What would it take for you to change your mind?

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

Dear Reader,

Since the first of the year, there have been many positive news reports about public and private entities fixing Y2K-related problems. From my perusal of this forum, many readers are firmly convinced Y2K-related problems will create moderate to severe disruptions in the economy. Are there any news reports or events that might significantly change your mind about the probability and/or severity of Y2K problems? Do you believe the mainstream Y2K news reports are generally accurate?

Oh, can we have a thread where we minimize personal attacks? Please.

-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), March 31, 1999


2000-01-02 <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 31, 1999.

Oh, gosh, you're at it again.

Here is the short answer and it CAN'T change until sometime in Jan. 2000 at earliest due to Y2K disinformation, lack of information and misinformation (yes, on both sides), plus the uncertainty of embedded systems problems post 1/1/2000:

"No, there are no events or news reports that can significantly change my mind."


See the first paragraph above. This isn't paranoia, skepticism, panic-ism, but simple response to the nature of the situation as it must be throughout 1999, given the Y2K "information dynamic." Could we please drop this repeated effort to make nothing (a bump) out of something (Y2K) until we get to 2000 itself or darn close (say, October)?

Between now and October, it's all about preparation in the light of fundamental uncertainty.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

I think Sysman pretty much said it all, because we would prefer to wait until we see it before we believe it. The facts are: There is no way that anyone can predict or guarantee what is going to happen, but from what we've seen up until now with respect to human nature, it seems pretty certain that things are more likely to get screwed up than to be done right. The government and the media are not playing fair, cheating with their lists of critical systems and lying about what is actually compliant, so why should we trust anyone. It is much safer to simply be ready for anything. What I am wondering right now is why you are interested in changing our minds. What purpose does this serve to you or to us?

-- @ (@@@.@), March 31, 1999.

Yes, there have been many positive stories out there. However, not one of them have been convincing enough. So many of these stories have been proven false by the posters on this BB. They are full of statements that,while they are encouraging,are simply not proof. Statements such as "we expect to...","we intend to...","we hope to...",and "we are looking into..."are nice but they are speculation. Although, they may have the purest of intentions of being 100% complete by the end of the year,what happens to us if they are wrong. They can not assure me enough because I/we have trusted and trusted some more and are still being lied to. America has never had to deal with this type of problem before and although it may be fairly easy to fix the thing is have we waited too long. I do not believe it will be TEOTW by any means,but I do believe it will be more than a bump in the road for many of us. These days it is hard to be sure of anything. I simply go about my preparing and hoping for the best. I hope you do the same. I can't seem to be able to pick and choose who is telling the truth these days and who isn't. If it all turns out to be nothing. Well, I guess I was a sucker. But at least I knew where my priorities were. I do think I am a better person for having this experience and I know I will never take the convenience of our modern society for granted again. In such a busy busy world I have found time to be truly thankful for my family,health,and happiness. And no matter what at the start of next year I will make sure I still have those three things. Sorry to go on...

-- shellie (shellie@hotmail.com), March 31, 1999.

personally I think Sysman's a bit overly optimistic on this one - I'd settle for June 1, 2000, with no injuries or fatalities of any kind occurring in any way related to y2k issues AND all industrial facillities (including petroleum processing facillities) running at the same capacity they are now.

Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), March 31, 1999.

I would like to see public testing of the y2k rollover with positive results in every power generation station in the U.S.

It would also help to see the same for fuel pumping and distribution,telephone systems, water pumping stations, sewage treatment plants and railroad systems.

But I'd settle for just the power grid being a known success.

As far as changing my mind about the preparations we've made in our family -- my husband and I lived significant portions of our childhoods with our respective grandparents, who had survived two world wars and the Great Depression, plus a couple of police actions and recessions. Our grandparents always made sure they could produce a large part of their food. They knew basic skills and could fix most of the machines they owned. They kept an enormous amount of toilet paper on hand! We aren't doing anything our grandparents weren't doing forty years ago. They always warned us that "it" could happen again, and that we should always be ready to take care of ALL of our own needs.

