What is your Y2K awareness barometer?

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We have read article after article, study after study, post after post, day after day, week after week, month after month. We know awareness is still very low (hard to believe isn't it?). It is probable that none of us have a Y2K clue as to how many are preparing now. Is this important? Quite possibly....

Y2K awareness has been slowly and steadily increasing. Either this will continue for a while or there will be a panic that stops 'slow and steady'. If we continue with slow and steady, at some point these small suppliers (food storage, survival equipment, non-electric etc.) will be overwhelmed. In the case of slow and steady, or a continuance of what we've had, having some barometer of "how many" (the general level of Y2K awareness) could be helpful in that it may provide some clues as to how much longer we have for preparation. Something of interest to most of us.

This question is not at all important after a panic. It is moot. Then it's simply too late. IMHO panic is unaviodable. It's a question of when, not if... which we also have no Y2K clue about, although 1/99, 4/1/99, 8/21/99, 9/9/99,1/00, 2/29/00 are all dates of potential failures and we have had lots of thoughtful speculation about what would trigger a panic . So, how much longer do we have? This thread may be an execise in futility but I am hoping that whatever we do come up with will be more than what we know now. We have asked 'when is the panic'. Is what we really want to know 'How long do we have?'. Can Y2K barometers help us answer this? I don't know but I think it's worth a shot (or should I say thread).

I have seen many references to what we are keeping tabs on, but not in one thread... so my apologies if this is redundant and my thanks to anyone who points me to it.

Many of us are keeping tabs on supplier's delivery times, what they have back-ordered, the ratio of how many folks listen vs. think you are nuts, the number of local/national Y2K articles in the press and the tone/treatment of the subject, current store stock of everything from dry beans to generators. These are some Y2K awareness barometers. Perhaps you disagree and think none of this matters... maybe you are correct... you don't have any Y2K barometers then, right?

Sorry if i am rambling... Ive been thinking out loud. We are watching and waiting while we prepare. Do you think this could be helpful? If not, why. If so, then what are your Y2K awareness barometers?

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 15, 1998


At some point there will be a critical mass of public awareness that will transform into some effect. From our point of view (awareness), it seems like panic is inevitable. Your barometer is, in part, a means of signalling that change. But WHY do you care? Your own present preparations should be independent of what the public is thinking. In fact, the longer the interval of public unawareness the better for you personally. However, I understand this urge to predict the behavior of the masses. On most days, and I have said this before on this forum, I believe that the "panic" phase will be late. Probably post 8/99 is my current thinking. Now this presupposes no dramatic special effects ( say 25 nuclear plants shutting down on the 1/99 rollover or the IRS being nonfunctional 4/99). There are a growing number of people who are uneasy. I think of cattle shuffling about as the mountain lion skirts the edge of the field. I think we are in for a long slow buildup as word of failures seep out of corporate America. Having said all of that - who knows? I was in a sporting goods store in a very yuppie area buying some shotgun shells. A well, dressed man and his son came to the same counter to inquire about rifles. When the clerk asked what kind of hunting they wanted to do, they couldn't really give an answer? They bought a bolt action 30.06 with a scope. Later, the clerk told me he's been seeing a lot of nervous, first time buyers. Does this prove anything? No, its just a ground level observation of odd behavior. I doubt 1 person in a thousand are currently doing serious, comprehensive planning. Thats 260,000 for the entire country! However, thats enough to put a strain on the tiny "survivalist/naturalists" industry and thats why we are seeing backlogs. Panic will happen the day after Gary North is on Larry King.

-- R. D..Herring (drherr@erols.com), November 15, 1998.


LOL I tend to agree with you about North being on Larry King. Better yet how about Geraldo Rivera with a panel of Y2 experts? Ophra does a show on Y2K?

When Y2K becomes the topic of talk shows. That will be my awareness barometer.

-- Anna McKay Ginn (annaginn@aol.com), November 15, 1998.

R.D.Herring: Thanks for your answer. I'm preparing the best I can. My prep is independent of any barometer signalling the critical mass effect and what Ed has referred to as a 'tangible event' triggering a panic. I believe that at some point there will be a panic, and then it won't be possible to prepare in a meaningful way. I also have recently come to the conclusion that preparation never ends. Perhaps this is not correct It is also interesting to me to see what others are watching. Some of it, perhaps much of it, will be like your coincidence example/observation. Developing something of potential predictive value is, I think, not going to happen. I thought it would be an interesting thread.

