Can this forum be saved? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

While going through and discarding old files I found a question that I asked on this forum last December and got several knowledgeable or at least thoughtful answers to. I sadly realized how much things have changed here in just four months, and I fear that if the trend continues, the forum will become worthless as a place to discuss Y2K.

Instead of threads living long enough to collect answers and ongoing dialogue, they often die after one day and just a few posts. As someone pointed out below in coproliths Goodbye thread, the forum has become a place to argue with Pollys who contribute nothing. Already some once-familiar names are no longer seen here, replaced by time wasters who hold preparers in contempt.

Is there a way to reverse this trend? Or will the trolls, time wasters, flamers, and Pollys be successful in destroying this previously helpful and entertaining forum? Suggestions, please.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, April 07, 1999



The threads don't "die" after one day, they just get archived more quickly. Because of the volume of new threads posted each day, Philip Greenspun has asked me to only keep "new" threads up for two days before archiving them. It used to be a week before the archiving took place, but apparently this puts a heavy load on MIT's already overtaxed system.

As for the quality of the messages and threads ... well, that's something that everyone will have to determine by themselves. Most forum participants have gradually learned that the best way to get rid of the trolls is to ignore them (and for me to delete their obnoxious Javascript postings). One could make the same argument about anyone else that you feel are in the "time waster" category. There are several threads that I don't bother looking at, because the originator's name is a sufficient clue (for me, at least) that it's not worth the effort of reading the same old stuff one more time...

-- Ed Yourdon (, April 07, 1999.

Pearlie --- most things on the Net go through their own lifecycle. The forum has degenerated somewhat but it's a little too soon to tell whether it's fatal. It tracks pretty neatly what is going on right now with Y2K itself: disinformation, misinformation, spin and, above all, efforts to discredit preparation.

"The problem with Y2K is that nothing ever happened."

Right. Stay tuned. The calendar is moving. Keep preparing. IMO, the best days of the forum for helping folks are up ahead (2000-2005) as well as for dialoguing professionally (us IT folks) about the best ways to fix and recover broken systems and/or design new ones that benefit from Y2K lessons learned.

If the forum collapses, sad but okay. Some of us will find each other on other forums and on other Y2K and post-Y2K projects, IT and cultural.

Staying focused on preparation, including preparation threads, is the best thing for most of us here. For instance, Flint has/is taking money out of the bank to put under his mattress. Good move! We don't need to agree on the IT stuff as long as we all work together on getting ready to help our families and our communities.

-- BigDog (, April 07, 1999.

Ed, it looks like success has given the forum a bad case of growing pains... they may pass as summer sets in, but I'll be surprised if things aren't ten times as busy around here come October.

This is arguably the best Y2K forum on the 'net. I learn something valuable every time I come here, as I'm sure others do. I know little about creating and maintaining forums such as this one, but I hope there will be some way to counter the effects of such heavy usage - it would be terrible to see a resource like this overloaded out of a useful existence.

-- sparks (, April 07, 1999.

Ed, I used to think that. Unfortunately, a number of threads started by fools can generate interesting and useful responses. And a lot of intelligent threads can generate postings on them that are often little more than spam. (Often less. At least canned spam is edible!)

-- Leo (, April 07, 1999.

Cycles of life. Ive been here a loooooooong time, and the world she just keeps turning. Good and bad. Smart and dumb. On and off topic. This is the best forum on the net IMHO.

-- Uncle Deedah (, April 07, 1999.

Big Dog says "The calendar is moving. Keep preparing. IMO, the best days of the forum for helping folks are up ahead (2000-2005)"

If the computers crash, will the Internet be around and accessable to us?

-- winna (??@??.com), April 07, 1999.


I don't think Pearlie was referring to the earlier archiving. More and more often, threads come to life after I hit the sack, run their course before I get up, and by the time I could make a contribution (14 hours have now elapsed), the thread has degenerated into the sporadic name-calling that seems to be the fate of most threads here. In less than 24 hours, most threads are effectively dead, if still several days from being archived.


I've noticed half a dozen or so hardcore nitwits here who tend to hijack and redirect what could have been valuable discussions. I'd estimate the ratio at about 50-50 -- 3-4 no-hope types and 3-4 no- problem types. I'm not saying their positions can't be defended intelligently. I'm saying they demonstrate no intelligence. Once each thread has succombed to a shouting match among these losers, any thoughtful post is lost in the noise. This is the thread-killing I was talking about above.