The media? I believe the reports that certain systems have been tested successfully. I also heard the technician from our local hospital tell about rolling the HVAC system clock forward, which resulted in the need to replace the $13,000 unit -- the unit shut down and could not be restarted, nor the clock rolled back. He made this statement in an open y2k meeting, and this was NOT reported in our local paper. Other, more mundane, remarks were dutifully printed ("the phone company will be able to generate accurate bills"). I'm glad the HVAC unit will be replaced ahead of time, and I hope the hospital has the funds to do so. I wish I'd seen it in the paper, though.

We take what the media gives us with a grain of salt.

-- Helen (sstaten@fullnet.net), March 31, 1999.

I know Arlin. If the lights are still on 1/2, I'll feel MUCH better! Not great, but much better. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 31, 1999.


I will be absent again for about two weeks. I realize that no one really cares, I'm just letting y'all know that it will be safe to muddy up the place again. Try to keep the world in it's orbit while I am gone.

I have to go back to Ohio. Same place, but for some different type of hand holding. I tend to forget that my sister was also "Mom" to 6 others, and a few of them aren't handling things very well. BFN

check 6


-- sweetolebob (buffgun@hotmail.com), March 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

Whenever I have read yearly reports by publicly-owned corporations, I have always seen a statement by some independent auditing firm that they had examined the corporation's records and had found the financial figures in the report to be accurate. Sometimes there have been some notes about particular unusual details of the finances.

It has been my impression that the SEC has required such auditing and such statements, and that no reputable auditing firm would allow its approval to be so stated until it was satisfied that such was correct.

Why don't I see similar statements by independent auditors in all the 10-Q statements about Y2k status of corporations?

(The simple answer is that there hasn't been time to develop such auditing for Y2k status as there has been for financial status. Though I regret this, I understand why it is so.)

When I see auditing statements about Y2k status that are parallel to auditing statements about financial status in reliability, then I will trust reports of corporate Y2k status as much as I trust reports of their financial status.

We all know that there are enormous temptations for people to juggle the financial figures to make their companies look good. There are similar temptations for people to juggle their Y2k status reports for similar reason -- we'd all know this if the Y2k problem had been acknowledged longer ago.

Until we have auditing requirements on Y2k reports that match those on financial reports (and we won't -- there isn't enough time), for all entities such as governmental as well as corporate, we cannot believe that self-reporting of Y2k status is very trustworthy. The stakes are too high. There is too much human temptation to bend the truth when reporting Y2k status.

What can change my mind? Independently verifiable audited disclosures that are consistent with the happy-face reports.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

Remember not too long ago when twice in a span of two months the GAO caught the DOD _lying_ in its Y2k reports? Out-and-out _lying_?

Draw the obvious inference.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 31, 1999.

SOBob, I care, and my prayers go with you.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), April 01, 1999.

Consistant honesty, by independant verification.

-- R. Wright (blaklodg@aol.com), April 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

What would it take for me to change my mind that Y2K might be in the 7.5 range?

The answer is NOT seeing quotes like the following one from a March 22, 1999 article:


Spending on Y2K has also increased from 5 percent of all IT budget spending in 1997 to between 15 and 30 percent last year.

Why does that one little sentence bother me so much? Because of what Peter de Jager said in chapter five, pages 79-80 of his book "Managing 00: Surviving the Year 2000 Computing Crisis"...

[Capers] Jones also validates our estimation that an enterprise starting in 1997 is likely to get through only about 80 percent of its applications; if it waits until 1999, only 30 percent. And even conceding that only 30 percent of the applications may be critical to the business of the enterprise, that 30 percent is probably attached by data to another 40 percent of the other applications that won't make the transition in time. At best, the organization will be crippled; at the worst, it will no longer exist.

Mr. Decker, it's this simple: the die has been cast. Whatever problems are going to occur are a fait accompli that depends on when businesses and government agencies started their Y2K fixes.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), April 01, 1999.

Why should I change my mind? We LIKE our life the way it is structured now and not having a Y2K disaster won't change things for us. It turns out that making basic preparations improved our families life greatly.

Should you wish to change my mind for some reason, it would be easy. Just convince all the programmers, CIO's, CEO's, IT workers, and other people who are in a position to understand the problem, and I happen to know, that there is no problem. Convince THEM to forget preparations for disaster and I'll regard that as good news.

