With today's news, has a SHIFT occurred? And now what?

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Just thinking about the impact of the many front page articles on the Senate report along with the USDA report on the food supply that Sysman just posted. I've got to think that this is just the beginning of the mainstream media/press taking Y2K seriously.

Could it be that the SHIFT we've all been waiting for has indeed occurred?

With today's news, I certainly no longer feel the obligation to proselytize the DGI's. The issue has been laid on the table for one and all to see and respond to.

Now the question is, how do I respond?

Do I simply and quietly continue my personal prep helping only those who ask for it? Or, Do I strike while the iron is hot and parlay the front page news into an opportunity to coordinate prep for my whole neighbor? Or, do I appeal to the local government to provide leadership in coordinating prep for our entire area? Or, Will a public panic force the government to coordinate Y2K for all of us much earlier than expected?

I feel like we've crossed a bridge in this thing and I'm trying to sort through the best approach for the next stage.

Comments anyone?

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), February 24, 1999


Hey, David, same page exactly.

Here's the true conundrum: are you SICK of Y2K, or what?

This weekend is our second city meeting, with larger city officials promising to attend. I'd expect a lot more turnout and interest at this one. The shift HAS occurred, or is occurring.

Anyway, if people suddenly start pushing YOU for information, instead of the other way around, would you enjoy teaching? Advising? If the "crazy MF, get OUT of my face" response is replaced by a genuine concern, would you continue to live in Y2Kworld, and serve?

Because you are correct: there is enough coverage going on such that you CAN retire if you wish. Do you want to?

I want to get off this informing boat and be put to actual work. Manual labor, even, for people who have no chance of ever becoming a GI (and couldn't afford to prepare, anyway)... and probably 1/3 of the nation will wake up on 1/1/2000 and still won't get it (SDGIs).

Aside, get this: I spoke to our city's Rotary Club last month - very concerned and interested. They requested couple days ago that I come back to speak again-- in SEPTEMBER!! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

What do you suppose you're actually GOING to do?

-- Lisa Bucher (lisab@shallc.com), February 24, 1999.

When "60 Minutes" ran their report last Nov. I said to myself, "That's it, now everybody's gonna catch on."

And then at New Year's I said to myself, "OK, now there's officially less than a year to go. The 12-31-98 repair deadline has been missed by virtually everyone, so now this thing's definitely gonna go mainstream."

Wrong both times.

Something tells me that half the population is in a perpetual stupor-- using up all its brain cells watching sitcoms and soap operas, and convinced that Dee Cee's Benevolent Nanny State will take care of all needs.

Of those who have not been stupidfied yet, most so desperately WANT y2k to be a non-event, they seize on any little tidbit of good news, such as the B.S. coming from most gov't officials and Fortune 500 PR depts.

Until the 6 o'clock news shows the first video clip of a bank run or a fist fight over the last can of Who Hash at the local Tons O'Grub, I think most will do nothing.

I don't look for the herd to stampede until at least the fall.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), February 24, 1999.


The last shift in Y2K awareness was between Thanksgiving and New Year. The "60 Minute" segment on Y2K around Thanksgiving was a part of the shift.

This week's news may make it harder to buy specific preparation items, like a kerosene heater. But, this still won't wake the public up. The general public will not take Y2K seriously until they know about a failure that would affect them personally. Or, down the road, Y2K affecting the stock market is something the public might notice.

Most Americans will never hear about Washington D.C.'s Y2K problems this month, and a majority will never hear about the Senate Committee report. We do have some new articles this week, though, to show people just becoming aware of Y2K.

Maybe now we will have the self-assuredness of what we know to contact our city and town officials about Y2K issues, without worrying if we'll be considered kooks. That could be the biggest significance of this week's news.

Here are two useful links.

Community preparedness:


A Y2K handout that can be mailed anonymously to neighbors:


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 24, 1999.

David, it seems the USDA story i posted is from 12/22/98 (oops 1998). Don't know why NewsMax put yesterday's date on it, except to make it sound better with the Senate report. Go figure! <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), February 24, 1999.

What I've been wondering, is does the government WANT people to prepare? If they do, we are fast approaching the time to get serious about it (if not past time). This Senate report could very well be the beginning of the serious effort. Yes, 60 Minutes and the Press has reported, but this is the first "alarmist" report actually coming from the governmentto make front pages of newspapers across the country. I'd like to believe they want us to be ready, but I still have a healthy dose of skepticism.

-- Online2Much (ready_for_y2k@mindspring.com), February 24, 1999.


Senator Bennett and Rep. Horn want people to prepare.

