Good Post from csy2k re Effects of Govt Happyface : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

carol wrote in message

>Could anyone give a rationale for all of the lying going on,,,from the >government to corporate America? I am not buying preventing panic as a >logical answer.

I think this is an excellent question even though the word lie is too strong for me yet. I think we are being misled with half-truths. It may even be wishful thinking still. Mostly however, we get silence. It is deafening. Why?

I think the most important reason is what Alan Simpson used to say, "Failure is not an option". This was back in the days when deJager was saying that if we did not have a Manhattan Project like Y2k effort by November of 1998 he was really going to be worried. Belasco was writing about how we got the Apollo 13 astronauts home and if we mount a similar effort we could still save the day. What was going to happen if the problem was not substantially fixed, if we did not have a Manhattan Project or we did not drop everything to save the astronauts?

"Failure is not an option."

At the time I wrote "Hey, failure is always an option. There had better be a better fallback position." There isn't a better fallback position. This is why Belasco and deJager et al have moved so far to the Pollyanna side of the fence. If failure is not an option, what do you do if it becomes apparent that failure is not only an option, but is damned likely?

You redefine failure and that is what has happened. Everybody except Scott, Poole and Dechert acknowledge that there will be failures now. Anything short of TEOTWAWKI is now success and "Failure is not an option" can still hold.

Suppose there were only two possibilities. One is Dechert's "Absolutely no problems" and the other was Infomagic "Spiral back to the middle ages". Suppose the CIA put a report on the president's desk tomorrow that said "No doubt about it, Dechert is right." What do you think Clinton would do? I think he would call the TV networks and be all over the tube. In that case, the only concern would be overreaction and panic and our leadership would easily kill it.

On the other hand, if the CIA report essentially agreed with Infomagic, what would Clinton do? Go on the tube and say "We're fucked!"? I don't think so.

I think both extremes are wrong but I think the model gives us a clue as to what our leaders really think. Right now the message is "Shhhh on the bad news. You'll cause a panic." The media is clearly going along. Even the NY Times has removed a bunch of gloomy stories from the index of Y2k stories.

Where on the continuum does that message fit? It certainly is not appropriate for the Dechert scenario. Therefore our leadership does not agree with Dechert. It does not even fit with deJager's Pollydoom position. Even in this case, our leaders would be all over it. If panic was really the concern, you do not hide it. You get quality information out there. We are not seeing quality information.

We are setting the stage for a panic. If you say "Don't panic" often enough, people will decide there is something to panic about. We all know airplanes will not fall out of the sky, but Joe Public has been told they will not fall out the sky so often he plans to avoid flying. There won't be many people in elevators either, just because we have been told elevators won't plunge so often.

"Shhh, you'll cause a panic" is what weak leadership would say if they believed in any scenario between Yourdon and Milne. Draw your own conclusions.

Tom Benjamin

-- (helpful@worried.too), April 15, 1999


Redefining failure. That is exactly what seems to be happening. Thanks for the post.

-- Mike Lang (, April 15, 1999.

I am glad to see another post from Tom Benjamin. He wrote "Toms Take" a while back which to me was an excellent scenario of what could happen. Why doesn't the government at least talk about a 30 day problem so that people would buy food now while it is available instead of waiting until PANIC MODE in December when the shelves will be empty? Stir up people to stock up some now. It appears to me that problems with refineries will cause major shortages and price increases of fuel including gas and diesel fuel. Is anyone preparing to produce their own alcohol fuel? Is gasahol still being produced such as by Archer Daniel Midlands? That was 10% corn alcohol? I would rather pay $3 per gallon and have some than none at $1.20 per gallon. I don't like dark with no electricity.

-- Steve (, April 15, 1999.

  From the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Y2K report (link below) is this little snippett. It suggests the US Government  plans on making this all public in June. If you read the report, contingency plans directly effects the community where the entity  is located. It would seem that there might be more involved than even most doomers would expect. One thing the report does lead to though is more employment for folks.

July and we will hear the truth because it will have to be made public.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>< /a> y2k01.pdf


Another important consideration is that the RMPlans will be
available in June 1999 when the general awareness about Y2K
will be significantly elevated. It is quite likely that these two
issues will be linked for facilities regulated through the
RMProgram. Facilities should therefore expect public queries
regarding their Y2K readiness.

The federal strategy is to provide the public with candid
information and assessments of Y2K compliance status 4 .
Overreaction and panic occur when people have insufficient,
inaccurate and irrelevant information and thereby assure that
rumors hold sway. The federal government through Presidents
Council on the Year 2000 Conversion and activities of different
agencies is trying to encourage the following:

United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Page 17

* Get pertinent and candid information out to the public,

* Demonstrate that organizations are managing against the

* Establish that normal emergency response mechanisms have
been reviewed and updated

-- Brian (, April 16, 1999.

For those that never had the pleasure, here is the links to Tom's original posts on the question of ultimately "To bug out or not to bug out" and what will happen to those folks in the city. I am sure that there are those that are aware of Tom's views and the agreements and disagreements with his views on this list. I was in disagreement. But the time is near when folks are going to have to make the choice.

DN - Tom's Take, Part I: Where We Are 
DN - Tom's Take: Part II Where We are going.
 DN - Tom's Take Part III -- The Fall
 DN - Tom's Take, Part IV, The Final Chapter

-- Brian (, April 16, 1999. y2k01.pdf < BR> Another important consideration is that the RMPlans will be available in June 1999 when the general awareness about Y2K will be significantly elevated.

That's the first I've heard of that.

I'd better hurry UP and finish my purchasing or we'll be doomed... sigh!

P.S. If any of you have extra money, buying lots of seeds you can sell to your neighbors, or stuff like that, would be very kindhearted, as well as self-protective.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (, April 16, 1999.

Of course there is a school of thought that a crushing panic is being prepared here - crazy? - Occam's Razor - the simplest answer. All the statements from csy2k would lead Sherlock to deduce that a large scale panic was required. Why? that's another story.

-- Andy (, April 16, 1999.

sorry Andy, but I have to disagree with you on that one - Occam's Razor shows that the most likely reason for the panic avoidance syndrome is that the bureaucrats simply don't want to deal with it...avoidance is how they handle everything with which they don't want to deal.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, April 16, 1999.

Don't Chase the Y2K Red Herrings

-- Sharon (, April 16, 1999.

But Arlin, this school of thought says that the bureaucrats are the least "in the know" - that's why they are bureaucrats (no-nothings), after all. The fact that they couldn't contain the panic makes the "plan" all the more effective.

-- Andy (, April 16, 1999.

There is absolutely ONLY ONE mention of this iin the WHOLE document!


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 17, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