THE NEXT 8 MONTHS : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The next 8 months harbors the potential to be unprecedented in the history of our country (with appropriate implications for the rest of the world). I have just finsihed reading the comments on a previous thread initiated by "Robert," I believe. Its initial subject was "human nature." Many thoughtful questions and responses to consider. Many people on this forum are truly insightful and articulate.

It caused me to reflect on my own views of human nature. That, however, is a discussion for another thread. It has also caused me to think about Y2K, and my own views on what will unfold over the next 8 months. This indeed is predicated on what I believe (as oppose to know) to be true with respect to human nature. Certainty is an elusive gem. It adorns its wearer with peace while they stand at the edge of the abyss. It is therefore the wise among us who hedge their bets....

Most of us to varying degrees practice the above approach to life. Using my own life as an example, I would argue that the probability of doing so increases with age, however. "Knowing everything" is reserved for the young. Yes there are "absolutes." To argue there are not is a contradiction. However, to arrive at one, and to proclaim it as such, can be reserved for only the most rational, the most disciplined, and usually, the most wise among us.

Using the vernacular of this forum, both the "Polys" and the "Doomers" would lead you to believe that they glow with the luster of certainty. Perhaps they do. However, Aristotelean logic mandates that while they both may glow with the luster, one group or the other is radiating a mere reflection - one that does not come from a mirror. Perhaps they can be called "Zirconiums in the rough."

For most of them however, whichever camp to which they swear allegance, I submit that in at least one respect they are not unlike you or I. Under the intense light of magnification, their gems of certainty invariably become clouded by spots of doubt. Deep within the gem stone that is their mind, they are reminded of the one certainty to which all of us are subject, the certainty of potential error. The fact that in any instance, on any issue, we have in the past been wrong. This invariably leads to the constant reminder that we may now be so as well.

Hopefully, the effects of being wrong are not harsh but only "lessons learned." If so the recipient of the lessons grows wiser. Unfortunately, the harsh lessons, though potentially the most instructive, are not for the faint of heart. Such is the potential of "Y2K."

It is here, using the context that I have painted above, that I base my opinion on what the next 8 months will bring. I do so because though we each may be different, we are ultimately, at the most fundamental level, the same. That is not to say that some of us are not better able to search out and find those elusive absolutes than are others. It is obvious that some of us are. It is to say however, that we each share in the knowledge that error is always a possiblity. The unalterable absolute that each of us may in fact "be wrong" will increasingly dominate our society in the coming 8 months with respect to our assessment of the impact(s) of Y2K. Because of the nature of "Y2K" and the fact that certainty is particularly elusive in this case; AND THE FACT THAT THE VALUES AT STAKE ARE SUCH, these circumstances will combine to cause us, no matter where we stand on the issue, to collectively, "hedge our bets."

As the months unfold, more and more of us will begin to take steps to prepare. Some, at one end of the bell curve will be doing so in order to complete their previously and constantly updated plan. The other end of the curve will be doing so "just in case." It is important to remember that the "Y2K problem" is just a technical problem that requires solution. Whatever can/will be fixed, will. What can't/doesn't, won't. However, our collective response in anticipation of the problem is a totally separate issue.

The demand for "supplies" will increase at an ever-accelerating pace. At some point in this rise it will be pronounced as a serious national problem ("it" being preparations - not Y2K). Depending on the "trigger" for the pronouncement when it is made; it is likely that the President, together with the support of the Congress, will declare a State of Emergency. Edicts, laws, appeals, mandates, and all sorts of "pronouncements" with appropriate responsible and irresponsible behaviors defined, will follow. It is at this point that the real rush to prepare for Y2K will begin.......

I say this because of the state and stature of our present leadership. In any crisis, if successful resolution is to be acheived, then there must be trust and confidence in the leadership. With our present leadership and the general level of cynicism in our country, virtually any pronouncement by our politicias simply causes further distrust and cynicism. In this environment, with the institution of a national state of emergency; with the justification being given as panic - caused by needless preparations; brought about by irrational fear; those that have remained on the sidelines will, in my judgment, spring into action. At the same time our leadership is "heging on our/their behalf," the unprepared (emotionally as well) will begin to feel uncertainty and doubt where before there had been only the daily pursuits of life. They will begin to see the need to hedge themselves.....

