We are entering a Dangerous Period !

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As we approach Jan. 99, I feel uncertain about the future. I know what you know. I know the system is going to fail. I know that I need to be prepared. I am preparing.

I also know what I see. What I see is complete calm. Everything is O.K. Food is ample. The grid is holding, the stock market is booming, the world looks good. 1/1/99...... If things hold together, If, the systems, seem to work, If, systems fail but are fixed, what will the world think ? It's all O.K. ? It's getting fixed ? What are we do ? What are we to say ? How should we procede ?

STUDY THE FACTS ! LISTEN TO THOSE WHO ARE IN THE KNOW ! DON'T BACK DOWN ! HOLD TO YOUR BELIEFS ! BASE THEM IN FACT ! Procede gently. Share with others who will listen. Pray and seek God.

This is the toughest time. Things look good. THEY ARE NOT ! FOCUS ON WHAT YOU KNOW. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU FEEL. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE. DON'T FOCUS ON WHAT YOU SEE. May God grant us understanding. I share these concerns, because this is what I am feeling.

My church is wanting to deal with Y2k. They want to get the views from a number of members. Bank people, Stock brokers, Govt. people. Do these people know the truth ? Are they being told the truth by their bosses ? Is their take valid ?

I'm being asked to help. What should I say ? What should I not say ?

Those of you who know God, please pray for me !

-- Tom Albanese (applied_t@hotmail.com), December 27, 1998


One of the responses to this message expressed the hope that Y2K commentators like me might be able to express an optimistic opinion about Y2K. It seems that Peter de Jager is moving in this direction; see his article in the January 1999 Scientific American, which suggests that whatever disruptions occur, they'll mostly be gone in a month.

I hope he's right, but I find it harder and harder to maintain a "neutral," let alone optimistic, viewpoint about all of this. If I see evidence to the contrary, I'll be sure to post it. Among other things, I do have a track record of admitting that some of my predictions are wrong. In 1992, for example, I wrote a book called Decline and Fall of the American Programmer, which predicted a gloomy future for American programmers vis-a-vis the competition from offshore programmers. In 1996, I wrote a sequel, entitled Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer, in which I spent the first chapter acknowledging where I had been wrong, and where I thought I had been right.

None of us has a crystal ball that guarantees a clear view of the future, especially for something as complex as Y2K. It behooves each of us to be humble in our predictions, and to be willing to re-examine our assumptions when each new piece of evidence is received.

That being said, I tend to see the emerging data about Y2K projects as a confirmation of my basic premise -- i.e., that the outcome of Y2K software projects will be largely similar to the outcome of all other large, complex software projects. I've elaborated on this in the latest essay I uploaded onto my web site, entitled "Y2K Software Projects: deja vu all over again", available at http://www.yourdon.com/ articles/y2kdejavu.html


-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), December 27, 1998.

Here is what alarms me:

1) The classic battle between socialism/communism (the left) and capitalism (the right) looms large. It is coming to a head as we approach the NWO. This is subtle & controversial, but very important.

2) The financial system is unstable. There is no "money". Everything is based on debt. The % of "currency" (debt instruments, actually) and "insurance" is at amazingly low levels. We are already close to a collapse, ignoring Y2K. MATHEMATICALLY, GLOBAL DEBT MUST CONTINUE TO GROW TO SIMPLY KEEP THINGS STABLE, LET ALONE GROW!!!

3) In recent testimony on Capitol Hill, the Defense Department was asked what they would do with 70% of the world's energy production eliminated due to an inability to solve the Y2K "issue". DOD didn't have a good answer. It seems the global energy folks think they can afford to fix only about 30% of the embedded controllers.

4) Electricity moves FAST. A coast-to-coast phone-call in the US takes place essentually instantaneously. That is how fast electricty travels. I don't think "the grid" can handle problems sweeping entire time-zones that fast.

5) Today, computer-geeks have the ability to shut-down utilities (electric, water, phone, gas, etc.) - hackers. Enemies of the West also have this ability today. Maybe they will get sick of the US attacking other countries & protecting Israel. I would.

It is easy to be labeled as a "negative" person when explaining the above. There is much to be cheerful about, including even a cure for cancer! It seems "they" found a way to modify a virus so it attacks only cancer cells (not healthy ones) - even after it spreads (still 5- 10 years to market, though). New forms of energy and propulsion & getting close.