As far as Gary appearing on Larry Kink (ROFL), i can just hear Gary telling Larry " I know Art Bell...Art Bell is a friend of mine, You're no Art Bell..........

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 15, 1998.

My baramoter:

I believe I am on a ship somewhere in the ocean.

I have been presented with evidence that the ship WILL strke an iceberg. I have checked out the evidence for my self and am totaly convinced of the facts - The ship WILL hit and iceberg and sink.

I can't convince the Captain to turn around, I can't get off the ship.

Regardless of the derision of my fellow passengers (there will be a lot), I am going to wear my life vest 24x7 and hang around the life rafts a lot. I will do my best to build my own life raft and have it ready to launch

If I am wrong, I will have provided some entertainment to many people. And at worst spent some of my time (=money) foolishly.

If I am right, I will have a large head start toward survival

The point here is that I am following what *I* believe. I do not have to wait for the rush to the life boats to decide to take action.

End Barometer

In the future that I think is coming at us one's ability to think for themselves, act on those thoughts, and suport themselves will be THE most crucial ingredients to survival.

Our 10^100 great grandparents lived without anywhere near the tools we have available today. It is not the tools that are the first ingredient rather the mind and will that causes survival.

The tools help, sure. But without the mind and will you might as well live within 5 mi of a 7-11. (Paul's right)

As long as I've started lecturing I might as well get the rest of this off my (alleged) mind.

I have a slight different order-of-importance for survival catagories that most. Mine are:





In that order. If you have assumed room temperature none of the generators or fruit jars are going to be worth squat.

Caution: diatribe follows.

YOU decide. YOU act. YOU figure out how to take care you you and yours. (With, of course, a lot of help from our friends here on the net).

If you read this far you have just heard my mini-sermon on individualism. I am unabashed about this. This (individualism) is THE single most important ingredient for us now, just as it was when this nation was being born.

It is pretty much gone from America today. THAT's one of the big problem in a post civilized time.

Go read Ayn Rand. Since I am a Christian I disagree with some of her conclusions, but, she has the principal just right.

Don't wait on someone else. You are not responsible for them or they for you.

End of Sermon

ps- I use the term you here to reffer to you and yours, whatever that means to you.

No animals were injured during the writing of this note. I hope however that the yearnings of the collectivists where hurt all to hell.


-- Grreybear (greybear@home.com), November 15, 1998.

Just as we're all unique individuals, we each have a different calibration to our own "Y2K Barometer".

What must happen for the individual to "get it" is for him to achieve "emotional realization" as opposed to intellectual understanding.

I agree that certain events would significantly affect a lot more individual "barometers" than others, but which ones would affect who and how?

The state of affairs parallels Y2K itself in that while some generalizations are valid, there are a great many unique aspects that make a mockery of predictions.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), November 15, 1998.

Hardliner: Choas theory, yes. BTW I agree with you about predictions... I just posted to another thread Yogi Berra's "predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.".... priceless.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 15, 1998.

Great post, Robert.

The most accurate barometer of Y2K awareness is probably cash withdrawals from banks, or maybe how much cash is in banks compared with cash not in the financial system.

This is an accurate barometer, but unfortunately it's not predictive. It's accurate, because if you talk to anyone who is just on the edge of "getting it," you find that their idea of preparing for Y2K is planning to take their money out of the bank. They can't conceive (yet) of food, fuel and parts shortages in 2000.

But as the economists might say, cash withdrawals are a coincident but not leading indicator. Unless you could track withdrawals or plans for withdrawals on a weekly basis, I don't think this could be warning of immanent panic.

Extra withdrawals may already be happening. I saw an article in "Credit Union Times" recently that let me know the threat to the industry is being taken VERY seriously. The credit unions are already trying to estimate how many of their members will take extra money out, and how much. The article even mentioned wanting to keep in close contact with the area Federal Reserve Bank and with armored cars that bring the cash.


On a different note, I got a big smile a month or two ago when I saw one of those supermarket-type tabloids with Y2K being the big, front page story. Now that's almost as good an indicator as Gary North being on Larry King!

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), November 15, 1998.