-- Art Welling (artw@lancnews.infi.net), April 01, 1999.

To be perfectly honest I don't know what would make me believe that Y2K will be OK. Because some stories about government progress seem so outlandish or admit lying it makes it very difficult to believe any government reports.

Two examples:

In August,1988, Senator Horn's report card indicated that the department of Education would not be ready until the year 2030! Now as of March 31, 1999, this department is listed as 100% compliant. They have accomplished what was supposed to take them 30 years in just 8 months! Even if Horn's report was extremely wrong and should have said 2003 it's still an incredible amount accomplished in 8 months. Things that make you go hmmmm.

The FAA claimed 99% compliance on September 29, 1998. Since that time they have issued at least two additional statements and each time that level of compliance has decreased. This one is a double edged sword. I hate to complain if they are being honest now and weren't in September, but shoot I just can't trust them one way or the other.

So . . . If this kind of thing happens in two departments of the Federal government how in the world do I or any of us know what to believe about other claims made by the government. Not to mention Defense has been caught lying at least twice about their status.

It puts all of us in a terrible bind. There doesn't seem to me to be any absolute way to evaluate the validity or verify the truth of any of the published news stories.

I don't want to spend lots of time and money preparing for a problem that has truly been fixed but I don't want to FAIL to prepare for a problem that might cause my four year old son and infant daughter to starve or freeze to death!

I have decided to do what most prudent people do. Buy Insurance in the form of having food stored, having access to a good water source, and having heat available for the cold months. I will do more as I can in case the "Bump" bounces us closer to the TEOTWAWKI end of the spectrum but I can't do it all. No matter what news comes out I will not be cancelling this insurance strategy until well after 01-01-2000.

-- CP (cmatp@aol.com), April 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker, let me make an additional point to your first statement. Not only have there been positive reports since the first of the year but also the much anticipated 1/1/99 meltdown did not occur. The Euro was predicted to be disasterous and it wasn't. None of the doom predictions came about. These two items convinced me that things will not be as bad as once predicted.

I think if you look at previous threads here you'll find that positive reports have "spin". Most people here do not trust any of these reports and conclude they contain mostly lies. I'm rather optimist and do not look at these reports as lies. Also these reports seem to indicate (to me) that the infrastructure triad will remain functioning on 1/1/00.

The "what ifs" seem to cloud the thinking here.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker, for someone who's very first post on this forum (that I am aware) started out by explaining how one could raid a Y2K "survivalist" house by wounding a family member who came out, then pick off the others as they came out to help, I would say you sure have some nerve requesting that we not engage in personal attacks. But, in fact, you are right -- personal attacks never accomplish anything. Then again, neither do intentionally inflammatory posts, do they?

I can't add a whole lot to what has already been said above. Its real simple, so try to follow: Y2K is a big unknown, it is a computer glitch that potentially affects everything that our modern society depends on: electric power, nuclear power, clean water, food supply, our banking system, etc.. It is now April 1999, nothing that counts is actually ready for Y2K yet -- they are working on it, spending lots of money on it, expect to make it on time, etc., etc., but as of today we have no significant "living examples" that we can point to with confidence. That makes many people very nervous; like maybe in fact it will turn out very badly, because in fact the Y2K problem will not get fixed on time. So, as "insurance" if you will, we are preparing as best as we can. If things turn out well, we have lost relatively little. If things turn out badly, then we have some measure of protection, as well as not being in the position of competing with those who have not prepared. This is about as simple as I can express it, I don't think it is all that hard to understand, and it is perfectly reasonable.

(Take care, sweetolebob, look forward to your return.)

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), April 01, 1999.

