Pollyanna Monday or No Problem?

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Check out some of the following link titles from Gary so far today:

Moynihan Dances the Koskinen Tango: Y2K Is Just About Solved! California State-Employed Economists Say Not to Worry

Kenneth Fisher of Forbes Says Y2K Is Nothing Treasury's FMS Will Be Confirmed as Compliant Today

We also had the Prez giving only his second "Y2K speech" - about how Social Security is now Y2K OK.

Think about what the Y2K headlines will be in the papers tomorrow and what (if anything) will be on the tube tonight. Also consider what impact (if any) this will have on the Forget Its and Don't Wanna Get Its.

I'm all for good Y2K news. I think most of us are. All of this news is really good, especially for one day isn't it? If Thanksgiving weekend was "the week Y2K became real", then does today begin "the week Y2k became no problem" or is this Pollyanna Monday?

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 28, 1998



Looks to me as if someone in Washington is worried about coverage of the January 1, 1999 failures. I'm a cynic, I guess. When the press starts reporting the one-year lookahead failures in earnest on January 4th, they'll also be quoting today's good news about Social Security and the Treasury. That way, the situation won't sound grim.

The transcript for yesterday's "Meet The Press" and Moynihan's comments is at:


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

Well, if you read the prez's entire speech of today regarding Social Security and the rosy outlook etc, you will read this...

"Sally Katzen just told me that there was a meeting at the United Nations recently where we met with representatives of 120 other countries who are all now working together to solve this..."

HUH??? He just found out about the UN meeting that was held!? Yikes! Where's he been? OOps...never mind, we know the answer to *that* one...

Read entire speech at http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/html/19981228-13153.html

Can you say pollyanna?

Bobbi http://www.buzzbyte.com/

-- Bobbi (bobbia@slic.com), December 28, 1998.


I just read that link to Clinton's speech this morning, and something is bothering me. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but one part implies that Hillary isn't technology minded, and that she had little or no Y2K awareness until very recently. Here's a quote from Bill Clinton's speech this morning, followed by a link to speeches that both Hillary and Bill Clinton gave in 1997:

"People are meeting this challenge, but I think a lot of people can still hardly imagine what caused this. I mean, computers, after all, are supposed to save us time, right? And I was describing this Y2K problem to Hillary, and she got so technophobic that I gave her a little digital alarm clock for Christmas and she gave it back to me after I talked to her about it, and she said, why don't you just go get me one that winds up that I can change in my hand."

Compare that quote with the following link. Hillary Clinton mentioned Y2K in a speech in 1997, immediately followed by one from her husband that also mentioned Y2K. Hillary was present...she knows about Y2K:


This speech gives new meaning to the word disingenuous.

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

Look, I'm a serious prepper, stocked to the gills, armed to the teeth. I'm also a cynic with regard to technology, corporations, big institutions, and the plastic consumerist trance.

BUT: What kind of reporting would it take to convince people on this forum that y2k isn't the end of the world ? How do you distinguish between corporate/govt spin and simple factual reporting of fixed systems and reasonable work-arounds ? Given that things are always breaking, and people are always finding ways to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

If we don't see serious, tangible problems resulting from the so-called "Jo Anne" effect, and other putative early 1999 phenomena, will people here be reassured or just interpret it as another corporate/govt spin ?


-- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 28, 1998.


The news about Social Security compliance is great, but I already knew the SSA was way ahead of everyone else. Congressman Horn's Y2K report card has always given Social Security great grades.

Is it merely coincidence that this news is being released just four (4) days before January 1, 1999?

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

Sure, it's just coincidence....

And, of course they *both* know all about Y2k.

Read the Vanity Fair article, there are some eye-opening bits in there about how Clinton knew about Y2k a long long long time ago and did (and is still doing) nothing about telling the American people to prepare.

This speech bothers me too, can't explain exactly why, just doesn't "set right".

