What is your current assesment?

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My viewpoint changes daily from about a 4 to an 8 depending on what I have read. Is anyone else having the same sort of swings? I know to prepare for the worst, but what is your current "worst case scenario"?

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), November 05, 1998


Mine ranges from a "best case" of 10 to "worst case" of 15, but thats just me. I suggest that in assessing what you read, always keep before you The Timeline. For example, you might read a very positive article about a company that has done a good job with Y2K, but still has much to do. So, although you might otherwise want to assign an optimistic 4, perhaps in view of how little time there is remaining (especially if, say, the company's fiscal year 2000 begins in April!), that might tend to tend more towards a pessimistic 8.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), November 05, 1998.

I hang pretty steadily between 4 and 5. Whats a 15 on the Diane scale anyway - end of life on earth?

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 05, 1998.

Current worst case scenario? That is really a hard question to answer.

Being a critical thinker, who spent most of her life assessing a problem and resolving it, does not help me in this matter. The problem is too wide spread throughout all industries and there are too few confirmable facts.

If you add in my selfish desire to continue life as I know it, my assessment becomes even more skewed. But if you desire a WAG here goes.

On a scale of 1-10, I would say that as of today, based on the available facts or lack there of, I would rate it an 8.0

10 would be the total collaspe of our society, including nuclear war or some other nasty form of terrorism.

Still hoping for the best,


Storing food, water, toilet paper and candles. Recently bought a wood stove but still not moving to the country. Yet.

-- Anna McKay Ginn (annaginn@aol.com), November 05, 1998.

8. Preparing for 5-7. Won't be surprised if it becomes a 3 or 10. I think it will probably all turn out in some way that none of us can even imagine at this point.

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), November 05, 1998.

Someone said a while ago that if it gets to be as bad as a 3 here in the states, it will become a global 10. His/her meaning was lost on me at the time, but I think I get it now.

I've been watching the news about Honduras, and I keep thinking, what if there were NO news coverage... NO communication outside the area, no planes or ships bringing what little relief they have? I know that they have be slammed by a monster hurricane, but picture another Northeastern ice storm at the same time that the Power grid is hiccuping. The floods last year in the mid west. What if there was no way to truck in supplies or evacuate people because the fuel supply was interrupted. There has never been a winter in the northeast that didn't bring power lines down and freeze-yer-boogers temperatures.

I'm just praying that we can make it through to spring 2000, so we might have a chance to assess the status.

I don't think I made any sense just now, but I think I'll plan for a 10.

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), November 05, 1998.

I think we both are having one of those days. I posted a similar question this morning also. I read articles with so many different opinions that it makes my head swim. I am reading newspaper clippings from around the world and one thing I realize is that things do not appear to be getting any better. There is a Fear of Something.

-- Linda Arnold (adahi@muhlon.com), November 05, 1998.

I've gotta go with pshannon: I think it will probably all turn out in some way that none of us can even imagine at this point.

Postscript to that -- in many different ways in many different places.

How can anyone plan for a 10? or even an 8? too many unknowns! "All politics is local."

But DO plan for something.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), November 05, 1998.

I'm with pshannon too. To quote any of a multitude of IBM manuals, "Results are unpredictable".

I'm preparing to transition from our current way of life to one far more primitive.

I'd rather turn out to be a fool than watch my family suffer because I gambled wrong. Stakes, not odds, is my criteria.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), November 05, 1998.

I tend to be somewhat optimstic when considering the potential impact of Y2K . . . maybe a 4 or 5, if that were the only factor involved. But a number of unknown's cloud the picture. Bottom line, we don't know how bad it will be or how long it will last. Plus there's the human factor. No matter what actually does happen, how people react and conduct themselves will make or break us. Strong leadership combined with a community resolved to help one another can overcome any crisis. We see this all of the time following earthquakes and hurricanes. But will that happen? Everywhere? Who knows?

Already, the human factor is at work in Y2K. "Denial" -- those who don't believe problems will occur due to a misplaced faith in the reliability of government and technology. "Deceit" -- those in government and business who are in fact aware of problems or the potential for problems but deceive the public in order to cling to power and/or avoid lawsuits. "Fear" -- this is self-expanatory and will become a major if not THE major factor in determining whether the Y2K event goes from a category 5 storm to a category 9. Whether or not we all work together to get through this thing or everything collapses in a panic-filled riot could be all up to the "fear" factor. "Greed" -- (I know i'm going to offend some folks with this one, but here it goes) those who lie and exaggerate to provoke fear of Y2K because they can profit from it. Everyone's selling something. It's hard to know where facts end and where profiteering begins. For example, a new Y2K website promises to solicit and post anonymous reports from industry insiders in an effort to get the "real" inside scoop on the Y2K status of each industry. We are told that because they are anonymous and do not come through the official, legally-correct, press-release process, that they are more reliable. Possibly, but it also leaves alot of room for deception. In the end, the web-site offers a book that provides everything you need to know and do to prepare your home for Y2K -- for only $195.00!!! I don't know about you, but red flags started to wave when I saw that.

