Have we gone off the deep end II

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Sorry I ran out on you guys yesterday but it was time to leave. I'd like to clarify a couple things.

I wasn't on this project at the very beginning. They grabbed me from another area when the PMO expanded. I should have said 'stressing out' the last couple of years instread of 'busting my ass'. Managers don't bust ass, we stress more than anything else. We've been at it since mid-1994 and we did finish on schedule. From what I can tell, based on what I've received across my desk, there are a whole lotta companies that have finished or are real close to finishing also. Some are running behind, but there is still time to get to most of it.

What program is 100% error free today? Not many. Not very many at all. This exercise of inventorying all the code will turn out to be very beneficial in the end (I think).

A simple mortgage program?? Yikes! There's a lot more involved that just running a little amortization program. Loans are applied for, researched, approved or denied, boarded, sometimes sold right away, then they're serviced for the remainder of the term. There are probably 100 different ways to borrow money for a house. Some fixed, some adjustable. Each with their own interest calcs and reporting structures. Then there's the default side - collections, bankruptcy, foreclosure and real estate owned. It is a hugely complex system to say the least.

I thought we had 70% of the market. Turns out it's closer to 60%.

It appears my view of the world differs from a lot on this forum. I understand the problems that are going on all over. It seems they've been going on my whole life. I'm 38. It's just the way life is in my eyes. Deplorable things happen everyday. We had an tragedy here a few months ago - Maddie Clifton - maybe yall read about it. Sadest story ever. Beautiful little girl disappears from her front yard. The community (I'm talking thousands of people) searched for Maddie for a week. This precious little girl was found murdered, stuffed under the water bed of her teenage neighbor, right across the street. This tragedy brought a city of over one million to it's knees. Literally thousands of people lined San Jose Blvd to say goodbye to Maddie the day of her funeral. It was one of the moving experiences of my life. We need more focus on our children than anything else. We're losing them more and more everyday.

I'm not worried about the end of the world because of Y2K. I'm 1000 times more worried about our children.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 15, 1999


I am seeing it the same way Deano. Way more than enough is going to be fixed. I'm starting to cut down on the Internet to spend more time with the family. It just takes too much time.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), January 15, 1999.

Y2K is not binary. "Everything will be compliant: nothing will be compliant." Tremendous amounts of work are being done and much will be fixed. Is already fixed. I wish we could make the distinction between what we "know" and what is legitimate for an individual/family/community to "do".

I 'spose there are folks here who view TEOTWAWKI as a 30, 50 or 90% probability. How do they know? They don't.

I view it as a 2% possibility. How do I know? I don't.

Some people take 2% (let's focus on me) as a reason to prepare for a week or so of disruption or not to prepare for anything at all. Hey, the odds against TEOTWAWKI are 50 to 1, according to me. For argument sake, we'll grant just for this thread that less than TEOTWAWKI doesn't count.

I look at a 2% chance of TEOTWAWKI as mind-blowingly dangerous compared to a normal annual chance of .02%. So, I choose to prepare for TEOTWAWKI.

Of course, all these probabilities are silly, viewed scientifically. Or viewed historically. Y2K is singular and unknowable. We'll know the "probabilities" next year. That's why we can be thankful for the people like yourself who have been working hard to make it a non-event without having to trash people like myself who are preparing up the wazoo.

No more than Y2K is binary are your broad concerns or mine binary. We can agree about the unknowability of Y2K (I hope), the rationality of different folks preparing in different ways based on their reaction to risk (I hope) and also agree that there are already-known reasons to worry together about our children that have nothing to do with Y2K.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 15, 1999.

Irreguardless (is that a real word? of peoples opinions,theories,agendas,etc.etc; We are all looking for evidence as to Whether The Lights, Heat, Phone, Water, Will Stay On, so we can plan accordingly. In this way, we might be able to help our children. Do you have some evidence to share, other than the project you are working on? Please tell us what we should do.

-- Type r (Sortapreparin@polly.anna), January 15, 1999.

If we don't have anything to worry about, then why prepare? Okay, so now I'm worried about the just in case phase. The just in case phase takes on a whole new meaning for many of us. If we do nothing and TSHTF our children suffer, we suffer, everyone suffers. If we do something, we still suffer but not as severely. If TEOTWAWKI happens then no matter how much you do or don't prepare everyone still suffers. You may not like what I am going to say here, but knowing what I know now, I would not have brought children into this world to suffer what is going on in the world today. But they are here, I love them and it hurts to see them hurt. Life just sometimes sucks!

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), January 15, 1999.

