The Most Significant Line From Senate Report...greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
All of us read the news differently, even reporters and editors. Being neither, I thought the most signifcant line in yesterday's Senate report was:
"The international situation will be more disturbing. Those who suggest that it will be nothing more than a 'bump in the road' are simply misinformed."
Many sources I read didn't even include this line in their summary articles of the report. Where were they when many of us here were writing unanswered letters, articles and emails to the press a year ago, asking their support for seriousawareness articles - not "Will your toaster work?" For people new to this forum, the Senate report reads very similar to the contents many old threads here. You are a remarkable bunch of characters.
My question is: Now that y2k is about to be invaded by the mainstream press, how much responibility should they share for refusing to act earlier?
-- PNG (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 25, 1999
There will probably be quite a difference between how much responibility they should share and how much they acutually do share (if any) . Instead, there may be a search for scapegoats: As was said said in the film Casablanca: Round up the usual suspects.
The Media. They are businesses. They exist because of money. It is always money. That is the bottom line: What sells, regardless of if it is newspapers, magazine, television, radio (ratings) - follow the money.
If they find a story with 'legs' that JQ Public is interested in then Y2K will be relegated to the back burner once again - just as happened last July, and again after last Thanksgiving.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), February 25, 1999.
PNG --- I agree completely. One long litany of U.S. problem areas and then THAT statement. I have felt for the past six months that the greatest Y2K exposures will be long-term (2000-2005) and tied to international risks, tensions, crises. And, of course, Y2K takes its place as one of several factors in that mix, obviously, not the only one.
I expect U.S. government to use as light a hand internally as it can to keep Americans as motivated and morale-up as possible to support projection of power overseas (including troops in Middle East and Asia). The folks at home aren't going to be willing to sacrifice much (read: oil, commodities, goods) if there are boots on their heads.
Also, on a simpler level, many millions of people around the world are simply going to suffer badly because of this, probably die. Amidst the tensions, new calls are going to come for a revamped UN ("this must never happen again to the world").
I don't think Bill and Hillary are half as interested in retaining power in the U.S. (boring) as becoming players during that period internationally .....
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 25, 1999.
PNG -- Sorry, I realize I largely went OT there. I'm not as convinced as you are that Y2K will be invaded by the mainstream press, both because of panic suppression pressures by the gov and simply because the press is hilariously computer illiterate. They really don't GI on lots of levels. We tend to forget that while Y2K (as you have so wisely pointed out) is primarily a cultural problem, it remains a thorny, complex technical problem, needless to say. I am not optimistic that the press will bear responsibility for past transgressions OR act now.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 25, 1999.
I have to go with BigDog on this one. Can anybody think of one single news item that is technical in nature that the mass media has gotten right? Let's make a list of technically oriented news items that the mass media has been way off-base on; global warming, ozone holes, gun control, global cooling, nuclear power, alar, low level radiation, HIV not causing AIDS, the so-called budget surplus, et cetra.
Now some of these require sophisticated knowledge (example the budget "surplus" - you really do need some accounting or bookkeepping skills to wade through it). However others are just very simple arithmetic and common sense once you look up the true numbers.
For the mass media to accurately report and understand Y2K would be completely out of character. Don't expect it, sorry say... Expect the worst from the US mass media and you won't be disappointed, with luck you might even be pleasantly surprised (maybe!). Expect it to be sandwiched between other stories, concentrating on the trivial, blaming "right-wing survivalist kooks", etc.
BigDog - as for it being a cultural problem, yesterday Ted Wright (who wrote a survival book) was saying that if everybody would prepare for Y2K, by May we could all be very prepared. This statement is both true and worthless (hint: EVERYBODY). If even 25% of EVERYBODY prepared, it will still be a disaster IF electric power is lost for a significant time period. There just aren't enough people that are looking forward enough to plan for Y2K in the general populace.
-- Ken Seger (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 25, 1999.
If I see Peter Jennings deliver a Y2K blurb with that patronizing, condescending smirk on his face just ONE more time, I am going to shout many nasty things at my television!
We cut the cable last month, and I've been trying to live off network news. No wonder I'm anemic and depressed. Thank goodness for NPR and PRI, but even they don't seem to understand what's going to be happening soon...
-- Arewyn (email@example.com), February 25, 1999.
Thats why, if possible to locate, I prefer reading the source document.
The press edits in their mind as well as on paper (or not well). Somehow I doubt the press will accept responsibility for reporting the partial story. Sort of like the corporations and Congress backing Y2K lawsuit limitations. Protection of the self livelihood rather than the global impact on peoples lives.
Its just amazing to me when people and the press just dont get the BIG picture!
Rob, .... If they find a story with 'legs' that JQ Public is interested in...
I suspect THAT one is going to be health care. It doesnt threaten bank runs and it has sensation potential.
Ken , Dont forget the Vanity Fair article. That WAS well done.
Arewyn, At least we have ring-side seats at how America perceives Y2K through the ABC, NBC and CBS filter.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 25, 1999.
It's easy for the media to ignore wackos like us Yourdonites, and Gary North. Not so easy when the Senate starts to sound like us though. <:)=
-- Sysman (email@example.com), February 25, 1999.
This song makes me wonder?????????????
Your credit is good if you're a member. Just a token to help the people remember. All we've done for you. Nobody buys and nobody sells and nobody speaks 'til the chairman tells you. We're gonna be your religion throw those others away.
(Chorus) Fair exchange for your freedom. Fair exchange for your life. Hail the new perfect order. Ending trouble and strife. No one can refuse our offer it's a fair exchange!
Your on file, our computer knows what's best for you. We will provide the solution, for the rest of you. Safety and peace, the terror will cease. Forget everything the fanatics tell you. Now you can worship the leader. All he wants is your soul.
We're under control, never worry. Always watching you. Now you're a part of the program. We'll be using you. What do you want, we know what you need. Get out of line, we eliminate you. All for the good of the people. Better one man should die.
Kansas 1982. Tman
-- Tman (Tman@IBAgeek.com), February 25, 1999.
Listening to Headlines News today, I hear that market analysts are now saying that y2k is not going to be a factor in stock projections since it is a "one of a kind" event and does not reoccur. In fact, they said y2k will have a silver lining and they are predicting windfalls for the soup and battery companies. Go figure.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 25, 1999.