There's more, but you get the point. Perhaps, we should develop a two factor system like we have for the weather. "It's 35 degress outside, but feels like 15 degrees due to the wind-chill factor." For me, I'd say the Y2K will be a 4, but will feel like an 8 due to the human factor. What do you think?


-- David (David@BankPacman.com), November 05, 1998.

Ooooh! I like it David! I'd say it looks like a 5 but feels like a 9 because it's just so unpredictable.

-- margie mason (mar3mike@aol.com), November 05, 1998.

Depending on where you live is how I rate it and if the power is shut off for more than 5 days. In a large city such as LA or New York a definite 10. In the suburbs of these cities 8-9. In cities with a population of 50,000 and community awareness 7-8. In a town with a population of 35,000 or less and at least 75 miles from a major city 6-7. People residing in the country with acreage and not prepared 6-7. People residing in the country with acreage totally prepared 1-4. A lot depends on how many people will be staying with you, the physical health of those people, and the skills and attitude they bring with them. You can be totally prepared in everyway, but have a member of the family wigout (maybe even you) that can change things. By the way, a scanner is a valuable thing to have around WTSHTF. I have a 100 channel Radio Shack scanner that runs off a car battery. You can always pick up ham radio operators and get information when a disaster strikes. No all we have to do is make it through the meteorite showers and the solar flares.....

-- Bardou (Bardou@baloney.com), November 05, 1998.

wow David, I think you hit on something really interesting with the y2k chill factor.

There are so many other events that will either occur before, during and after y2k that I think we're in for a serious global change. It will be the end of the world as WE know it. Things will just be very different. But the world will not end.

I think that given the speed in which information travels today that once the snowball starts to roll it's going to go downhill and build really fast, just like in a cartoon. That is were the y2k chill factor kicks in. We are about to step onto a dark rollercoaster and there's gonna be a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns we just can't see.

One thing I've never understood is how any entity could think they could continue testing into 1999. They'll be experiencing failures at the same time they're tying to make fixes. With the economy and other y2k issues all heading toward the same intersection at blazing speed the crash will be hard and the impact will be bloody. Given that the US Government doesn't stand a chance of fixing their systems in time, that y2k chill factor will be even more severe. How could anyone actually believe that systems that have been around for many decades could be fixed within only a couple of years? It's impossible.

As for terrorism, I think it's a given that this will occur. Perhaps from abroad, but more likely home grown. There's a whole lot of anger and frustration out there and y2k may be the opportunity their looking for. We've had attacks when our Government is healthy... could you seriously think that attacks will NOT occur when the Government is down and having difficulty?

Furthermore, we haven't even taken into account all the nutcase scenarios that would have occured anyway just because it is the turn of the millennium. There are people, cults, etc. that are already preparing activities or who are fearful just because of their own idea of what the Year 2000 will bring. Mass suicides, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, lone gunman... all this would have taken place even without y2k.

I think y2k will begin in early 1999 at about a 4 and progress quickly from there to at least an 8 or 9. The economy will unravel, events will unfold we can't even imagine yet and by the turn of the millennium we'll literally be in a world of hurt. We'll stay at around a 7 to 9 for some time as the Federal Government tries to come back online. There will be no elections. Eventually, political power will transfer back into the local states. We'll simply govern differently. Taxes will be collected differently. The country will just exist in a different way.

It will take a bit more time, perhaps by 2003 or 2004 before we actually get to a 10. This will happen as shrinking world resources begin to become a problem, wars will break out as a way to gain or preserve technology, food, etc. Country names will change, borders will change, power will change hands.

But, I still remain optimistic that human will, knowledge and logic will prevail in the end. We just may not live to see it. We shouldn't be so arrogant as to think that history will not repeat itself. It has over and over again. IMHO, if there is one certainty about Y2k it is that it is a catalyst to change.

Mike =========================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), November 05, 1998.

Nothing has really changed. The same cycle of birth, growth, development and transformation will continue. I think these are reasonable detents for nature (including us), ideas (including societies and economics), and technology.

The converging paths of our transforming global economies and possible supply-chain disruptions could cause a severe recession or worse. Recessions don't last one or two months.

We are still moving along this path. It's impossible to completely prepare for the "worst." How would you prepare for an airplane crash? How are you preparing for a heart attack?

Who's going to win the presidential election in 2000? Who will be the major pary nominees? The weather forcast on my Excite portal says that Tokyo will have heavy rain today. The local forecast says 0% chance of rain. The company that provides the Excite weather forecast is consistently wrong, yet they have client companies that pay them money for their service and make business decsions based on their forecasts. I'm not taking an umbrella today.

