Catch de Jager's new essay: "How bad, how long, how likely?" yet? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

New Essay


-- Lisa (, April 15, 1999


Bet: now that an expert has recommended three weeks, expect Koskinen, FEMA, et al to ratchet preparation recommendations up to three weeks, as well.

I'm going to go do the math on how easily three extra weeks' of stuff can be produced and sold to 100 million households at this late date.

Tuna schools, if you're lurking: DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!

-- Lisa (, April 15, 1999.

The "extended family hug" idea made me realize I need more deoderant.

-- Reporter (, April 15, 1999.

Lisa -- ROFL. Thanks. Great Polly argument on the surface. Underneath? He's nuts. Magical thinking. I'm (not) surprised, BTW, at how shallow his described and evident technical background is. I would put many people on this forum ahead of him there: Ed & Cory (duh), a, Cook, Davis, Flint, RD, Andy, Hoffmeister, etc., etc., etc.

-- BigDog (, April 15, 1999.

Yes Peter...for God's sake don't recommend we plant a garden...that would be...uncivilized!

Prediction: Come November, Peter recommends we plant a garden.

-- a (a@a.a), April 15, 1999.

Great response, BigDog. In regards to previous discussions about Bruce Beach:

Great doomer argument on the surface. Underneath? He's nuts. Magical thinking. I'm (not) surprised, BTW, at how shallow his described and evident technical background is. I would put many people on this forum ahead of him there: Ed & Cory (duh), a, Cook, Davis, Flint, RD, Andy, Hoffmeister, etc., etc., etc.

-- RMS (, April 15, 1999.

"... It boils down to a very simple observation. A Y2K problem cannot both be pervasive and hidden at the same time. Stated differently, saying something is both everywhere and difficult to find is a contradiction. Again, if its everywhere, we cant avoid finding it.

I don't agree with this comment. In the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague was 'pervasive'. But it was also 'hidden', in the sense that the underlying cause (germ theory of disease) could not be understood or fixed within the real-time analytic resources of the affected communities.

-- Runway Cat (, April 15, 1999.

RMS --- Nice idea. I don't have the expertise in hw to judge the "magical thinking" part about Beach but everything else you put in there is correct. So, what's the point, bozo? You didn't notice that I put Davis in my list of experts? You lose.

-- BigDog (, April 15, 1999.

One last point, RMS: I take guys like Davis and Flint a lot more seriously than I do De Jager, even when I don't agree with them. How about you?

-- BigDog (, April 15, 1999.

What a bunch of crap! I don't say that he is wrong or right. But he doesn't back up anything and I could throw one of my donkeys through the holes in his "essay". One would think he worked in academia and was under the gun to "publish or perish". I really think he could make better use of his time! If he thinks that his eassay is going to have a "settling" effect upon folks, he is wrong. His whole essay is one of confusion.

-- Taz (, April 15, 1999.

The following excerpts are from his essay.

"Another glaring weakness of this article is that whatever answers I can provide will be neither precise nor certain. They will be merely educated guesses about an uncertain future. I make no claims to omnipotence."

"Im stating, very clearly and precisely, that a 2 - 3 week level of preparation is sufficient (a word with a different meaning than necessary) to handle what Y2K might throw at you."


Actually, there are other glaring weaknesses this reader perceives, primarily in Mr. De Jager's apparently limited ability to perceive the web of connections in the Life Support Systems beyond the Banking Industry. This limited perception leads him to rational conclusions quite at odds to the conclusions rationally reached if one perceives Life Support Systems as being fairly interconnected.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, April 15, 1999.

Runway Cat -- Spot on insight. BTW, has your benign view of Y2K remained constant over last several months or altered and, if so, in which direction?

-- BigDog (, April 15, 1999.

BigDog, pssst, it's fun messing with norm with you...

-- Lisa (, April 15, 1999.

Lisa -- Likewise. Hey, I'm (ab)NORMal(gore).

-- BigDog (, April 15, 1999.

from his essay:

"For myself? Ill be flying that night, from Chicago to London. My family? Theyll be at home awaiting my return, and our preparations will not exceed what Ive deemed reasonable in this article."

This test flight is a pretty dumb thing to do. Who does he think he is, Chuck (de) Yeager? I wonder how his family feels about the timing of his trip.

-- David Binder (, April 15, 1999.

Ya know, David, three week's food for de Jager (especially if it's yummy $$$tuff), might equate to three months' for everybody else. If his dimensions are any indication.

In fact I'm sure it would. OK. The official timeframe preparation is now three months, ya heard it on Yourdon's first.

BigDog: Mr. Cook nabbed me.

-- Lisa (, April 15, 1999.

