Tom's "2nd Take" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

On the electric utilities website ( open forum, Rick Cowles has posted another very thought provoking commentary from the author of "Tom's Take". It basically lambasts Those In Charge for allowing the Y2K threat to even be an issue at this late date. I think its at least as good as the original piece.

Tom's 2nd Take

-- Jack (, November 22, 1998


We tend to go through all the stages. My shock and disbelief earlier this year led me to spend several hundred hours researching (but not preparing). My research eventually led me to re-evaluate my current lifestyle with respect to the potential for disruptions. When I realized just how vulnerable I was, I began to experience fear. At first, the fear led to paralysis - because such a giant task was in front of me. But I began preparing in small ways as a 'therapy' for the fear. I knew enough not to make any large, expensive, irreversible decisions right away (though I wanted to).

I continued to research the issues themselves but also began researching preparation (food storage, financial options, heating options, location options, etc.) This let me keep my fear under control and not panic. Our personal preparations are progessing well, though there's still a lot to be done. These preparations have helped me move away from most of my fear. No longer do I fear minor to moderate disruptions because I know I'll be prepared for them, should they occur: I'll have shelter, food, water, & heat enough to last for my family for a while.

A reasonable lack of fear must, at this time, be based upon prudent preparations. A lack of fear based only on faith is as silly as the guy who stands on the tracks of an approaching train, chanting "God will save me". Even worse is a lack of fear based upon an unwillingness to think about the issues.

But all this preparation, while helping me deal quite successfully with my fear has brought me to the anger stage. I find that I greatly resent the time and energy this is costing. I have a great many other activities I would prefer to be pursuing. That's why "Tom's 2nd Take" hit home with me.

I find myself having less and less sympathy for those who refuse to think and those who refuse to prepare. Generally, I am a very tolerant person who likes to 'live and let live'. But I see those who refuse to think and prepare (be they businesses, government organizations, or individuals) as part of the problem. Indeed, it was the very thing which led to this problem in the first place.

In the end, this anger will also pass. I know that I alone am responsible for the safety and well being of myself and my family. No one else. Period. Not the government. Not the banks. Not the utilities. And whether or not major disruption occur, I will never be as reliant on all the machines and institutions as I was a year ago. It should never have been allowed to get this bad. The fact that it has indicates that my huge (and mostly invisible and unconcious) confidence in these institutions was misplaced.

All that remains is to help and encourage others around me to prepare as I have and then just wait and see just how this thing unfolds. I have made my own bed and I will sleep in it.

Like many others here, I will be more than a little delighted if all my 'insurance' is not needed, though I am growing more and more convinced each day that it will be. But whether it is or whether it isn't, I will never be the same again. I will never cancel this insurance policy. This is unfortunate for the banks and the utilities and the government organizations -- but they have made their own bed too. And it's time they slept in it.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 23, 1998.

Thanks for the post. I too read this on

Tom certainly has a way of getting to the heart of the matter. I tried to keep in mind that this was written by a basically non-violent person. Someone who "acts out" their anger through writting about it.

Then I thought about the MILLIONS of DGIs who will finally GI. It made me wonder. In what direction will their anger be focused? The resulting rage will be hard to contain. I seriously doubt that they will all sit down and write about what they are feeling. Yes, the trust is gone for me. The trust will be gone for them.

I often wonder how this will all play out. When will the first march on Washington happen and by what group(s)? Where will the first riot happen and for how long? The second and third riot? In which city will Martial Law be declared in first?

We certainly do live in interesting times.

-- Anna McKay Ginn (, November 23, 1998.

Quite a read. Anna: I wondered the same thing you did regarding when the dgi's become gi's what the focus of the anger will be. Chuck: you wrote "thank you for allowing a link to it from Ed Yourdon's BBS..." I see links in just about all the threads...under what circumstances is it necessary to request permission (or was it done as a courtesy?)

-- Robert Michaels (, November 23, 1998.

Just a small example of the anger that we all may experience on the day...

Last week I went out for a few beers way over the other end of San Francisco - about a $15 cab ride.

So after a few hours I'm out of cash so I wander down to the nearest ATM - no probem, I have money in two bank accounts in different banks.

So I pop the first card in, and lo and behold it is gobbled up, nothing on the screen, dang nabbit.

Now I'd had a couple of beers (or three...), so instead of finding another ATM, Einstein here decides to put his last remaining card in the ATM - big mistake. So that was the end of that, no cards, no money, it's cold, it's late, it's foggy, I don't feel like walking 10 miles but that's what I eneded up doing...

The next day, down at my local Wells Fargo, I explain what happened, they order me a new card. (still waiting for both cards at this point in time...)I need to draw out a few hundred dollars, not enough in my Wells account, plenty in my credit union account. I present the teller with a check from the credit union for 300 dollars cash - no way, they will not give me any money.

Now these people have known me for five years. I say, please ring the credit union, they will tell you I have funds. No way - they won't do it, they say I could be cashing checks all over the place. It's now 4.30pm, the credit union is an hour's walk away, and shuts at 5pm.

Now my blood has been boiling for two days, I'm living on quarters from a jar, I'm eating canned tuna. I didn't get any money till the AM of day three after an hour's walk and more canned food.

I'm not a happy camper - *BUT* this really really brought home to me how dependent most of us are on banks and ATM's and *cash*.

If you don't have cash you are basically in deep merde.

Now repeat this scenario with thousands of panicking people in a year's time...

No thanks, I'll be ready way way before *that* happens.

Cheers, Andy

-- Andy (, November 25, 1998.

You're right, Andy, as you learned the hard way: Cash Is King. In the event of bank closings due to bank runs (did anyone say "April 1999 due to panic over fiscal year 2000 rollovers? -- go to the head of the class!!), it will literally define the "haves" from the "have-nots". (At least until things get really bad, and it gets down to precious metals and nitty-gritty bartering....)

-- Jack (, November 25, 1998.

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