The point I've been trying to spread around the net especially to y2k doomsters is that the available data suggests a fairly long transition into a so called y2k compliant world IT wise. 2+ yrs from j1 99 atleast. So many people are so hard focused on rollover as the pivotal event that they really don't get it. This whole period is a big curve not a tight spike at rollover. I'm afraid Ed's book and many other y2k books written back in 97'/98' seem to project a rollover bias. Gartner group, Ian Hugo's group Task Force 2000 among others don't expect much to occur on rollover % wise. Yes some of the 'embedded' thing will happen then but otherwise Y2K itself will probably be just another day in this transtion time. I'm starting to think that Dr. Ed Yardeni's Y2k recession is a more likely scenario for what we might face starting later this year. I've pretty much discounted the Scarey Gary,Milne, Hamasaki scenarios at this pt. They are all way to simplistic. Fact is society is not a line of computer mediated dominos waiting to be knocked down by a few million computer glitches. Especially since most of them will happen world wide spread over 700+ days. The worst of this in my opinion will come in the fall of this year. Not so much because we'll be seeing systemic computer collapse, but because we might be seeing a building panic among the uninformed and the unenlightened. I see the rudiments of this panic already beginning in the "bible belt' areas of the U.S. An unfortunate convergence of religious superstitution and prophecy coupled with the uncertanity factor in this computer crisis could cause bank runs in those areas of the country. All it will take is a few major Hi profile system failures that aren't quickly fixed. Lets pray most companies can keep their IT problems under wraps. This fictitious notion that y2k compliance and societal survival are 1 in the same has to be countered.

-- Glenn L. Klotz (lee00@earthlink.net), January 15, 1999.

Well one thing is inevitable, wherever there is a sensation, people will flock to it and bend it out of shape and just basically overanalyze it to death. I mean, whats so hard about saying, " Hope for the best and prepare for the worst " ? It covers all bases

-- joe schmo (foo@bar.commy), January 15, 1999.


Yours was the most comforting and reasonable post I have read in a very long time. It rang true because it matches my conception of how things work in this world. My problem remains with the preparations being made by the National Gurard in this country and the Military and police of other countries. They are preparing for the panic that will follow the roll over, not the panic that will precipitate it. Are their scientific advisors ignorant of the propositon you have put forward? If yours is a popular notion, it must have been considered. No country or large organization goes into gear based on the word of one or two experts. There has to have been a consensus of opinion from the best minds available to put such wheels in motion. I want very much for your view to be correct but I fear that it may not be.

Bill in south Carolina

-- Bill in South Carolina (notaclue@webtv.net), January 15, 1999.

Deano, I cried when I read your post. The reason I am so obsessed with the y2k thing is only because of my children. If I didn't have these 2 little people depending on me, I think I could relax about it more. If there is even a small chance of power problems, food problems, pharmacy problems, not even to mention civil unrest, I need to protect them. Our kids need protection from all the crap everywhere. My only motivation for trying to figure out where this y2k thing is going is how to best protect my kids. I keep trying to figure out how much preparation is appropiate given the possibilities. How much money to spend given the possibilities. How much of the possibilitis are probabilities. So I keep reading and reading. Thank you for bringing attention to the children. Keeping them safe and healthy should be this country's main concern.

-- Lisa (logold@kdsi.net), January 15, 1999.

one could also look at it from the perspective that there are a fair number of us who are going to continue to prepare, as well as continue to encourage others to do so as well. As both Big Dog and Bardou so cogently point out preparation is the *only* prudent course, from our various perspectives. Further, short of demonstrating publicly (with third party verification) that the iron triangle *will* remain intact between 01/01/00 and 01/01/01 there is no way to convince us *not* to prepare.

That being the case, not only are you betting your life on y2k being a bump in the road, you are also betting the lives of yourselves and your loved ones that our preparations will not upset your presupposed continued lifestyle either.

Do you really consider that a wise bet?

Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), January 15, 1999.

Lisa - I had a tear running down my cheek as I typed it (yeah folks, I'm a sensitive ol' cuss at times). I appreciate your sentiment.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 15, 1999.

One thing is for sure, if we as a society survive Y2K enough to keep the psychology profession going, this forum would be great fodder to psychoanalyze....

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 15, 1999.


Two things really set me off about your postings yesterday. First, it was the implication that those of us who see the possibility of our society completely unravelling under the (combined) pressure of things like global depression, terrorist (foreign and domestic), and Y2K are nuts. Second, I could not understand your total insistence that -- although people have been and continue to be absolutely brutal to each other on a massive scale -- "that can't happen here." To which I ask simply, why the h*ll not?