Kevin: IF I had to guess, and I think we should all be allowed one, I would say that cash withdrawals would be THE excellant barometer. One point I disagree with though, and that is that somebody DOES know... The Fed Knows. Yes. They do. Those twelve private credit monopolies which create 'money' out of thin air. They aren't talking though.They have never even been audited! But we do know they're running the presses full steam ahead. 50 Billion here, 50 Billion there and guess what...there Still isn't enough physical cash and won't be even if they start printing $1000 bills again. The Bank of England is also doing the same with thier fiat currency. So this, to my mind, helps make it a reliable barometer.

Another reason to support this is that money get's folks attention - and pronto.Tell them that there are nuclear missles pointing at them in China now, and that the U.S. gave them some key technology to do this...yawn Tell them that there are food riots in Indonesia and Russia...yawn Tell them that the President is an admitted liar...yawn Tell them that India and Pakistan are popping off nuke tests 6 at a clip...yawn...Tell them about the Asian financial crises...yawn........ contagion...yawn Tell them there's this two-digit computer bug...yawn Tell them how maybe their money could be lost by their banks computers. WHAT? What did you say? ................... Perhaps I should leave now to put on my flame retardent suit.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 15, 1998.

There is another good, accurate barometer. Watch for CEOs resigning for "personal" or "health" reasons in 1999. I almost forgot about that one. Stock market problems and bank runs will follow shortly after these resignations.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), November 15, 1998.

The problems with using financial institutions as a barometer of Y2K awareness (as I see it anyhow) are 1) that we really don't have a way to track the barometer rising. Yes, the feds may be tracking and aware, but John (or Joe as I have sometimes seen hime refered to in this forum) Q. Public sees little of that awareness. 2) And really this is the same point, when we do see this awareness barometer start to move, it will be drastic. I would also add that I don't think that people taking their money out of the bank will mean that they are panicing(sp?) about anything more than their money. It will take until late 99 for them to realize that food supplies, etc could also be affected. Utility interruption won't even cross their mind until December when the media is suggesting to people they fill every household container with water - "just in case."

Most people I know who are somewhat concerned about any potential y2k problems are planning to prepare late 1999. I have shown them other dates, suggested earlier preparation - but they don't get it/don't want to get it/don't want to be bothered with it right now.

I don't think we really can know exactly how many people are preparing or to what degree of preparation they feel is necessary (indicating the extent of the problem in their perception). In the meantime, I follow my own ideas and continue to visit this forum - a sanity check (????)

-- Christine A. Newbie (vaganti01@aol.com), November 15, 1998.

Kevin: Resignations - No CIO in thier right mind would want to be held liable, and since they are the CIO, it follows that they must be in their right mind. At least we would hope so. Too bad we will never know what the cash wd's are...that would have been perfect.

As far as the stock markets, they are in trouble now IMVHO. How can we have a pe ratio in the mid 20's, a dividend yeild of about 1.5% and issues trading at over 5 times book value and not be at the edge of the cliff? Hmmmm.......Perhaps so much bank cash won't be needed after all..... if the electronic profits evaporate, on a large enough scale, they cannot be deposited in banks/cu's, and then people would have no claim to 'money' that has died and gone to money heaven. Also, I remember reading last month something about Americans having more in the market than in banks, for the first time in history. Talk about privitization of risk! Hmmmmm.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 15, 1998.

All that and more, the biggest 'Barometer' to me is the 'Gut instinct' of knowing that something is wrong. When I first realized the possible downside to the Y2K problem, I felt an icy hand deep in my guts. I have stayed intensely aware of it ever since.

I have the feeling that all of our Y2K compatriots have felt something similar, the icy stab of truth when you "get it". You know, that horrible feeling of "Yea, it wouldn't take too many things going wrong at once, to screw things up in a very big way"

If you've felt it, you know it.

-- UncleDeedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), November 15, 1998.

Priorities for myself:

1) Security. If you're dead, however much food or other stuff you have is meaningless.

Equal 2nd: Food (staying alive) and Reconstruction.

If y2k happens as I expect it to, it will be the opportunity of a lifetime to do a "Mister Blue" (title of a book I've plotted but haven't written yet, about an average guy who makes a big difference and changes future history). It will be the mother of all crises, but in Chinese the word for crisis is the same for that of opportunity.

These barometers are of immense interest to me. Personally, I think it's going to steadily increase at a small pace, until something happens next year that convinces a lot of people. At *that* point, all hell will break loose. At *that* point, the stock market value of my company will jump 4000% and we won't be able to expand fast enough. Also at that point, our suppliers will also experience immense demand for things that people hadn't wanted nearly as much earlier- stuff like ammunition and MREs.


