MUST READ ARTICLE!! This is a classic! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is a must read article. Anyone concerned about possible negative effects of Y2K is a nut or at least of low I.Q., apparently. Sorry it's not hot-linked. Wonder if this guy will get flamed by some level-headed acknowledged experts?,5859,2209104,00.html

-- FM (, February 16, 1999


Whoops. Blew the URL. Gotta run now but will try to post it later. You can find the article though by checking press clippings at Look for the article "Y2k Disinformation Builds."

-- FM (, February 16, 1999.


-- Sysman (, February 16, 1999.

FM neglected to mention that there's a talk ack feature at the end of the ridiculous story. I suggest we go there and, uh, talk back.

-- Vic (, February 16, 1999.

Yeah, they've posted lots of "classics" at ZDNet the past few weeks. I think they were given the happy-face concession by the higher ups.

-- Nathan (, February 16, 1999.

Here's the response I left using the "talkback" thing: (upon submission, I got a thing saying my response would be reviewed by an editor. I won't be at all suprised if they edit it to oblivion)

Another source of misinformation that you fail to mention in your article: Advertising-revenue driven media sources such as this website, that have a vested interest in people not believing that there will be major problems. If people started to believe in the possibility of Y2K "meltdowns," well, we all know what would happen to advertising revenue and stock prices. Gotta hold that off for as long as possible!

Let's examine this cute little article here, and see where the misinformation (DISinformation) is really being plied:

"...But just wait till next year, say the Y2K alarmists. The fireworks will come from starving, frozen, gun-waving hordes rioting in the streets..."

As an alarmist myself (this means that I'm alarmed by the situation) I can assure you that neither I nor anyone else I have ever communicated with have ever expressed that there would be starving gun waving hoardes on New Year's. It'll take until March '00 for things to get to that point : (

"Doom - Here's their goofball scenario: Computers everywhere will choke when the calendar flips to 00. So will 50 billion embedded chips. The power grid will fail. No lights. No heat. No phone. No banks or ATMs. No juice for pumps, so no water, no gas. No gas means no food deliveries..."

Start with a statement like "here's their goofball scenario..." and you set up a superiority/inferiority dichotomy between the reader and the target that the writer DOES NOT want the reader to identify with . "I'm not a goofball, Paul, no! Not me! I'd be a goofball if I thought THAT would happen, but I'm not a goofball, so ... I guess THAT'S not going to happen!"

"It gets worse. . ." Yes, Paul, your sense of irony and playing into the hands of your propaganda masters DOES indeed get worse.

"The Red Cross is worried enough that it added a Y2K entry to its Web site, right up there with earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The National Guard is rumored to be drawing up mobilization plans, with a sanitized dry run in May. Even the straight-laced New York Times reported that 10 percent of the nation's top executives are stockpiling food, ordering generators, and buying guns. . . "

Ah, here we start to get into territory that we DON'T want the readers to follow up on, because they might actually learn a thing or two. No sources, no quotes, no URLs nothing. Followed by:

"Religious zealots have started relocating to remote Y2K survival sites: High 54 Ranch in Arizona, Prayer Lake in Arkansas, and God's Wilderness in Minnesota. New members are asked to bring food and ammo." . . .in the next paragraph. For emotional response. Starting to see how DISinformation works, class?

"So, is the sky really falling? Will 1/1/00 truly be the Day the Earth Stood Still? Should you buy K rations, and pack heat? Get real." . . . you're a real clever writer, Paul. REAL clever. Will you feel this good about yourself when you have blood on your hands? The blood of people who did absolutely nothing to protect themselves because they believed shills like you?

"Y2K misinformation comes from three sources. Most is from scare- mongering consultants, who gleefully predict companies will bleed $600 billion in fixes. Some larger Y2K firms are charging over $100,000 a day.

A lot comes from wide-eyed conspiracy crazies convinced the Feds will use such chaos to impose martial law, confiscate property, break up families, and create a new currency system, with piles of new bills stashed in Canadian warehouses. And the rest is from religious kooks bracing for Armageddon." . . . as you said earlier, Paul - "Get Real!" Yes, of course there are people doing and saying those things. It's the American way. But you are doing EXACTLY the same thing.

"Gulp - But businesses aren't stupid. The stock market and most big banks have already addressed the problem. So have the power companies, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council. They're all so terrified by endless litigation that they'll make sure they're ready to handle the dreaded 00." . . . point us to some examples here. ANYTHING. This is so generalized, it's meaningless. What, I'm supposed to believe YOU ??! I don't think so. How about some URLs for SPECIFIC businesses that have addressed the problem. How about URLs for SPECIFIC power companies that are OK. Oh, I forgot. This is not reporting. It's propaganda...

"Do you think people are over reacting or that we're all in more trouble than we know?"

