Have you thought of this?

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That I am saying this is probably influenced slightly by the five Lemon Russkis I have enjoyed between the last post and now, but I must point out that according to the irrefutable logic of Infomagic we are all going to die.

Let me restate that.

We Are All Going To Die.

Sounds cool, doesn't it? When you put it that way. Cool in that proving someone highly intelligent wrong -and therefore proving that you're smarter than him, because he was wrong and you were right- is always fun, especially when the stakes are high. And beating Infomagic's 11 is going to be fun. It is going to involve a lot of desperation. Maybe even cannibalism. It is going to involve no more Lemon Russkis for a very very very long time, which is why I am saving the survivor of this six-pack for a time when I really need it, such as tomorrow morning. It is going to involve guns and it is going to involve a scenario many would consider hell, a scenario that many people would think, "what the hell, may as well give up." And it is going to involve a splitting, decisive victory when we prove Infomagic wrong and say, "Hey Mr Infomagic..we are not dead. And neither are you, if we're talking to you. Which means you proved yourself wrong. Which means are we really proving you wrong?"

I've always thought it would be kind of cool to be that one in a thousand who survives. Seems as though that's going to happen. Seems as though if Infomagic's irrefutable logic is correct, we are going to see some very big crisertunities (Homer Simpson) arising. Seems as though a lot of boneheads are finally going to have a wayside to fall by.

And now I know I've said too much, so I may as well shut up now.


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), December 10, 1998


Leo, ref: being the one in a thousand who survives:

Isn't there a "Twilight Zone" episode where a guy wakes up one day, and everyday life and everyone is gone?

As I recall, it was chilling.

Billy Crystal might say, "So you call this living?"

I'd say, pass the Stoly.

-- Sara Nealy (saran@ptd.net), December 10, 1998.

Leo, don't sweat it, we all die in the end, even without y2k. But seriously, the biggest y2k dieoff will happen in the most advanced industrial countries, those countries whose populations are above land carrying capacity and are now dependant upon the Green Revolution, and finally, those countries being abused as killing fields. While there are no guarantees of personal survival, personal prep can go a long way towards peace of mind, and just might be the primary thing that allows you to survive. Think simple, cheap, and effective.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), December 10, 1998.

If I remember correctly there was an episode on the "Twilight Zone," where this man was in a library reading because he loved books. He wore really thick glasses and was blind without them. He walked out of the library only to discover he was the only man left on earth and was jubilant about that. Anyway, he tripped on something, fell down and his glasses broke into a million pieces. He realized that he was a dead man without his glasses. Bummer.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), December 10, 1998.

Thank you Mitchell Barnes, well said. I don't plan on giving up the ghost so easily either.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), December 10, 1998.

Leo, I'm planning on living 'til my late '70s/early'80s. I'm 36 now, so I'm almost halfway there. And I think the "interesting" part of my life is ahead me (and I've done some pretty damn "interesting" things already). Then I'll die...Or maybe I'll get hit by a bus tomorrow...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 10, 1998.


Take Infomagic's predictions with a grain of salt. It's just an opinion like anyone else's.

The truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes.

-- Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), December 10, 1998.

Buddy, "The truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes."

Yes, and we have the power to collectively decide how "extreme" we choose to let it get.

Leo, when you signed on for this life, it came with a built in exit agreement. A package deal. Maybe thats what should get you curious. Whats beyond? More adventures.

Diane *Create Community, Prepare To Share, Be Y2K Aware*

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

"a scenario that many people would think, "what the hell, may as well give up."

In a sense, I've already given up. I'm living as if I had one year to live. My senses are extremely hightened, I'm smelling the roses, I'm oberving people and government interactions, I hug my kids every 1/2 hour, I've planned 2 costly vacations which we denied ourselves for years, and I'm listening for the sounds of stempeding shopping herds.

Someone has already won over me.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), December 10, 1998.

Or something.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), December 10, 1998.

If Y2K really is a bump in the road we are going to see the biggest 'eat drink and be merry' craze this country has ever seen. Bigger than the roaring nineties or the twenties.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

Even if WA aren't GTD, it's going to be miserable.

I went thru this scenario:

If every single 2000 problem got fixed - every one!- except power, and power went out internationally for 5 days, we'd be done for. Even assuming that there are no bank runs, no stock market crashes.