But don't give up hope. csy2k has become much more valuable since Milne stopped posting 500 times a day and strangling out any worthwhile contributors. I too hope the lunatics will become bored and wander off to rant elsewhere, freeing up space to be used for serious discussion of a serious issue.

-- Flint (, April 07, 1999.

Where did Milne go?

-- Leo (, April 07, 1999.


while we certainly do seem to have inherited a couple of intermittent, though virulent, trolls, there's still a lot of good being accomplished here. One has to be a bit more selective about which threads one reads (as Ed noted - you can usually tell by looking at who originated the thread). None the less, most all of the troll posts are either suitably rebuffed or destroyed in detail, thus providing a great deal of educational material for the newly GI among us. We're also still seeing news items of interest show up here, before they hit almost anywhere else.

All in all, TB2K is a bit more annoying and obnoxious in some ways than it was 6 months ago, but then so is the rest of the world. I think we'll get through this...


-- Arlin H. Adams (, April 07, 1999.


Milne is a farmer, and this is springtime here. He's too busy to spend much time at the computer, and too tired when he's not busy. He does show up a couple of times a week now, mostly to cross-post articles from elsewhere.

-- Flint (, April 07, 1999.

My favorite line from the I Ching is "Perseverence Furthers." I suggest that as a strategy for now. A friend recently suggested that I read "The Art of War." I imagine it may hold some valuable clues, too.

At any rate, I have tremendous confidence in the resiliency of the keen intelligence, grand wit, penetrating insight, and genuine humanity of this forum. Spent good prep money replacing my dead PC-- mostly, to be honest, because I missed what happens here and all the people who make it happen.

Here's a way to continue threads. If one that you wanted to respond to is gone, start a new thread with the same name (or as close to it as you can remember, or use a key phrase from a potent piece of the thread) and follow it by the number 2. The next one to pick it up adds a 3. Might work.

There's a tremendous amount of work to be done in our neighborhoods and communities. Let's be at it, and let's make the most of the journey.

Thanks, Ed, for everything.

Faith Weaver

-- Faith Weaver (, April 07, 1999.

My thinking parallels Sparks'. There's noise here (although I'd say less than on c.s.y-2k) -- but there sure is a lot to learn and think about, too.

I'm personally not too concerned about things getting off topic. It's easy to avoid threads that aren't of interest. In fact, I'll miss the eclectic mix I've found in these forums. Even if things hold together after rollover, it'd take something like "alt.everything" to cover the ground routinely covered here.

I've learned everything from how to store fuel to how to make bread using hard red wheat, to . . . this one, which I learned just the other day, about silver-clad U.S. coins. Maybe this will be new to you, too. Most people know that pre-1965 U.S. dimes, quarters and half-dollars contained silver. Did you know, though, that half- dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 also contained silver (although a lesser amount)? I didn't realize this. They're composed of an outer layer of .800 silver, .200 copper with an inner core of .209 silver, .792 copper. This only applies to the 1965-1970 half- dollars, though, not the dimes and quarters (those are cupro-nickel from 1965 on).

I looked through a roll of half-dollars I got at the bank today, and actually found one of these (1968). Kind of cool.


-- David S. Angal (, April 07, 1999.

In a way I've become a little bored with the doom view of y2k. I made a decision to prepare for as long as I possibly can and hope for good news. Unfortunately, the "news" seems to have become a sea of stagnant spin based upon a formula devised to pacify the public. Too bad many who didn't start learning about the issues earlier can't see beyond the obvious lies to the real truth. However, the truth can be a little depressing. Sometimes I wonder who's better off, me or them?

My interests seem to have shifted as well to viewing how problems around the world will impact us here at home. Lately, it's become more and more interesting.

Anyway, this is the most inspiring, educational, thoughtful, impactful, diverse and caring forum I've found. Thank you Mr. Yourdon and thank you to all the posters who make me think and learn and understand what life is like beyond the tip of my nose.

Mike =======================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, April 08, 1999.

Case in point; where else would one find a marvelour post like Mike re the half dollars? Also true troll threads are often met with keen, intelligent and sharp insight and information offering a great education much welcomed by me. Thank you all for perservering! It gives me support and info to keep preparing in the current climate of "don't worry, be happy" disinformation!!!

-- Leslie (***@***.net), April 08, 1999.