Paul, I think we are all in big trouble. I think people are UNDER reacting. I think people should have been made aware of this years ago. I think your corporate masters have tasked you with doing whatever clever wordsmithing you can come up with to trigger emotional responses in your readers so as to make panic look goofy. Frankly, a little panic NOW, (or better yet, a year ago) would be healthy and save lives. But it's too late and your advertisers know it , and they just want to hold it off for another six months. After that, it's every man for himself...

-- pshannon (, February 16, 1999.

The article itself is in the twilight zone, but the majority of the talk back posts were interesting and enlightening to read.

-- Yude (, February 16, 1999.

Yea, Yude, I just went back and randomly read through about half the "talkback" responses. The writer of this article was basically preaching to the choir. The few bits that people wrote that didn't suck up to the author were so mild, they won't be noticed...

-- pshannon (, February 16, 1999.

Bet you a can of beans that he won't post it pshannon.

-- Chris (, February 16, 1999.


Bet your repsonse doesn't pass the "editorial review", not sycophantic enough...

-- Nathan (, February 16, 1999.

Actually, I think my impression of the "talkback" responses was mistaken. Reading more of them, it looks like about two-thirds of the respondants think there will be major problems and that the autor of the article is off base. I don't think they'll add mine to the mix, either. Haven't yet, anyway...

-- pshannon (, February 16, 1999.

Well, at least planes weren't falling from the sky. I quit zdnet sometime ago.

-- dave (, February 16, 1999.

LOL! Here's one response to the ZDnet article from one of the alarmists! Anyone recognize the name? Hee. Hee.

Name: Joseph Gaertner Location: everywhere Occupation: read the article I am one of the consultants scaring the h*** out of poor, innocent businessmen who are falling into a trance as I tell them about the terrors of Y2k and pull money out of their wallets as they stand there drooling like dogs. Oh, but wait, these business aren't stupid! And they have already addressed the problem, too! Somehow, in their trance like state, their project managers actually learned a methodology. And now there will only be brushfires. How nice. I feel much better now that you have imparted your assurances upon us. Maybe this means I can forget all about the SEC Y2k filings in which Ford states it will not complete it's mission critical system until mid-2000. What maybe, of course I can forget about that. And then I can forget it only took only two striking parts plants to bring GM to it's knees. No, no, I'll forget about that, too. And of course I'll ignore Chevron's SEC filing which said they do not have a prayer of finishing their mission critical systems in time. Maybe I'll just mentally scrap the whole concept of just-in-time manufacturing......Or, better yet, maybe I'll just forget I read your article.....

-- FM (, February 16, 1999.

I can't find anything about mission critical systems in either the Ford or Chevron reports. They say they have decided not to remediate all noncompliances, but this is pretty normal. I think the majority of (especially larger) organizations have elected to ignore trivial or inconsequential noncompliances in favor of what's important. If you can find either Ford or Chevron saying mission critical systems won't be fixed in time, I'd like to see this.

-- Flint (, February 16, 1999.

What a great bunch of consumers you are.

Are you all freakin' idiots?

You're just feeding the ZD troll's hit counter. Advertisers are charged by page hits. The whole column is a damn troll to get you to ZD's lousy website.

-- Feed The Counter (areyou@ll.idiots), February 16, 1999.

Ya got a point there Mr. Counter. Good thing Ed doesn't have advertisers too, wouldn't we be in trouble with Polyannas..ooooeeee!

-- Chris (, February 16, 1999.


They posted your response!

-- interested (, February 16, 1999.

For some reason, the person who started this thread also posted to euy2k. here's Rick's reponse:

"Ziff-Davis has gone out of the way recently to build 'buzz' about their online product and their TV show. Both are floundering badly.

One trick of online "journalism" (notice I put that in quotes) that's used to build a following for a news website is to take an absurd position, put commentary out there to be spread around the internet, and then set up an online feedback mechanism for people to call the author a butthead (or worse).

Wait a second. This sounds like ;-)

Whoops - but there's one difference. The whole exercise for a commercial "news" website is simply to drag people into the website so advertisers can get 'hits' on their banner ads. Stir up controversy. Enraged people are more motivated to go to a particular website that does not support their own personal point of view, and to voice that opinion. And the neat thing is: those enraged people will go back multiple times to see if their rage has been validated by someone else! So, again, an advertiser gets multiple hits from one incensed reader. It's a no-lose proposition for the advertisers and owner of the website!!

I'm letting this posting stay up, even though it's not related in any manner to the topic at hand. Consider it part of Rick's Freebie School of Onlining (no accredation; no credits given).

-- Rick Cowles (, February 16, 1999."

I would venture that "FM" (who I don't recognize) is a troll trawling for clickthrough for ZDNet. I'm such a rube...

-- pshannon (, February 16, 1999.

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