I do not to pretend to know where this will lead. Quite the contrary, I heed the words with which I began this ramble, I know I could be wrong. However, I believe I know this: As the year 2000 unfolds, whatever technical problems surface, they will be what they will be. Their effects will be constrained by the capabilites of those among us who are the most able, and are willing to exercise those capabilities. I cannot help but recall the hero in Ayn Rand's epic novel "Atlas Shrgged" and it stirs a distant foreboding...............

The "justification" for the "State of Emergency" will initially be the worn, tired, historically repetitive refrain, of saving people from themselves, pronounced by people that claim to know better. How long this justification will serve to renew itself will depend on how well those among us who, being the most able, are then performing their respective skills at their respective tasks. Sometime in 2000 I believe that whatever the basis for the emergency; whether it be, "irrational exuberance" on the part of those of us that remained unprepared who were "acting in response to the fear-mongering prophets of doom," or it is the passing of the economic consequences of the disruptions caused by the Y2K problem itself, the emergency will likely be over. The remaining emergency however, is the one that history should have taught us all to fear. It is the one that our founding fathers so eloquently tried to prevent, the one that invariably arises when instead of taking responsibility for that which properly resides with each of, we instead ask that the rest of us assume it for us.

Using the vernacular of this post I believe that during the coming 8 months we will all be hedging our respective bets. Those that have prepared will wonder if they haven't wasted much time, effort, resources, and emotional energy. Those who have not prepared will wonder if they should not now be doing so. My view of human nature leads me to conclude that most people will, prior to the end of 1999, have attempted to do so.

I have stated my reasons why I believe this to be the case. I could be wrong. For myself I should make my position clear. I have prepared for short periods of modest disruptions. Having done so I calmly and with peace of mind continue to pursue those values that make my life a joy. I do so knowing that I have prepared for what I have reasonably determined to be coming. In response to that which I am unable or unwilling to influence, I simply try to arrive at a state of awareness that allows me to discover that realization. I make no apologies.

I look forward to the continuing wisdom that is available on this forum. I thank those that make it possible..........

-- Dave Walden (, May 02, 1999


Women's mudwrestling is expected to absolutely soar this year, I read about it in the latest issue of FIGHTING FEMALES magazine.

-- King of Spain (, May 02, 1999.

Interesting stuff Dave. Personally, I don't think any "state of emergency" will be declared. The "bump in the road" line from the Clinton administration will continue no matter what they may know to the contrary. Most people will be happy to go along with it so that they don't have to think about y2k much less worry about it. They may put a few extra cans by while doing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner shopping. People have so many other things going on in their lives that they don't have or take the time to really check out what y2k means. Or if it could have any effect on them. "Polly & Doomer" are foreign phrases that have no relevance. Never heard of it. Especially people without access to the internet. I think that almost anyone who gets their information solely from mainstream media thinks that y2k is only overblown hype and not anything that concerns them at all. I have found this to be true in my own family. Some of us GI and some of us don't. Or DWGI. I hope they are right and we are all worrying over nothing but I don't think that is the case.

I really enjoy having this forum to read the opinions bounced around and serious talk about the risks of y2k and the rest of the current problems. If nothing else, y2k has opened my eyes to many things I rarely paid attention to before. I'll never be quite the same again no matter how it turns out.

mb in NC

-- mb (, May 02, 1999.

(Wrestling how fitting)


Something that has been going through my mind is the length of time it takes someone to GI. From this point is it possible for someone that doesnt get Y2K to prepare for months? On the forum it is easy to assume that we are in trouble but in real life nothing has changed. For people to get the resolve to achieve doomer preps they no doubt have advance awareness by a year. Time is now not on the prep side of things. The Gary North and Paul Milnes of the y2k community will see few to match their efforts.

Getting people prepared is difficult even with known risks. During the summer we are going to get allot more info when entities submit their contingency plans to the regulatory body and it becomes public. If and when Y2K is standard fare on the TV and a movie or two the folks with a change of heart towards the future and Y2K will not have the option of serious prep. It may even be months (stretching into the fall) that the resolve comes to respond to the need of some security.