I am sure in my deepest heart of hearts that there's an agenda here, I just don't know for certain what it is.


-- Bobbi (bobbia@slic.com), December 28, 1998.

Regardless of what evidence exists, there will be those that will be polarized on one end or the other. There always are. Many of us that are "preparing up to the gills" are doing so because it is prudent, not necessarily due to belief in TEOTWAWKI. As far as the 1999 potential problems, who knows... it's still a wild card to my mind, and I have made the point before and still believe that even is there are a significant number of early failures in 1999, they will be swept under the rug as much as possible, unless they are either so large or pervasive that they cannot be hidden. Perhaps I am too cynical.

What I was trying to get at in the original post, perhaps not very successfully, was the affect that these "headlines" will have on the many folks I (we) have talked to that react with "Forget It", or are simply DWGIs. They won't be inclined to prepare at all if they hear the "wrong" sound byte. Telling everyone the the SSA is Y2KOK is fine, as long as there is some balance or mention of reality (Banks, power, telecommunications, embedded systems, etc. and where they stand).

What I am trying to say is that this could cause a lot of people to think that Y2K is fixed, not just SSA. I can almost hear some of my Forget It and Dont Wanna get it friends telling me this nonsense....perhaps I am getting upset over nothing, but I don't think so. At least we have that cool Vanity Fair article for people with an attention span of more than a sound byte.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 28, 1998.

Prudent - that's it. The point to me is, we have to divorce the obvious prudence of being less dependent on huge, distant institutions from the specifics of possible y2k failures. To me it is an obvious social goal to have every household and local community be as totally self-sufficient as possible, but if promotion of this goal is tied to ephemeral y2k concerns, that could be detrimental.


"The Empire is great, and where there is greatness, error is also great."

- Roman consul to Ben-Hur, from Lew Wallace,

  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

    -- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 28, 1998.

  • Rob,

    Good point about DGI's and sound bytes. I know two people who don't take Y2K seriously, simply because the credit card companies have seemingly taken care of credit card compliance issues already. I feel this announcement by the SSA and the president will have the same results.

    Example: "Didn't you hear? They've taken care of Social Security. They'll fix all this in time. You're just worrying too much".

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

    Kevin, that's it exactly. I can hear it now!

    Sometimes, I feel almost illiterate in comparison to many on the forums and also the fact that I'm just learning what my computer can do. The Prez is a Rhodes scholar and Hillary is just as intelligent ,if not more so. Hmmmmmmmmm.Technophobic? Yeah,right!

    -- sue (deco100@aol.com), December 28, 1998.

    Your impeached president who "dances with words" is no longer a credible information source.

    -- PNG (png@gol.com), December 28, 1998.

    "... is no longer a credible ..."

    PNG, that depends on your definition of the word "is".

    -- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 28, 1998.

    PNG: What impression do we Americans give, overall, as to our opinion of/allegiance to our president? How do we come off, in the Japanese press? Thanks...

    -- Lisa (lisab@shallcx.com), December 28, 1998.

    CAT: Self-sufficiency is a goal that should be taught in school it is so important. Before Y2K, I did not have a clue about this, but see it as a result of getting it. Even if the Y2K Fix-it Fairy came down and magically fixed Y2K in its entirety, I would still be grateful that I know the importance of self-sufficiency and be committed to it as a goal.

    Kevin: Exactly.

    The more I think about this, the more upset I am getting, especially after trying so hard with some of these folks... I hope that I am wrong and that some of them are at least smart enough to question things for themselves and get beyond the sound byte - a lot is at stake, as we know. Offline for a while. BFN, Rob.

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 28, 1998.

    PNG: Before going offline I would like to say that it is great to see you post again, and especially thank you for that great and insightful "5 Points" post... looking forward to the next part. Bye all.

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 28, 1998.

    R.C. -- I think the impeachment provided something "official." (hanko onaji dessho?) Prior to that, everything written or spoken was innuendo, opinions and commentary on his behavior.

