Are you REALLY concerned about the dangers of Y2K ? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Maybe I'm slightly OT here, but recent articles have mentioned Boeing 737 Y2K testing, and I've seen other recent threads relating to aviation in general, and Boeing in particular, and after lurking here for some time, I thought it pertinent to add this.

If, like many people, you feel concerned about the implications of Y2K on air safety, (and theres no reason why you shouldn't, at least until the entire industry hits their deadlines and eradicates the risk of this particular flavour of technical problem which IMHO they almost certainly will, as the economic imperative now is paramount), then I offer you the following site to try to add some perspective to this and other issues around the millenniumn computer issue.

(cant be bothered to link, just cut and paste, and by the way, this is NOT my website and I'm not selling anything)

What I'm trying to say here is that YES the Y2K issue has important implications for safety across the board, but it is not by definition a greater, more "dangerous" problem than many other safety issues that . .

1) Already exist. 2) Are entirely unrelated to Y2K. and 3) We can be certain about.

This logic is not limited to the world of civil aviation, but is true of more or less ANY technology-based industry.

Most of the publicity about the Y2K issue actually serves to REDUCE the risk, despite the fact that it seems to exacerbate one's own fear. If lots of consumers campaign about something then the powers-that-be will act. Thats economics. And to get lots of consumers (most of whom will do nothing until something really motivates them to get off their asses) to act, requires publicity.

But, publicity which propogates the idea that "Theres nothing we can do, its too late, all is lost" has the opposite effect. It defuses the public's will to effect change.

Thereby, I suggest that any REALISTIC personal contingency which can be taken to increase your own personal safety in any realm of life would seem just about as sensible as buying a smoke-hood to take on a flight if the airline refuses to give you one for free. Thats the personal level of affirmative action. However, the act of building a personal reinforced-concrete bunker to withstand direct impact from falling 747's, would speak more of an individual's insecurity and anxiety than of any realistic desire to prepare for a realistic problem. Its also a waste of time and energy which would be better spent in a more socially beneficial course of action.

By which I mean (and continuing the analogy), to do everything you can to pressure the airlines into providing smoke-hoods to ALL passengers. Or upgrading their wiring in line with FAR25 regulations.

All of which leads me to wonder how many "GI's" here could better spend their time in writing copious emails to the heads of utilities and private companies to reinforce the "do it now" message, or maybe in encouraging other people to do the same; rather than sitting on their bags of beans group-chanting "its all over, were doomed" ? If youre really as concerned as you appear about Y2K, then why not do something positive to help solve the problem ? It may not be much, but its SOMETHING.

Whatever happened to "people-power" ? No doubt, the Y2K issue, in conjunction with this great new communications device we all use, offers a fantastic opportunity for a new-wave of consumer driven action. Using the net, you can mobilise whole communities. Unrestrained by geographical limits, you can use the net to show people that the choices they make about where to spend the dollar in their pocket is one of the most powerful forces on earth. People on this forum talk about "retaking our country". Theres a way you can start. The automobile industry did NOTHING about safety until they were forced to do so by consumer opinion. Thats the way it works nowadays.

This seems in essence a decent analogy for the "active, concerned and informed" Y2K GI versus the "wild-eyed and panic-stricken cave-dwelling" brand of doomer as seen all too frequently on this and other Y2K forums. Am I the only person who thinks it would be nice to see a change of emphasis from "what you can do to prepare personally" to "what you can do to drive the solution globally" ?

To think of Y2K as an unstoppable "silver bullet", that will single-handedly endanger every inhabitant of this planet, is pure doomerism, and founded on nothing but human fear. And it helps nobody.

To think of it as a challenge which needs to be overcome, much like any other risk, problem or challenge which we face every day, is prudent and sane. And to take action and expend energy to pressure those who CAN change things to DO SO, is creditable.

NOTE: Posting doom-laden articles to this forum does NOT count under this heading.

LIFE is dangerous. Y2K is just one more banana skin on a path full of banana skins. Walk with care. But keep walking, and campaign hard for the path to be swept.

-- Aviation Buff (, April 20, 1999


Yawn. Go back to the hangar you came from with this drivel .....

-- Sick And Tired (Of@This.Crap), April 20, 1999.

Thanks for that intellectual input "Sick". I appreciate the unintentional aptness of your chosen handle . . as to your tiredness, well only you know what youre tired of . . the effort of life maybe ?)

If a fundamental belief in the power of large groups of individuals to influence organisations is "drivel" then I'm full of drivel. Id rather believe that your attitude serves only to underline the point I was making about some people being more inclined to whine than to do something positive.

I hope the concrete bunker constuction is going well. Watch out for those plummeting 747's.

DUCK !!!!

-- Aviation Buff (, April 20, 1999.

Av Buff,

There is only one slight problem with your argument. It's wrong!