I see these same inconsistencies in y2k: Diametrically opposed opinions and predictions.

Today, I "think" the Earth and most of it's inhabitants will survive the short-term effects. We will transform to meet the long-term effects. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel different. I'll check the Excite weather forecast and decide.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), November 05, 1998.

I can not prepare for an infomagic 10. I don't think 1 person in 10,000 could prepare for a complete breakdown in our world system. The best I can hope to achieve is preparation for an 8. I will attempt to do so in the urban part of a large city. Any move to the country/rural area would be an arrangement made now for after the rollover. Each person must make their plans based on their personal situation and a lot of common sense. To think of everyone quiting their job, selling their home, "heading for the hills" and starting from "scratch" is absurd and would create far more problems than it would solve. This is a problem to be solved at the community grassroots level. I suspect this y2k tsunami will bring out both the best and the worst of human behavior.

-- ronbanks (phxbanks@webtv.net), November 05, 1998.

It will bring out mostly the worst in people, after all, we are all just human beings scratching and gnawing like a drowned rat to stay alive. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, we are all just a stroke of a pen, a hammering of the gavel away from ruin. I'm beginning to envy the poor because they have nothing to lose. How does that song go? Oh yeah, "Only the Strong Survive."

-- Woes Me (BiddenTime@clock.com), November 05, 1998.

Go on now go, walk out that door

Just turn around now

'Cause your not welcome anymore

Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye

Did you think I'd crumble

Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh no not I, I will survive

As long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive

I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give

I will survive, I will survive

-Gloria Gaynor

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), November 05, 1998.

BTW, with all of the conflicting reports it is impossible to predict what to expect, it is bigger than the abilities of any one man (or woman) to encompass, anyone who says differently is full of sh*t. Me and my shadow say 2-4 or 7+. The middle of the road is for dead skunks (Will H. was that your saying? I picked it up here somewhere from an "old threader")

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), November 05, 1998.

I think we'll be doing okay if we can hold it at a 5 or less. As many have suggested, it is true that it's a slippery slope at 5+.

I'll go with Uncle Deedah's 2-4 or 7+.

300 working days...it's so frustrating!

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), November 05, 1998.

rehi im(h)o I think a 4....otoh...maybe a 6...btw...it could be an 8....ttfn...bbl

-- auntie (dodahdodah@webtv.net), November 05, 1998.

My assessment is that we are in for a global depression at the minimum. Major fuel shortages, major food shortages, major unemployment. I live in a town of 36,000 close to a city of 500,000. Probably civil unrest and some rioting. Figure some banks closed, limits on withdrawals. I think the power will be off and on just like the phones and the internet. It will be bad, but not the end hopefully a rebirth of what this country started out to be. Maybe through all of this we will become a more gentler society. In times of disaster neighbors and just plain folks have pullled together and helped each other. My dad tells me that that is what happened during the great depression. You couldn't pay the rent but how about this bushel of apples? We will have to do learn to live with less for quite a while. I think the next year will be full of happy face and spin, but the fact is most companies are a year behind or more and most have no contingency plans. Living in the country may also be a burden if there are major fuel shortages. Hunker down, prepare as best you can, help your neighbors and pray for the best. Papa bear

-- Papa Bear (it.guy@usa.net), November 05, 1998.

I don't believe it's possible to estimate the scale of the event with anything like accuracy, hence personal estimates really just tell you how scared you are at that moment. Also if things are bad, it'll be very patchy. There will be some localitiess hit far worse than others, but how to tell in advance? It may ultimately depend on (say) which of two circuit-breakers trips first!

I tend to estimate probablities. At one end I reckon that the end-of- world scenarios are about as likely as a nuclear war, and treat them the same way: I pray it won't happen and do nothing, because I don't feel that I can. On the other hand, I'm certainly preparing for the possibility that there will be a month-long period of chaos during which having pre-purchased essential supplies will be very useful (and the cost of this level of preparation is minimal provided you don't delay too long). This leaves a large zone shading from gray to black that I think of as "concievable but unlikely", and this is:

1. frightening.

2. possible to prepare for

3. an expensive mistake if the preparations weren't necessary.

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), November 06, 1998.

10. Not the end of the world permanently, just for a few years; three or four, at best (if a strong leader can get the resources he needs to re-establish some form of popular, ordered government), up to maybe thirty or forty at absolute worst (if no such leader exists, or if he loses the initial battles and causes a lot of people to die. It may also take some time for such a leader to emerge).

Read your revolutionary theory, people. Even WITHOUT y2k, we're sitting on a knife edge. Throw in the Depression, AND this huge technological glitch, and that knife becomes a spring-loaded razor blade covered with oil.


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), November 12, 1998.

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