a note to the end-case folks

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Hopefully, we all realize by now thet Y2K is as much a psychological as it is anything else.

We all have our belief systems on the subject, just as we do on anything else.

What has ticked me off in a major way is the intolerance the hard-liners have shown towards those who 'get it' but who don't subscribe to the TEOTWAKI scenario. It's as if the end-of-the-world folks should be the only ones whose belief has validity.

i'll say no more this morning

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (pcdir@prodigy.net), December 23, 1998


Some of us, myself included, do NOT subscribe to TEOTWAWKI. We DO however, feel that the prudent person will at least consider the possibility in their preparations and presentations. We approach the presentation part in TEO MODE, as it were because, if we do not, the people who NEED to get SOME message, will not do the minimum level of prepping needed to handle the MOST likely scenario (probability evaluations of the range of scenarios suggest that a 20 - 30 day "dislocation" sits at the top of the bell curve), able to handle about a month of serious problems and several months of serious to medium problems to minor annoyances (sp-2).

I tolerate the TEO MODE folks because this belief may be what it takes to get them of their respective fundaments to do the minimum needed to not become part of the problem.

Even if the dislocations are NOT horrendous, the posibility that they will be exacerbated by non-prepped people is a virtual certainty. WE have become a nation (from the US prespective) of people who expect things to go smoothly, regardless of the conditions. A people who can NOT accept that sub-optimal outcomes happen; a people who believe that if they are disappointed, there must be someone who is " AT FAULT " and who can be sued for the "damages" they "suffer".

Don't expect us to stop preaching in TEO mode until the evidence points to something very different. [insert obligatory response ref "proof of negative": I understand it can't be done.]

We would like openness in the corporate and governmental arenas, so we can judge for our selves the progress, and the likely problems or lack thereof. Up until now, we have gotten NOTHING that could be considered open disclosure. In our experience, collectively, this tends to be "No News is Bad News" situation, as the goals of the owners of the various entities have a vested interest in presenting their entity in the BEST light, to protect from any of the following:

Loss of Equity Value in the Stock Market

Being targetted for lawsuit

Being targetted for hostile take-over

Having stock-holders vote the board out of office for "Not maximizing the value of the stock"

Thus ends another rant.

Sorry about that, Chief.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 23, 1998.

i'm sorry, but facts like non-compliant embedded systems failing in oil refineries, petroleum well drilling operations, petroleum transport, etc, are simply Not psychological. then add to that scenario the many millions of interfaces that that will most likely fail or be the conduits for polluted data. when these systems start go .. we all go.

of course, you are free to choose to believe that these are going to be okay. but at this late date, its just inconceivable to me.


-- Louis Navarro (lanny1@ix.netcom.com), December 23, 1998.

What has ticked me off in a major way is the intolerance the hard-liners have shown towards those who 'get it' but who don't subscribe to the TEOTWAKI scenario.

I don't really get this impression myself, I don't believe in TEOTWAKI, but its a possibility. I think most people argue their cases in a very intelligent way.

Except the trolls and they're obviously from the pollyanna camp.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), December 23, 1998.

How long would the electricity have to be down for TEOTWAKI to happen? Two weeks, two months, six months? Could we go a year without electricity and still enjoy life as we know it? Electricity is the key, without it for an extended period we are toast.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), December 23, 1998.

Ahhhh Chuck, Intelligence...How refreshing.

I of course am what I guess you would call a TEOTWAWKI Hardliner, but I appreciate the excellent articulation of your position. It's so much better than "F--k You, you extremist as--ole! It 'aint gonna happen 'cause I says so!"

John Howard is correct: Y2K IS a psychological event. The fear of a panic is a driving force in many of our discussions. "How soon before bank and food runs?", "How long is the line for storable food?", "Are generators sold-out yet?" "You Y2Kers are SCARING US --STOP!"

I just believe there are so many factors that plug into the equation that "Something Big IS About To Happen,-notwithstanding the global economic and political powderkeg- that suggests Y2K related problems will make a bad situation worse.

We aren't receiving any information except feel-good propaganda that belays our TEOTWAWKI fears.

Not ONE bit of information has been presented in an articulate and comprehensive manner to show why our fragile, intertwined, multi- layered infrastructure will survive. It has been estimations and hypothesis at best.

Pollyannas of course accuse us of the same thing saying "Prove it will collapse!" That's not too hard to do (ie: Air Traffic Control - Aurora Center IL), but then they claim that's altogether different for whatever reason.

