A discussion with a DRGI friend...

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

Last night I got together for beers with an old pal I hadn't seen in a while who DRGI (Doesn't Really Get It). I realized that there is probably another category of folks. He's aware of the problem, has heard it talked about but has never made all the connections. It's not willful DWGI, not ignorant DGI, not denial FGAI (Forget About It).

This guy is a computer guy, a PC database programmer for small companies - MS Access is his forte. But he never reads the newspaper, magazines or books. Doesn't watch much TV. Very intelligent, yet not aware of a lot in the way of current events. His question, was basically, "OK, so how will this affect me?"

Anyway, I presented the whole mess in three simple points. Here's a brief distillation. (This may not be REALLY how I feel about it, but I had to put it into terms he would relate to)

1. Before Rollover - This is the most urgent part. And, it has the least to do with actual technical problems. Could go in any direction.

Government and BigBiz are engaging in a campaign of public statements saying "there will be minor problems, but don't worry, we've got it under control." Underneath that, the evidence is difficult to get that the problems will indeed be minor. There are a lot of loud-mouths out there screaming from the rooftops that it's going to be TEOTWAWKI. This is going to spook the herd may and cause banks runs which may crash the system. If Gov and BigBiz had been more forthright from an earlier point with the information they were releasing, even if it was bad, this may have calmed down the loud-mouths and lessened the spook factor. This may have led more people to make prudent preparations rather than waiting til the last minute.

At this point, rather than becoming MORE forthright, Gov and BigBiz are gearing up the disinformation machine. This will only make the loud-mouths scream louder, and when problems become apparent, spook the herd even more.

2. Rollover - The most obvious aspect requiring the most technical work.. It will probably be somewhat anticlimactic.

There will be problems, and at this point it's impossible to tell how serious. Many of the problems caused at rollover may not be apparent right away. We discussed Embedded Systems, which he had no awareness of. We discussed JAE, electrical generation and distribution. Electricity is the lynchpin.

3. After Rollover - The least obvious at this point, but the most likely to cause the biggest problems.

Most countries and smaller companies are not as on top of the problem as in this country and BigBiz. A lot of remediation programming will introduce unknown bugs that won't be caught until bad data shows up. There will likely be an economic downward spiral as companies get into trouble either because of their own problems, problems with suppliers, or clients not being able to pay their bills. Suppliers from other countries will be among the biggest concerns.

None of this happening in a vaccuum. Much of the rest of the world is ALREADY in economic trouble, and this is taking resources away from remediation efforts. Other countries' 1999 problems will exacerbate their 2000 problems.

At this point, there was a long silence between us. I mean like 5 or 10 minutes, which in a noisy bar is an eternity. He had a serious look on his face. The wheels were spinning. He was clenching his jaw.

He asked me a million questions, which I answered, we got into the "wilder" aspects of NWO, the fractional reserve scam, media control, stuff like that.

Then we talked about things he and others can do in advance to protect themselves. I didn't say to take out all his money from the bank and but a shotgun. Rather, be prepared for a weird winter and the possiblity of a depression after. This guy is lucky in that he's in a position to adapt to anything that may happen. We talked about all those people who won't be as lucky.

Anyway, I don't know yet if I converted a DRGI to another part of the foodchain or not, but, if nothing else it was a good exercise for me in explaining what I know. Gotta go now!

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 13, 1999


I think you've got a convert! :)

Good job!

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), February 13, 1999.


Yes, good job. Finding ways to simplify but get to the personal impact lessons of Y2K is a major challenge.

At the Oakland Year 2000 gathering they suggested seeing Y2K as a "shadowed" mid-point in an extended time-line. Before ... During ... After. Aim your thoughts at "after" and be prepared for anything before then.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 13, 1999.

Some of you have more stamina than me....I no longer have the energy no inclination to convert anyone to get prepared just in case TSHTF. But it's interesting to hear about other's experiences. Keep us posted of your friends progress.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 13, 1999.

bardou, I know what you mean about not having the energy to "convert" anyone else. I just went thru that. But, think about it...the more people that are prepared will make the whole thing play out a little easier ie: if your friends and family prepare-even a little-it putsthat much less pressure on you to help them when the time comes. I don't pontificate anymore but if an opportunity presents itself, I go for it. It's less stressful and probably more effective. When I'm relaxed, I sound less like one of those crazy survivalists. rick

-- rick (little_engine_th@_could.com), February 13, 1999.

pshannon, way to go! How about following that by giving him a printed copy of the Vanity Fair article now to strengthen your conversation? (there's one online somewhere but can't find the URL right now.)

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 13, 1999.

good synopsis pshannon. I can understand people losing the required energy for "converting" DGI'S to GI'S, having received many funny looks and dismissive/aggressive responses from those who I've tried to explain it to. But I still think it really is worth it....to explain to your parents how to save their retirement fund from oblivion, to explain to $-poor friends how to cover their arses against hard times, to explain to friends why it's a good time to go get cash rather than credentials, to spell out the considerable probability of TEOTWAWKI to friends and strangers - to give them a chance to bunker down or party to oblivion.

Doing these things seem seems to be very valuable. For the Christians out there these seem like just the kinds of good deeds one could put on ones Curriculum Vitae for your heavenly passport application. For us heathans who evaluate the world in different manners, it still seems to earn us brownie points...makes our visit to this planet more worthwhile somehow if we help people out.

It does hurt when you get a negative reaction after trying to explain y2k, but it is noble to try.

-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), February 14, 1999.

Strange being a Prosylatiser, isn't it?

I'm an access developer, too. send him to:


Access can be rat's nest of Y2k problems.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), February 14, 1999.

Thanks, Lewis. I'll do just that!

To all the discourged proselytizers out there, all I can say is - It won't be much longer. Fairly soon (TOO soon? not soon ENOUGH?) we'll know whether our efforts were wasted or in vain. Hopefully wasted...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 14, 1999.

pshannon - well done!

bardou, et al - I know how you feel! one thing I've been trying to do is to get folks who become GI to concentrate on communicating what they've learned to at least one or two others...it's not a lot, but it does spread the word.

Arlin [who doesn't have quite as much of a problem with evangelizing...:-) ]

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), February 14, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