We need a convincing explanation of the "domino" effect.

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There are probably many people who visit this site out of curiosity. Others are skeptical and many believe this is no big deal. Even for the ones who GI some doubt creeps in as to how long do we really need to prepare. I think especially in the area of food storage, it's hard to imagine gathering enough food for 1 year or even 6 months without a better understanding of what the ramifications are when the house of cards falls. I was thinking this morning that manufacturers could just begin now to increase production of goods and next year, even if the computers aren't working, things could still be shipped to the stores. Then I realized, nothing's going anywhere if there's no gasoline, diesel or other fuel for transportation. But this example is just the tip of the iceberg. Can someone please elaborate beyond the scope of computers and chips which is obvious? I know Ed has explained this domino effect, but I'm asking for the people who will not take the time to read a book or other commentary. Mary

-- Mary (SWEEP6@prodigy.net), February 03, 1999



Have you looked at Gary North's site? He has an entire category on the Domino Effect. You may not agree with everything North has to say, but he does a helluva lot of research and you're free to make up your own mind after you've reviewed the relevant data. Good luck.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), February 03, 1999.

To make it real easy, here is a hot link to the Domino_Effect at www.garynorth.com:

GN Domino_Effect

And of course, doomists will often point out that each interrelation is usually 2-way rather than 1-way, so the Domino Model portrays things as being half as bad as they really will be. On the other hand, optimists believe that there is a lot of independence running around thorought, so some domino "chains" can collapse but others will not.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), February 03, 1999.

Gold-Eagle has contributed the following article on the domino effect:

Domi no Effect and Interdependencies

One of the greatest domino effects will come as a result of foreign failures. 60% of our oil and 80-90% of manufactured goods and parts are imported. The following recent reports and articles describe a very bleak picture for maritime shipping, foreign manufacturing and oil production, as well as the difficulties that key countries or regions (like Brazil or Asia) which are near collapse will have in focusing sufficient resources on remediation.

National Intelligence Council report to Congress

World Bank press briefing

World Economic Forum

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 03, 1999.

Every time I start with a clean sheet of paper and conjure up the way things should work I find out they don't work that way. I have to learn either from other people or by making mistakes. This isn't the time to be making a mistake, so I'll learn from others.

".....I'm asking for the people who will not take the time to read a book or other commentary."

Mary, if people don't want to bother to learn, how will they learn?

If their lives are so full that they can't be bothered reading a well writen paper, how will they learn?

All of us need others to listen to and to bounce arguments off in order to sharpen and reinforce our own ideas. This is especially true with this issue. We need -- we must -- come to our own conclusions about the severity of the problems and the personal and community solutions, because we're being asked to commit a large amount of time and money into the solutions we choose.

Good references above, plus there's a great chapter at the back of Ed's book that really provides a good illustratration of how things are tied together. Maybe Ed will give you permission to copy it and give it to people, just as an illustration.

-- De (dealton@concentric.net), February 03, 1999.

I appreciate the input so far, but my question is being misunderstood- I'm not asking this for ME. As I tried to explain, skeptics, trolls and DGI's are visiting this site probably in the hundreds each hour. They are not going to look up references until they are convinced. It seems that someone could easily explain if: a) breaks down it will have this effect on b) which will cause c) to... I understand people have to educate themselves, but we have to convince them first; it's more than just about computers. Many who work with computers everyday have been brainwashed to think their companies' hardware will be compliant, so what's the worry. My only reason for posting was to educate those who read this thread and are not aware that there is a domino effect. Mary

-- Mary (SWEEP6@prodigy.net), February 03, 1999.

Ed's "Generic Y2K Powerpoint Presentation" is also available for ftp download from his home page. Gives you some graphics and quotes to use for communicating about the interdependencies.

There's also the wonderfully thorough "magnum opus" Y2K presentation that Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net) has created, with more quotes and suggestions and supporting docs.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), February 03, 1999.

I saw a good article today on the domino effect at: www.y2knewswire.com/19990203.htm

-- Mike Brotz (mbrotz@indiana.edu), February 03, 1999.

regarding food...

seed co. fertilizer co. pesticide co. herbiside co. farm equipment grain elevator processing plant #1 processing plant #2 wholesaler retailer you

All of the mission critical systems of these must work well to get the bread to you. Then.. add... the transportation, suppliers, financing, & fuel for all of the above.

-- me (justme@aol.com), February 03, 1999.


"...skeptics, trolls and DGIs are visiting this site..."