Because on the sixth day, when everybody tried to go to work, their places of employment probably have laid everybody off, temporarily, while they sort out whether their customers still want the orders they placed last week shipped to them. Domestic and international customers. Remember, phones are up! All Y2K problems were fixed.

Businesses, like people, tend to kite their operations by 30-60 days. That is, they pay bills from 30 days ago with today's revenue. On the sixth day, they're calling their customers looking for invoice payment --- need cash (remember, the banks are up!) to make payroll. They're also not paying last month's bills out of uncertainty over when their customers will resume ordering and paying for their product or service.

With every business doing this--- temporarily cancelling orders to other businesses and trying to collect their A/R (which nobody's paying), there's no business spending going on.

And the big gun in domestic spending - 66%- is at home, temporarily laid off and not spending anything, either, waiting to be called back. They're not spending money on items that businesses produce: Furbies, jeans, shoes, cars, etc.

The government's trying to distribute what didn't rot or die of the nation's food supply, and forcing the hand of the free market to produce food for free. Except not to other nations: grains aren't getting to them and their petroleum isn't getting to us. In fact, there's no export or import going on, because consumers aren't pumping cash through the international banking system, and nobody is exporting anything for free.

How long until fuel runs out and power plants and tractors and rototillers can't run, and there we are again?

Please prove me wrong on this, I really want to be wrong.

Remember, there was no such thing as Y2K in this scenario, just a huge solar flare which knocked out power for 5 days.

-- Lisa (so@depressed.com), December 10, 1998.

Maybe I should have started a new thread with this, but at the rate that new threads get started these days, I am trying to conserve.

Anyway, I think that many take as an axiom the following:

There is the one extreme viewpoint, but then there is the opposite extreme viewpoint, but you can be sure that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

That sounds good, it tends to work on most things, but I do not believe that it appllies to Y2K. Firstly, because Nobody Knows what is going to happen, and this is an event is completely unprecedented -- vitually no previous history exists with which we can even begin to compare it with. Secondly, although the "best case" scenario is pretty well understood -- specifically, that Y2K will have no impact -- the "worst case" scenario is unbounded, again due to lack of a true understanding of what the effects will be. (As has been pointed out, even Infomagic might turn out to be an optimist.)

-- Jackj (jsprat@eld.net), December 10, 1998.

Well, Jack, Infomagic is certainly a pessimist. On that we can agree.

NOBODY KNOWS!!! We are riding the uncertainty roller coaster here. Actually, we do that every day, it's just the illusion of stability that has us "feeling" grounded, or not.

More prepared is better than less prepared? Agreed?


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

Agreed. You know, after examing this fish tank we've constructed around ourselves to keep us alive, maybe we CAN rig it so there's little death. At the cost of freedom, of course.

Although we won't survive if we're not prepared, agreed. And we can't prepare if we weren't alerted.

-- Lisa (maybenot@sobadafterall.com), December 10, 1998.


Solar storms are not going to cause global power outages in the next few years, for sound astronomical, electrical, geological, magnetic, and historical reasons.

Astronomical: A general measure of solar activity is the number of sunspots visible at any one time. Each sunspot is a solar storm. Sunspot numbers run in 11-year cycles. Currently, the numbers are running about the same as or slightly lower than they were 11 years ago, so it is predicted that at the maximum of the current cycle, the severities will be no worse than they were in 1989.

Electrical and geological: The way in which solar storms affect power grids is that they induce large electrical currents in certain types of rock, which can damage utility equipment through their grounding connections. Regions that have the types of rock that readily conduct these large currents can experience electrical trouble, but most regions of the Earth don't have those types of rock near the surface.

Magnetic: The electrical currents caused by solar storms reach the ground only near the earth's magnetic poles because elsewhere the Earth's magnetic field is strong enough to keep out the solar particles. The south magnetic pole is over ocean and there's no power grid there. The north magnetic pole is in northern Canada, so the areas affected are in Canada and northern United States. Other countries' power grids are simply not at risk from solar storm damage. (A really whopping storm could theoretically cause cascading power outages down to Mexico, but not to any continent other than North America. If northern Siberia has an extensive interconnected power grid, it might see some effects, but probably not outages.)

Historical: In 1989, when the largest solar storm on modern record occurred, electric utilities were unprepared for its effects. Even so, only Quebec and some neighboring areas were affected. Now, electric utilities have that experience (unlike with Y2K) and are better-prepared.

Though it _is_ possible that Y2K problems could interfere with the utilities' protections against solar storms, there just isn't any factual basis for a possibility of solar-caused global power outage. [Note: Solar storms might have global effects (not all negative!) on telecommunications, but not on power.]

