Awareness Grows : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Public awareness continues to grow. This morning on the Howard Stern radio show, Howard talked for quite awhile about Y2K. Of course, he thinks the whole thing is nothing to panic over - "it'll all be fixed in time", etc, but I remember reading something about him having 21 million regular listeners. Surely some of them might do their own research. Well... maybe not.

-- Oz (, December 03, 1998


I sincerely hope I don't find myself in a y2k hideaway with even one of Howard Stern's 21 million listeners.

-- Vic Parker (, December 03, 1998.


-- Franklin Journier (, December 03, 1998.

Huh. Sounds a little like "contempt before inspection" to me. Not that it's even relevant, but I find Howard hilarious.

But that wasn't the point of the thread.

The point is, if the issue is being raised on a radio show like that, awareness is really starting to sink in.

I finally have my mother convinced that the danger is real enough that she is placing an order for bulk food, and my stepbrother and his wife asked me (without prompting) about the whole issue, leading to a 90 minute discussion, and me turning over my copy of Time Bomb 2000. Neither my mother or stepbrother have computers - their initial information did not come from the internet.

-- oZ (, December 03, 1998.

I listened to the show this morning, too. I thought it was interesting how all of the other "characters" in the show were trying to persuade Howard to be somewhat concerned over the subject. Granted, only the "pollyanna" phone calls were played over the air. On the whole, I think it was interesting the way the entire scene was acted out. They weren't sure about how to take the 60 minute show....

I don't believe many listeners will follow up, though. The generally attitude of the piece was that of a joke. Why be concerned, if you are you're looney, etc.

Its quite unfortunate. Inspite of the beliefs of others on this thread, Stern is listened to and respected by a lot of intelligent people out there.

-- Christine A. Newbie (, December 03, 1998.

"Its quite unfortunate. Inspite of the beliefs of others on this thread, Stern is listened to and respected by a lot of intelligent people out there."

You can't be serious!! If this is the case, heaven help us.

-- Anti-Chainsaw (, December 03, 1998.

I consider myself intelligent (e-mail me if you want details). By and large I love listening to Howard Stern. When he crosses the line, I change radio stations. Simple as that. I know many other intelligent people who listen to Howard. I heard his show this morning and I was so glad that Y2K was being talked about in that forum. Y2K was also on my morning news. Obviously we'll be hearing more in the mainstream media after the first of the year.

-- Diane (, December 03, 1998.

Like it or not, if Y2K made it on the Howard Stern show, it is truly now "mainstream".

-- Jack (, December 03, 1998.

It's a start.

Soon other radio talk show hosts across the nation will pick up Y2K. They have an immense influence on "mass" consciousness. Good place for people to vent their emotions about the government's lack of leadership too.

Diane, here's hoping Y2K Shift Happens

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 03, 1998.

I too enjoyed Howard, and found him funny MOST of the time. Sorry I missed his take on Y2K, but this ass backward podunk town I live in now doesn't play him.

Awareness grows!

Buy what you need SOON!

-- Uncle Deedah (, December 03, 1998.

Any conversation in the media regarding y2k is a good thing. Regardless of whether or not you like Howard Stern the point is that this may be one of the largest audiences ever to listen to or hear a mention of y2k. Any coverage raises awareness, even if it's subliminal. The fact is that next time many of these people that heard Howard's show come across y2k again they will listen a little closer. They've been initiated.

I don't listen to Howard but I am grateful there was an open conversation on his show regarding y2k. I don't watch CBN but I'm grateful the 700 Club has dedicated coverage to the subject.

The Domino Effect works in a whole lot of ways and I hope a lot of those listeners become "GIs" real quick.

Mike ====

-- Michael Taylor (, December 03, 1998.

Yesterday several people I had previously talked to about Y2K approached me. They saw the 60 minutes special. My maintenance man was fixing my toilet last week and saw Yourdons book sitting in my library... (okay, so what... I get a lot of reading done while sitting in that quiet place)... Anyway... he appearantly wrote the author and title down.. cause he said he saw it at my house and purchased it at the store.

