomplish more by delivering it to an audience that is unaware of the facts and the significance of them.

Your contribution to the race analogy is a good one. One car that got that week's headstart was the Social Security Administration and it looks like they're in the pits again (pun intended).

I'm not sure that it's essential that the "other cars", "move over, offer spare parts, fresh drivers, etc." (after all, how much of that goes on at an auto race and don't cars still finish the race?), but it certainly would go a long way toward getting to the finish line. Maybe you're right when you say, "-- but that is not the way it works", and maybe we can change some of that with those zillion EMails. Even one change would be a positive thing.

As for there being, ". . .no additional incentive given for Y2K remediation work on an electric utility over some non-critical type of business", I'm afraid that I must disagree with you and agree with Rick Cowles when he says, "The Cassandra's curse (and in reality, blessing) is that preparing an electric company for deregulation and addressing Y2K aren't mutually exclusive issues. Let's face it: competition is not going to be much of a concern if an electric company's business systems crash on 01 Jan 2000, or power delivery systems can't deliver power because embedded controls weren't considered in the Y2K program. The "Y2K Ready" competition will swoop in like turkey vultures on roadkill." (Powerful Prognostications)

Who's in charge?, you ask, and answer no one is. In the way that you mean it Jack, you're right. But given the magnitude of Y2K, who would you suggest? I suggest that "someone" being in charge is not a viable proposition. I suggest that the best course is to communicate to EVERYONE, "Hey people, we are in DEEP, DEEP kim-chee here! If you want anything to be left for any of us, get crackin' on whatever piece of the puzzle you can perceive, RIGHT NOW, and make it right! Drop whatever you're doing and start bailing, 'cause we're sinking and we're all in the same boat!"

Will everyone pay attention? Will everyone believe? Will everyone do something positive? Of course not, but each individual person that does will make the end result better than it would otherwise be.

Make no mistake, all of us are heading, beyond any human control, toward an event that, whatever it will be, will NOT be good for a lot of people. You're right, Jack. It is too late. Far too late. Too late to make EVERYTHING work right but NOT too late to do ANYTHING.

Damage control, for lack of a better term, is the best we can do at this point in time, and I suggest that you, and I, and all that realize or can be shown what is going on, had better be about it, or there may well be nothing left of our civilization.

Jack, you have an excellent facility with words. You can make a difference in this thing. I'm personally asking you to make a small "tweak" in your perspective and help make Y2K a little bit less of a calamity. The human race needs ALL of its expertise on this one.

-- Hardliner (, November 04, 1998.

And thats where we must agree to disagree, Hardliner, and believe me I enjoyed your eloquent responses to this thread. And thanks to everyone else who responded.

-- Jack (, November 04, 1998.

OK, Jack,

We forever shall disagree. Done.

There's one other small thing though. As a personal favor, in return for your enjoyment of my eloquence if you like, will you post, verbatim, as I now do?

I, Hardliner, swear before Almighty God and on pain of Eternal Condemnation of my Immortal Soul that I am not Gary North.

Will you do that for me, Jack? (substituting, of course the psuedonym, "Jack", for mine)

When I first happened on Gary North's Y2K Website, I'd never heard of him. I read his information, and realized what a valuable service he was rendering to those who had the foresight to utilize it.

I found that I agreed with much of his reasoning and many of his conclusions but I realized that I knew nothing about his agenda or motives.

Well, I decided to find out something about him. I did some research on him and when I thought I knew generally who he was, I downloaded one of his books ("Political Polytheism"). I also read a number of critical reviews of his various works and saw how others viewed him and what they had to say about him. Anyway, after all this research, his writing (style, tone, vocabulary, etc.) became familiar. Armed with the knowledge that he visited his own forums "incognito" (those of you who have been reading Gary's site since the beginning will remember that he wrote openly of doing just that in in his introduction to the forums), his "anonymous" posts to his own forums became, in the main, rather obvious. Sort of like, if you saw a tall, light skinned man in a Tijuana bar speaking pure Castillian Spanish, you'd sort of figure he wasn't one of the Mexicans, wouldn't you?

If this all seems exceedingly bizarre to you who read this thread, be assured that I find it just so myself. Am I insane? Maybe. I'm obviously the last one qualified to make that evaluation.

"Jack" can settle the question, in my mind at least. Whatever Gary North may or may not be, I believe and have always believed that he firmly believes in God. I do not believe that Gary North would swear falsely before God.

What do you think? If you care enough, I suggest that you read again Gary North's writings and "Jacks" and use YOUR mind to compare them. I think that you'll agree that if "Jack" is not Gary, he's doing an incredible job of imitating his writing style.

