North, Milne, and Pre-dispositions to Impending Doom : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In trying to evaluate whether TEOTWAWKI is really a realistic scenario, I have noticed that the raging bulls of a "10+" scenario Y2K, Gary North and Paul Milne, had in their mind decided that the collapse of civilization was imminent long before Y2K a real threat. Milne, a commodities trader in New York, moved to his farm five years ago because he expected a financial collapse, and North, has been predicting a banking collapse for twenty years. Also, among my friends, when I have explained Y2K, the ones who "got it" within 15 minutes or less and had jumped to the conclusion it was TEOTWAWKI without doing any extra research themselves, had already been talking about how "something BIG was going to happen" long before Y2K. They had in their minds a sense of impending doom, and Y2K put a label on it.

Now I know that picking apart the messenger does not discount the message, but I am trying to figure out if a psychological pattern is emerging. How can they be so sure that it will be a 10+? Emotionally, how can they deal with that?? It only makes sense to me if they have already accepted it in their mind, and gone through all the pyschological stages associated with it.

Does anyone know whether Douglass Carmichael or Infomagic have predicting collapse due to other factors, economic or environmental, before say, 1997, when Y2K became an issue?

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 16, 1998


Donna, this is worthwhile.

There are two questions in one, here: 1) Are these "10s" seeing what they want to see? and 2) Are they able to see what others cannot, because they are already *looking*?

I think it's the latter. If you are walking through a forest, you may not be looking for, say, bears. But if someone else with you knows there are bears in the area, he is likely to see one first.

Also, Y2k can be viewed as symptomatic of a larger problem, namely, speed/greed. We are running a frontier economy, but the frontier is all used up. Growth is not planned; it merely results from our wild and wasteful economic behavior. Y2k is the result of poor planning - or, rather, no *systemic* planning at all. Our computerized society grew, with "planning" limited to the profit-motive of the agents involved. I'm not advocating centralized planning. But there will be an ethical change associated with the collapse of these unsustainable/doomed systems and practices. If it weren't Y2k, it would have been something else, and North, for one, has been aware of that for a long time.

There's also the fact that it doesn't matter what pet theories people have. It's code, not theories, that will do us in.



-- E. Coli (, December 16, 1998.

Hello Donna and All:

In any population, including that which represents "y2k believers", one will find the entire spectrum of human experience. North, Milne, et al are one end -- they have a history of seeking and finding foundational problems in our society.

On the other end of the bell curve are the two Ed's: Yourdon and Yardeni. Both have been long-term players in "normal" society, and don't have records of predicting chaos or doom. Does Yourdon favor a TEOTWAWKI? He doesn't say specificially -- except for that thing about "New York looking like Beirut". Does Yardeni? Hmmm....I don't think so -- only a recession/depression so serious that a percentage of businesses will fail (with our jobs attached). I guess if I lost my job and couldn't find work for a couple of years, that would mean TEOTWAWKI for me, at least. We'd lose our house, our livestock, our stuff -- and that's as good as The End for people too old to "start over".

I'd pretty well bet that Cory Hamasaki hasn't been a doomsayer in the past, either....

But, does this mean that North/Milne/etc. are necessarily wrong about y2k? Or that they are simply more able to see the obvious?

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 16, 1998.

E and Anita, I think you both hit the nail on the head. My favorite analogy is the following: I personally don't believe in UFOs, aliens, etc., etc. But, I guarantee you, if indeed anything like that really happened, it will in fact be first seen by people who are already convinced, or who actively are trying to convince themselves.

I think that this is especially true with Gary North. He has a well documented history of seeming to be "at war" with the fractional reserve banking system, claiming in 1984 that computer viruses would demolish it. In fact, looking through the stuff he wrote back then, I saw much of the same wording and phrasing that you find on today. (Sorry I don't have any URLs handy ... maybe one of the anti-North types can supply it?...)

Infomagic is a complete phantom, so I doubt if there is any history. Based on Carmichael's web site (, which tells you more than you would ever want to know about the man, I would tend to doubt that he ever had any pre-Y2K TEOTWAWKI dispositions.

-- Jack (, December 16, 1998.

"Now I know that picking apart the messenger does not discount the message"

I believe this is a myth. The messenger's motives should definitely be questioned in all cases. The old adage "Don't shoot the messenger" applies when the messenger is relaying information from another source, not when the messenger is the sole source of the message.

It's one thing to say that we have a problem that must be solved, it's quite another to claim with certainty that the problem is unsolvable. This is the difference between Yourdon/Yardeni/de Jager on the one hand and North/Milne/Infomagic on the other.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 16, 1998.

Well, Buddy, thats why I always click on those little "Link:" things over at, so I can substantiate and validate what North is commenting on. Then, re-look at what he says, and then form my own opinion. If we dismiss the message solely because of what we don't like about the messenger (e.g., "I am not going to believe anything that Peter de Jager -- as fat as he is, why should I, the man obviously is saying whatever he thinks will earn him the money to keep stuffing his face!") then we pretty much will only consider what we really want to hear, won't we?

-- Jack (, December 16, 1998.

You are correct, Jack. That is also why I don't go to, but go to,, and other sites instead.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 16, 1998.