Certainly not the sanguine pablum spewed forth in the press. As A.J. Liebling said, 'the press is free to they who own one.' Who holds the notes on all those fancy newpaper buildings? The same crew that own the note on your house--banks. Do you think that banks don't wield influence with local editors over stories they run on, say, potential bank runs? My hackles are raised by the absurdist propaganda pronunciomentos issuing forth from our 'leaders' vis. Y2K. Nothing is confirmed until officially denied: I can't help but apply that sound rule to the PR shills when they tell us to keep our money in the banks, it's safe there. Maybe it is, maybe no, but one thing I know to an absolute certainty: they ain't gonna tell us if it's not. They can't, even if they were public-spirited: corporate executives have a fiducial, binding obligation to protect the shareholders of the corporation, and can be SUED by shareholders if they make public utterances that damage the corporation. But believe what you like, sir. (what's with the 'mister,' anyway? Sounds like some substitute teacher)

-- Spidey (in@jam.com), April 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker, WHAT is your point? Are you conducting a survey? ARE you trying to change our minds? If so...WHY? And you wonder why we are a suspicious bunch!!!??? Enquiring minds want (need?) to know!! Cat Nip

-- Cat Nip (puurfect@webtv.net), April 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

An example of what I need to change my mind about the probability and/or severity of Y2k problems:

Honest, accurate, complete answers to the "52 Y2K QUESTIONS ABOUT THE 92 PERCENT" posed in today's The Y2KNEWSWIRE.COM Daily Report at http://www.y2knewswire.com/19990401.htm

Excerpts from that list:

1.Where are the statistics showing system testing results?

4.Who independently verified the systems are now working (and where is their report...)?

8.Were any problems experienced when the systems went on-line, or did everything work perfectly?

9.Why didn't we hear announcements of agencies moving into the testing phase?

10.Why didn't we hear the announcements of agencies moving into the implementation phase?

14.Have the systems been end-to-end tested?

22.Have these federal systems been tested with local and state computer systems?

25.Have any self-reported compliance numbers been verified?

28.Have inter-agency data exchanges been tested?

29.How long will it take to fix the last 8% of the mission-critical systems?

31.What happens to government services if the last 8% aren't fixed?

33.Exactly how did the federal government finish testing and implementation in under three months when it takes well-coordinated companies at least a year to do the same?

35.Did the Clinton administration take the agencies' word on their compliance statistics without verification?

39.Why haven't there been any punishments for agencies caught lying about their compliance?

41.Will the federal government share its secret of software remediation miracles with private industry so that we can all get compliant in just a few weeks?

49.On what hard evidence should the public believe the claims of compliance, testing and implementation?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 01, 1999.

I disagree: Since january, there has been only ONE positive report (Ontario Hydro) and many thousand misleading and incomplete, but hopeful, reports as the government continues its massive propaganda campaign to mislead and misinform its citizens.

To convince me:

Power Plants: One truly integrated test, with the entire plant "remediated and all (known) clocks set ahead" at every power plant in the US and Canada for a period of 8 consecutive days covering one month-to-month turnover.

Power Plants: One "black start" drill on every shift at every plant.

Power Distribution: Black start from normal conditions. One "black start" "hookup" for every utility on every shift - where the utility restarts itself from total disconnect by brining power back up from adjacent utilities and its power plants.

Power Distribution: Black start from emergency conditions: Repeat above simulating telecom and satellite failures.

Natural Gas: 100% remediation and all-up integrated testing complete on all natutal gas companies in US, MExico, and Canada. During above grid tests, maintain ability to deliver gas to all residential and industrial customers.

Repeat, verify above distribution capability during simulated telecom and satellite failues. Repeat, verify distribution capability during regional blackout (TX, LA, OK, GA, Calgary) scenerios that would affect gas production or gas transmission to the NorthEast or from Canada.

Water: 100% remediation and testing complete on all US and Canada water distribution systems. Integrated testing complete with the (known) clocks set ahead for at least 8 days covering one month-month transition.

Water: Repeat above under emergency conditions (no power, no telecom, no satellites) simultating loss of power and control for at least one 3 day period.

Sewer: 100% remediation and testing complete on all US and Canada water distribution systems. Integrated testing complete with the (known) clocks set ahead for at least 8 days covering one month-month transition.

Sewer: Repeat above under emergency conditions (no power, no telecom, no satellites) simultating loss of power and control for at least one 3 day period.

Telecom: Same as water and power. (The tests so far are all labs runs under simulated conditions not including the thousands of local phone companies.)

Satellites: Same as water and power. (No known tests have been completed to date.)