John Koskinen wants Horn to go far, far, away (and sheep to go baaack, baaackk to sleep), or at least that's what he said:

[snipped from SF Gate]

Koskinen praised Horn for bringing attention to the issue but said, ``When the dust gets settled we'll find that I was more right than he was'' in predicting the federal government would find solutions in time. ``I'm delighted that he is going to be out of business here soon.''

Opinion: either Koskinen has a heart of pure lead, or he's just plain stupid. I suspect the former.

Koskinen is working for a man - or rattlesnake, whichever you prefer - that has been deeply cornered. The Republicans know this: he won't survive the Broaddrick (and subsequent "bimbo") fiasco. If there's a time to go partisan about Y2K, it's now. Possibly the Rs have wisened up to what the implications of all those EOs are, as well.

Remember what Newt G. said last year [to paraphrase] "Y2K is a total downside risk to the Administration." It was evident even then that it would be used as a political weapon, if possible. Never in this whole freaking mess has any part of the government publicly stated the true risk to real people, excepting Dodd, Bennett, Horn, Morella and a couple others.

It's the same ol' shee: they wouldn't give a rat's ass about people preparing IF IT DIDN'T INCLUDE CASH WITHDRAWALS AND ASSET LIQUIDATION.

Every single GI in the gov.org fully intends to let the MEDIA push Y2K. And the media is starting to realize this is a WAY long-term cash cow story---- let 'em run!

Has anybody seen Koskinen's letter that he was sending out to the 87K mayors in the country? That should answer any questions about whether the govt. wants people to prepare for Y2K. Remember, Y2K is LOCAL. The problems will be painful only locally and fixed only locally. And voters only vote locally.....

-- Lisa (lisa@work.still), February 24, 1999.

Small shifts, slowly turning dial.

An "event" level Y2K happening will capture attention. Meanwhile back at the community front, it gets easier for the self-elected teachers.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 24, 1999.

I agree with you David. The volume was turned way up this week. Y2K has been all over TV for the last few days. There's an army surplus store in Bethesda, MD (near NIH and the Navy hospital the president uses) that recently hung a big sign in the window reading "Y2K HQ."

Things are changing.


-- Buddy (buddy@bellatlantic.net), February 24, 1999.

I visited my states Y2K website today and as usual was just left with that all unknowing feeling of what my family and more importantly what my community should be doing to prepare.

I have sent emails out to my state and local level today as follows:


I have scoured your web-site again for an update, but am still left with that terrible unknowing feeling. I find it disturbing that a problem of this magnitude is only being addressed at the government and business level. Don't get me wrong I appreciate the obvious over- whelming efforts that are being put into addressing this problem at it's source. However, I keep coming across the same bug-a-boo of agencies and businesses although feeling pretty sure that they are going to be ready just can't guarantee anything.

I am reading how contigency planning is being set up just in case everything doesn't go as smoothly as we all must hope for. All the focus appears to be with government agencies and businesses being prepared to deal with the worst. There seems to be no focus for preparation at the community level. I would have thought that preparing communities to deal with any difficulties along with all the government agencies and businesses would go a long way in alleviating any panic situations that might arise.

I hardly think little bits of irrelevant information focusing on whether kitchen appliances and such in the home are going to work and telling people to have a little extra food and water is really going to help. It seems disproportionate with the type of contingency planning that is going on at the government and business community level.

I am more interested in understanding how my family and the rest of my community along with the outlying communities are going to be expected to cope with the same unforeseen eventualities that the governments and businesses appear to be planning for. There appears to be such a negative stigma attached to this problem that it is difficult for individuals to address it let alone communities. However, as I said all focus appears to be on helping government agencies and businessess address this issue whilst the public is only being spoon-fed irrelevant pieces of information about their home appliances, etc. and being told what not to do like stockpile food and withdraw their life savings. I personally don't find this type of information very helpful.

I think the issue goes beyond whether my microwave oven is going to work, or even whether I am going to be able to fly in a plane come the end of the year. I am more concerned with how bigger issues are going to be dealt with and how my community is going to deal with any problems that might arise. I really do not feel a certain amount of comfort in continually being told to treat this like a possible impending snow-storm. What concerns me is that if we do encounter problems people shall have heard enough about this problem and may not have the same degree of security that they have after a snow- storm that power and essential services shall be restored. I think this could pose quite a problem for panic to ensue. How are communities going to deal with that? I realise that government agencies and businesses shall be prepared to a certain degree, but the public and communities shall not. They might even feel quite angry at having being mislead to a certain degree. After all we may not just be facing A snow-storm. There could be a FEW snow-storms. I personally think that the analogy of a snow-storm is very misleading. I think the graphic displayed at the Canadian government's Year 2000 website is more apt. that of the Titanic.

I read an article the other day of how Portland, Oregon, are planning to prepare their communities. They are setting up a massive campaign to help their communities prepare. I was wondering if something like this has been considered for my own state.