The herd is starting to move forward.... And they are getting stronger by the minute... I am getting more suprised by the minute about the momentum of the thing.... It will be a stampede by about February at the latest...

Prediction: Stockmarket will bounce the maximum the first two days of trading in 1999. I know a ton of people who are going to liquidate their stock at the first opportunity in 99 as to avoid taxes in 99. If they are still around in 2000 I will gladly pay my *fair* share...


-- scholty (, December 03, 1998.

scholty, "It will be a stampede by about February."

The trick or finesse about the whole thing is to have a polite stampede, with participants paying courteous attention to those around them. Quite a chess game, or high wire act.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 03, 1998.

Diane, much as I admire your proactive stance on y2k and your obvious intelligence, I feel that you can sometimes be almost pollyanna-like in your expectations of how people will behave.

When the stampede comes, it will NOT be nice and polite and organised. It will be a riot. It will be every man for himself. It will be a tsunami of sheep.

Your quake experience, I believe, was localised. It was also surprisingly positive: In the summer of 1993/4 (in Australia summer is in Dec/Jan/Feb remember), Sydney came under attack from a number of major bushfires. Fires by themselves are nothing special, but these ones were big and there were several at once and the government had screwed up in leaving several years' worth of debris there. The result was about six deaths and the destruction of thousands of houses. Some people were smart and got out of those homes as soon as they learned the fire was a threat. They got all their valuable stuff and relocated themselves without any fuss. Many others, however, did not learn about the fires as being more than a distant news event, until firemen banged on their doors and told them their houses were under direct threat and they had about five minutes in which to get the hell out. The results, as I read in the papers, were chaos. In one street, a vehicle broke down at the intersection and jammed the others. There were still three other possible lanes to get through, but people panicked enough to move the vehicle themselves. Right into the main road that their street intersected! Meanwhile, others grabbed their most important stuff and abandoned their vehicles. And with the main road jammed, others on THAT street did much the same thing, which affected the ability of firemen to get to the danger. And looters were able to take quite a haul from some of the houses. As it happened, that particular street survived with only minor damage. Firemen had another artery with which to get in. Winds were favorable. But it didn't have to be that way.

When a danger is imminent (as opposed to having already happened) people will panic and they will do stupid, stupid things.


-- Leo (, December 03, 1998.

Diane's attitude is needed in everyone of us if we stand a chance to survive at all as a race. Unless Diane isn't enticipating the possibility of riots and stempede, which I'm sure she's thought of since as you said she's very smart, why criticizing her positive attitude? From her backgroud she posted and the way she talks, she's very creative and adaptable. I have no dought that she has as much a chance as anyone here to get through Y2K. I don't see any polyanish bent to her at all, on the contrary. She's simply pointing out what is needed to get most of us through Y2K and beyond. "A polite stempede" to me means starting the panic now while supplies are aplenty and utilities work, not letting it happen at the end of '99. More people have a chance to survive if panic starts now than later. We pay for it by losing a few more months of cozy normalcy, but it pays later with perhaps less severe chaos and calamities, and more people surviving.

-- Chris (, December 03, 1998.

I attended a Y2K presentation today in the PacificNW area. Had 3 primary speakers. One from Hewlett-Packard, who I know personally and trust, one from an organization that supports and helps mfg. companys and one from the state. The first two speakers laid our what the issues are, what needs to be worked on and how organizations are proceeding. The HP speaker stated that they had started 3 years ago working on their legacy systems and they are now done. They are now working with their critical suppliers to insure they are ready. I know this company, HP, VERY WELL!! I have seen what they have done and this person speaks the truth. They also realize the problems that their supply chain may have and are addressing it very proactivly.

