Connections ... excerpt from book ... video recommended by North : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Recommended on Gary North's site yesterday is the 1979 television program Connections by James Burke. This excerpt is from the book ... you can read more at the link below.

"In the gathering darkness of a cold winter evening on 9 November 1965, just before sixteen minutes and eleven seconds past five o'clock, a small metal cup inside a black rectangular box began slowly to revolve. As it turned, a spindle set in its centre and carrying a tiny arm also rotated, gradually moving the arm closer and closer to a metal contact. Only a handful of people knew of the exact location of the cup, and none of them knew that it had been triggered. At precisely eleven seconds past the minute the two tiny metal projections made contact, and in doing so set in motion a sequence of events that would lead, within twelve minutes, to chaos. During that time life within 80,000 square miles of one of the richest, most highly industrialized, most densely populated areas in the Western world would come to virtual standstill. Over thirty million people would be affected for periods of from three minutes to thirteen hours. As a result some of them would die. For all of them, life would never be quite the same again."


-- Ron Rodgers (, February 27, 1999


This episode of "Connections" had a lot to do with Peter de Jager becoming concerned about Y2K. Here's an excerpt from an interview the BBC had with de Jager:


THE NET: Is this the first time we've seen a problem of this scale come along, well obviously the Year 2000 only comes along once but have we come across a similar situation or is it going to be much worse than we're ever seen before?

PETER DE JAGER: We've never had anything like this. This is totally brand new. We've never had a system-wide failure. The closest we can come to events like that might be blackouts. In fact one of the things that got me into this and got me fired up about it was a show `Connections' by James Burke. The first instalment was an exposi of the great blackout on the Eastern Seaboard and all of that happened because of one single power switch that did what it was supposed to do but had a very unexpected consequence. Well the Year 2000 is power switching, it's calculations, day calculations, millions upon millions of them in programmes all over the world that are all set to fail on a particular time, that's the only thing that is even close to this type of problem.


-- Kevin (, February 27, 1999.

Last night I rented the video, The Trigger Effect, that was recommended by Gary North. It's all about what happens when the grid goes down. It's a downer of a movie and pretty boring. So don't watch it for its entertainment value because it has none. But it does offer some good insights into how people may/will react to a power failure...

...Got your guns and ammo yet?

-- John (, February 27, 1999.

At my house we watched PBS showings of James Burke's series (at least two) years ago and we are confirmed systems thinkers...Great series...a must network TV by fathoms.

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 27, 1999.


James Burke's series has always been one of my favorites. I never did get to see the one about the 1965 blackout. But, I think my life-long interest in "the big picture" is a reason why I was able to grasp Y2K potential threat so quickly last year.

-- Kevin (, February 28, 1999.

We also rented The Trigger Effect and found it to be somewhat boring and slow paced. It did send our imaginations reeling as we watched the black out and the consequences. Some of the decisions made by the main characters are in question but, there again, I think we are/will see bad decisions regarding Y2k.

If the grid goes down, things are going to be terrible.

I saw it posted before and I beleive it now, Get out of the Cities.

-- Linda A. (, February 28, 1999.

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