Evidence for a disaster?

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Frankly, I don't see much.

The bad news is that things ARE overblown. We *are* due for an unpleasant spell of economic havoc. The economy is going to come crashing down at some point, purely by its own present upwards momentum. It's unsustainable.

That's the bad news. The good news is that I've started to believe that y2k won't be much of an issue after all.

LOok at the 1970s oil shortages. They were a nuisance, and they hurt the economy, and they made life a lot harder for a lot of people, but they were NOT fatal. People found a way round.

And, remediation seems to be happening on time or sooner, from what I've heard. All the information coming to me says that:

1. Some systems WILL go down.

2. Most will not.

3. The ones that do go down, we'll find a way around. Y2k might get ugly, but it probably won't be a total disaster. People who have not prepared will not die and they probably won't suffer beyond some irritation. This irritation could be about equal to that of eating stored food.

I'd really like evidence to the contrary of what I'm saying.. because otherwise I'll have put six months into a company whose products I won't be able to sell. To the extent of my knowledge, remediation is going well. Things won't be as bad as they could be. Six months ago, I thought things were going to be ugly. But things seem to have changed for the better in that time.. if y2k had been y1999, things could have been nasty. But now, I see minimal evidence pointing to it being worse than a 2 or perhaps a 3.


-- Leo (lchampion@ozemail.com.au), May 07, 1999


hey Leo -

I'd love to hear some of the information that turned you around in such a dramatic way.

From what I can tell, while shifting through the spin and the number manipulation, is that things haven't changed much in the last 6 months. Well, perhaps the campaign to contain panic has increased quite a bit.

As for the 70's...it was a different time. Most American families had at least one parent at home during the day and one "bread winner" could make life comfortable. Taxes were lower and there were a whole mess of deductions my parents could utilize that are no longer available to me. Commutes were shorter and we didn't depend on computers and information technology as heavily to make our everyday lives comfortable. We sure didn't have situations like what happened in Littleton and Oaklahoma City.

If the oil embargo situation of the 70's happened tomorrow I think that the resulting situation would not be as comfortable as it was back then. In fact, it very well might get ugly.

If you have new information you can share regarding what caused this dramatic shift I'd love to hear it.


Mike ======================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mt4design@aol.com), May 07, 1999.

"shifting"...argh...at 2 am that sure looked like sifting...

Mike ===================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mt4design@aol.com), May 07, 1999.

Basically, my 'new information' is that the old information seems to be getting out of date. I've been seeing a steady stream of progress reports from various companies saying that they're y2k compliant; power companies seem to be heavily focussed on this, as do telcos. And we all know the phenomenal amount of money that the banks are spending on y2k.. hundreds of millions.

I've come to think that when I did my initial research on y2k -early November 1998- the information WAS pessimistic. In the intervening time, a lot of things have either been fixed or been on their way to being fixed. I don't think everything will be perfect -that's unrealistic. GPS systems and the top-level military stuff may go awry. But for Joe Average out there, it'll be not much more than a nuisance.

Please. Part of the reason I posted this thread was to get arguments saying I'm WRONG, that my business still has a reason to exist..


-- Leo (lchampion@ozemail.com.au), May 07, 1999.


Few people think that the power grid going down and staying down is likely in countries such as the U.S. or Australia. The economic impact, though, could be substantial. Here are some recent links you might want to take a look at:

Testimony on world readiness at a March Senate hearing:


U.S. Commerce Department on Y2K and world trade:

http://y2k.ita.doc.gov/y2k/y2k.nsf/dd5cab6801f1723585256474005327c8/b3 cb5b3db231dd9b85256759004baaa5?OpenDocument

Fortune 1000 readiness in the U.S.:


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 07, 1999.


Once in awhile you still see an article like this on utilities, though:


"Power firms face Y2K woes - GAO report says nearly half of electric utilities will miss preparation deadline"

We've all known, or should have known, that perhaps 80% of organizations would get enough Y2K work done to avoid having a mission-critical system failure. Some good news was expected. The question now is, what effect will the other 20% have on the 80%, and what effect will the world have on that 80%?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 07, 1999.