But these next few years...

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous.com), December 27, 1998.

I am experiencing the same feelings. As i visited during the holidays and talked with others, non beleivers, their opinions started to sway me and I started questioning myself. At times I feel an utter fool for buying rice, beans and sugar. I am beleiving in people that I do not know, accepting things I know very little about.

I see around me a world that appears to be prospering, abundance for all that seek. A world moving into the 21st century with a bright future. Our leaders are telling us all is well.

It is that inner gut feeling that all is not right that keeps me preparing. It is the fear of the unknown and the unanswered questions that bring me daily to this forum. It is the hope that I will see a post from Ed Yourdon, Scott Olmstead, and Gary North saying all has been fixed.

So know that you are not alone, Tom.

-- L. Arnold (adahi@muhlon.com), December 27, 1998.

Tom, I'm sure you realize that it depends on which banker or broker or government official lays it out before your church as to what impression is conveyed to them. The understanding of any person who isn't being led by the spirit of God is only a worthless human opinion. Perhaps you could make copies of Y2K News Magazine Critical Preparation Resource (Fall 98) available to your church leaders; many who wrote articles are Christians and all are experienced in their fields. Then I can't imagine anything more useful than the leadership (and perhaps congregation) spending a week of fasting one or two meals a day and praying for God to direct your paths. You said yourself that you can't focus on what the natural eye sees, you've got to be able to see things in the spiritual realm. Trust what the Lord is showing you. I'll pray for you and your church.

Magazine is at www.y2knet.com or toll free 877-4-y2k-cpr

-- Sylvia (in Miss'ippi) (bluebirdms@aol.com), December 27, 1998.

Ed: There was a minor typo in the link you gave (a spurious space character). The article is at:

http://www.yourdon.com/ articles/y2kdejavu.html

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 27, 1998.

Sheesh, sorry folks, maybe the third time is the charm:

http://www.yourd on.com/articles/y2kdejavu.html

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 27, 1998.

Dear Sylvia,

Mr. Yourdon's forum is noted for its caring attitude toward Christians as well as people of of other beliefs. This is a rare accomodation among the Y2K forums online. References to "worthless human opinions" stress that fabric of friendship and toleration that we value so highly here.

There are many good "humans" here expressining their opinions on technical, survival and philosophical issues. We value your opinion too. Glad you're with us.


"A friend is not a fellow who is taken in by sham. A friend is one who knows your faults and doesn't give a damn."---G W Dery

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), December 28, 1998.

Hi Hallyx,

re: Sylvia's remark concerning 'worthless human opinions'. While in an ultimate sense we Christians hold knowledge guided by the Power of the Holy Spirit to be superior to all other, that doesn't mean we're not trying to communicate in this environment. In other words, yes your opinions, and the opinions of the various other non-Christians on the forum are valuable and of interest to Christians as well, only in our own lives will will give more weight to Holy Spirit inspired guidance than to human originated ideas...

I'd bet that you tend to give more weight to the opinions of others who reflect similar spiritual values to your own than you do to those whose value set is significantly different from your own, as well, no?


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), December 28, 1998.


Thanks to the link to Ed's article (and Ed, thanks for an EXCELLENT article!). This is why I call this forum--to get a sense of just how bad all of this will turn out. I'm always asking myself if I need to prepare more, and visiting this forum could give me the advance warning I need to prepare even more.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 28, 1998.

I know the gut-level instincts too. Since I became a man in '85'ish, I have sensed the collapse of civilization as we know it coming to a halt. As a self-aware spirit being with a soul, I can sense by intuition that the prophecy in Revelations is closer upon us than ever before. If it's Y2K that brings this about, or not is irrelevant. All the church is in collective agreement about this, & now the world via Y2K. Isn't this ironic?

And as for Bagga's viewpoint(s), well, we all die sooner or later. And ya can't finance eternal security, with water, wheat, & generators. And furthermore, If chaos on the scale some here predicts is ensuing, then everyone can't survive anyways, huh?

Also, it seems to me that some peeps here's motive for a Y2K disaster is a way for them to get back to the basics of life...simple, survival, excitement for life once again.

-- Randy (flembob@usa.net), December 28, 1998.

