Carmichael: Where we are one year out... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Excerpted from Douglas Carmichael's part of a Y2K newsletter he writes weekly with Mark Frautschi:

That public perception and underlying reality diverge about a technical issue of great human consequences is to me the major factor about y2k, and makes me very nervous as this year begins, fifty two weeks to go today, a year being fifty two weeks and a day long.

The second disturbing fact is that government, instead of working with us, is deeply paternalistic and more concerned with managing image than of dealing directly with the problem. The metric "percent done" will I think turn out to be one of the great illusions, chosen because it was the path whereby things would look good even when they are not. Somewhat like looking at average income when the rising statistic is drive by a few number of large incomes and many declining ones. This is not the way to run a successful government. It is professional rather than democratic.

Third, I am dismayed that in a technology based society, we do not think scientifically nor technically. The major statements this week about how great it all is going to be are not based on analytic reasoning, mixing theory and fact, towards reasonable conclusions. Its wish driven rather than driven by Peter de Jager's "painfully honest" pragmatism.

Then there is the panic argument which has been so potent in recent weeks. Yet it is only the little panic that we have had that has stirred things like the electrical utilities to be as active as they have been. Panic so far has been more the friend of realism than its cancer.

And fourth, markets are supposed to deliver the goods in a way that adds up to quality of life. Yet the mainline tech companies, from Silicon Valley to the large consulting firms, have been absent on their watch, nearly useless, as has much of the tech media. We cannot depend on markets to sort out what works and what doesn't. Selling is potent and those that do, do not have the time nor motive to reflect on the integrity of the overall process. The "invisible hand" is at best arthritic, at worst, malevolent.

Click here for the full newsletter.

-- Critt Jarvis (Wilmington, NC) (, January 03, 1999


Where we are a year out....

Six months ago I was at an 8.5 or we were in BIG trouble.

But have been cognizant of current events which indicate that things aren't going to be quite that bad --

So now am now at a level of 4.5 to 6 -- which still places me at Pollyanna level, from the perspective of the Y2K extremists....

(I always many of these people who use that term, Pollyanna, have actually seen the movie? Or even know what they're talking about....either the 1920 or the 1960 version)

goodness gracious could it be that someone has no clue what they're talking about....not in today's America, certainly not

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, January 03, 1999.

Mr. Howard, how have you reached your conclusions. I'm not being sarcastic or rude. I really, really want to be a 4. Everything that I've learned has led me to become more pessimistic about the situation. Please, tell me what you know. I'm serious. I'm having a hard time with this whole mess. I want so badly to believe that things will work out, but I haven't seen anything but failure and lies. I'm just starting my professional life. I love my career and I want so badly to continue on and have success. I want a family, a dog, and a white picket fence. Everything I read leads me to the conclusion that I'll have a gun, a German Shepard, and a barbed wire fence.


-- Kilgore Trout (, January 03, 1999.

well, let's see.....most of my theories remain 'unproven, and unsolved', as my favorite babe, Dana Scully says...

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, January 04, 1999.

Well, current events are not making ME feel any better. Most businesses were supposed to have finished remediation by December 31, 1998, and they haven't. Estimates on how much will have to be spent to address Y2K keeps going up, as more and more systems in need of repair are discovered.

The chief of the IRS said they'd be ready by December 31, 1998, but I haven't heard Clinton make an announcement about it yet. See this link about the IRS:,4,27886,00.html?

Just because there's a certain level of media awareness now on Y2K that there wasn't a month and a half ago, doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. The military, the IRS and Medicaire are in bad shape.

The bottom line is, late 1997 was the latest that major Y2K projects could be started with the hope of getting done on time. Many businesses did not start until 1998, or haven't even started yet-- especially the utilities.


-- Kevin (, January 04, 1999.

John - let me spell it out for you my dear old chap - it's too late to fix, it's a worldwide problem, there is a set deadline which is looming rapidly, the USA trades with the world, the rest of the world is trashed y2k-wise, most of the rest of the world is trashed economically, it's systemic, we all want a bump in the road, it's not going to happen.

Other than that everything is &@#*ing hunky-dory.

-- Andy (, January 04, 1999.

Keep watch and keep preparing. There's a lot of action behind-the- scenes. 1999 will be the year of Y2K mobilization on many, many levels. It's the last year we've got until the 2000 rollover.

Either we're muddling through or we'll be camping. Electricity is key.