Regardless of one's pre-dispositions (one psychologist said "whenver you hear somebody predicting apocalyse due to y2k, you should ask what kind of childhood they had."), regardless of how much code is "repaired" the fact remains that the following list of desiderata consists of mutually incompatible elements. One or more MUST give, and soon:

(1) 6 billion world population (2) high consumption developed world lifestyle (3) political freedoms of any meaningful description

I would say that even if (2) were to be reworked Diane-style to read something like "sustainable, low-tech, 'green', but comfortable lifestyle" is incompatible with the other two. It is just too late.


-- Runway Cat (, December 16, 1998.

Buddy, ad hominem attacks, implying sinister and selfish motives to ones opponent in a debate, are a tactic of last resort. When the sarcastic, contentless smear editorials and "we're confident, so you should be too" press-releases lacking third-party verification start to address the failures, lies, and piss-poor progress on Y2k and positively refute same, then I'll listen to an investigation into the messenger of doom. But the facts tell me that we're in deep, deep shit. The GAO agrees it's deep. The Gartner report agrees it's deep. The Secretary of Agriculture agrees it's deep. Now the Security and Exchange Commission's 10-Q Report on Fortune 500 Y2k Compliance agrees it's deep. North says it's bottomless. I say it doesn't need to be bottomless to be DEEP ENOUGH. Lives will be saved by facing up to it and planning for the "deep enough" contingency. Lives will be squandered by soothing the public, and delaying the inevitable panic by saying "don't worry, it MIGHT NOT be deep; it MIGHT be shallow!" When the military is mobilizing, governments recommending martial law, corporations and municipalities planning to "fix on failure" (i.e., in the dark, with no water, with no banks, with no food), emphasis shifting to contingency planning everywhere, then I can only say that if you think it can be fixed, shut up and fix it; don't cast aspursions on the people that are trying to warn others and save lives.


-- E. Coli (, December 16, 1998.

Once again, the armchair psychologist get it wrong.

I did, at no time, predict a collapse prior to my learning about Y2K. I moved away because I saw the makings of a depression forming. I wanted my family to be in a safe place where we could survive if we had to be self-sufficient.

I made not ONE mention of my understanding of the coming depression to ANYONE at all. I just moved out.

A serious depression will occur, Y2K or not. *WITH* Y2K it is a stone cold guarantee that a deep deep depression will be the BEST that we can achieve.

I am not in the least bit interested in what the denialists have to say. They are walking dead men. No skin off my nose.

The consequences of the next year will be an aggregation of the technological and economic errors that have accrued. It is 100% inevitable. Not because I am omniscient. The facts are irrefutable. The problem with most people is that they only have the 'tip' of the iceberg. Again, no skin off my nose. I have prepared and it makes no difference to me what happens. I am ready. No panic. No anxiety. Social responsibility. Taking care of your family. No more, no less.

Thos who do not prepare will have to pay the consequences for the actions or inactions resulting from their decisions. When I look at my actions, I readily see that no matter what happens, there are no bad consequences. That is what preparation is all about. if I don't need it, so what. If I do, I have it. The ones who do nothing can not say the same. If there is such a conflagration that it consumes virtually everthing, then no preparation can be adequate. I am not worried about that.

The principal thing that you have to do is be out of populated areas and have at least a one years suply of food water and defenses. That is all you can reasonably do, at a minimum. It guarantees you nothing other than that you will have the best chance to survive.

-- Paul Milne (, December 16, 1998.

I agree with you E., except for the part about "shut up and fix it; don't cast aspursions [sic] on the people that are trying to warn others and save lives."

IMHO, North/Milne/Infomagic are not "shutting up and fixing it," because they have already given up. I don't see them testifying before congress, participating in community meetings, representing their country at the U.N, or hosting internet action day conferences like de Jager/Yardeni/Yourdon have done. Of course, in Infomagic's case, who knows? Nobody knows who he is.

Anyway, I personally have begun to shut up and fix it. I still read this forum, but my posting has gone way down because I am too busy with a Y2K project at work and helping get my community organized and informed.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 16, 1998.


It's legitimate to consider information _about_ a source as well as the information _from_ that source.

Analogy: Where I grew up, there were two daily papers, morning and evening. Compared to each other, one editorial staff took moderately more conservative views and the other took somewhat more liberal views. Though both of them reported the news fairly and accurately, a side-by-side comparison would show that their selections of what news to report about a given topic sometimes differed. Of course, neither paper had room to print all the news about anything, so there _had_ to be some criteria for selection.

It was good to know the leanings of whichever paper you were reading, so that you could judge where their news content was likely to fit within the overall news spectrum.

Ditto for Y2K sites and predictors.

-- No Spam Please (, December 16, 1998.

The qualifier there is "if you think it can be fixed." If you see water coming in a breach 10 times faster than the crew can bail, and the ship is clearly going down, then it's responsible to call for everyone to abandon ship. Do what you think is the right thing, and you won't be acting irresponsibly. But the issue here is whether doomsayers are irresponsible. By this standard, they aren't. Casting aspursions on possible political, religious or even economic motives is clearly desperate. It lowers the standard of debate, and convinces me even more deeply that the people who say it can be fixed in time are blowing sunshine up my dress.


-- E. Coli (, December 16, 1998.

Mr. Milne,

My apologies to you for misprepresenting your past. My faulty memory must have filled in the parts about you predicting a financial collapse. May I ask how long it took you to emotionally come to terms with your 10+ position on Y2K?

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 16, 1998.