    Want to help me translate some things from an interesting Japanese site I discovered last night? Sugoi omoshiroi...

    Lisa -- The Japanese press doesn't really write about how Americans think about things. Mostly, they write about how some event affects Japan or the Japanese view of the event. Most Japanese understand American thinking about as well as Americans understand Japanese thinking.

    -- PNG (png@gol.com), December 28, 1998.

    Every one of the GIs is preparing in some way. Go to the side lines and catch your breath. Those who don't GI don't deserve to. You can't save them all. In fact there are some people I would not warn. Why waste out time arguing, when we need to be alert, and ready?

    -- curtis schalek (schale1@ibm.net), December 28, 1998.

    When people have been married as long as those two, they stop listening to each other. maybe she didn't hear him.Or she DGI, or DWGI

    -- A.R. (buriedetc@WEb.net), December 28, 1998.

    PNG, itsu ka honyaku suru to iu koto ha, mochiron desu.

    Check your email,


    -- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 28, 1998.

    As mentioned in another post, I predict for the next 4 months we'll see the newsmedia articles running 50-50% between "here's a problem and we all need to prepare" and "no problem, we'll all pull together and make it." Its the Y2K events that may have public and media impact. Should be interesting. The internet is still the wild card. (Check on iMac sales as one trend indicator).

    Personally, I still see the "end" result for the U.S. being a "5" which I would call severe depression and major changes for the lifestyles of the individuals. Internationally, could be more serious. It all hinges on the electrical grids.

    The Red Cross could possibly do more in preparation awareness, if encouraged with an avalanche of e-mails: http://www.redcross.org/sys/ feedback/feedback.html or Y2000@usa.redcross.org.


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

    SSA started in 1989 and has over 2000 people working on the problem. Based on the results, most other gov. agencies and businesses should be done in 2006 or 2007 given the same budget and manpower.

    -- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), December 28, 1998.

    We Y2K prep folk aren't the only ones concerned about January 1, 1999. I saw two news articles today warning of the danger. Here's a quote from the Chicago Sun-Times:

    "Think your companies computer system will have its Year 2000 problems fixed in plenty of time? Watch out -- the day of reckoning for many systems may be sooner than you think.

    "Try New Year's Day -- 1999.

    ""This is going to be a huge day" as many companies' programs make projections for 2000 for the first time, says Rob Figliulo, chief executive officer at SPR Inc., which works on corporate computer systems."

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/date28.html "Y2K glitch could rear its head this week"

    And then there's this quote from a story at CBS Marketwatch:

    "The so-called year 2000 problem could start having an impact this Friday as computers that plan events up to a year ahead of time start to grapple with dates ending in "00.""

    http://cbs.marketwatch.com/archive/19981227/news/current/press_briefin g.htx?source=htx/http2_mw

    It's Pollyanna Monday today as far as the government is concerned, but the news of possible Y2K problems in the future continues as usual.

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

    Guess what?

    I'm so relieved by all the government pronouncements made this week that "all's well in Zion", I just have to ask the following questions:

    1) If the "iron triangle" collapses, i.e. - if the interconnected electrical grid goes down over a large enough geographical area for such an extended period of time that people in the 'developed' nations start cutting trees for fuel and cooking:

    How long will it take after the rollover [best case/worst case] (days, weeks, months) for the last tree on earth to be felled? [Yes, I realize we are talking about the unthinkable...]

    [however, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most of the forests of the then known Western world [Europe] were decimated for fuel shortly after the discovery of copper and its smelting for the making of Bronze]

    2) Since the forests of the world are the prime Oxygen/CO2 exchanging mechanism, if, as the worlds forests are cut and burned; and as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere thereby rises; and as the composition of the earth's atmosphere thereby changes to reflect a lowered O2 level -

    At what time after the rollover [best case/worst case] [days, weeks, months] will the level of O2 in the atmosphere drop to a level lower than that required to sustain life for all the land animals on earth at that time?