For more info and discussion of solar storms, see this earlier thread: Is this another problem to worry about - the timing is all wrong!

>Remember, there was no such thing as Y2K in this scenario, just a huge solar flare which knocked out power for 5 days.

Your scenario is not realistic for a 5-day outage anyway. Businesses don't fall apart _that_ fast.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 10, 1998.

I see your point Jack, but I disagree. I don't think that the worst-case scenario is unbounded. The absolute worst-case scenario is that the human race destroys itself, next to that full-scale nuclear war which may amount to the same thing.

-- Buddy (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), December 10, 1998.

Right. I was just looking for something to knock out the power, as an example. The point is...like Diane kinda explains, what we call stability is really pretty fragile, and it's all based on electricity.

How many days would it take of all businesses being down to crash, you think?

-- Lisa (nosolar@storms.com), December 10, 1998.

<< Well, Jack, Infomagic is certainly a pessimist. On that we can agree >>

Not necessarily. He could just be a realist.

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

Yo! Leo! the easiest answer to Lisa's last question:

"How many days would it take of all businesses being down to crash, you think?"

might be to take a look at what happened to the businesses down on your side of the globe when that natural gas storage facillity went up in BOOM! a couple months back...anything in the media coverage talk about small and medium sized businesses trying to restart afterward? I seem to recall something about 34,000 layoffs or so in the first week?

Arlin [who is well aware that the second thing to go is the memory and, er, uh, I forget what the first thing was...]

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), December 10, 1998.

Lisa, I'm glad to see that you're not (so@depressed.com) now!!!!! :-)

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 10, 1998.

Arlin- yes. In Victoria; a gasworks blew up or broke down or something. It was more than 34,000 people laid off; probably more like 340,000. Actually, it was somewhere around 200,000.

That was only for a week. They still had full electric power. About a third of the homes in the state were affected; they relied on gas to heat their water and operate their stoves. There are no oil wells in Victoria. But 200,000 people were laid off for up to three weeks. Sixty thousand jobs in NSW (New South Wales; the vastly superior state to the north of Victoria, where Sydney is) also had to be laid off. So did about eighty thousand around the rest of the country, because stuff from Victoria couldn't get to them.

Three hundred and forty thousand people in all. Out of work for up to three weeks, because ONE gasworks stopped working for that period of time.

In the second week, there was a Federal election. Howard suffered a sudden and very dangerous swing that almost cost him his job. Not that I like Howard especially -he's unimaginative with no vision- but at least he's not a leftie. Pundits blamed the swing directly on the Victorian power outage.

That was one minor problem. When things really go blooey, I'm going to be very, very worried.


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), December 10, 1998.


Sorry, but your rebuttal is incorrect.

Your electrical/geological answer contradicts your magnetic answer.

And your magnetic answer is wrong in and of itself. The grid acts as an "antenna" at all latitudes. The earth's magnetic field channels the solar flux to the poles This channeling induces currents into the distribution grid itself, not just "ground currents." Finally these currents are DC mode components which generate enormous heat in AC transmission systems.

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 10, 1998.

Elbow Grease,

I don't think my electrical/geological answer contradicts my magnetic answer. It happens that much of Quebec (and Ontario) has both conditions - the right type of rock and proximity to the north magnetic pole.

There _was_ a mistake in my geological answer, though. The type of rock, igneous, that is "conducive" to geomagnetically induced currents has high resistivity, not high conductivity. ("conducive"/"conductive" mixup in my mind)

Here a reference: Geomagnetic Storms and Impacts on Power Systems: Lessons Learned from Solar Cycle 22 and Outlook for Solar Cycle 23.

That site has a map showing the areas of igneous rock and auroral zones of North America at http://www.mpelec tric.com/storms/elctrjet.htm (second image on the page). Lots of overlap all around Hudson Bay.

>And your magnetic answer is wrong in and of itself. The grid acts as an "antenna" at all latitudes.

But as you say in your next sentence, the solar flux is channeled to the poles. That the grid acts as an antenna at middle, as well as polar, magnetic latitudes is irrelevant because the solar flux is in the form of charged particles which are kept far from the ground at middle magnetic latitudes.

>The earth's magnetic field channels the solar flux to the poles. This channeling induces currents into the distribution grid itself, not just "ground currents."