From what I've seen about Y2K, neither extreme of the spectrum is likely to turn out to be the bulge of the outcome. The "10"s seem to always leave out mitigating factors, such as human ingenuity and adaptability. The "1"s (not to mention the "0"s!) seem to always lack basic knowledge of either computers or the interconnections within our technology.

It happens that I have mood swings for medical reasons (but not dramatic swings as in people with bipolar disorder), and I can see a distinct correlation between my Y2K outlook and my mood when evaluated as objectively as possible. So it seems reasonable to me that others' Y2K forecasts are affected by their overall moods. And ones mood spectrum is likely to be much the same now as it was several years ago, on average.

-- No Spam Please (, December 16, 1998.


I don't think North or Milne will ever be able to do the things you suggested (testifying about y2k before govt, etc.) simply because of their positions -- the guys "running the show" don't want to hear it. Neither do lots of "ordinary" folk who are content with life the way it is, right now.

But fixing code isn't the only way to be of service to humankind. We're living in an age that has lost nearly all its roots to the basics of survival -- how milk appears, for instance: the cow has to have a calf before she will milk, which implies having a bull around, which implies fences, fields, hay, grain, veterinary skills, and so forth -- and ANYBODY who keeps telling us to grow our own food, learn to cook meals from scratch, and take responsibility for our own lives shouldn't be ignored.

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 16, 1998.

No Spam has said it better than I can.

The way people have responded to my posts in this thread proves my point as well. I did not say anything disparaging about any point of view, yet E. says I'm "casting aspersions." You must be basing this on things I have written in other threads. Well, you are questioning the messenger right there, nothing wrong with that.

Donna's questions had to do with why the messengers are so certain. I would say that noone can be certain yet. Question all of them. Question the government. Question the companies you deal with.

Look, no matter what I have ever said I am only interested in finding the truth. Is it TEOTWAWKI? Maybe. Is it the end of business-as-usual? Definitely. Should you prepare for a disaster? Can't argue with that. Is community action part of that preparation? For me it is. Is the situation that uncertain? Yes. Are you scared? Yes.

I have no more animosity for North/Milne/etc. Thank you all for raising the alarm so loud that noone can ignore it any longer. I feel relieved as de Jager does. I have raised my voice in meetings at work so loud that they put me in charge of the project. They are "getting it" fast. My wife gets it. My community is starting to organize.


-- Buddy (DC) (, December 16, 1998.

Now that I think about it, quite a few people on this forum have said that they began preparing *before* they even knew about Y2K. I could be remembering this wrong, but one person said he was sitting on hill watching all the cars speeding by on the highway, and he just got the feeling that it was all going to end, that it was all just too fast. He began preparing in the 1980's. How many of us have been preparing for *something* and then Y2K came along and only added fuel to the fire?

I also wonder how many of us on this forum have ever had feelings of impending doom without any immediate physical threat to give us pause. (I have, once in 1994, I was on the UC Berkeley campus doing some job searching, and really, for no good reason, it overwhelmed me. Perhaps the location had something to do with it.)

Perhaps some of us who take Y2K seriously, are not only able to grasp big picture constructs, but have other pyschological traits in common. Perhaps, and I say this half jokingly, we are risk averse, are given to melancholy, introspection, brooding, or drama, and tend to worry (even legitimately). I don't really know, but I do know that among the "Get It's" that I know, we all tend to be deep thinkers and somewhat on the anxious side. Perhaps this is what made the threat of TEOTWAWKI totally real to us.

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 16, 1998.


I live in Washington near Chevy Chase less than four miles from the White House. I feel that way at times like tonight when we are bombing Iraq as I write.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 16, 1998.

Donna, TEOTWAWKI is "a" scenario, as is BITR (bump in the road). And even though the odds suggest TEOTWAWKI over BITR, neither, IMO, is very likely.

Every potentially serious problem leads to the end of the world when all one can imagine is the end of the world. So yes, the conclusion for many: Y2k=end. And, one of these days, they will be right.

Personally, I see more of a HAILS (huge adjustment in living standards) than a TEOTWAWKI. Yes, the code is broken. No, it won't all get fixed. Yes, some serious things will go wrong. No, the situation is neither hopeless nor irreparable. Yes, everyone should be told of the bad times coming. No, they won't all listen -- they never do. Yes, one should take precautions in alignment with one's outlook. Can one do otherwise?

The physical infrastructure is not being destroyed. We're not getting hit by a comet or meteor, we very likely will not have a thermonuclear exchange, the poles aren't shifting, and it's not going to rain for forty days and forty nights.

We live in a highly interconnected, industrial/information economy. These connections are not set in stone. Also, given that there are billions of pathways from production to consumption, odds would favor that at least some of these pathways will remain intact, from one end to the other. Over time, work-arounds will be found for the others. That's the extent of my best estimate for the good news.

However, even without Y2k, the global monetary system is at the edge of the precipice. One could make the case that it was drug to the edge because of Y2k (might as well go out on a high note!), but it will surely be pushed over the edge because of it.

I expect most telecom to be OK, some serious problems in power generation, large disruptions in manufacturing and transport, and a complete disaster in finance.

I believe we are going to experience an economic environment for which there is no name: a serious depression with very high rates of inflation. People will lose their jobs by the millions, yet the cost of everyday items will double and more. The system is tuned for perfection, but it's not a perfect system.

Not the end of the world, but for the unprepared, it just might seem like it...

-- Nathan (, December 16, 1998.