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), November 16, 1998.

Uncle: Yes, I admit that I did feel it.... that icy cold stab of getting it, of walking around dazed thinking of Y2K while the people around me are warm and fuzzy, talking about Monica's dress, sports, weather, anything mundane... all while we are comtemplating the possiblility of TEOTWAWKI. One would usually describe this as being out of touch with reality.... interesting that it's the reverse. Think I'll put another log on. Good night.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 16, 1998.

Nathan posted this on another thread in this forum. It's called the "Y2K Danger Index"


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), November 16, 1998.

Nathan, Kevin: Excellent link, hadn't seen that one before. The 10 barometers picked and corresponding justifications were a good read, and just the kind of thing for this thread. Also, I liked that at the bottom were the previous two index levels are reported.. they are going up... no surprise there I guess.

I disagree with using the POG (price of gold) as an indicator though, mainly because it is manipulated via the evil central bankers...where is Andrew Jackson when we need him. Also gold is very highly leveraged (futures/options), forward sales by producers and leasing of the metal take away it's ability to be an indicator IMVHO. However, it is real money, as opposed to the monopoly fiat currency we all use. Also, the Fed can't simply print it, it is no ones liability so cannot be defaulted upon, and it has, unlike paper currency, intrinsic value. I just don't agree with it being used as an indicator for the reasons above. For more info about this subject check out www.kitco.com discussion group for gold investors.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 16, 1998.

Uncle D,,

Right on the money once more.

Isn't it awe inspiring and fascinating what Nature has packed into such a frail package as the human brain? Because we are unaware of it or don't understand how it works is no reason to mistrust it.

I'm with you; go with the gut.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), November 16, 1998.

I really can't add much to what everyone else has said. Trying to "measure" the public's reaction to anything is a cross between black magic and voodoo (e.g., the reaction at the polls to Zippergate). And, in general, I will stand by my own previous predictions of April 1999 as being when public awareness -- at whatever level it happens to be at -- will turn to panic, once we have "living examples" of Y2K problems affecting govts/businesses that go to fiscal year 2000.

But I would like to comment on R.D.Herring's: But WHY do you care? Your own present preparations should be independent of what the public is thinking. In fact, the longer the interval of public unawareness the better for you personally." The last sentence answers the question raised by the first, which means the second is just plain wrong. I got my 1 year's supply of food last summer, because as of June it looked to me like there was enough Y2K awareness growing that I figured that I needed to act. Other things I have held off on, because my "barometer" seems to tell me that there is a little more time left. But make no mistake about it, once John Q. Public becomes Y2K aware, it will be too late for you.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), November 16, 1998.

I liken the Y2K barometer analogy to a cast iron pot on an open campfire. Currently theres vapor rising, but it hasnt even begun to boil. Just little isolated bubbles rising now and then.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays. Even if the light show knocks out some satellites, it wont impact that slumbering Y2K consciousness. Given the expected Y2K rollout, January 99 is likely the first time we get another log on the fire. With a slow build during the rest of the year, more logs at specific trigger points until we have boiling water end of next summer.

Dont forget. The future is not cast in stone, it just looks that way. Our choices will make a difference in how bad or good it gets. Always, always expect the unexpected. Learn to dance on shifting sands, otherwise theyll suck you under. Shift Happens, one day at a time, and todays truth is something different tomorrow.

Someone on an earlier post talked about a Buddhist saying, Suffering comes from clinging to that which changes. Get used to and embrace the change. Remember your heart, those you love and remember to help.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 16, 1998.

Perhaps 'gut instinct' is, at least partially, the result of all of our barometers. It's why we feel they way we do. Another reason this stuff may be important is for those of us making bug out plans. How are we even going to know when to bug out if we don't have a gut instinct/barometers telling us to? Once martial law arrives it'll be "papers please". We will need some indications ahead of time. Will we get them? Perhaps some us will. Perhaps not.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 16, 1998.

One of my awareness barometers for several months was how many hits the Yourdon site was getting per month. Unfortunately, the data is no longer being posted. However, the numbers were 191k (March 98), 211k (Apr), 231k (May), 283k (June), 396k (July), 581k (August). The daily list of new postings is certainly way up since I started visiting this forum in March.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), November 16, 1998.