Wrestling how fitting. Wrestling is something that has become an event on primetime. Do I get wrestling? Not really, my life has not changed. If Y2K was elevated to the level of Pro Wrestling would it reach into peoples lives? If life continues as we know it for the remaining months maybe not. I find it surreal that the society around me could be altered. And I read up on Y2K every day for the last year and a half.

Sometimes I think John Koskenin has a delicate timing problem. Awareness cant be to early or folks will think its a joke. It cant be to late or......... well its going to be this summer.

It will be to late to be a secure doomer, not enough time.

-- Brian (, May 02, 1999.

Neither individual nor national preparation is inappropriate, even excluding Y2K. There are too many "traps" awaiting mankind to be ignored, and they appear to be converging in time.

-- A. Hambley (, May 02, 1999.

All the preparations discussed in this forum and elsewhere, while related to y2k, are not unusual to the savvy.

Being able to go a month without having to 'run to the store' is a premise that is sadly lacking in today's society.

As Bonnie Camp put so elequently in this thread,

preparation as we talk about it was standard just a few years ago. The very thought that three weeks of additional stores is necessary is something that our parents or grandparents would think ridiculous.

The potential of preparing, aside from the common storing of necessities, can be an awakening to many folk who are used to the 'Just In Time' mentality. I mean, the very idea that you could conceivably walk outside and 'pick a meal' in your own yard is mind blowing to many.

Perhaps we can learn from y2k that we can use our planet wiser, and our own small personal portion better, and thus change society. It could happen.

Imagine, families who spend time together in the family garden, each member with his/her own plot, and a main area for the basics. Then expand it to include the neighbors. Why line a street with shade trees when fruit bearing trees would be better?

Why stop there? Go further...instead of flowering trees in the median of the highway, why not plant fruit trees and use the harvest to feed the less fortunate.

The potential of y2k can do wonders for this planet. Pluck the lemon and make lemonade.....

-- J (, May 02, 1999.

How thoughtful! How carefully and well worded! I very much enjoyed the post. I also agree that it seems that more people will prepare for the worst as the word gets out... as the terible possibilities grip the heart and imagination of the american people... as fear and courage are fed with an increasingly frequent, tiny little doses of "what if." Those that are capable of self-doubt will GI or SGI (those that stop getting it) faster according to the weather forecasts that they tune into... some will just weary and GI or SGI. It also seems that those that GI will outnumber those that SGI, just because so many DGI now.

Will there be a shortage of supplies or will the once-unhappy american farmer and other supply related industries enjoy a prosperity that hasn't been seen before? It's hard to say without any analysis of the surplus of the farmers and the efficiencies and health of the supply related industries and distribution points. Aladdin lamps, as example, had just sold off its lamp productions this last winter and so there was a slow down in production of this popular oil lamp light causing the present shortage, rising prices, and scramble for these oil lamps. In other words, Alladin Lamps does not illustrate the inefficiencies of an industry that is unable to keep up with the potential increasing demand of new GIs. Long term storage food manufacturers were having some difficulties this winter keeping up with the increasing orders, but some say that recent campaigns to calm people down have been very effective and the wait lists are gone. Are manufacturers using this downtime to improve their organizations and production capabilities? Will hindsight and new harvests facilitate these kind of improvements?

On the other side of the dime, how will the demand for Y2K supplies impact the selling of bigger tvs, louder stereos, faster computers, etc? What will happen to the Best Buys in the 3rd and 4th quarters? Depending on how seriously people GI, whether they think it is going to be a 5 or a 10, and how much time these people have left to prepare... there may be a large and terrible impact on a variety of non-survival goods and services. The Antique Roadshow and the recent boom in antiquing, for example, might take backseat to making preps.

The other side of the problem would also be of national concern to big business and all the politicians and interest groups that big business supports. Where is delta? At what point is it a national emergency? My opinion is that like pornography, our leaders will know it when they see it. But whether they will ever see it remains only a possibility among many others. I don't think we are at that point where we can see it coming. Of course, at that observation point where it seems that a national emergency is around the corner, delta won't be far behind.