Finance: Probably will be okay, if all services are available. If the above tests are not done, expect failure, panic, and bank runs.

FAA: Same as power and water: 8 day full-up integrated testing completed across one month-month transition. All national airports fully compliant and provided with capacity for 4 days independent power, fuel, and water for ALL services. All national airlines 100% compliant and tested. All airport support companies 100% compliant and tested. 75% car rental and at least 50% motel and hotel companies fully compliant and tested.

USPS: Same as power and water. In addition, MUST have fully demonstrated all FAA and airport systems fully operational and completely tested through their 8 day period.

Other comms: FedEX, UPS, airlines, DHL, etc. Same as power, water, and sewer systems. MUST have fully compliant and operationally tested FAA and airport systems.

Food: All major grocery stores in US and Canada 100% compliant and fully tested in warehouse, distribution, wholesale, retail, and restocking. At least 85% of all food manufactoring and production companies fully compliant and tested in ALL production lines with integrated testing complete and all known clocks and controller set ahead on all systems and processes, including warehousing and distribution.

Government: 100% critical systems complete at every level of government from national, state, regiional planning and control, utilities, including county and schools, and full-up integrated testing complete on 100% of critical systems at every one of these agencies. At least 50% of non-mision critical computers fully remediated and tested. All remaining (non-mission-critical) computer system fully assessed and ready for remediation.

All bureacrats in every department at every level of federal, state, and local and regional level prepared and trained with procedures for contingency services and emergency support.

911 and emergency: 100% remediated and full-up integrated testing complete at every emergency response center nationally. At least 7 days (prefer 14 days) of emergency power, water, and supplies available for all emergency assets available and tested.

DOD and Coast Guard 100% remediated and all services (and their families) completely tested and all contingency plans inplace and ready.

International situation stable in all nuclear-threatened and nuclear-armed countires: Tawain, South Korean, Isreal, UK, Russia, France, China, South Africa, Ukraine, Belorussia, and southern USSR states.

International oil production: at least 80% of all international oil production and distribution systems fully remediated and 100% integrated testing complete (including natural gas, oil, and high voltage distribution pipelines and controllers, tanker ships, and port facilities).

Chemical and refinery systems: Same as oil.

IF all of the above are completed and independently audited by Dec 1999, the potential Y2K troubles may be limited to a "4" or "5" level impact in the US and Canada, and at "5-7" internationally, depending on the country.

If this level of testing is not done, expect more severe failures for longer periods of time.

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (Cook.R@csaatl.com), April 01, 1999.

An article in the mainstream news about all the Y2K programmers that are now looking for a new job.

-- Bingo (mostlylurking@upstate.ny), April 01, 1999.

Perhaps I can respond to a few of the direct questions and concerns. First, my first "post" here was taken from another site without my permission. While it may not have been a pleasant subject, it was quite accurate. [The thesis of the short essay was that fixed position defense is nearly impossible, especially when confronted by a mobile, well-prepared aggressor.] I wrote the essay in response to reading about a Y2K "survivalist" who had purchased a Ruger Mini-14 and Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun. After a day at the range, he felt quite capable of defending himself and his family. Given my military training and experiences, I was alarmed... and decided to point out what I saw as weaknesses in typical Y2K "home defense." I was disappointed to read responses accusing me of being a "killer" or taking the essay as a personal threat. Just because you don't like the cold, hard realities of combat, Jack, doesn't change them.

More importantly, I am curious about the Y2K-related attitudes of the forum... and I am learning a great deal. Some of the people who read this forum may refuse to believe any positive Y2K news reports. As one interested in discourse, this is useful knowledge.

-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 01, 1999.

Some of the people who read this forum may refuse to believe any positive Y2K news reports

Let me ask you a question Mr Decker. You hang out at Biffy. A gentleman posts there with the nick CPR. Do you think he believes any negative news presented to him? Not from what I have seen. So both forums have their extremes. This forum has a couple hundred posters and lurkers. Biffy has around a dozen. Yet by endorsing Biffy, you condone your extremes, and condemn ours? I find that just a tad hypocritical.

-- Arachnid (itsybitsy@spider.web), April 01, 1999.