At this point shouting "TEOTWAWKI is inevitable" is what appears to be the only way some countrymen will sit up and listen. What we pray for now is that they heed. If it doesn't happen, I will rejoice LOUDLY and look forward to sitting up all night worrying about my daughter's prom date 8 years from now.

-- INVAR (gundark@aol.com), December 23, 1998.

Good post John.........

You expressed my feelings about the situation very well.

Without rehashing everything I have ever written, I believe we will likely end up with a 4 or 5 (serious problems, recession, some bank failures, some political instability etc.) that may take a year or two to get back to 'normal'. My opinion is not based on putting 10 numbered ping pong balls in a jar and randomly picking out a number, but rather on hundreds of hours of serious study. However, I also acknowledge that because of the immense number of factors and interdependencies involved, it could easily be more or less serious than what I see.

I am by no means the most qualified in terms of computers, nor am I the least. I have done some programming in Assembler and COBOL as well as familiar with some of the more recent languages such as Java, VBScript etc.

Here is the irony.........to most members of my community, I am viewed as very extreme in my Y2K opinions. I have been interviewed by the local newspaper and advocate individuals making preparations as far as reasonable food and water storage, wood stove, cash etc. For this, I occasionally get looked at like I have two heads. However, when I post the same opinions in this forum, at times I have been called such things as "Pollyanna", "in denial" and even "troll".

I was impressed by an article on an earlier thread (something about Boeing that spoke of cognitive dissonance. It's a belief I have held for many years although I didn't know it had a name until I read the Boeing thread. In essence, people grab onto a truth and make it their own. Once believed, all events are interpreted in that 'truth'. Events that support your truth are gathered as more evidence you are right, and events that seem to disagree with your truth are interpreted in a way to make them agree, or else ridiculed or ignored.

This concept is seen in full blossom in the religious world where even amongst the same religion (Christianity) there are over 25,000 denominations each claiming to be the most correct. They have the same basic information, but interpret it differently. Most people in any denomination are thoroughly convinced that they have the best understanding and cannot imagine how the other 24,999 could possibly do such a bad job of getting to the truth. Once tapped in to a religion or belief system about anything, it is very difficult for people to take off the blinders and view something from another point of view.

I have no difficulty with anyone who holds to a different opinion of Y2K than I do. My hope is though, that we can all be honest enough to admit that we may be wrong in our assessment. At times I have been quite aggressive against some of the TEOTWAWKI talk. Not that I don't think that scenario is impossible, but because in my opinion some in that camp seem to have the "we have the gospel, the rest of you are infidels in denial mentality". Also, if what I have said in recent posts seemed harsh, my motives were not bad. I am very concerned about some of the depressive talk as I believe the consequences of too much worry can be very debilitating. We need to be prepared for the realities of Y2K for sure. However if the only scenario accepted in TEOTWAWKI much pain can result. What you believe does affect you, greatly. There doesn't have to be a real boogeyman in your closet to harm you. Believing there is can still give you a heart attack.

Let me close with a personal experience that may shed some light on where I'm coming from.

Back in the early 1990's I was a member of an evangelical fundamental church that taught the "end-times" scenario. (Again, here's an example of a 'you can't win' situation. Some of you will think I was an idiot to have believed it in the first place and others of you will think I am a deceived heretic for no longer believing it!). I'm not going to get into a scripture fight with anyone here. What I will say though, is that there is massive scriptural 'evidence' that this scenario was correct. I remember one book I studied in the early 90's that through a series of exact time calculations based on scripture, the last 7 years of this age would begin in October 1993 finalizing with the second coming of Christ in April 2000. The calculations were brilliant. There were 8 scriptural prophecies that when calculated ALL came to the exact same date. The author was Grant Jefferies.

Now, when I have the ball, I typically run with it, and I ran with this. To me at the time, after hundreds or even thousands of hours of study there was no way I could possibly be wrong in my interpretation. I staked my whole career and reputation around this belief and shot down any who would disagree with me thinking that they were deluded. I sent letters to all my real estate clients whom I had built up over many years telling them that the world was ending so to speak and they had better get right with God or they would be forced to receive a mark on their right hand or forehead resulting in eternal damnation for them. This, of course, in no way helped my real estate career. However, I could walk for miles down the sidewalk without bumping into anyone 'cause they all seemed to cross the street before I got to them.

Of course, after more study and allowing myself to honestly look at the evidence against this type of scriptural interpretation, I eventually came to the conclusion that I had been wrong. But the point is, while I was inside that 'belief box' it was impossible to accept any other scenario. Even to this day, most of my old friends still have their head in that box. I understand completely why they believe what they believe but also understand that in order to continue in that belief system, they must be affected by cognitive dissonance. This includes ignoring facts that point to other ways of looking at things, distorting the facts and/or shooting the messenger.