The image of children frozen in the ice bothered me too. But I have become convinced that there is some significant possibility of TEOTWAWKI (and for me, like BigDog, that possibility does not need to be greater than 1% for it to be significant). I have pulled out the stops in my preps. I'm sure I would be considered nuts by De Jager and maybe even by you for the level of prep and the amount that I have disrupted my family's life together to brace for this thing.

But the bottom line is that I am not calmed by your assurance that a mortgage something something bureau (sorry, don't have the other post in front of me) is Y2K compliant. I believe you and I'm glad your company is so far along. But along with Hardliner, I instinctively disbelieve most of what I hear both from corporate PR flaks and especially from gov't PR flaks. I think it's safe to say, given what is transpiring in the U.S. Senate as we speak, that our leaders are supremely untrustworthy.

So, my experience as a software engineer tells me that the statistics about missed deadlines are very likely to be accurate. My experience with the corporate world tells me that there is a very high incentive to lie about Y2K remediation. And my instincts tell me that a significant failure of global computer resources could indeed land us in a serious, massive depression or even much worse.

I moved my family to a rural area where we have our own heat, light, water, and food.

That does not seem nuts to me. It seems very prudent.

How about you?

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), January 15, 1999.

Franklin - I respect your opinion. But I must say that if you give up your career or cash in your retirement, I feel you are making a mistake. I don't know if you did either. Maybe your retreat is close to home and you didn't have to quit your job. I hear lots are doing it. More power to'em.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 15, 1999.

Well, fortunately I did not have to give up my career, but we are cashing in our retirement funds. But look at it this way. The money we put into those funds has double, tripled, some even quadrupled since it went in there -- I didn't have to work for the majority of it. I'm using that money to get completely out of debt. So even if not much happens as a result of Y2K where does that leave me? A relatively young man with a good career and not one penny of debt, living a country life he loves. And if it becomes a depression or worse how much better off am I than you? Quite a lot, I would say.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything in terms of your own response. I'm trying to convince you that not all who buy into the possibility of a Y2K collapse scenario and act accordingly are nuts. Again, I think what I have done is prudent, given my own read of the evidence. But I can live with whatever outcome. Can you?

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), January 15, 1999.

Franklin - Sounds like you've got it wired tight. I'm not saying that folks who are preparing are nuts. I've never said that. The ones that concern me are the ones spouting "we're screwed and there's nothing we can do about it". Those statements, in my mind, are nuts. I think there is something we can do about. That's why I made my choice to join the 'war' to help fix what's broken. I do have a Y2K shelf in my pantry. It consists mainly of my hurricane preparations - not a lot to keep anyone going for any period of time. Just some bare essentials - candles, batteries, flashlight, couple cases of bottled water, several cans of soup, ect... Different strokes for different folks. Deano

-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 15, 1999.

"Irreguardless (is that a real word?" No, type r, it isn't. The word "regardless" already implies "in spite of" and does not need the "Ir".

Deano, I believe you about your company, and I'm glad. But, unless your company or some other can guarantee that millions of dollars in welfare checks and other subsidies WILL be sent out, anyone in a large city had better plan on "hunkering down" or being out of the city for awhile. Just my opinion.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), January 15, 1999.

Gayla - thank you, I appreciate your kind words. Unfortunately, my company has nothing to do with welfare checks. I see your point though.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 15, 1999.

Deano, IMHO there are very, very few "we're screwed and there is nothing we can do about it" types in the preparation community: 1%? They are the doombrood trolls, sorry. And some who come across that way at times (Milne?) are intensely distressed about the people (yes, kids) who are going to suffer if Y2K goes, um, Milne.

While Milne, North, Infomagic may well believe there is nothing we can do about it in the sense of avoid a catastrophe (they're entitled to that opinion), they are doing the next logical thing if one believes that: passionately warning people to prepare. Those are the actions of people who care, not people who don't.

Hamasaki pretty much believes it will be a catastrophe but is working non-stop to fix what he can (don't know about Infomagic who is a programmer; Milne and North aren't).

Point: of course we should try to fix what can be fixed. And prepare.

And excuuuuuuuuuuse my sounding dippy, but the adult, non-flaming, push-back-and-forth between you and Franklin (hey, Franklin, awesome choices and so-tough to execute) has made my day. Yes.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 15, 1999.

Thank you BG.

I'd be interested in a sideline chat. The e-mail address above is real.

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), January 15, 1999.

Err, that's BD.

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), January 15, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