"All of which leads me to wonder how many "GI's" here could better spend their time in writing copious emails to the heads of utilities and private companies to reinforce the "do it now" message, or maybe in encouraging other people to do the same; rather than sitting on their bags of beans group-chanting "its all over, were doomed" ?" The time for this sort of activism is long past. Do you really belive that the heads of utilities and private companies will respond to your emails, suddenly throw several thousand new, experienced employees at the problem in December, 1999, and, voila, the problem is solved? Had these 'heads' been receptive to such persuasion several years ago we would not have a problem today, and in January, 2000. These 'heads' are (or were) part of the problem.

There comes a time when realism dictates that Y2K remediation may not be completed on time. When this point in time is reached -- a different point in time for each company and each agency -- then contingency plans become vital. When it becomes apparent that these government/corporate contingency plans do not adequately provide for my well being, then it's time for me to do something about it. Time to stop writing "copious emails" that don't do a lot of good, and time to start protecting myself and my neighbors.

Activism is good. Global solutions are good. They, of course depend on national solutions, and the complete acceptance of the international community. (As a result, I've never seen a global solution. Is Kosovo a global solution?) National solutions depend on community solutions. (Rarely do we have a national solution anymore.) And, community solutions rest solidly on individul solutions.

If you really want to be active, begin by taking the necessary steps to become a little more independent on others -- prepared, in other words. Then, with this base, knowing that you have your own house in order, you can becopme active and reach out to others to help prepare a block, a neighborhood, or even a village. That is true activism, not writing emails to CEOs who've received thousands of them -- and don't even read them.

But then, you know this, and you really aren't interested in doing anything more constructive than using inflamatory language to rake most of the posters here over the coals because they don't subscribe to your view of the problem.

-- De (, April 20, 1999.

close italics

-- -- (..@,,.,,), April 20, 1999.

Thanks for your response De.

I take some of your points on board. It appears that the basic difference between our opinions are based on 2 assumptions Those being . .

1) That CEO's of companies do not respond to mass-consumer pressure.

and that

2) In most cases its too late to do anything that will make a difference.

Your assertion that "I know this", and that my motives are simply to haul people over the coals for disagreeing with my views on Y2K suggest that you are as assumptive as you sound. My motives for posting the original message (as I would have outlined had you asked) were/are . .

That I believe that a large quantity of the "information" which flows around the Y2K issue, on this board and in other places, is simply "noise" and accomplishes very little other than to make it difficult for newcomers to form any ideas as to what to do. In no way did my post suggest that personal preparation was a bad thing. I believe that individual personal action is a sensible measure, and I thought I'd made that clear.

But I think that the simple waste of bandwidth which most of the noise here represents is a sad reflection on the internet in general. You believe its too late. Then carry on doing nothing. Personally, I remediated my small business in 2 days. I have also spent much time lobbying all the suppliers of any product or service which I rely on to gain assurances that they have done the same. Now if everyone did this, and in turn made it clear that if a supplier cant provide some documented proof or assurance that their company is prepared for Y2K, they lose your business, do you see this as a bad thing ?

I thought the SME's and SoHo's were the slowest to respond to this ? Surely a continued effort to inspire them to act is a positive.

To say "its too late" is to evangelise quitting. Why not just say "I quit" ?

-- Aviation Buff (, April 20, 1999.


to say it is too late is simply to acknowledge a statistical reality. Once that reality is acknowledged you now have three options:

1. you can do as your original post advocates and continue on until such time as the lights go out, and you're doing your remediation by candle light.

2. you can quit, and spend the next 8 months watching daytime television.

3. you can properly prepare for the needs of your family.

I take it you've chosen option one?

Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (, April 20, 1999.

You're obviously not familiar with this forum. Since its inception, there has been endless exhorting and encouraging of everybody to do all that can be done, first, to FIX Y2K technically and, in parallel, to prepare for possible negative effects.

As for noise on the Net, so? It comes with the medium and has nothing to do with any particular forum on any subject.

-- BigDog (, April 20, 1999.

Aviation Buff,

You've brought up a number of interesting points. As far as copious e- mails to utilities and companies, I can say that I know my local utilities are working on Y2K. What I don't know is whether they started soon enough.

I also know I've brought Y2K awareness to some small businesses. In some cases this was directly; in others, I sensitized the owners to the issue, and they eventually took Y2K seriously as an issue sooner than if I had said nothing.

Convincing an individual or business to take Y2K seriously, however, is not as simple as sending an e-mail. The topic is complex, and almost nobody will take Y2K seriously just because I say so. Business owners want to see articles, reports, Congressional testimony and trade publications. This forum is quite valuable for locating such sources of information.

This forum is about risk assessment. An analogy would be deciding if you want liability, collision or comprehensive auto insurance. It's unfortunate that making contingency plans for one's family isn't as easy as taking out an insurance policy. It's also unfortunate that Y2K is as complex an issue as it is, and that the experts disagree.

-- Kevin (, April 20, 1999.

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