Storm Warningsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Creating a whole new world is an emotionally draining adventure. I can relate to some of the recent posts where the person was suffering burnout and wanting some relief from all the involvement and planning. Perhaps most of us are in that same situation if we have been actively trying to stay on top of the latest news and forecasts. The old hurricane analogy is tired, but it does have a small grain of truth in it and I have seen this situation firsthand. I had lived in Florida for many years and every year there were tropical storms that looked like they might just move right over our little area but rarely did. In fact, there were so many years of non-damage that people started to ignore it all. Building codes were relaxed from the tough requirements of yesteryear and planning took on little more than having some extra candles, a little extra water, and a normal pantry of food items. People didn't want to become alarmed year after year, and since nothing really bad happened for so long, the alerts were basically ignored. Then, along comes something like hurricane Andrew, and there's a big wakeup call. But even so, it wasn't too long before life was pretty much back to normal for most of the residents. And if you weren't in the immediate area of severe distruction (local areas) it just didn't change your life much.
So what has that to do with Y2k? Those of us who have been following this forum, or other sites loaded with storm warnings, have tried to remain alert to the latest news of how the Y2k storm is moving. Is it still coming? Many say it is. Some say it is still a vicious storm, some say it is winding down to little more than a tripical blow. But if we are concerned about it being really bad, we keep our eye on it and continue to prepare. So many things to do, money to spend, concerns about the aftermath.
I think it is the concerns about the aftermath that is taking its toll on some of us, perhaps all of us from time to time. We are trying to prepare for a brave new world, and without a blueprint we become emotionallly drained. We are not getting the strong signals we need from potential code failures. We still think it can/will be a drastic change in our system at all levels, but there just is no tangible evidence of what direction it will take yet. Very frustrating, and very draining. We can't be comfortable in an attitude of wait and see, but we also can't get any relief from the many things we have already done, or still plan to do. We are trying to prepare ourselves for some great unknown future and just can't get a handle on what that will be or how we will deal with it, even if we have some essentials stockpiled. I think that is why there is fallout in our group from time to time. We need some hard evidence that our thinking and planning is on track. We can't get it. Are we prepared to "pull up stakes" in our old life, so to speak, and head out into the great unknown? Do we have that sort of sustainable courage? Do we have the sort of courage it took to leave Europe and book passage on some frail sailing ship to the New World? Do we have the sort of courage it took to pile everything in a wagon and head West into unknown lands? Actually, I think most of us do, but we need to have some validation that such a journey is actually required. We are trying to get the latest storm warnings, but there just aren't enough hard line facts to prove we must altually change our lives from what we had for so long, to something entirely new.
And so we wait, and watch, and wonder, and some of us feel the strain, and fear we will break under the worry of it all. If we had the enemy in our face right now, we would handle it, but we don't have that. We are maintaining our beliefs by sharing our opinions and concerns with others who have similar fears. We know there is at least a tropical depression out there. Will it turn into a force 5 storm? Will it move over us slowly, stall right over our heads, or only glance off us and cause some locally severe damage but leave the balance of our systems intact, at least for the immediate emergency needs? Can we manage to hold onto our concerns without having our concerns take hold of us? Is our ability to deal with long term worry a part of our preparation that we never anticipated? Is that what will stop us in our tracks?
-- Whetherman (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 1999
Perhaps the national contingency plan to just let Y2K happen ... without localized storm warnings!
Sure looks that way.
Id rather be prepared than not. Its the only sane choice when the lawyers are scripting the weather reports.
Will that change? Doubt it.
Expect the gathering clouds of grey legalese to darken the local horizons and spew forth self-protecting prognostications. And no accuracy within their local reports.
Typical of the corporate and government meteorologists. Also known for their blinding inaccuracies.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), April 02, 1999.
This is one of the best commentaries on the nature of anticipating Y2K that I have ever read. (Its also the only one that uses a hurricane analogy and still makes sense!!)
Gary North's latest Reality Check issue is entitled "The Calm Before the Storm", and makes the point that The Storm is effectively more than than Y2K problems per se -- rather, it is the panic that will ensue once people figure out that Y2K is real, it is coming, and they suddenly try to prepare en masse.
Remember: if you prepare for the worst, and you do it now, yet in fact nothing significant really happens, you have lost relatively little. I think the worst feeling in the world would be for Y2K to turn out to be a huge disaster, and for someone not be prepared yet to have known that there was a significant chance that the disaster would have occurred.
When the panic will begin is, of course, anyone's guess -- and it may not. But its now April 1999, with fiscal year 2000 rollovers now in effect for Canada, New York State, etc. If fiscal Y2K problems cause things like welfare checks not being able to get cut, or with incorrect amounts, this may be the high visibility that will cause The Storm to occur.
-- Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 1999.
I have done remediation work for some larger companies along with Y2k consulting and what I have found is a culture of confusion. Y2K in some companies has become a political softball that many managers are manuvering for their own ends. This of course creates a huge political quagmire as the programers try to get the resources they need to fix the problem and these managers try to get what they want from the people or departments that need the repair.(kind of a carrot and stick proposition) In the end the Y2K remediation and testing gets pushed so far back that their is no way that the fixes will be done on time.
What makes this all so frustrating is that come 1/1/2000 many of these companies will be forced to "come out of the closet" so to speak because of massive failures due to failure to complete Y2K fixes.