I don't think any skeptics and DGIs are visiting this site. Maybe some others, but not this one. There be trolls here, but we don't care about them anyway.

"They are not going to look up references until they are convinced."

Rather, they are not going to be convinced until they look up references. You'll find that most here are looking to their own preparations and needs. Most of us have neither the time nor the inclinations to try to convince DGIs and skeptics. As for the trolls, they know...

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), February 03, 1999.

The most important dominio`s are war and permanent loss of polictical liberties, it is not that those domino`s will fall because of computer failure,they might fall because the humans in leadership positions choose those paths in response to the total world situation.

-- bud (lurker@computers edge.com), February 03, 1999.

If there is one thing that is needed in this country is a break from the follower mentality that always ask for someone else to tell me what to do...to do the study, the analysis, and then just give me a 20 second sound bite on what's happening and why... The dominoes are many and the directions they can fall are several. I like the rubber band analogy I read recently (sorry don't have the link) where things pulling from different directions cause the rubber band to snap in the middle. And then there was the Jenga puzzle... so even the analogies are appropriately creative.

No one can reduce the history that brought us to this moment into anything less than a book. I have printed so much 'stuff' on the many issues and distributed volumes of it. (Having recently discovered papercrete technology I'm going to use the paper I don't keep for historical value to make bricks for my storage building!)

Real life is complicated...real issues cannot be reduced to some clarified soup for toothless consumption... you have to think and digest and analyze for yourself on this one; especially since, just as every company will have challenges unique to itself, so will every individual.


-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), February 03, 1999.

To the guy earlier who said DGI's do not look at this sight. I was once a DGI and then I was a skeptic.....Then I read this page and became a GI and a non-skeptic....As a matter-of-fact I tell all my DGI friends to have a look at this sight.

So I do agree that we need to give the DGI's and Skeptics some hard facts...It will help in the long run!!!!


-- PMM (grute22@yahoo.com), February 03, 1999.

"For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost." - Unknown

-- Reporter (foo@foo.bar), February 03, 1999.

Domino effect is very simple...Let's say you're a manufacturer. You buy various widgets from your suppliers, use them to build doohickies which you sell to other businesses. You do all your Y2K prep, your factory is all set, but when the day hits your Type B Widget supplier goes down. You can no longer manufacture doohickies. Now your customers who need doohickies to build their products can no longer operate either. And so on.

GM has 100,000 suppliers, with of course some redundancy--the estimate I've seen is that GM can't build cars if over one percent of their suppliers go down. And of course everyone depends on power. 40% of power comes from fossil fuel plants, which depend on railroads. Railroads depend on power to operate switches and computers. Both depend on telecommunications, which itself depends on power once the generators run out of gas. Railroads also depend on the oil industry, which depends on the power grid to operate refineries and pumping stations. (That's right, they've got zillions of BTU's potential energy right there, but still get their power from the grid.) All of this is coordinated by the banking system, which of course also depends on power and telecommunications. Etc., etc. And every one of these industries is in a race to complete extensive Y2K repair before the deadline.

Saw a neat essay recently on GN. Asked, what is the fault tolerance of modern society. We generally operate with up to one percent systems failure counting everything, he said, and we have enough redundancy to work around that. But if the failure rate suddenly goes to ten percent, that's a whole different ball game.

Does this mean no food for a year? Who knows? I tend to think the level of production will just go way down, but not to zero...that there will be shortages of everything, Soviet style lines for bread and toilet paper, which because of my storage I won't have to stand in, ha ha. But it could be worse. Worse is when the people repairing systems or just holding things together with chewing gum go home to take care of their families. Worse is when production goes so low that people starve, including the people who knew how to get things going again. If that happens you better have your nonhybrid seed, cause it ain't coming back anytime soon if no one's there who can bring it back.

In any case, if you're willing to share with your neighbors there's no realistic limit to how much food you could put to use.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), February 03, 1999.