How on earth did we get so dependant on something so stupidly fragile? Hope we learn this lesson well. Think of the children.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 04, 1999.

Unfortunately, we will always have morons Like Howard.

He claims that things look so much better now than a year ago, when even a ten year old child can asceratin that they are many times worse.

Howard is likened unto that idiot who was sitting outside the embassy compound in Saigon on April 29th 1975 saying "Hear those tanks? More good news that we will be free of the communists any minute now!"

We will always have such psychotically blind morons making such utterly ridiculous comments. I hold them in contempt for their self- imposed lunacy. NEVER do they produce a SINGLE shred of evidence.

When asked to give, on a more empirical basis, the evidence in the form of a list copmaring how things were six months ago releative to now, they just shrug. They feel it is bettter, though.

I used to be surprised at the extent of the magnitude of the self- deception , stupidity and calculated ignorance. I no longer underestimate the human capacity and appetite to lie to himself in the face of the manifest evidence to the contrary.

Howard is just one in a never ending line of knuckleheads who won't be around much longer.

-- Paul Milne (, January 04, 1999.

Top 5 reasons pollyannas are rejoicing

5. John Koskinen has changed aftershaves.

4. Bumfuque County, SD has bought a Pentium with Windows 98

3. deJager's "Promises Kept" page now boasts 4 entries

2. rumor has it Bill Gates is testing "silver bullet" near Area 51

and the number one reason:

1. gee my stock look terrific!

-- a (a@a.a), January 04, 1999.

(Rev 18:11 KJV) "And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:"

-- Mark Hillyard (, January 04, 1999.

Mr. Milne,

"We will always have such psychotically blind morons making such utterly ridiculous comments. I hold them in contempt for their self- imposed lunacy. NEVER do they produce a SINGLE shred of evidence. "

Of course, the same could easily be said of you. Three times I have asked you to provide the evidence that you base your views on. Three times the thread has died without a response from you. To be blunt, put up or shut up.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, January 04, 1999.

Paul Neuhardt: You are either an asshole, a fool, or both. Point your simpleminded self to c.s.y2k and research what the man has been saying for the last 12 months. His analysis bristles with intellect, and furor.

Which is a little more than I can say for yours.

-- a (a@a.a), January 05, 1999.


I have seen much of Milne's rantings (postings would be too tame a word) on the Y2k news groups, and I'll tell you what I think about them.

1. He often starts off his less acerbic posts with a verifiable fact or two. This is good. The problem comes in when he uses one or two isolated facts to form opinions regarding the whole universe. Two data points don't make a statistically significant sample, but Milne often works with that (or less) to back up his points.

2. He consistently confuses his opinons with gospel fact. His posts do not ever indicate that something "might happen" or is "possible." Milne describes everything he forsees as if it were a certainty, which it most certainly is not.

3. He is all together too willing to castigate others who do not share his exact views, but has shown remarkably little incliniation to provide anything more than trivial examples of why he believes things to be a certain way. Yet, as has been shown here, he is willing to criticise others for the very same behavior he exhibits. Much of the "proof" he does present is simply opinion from those with whom he already agrees. I have never seen any post of Milne's, whether here or on the newsgroups, either admit that any other viewpoint has any merit or change his views based on any evidence presented by anyone else. In other words, his mind is made up, please don't confuse him with the facts.

4. Milne is a barbarian in his treatment of others, at least on the net. He rants about the decline of civilization and then reveals himself to lack even the most fundamental trappings of civilized behavior. (Of course, you apparently would applaud that sort of behavior based on your last post.) that sort of hypocrisy casts a pall on everything he says.

I could go on, but you should be able to get the point. While I can see that he is an intelligent man who cares deeply about the issues he discusses, I cannot put faith in him. He has proven himself to posses more form than substance when talking about Y2K. Moreover, I find his willingness to denegrate and abuse others offensive and his unwillingness to back up his EOTW statements with evidence to be the worst kind of intellectual laziness. I'm willing to modify my opinions if he modifies his behavior, but you will understand if I don't hold my breath.

By the way, thanks for showing the originality to call me names other than "butthead." Milne has beaten that one to death. (Unless of course *you* are Milne, at which point I'm glad to see you expanding your vocabulary.)

-- Paul Neuhardt (, January 06, 1999.

All we need say about Paul Milne is:

and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), January 06, 1999.

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