Yes, in effect, that is also what I see. I am leaning toward a HAILS model, with shortages of almost everything. Something like an eastern bloc country in the 80's with high unemployment and long lines and unpredictable availabilities of everything from flights to gasoline. After 3 months of research, which I know isn't much compared to some people, this seems most realistic. Which is why I ask the question about why the 10's are so convinced. Do they think we are totally without creativity, adaptablity, or entrepreneurship? Do they think we will all lie down and take it and bemoan the fact? We will find new ways of carrying on.

It won't be as much of shock to everyone as people are predicting. Right now, most people are somewhat aware of Y2K, and awareness will only increase, especially as failures increase over the next year. It won't be this cold water dunking on 1-1-2000 that will send everyone into panic and terror. It will be on the news day and night, night and day. We will probably be sick to death of hearing about y2k in the preceeding weeks of New Year's Eve 1999 as we are now of Bill and Monica.

What do you think?

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 16, 1998.


I gave up predicting what the media will say and what peoples' reaction to it will be years ago. :o)

There are only two constants that I rely on:

1) The media will get it wrong

2) People will believe they are more informed than they actually are.

If losing one's job for any reason other than one's performance can still come as a surprise, then yes, Y2k will be a shock.

If one believes that inflation has been permanently banned, then yes, Y2k will be a shock.

-- Nathan (, December 16, 1998.

Whoa, Donna -- would that it were that easy! I expect that the traits you listed (introspection, anxiety, etc.) are fairly universal human GI's exhibit these more consistently than DGI's? Would depressive types understand y2k more readily than Robert Schuler-type positive-thinkers? Hmmm....good material for a psych thesis. Would require a lot of original research.

Here's another view: some years ago, when we had commercial sheep, I tried to train a border collie to work. I was apprenticed to a lady who had raised this unique breed for a decade or more. Where I saw a black-and-white dog running across a field, she saw the dog's direction, speed, changes in how it held its head and tail. Where I saw a doggie frolic, she saw intention, and "power", and capacity to move sheep, and determination. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't "see" the way this lady did -- I never did quite connect with the dog either. She could make MY dog turn on a dime across a ten acre field by raising an eyebrow....where I couldn't get the dog to come to me even if I had a hunk of meat in my hands.....

With stock dogs, I'm a DGI. Constitutionally. I just don't "get 'em"......whole other thing with pet dogs, though.

Could it be that the presence of some past trauma in one's life makes one "open" to the potential destructive elements of y2k (i.e. the psychologist who said to look at people's childhoods). I see people die, literally, every week (probably not as often as Leska and Cascadia, though) -- but there are nurses where I work who see the same deaths, face the same conditions, who just can't connect with y2k....have no interest, no plans, no concerns.

In past civilizations that failed (I'm thinking of Rome, here), there were plenty of voices warning in advance that collapse was imminent. There were those in Rome who bemoaned the loss of traditional values, and deplored the scandalous behavior of the citizenry, who thought taxes were too high, and who opposed the various corrupt Caesars in word and deed.....but the whole thing crashed anyway.

Perhaps, those who see The End in y2k, are simply comparing what they "see" with some internal standard of "rightness" -- and our times just don't stack up. Like the lady who trained my border collie, they simply perceive in a way that others cannot.

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 16, 1998.


You're right, I know melancholy introspective types who think y2k will not be that serious and are doing nothing to prepare. I guess I am trying to figure out why I cannot get anyone in my family to seriously prepare, yet some people who I hardly know, got it right away when we talked about it. I am sure this is common in the y2k community, where one's family won't listen and ridicules the warnings. (A prophet has no honor in his home town.) Although, I lean toward a "shortages" outcome, I still would like to make significant preparations.

Anita, are you the same one who has written a preparation book? Does your mother, father, brothers, sisters take you seriously?

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 16, 1998.

MR MILNE,and MR.NORTH, I would like to thank you for scareing the pants off me.. so as to get me to search further. I have prepared for almost 6 months, and would not have done so if I thought there was a 50-50 chance of it not happening. By watching and tv and the news i would have been another sheep being taken to the slaughter. You made me realize I had nothing to Loose by prepareing.. I even coined the phrase PREPAIR dont DESPAIR that I see everyone useing now. Once again thank you

-- jim bern (, December 16, 1998.

I second that! My thanks to those at the 8,9,10 end of the scale. Nuclear war is my 10 now. The "Vanity Fair" article states the Pentagon is going to put officers in the Russian "War Room" and vice a versa. Crazier things have started riots in the US (Rodney King, Bulls Championship, etc....) There is no reason to belive the idiots of this Country won't riot because the lights are out for a week or there is no heat to keep them warm. If the power outages last year in Vermont were in Detroit, Chicago or New York, do you think there would have been any problems?

Paul is right prepare, prepare, prepare.

-- Bill (, December 16, 1998.

E. sez, It's code, not theories, that will do us in.

I think there's more to it than that. It's what we do in the new environment, how we use what's left, what we invent, how we relate to each other-- that will "do us in" or bring us through.

As for Donna's questions -- I dunno. There's a spectrum apparently -- some people see 10, some see 1 or 2 (or 0!), and everything between those extremes can be found too. My own completely amateur opinion is that we're living in a society that's substantially distorted in many ways, and the internal conflicts this generates take different people in different directions.

-- Tom Carey (, December 16, 1998.

Donna, Without 'trying' to be rude.....

