### One Simple Question For Paul Milne

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

Paul, are you predicting, without hedge or qualification, widespread or complete electrical blackout in the United States beginning on 2000-1-1, due to y2k code/chip failures ? If so, how long are you predicting this condition will last ?

-RC

-- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), January 26, 1999

I am prepared to go indefinitely without electricity.

I don't know how long it will last, that is why I am prepared to go indefinitely. That means I am not in the least concerned how long it may be down.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 26, 1999.

I've been panting all day with curiosity to see how Paul would answer this question. IMO, he has given a good, that is to say, accurately judged answer to *this* question and it is my own as well.

The utility grid is a black hole with respect to prediction, hence, we should prepare for the worst. My family has also already prepared to go indefinitely without.

It's a different question than, "how many will die?" to which he has answered "a billion or more" without "hedging". As he has answered other questions.

In private but not confidential correspondence with Paul a month ago, I shared my conviction that the most likely Y2K result will be a five-year global depression, with better or worse results possible. His comment was that he believed I was too optimistic (I know, that's a surprise) and that the most likely result is a worse than 1930s style depression due to greater interdependence and consequently greater breakdown. He gave other reasons as well. Pondering, I have not yet been able to give myself a satisfactory answer as to what would "keep" a depression to five years (ie, less severe than the 30s).

Everyone prepares for Y2K with a post-Y2K world in mind. I wonder whether anyone can reasonably prepare for a post-Y2K world without taking into account the possibility of the grid disappearing?

"Prepare for the WORST, hope for the best" is simple wisdom. Based on uncertainty about the grid, the worst is its collapse. Are you going to prepare for that?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 26, 1999.

OK, another simple question for Paul:

With the billions of deaths you foresee (on some days, I can see them as well), what percentage do you suppose will be murders, rather than victims of the slower ways to go? Internationally, that is. Murder being considered a product of war, as well.

There are places here in Texas.... well, let's just say there are some prejudices here.

-- Lisa (lisab@shallc.com), January 26, 1999.

The overwhelming majority will be due to 'natural' causes. That is if natural causes is to include, starvation, lack of emergency medical care and disease. The rest will be attributable to war, mayhem etc.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 26, 1999.

Seems to me I've read that the 1929 et seq. Depression only went into partial remission and flared up again in 1937. Only the kickstart of WW2 pulled us out of that.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 26, 1999.

We stray a bit, but I am extremely concerned about international scene, at least as much as domestic, to wit: if we can still project our power internationally, I think it well within the radar scope to have 500K-1M American soliders "on duty" throughout Middle East by, say, 2002. I admit, the "if" is very significant if Y2K itself nasty.

As I recall, Westergaard himself was quoted in the Vanity Fair article as saying that his own expectation was that Hussein would invade Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on Jan 1, 2000 (and I do believe the word "expectation" was attributed to him).

If you were Hussein or .... (read: North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, Russia et al), wouldn't you consider the risk/benefits of projecting power into a possible vacuum during 2000/01?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 26, 1999.

Sorry, that was meant to be a response to Tom. Deep recessions and depressions spawn international events like wars in their train.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 26, 1999.

if I were Sadaam, I would be expecting a MASSIVE pre-emptive strike around Ramadan, this year.

-- a (a@a.a), January 26, 1999.

I think many of the casualties of Y2K will be unnatural causes rather than natural causes. The mindset of many Americans today is radically different from back in the 1930's. Back then, many of them saw that times were bad, so they just tightened their belts and did the best they could. Nowadays, many people think someone owes them everything. Also, there are at least 5 times as many people around in the US now as compared to 1929. Between those two factors, I'd say things could get rough when food gets scarce. Wouldn't mind being wrong there, but I won't prepare for the best-case.

-- Noah Simoneaux (noaj@yournet.com), January 26, 1999.

Mr. Milne, you said in refrence to what you foresaw as the casue of "billions of deaths":

"The overwhelming majority will be due to 'natural' causes. That is if natural causes is to include, starvation, lack of emergency medical care and disease."

I ask for an eleventh time (and still no response, BTW), "What evidence do you have that leads you to this conclusion?"

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 27, 1999.

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