Yeah Mr. Decker, tell us about CPR. You like to bitch about personal attacks on this forum, so how do you rationalize endorsing (by your use of) GNIABFI? When it happens here it's a sign of the runaway meme, but there it's just impatience with the stupidity? How do you live with yourself?

-- DOA (chasing@ambulances.com), April 01, 1999.

CPR has, whether you like it or not, kept BIFFY from being overrun by meme idiots. They drove all respectable and knowledgable people from many other NG's and BB's...heck, Paul "Butthead" Milne almost singlehandedly drove 90% of the programmers off where he posts.

NORMAL people get sick of constantly dealing with know-nothing or know-little MEMEs who only regurgitate what they get fed into their flip-top heads. Counter their faulty logic and they try to 'bait and switch' or change the rules or definitions, etc. etc. etc.

SO.... even if some don't aprove; the moderates DO owe Charles one, for keeping that forum from being overrun... the last bastion of sanity, if you will.

I think more and more moderate forums will spring up as the year progresses... the die-hard extremists have NO leg to stand on, and even the 7+'s are starting to hedge their bets...

oh yeah... I have yet to see Deck go off on a rant. So, you extremists, try opening your eyes and not lumping everybody together.

-- Mutha Nachu (---@springhillyfarm.hands), April 01, 1999.

If I read Marx, am I a Marxist?

If you go the "GNIBFI" board and read what I have posted, you will see that I have indeed avoided "going into a rant." (Although I have been sorely tempted.) In one post, I acknowledged that "both sides" of the Y2K argument had been "shrill." On another, I requested a more civil discourse.

As to my alleged "support" of the site, I have visted many Y2K- related web pages. In my opinion, actually visiting and reading materials from a wide range of sources is good. I was taught during my days at a fine Jesuit university to read "everything" and then sort the wheat from the chaff.

As you can read in my post "Y2K and Risk" on this board, my main point has been simply the resiliant nature of the free market. I feel the "meltdown" risk is less (though not nonexistent) than many "doomsayers" believe. The reasoning is not based on the mythical "code," but on economic theory. Capitalism is a self-correcting system. In my Internet writing, I have been beseiged by the "machine" metaphor. "The system is broken!" A mechanical metaphor is inappropriate for our economy... organic is far better. Like a living entity, the economy can "heal." Yes, as you leap to your keyboard spotting an open flank, it can "die" as well. But capitalism has all the vigor of a really tough cockroach. Ask anyone who has tried to fight "the war on drugs." Will Rogers once joked, in reference to Prohibition, if we wanted to become the smartest country on earth, we ought to outlaw books for a few years.

Capitalism has many of the flaws of democracy. In a democracy, we ge the government we deserve. In a free market, we get the goods and services we want... no matter how nonrational (or what the external costs). If we "improve" as a culture, our government and our economy will adjust to our better value system. The free market will not fix everything... the weak firms are supposed to die (just like the slow gazelles). The question is, will it fix "enough." Now that, gentle readers, is a slippery question. If you are not willing to read and consider all viewpoints, though, it is a debate you should let others enjoin.


Mr. Decker

P.S. If you do read Marx, try the pre-1848 (aka "early") Marx. He's a lot easier to read before carbuncles, although he does become an excellent critic of capitalism. Unfortunately, he wasn't much at inventing an alternative system.

-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 01, 1999.

I will never change my mind. I am enjoying the security that my preparations give me. If Y2k is only a bump, there will always be a reason to be prepared. Be it an earthquake, a storm, a flood, a lost job or just not feeling like going shopping, I like being able to reach into the cuboard for what I need. I keep extra toys on hand. I never know when a last minute birthday party will come up or just a skinned knee on a little grandaughter who needs a distraction. I enjoy the freedom that a full cuboard gives me.

I have learned over the years that when you really need something, It is rarely on sale. I stock up when things are on sale. I have been doing this for years. I have not bought anything for Y2K that I would not normaly buy...just more of what I would buy anyway.

-- Homeschooing Grandma (Donna@glennet.com), April 02, 1999.

