Y2K Now Mind-Numbingly Boring; Climate Promotes Government Goals

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You may as well give up your effort to learn facts about y2k. You're going to have to go with your gut feelings, wherever they take you.

There has been very little y2k news in the last few weeks and, frankly, following the y2k issue has become about as exciting as watching grass grow. I can say this since I've done all the "heavy lifting" for my prep work.

I presume the news flow has just been natural and not engineered, but either way, I would expect that government and industry have undoubtedly noted that a certain y2k ennui is associated with the dearth of news.

The most oft-stated proposition of government is that the public should not prepare for more than three days of self-sufficiency. The current ennui promotes that government goal. So expect a virtual blackout of facts on this issue.

Consumer y2k research will suffer its own death by a thousand cuts during the next several months. I expect the predominant news will be indefinite statements of opinion indicating that things are under control in industry and government.

The government would be a cross-purposes by announcing any bad news. That would tend to dissolve ennui and conflict with the goal of minimizing preparation.

Industry certainly is not going to announce bad news. The proper goal of a business corporation is to make money for the shareholders. Any crack in the facade of complete confidence would hinder that objective.

The purpose of this post is not to state that there is a cover-up of bad news. I have no idea on the state of readiness. It's my theory that *if* there is bad news, there are strong forces compelling it to be covered-up and very little reason for any holder of that knowledge to release it.

The journalistic cross-examination of corporate and government statements on the state of readiness has been embarrassingly weak. There has been very little report of probing questions. On the other hand, this is a tough nut to crack for a journalist. It's not like getting someone to fink on a sexy piece of "secret" grand jury testimony. I'm getting far out of my field now, but it's my presumption that the masses of remediation workers only see minutely small parts of the puzzle and that, like a Los Alamos project, the full picture is known only to a few who are unlikely to leak bad news.

All of these forces will act like a sieve which lets good news out, but holds bad news back. That's why I think you'll have to go with your guts from here out.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), April 09, 1999


Pudd: take a look at my article, "Y2K and the Failure (So Far) of the Press", and give me any comments you may have (good or bad) if you have time.


-- Scott Johnson (scojo@yahoo.com), April 09, 1999.

Scott, Thanks for pointing me to your article. I had read part 1 before, but not parts 2 and 3.

It seems you've pretty well nailed the story on the story. I enjoyed reading the piece.

There was a post, I believe on this forum in January, by a writer or an editor. It seems he was Scottish, but I don't have a reference to the thread. I thought his comment were interesting.

As I remember those comments, he said that the y2k disaster possibilities are not being covered because government and industry leaders have used rational means to convince rational writers that a y2k disaster is impossible; thus, journalists are convinced that digging into y2k disaster possibilities is like digging into alien invasions, it will undoubtedly brand one a fool.

Again, I apologize for my spotty memory, but it seems this fellow stated or implied that authoritative publications had been given confidential off-the-record information to bolster their their argument that no disaster was imminent.

If someone can give you the URL for that post, you'd find it interesting.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), April 09, 1999.

Here's the only and ultimate y2k news story at this time (substitute y2k as appropriate:

Before World War II, an astronomer received the following telegram from a newspaper editor: WIRE ONE HUNDRED WORDS COLLECT STOP IS THERE LIFE ON MARS STOP. The astronomer wired back - NOBODY KNOWS, repeated fifty times.

-- Himalayan Blue (hb@k2.y), April 09, 1999.

So enjoy the spring and summer, keep prepping, grow a garden and live your life.

Everything should "heat up" considerably next fall as we enter the home stretch.

It's a timing thing.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 09, 1999.

I agree with Diane that as we enter the final countdown there will be more news. However, I also predicted that once the impeachment was over, we'd be hearing more about Y2K. Fortunately (or UN) I also added, "unless something really big comes along--like a war." Well. . .

I couple of semi-predictions though: when Congress returns next week (?)there is the potential of more news--AFTER a clear course is set in Kosovo.

Also, end of July may prove interesting. After that--expect to hear the phrase "excemptions" a lot. Companies working on "exemptions" to their Y2K compliance.

Just my two cents worth.

(FYI I also predicted the mainstream emergence of hand-sanitizer but didn't know how to make money off of the idea! :))

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 09, 1999.

^5 Puddintame.

Hey Diane... it's cold, rainy and windy here in L.A. but it's a great time to see the grass grow : )

Mike (who now keeps a "safe house" in the new garden for a snail family my 3 year old son has adobted) =================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), April 09, 1999.

Pudd said:

"journalists are convinced that digging into y2k disaster possibilities is like digging into alien invasions, it will undoubtedly brand one a fool."

Think you're right there. Although I think it's starting to change a bit. Declan, who gets unfairly slammed on this forum IMHO, has been diligent in checking on the veracity of claims, and calling officials on inconistencies. I like to think we do the same; I don't know of many others in the conventional or semi-conventional media. (As for our "conventional" credibility, our CEO, James Adams, was CEO of UPI and Managing Editor, DC Bureau Chief, and chief military and intelligence correspondent for the London Sunday-Times. He is also an expert on the emerging field of information warfare.)

It's unfortunate to see so many otherwise solid journalists allowing themselves to be spun so easily. I was at the press conference last week where Mr. Koskinen made the "92% compliant" announcement, and with the exception of the NY Times' Robert Pear, who tasked Koskinen on the drop in mission-critical systems, I don't think any of the other reporters asked a single probing question.


-- Scott Johnson (scojo@yahoo.com), April 09, 1999.

The last two Y2K-related AP reports I've seen in my local paper had quite good balance and detail, and just a dash of scepticism. The most recent one re the FAA's tests at Denver International had this for the lead:

The Federal Aviation Administration hopes Denver's airport -- once famous for a computerized baggage system that shredded luggage -- will be the scene of a technological triumph when the agency tests its Year 2000 computer fixes.

Nothing like leading off with a small reminder that big, expensive computer systems can really screw up...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), April 09, 1999.

Since Hand Sanitizer is flammable could it be used as fuel like sterno?

-- Clean Hands (nobugs@onme.org), April 09, 1999.

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