I am not some namby-pamby limp-wristed slack-jawed imitation of a man. I do not come to 'emotional' terms with what I think, whatever the hell that means. Perhaps If I read 'Redbook' or some helen gurly brown publication I would know what you mean by coming to 'emotional' terms with Y2K.

"Not hardly" Big Jake

That is psychobabble out of some women's magazine.

Facts are facts. Reality is reality. I am not some sweaty-palmed hand- wringing puke. We have a whole country full of 'em and you can have 'em.

Do not think for one moment that that makes me some chest-pounding receptacle for testosterone either. I look at the facts. I ask questions. I get answers. Then I draw conclusions and I MOVE on them. I don't suffer fools, I don't look back and I don't take prisoners.

If I have offeneded you, I apologize. It was not my intent.

-- Paul Milne (, December 17, 1998.

I've never read Milne, but I follow North's newest links. I am indebted to him for the work he has done in posting info that is in the public domain. It allows each of us to form our own opinion since no one can predict the outcome with any certainty. I expect the worst and am planning for same. I pray that it does not happen, but my plans should be ok if the worst doesn't happen. I will end up with a vacation home. I wish my wife had let me sell our house, but I had to work around it. Whatever you decide to do, do it. Hamasaki and Yourdon are the ones I trust. If you read the weather reports from inception you will see that Cory basically gets to the same point as we do. It is an evolving problem, but you need to get to some resolve and then take action. Good luck.

-- Rick Reilly (, December 17, 1998.

Paul Milne's "How to win, and influence, friends" will be in bookstores everywhere in January!

-- Wow (, December 17, 1998.


The shortage scenario you're talking about makes sense to me. Shortages, and at least a severe recession. The best description of the kind of disruptions I think will happen because of Y2K was in issue #99 of Cory Hamasaki's Y2K Weather Report.

Jo Ann Slaven wrote a piece called "Think About a Possible Future". It matches what I think is a pretty plausible Y2K scenario. You can read it at this link:

-- Kevin (, December 17, 1998.

Your post borders on psychopath, Mr. Milne. At least chest-pounding

testosterone bags do so to protect their clan.

To understand the meaning of "coming to emotional terms" one must first feel emotions, outside of the narcissistic kind.

-- Chris (, December 17, 1998.

During the 20s and early 30s in Europe, there were a few members of the Jewish community who desperately tried to warn their fellow Jews to flee the coming holocaust. At a time when it would have been possible for many Jews to leave, almost all ignored the warnings. We all know what happened as a result.

The fact that North has been warning for years to flee the coming destruction even before y2k was an issue is truly irrelevant. In fact, the Western financial/economic system probably was doomed, or at least headed for another Great Depression even without y2k. We will never know that for sure now, since y2k is coming like it or not. That the code is broken is an objective fact, and unlike humans, software is not influenced by psychological defense mechanisms. People however can know a disaster is coming and know when, yet like Europe before the Holocaust, most will adopt a Pollyanna attitude and refuse to prepare.

-- Tom Knepper (, December 17, 1998.

Tom Knepper, I think that you are completely on target, and in fact those early years of Hitler's reign makes a better analogy than the much touted Titanic, when it comes to Y2K. Just as Hitler had written Mein Kampf, and told the world what he would ever do if he got the chance, people did not believe. ("It won't be that bad." "They won't let that happen." "Well, OK, there will be some problems, but nothing major." "Its only temporary, it will get better.")

Of course, I must admit, the hope that maybe Hitler might be persuaded to be reasonable and humane, was perhaps not without some merit -- I mean, in theory it certainly was possible. However, with bad computer code, there is not even a glimmer of such a hope -- it does not listen, it does not think, it only does what it was programmed to do.

-- Jack (, December 17, 1998.

Mr. Milne,

Feelings are what separate us from computers. Without feelings we are just like Big Blue, the computer that beat the world's chess champion. Did Big Blue feel happy when he won? No, he was just doing something that it was designed to do, like a toaster toasting toast. But we have a soul. We are usually aware of our feelings. At least I am. Perhaps you are more task-oriented.

"Coming to emotional terms" means feeling things such as loss, grief, pain, fear, anger, sadness, hope, happiness, joy, excitement, exerberance, love, and peace. It means working through the more painful emotions, such as anger and sadness, to arrive at some sort of acceptance and resolve.

With Y2K, those who recognize that TEOTWAWKI is in the realm of possibility, sometimes go through a grieving process starting with denial, then to anger, then to grief, then to acceptance. It is not unlike grieving the loss of a spouse or a child. It is because they have the emotional capacity to grieve the loss, or potential loss, of people in our society, the loss of security, etc.

I admire your matter-of-fact way of dealing with the danger. I guess we all have our gifts.

-- Donna Mittelstedt (, December 17, 1998.


I have nothing to 'grieve' over. The society we live in is morally bankrupt. It is rotten to the core and is not redemmable. If Sodom and Gommorrah were redeemable, God would have spared it. If the world at the time of Noah was redeemable, God would have spared it.

I am NOT attributing theological reasons for the collapse due to Y2K. What I *am* saying is that our 'society' is a blight. It is perverted to its core. In my estimation it does not deserve to remain. Now, for all the ridiculous ones out there who think this means that I want to see harm come to people, you can stick it in a sock.