One company that I am working for now has spent 25 million so far to fix the Y2k problem and they are no closer to being completed because management refuses to listen to the technical people who's job it is to fix the Y2K problem. They are too busy deciding who's area needs to be fixed next rather than trying to determine critical systems and getting them fixed first. At this time the company is more than two years out from fixing their Y2k problem and this is in April of 1999!
A few of us who are outside of the Y2K remediation department are developing y2k compliant replacement applications to fix the critical parts that are getting missed in the "Official Remediation". This company may not run fast after Y2K but it will still be able to function somewhat because of our efforts.
I shudder to think what is happening in other companies that do not have people as dedicated.
-- ExCop (Excop@excop.com), April 02, 1999.
I think there are three important indicators to look at to determine storm intensity.
1) Are we reasonably assured people will have SHELTER next January? I'd say yes, electrical and gas companies seem to be doing well at remediation.
2. Are we reasonably assured people will have POTABLE (drinkable) WATER next January? I'd say no, we see extremely little on water systems being fixed. They don't seem to have a high priority like Norm and his banks.
3. Are we reasonably assured people will have FOOD next January? Or phrased a different way...Is the "just in time" food production and distribution system going to continue to work? Again, I'd say no, we see extremely little on the "just in time" food production and distribution system being fixed. However, Norm's banks are doing just fine...
CONCLUSION: I'd like to believe no news is good news, but the logical intelligence officer in me says this is not so. No news in these two areas is extremely ominous. The government could miraculously get all its computers fixed, and all the banks can be Y2K compliant, but if indicators 2) and 3) above are not positive, we may be in for a heck of a storm.
-- Apple (email@example.com), April 02, 1999.
Good post IMO- the long duration of 'waiting" is probably the hardest- before a hurricaine/blizzard, etc- the warning time is usually only a few days- so preparations are done quickly, the storm either hits or it doesn't and then we assess the damage or lack thereof and move on. With the long warning period pre-Y2K- it's in some ways a blessing, but in other ways, more likely to cause burnout. I would almost guess that this is reflected in the level of posts here on this forum and in their nature over time. So- I think the way to guard against burnout is to have a plan, follow it and do other stuff as well.
-- anita (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 1999.
About 10 months ago someone made the statement that the government should tell the population about Y2K -- because it was impossible to sustain a panic for 19 months.
I think that is what we are going thru now -- we have been aware for a while (me for about 10 months) and it is pretty hard to sustain the worry and prepration (AND PANIC).
I am by nature a very emotional person. So when I make important decisions I try to do it with as clear and unemotional head as possible -- when it gets close to implementing that well thought out decision -- I always get emotional and think all sorts of other methods -- When I stick to my cool headed decision -- it turns out well -- When I change course under the emotional stress -- it does not.
That is the mode I am in now -- I am beginning to question the Y2K impact -- but I will hold fast to my original decision to PREPARE. This is the decision that I made with facts that I researched 10 months ago.
-- ALURKER (email@example.com), April 02, 1999.
To me it's a bit like seeing the trees sway in the wind, the storm clouds build on the horizen, and hearing the rumbling of thunder in the distance while the weather man keeps saying that even though it is hurricane season, nothing will happen, so don't panic/prepare, because that would be worse than the actual hurricane.
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 1999.
I am watching the poor people huddled together trying to get out of Kosovo, and suddenly find myself wondering if we will be seeing scenes like these in our own country in the near future. People trying to flee cities as they realize that they will be unable to survive in these locations, clinging to their babies and carrying their old folks...
We feel so "immune" here in th
-- housemouse (email@example.com), April 02, 1999.
For me it is the incredible isolation with no support from outside 'reality' or almost all other people that is hard to bare. What I have done first, since the new year began and the media has been running some realistic assessments, is to pull back from feeling like I had to tell everyone I knew. This releaved a substantial point of conflict and grief. Next, I unplug from the 'web' of information in order to persue preps. Lastly, on occation I 'forget' about it for a day or two and try to enjoy simple times. All the while preps are slowly building.
One big problem which this whole thing has demonstrated to me is that our thinking processes are largely subordinated to our feelings. There is a sense that people do not even realize that their brain is being turned 'off' by their emotional state even before they are aware that it is happening. They literially do not see it because their feelings blind them from seeing it. This is instantaneous.
None of us is immune to this predominance of the emotional. GI's have to deal with this in a different way than DGI's. There is no real argument against preparations. Its a completely rational option. Yet we struggle with the emotions of it all the way through (remember the first feelings you had when you made that first call or bought that first case of canned food??? - ugh!).
There is a time to pull back and rest. Do a little battery recharge (whatever does that for you).
Then back to the fray!
-- David (C.D@I.N), April 02, 1999.
Thanks to people like Ed Yourdon and Gary North, these forums have played a huge part in helping me prepare physically, and emotionally.
We owe these people and many other as well all our gratitude.
-- Dr. Roger Altman (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 1999.
I think that housemouse has hit on something.If you look at the warnings we have had in our food supply.Pork farmers were hit by low prices and many won't make it,milk prices have dropped by one third in Pa.this month.There were large problems shipping wheat last year. All of these are signs of the delicate balance of our food supply.When you consider the transportation problems that can arise from a computer error it's best not to live from day to day anymore.
-- Joe (email@example.com), April 02, 1999.