    3) If the above should occur, at what time after the rollover will the human population of the earth begin to decline due not to famine and disease, but from blood-gas-toxicity (lack of oxygen) ?

    4) If the above should occur, at what rate will the atmospheric temperature begin to rise due to increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere (Green-house effect)?

    5) If the above should occur, how long after the rollover will the arable land on earth begin to be become dust bowls, and human population begin to decline due to lack of food?

    [anyone have the time to calculate the data and plot the points on a graph that will show all the above versus Time?] 6) How can we help Diane to prevent the above from happening?

    Sorry, these things have to be discussed.


    Perry Arnett

    -- Perry Arnett (pjarnett@pdqnet.net), December 28, 1998.

    At the moment, MSNBC is featuring several new Y2K articles.
    Plus, they've added this page:

    The Millennium Bug Front Page

    Moving to the forefront of the news cycle today ...
    xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

    -- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 28, 1998.

    # # # 19981229

    Perry Arnett:

    I'm experiencing involuntary, serendipitous fits of associative Y2K tunnel vision, these days.

    While surfing cable programming Sunday ( Dec. 27, 1998 ), I landed at some part of an account--I think it was "The History Channel"(?)--of the disastrous, _near-E.L.E._ earthquake in 1692, Port Royal ( island; pop. ~6,000, circa 1692 ), Jamaica.

    The quake wiped out 2,000 of the 6,000 inhabitants, "instantaneously."

    Of the 4,000 "fortunate" survivors of the quake, 2,000 were unpleasantly terminated by diseases brought about by the rotting bodies and sanitation problems, creating "undesirable" run-off in the environment and water supply.

    I'm not sure _what to make of these numbers, statistically. However, it did make a morbid impression upon me of the potentially dire portents for Y2K.

    This island was/is ( what's left of it ) a "closed system" ( i.e., nation, continent, planet ) that had suffered complete destruction of a _mere LOW-TECH(!) INFRASTRUCTURE, whereafter this event, half of the survivors were erradicated without any INFRASTRUCTURE.

    Really makes one ponder the likely scenario from the impact of Y2K upon "modern" infrastructures today and their Herculean "carrying capacities" for support of inhabitants.

    Hmmm ...

    Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

    -- Robert Mangus (rmangus@mail.netquest.com), December 29, 1998.

    # # # 19981229

    Perry Arnett:

    Talk about being mentally "trapped" in the Y2K-warp ...

    Sunday ( December 27, 1998 ), I was watching a "History Channel"(?) cable program about the Port Royal, Jamaica, disastrous earthquake of 1692--population ~6,000 BQ ( Before Quake ). ( Of late, my curiosity is hyper-piqued re _near-ELE's_! ) Interesting _natural_ event, that quake!

    Here's _verrrry_ interesting tidbits:

    a.) The 1692 Port Royal earthquake destroyed ( sunk ) 2/3rd of the land mass of the island.

    b.) It produced about 2,000 ( that's 1/3rd! of pop. ) fatalities by drowning and "collateral" damage from collapsing structures.


    That's an incredible 50% ( 2,000 AQ casualties / 4,000 survivors = 1/2! ) of the "fortunate"(?) survivors that net their demise due to conditions brought on by total destruction ( e.g., Y2K-effects ) of the ( LOW-TECH!! ) infrastructure within that closed ( i.e., national, continental, global ) society!

    Ruminate on that awhile! ( Shudder! )

    Any help, Perry?

    Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

    -- Robert Mangus (rmangus@mail.netquest.com), December 29, 1998.


    There's got to be an easy way to harness solar power and traping the heat for use. My sister once had a trone wall (sp?) in her house, that even in the snow kept the place quite warm. I was astonished.

    Bamboo grows fast. Anyone tested it's burning abiliy? I do know it can grow at 6,000 feet. A friend tested growing it as a "security" fence, up on my old mountain-top. Made it through the snows.