When the society has reached the point that it has, it has gone past the point of no return. I do not grieve in the LEAST about the destruction of that which DESERVES to be destroyed because of its gross moral perversion.

I am quite sure that you and very few others see it this way. Too bad. The results will be the same.

I suppose you will respond with some touchy-feely stuff. "All the innocent people in nursing homes, etc etc.' Do you think, for one moment, that I am not aware of that? Give me a break. It is the generation of all of those who are *IN* those nursing homes that contributed most to the decay of our society.

They are the ones who raised up this perverted generation.

But you would have it so that we escape the consequences of the moral degeneracy that is rampant. Let the perversion continue.

Sorry. I am well satisfied that the united States is getting exactly what it deserves. It had every opportunity, as a free people, to do what is right and it failed to do so.

Now, it will reap what it has sowed. Justly.

But, most of you will just attribute this to a 'mean' spirit. I really have to laugh at that coming from a generation of people that believe that to mitigate the consequences of immorality means that you can continue in that path.

You are a generation of Sharon Stones who tell parents to keep a boxful of condoms in the house for your children because they are going to have sex in the back seat of a Chevy anyway. Just mitigate the consequences of the immoral behavior and the conduct is then acceptable and the immorality of it passes away. This is just one small example that encompasses the entire moral picture of the united States.

You can have it. But, only for a few more months.

-- Paul Milne (, December 17, 1998.

Sick. Now I'm sure he is a psychopath.

-- Chris (, December 17, 1998.

Paul Milne said: "A serious depression will occur, Y2K or not. *WITH* Y2K it is a stone cold guarantee that a deep deep depression will be the BEST that we can achieve."

Proof? And let's not drop back to the trite standard of "look around, you can't miss it" either. If you expect such statements to be taken seriously, provide us with some back up for them. Without that, it would seem that Ms. Mittelstedt's hypothosis would have another piece of corroborating evidence provided by you.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, December 17, 1998.

Funny how people excited about 'perversion' and 'crime' usually refer to sex and petty street crime or drugs and not mass killings and huge financial crimes, wars, committed by big cheeses. Oh well, as they say

"Kill one man and you'll hang. Kill 10,000 and you'll get a medal." -RC

-- Runway Cat (, December 17, 1998.

Where are you coming from with this Paul? Are you heavily invested in the markets or something? We *are* in a depression. Right now. It's a global depression: Asia's down, Japan's down, Russia's down, Mexico's been down, we just propped up Brazil, which is the trip-wire to waking up US investors to the sorry truth of what's happened. Our economy is alive yet because it's flush with refuge-seeking capital that's been withdrawn from all those other countries. We're carelessly buying the cheap goods that they're trying to unload. Wheeee! Prosperity! But the other shoe is already dropping. 15% of our economy is tied up in the global market. That's a hell of a dent. We've been hit on the head with a brickbat, and we're only starting to feel it. Of course, you could be standing with me in a breadline, asking me for "proof" that this was a depression, and not just a "temporary market correction..."


-- E. Coli (, December 17, 1998.

Paul, you lost me with the sex in the back of a Chevy rant. We are talking about a short-cut to save a couple of spots on punch cards, not the "moral" character of the Nation. That "they deserve it" crap belongs somewhere else. Perhaps the PTL Club site has a chat line for that. Life will go on with gays, interacial couples, pornographers, etc... 7-11 may even sell Penthouse again, once this ends. If you want the Amish lifestyle, move to Lancaster, PA and live it.

-- Bill (, December 17, 1998.

"The society we live in is morally bankrupt. It is rotten to the core and is not redemmable. If Sodom and Gommorrah were redeemable, God would have spared it. If the world at the time of Noah was redeemable, God would have spared it. "

Funny, last time I checked, only God could make judgements like this, but I guess since he *is* the Milne, he can make judgement calls like this.

"What I *am* saying is that our 'society' is a blight. It is perverted to its core. In my estimation it does not deserve to remain."

And who in the hell gave you the right to pass judgement Paul?

"I do not grieve in the LEAST about the destruction of that which DESERVES to be destroyed because of its gross moral perversion."

Keep beating on that chest Paul

"I suppose you will respond with some touchy-feely stuff."

It's called emotions Paul, most humans have them, you might want to try them sometime.

""All the innocent people in nursing homes, etc etc.' Do you think, for one moment, that I am not aware of that? Give me a break. It is the generation of all of those who are *IN* those nursing homes that contributed most to the decay of our society.

They are the ones who raised up this perverted generation. "

#1 I am 27 and not "perverted" thank you very much. I believe in a higher power, I don't do drugs, I have never committed a crime (unless you count speeding, I am talking major league crimes such as breaking and entering, even vandilism if you so choose). I am, however, a little sick and tired of people calling my generation "sick", "perverted", "slackers". yes, we have some bad apples, every generation does, but for some reason people decided the bad apples in mine dictates my entire generation.

#2 My folks raised me to me be very moral and tried to teach me to the best person I could be. My father's parents left a little to be desired, but he overcame that. My Mother's parents on the other hand could not have been better people. But I guess you won't shed tears for my Grandmother if she happens to die in all this. Gee, she will be heart broken.

I could continue to counter you point for point Paul, but it is tiresome when everything you say is so full of hate. Doesn't the bible say "Love thy fellow man"? Might want to try it sometime. Oh...whoops...I forgot. That's one of those "emotions"


-- Rick Tansun (, December 17, 1998.