The state speaker spoke about the commities formed, the sign on of the state Governor, the efforts to keeps all depts. talking to each other, the web newsletter, etc. However the most telling statement was the fact that the top 75 mission critical systems had only just now finished their assesment phase!! The total number of lines of code that were identified was 102 million lines that had to be checked. So now contrast this with the HP speaker who stated they had a total of 20 million lines of code to check, this is one site only, and they started over 2 years ago. I know these HP folks and they are good yet it still took them all this time to check and test everything.

So the state is just now getting started and it was stated that they will be ready to go by Aug. 1999!! I asked the question of the state person "You have told us that you have lots of "cheifs", lots of commities, nice newsletters but you haven't stated what percentage of systems have actually been checked and fixed as of today." Where do I get that information? Oh it's in the handout you gave out? Ok so I ask what agencies are in the mission critical list. Funny thing that, it turns our that they are, are you ready for this, Revenue, Law Enforcment, Tax Collection are the top 3!! So they can still collect taxs, chase the bad guys, and fine you for being late on your property taxs!! Somehow I think they have their priorities mixed up, but wait this is government we're talking about. :) Funny how revenue generating systems are so important but not hospitals, water, sewage, etc.

So my conclusion from all of this is that my state is no better off than the federal government in meeting the goal. The other members of the audience asked question like "will 911 still work, will I get my tax refund, will my disability payments be late", etc. you get the picture. Nobody asked about power, sewer, telephones, and so forth. Guess that shows where the majority of the folks attending priorities were. I will be attending some future presentations to gauge the level of progress and awareness in my area. But as of now it is still a topic that is not registering with a majority of people in this area.

my .02 worth....

-- (, December 03, 1998.

I see what you mean, Chris, but..

A "polite stampede" to me means everyone going to the shops, taking no more than what has somehow been determined to be `their fair share', being nice and courteous and unpanicky in the process; draining the shelves dry, of course, but all very nicely.

If people are panicked, that won't happen. Unscrupulous shopowners will repackage "Cat Food" as "Year 2000 Food" (anyone else see that Simpsons episode when a hurricane hit Springfield?). People will be getting armloads of whatever they can grab, knocking others out of the way and quite possibly taking their food. Warehouses could quite conceivably be looted. There could possibly be muggings: ("This is a, I don't want your wallet, but GIMME YOUR SHOPPING TROLLEY!..oh, I may as well have your wallet too, while I'm at it").

Diane is an intelligent, honorable person with a high opinion of the people around her. The people around her personally may very well be intelligent, honorable people. I would like to believe that most of us tend to surround ourselves with a majority of such people. However, I personally hold the position that Joe Average may be a nice guy under ordinary circumstances, but if something occurs that threatens his personal survival, he will become an unscrupulous, clamoring jerk. He will do whatever it takes to keep what he has. TS is going to HTF as soon as the stampede starts, LONG before year 2000. When that happens, I will be either enjoying a 50,000% increase in profits (if I have my company) from a secure office protected by guards with automatic weapons, or listening to the chaos from a safe haven somewhere.

Once panic starts, it could be a considerable slide down into disorder. Supplies will simply not be available. It will not be nice.

On the other hand, in a perfect world things *would* be as Diane suggests; community preparedness, etc. I admire her faith in humanity.


-- Leo (, December 04, 1998.

Excuse me, but I just had to repost the following that I wrote in another thread here:

Last night here in Tucson we had a public forum where about 200 (of a city with a population over 600K!) attended. We had representatives from US West Telephone, TEP (Tucson Electric Power), and the city of Tucson main IT guy. MHO is that Tucson is in BIG trouble. Why? Because the presentations were too positive. A brief report: US WEST: We are 75% remediated and tested (although only in the "lab setting," not real life), and the other 25% will be done by April 99. TEP: Electricity will flow in 2000 because we have coal sources for our power generators (although only 9 day coal supply, with plans to up this to a 30 day reserve). And we have manual override on all critical switches, TEP says. Interconnectivity to the power grid will not be a problem (although no factual data could be offered). City IT report: No major problems are forseen for city critical infrastructures. An independent testing agent is scheduled to begin evaluating our remediation program sometime in Jan or Feb '99. Life will go on, though there may be some minor disruptions to our daily comfortable lifestyles.