    -- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 29, 1998.

    Offline for 24 hours, check this thread, and what do I see: The last tree on earth felled, not enough life-sustaining oxygen in the atmosphere, earthquake stats, "trone walls" and bamboo growth! As Star Trek's Spock said: "Fascinating". LOL.

    My pager came with a news subscription service, and this morning the first thing I read was "Y2K SOLVED: Social Security is Ready"... No, I am not kidding or exagerating. My thoughts immediately went to this thread. Later, after reading several of the papers, including the N.Y.Times, I saw that most of the print news media, though not all, at least had some mention of Congressman Horn's 'what about the other federal agencies that are failing like Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, etc.' so that at least was good. Also, no reactions from any Forget its or Dont wanna get its so far.

    Now where were we... oh yes... fruitcake!

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 29, 1998.

    When I did my daily Excite News search today, I found that over half the new stories on Y2K in the press were on the Social Security announcement. I've never seen that kind of coverage on just one Y2K happening. Even my local newspaper, which rarely covers Y2K, had this on the front page this morning.

    I only came across one dissenting article, and it's worth showing to anyone who thinks the government has Y2K and Social Security taken care of:


    "Clinton, experts disagree on progress of Y2K glitch repair"

    -- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 29, 1998.

    Kevin: Thanks for that link, it is worth a print. I liked that they correctly treated SSA as part of an interdependent system, whose dependent interfaces have yet to reach compliance, rather than a standalone agency that exists in a Y2K vaccum.

    Can you imagine the uproar if they pulled a 'DOD' in a few months, no, I don't think so, they wouldn't be that dumb, to fudge SSA like the DOD did with the nukes.

    I remember a line from George Carlin's HBO comedy special years ago, something like "Never believe anything the Government tells you. Nothing. Zippo. Nada." There I go again being cynical, oh well.

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 29, 1998.


    Take a look at this link as well...

    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ap/technology/story.html?s=v/ap/1 9981229/tc/year_2000_challenge_2.html

    "Experts Still Worry About Y2K Fix"

    -- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 30, 1998.

    ``It's good news, but certainly expected given that Social Security was out front all along,'' said Ed Yourdon, a New York City computer consultant and author of ``Time Bomb 2000,'' a book about the Year 2000 computer problem, known as Y2K. ``The danger is that people might generalize that things are going to be OK. Most of us in the computer field think that 75 percent of the government agencies and businesses will make it." Yourdon said it was ``a question of whether you look at the glass as half-full or half-empty. What's the effect of the 25 percent that's not done?''

    Looks like Ed's on the same wavelength as some of us. Nice company to be keeping. Thanks again, Kevin... when it comes to links, you are the man!

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 30, 1998.

    According to the last Federal Gummint "report card", SSA should make it, along with Small Business, Nat'l Science Foundation, EPA, Interior, and a few others. It's the laggards ("D and F students") like Transportation, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services that should concern us. Far too many important systems in these departments that impact people's lives and livelihoods...

    -- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), December 30, 1998.

    One more story showing that Social Security checks arriving in 1999 and 2000 is not a given:

    "Although the Social Security Administration yesterday said it has cleansed its computer system of the Y2K technology glitch, the agency's chief acknowledged there is still work to be done with the financial agencies it uses to get checks to elderly Americans."


    So again I ask, why was Social Security's "good news" announced just a few days before January 1, 1999?

    -- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 31, 1998.

    Maybe it is as you posted earlier Kevin, something they will point to for that all important 'balance' (spin) once problems become too apparent to ignore. A possibility at least. Anyone familair with a Bell Curve must know by now that there was a minimum of good news during this year, and that no where near the number of agencies/companies that should be ready given a normal distribution, are ready. Perhaps it was not pollyanna monday afterall, but pollyanna 1998.

    1999 will be different, and in ways none of us can even imagine, imho.

    -- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 31, 1998.

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