Pearlie, I too get frustrated with all the time spent deprogramming trolls. I skip over those parts to see if there's anything useful on that thread, then go on to the next. Nor do I bother to read most threads. I pick ones that look like they might have some useful info (like edible roses), and avoid ones that look like they are trolls (all caps) or troll bait (Calling Y2K pro).

I'm not too concerned with reading alot about how much repair is done vs how much there is to do. This is now April of 1999, if there were not to be at least a large economic effect, there should be a plethora of companies touting their readiness. Since that hasn't happened, for whatever reason, I prefer to take precautions rather than chances. So, posts about 'Company X now ready' are skipped over, too.

All in all, I probably read only one in ten posts, and answer fewer. Even so, I truly appreciate the information and camaraderie of this BB. I hope you can, too.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, April 08, 1999.

Oops. Re: silver-clads -- that's supposed to be .800 silver, .200 copper with an inner core of .209 silver, .791 copper.

Wish I got paid by the mistake.

Uh-oh. (Comprehension dawns. . . .) =DSA.

-- David S. Angal (, April 08, 1999.

Spring Break may FINALLY be over.

-- Deborah (, April 08, 1999.

Thanks for all of the posts. What Flint said above was what I meant about threads dying, as opposed to their being archived. If you don't catch a thread soon after it's posted, your comment will likely be last and unread. This is still a good forum, and basically the only place I go on the 'net for y2k news. I hope it's only been in a temporary slump lately.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, April 08, 1999.

This is by far the best convergence of minds and solutions and information ANYWHERE on the net. Ed, this site BLOWS CNN Bigtime!

The myriad on and off-topic posts, humor and instructions encompass how and why Y2K TOUCHES EVERYTHING.

We've had discussions on tech, religion, farming, phsycology, social science, government, politics, environment, lifestyles, weather, disasters, history, literature and hundreds of other topics.

The world is playing out on this forum. Every concern, evident proof and news story makes a thread. This is good, not bad.

We're seeing first hand just how intertwined our world is, how everything touches something close, and why Y2K has far more reaching consequences than any of us have even contemplated by ourselves.

Trolls, time-wasters, polly's and flamers (of which I myself am guilty) illustrate the ideology conflict in the world as it exists now, and argues what portends for the world tomorrow. They are not capable of destroying this forum. They illustrate just how dangerous and divided we are in this nation and the world.

It is VERY emlightening.

We are in BIG trouble.

Whatever your view on are INFORMED by this forum are you not?

Thanks for that Ed.

-- INVAR (, April 08, 1999.

Can this forum be saved? I sure hope so. This is the #1 place i go to for up-to-date Y2k stuff- along with Sanger's News Review site. I agree with Pearlie's comment re: the thread dying out after a day. I find that sad as some of them are really good threads and after a bit, they're gone and everyone has moved on to something else- maybe we all watched too much Sesame Street and are minds have short attention spans? anyway- I would like to see some threads go on for awhile. Others of course, should just go and die a quick death-and I'm not naming names. Re: troll types- probably the best thing to do is leave them be- just don't read their posts- or if you do- don't respond. It's awlfully hard to have an argument if you can't find someone to argue with you ...

-- anita (, April 08, 1999.


Rumor has it that Milne accidentally wandered too close to a 7-11 store a few weeks ago and well, let's just say they didn't exactly appreciate his toast comments. Not a pretty picture actually. And I thought postal workers were volatile.

-- David (, April 08, 1999.


Things tend to move in cycles. Or waves. This forum does too.

I suspect next fall will be the forum "hot" time.

By then, more people will pay either attention (or at least wonder as the "2K" day looms), more organizations will either be Y2K Okay or not, more newsmedia may be "educated" by then, and perhaps, the government will be unable, or unwilling, to chance an angry public backlash if they are "wrong" while pretending they are right.

Besides, they'll be far more "nervous" then. Remember ... they're headquartered in D.C.

By October we might all have a better "fix" on where the more accurate problem areas are likely to be. By then, non-compliant suppliers will have lost their biggest customers, and "jockeying" for Y2K competitive advantage may be the sport of choice for corporations.

Who knows, by then, even the trolls might be ready to take some responsibility for their own lives and those around them. Not to mention "the big guys" who want to keep employees on the job.

Tiring, I know, but ... Shift Happens.

Got persistence?


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 08, 1999.

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