Mr. Milne's last post supports my point that the messenger's motives and perspective should always be considered when considering the message.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 18, 1998.

Paul, I have to make two points)

1) I am a good guy. I am a capitalist who will be more productive (REGARDLESS of where I am, be it the 90s or TEOTWAWKI or the Great-Er Depression) than most of the people around me. By my logic, being productive and contributing to society makes you a better person than someone who is less productive, other things being equal.

2) I am not married. I don't intend or expect to be, not for at least ten years. And while my personal life is none of anyone's business, I do have an extremely attractive girlfriend.

Does the second fact cancel out the first one and make me a bad person, or an evil or amoral guy?

-- Leo (, December 18, 1998.


"Where are you coming from with this Paul? "

I'm assuming you mean me. There are so many Pauls in this forum we may all have to take a number.

"Are you heavily invested in the markets or something? We *are* in a depression. Right now. "

Moderately, but not so heavily as I used to be. My overall stock investment strategy, however, is long-term (i.e. 30+ years) and not subject to radical change because of short term conditions (2-5 years). I'm unwilling to jerk all my money out of a plan I spent over a year crafting just because a few people around me run around saying that the sky is falling. Pick any 30 year period in the history of the American markets, and stocks have been sound and profitable investment. I can be patient.

Moreover, I beg to differ about the designation of our current economic state as "depression." Hell, at this point I don't believe it constitutes "recession," although I can't figure out why we aren't in recession. I agree that the effects of the foriegn economic crises on the American economy are not as severe as I would expect, and I am puzzled by the recent recovery in the American markets.

Russia? Depression, no doubt. Heck, they would have to get better to be depressed. Brazil? I'll give you Brazil. Japan, Indonesia? Maybe. World-wide full-blown depression? I just don't see the evidence. Are these beliefs and statements facts? No. They are my own opinions, formed without any formal financial education but with the advice and counsel of several people who do, in fact, have that education and subsequent experience.

"Of course, you could be standing with me in a breadline, asking me for "proof" that this was a depression, and not just a "temporary market correction..." "

Evidence is the only way to make rational decisions, and the only way to support radical statements such as "we are in a depression" or "severe global depression is inevitable." If you say "I believe..." at the beginning of these statements, then you have correctly presented the statements as your opinion and not as fact. Opinions are, by definition, not required to be supported by evidence although the best opinions are usually based on at least some evidence. Again by definition, facts must be supported by evidence.

Mr. Milne makes strong statements that he presents as fact without evidence. By definition, that makes them opinions. Everyone is entitled to opinions. I've got tons of opinions, just ask. The discussion here is whether or not people's pre-dispositions to believe in global collapse influences their opinions regarding Y2K. In order to do that, we must first recognize the difference between fact and opinion in order to apply our test only to those statements which are opinions. Until he presents evidence, Mr. Milne's statements must be taken as opinion and can then subjected to our test. In that light, I believe that his statements are indeed data supporting the stated hypothosis.

By the way, do you currently spend a great deal of time in bread lines? You make it sound as if you are there now, but I'm willing to bet you didn't dial-up your ISP and post that message from a bread line. Believe me, if I end up in a bread line, I won't need further proof of economic distress. However, with unemployment at near-record lows, I am having a hard time with the "bread line" schtick supporting the position of a current and active economic depression. I can be convinced, but you will have to do a heck of a lot better than that.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, December 18, 1998.

"Mr. Milne's last post supports my point that the messenger's motives and perspective should always be considered when considering the message." -- D.C. Buddy

I fail to see how. As far as I am concerned, if Milne, Infomagic, North, et al admitted to the world that they actually have conspired an elaborate hoax of Y2K gloom-and-doom, which they themselves actually do not believe, it would not change my (doom-and-gloom) view of Y2K one iota. I make judgments on the evidence backing the message; and I believe the messenger to be irrelevant.

-- Jack (, December 18, 1998.

To Donna M.

This is a quote of yours from early on in the thread, but I've not responded before....

"I also wonder how many of us on this forum have ever had feelings of impending doom without any immediate physical threat to give us pause. (I have, once in 1994, I was on the UC Berkeley campus doing some job searching, and really, for no good reason, it overwhelmed me. Perhaps the location had something to do with it.) "

I cannot speak for others, but in my house we have been looking for something rotten to happen for years before we became aware of the Y2K threat. Even my 70 year old father has watched the horizon and the smoke signals and been leery of what is to come. I actually think this helped in accepting Y2K as a potential infrastructure toppler. I also read a lot...5 books a week or more, and pay attention to events and trends in history. I don't know that this is a factor in awareness of impending doom for others, but I would bet is is for me.

-- Donna Barthuley (, December 18, 1998.


I am not claiming that Milne/North/et al have conspired to create an elaborate hoax. I am simply saying that Donna's premise seems to be correct in Milne's case. His last post indicates that he thinks our present civilization deserves to fall. This colors his interpretation of the facts. I am also not saying that his scenario isn't possible, just that his expressed certainty of the outcome is accompanied by his expressed desire for that outcome. This is true of North as well. For anyone to speak of the outcome of Y2K of being certain to one extreme or the other seems ludicrous to me.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 18, 1998.

Buddy, in answer to what you wrote:

"His last post indicates that he thinks our present civilization deserves to fall. This colors his interpretation of the facts. "

Believing that it 'deserves' to come apart has NOTHING whatsoever to do with determining whether it WILL fall apart.