Robert you make a good point. I'm perticularly worried about when panic will start, when/if martial law will take effect because we'll be crossing US/canada borders to reach our y2k retreat. I have all our papers in order and in one area. Soon I'll have to start thinking about plans for a hasty bug out, i.e., packed and ready to go in a couple hour's notice.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), November 16, 1998.

Chris: " Packed and ready to go in a couple hours".... I am considering getting an old station wagon or other compliant (pre 1980?) vehicle that has cargo space and then loading it with bug out bags and stuff so I can get out of Dodge quick as can be. For some of us getting out now just isn't feasible... hence bug out plans.....hence Y2K barometers. Also, your papers are, as Jim Lord says, vital info.... if you haven't already, make copies/get duplicates. Store them in a different place than the originals too.

-- Robert Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), November 16, 1998.

Uncle Deedah's "gut feeling" barometer works for my own awareness. But as for the general population "getting it" the barometer for me is personal conversations and media coverage.

I also think that much will change this year during the holiday season. The topic will inevitably come up at family gatherings, where the arguments, funny looks, etc. may serve as a useful barometer of general awareness.

In my personal life and work I've seen major changes in awareness in the last two months. I don't see more people thinking TEOTWAWKI, but do see more starting to take it seriously.

-- Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), November 16, 1998.

hello.. as i have said on some of my other posts ,i work on the teller line for a major bank in the midwest.. i work at diffrent branches and see a lot of the same customers day after day.. i can honestly say that i have NOT seen anything out of the ordinary..i pretty much know what transactions the average person does and it has been just that...average...but what made me really start to take y2k seriously was a fter reading Gary Norths newsletter..(that was in April of this year) the following July(1998) the Social Security Administration rescinded a madatory direct deposit for all recipients.That may not seem like a great issue to a lot of you.. but you don;t know how hard we fought with some of our senior

-- rooster (logcabin@erinet.com), November 16, 1998.

hello.. as i have said on some of my other posts ,i work on the teller line for a major bank in the midwest.. i work at diffrent branches and see a lot of the same customers day after day.. i can honestly say that i have NOT seen anything out of the ordinary..i pretty much know what transactions the average person does and it has been just that...average...but what made me really start to take y2k seriously was a fter reading Gary Norths newsletter..(that was in April of this year) the following July(1998) the Social Security Administration rescinded a madatory direct deposit for all recipients.That may not seem like a great issue to a lot of you.. but you don;t know how hard we fought with some of our senior customers.my first reaction to the notice was..I bet they are not ready with the computers..it really was the start of me believing that something was very wrong.....(sorry if this posted twice,Im kinda new at this posting) I'll keep you guys updated on the traffic side of the banking issue..

-- rooster (logcabin@erinet.com), November 16, 1998.

Here's another barometer that's kind of like Dan Hunt's.

Take a look at the "archive of past articles" section at de Jager's "Year 2000 Press Clippings." During all of 1997 and through March 1998, there is only one link for all of a particular month's articles.

From April through July of this year, each month's articles are split in two--one link for the first half of the month, one link for the second half of the month. From August to the present, each month is split into THREE links. I wonder when the archives will split into four links per month?

All of this makes sense to me. I first heard about Y2K in the summer of 1997. It was in April of this year though when it first dawned on me that Y2K wouldn't get fixed in time. I was in the magazine section at Barnes & Noble and saw two different magazines with articles suggesting the problem was very real, expensive, and that there was a lot on denial about Y2K.

August of this year to me is when newspaper and magazine articles quit devoting most of an article's space explaining background on Y2K and what Y2K is. From August of this year on, there've been a lot of stories about people preparing for Y2K and in a surprisingly objective way.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), November 17, 1998.

People are now asking me, "What have you read?" instead of me telling them, "Read this." The level of interest is rising, get ready for the dam to break.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), November 17, 1998.

Here are some other statistics. On Gary North's site, for articles linked under the topic "Introduction", here are the counts of articles he found and posted per calendar quarter, starting with the 2nd quarter of '97: 5, 4, 16, 14, 37, 51. The last number is for the quarter ended 9/30/98 (yes, I love to use 2-digit years in these postings - what if these postings turned out to be non-Y2k-compliant? Someone confused reader might even think they referred to 1897 and 1898). So the supply of such articles seems to have increased in a year and a half by a factor of approximately 10.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), November 19, 1998.

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