If there is a wide-spread collapse of technology from Y2K problems and things don't go well, do we need to be concerned about the possibility of tyranny? It is a possibility, but I do not see how this possibility would be stopped if it should rise up in the midst of great confusion. Would today's statesmen rise to challenge and preserve this union or would the survivors re-invent the experiment... try out something new. And would a renewal be better or worse than that which we have today?

Will we raise the star pangled banner and sing an old song with tears in our eyes... or would lifting that flag incite civil disobedience in the remembrance of things past? There are many questions we can ask. The question that asks them seems to be: what shall we do now and how shall we endeavor to preserve our unique American heritage in the face of ,possibly, the greatest challenge that Americans have ever faced? We stand not alone on the edge of the abyss. It is frightening, still.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, May 02, 1999.

How naive to think that any significate percentage of the population will take any measures what so ever. Just look in their eyes as you ride the bus, walk down the street, shop in the malls(now there is a place to find thougthful people). A 2x4 across the forehead MIGHT get their attention.

-- curtis schalek (, May 02, 1999.


I think it is rather unfortunate that the continuing wisdom on this board is headed downhill at a rather fast clip. May be because I've been handing around here for a year or so and the noise level has pretty constantly increased.

I had to chuckle at someone comment about wrestling. As I was reading your post and reflecting on the general state of the board lately, the Nationl Wrestling Aliance or what ever it's called came to mind.

That's what it seems like it's becoming here. Lots of screaming, slaming, banging, vitrolic spewing and threats. Maybe interesting to watch to 20-30 seconds to see just how stupid the world can be, but not much there to sustain interest.

I too hope the forum can continue to furnish wisdom, but I fear the jackals have just about pulled the lion down here.

-- Greybear (, May 03, 1999.

Good Job Dave and Stan,I can tell you are thinkers and I think you word yourselves well. It is too bad that your words could not be printed in the Wall Street Journal or News Week. I do not believe that there has not been enough real information about the realities of Y2K. And I have also noticed that there is a lot of apathy and denial about the subject. I think it is best to be pro-active and prepare for an anticipated event, It relieves a lot of fears.

-- Vickie Haar (, May 03, 1999.

I fear you may be right Greybear. The idiots, the Socialists, the Emoters and the trolls have definitely worn us down.

That's not to say that I have changed my stands one iota, but I'm about done with this board.

Though a warning message needs to be preached, there are too many morons with too much time on their hands that simply emote, muddy and spin more crap than can be reasonably debated.

As this board aptly proves...we are a divided nation and world.

In my opinion, once the infrastructure that holds everyone's little pollyanna/Liberal fantasy world together collapses, even if it's a short time, the full harvest of what has been sown in our divisions will come full-blow.

Then we will see why the Second Ammendment will keep some of us alive longer than others who have thrown it and the rest of the Constitution in the toilet.

-- INVAR (, May 03, 1999.

INVAR, please don't leave! This forum needs you desperately. Don't let the Pollyanna trolls win!

-- Concerned (, May 03, 1999.

Wow, I haven't been on this forum for quite some time. I can't believe the change. It seems that there are at least as many trollish posters here as there are genuine forum participants. What a shame. It just doesn't seem that there is much info here anymore. Does anyone know of another forum (Y2K related) that hasn't degenerated into name calling?

-- silly (, May 03, 1999.

A modest suggestion. The ABOUT states, "This forum is intended for people who are concerned about the impact of the Y2000 problem on their personal lives, and who want to discuss various fallback contingency plans with other like-minded people."

Perhaps a little satire would help lighten the burden of wading through the off topic pollyannish bland and glib drivel of Norm's and others' postings.

Perhaps all thread titles should begin (On Topic - "category") Title, with category being Food, alternative energy, etc. as categorized in the older messages headings.

-- Ken Seger (, May 03, 1999.

This is perhaps one of the most urgent messages I have ever attempted to enunciate

DON'T GO !!!!

DON'T GO !!!!

Do not let the Serpants of discord bring about the fall. Do not!!!