My dear friend, Arlin,

You've got me nibbling, but I'm not going to bite, at least not on this thread. I will nibble (and quibble) only this far.

You said, "...only in our own lives will will give more weight to Holy Spirit inspired guidance than to human originated ideas..." I don't understand how this follows your Master's lesson of, "Render[ing] unto Caesar..."

Further, you conjecture, "I'd bet that you tend to give more weight to the opinions of others who reflect similar spiritual values to your own than you do to those whose value set is significantly different from your own, as well, no?" Well, no, not really. In matters of spirituality and philosophy, I MAY layer additional ethos onto an opinion expressed by one with whom I feel philosophicaly comfortable, although I try to let the idea speak for itself.

In matters more pragmatic and secular, I weigh the credibility of the speaker along with available evidence in reaching my own logical conclusions.

In responding beyond this, I respectfully demure. If you choose to start another "religion" thread on this forum, please feel free. I'll be delighted to respond. Over the past year, religious argumentation has proved to be a very popular sport here but, if you were to review previous threads, you'd find them confrontational, lengthy, contumelious, unproductive, drawn-out, provocative, interminable, insufferably boring to all but a few participants, divisive, protracted, counter to the spirit of caring and sharing which is the unique milieu of this group and (did I mention) long.

Meetcha back o' the barn, ol' hoss.


"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."--- H.L. Mencken

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), December 28, 1998.

Ed's article is excellent. Also makes my head hurt. Oh well, back to basics. *Sigh*


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 28, 1998.

Aww, gee, Mr. Y,

I just got my blood pressure under control after reading that Infomagic screed and now THIS. It was a fabulous article, Ed, in it's own understated way every bit as frightening as any apocalyptic rant presented by the environmentalists, the economists or the religionists. I really hate it when experience, background, knowledge and logic combine to present a virtually unassailable argument.

And you make a good point as well, Randy. I too am uncomfortable with everyone trying to work Y2K into their agenda. The enviros hope that it will "trim" the population and/or curtail resource-exploitive and waste-producing industry. The politicos of all persuasions try to influence the turnings to bolster their particular viewpoint. The religios pray that it will frighten enough people that they may enforce moral suasion over the Philistines.

Perfectly reasonable scenarios my be generated by anyone based on his or her beliefs. But that is using Y2K as a tool. And since we don't know whether this tool is a hammer or a saw or a screwdriver, I think it is naive, narrow-minded and inappropriate to think that Y2K should work for any one of us. What's that Maslow quote? "When all you have is a hammer, every problem resembles a nail." Well, close enough for Y2K work.


"Whenever I find myself arguing for something with great passion, I can be certain I'm not convinced."---Hugh Prather

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), December 28, 1998.

Hallyx, thanks for saying what needed to be said. I have a great respect for everyone's religion, spiritual quest, or beliefs. Having said that, there is nothing I dislike more than having a forum deteriorate into "confrontational, lengthy, drawn-out, provocative, insufferably boring to all but a few participants," and especially "unproductive" thread. Many of us have been involved with computers and realize the potential for problems. Most of us are concerned for the future and regard tolerance as a foremost virtue. But I feel that witnessing, proseltizing and religion belong on those particular forums, of which there are plenty. We all know how to seek spiritual help, but many are looking for practical help, and time is short.

-- gilda jessie (jess@listbot.com), December 28, 1998.

I want to respond to Tom, where he writes:

"My church is wanting to deal with Y2K."

Over the last 6 months I have been trying to influence our pastors regarding Y2K with little success. The leadership sees the need to read and be informed, but no action is required at this time. I include the following excerpt from my latest e-mail (12/27/98) to our pastors and the response:

Joseph wrote: > > Dear Pastors, > > Read this in the "Dallas Morning News" 12/26/98- "Corpus Christi clergy help plan response to Y2K woes." > > Here is an excerpt: > > "CORPUS CHRISTI - Church leaders from across the city are banding together to spread the good word. Their gospel: Get ready for the year 2000. > > Religious leaders warn that computer disruptions in the new millennium may be akin to the aftermath of natural disaster." > > Further: > > "I've long had a passion to see churches working together," said Bob > Jamison, a member of Church of the King Evangelical Presbyterian Church. > "When I saw this [Y2K problem], I saw the possibility for churches to work together that we really haven't had since World War II." > > And: > > "Committee member Pete Hansen, who sells automation software in the > semiconductor industry, said the church group is filling a void in local planning for disruptions. > > "What we saw - and it's not uncommon for this whole problem - is the > attitude, 'Don't worry. We're taking care of it,' " Mr. Hansen told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. "I know from dealing with people working on the problem that that is an incorrect response." > > Finally: > > "At a meeting with government leaders Monday, committee members will > recommend that residents have a two-week supply of food and water on hand and three months worth of money in the bank for expenses. > > The committee will encourage larger church and relief organizations to make similar stockpiles of food and cash to help the unprepared. > > "One of the things we're going to try to do is get as many people as we can informed, block-by-block," said the Rev. Jack Carter, pastor of Church of the King. "A lot of people still have not even heard of Y2K." > >Anything like this going on among the clergy in our city? > > In Christ, > > Joseph

HI, Joseph,

It was so wonderful to see your wife and daughter (who is such a cutie!!) and James who gets more adorable the older he gets! I hope you had a very blessed Christmas and that this year will be one full of joy and gladness for you and yours.

Thanks for sending the article. To my knowledge the clergy are not planning any such response at this point at least. I appreciate the efforts being done to fix the Y2K problem and I respect the problem itself, but, as I've mentioned, I don't feel called at this point anyway, to rally a state of "preparedness." I trust our ingenuity as a human community in God's care to respond when and if the "worst case" scenarios materialize. Until then, I go on supporting the efforts both global and local to address the situation. I appreciate your interest in keeping me informed and look forward to continuing to hear from you.

God's blessings on you as the new year dawns, ---(Pastor)

-- Joseph (jbabinsky@theriver.com), December 28, 1998.

Ooops. Meant to add some commentary too.

What pains me in my situation is that my wife and I are very aware and trying in our own way to be as prepared as we can "for the worst." But this is so hard when we are members of a religious community that sees no need to prepare "at this time." And our neighbors seem also to be of the same attitude. Feel caught between a rock and a hard place.

We are entering a dangerous period indeed. We can't see going through this alone. We see it as essential to be preparing with others who do get it. The next step in our journey?

-- Joseph (jbabinsky@theriver.com), December 28, 1998.

Excellent article by Ed Yourdon! Great thread!

Addressing the original kickoff to the thread: I wonder if part of the problem is that we are simply "conditioned" to expect some kind of tangible "early warning signs" when things are about to go seriously wrong, which are simply absent for most people with Y2K. For instance, its rare to have a car's transmission just "give out" completely with no prior warning. Surely there must have been weeks or months worth of noises, of gears not quite locking into place, of something -- I mean, "the system" does not just Hum Along and then ... Kerplunk!

Y2K is different. The code will work, seamlessly, for as long as it has been programmed to work. And then it will not. And then, like the 13(?) or so states that suddenly have a 1/1/1999 problem to contend with, it will all be such a ... surprise!

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 28, 1998.

Yes sir, Jack, and we all need to make a pact today that if unemployment systems crash - well, if any big system wigs on 1/1/1999 - we will shout from the rooftops about it to anyone who will listen. For the alerting types on this forum, this could be the evidence that breaks the mental Y2K logjam.

Friend of mine is a manager at an unemployment office here-- will grill her well done for info if anything goes haywire.

-- Lisa (nomail@work.com), December 28, 1998.


Yes, we are entering dangerous times for more than one reason. Terrorists, y2k, judgement, end times.....and the list could go on and on. Good luck on the church thing. I will pray for you and yours, please pray for me and mine

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), December 28, 1998.

Moore Dinty............

If you insist on using Y2K as a tool to further your unusual scriptural interpretations, that's your business. However, I want to correct a terrible mistranslation that often causes confusion and panic.

My qualm is with the use of the phrase "end times". For the benefit of those that have been misled into believing that this phrase is used in the Bible to describe a period of a few short years towards the end of this world, let me assure you that nothing is further from the truth.

Every mention of "the end times" or equivalents [last days, last times, last hour] in the New Testament refers to events that occured in the 1st Century. There are no exceptions. Check: Hebrews 1:2; Acts 2:17; 1 timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 18; 1 John 2:18.

Y2K is extremely serious. Let's not confuse the issue with apocalyptic imaginations!

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), December 30, 1998.

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