An example of "interdependencies" .. without the technicalities:
Liza says to Henry: "Henry! Fetch me some water!"
To which Henry says ... I can't, dear Liza ...
So Liza asks... Why not?
And Henry replies...
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Well, fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, well, fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, then fix it.
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza? With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
With straw dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw.
The straw is too long dear Liza, dear Liza, the straw is too long dear Liza, too long.
Well, cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, well, cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, then cut it.
With what shall I cut it dear Liza, dear Liza? With what shall I cut it dear Liza, with what?
With an axe dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, with an axe dear Henry, dear Henry, an axe.
The axe is too dull dear Liza, dear Liza, the axe is too dull dear Liza, too dull.
Well, sharpen it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, well, sharpen it dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it.
With what shall I sharpen it dear Liza, dear Liza? With what shall I sharpen it dear Liza, with what?
With a stone dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a stone dear Henry, dear Henry, a stone.
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza, the stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.
Well, wet it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, well, wet it dear Henry, dear Henry, then wet it.
With what shall I wet it dear Liza, dear Liza? With what shall I wet it dear Liza, with what?
With water dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, with water dear Henry, dear Henry, with water.
In what shall I fetch it dear Liza, dear Liza? In what shall I fetch it dear Liza, in what?
In a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, in a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, in a bucket.
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole...
... and so it goes ...
Everything depends on everything else .. interdependencies (with a minimum of technicalities:
Here's an over-simplified version:
Electricity -> Telephones -> Railroads -> Coal mines -> Refineries -> Electricity
Power plants all over coordinate their generation signals by telephone...
Telephones companies need electricity to operate...
Railroads need diesel fuel to run...
Railroads carry coal to the power plants...
Coal mines run on electricity and diesel fuel...
Refineries need electricity to produce diesel fuel...
Hope this helps...

-- Dan (DanTCC@Yahoo.com), February 03, 1999.

The current "acceptable" failure rate is really closer to 99.999% (one error (failed part) in every ten thousand - with good companies striving for less than 6 sigma (two orders of magnitude lower!).

More tolerant industries - aircraft departure rates, for example - have lower levels now for non-critical events - 10-15% often leave late. But aircraft "falling down" rates are back at the 1-3 per year level - for the whole US.

Look at "telephone failure rates" for landlines (not cell phones) - also very, very low nationally.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), February 03, 1999.

Take the explosion at the Ford Motor Co. River Rouge plant. "The power station served six Ford factories: A Mustange assembly plant and parts factories that make such things as engines, doors, hoods and glass. If production doesn't resume quickly, work could be slowed at 16 of the No. 2 automaker's 20 North American assembly plants." 10,000 workers from this one plant were told to stay home a day after the blast.


-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), February 03, 1999.


Sometimes people will only "get it" when it's made personal.

Ask a person to think about what they would DO if the power was out at their house for ... three days ... two weeks ... one month ... three months.

Then ask them to "think" about "what if" the power was out in their city for ... three days ... two weeks ... one month ... three months.

Now ask them to "think" about "what if" the power was out in their state for ... three days ... two weeks ... one month ... three months.

Ask them to come up with all the things that would "work" or would "not work" in each situation, and what they would personally need to DO.

If you start them thinking about the personal impact of things not working around them, and they can "get" that, then they may be ready to "get" the articles and read them, then study more, then read books, then get ready, etc., etc.

Education is progressive. One concept builds on the next, then the next, and so on...


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 03, 1999.

Here are two excellent analogies you can use to help explain the domino effect to people. The first is "The Indianapolis 500 (Efficiency Isn't the Same as Capacity)" at this link:


The idea behind this analogy, basically, is that although a car race can be run with only 70% of the cars that had been originally scheduled, the race could not run if only 5% of each car (the tires of each) did not work.

The second analogy is "I, Pencil" which describes all the stages that happen between getting a tree in the forest to your hand in the form of a pencil. There are many different stages of production and distribution that happen at different companies before you get to hold a pencil. No particular company or individual knows all the steps involved. Each step and company in the process is crucial.

You can read "I, Pencil" at:


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 03, 1999.


A msterful application of a great old song from days gone by.



-- Bob Walton (waltonb@kdsi.net), February 03, 1999.

Next year both those who are learning what Y2K implies, and those who are not, will occupy the same world. Those who learned enough to make themselves ready for what that world may be, so far as they were able, will have a somewhat better chance to survive there than those who did not or would not learn, and did not prepare.

Preparation may turn out to be unneeded. This is not a life-threatening error. Whereas if things develop otherwise, lack of preparation may be.

I don't think any brochure or sermon can make up for a lack of curiosity.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 04, 1999.


"Magnum Opus"? I'm blushing.

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), February 04, 1999.

Steve -

Well, just think of that as Latin for "big ol' book!" 8-}] Seriously, I'm adapting some of your slides for a small community presentation next week. A very valuable resource. Thanks.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), February 04, 1999.

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