If only I could tell you of the intense feelings I was experiencing when I first arrived here on "terraboom". The uncertainty, the fear, the "fight or flight" syndrome. If I could only express my heartfelt thanks for those that gave me options, ideas, and hope.

Even if the real problem of Y2K is being solved by the biggest and best in this country, there are problems as yet unseen or diagnosed. Even if all the predictions are skewed to the right or left of center, the general population will need your/our help.

Whether you like it or not, you have become a Lighthouse in these uncertain times. Whether you choose to let these vermin defeat you or not, I will remain. Not because I necessarily want to but, because I have to, for the very reasons I kept returning to this forum in the first place. I needed information. I needed hope. I needed to know that there were other good and honest people to share my plight. Not th plight of certain doom, but rather the plight of unbridled fear. Fear of the unknown.

It doesn't really matter if some mis-information is dispensed within the parameters of the whole. It will become glaringly apparent as such, when exposed to the light of truth.

What does matter is that you don't give up. There a potentially thousands, or millions of good, honest folks that are going to be at the mercy of their imaginations, without some buoy to warn of the dangers of unbridled fear. For many, you are or can be that buoy.

Remember for a moment,if you will,your initial feelings upon learning of the potential of Y2K. Now you must magnify that within the time constraints we now face. People will panic. But if you have succeeded in reaching enough of us, we will be able to offer them some comfort by offering information we have gleened through this forum. We may just be able to be voice of reason during unsettled times. We can collectively make a difference, where individually we could not be heard.

I implore you, Please don't give up. Each of us has the power to choose not to fight or argue with them. Make that choice!

Each of us has the power not to waste valuable time by reading posts made by those who would destroy this forum. Make that choice!

Many of them remind me of a Psychology Prof I had in college. He was the most arragant SOB I had ever met. He loved to pick on people. He knew the tricks. I hated him for that and ended up spending every day, every class, debunking him. The class split nearly right down the middle on our arguments. The result was I learned virtually nothing pertenient about the attributes of psychology, but I did learn that truth does prevail. In all it was a tremendous waste of time.

I don't disagree with the information which bodes of success in this blasted fight to solve Y2K. I welcome it, I pray for it. But to attempt to destroy this forum in order to "WIN" is a travesty, and can not be tolerated.

Just my (everything i've got for the moment) cents worth

Thanks for the personal empowerment I've recieved from you.

Respectfully, Mikeymac

-- spun@lright (, May 03, 1999.

I became concerned early last year about Y2K. Then after reading Yourdon and Hyatt, I became convinced.

Since that time, I have spent nearly every weekend in Y2K preparations, equipping a secure a place, installing a solar well, etc. Yet, all my relatives think I'm nuts, and plan to do what the government suggests: 3 day storm, blah, blah, blah.

That's why I was very happily surprised when our office manager dropped by on Friday and asked me if I was "a Y2K believer." I told her yes, and we began talking about it. She's been preparing for months, and as the office manager of the oil company where we both work, she is responsible for Y2K office preparations. Y2K is kind of joking matter with most of the managers here, and she had to argue long and hard to get approval to buy additional fuel for the backup generators.

Anyway, my main point is that you never know who else is preparing. I wouldn't have guessed that this co-worker was a GI, and there are probably a lot more out there than any of us realize.

-- Doug (, May 03, 1999.

Greybear and others --- The trolling is a signal of the mainly still underground fear that is bubbling about Y2K throughout the culture. "There is a season to everything" and this forum will have a (useful) beginning and end, trolls or no. Do you remember the various threads about panic? Not infrequently, we doomers HAVE missed the forest for the trees, no surprise, given the cultural complexity of it all. My point is, understanding the reason for the trolls underlines why Y2K remains a crisis.


-- BigDog (, May 03, 1999.