What I have read is that without the ground currents, the induced currents in the grid alone would be modest and easily handled.

>Finally these currents are DC mode components which generate enormous heat in AC transmission systems.

Thank you for noting that.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 11, 1998.

Chris: Forgot to add, good on you (don't know if you Americans use that Australian phrase, but you can guess what it means) for realising that this could be the last. And for living. Have you gotten to that part in Atlas Shrugged where Dagny notices "those people..they expect the decorations to make the occasion special, not the other way around"? I think that's how most people act nowadays- they take everything around them for granted.

-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), December 11, 1998.

There is the one extreme viewpoint, but then there is the opposite extreme viewpoint, but you can be sure that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The definition of "truth" is "in accordance with fact", y2k hasn't happened yet, there is no truth yet.

However you can make projections of the future based on current events. No-one can predict the future with any certainty, on the other hand we make the future. The main concern is will y2k projects finish before or after Dec 31 1999.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), December 11, 1998.

Who will live? Not, Who will die?

From another viewpoint (3rd world?) consider this writing from Sharif Abdullah "Thoughts on Y2K." I have the full text, but only provide you with part here:

"...up to three billion people on the planet, half of the human race, won't even know that anything happened....They will continue to grow their food, raise their children and make their prayers. The human world won't melt down, only our over-privileged, over-developed, over- consumptive lifestyles will.

If Y2K is Noah's Flood, some people will barely get their feet wet.

For many of the other half, if they notice anything from Y2K, it will be that their lives have gotten a little better. The air will be cleaner; so will the water. The machines that were eating the forests are silent. They will find that they have up to forty percent more resources than before. The strange sores on their children's bodies are going away. Being only a generation or two removed from their communal roots, they will look to the old ways. Even in the United States, the residents of places like "Cancer Alley" in Louisiana will find the terrible odors in the air drifting from the chemical plants abating.

For all of us, whether the world is coming to an end or just beginning depends on our perspective. If our goal is the preservation and/or restoration of The Grid to its pre-Y2K splendor, the world may well come to an end, our soft and indulgent lifestyles threatened with extinction.

If our goal is to use this window of opportunity to develop the values and institutions of inclusivity, authenticity and sustainability, this will be a most exciting time.

"The Last Shall Be First ": Those Most Out Of The Loop Are The Ones Who Have The Resources We Need To Survive.

Those who have been excluded from playing the game are poised to be leaders in a post- Y2K world. Those who have been on the outside of the computerized society have the opportunities to be insiders in a new game.

The old credentials don't matter when the game changes."

Submitted by Joe

-- Joe (jba@there.com), December 11, 1998.


>>I don't think my electrical/geological answer contradicts my magnetic answer.<<

On re-reading your original post, I cannot recall what contradiction I saw. I hereby apologize and withdraw the statement.

It occurs to me that there might be some confusion over the term "ground currents". I read your reference site, but did not find much mention of, or emphasis on ground currents. (Were you referring to the acronym GIC?) Electrical currents flowing *through* the ground do not affect the transmission system directly, although they can cause sensing equipment to behave improperly, similar to the operation of home GFI equipment. This can cause circuits to trip unpredictably. But that is protection circuitry trying to do its job. However, It is the DC common mode current flow (current flowing in the same direction at the same time in all three phases) through the transmission lines, through the transformers, *to ground* which causes the heating/decreased inefficiency/increased heating cycle which does the physical damage. Does that clarify?

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 11, 1998.

Elbow Grease,

I used some terms loosely, and your clarifications are A-OK. :-)

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 11, 1998.

Bardou brings up an interesting point re: glasses...I think I might sign up for that laser eye surgery...

Chris presents a tempting option. There are all sorts of things that I would like to do while I have a chance. Instead I'm using all my resources on survival preparations. I'm taking the vacation money and buying grain.

Smelling the roses is important, and there's a certain serenity that comes in accepting the possibility of failure. I need to think in those terms more than I do. And yet...

A couple years ago I had a fairly serious medical scare. For a while there it looked like I might not have more than a couple years left. (Turned out okay.) Now, I had always thought the life is made more beautiful by the contrast with death. But when I was actually faced with it, as a reality instead of just a possibility, the opposite happened. My enjoyment of life was replaced by bitterness.

I've come to believe that death is not a natural part of life, but an enemy of life. That if you approach it right, life is better the more of it you have. But only if you approach it right...which includes smelling the roses.

But I will not go quietly.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), December 13, 1998.

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