-- Awareness (preparation@communitylevel.com), February 24, 1999.

Diane: You and I have been on the same wavelength regarding our thoughts for a continuation of "slow and steady" in the absence of a panic triggering event, and share the hopes that building community can potentially bring during this period, for however long it lasts.

Gang: I still believe that most people are asleep. Being asleep, they don't hear or see anything - yet. Some will, more and more in fact as awareness increases, as it has been since around Thanksgiving, but do not be disappointed if large numbers of people don't get it because of today's news. We are sensitized to Y2K, most people have other things on their minds - that is, if they have anything at all on their minds.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), February 24, 1999.

I think the markets will wake up the middle of October. The clear division of views fueled by the labeling of y2k aware as extremists is entrenched. Americans do not change opinions, images or ideas quickly. Example: The U.S. is the only country in the world still measuring in pints, inches, acres, and Fahrenheit --The small country in Africa (can't remember the name) that was the only other holdout changed a few years ago.

Most will shift around the middle of January next year.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), February 24, 1999.

And I thought the markets would catch on in 1997, But I was wrong.

-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), February 24, 1999.

I think for most folks, today's Y2K reports were just a blur on the way to the sports page or comics.

The talk around the office today was about people settling their summer time shares in Montauk and Fire Island. I had a brief conversation about Y2K with a new coworker today. His response was "I have faith that they'll get it fixed in time." I let the subject drop...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 24, 1999.

What I find interesting, is what companies are doing "behind the scenes." My husband came home today and told me that the company he is contracted out to will be spending over $1 Billion in remediation costs for Y2K. Another thing they are going to do: they have a huge commercial size generator next to their building already. At the rollover, they plan to have a tanker full of gasoline sitting next to the generator. (Well protected, of course.) I bet there is a lot more contingency planning going on after reading that article.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), February 24, 1999.

Now that Bubba's trials and tribulations are over (oops, guess Juanita was designed to take Y2K off the front page again)... Look for bimbo explosions to distract the sheep. Then, deep in the paper, look for the Y2K stories. The GI's are increasing. I went to a major chain sporting goods store to add to my ammunition supply (to the posers/trolls, when you're hungry you'll understand why), and just for kicks, I checked their supply of water filters and freeze dried foods. This was in a store just outside of Orlando, FL FYI! 30 pkgs of freeze dried foods (the nasty flavors only) with racks of empty shelves, 2 cheap water filters, with the other 6 models sold out. My favorite ammo on back order. Just a chance occurance? I doubt it. This is a major chain store that I drive to once a month to buy my plinking ammunition. I guess reality is SETTING IN. But in my opinion, it's setting in to no more than 30% of the population. The problems will not begin until September after the first GPS accidents begin to occur.

-- John Galt (jgaltfla@hotmail.com), February 24, 1999.

Diane said:
"Small shifts, slowly turning dial."
Hmmm, this got me thinking about "The Boiling Frog":
"Systems thinkers have given us a useful metaphor for a certain kind of human behavior in the phenomenon of the boiled frog. The phenomenon is this. If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, extactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death."

(from The Story Of B, Daniel Quinn)

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), February 24, 1999.

Was standing in the checkout line at the healthfood store tonight. The lights flickered off and on. The guy in back of me, and the checkout guy, and me all looked at each other "Y2k ?!?!" we all said. "Not yet" the checker laughed.

Power is getting to be top of mind, not their peecee or microwave oven falling out of the sky.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), February 25, 1999.


Concerning that frog thing - would you serve that with rice, beans or both? And geez - white or red wine? I thought I was done preparing, but now I'm not so sure.

-- Online2Much (ready_for_y2k@mindspring.com), February 25, 1999.

Regarding Diane, Arnie, the frog, et al:

Back in the seventies, when referring to the effects of inflation, Howard Ruff (remember him?) would say: "It's like being nibbled to death by ducks." :-)

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), February 25, 1999.

Lisa Bucher asked, "What do you suppose you're actually GOING to do?"

Not sure just yet. I would like to help as much as possible anyone who needs it, time permitting. Teaching/seminars are not out of the question. Along with everyone else here, I've learned so much about what to do and what to avoid that I would like to help others through that learning curve. But, I would prefer helping those in my community who are most helpless. But I can't do THAT alone.

I am very concerned that what alot of folks here have said is true; that is to say, recent news is insufficient by itself to effect the complete SHIFT. It definitely has STARTED and more and more people are in gear. But Americans in particular perceive themselves as being very insulated from the problems of the world or they trust that "someone" will fix it in time. I keep forgeting how dense we truly are. I wouldn't be surprised if people finally start "getting it" yet still don't prepare believing that the government will provide for them.

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), February 25, 1999.

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