Your assertion that my opinions are colored in that fashion are dead wrong. Let me give you an example. I may belive that the stock market is grotesquely overvalued and 'ought' to fall. That does not mean that if I look at the circumstances that I will determine that it 'will' fall. I may believe that a man 'deserves' to be executed for a capital offense, that does not mean that he 'will' be.

I DO believe that the united States is a morally bankrupt mess and that it is iredeemable. That does not mean that I think it will collapse. However, the consequences of Y2K *WILL* cause a collapse and I have merely said that that is a good thing because this country does not deserve to continue in its morally bankrupt manner.

Get it yet?

-- Paul Milne (, December 19, 1998.


From one prick to another, WRONGO RANGER!

Presuppostions color one's view of reality, whether you perceive it or not. If ya'll thinks we deserves it, ya'll find reasons fer us gettin it. That's just human nature.

That does not mean that your conclusions are incorrect. In fact, you may be very right, but the point here is that you see things a certain way because of YOUR belief that we (at least as I read it in your rant) are SO immoral as to deserve it.

-- Uncle Deedah (, December 19, 1998.

Slap me a high five Uncle.

-- Chris (, December 19, 1998.

If you put it that way, Mr. Milne, the argument can be extended to most of the world. I am one who believes that the United States of America is still the best country on Earth. My hat is in the ring with those who will fight to preserve this country and do what is best for the American people.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 19, 1998.

I think Milne has a point, at least to some extent. I don't agree with his strict Christianity -I'm an agnostic with my own code of ethics- but I do see where he's coming from.

Milne says our society is so corrupted that it DESERVES to fail, like a rotting house that deserves to be knocked down.

I say that our society is so corrupted that it WILL fail under any stress, like a rotting house that, when a nearby tree falls on it, collapses and is destroyed completely (instead of absorbing the damage, like a good house would.

Some has been said about my generation, those born in 1980 or so, being the leaders of the y2k crisis, like the generation born in 1920 or so led the people through WW2. Well, I have to point out that most people of the generation born in 1980 or so will collapse like a house of cards once the soft-porn supply ends and the TV goes off.

The very fact that our society is so fucked (not morally by "sin", but morally by laziness) is going to make the crash ten or fifty times worse than it could otherwise be.

-- Leo (, December 19, 1998.

And I say, as I always say: Bad computer code does not care. It does not care about Christian "reconstruction", it does not care about how terrible the United States of America is due to immorality and perversion, it does not care about New Age wackiness, it does not care about how great and wonderful the United States of America is, it does not care about anything. The code is broken, it will not be fixed, and the world as we know it is going down, big time.

-- Jack (, December 19, 1998.

Jack -- Are you capable of letting even ONE thread go by without showing off your HTML skills to say "The Code Is Broken"? You sound like a broken record. All of us here know how you feel, most of us agree, now get over it!

-- Fed Up (, December 20, 1998.

I admire those with HTML skills! Jack's post was well-put, and addressed the thread's concerns with his opinion. His formatting enhanced his message. And he wasn't cranky ;-o

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (, December 20, 1998.

Ok, F.U., I'll de-HTML it so that you will like it better:

And I say, as I always say: Bad computer code does not care. It does not care about Christian "reconstruction", it does not care about how terrible the United States of America is due to immorality and perversion, it does not care about New Age wackiness, it does not care about how great and wonderful the United States of America is, it does not care about anything. The code is broken, it will not be fixed, and the world as we know it is going down, big time.

Different strokes for different folks!

-- Jack (, December 20, 1998.

And there will come soft rains and the smellof the ground. The swallows circling with a shimmering sound. The wild plum trees in tremulous white, and frogsin their ponds singing at night.

And not one willknow of the war not one will care at last when it is done, and earth herself when awakening at dawn will scarcely know that we have gone... author unknown

-- Damian Solorzano (, December 21, 1998.

And there will come soft rains and the smell of the ground. The swallows circling with a shimmering sound. The wild plum trees in tremulous white, and frogs in their ponds singing at night.

And not one will know of the war not one will care at last when it is done, and earth herself when awakening at dawn will scarcely know that we have gone... author unknown

-- Damian Solorzano (, December 21, 1998.

Mr. Milne, you said "However, the consequences of Y2K *WILL* cause a collapse..."

Again I ask (and again most likely without answer) "Where is your proof?" If you are going to make definitive statements that are that strongly worded while insisting that your predispositions are not clouding your beliefs, you must have some sort of objective evidence. I ask again that you share with the group.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, December 22, 1998.

I owe a debt to North, Milne, and the rest. If all I had to go on was the usual media reports, I probably wouldn't have just bought 1500 lbs of grain and beans.

Sure, maybe they saw it coming long before Y2K. Maybe that means an emotional tendency that colors their view of the facts...or maybe it just means they saw the vulnerabilities of our modern civilization long before the rest of us.

What scares me most about y2k not the broken code itself, but something that, like North, I could have seen long ago if I'd thought of it...the fact that our society is massively interdependent, and as a result massively vulnerable to disruption. When I think of all the things that happen just so I can get something as basic as water (powerplant supplies juice to treatment plant, railroads supply chemicals, it's all coordinated by banking system, etc.), I start to think it might be wise to have a few barrels, a filter, and a big sheet of plastic, even if there were no Millenium Bug.

-- Shimrod (, December 22, 1998.

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