Mr. Decker's faith in capitalism is a little like having faith in elephant husbandry: You may be the greatest expert in the world, but the elephant owner is still going to need one helluva lot of patience before something is actually produced. We Y2k "doomers" think it's much more prudent to have a well-stocked cupboard while we wait for capitalism to perform its miracles.

Roger Altman

-- Dr. Roger Altman (rogaltman@aol.com), April 02, 1999.

Computers shut off in Y2k test

-- none (none@none.none), April 02, 1999.

Mr. Decker:

As I have noted on other posts in reply to you, I agree that I find it very difficult to imagine an occurence or combination of circumstances that would destroy civilization forever (barring total nuclear incineration of the biosphere or a massive comet strike or something of that nature).

My particular concern is the safety and comfort of:

1. My new bride, my 13 year old daughter, and myself. 2. My extended family (with the exception of one brother in law) 3. Friends and neighbors (a small group)

I have done quite a number of different things for a living and as "amusements" in my life, and expect that I can adapt to most circumstances that don't involve me stopping a bullet. I would prefer to weather any problems, be they major or minor, with as little personal disruption and discomfort as possible.

Economic "healing" and readjustments can get very ugly. I prefer to err on the side of caution where the safety and comfort of my family are concerned.

Otherwise, Mr. Cook's posting above speaks for me much better than I could have put it myself.

-- Jon Williamson (pssomerville@sprintmail.com), April 02, 1999.

Note that Mr. Decker still can offer no concrete reason why preparation for a potential Y2K disaster is not a prudent thing to do! I have been following his posts around various threads, including some really great stuff from Hardliner, and have noticed that Decker's posts seem more towards gauging the extent of other people's personal preparation, reasons for preparing, reasons that would convince one not to prepare (like this very thread), etc., etc.

Indeed, Mr. Decker, have you really anything to say, or are you just bored and trying to make conversation?

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), April 02, 1999.

None, you are an idiot.

-- Someone (who@knows.you), April 02, 1999.


Capitalism is the reason you can fill your cupboards right now. I find it ironic that you question the power of the free market when it has risen to meet your every need. Numerous companies now exist to cater to your Y2K demand. They were not ordered into existence by a central authority. In our free market, your demand created a supply. Now, you might find that quite ordinary, but it thrills me.

It has never been my intent to discourage "preparation." We only seem to differ on the odds that Y2K will cause serious economic disruptions. And I suggest stored food is not the "best" preparation for a recession or depression... it is having marketable skills. The ability to produce income in good times or bad allows you to buy food or other supplies. What occupations will continue to be in demand in a recession or depression? I have some ideas... and I continue to invest in my education and professional experience. My background includes some very "blue collar" skills... all marketable in difficult times. Unless you presuppose a post-apocalyptic world, business will continue after Y2K... although it may change a bit. When I read about a return to the horse and buggy... quite frankly, I think it's hogwash. We have had division of labor in this country since it was settled. Paul Revere was a silversmith... remember? I highly doubt he was entirely self sufficient. Even in colonial times, there was basic commerce and trade. During the worst of our internal strife, there was basic commerce and trade. Despite popular mythology, we have never been a nation of self sufficiency. We have traded, from the very beginning until now, to meet our demands. The free market may look different after cataclysmic events, but never doubt that it will exist. It survived in the Soviet Union (only they called it the "black market.")

My suggestion with regard to preparation: do things that make sense in the event Y2K is a bump in the road. Improving your skills and abilities makes sense. Not to become "self sufficient," but to trade more effectively with your neighbors.

Mr. Decker

-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 02, 1999.

Gad. Are we seeing yet another instance of forum participants being "in violent agreement" with one another?

Mr. D, if you had posted this at the very outset, I think you would have heard a chorus of agreement. Gracious, even the dread Gary North would agree with this.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that it's prudent to prepare for an uncertain future. Be wise in your investments in your holdings and your skills. Do not assume that everything will work out fine and that you can rely on someone else to take care of your needs.

Is this accurate? If I've mistated or over-simplified, please correct.


-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), April 02, 1999.

You are correct.... I firmly support individuals who are "self supportive." Self sufficiency, however, is another matter. Unlike some, I do not think it is very realistic for a single family to produce all of its own good and services.

Mr. Decker

-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 05, 1999.

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