Hey fellow americans,let us not surrender to these people!I have lurked on this forum since Dec.and until recently have kept my opinions out of the nasty threads.Mainly because it's easy to simply ignore them.Look at all the invaluable wisdom that has been spread around and shared with each other!Or how about the moral and mental support that we all need from time to time!For the love of god do not let the misguided few bring the rest of us down!Don't let the BASTARDS drag you down,LOWER YOUR STANDARDS TO NO ONE!Just want to say thanks to INVAR,GREYBEAR,I make it a point to check your threads each day! And Dave,of the few threads that I've read by you,I have deduced that you appear to have a very high degree of intelligence,common sense and rationale.My hat's off to you,a great topic about human nature! BTW,I live in northeast GA.,about 15 miles from Helen,if you ever need any help next year give me a holler, it pays to know a few locals.

-- SEMPER FI (, May 03, 1999.

My 2 {when did they take the blinkin' cents sign off the keyboard???} worth.

Stay with our forum. Don't obsess, don't miss beautiful spring/summer days outside -- just check in and let us know you're still in the community!

Not enough "real" y2k news? This is just the way it's playing out. We knew there would be lulls, and frustrating silences.

No one knows if it's a 2 or a 9 coming. But we knew that the news would be managed either way. And we knew the societal reaction would be a black box, to be guessed either way.

We prepare to stay ahead of society's panic, regardless of the y2k remediation results. Otherwise, our "exit" to the theater gets blocked, whether or not that smoke is really a fire.

When the school of fish turns, it happens amazingly fast.

Maybe a forum like this could be condensed, mirrored, or otherwise managed in a more effective way for our utilization. Ed?

I come here first for my news now -- not TV or other mass media. If it's going to affect me or all of us, I expect you'll all have it here for me as quick and more usefully than they will.

-- jor-el (, May 03, 1999.

SEMPER: Thank you for the compliment(s). I noticed you live near Helen. I and two life long friends, both of whom live in Atlanta, are building retirement places just to the east of Ellijay. Perhaps a visit when i am there in July or perhaps in October. Will look for your continued posts.

EVERYONE: The purpose of this forum is the exchange of information and the sharing of perspectives. In my judgment it is not the forum for endless, and I would assert, fruitless, hostility and criticism. A suggestion: When you post something that is to you relevant, and you receive a response (directed at you or not), that has not been sumbitted in a spirit of respect, thoughtfulness, or is of little value, simply ignore it. No one will continue to go to the trouble to engage in what they consider to be valued contributions to this or any other forum, if they are forced to conclude that no one in fact considers their comments to be of value.

Mr Yourdon and those of us that take advantage of its value deserve nothing less.....

-- Dave Walden (, May 03, 1999.


"A suggestion: When you post something that is to you relevant, and you receive a response (directed at you or not), that has not been sumbitted in a spirit of respect, thoughtfulness, or is of little value, simply ignore it. No one will continue to go to the trouble to engage in what they consider to be valued contributions to this or any other forum, if they are forced to conclude that no one in fact considers their comments to be of value."

Alas, life is not that simple. Some people are here because they really do want to destroy the forum and CAUSE us to go away and abandon it. They won't stop because ignored (indeed, they don't stop as a matter of experience).

If you'll forgive a weird analogy in this context, there were times when Jesus scorched people as "vipers" and "hypocrites" and other times when he was absolutely silent. It takes a delicate touch and real discernment. None of us have it but we have to take our best shot ON BEHALF of the forum itself.

-- BigDog (, May 03, 1999.

BIG DOG: Excellent point. Knowing when to speak and when to remain silent, and then doing so, is one of the hallmarks of great wisdom.

My point had to do with the following premise: It has often been my experience that when someone responds to me in not only a critical fashion, but they dress that criticism in hostility and venom, then I eventually discover, usually with great interim frustration, that their purpose was one unrelated to what I had presumed it to be. I had in fact literally been wasting my time.

Using Y2K as an example. What can be the motive of someone who in focusing on how others have chosen to prepare, not simply offers their shared perspective, but also their ruthless abuse while doing so? Whatever their motive it certainly seems to me to bear little liklihood in furthering the basis for their own arguments - on whichever side they may ally..........

-- Dave Walden (, May 03, 1999.

Thanks, Dave.

Some threads I skip, some I speed-read, but this one I read word for word. I hope everyone else does too. Read and digest!

-- Debbie (, May 03, 1999.

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