If I were to believe the reports I would conclude that my minimal preparations already done are more than enough to get me through a few rough days in temperate climate Tucson. Don't worry, be happy! Put on your rose colored glasses and don't take then off.

BTW, one question from the audience stumped the City IT man: Has the City considered that the population of greater Tucson will at least double during the winter of 99/00? (We already receive an abundance of snowbirds here each year from the cold north. Think these winter visitors will bring their friends and relatives in 99 looking to 00 to ride out the Y2K storm in sunny Tucson?)

TEOWAWKI TUCSON! I'm planning to move out!


Another BTW (an update): As I continue in my preparations I try to speak to the company rep I am doing business with about the volume of business. Example: Ordered a Katadyn water filter system, and the company rep said, "You ought to be on the other side of this phone sometime. We're getting calls from all parts of the country, from programers, IT's, you name it. It's getting real busy here!" Same kind of response from the folks where I ordered my oxygen absorbers and mylar bags. The same with the place I picked up my 5 gallon buckets. This happened just in the last 2 days, mind you.

Joe, again.

-- Joe (, December 04, 1998.

I hear ya, Joe.

I ordered a couple of Katadyn water filters (hand-pump, not gravity) back around Labor Day and was told that they would be here the first part of November. Called a couple of weeks ago, and they said shortly after Thanksgiving. Hmmmm.

I've had no problem with Lehman's. I ordered a couple of the non- electrical clothes-washers and got them in about a week....guess the lead time depends on the item, eh?

-- Tim (, December 04, 1998.

I can't help but wonder if other companies/governmental entities have followed the lead of the federal government by "exaggerating" their Y2K compliance. Quite a troubling scenario, if they have.

-- Diane (, December 04, 1998.

Going back to the subject of this thread, I got this in my mail box today from
Y2K People Finding People -

"Dear Y2K Friends, TIME Magazine has contacted me, and it appears that they are planning to run a spread, (I would judge in about two weeks from now). They have several writers working on it. The one that contacted me would like to actually visit (would fly to their location next week) and talk with individuals, families or communities, that are somewhat along in their preparations. TIME would then later send out a photographer. If you are willing to help spread the Y2K word, please contact me at: The Reporter has asked that I vet the replies, but would like to make arrangements in the next couple of days and then would visit next week. Carla says she is receiving a number of inquiries about speaking arrangements. Carla, Newsweek, Sixty minutes, and now TIME. The momentum grows. Peace and love, Bruce Beach" It's not to late to join, if any of you is interested to give interviews to Time Magazine.

-- Chris (, December 04, 1998.

I'm thinking this will have two negative effects:

first off, all of the yuppies who listen to stern every morning now have yet another excuse to go back to sleep.

secondly, his discussion pretty much voids out any chance of Diane's 'polite stampede', at least here on the east coast. Having watched panicked yuppies before (Blizzard - and then ice storm - of '93 was a classic) when they finally *do* get it - about the time the FED declares a bank holiday - they'll grab the platinum cards, jump in the overpriced ginned up four wheeld drive they've never learned to operate properly, and drive to the grocery store. When they discover they can't get anything there, they'll just get on the interstate and head *somewhere* else. Stampede? yeah, you bet. polite? hah! if you think road rage is a problem now, just wait!

Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (, December 04, 1998.

i thought the important thing howard said was that his sister in law is stocking up on can goods. She is working for some company's y2k team.

-- martyn collins (, December 04, 1998.

I bought another 5KW generator last Sunday at the nearest Sam's discount store, thinking that the Sixty Minute/Dan Rather tv coverage would perhaps create a run on some products. The store had 5 in stock, I got one for $499 and marked the boxes of the other 4. Went back today (about 50 miles one way) and all four were still there. My conclusion is the people are watching but not doing because the Y2K story is just 'entertainment'

-- Not Surprized (, December 04, 1998.

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