Seems like just a few weeks ago de Jager was insisting that, even though doomsday had been avoided, there was still a problem warranting a full month of preparation. I see nothing in his article explains why he has significantly toned down from his most recent controversial stance. K-man's crew must be thrilled! The great deJ is descending so fast, he is just proving their point to them! deJ is giving them no reason whatsoever to change their stance.

At least he is on record that "2 to 3 days" is "a decision to do nothing".

On the other hand, the Montreal ice storm disruption lasted 5 to 6 weeks in some areas, and I believe a greater number of people (especially the elderly and frail) died following the disruption from the stress and exposure in the shelters. Blankets and hugs are not going to get my parents through a 3 day cold snap in the middle of the winter. Food and water and a piece of cake, but an alternative heat supply is an outright effort.

BTW, I expect to go through my allotment of 2 to 3 weeks of supplies *prior* to rollover, just to avoid chaos in the stores next December.

-- Brooks (, April 15, 1999.

Damn Runway, that was intense.

-- a (a@a.a), April 15, 1999.

After convincing so many corporations to spend so much money, I wonder how they will react when they read this. It turns out that none of this remediation was necessary anyway.

During 15 years of direct computer experience, Ive never encountered a computer problem that affected a mission critical application to the point it was totally unusable for more than three days. This does not mean that such failures dont happen, it only means theyre rare.

-- Mike Lang (, April 15, 1999.

Runway -


Mitchell -

Kudos. No one knows for certain.


necessary (adj) That which cannot be dispensed with; essential; indispensible; resulting from necessity; inevitable; that which must be done; mandatory; not voluntary; required

sufficient (adj) as much as is needed; equal to what is specified or required; enough; an ample amount; adequate

from Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1982)

-- Grrr (, April 15, 1999.

Over the last 6 months, Pompous Pete has morphed into Neville Chamberlain.

-- rick blaine (, April 15, 1999.

All above,

What are your ("generally specific") timeframe recommedations?

-- Landers (, April 15, 1999.

What's strange is that de Jager continues to argue that problems that are well known and understood therefore aren't problems. Well, Peter, here's 1 million lines of critical code and we expect there are about 30,000 date errors in it. No problem, says Peter, now that we know about it, that's done, lets look for what we don't know about.

I think his ballpark estimates could be reasonably close, but not just because we know about the bugs. It's because we're fixing the bugs.

-- Flint (, April 15, 1999.

I suspect that Mr. de Jager has been taken in by the sanguine pronouncements of government and government run entities of which his native Ontario abounds. I believe a relatively accurate Y2K rule-of-thumb is to assume that private industry least subject to government regulation will be most efficacious in Y2K remediation and most forthcoming regarding their efforts (Texaco comes to mind as an example. Private sector industry that is oppressed by government regulation such as banking, securities, medicine and nuclear power will find remediation made mind-numbingly difficult by the red tape and procedural absurdities with which they must negotiate. Thirdly are the state owned enterprises that make up a significant portion or America9s electrical power providers and almost all of Canada9s. Mr. de Jager9s own Ontario Hydro is a case in point. One of the largest of North America9s electric companies, OH is massively in debt to the point of insolvency and drifts from crisis to crisis. In 1997 the utility was forced to close 9 of its nuclear generating stations due to leaks and safety concerns. Last December, when failing to meet its own goals of bringing these plants back on line, OH, simply changed its stated goals and proclaimed their project a success. Such manipulation of goals to alter outcomes is common practice among government agencies. In de Jager9s defence, if I was to publicly advise people at this late date on preparation, I too would suggest three weeks. Privately, I believes companies and individuals should prepare for a disruption of several years.

-- rhb (, April 15, 1999.

i strongly disagree with at least one thing that dejager said. he says that if you shut off the utiliies for 3 days to a house, you can come back in 3 days and find the people inside still alive. that may be true in southern ontario, which i consider to be a warm climate. but ontario is not the navel of the world, and unfortunaetely we can't all live there.

i come from manitoba, where it gets life-and-death cold in the winter. at -40 in winnipeg, which is normal for middle of winter (that's not even considered a cold day), my relatives and i would be dead of hypothermia in less than 3 days. same with north dakota, russia, etc. peter is absolutely full of it on this point.

-- jocelyne slough (, April 16, 1999.

Let's see, didn't De Jager buy a small cabin fairly recently. Think he said it was for summer vacations!!


-- Ray (, April 16, 1999.

Now we know why he's bolting for the moderate climes of Londontown!

-- Brooks (, April 16, 1999.

He'll be FLYING that night?? Hands down- he's lost it......

-- anita (, April 16, 1999.

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