By having lived this "end-times" box for a few years, I was able to learn much however. One thing is, never think you know it all. It is very humbling to have to explain what went wrong when others vividly remember the graphical newsletters I sent them with a picture of a guy with a bar code on his forehead. It still saddens me when I think of all the people I scared shitless with my information.....I know my motives were pure but the harm was still done.

In the end, what will be, will be. Excessive worrying is debilitating and dangerous. None of us know the future. In spite of the the pain of gripping onto something so tight and later realizing the error, the experience has been worth it.

I want to close by wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and may you all experience peace in your hearts. Let me assure you, whatever happens, God is in complete control even though at times it doesn't look that way. A toast to you all. (Wish I had a glass of wine and a piece of fruitcake in my hands, but all I've got is a cup of coffee and a box of smarties. Ah well....it'll have to do.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), December 23, 1998.

John, I agree with your distaste for intolerance. No matter how hard we try, no matter how well framed the debate; none of us know what will happen and we hate that.

What a fascinating thread this is.

Craig, I had a very similar experience in the 1970's (Anyone remeber Hal Lindsey?) You've expressed many of my sentiments eleoquently. There are some disturbingly familiar feelings these days, aren't there?

it's a shame the following phrase has been trivialized so:

thanks for sharing.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), December 23, 1998.

That (Craig) post is nice.


-- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 23, 1998.

Thanks RC and Lewis..

Lewis, I am familiar with Hal Lindsey. Think I've read all his books. Also met him at an "end times" convention in Irvine, CA I think in 1992, along with many others in that genre including Texe Marrs, Peter Lalonde, John Walvoord, Dave Hunt, Grant Jefferies etc.

Although I completely disagree with their interpretations now, I have enough 'knowledge' to convincingly preach from that point of view. I'll tell you what a real eye opener is though. If you think the discussions here can get heated once in a while, you ain't seen nothin'!! Go and have a lurk on some of the 'Christian' discussion groups sometime. Nothing is nastier than when it is done in the name of God. I say lurk, because 99% of participants in some of those groups will not even consider that they may be anything less than 100% right and any interpretation that differs from theirs will immediately 'prove' to them that you are 'of the devil'. Sad, really.

You did strike a note with your comment --There are some disturbingly familiar feelings these days, aren't there?--

Hoo boy, you hit the nail on the head........hard to put into words that do it justice but the whole 'tone' of some Y2K discussions is hauntingly familiar to some "end times" discussion groups and meetings that I was a part of. I have to keep reminding myself that I need to be open, but also cautious. It is easy to get swept up by the emotional aspect of it and start to view all events through that filter.

I am grateful for all opinions and input about Y2k whether they be greater or lesser than my own opinions and I try my best not to filter them through my own prejudices. Not always easy though!!

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), December 23, 1998.

As a hard-liner who very much subscribes to TEOTWAKI, but at the same time concedes (and hopes!) that I sure could be wrong, I hope that I am not one of the perceived offenders, John. Y2K is a very scary, compelling, and dynamic entity. One minute we have a U.S. senator saying there is a 40% chance of the power grid going down (now, thats how I spell TEOTWAKI, folks), but then -- with no seeming justification -- announces that its only a teeny-weeny chance, that he is confident that it won't happen (though people in his family are storing food and buying generators).

Anyway, I know that I get pretty heated at times, but it is always, always, only in the interests of trying to make sense of this. And quite frankly, since we have not yet experienced a true Y2K problem of any significance yet, perhaps all of us are feeling the frustration of existing in a vacuum, worrying about, and speculating about, this coming event, yet with absolutely nothing hard, nothing solid. Only trying to interpret news stories, educated scenarios, rumors, etc., etc.

As we move into 1999, it will probably get worse. Even as we see actual Y2K events start to happen (did I hear someone say "Jo Anne Effect"?) there will still be complete disagreement on this forum as to what they mean, how they will affect us, etc. Personally, I think that this is actually a good thing, and it does all of us a lot of good to have healthy discussions and see different viewpoints.

"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 23, 1998.

If nothing else (which I dont think is the case), Y2K discussions and preparations will have caused all of us to re-examine our lives. Where are we vulnerable? What is too dependant? When are we powerless? What control do we have? How do we choose to live differently? What is really important?

No one whos been paying any kind of real attention will come away unchanged by this analysis. I subscribe to the 5 mid-way crowd. Depending on how well we prepare openly, and in community. In some parts of this very big world, it will be a bump, in others TEOTWAWKI. We are not alone. Keeping it simple and basic is a good idea in any life.