If I'm wrong, it won't be the first mistake I've ever made, and I'll have hurt no one. "Jack" should be flattered and so should Gary. And, although I'll still be just an anonymous voice in cyberspace, you all know now that I'M not Gary North.

-- Hardliner (, November 04, 1998.

"And, although I'll still be just an anonymous voice in cyberspace, you all know now that I'M not Gary North."

But, are you Jo Anne Slaven?

-- Not telling (watching@it.all), November 04, 1998.

Oh, man, I had my brain fried last week with all that New Age stuff, and just when I thought that I had sufficiently recovered, ZAPP!!! Ok, I swear before God I am not Gary North, just a person who is very worried about Y2K. And I am increasingly seeing on this forum and others what I would consider to be very bizarre responses to Y2K, responses that do nothing but confuse and sadden. One response, hashed out last week, is to just go to la-la land and think that you can meditate Y2K away. Another is to fixate on the messenger who brings forth the worst of the Y2K predictions, and worry about the messenger's background rather than on the message (which indeed may be wrong). Finally, and obviously this was the reason that I started this thread: APPARENT OBLIVION TO THE FACT THAT TIME IS SLIP-SLIDING AWAY! I mean, I see people come up with these great and wonderous ideas on getting Congress to act, etc., as if it were 1993. I believe, based on lots of stuff, including but not limited to, that it is too doggone late for this. And I hope that I am wrong, and that indeed come 2000 everyone can indeed give me -- and other doom-and-gloomers -- the high horse for being such fools. But, as the saying goes, I'd rather be a fool than an idiot.

-- Jack (, November 04, 1998.


Thank you. I believe you are someone other than Gary North. It doesn't matter who, you are entitled to your say whoever you may be.

As for your brain being fried, you can't fool us. Whatever else your brain may be, it is not fragile.

For my part, please forgive my "stunt". The air is now crystal clear between us and I have no reservations about your sincerity (or the tenacity with which you hold to a position). I can not blame you if you suspect me of being somewhat nutzoid, and who knows? Maybe I'm a mental patient surreptitiously visiting the internet on the computer in my ward nurse's office. (That idea should scare you since I really don't disagree with anything you say, only your perspective.)

For example, I too, see many bizarre things appearing with increasing frequency. I continue to find disturbing parallels to Asimov's Nightfall. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it.

Even your latest post contains nothing that I disagree with, except your inability, refusal, whatever, to see that nearly everyone who posts here, understands the time-line. Who do you think is oblivious to it?

I have gone on record in this forum as believing that the much refered to "Infomagic" post is the most likely outcome. Surely that qualifies me as a "Doom and Gloomer". We're in violent agreement, Jack! I just don't see the point in beating everyone over the modem with the fact that it is far too late to get everything in order before Y2K.

I have spent a great deal of my adult life getting out of bed in the middle of the night to crawl around some plant floor with a flashlight to fix someone's automation problem or sitting in some computer room reading dumps until my vision blurred or probing the guts of an ailing mainframe that thinks that 2+2=3 with a 'scope, to wonder. I know just how interdependent it all is. I don't have to imagine what will happen if just a few of the wrong systems go to la-la land. I've seen them go bonkers and figured out why they did. All I have to do is imagine it all happening at once. Or, even in not-very-close succession.

Arnie said that the internet is the one "wild card" here. He's spot on, and that card can take any trick if we play it right! We're not going to win this hand, but I, for one, don't intend to get "skunked"! That's why I'm here, and that's why it's not hopeless. Sure, you're right, we simply can not get it all working in time. Doesn't it make the best of sense to get EVERYTHING WE CAN in as much readiness as possible?

You said, ". . .thats where we must agree to disagree", but what is it that we disagree about? Will you tell us in simple English what it is I've said that you disagree with? Or, what you've said that I disagreed with?

I'm truly at a loss Jack, but I'd like to hear what you have to say.

-- Hardliner (, November 04, 1998.


I know its not your style to be direct. When you want to know something, why dont you just ask? Not everyone out there has a hidden agenda. Sometimes, they get so disgusted with the world heading towards a brick wall of their own creation, that they just drop out. They dont want to play those games.

But sometimes they see a bigger wall and say, oops, time to jump back in. Every little person out there has a part to play in this Y2K jigsaw puzzle. Why not just all focus on damage control for Y2K and see that as many interconnected parts around the globe make it locally as possible?


(P.S. Im not Gary North either).

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 06, 1998.

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