One simple, common sense tactic, is to keep assessing the available information as it hits our awareness. That where this forum is quite useful. As an individual I can not possible stay on top of what is potentially important to know about. But as an online community, this group, one of many, acts as a larger Y2K antenna. Through it we can assess the continuing impact on our lives and lifestyles. I learn from the varying perspectives, and appreciate news from the pollyanna to the doom n gloomer (minus the nasty language). This democratic forum is quite representative of our country at large. Fascinating.

John, Y2K is as much psychological/mental, emotional, physical and spiritual as anything else.

Diane, more of a Y2K Pocahontas-type

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 23, 1998.

This is a very interesting thread and refreshingly candid. Let me add my own small review. I keep trying to remember the basics of what I know (reliable, multiple independent reports) versus what I believe. Facts versus opinion. Its not that opinion is necessarily right or wrong. A possible outcome is not the same as what IS right now. What I know is that there are a lot of major companies (and the government) which have hundreds of millions of lines of code that are still unremediated. I know we have little time left. I know how unpredictable large computer systems are after even "minor" changes. I know that no amount of testing takes the place of a production environment. I know that the vast majority of our population is heavily dependent on a relative few for things such as food and water and heat. Truthfully, I believe that Y2K will either be a 2 or a 10. The slope of failure will be extreme after a 2 or 3 and push us down quickly. Which will it be? Don't know. I could argue persuasively for a 2. I can't do it. I choose to prepare for a 10 and hope for a 2.

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), December 23, 1998.


I think that most of us who pay attention and prepare are basically from the same mold.

I wish I had the time to respond the way some of you guys do but my days are really full. Only an hour of so in the evening to read this forum and do research on Y2k and the economy after a 12hour work day and then I must attend to my precious wife and children.

I am a Christian. I understand your opinion and mostly agree. We can be very mean spirited. I have learned that God gave me a mind to think on my own. I am made in His image, its my right to think. You will know a disiple of Christ by his love for you and his brother. BItteness, hate etc is not of God.

Anyhow, A wise man forsees the evil and hides himself, the simple pass on and are punished. Hang in there man, ww


I'm in to big a hurry. Like to requote:

You will know a disciple of Christ by his love for his brothers. ww


I, with John Howard, dislike greatly the intolerance for differing perspectives,...I also have been on the internet a long time and know you must rather walk on fire to "earn your stripes"....I don't like it, but that is how it is on any discussion forum...Thin skin is something none of us can really afford on planet Earth, as we approach the new millennium...Short of name-calling, I can take most of what's dished out...name-calling is simply bad behavoir.

TEOTWAWKI....perspective...what does the acronym mean? Is it an absolute? If one is accustomed to room service and satellitel linkage, instant access to brokerage accounts...then perhaps so...or it MAY be that those of us use to Electricity will find the world a very different place....unfortunately there is no crystal ball to comfort us with a play-by-play.

Breathe! ...I learned the definition of "grown-up" once. It was: Grown-up is when you look around you, thinking, "who the hell's in charge here? And its YOU!" Y2K does not change this.

Just Mother-Me, standing on top the hill with my flowered sheet flapping in the brisk winds of change.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), December 23, 1998.

Seems alot of us have alittle bit of history in common. Don't forget the big collapse of 95-Larry Burchett scenerio. I made a lot of moves because of that. Not that they were wrong...and I never really regreted them...but I sure felt stupid facing the people I "preached" it too. PS I fell for the Hal Lindsey thing along time ago too.

Don't you think all those "wolf cries" are a part of the denial for y2k?????? Many of the dgi's fell for those stories and aren't going to be made a fool of again. Maybe we should have a little sympathy for them??

-- More dinty moore (not @thistime.com), December 23, 1998.

John, I see you're at it again.....stirring up trouble....LOL!


-- Jingle Bells (laughing@allthe.way), December 23, 1998.

Wow...dinty moore...when I was a very devout lutheran I did th4e whole Hal Lindsay thing...small universe!

Late Great Planet Earth,....indeed!

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), December 23, 1998.

If by chance the world experiences severe shortages of food and other basics, what say U that the John Howards of the world will want to take ours?

Maybe Jimmy Bagga will try to have hoarding laws passed, to deprive us of the fruits of our foresight, when he is caught with his pants down.

They sure spend lots of time here considering how little impact they see it having on their lives, maybe real lonely?

-- Dieter (questions@toask.com), December 23, 1998.

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