Hey Leo, your starting to sound like a stupit pussy!

-- John (im@john.com), May 07, 1999.


Actualy he's starting to sound like "their just so goshdarn great and awesome, that they will get it fixed", the original Polly.

-- R. Wright (blaklodg@aol.com), May 07, 1999.


One other thing...I'm still quite concerned about food shortages.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 07, 1999.

Wrong dude.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 07, 1999.

am I dreaming or is this a post from nigel under your name

-- dick of the dale (rdale@coynet.com), May 07, 1999.

"And, remediation seems to be happening on time or sooner, from what I've heard"

The latest report from Triaxsys contradicts this. And if it is still the case that Europe and Asia are a year+ behind U.S. (me sez yeah), then we heading for an economic meltdown far worse than the 70's oil blip...worse than 1929 too, imho.

-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), May 07, 1999.


I wouldn't bring this subject up again unless you are ready for a lot of abuse. Doomers DO NOT like people leaving their Cult Of Death

-- Y2K Pro (2@641.com), May 07, 1999.

y2-kaypro is tedious.

-- humpty (no.6@thevillage.com), May 07, 1999.

Thanks Doc Paulie,

before your bedtime isn't it?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 07, 1999.

Leo --- I still read all this as a large "maybe." Corporate public relations policies are designed to support stock price and earnings estimates. Maybe these press releases are truthful. Maybe they're not. They could be perfectly honest, but based on erroneous information.

Spending a billion dollars on a systemic problem may solve it. But that's not a law of nature. Maybe it didn't. Maybe the executive people don't want to hear discouraging words from their technical people. There is precedent for this.

Check out Roger Boisjoly's account of his experiences at Morton-Thiokol, fabricator of the critical O-ring that failed, resulting in the destruction of Challenger, at http://www.cwru.edu/affil/wwwethics/boisjoly/RB-intro.html and links therefrom.

I don't claim omniscience. I'm just saying, "maybe." Russian roulette is a dangerous game.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), May 07, 1999.

Leo, like alot of us, I've been "oscillating" between 3 and 8 for over a year now. (Exhausting, ain't it?) But from my experience in software projects, things are fine right up until the time that they suddenly ain't, and we always do the hard stuff last.

I agree with your points:

1. Some systems WILL go down.

2. Most will not.

But what the impact will be (what fails when) is still utterly unpredictable.

Today an interesting piece appeared on BusinessWire:

http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/f_headline.cgi?day0/191271059&tick er= *snip*

( BW)(FL-WEISS-RATINGS) America's Largest Companies Among Y2K Laggards

Business Editors/Investment/Stock/Hi-Tech/Y2K & Utilities Writers PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 7, 1999--

Wal Mart, Intel and Conagra rated "Low" for Y2K Progress; GM, Ford, Texaco, Chevron, Bell Atlantic rated "Below Average"

Some of nation's largest corporations are among the furthest behind in fixing their computer systems for the millennium,according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the only provider of Y2K readiness ratings on banks, insurance companies, and Fortune 1000 companies.

Among the 50 largest nonfinancial corporations in America (by revenues), three companies -- Wal Mart, Intel, and Conagra -- received a Weiss Y2K Rating of "low," indicating potentially serious delays in fixing their computer systems for the year 2000. Meanwhile, 11 of the 50 largest companies received a Y2K rating of "below average." These included America's two largest corporations, General Motors and Ford, as well as Texaco, Chevron, Bell Atlantic, Motorola, PepsiCo, Kroger Company, SBC Communications, United Technologies, and Compaq.

None of the nation's 50 largest nonfinancial companies merited a Weiss Y2K Rating of "high," and only three of the largest 100 received a "high" grade -- Costco, American Stores, and AMR. Smaller companies among the Fortune 1000 receiving "high" Weiss Y2K ratings include Northrop Grumman, Continental Airlines, Consolidated Edison, and Unisource Worldwide, Inc.

Martin Weiss, Ph.D., chairman of Weiss Ratings commented: "We've known for some time that small and mid-sized companies would have difficulties in their preparations for the new millennium. But the poor progress made by so many of America's largest companies comes as quite a shock, implying potentially serious disruptions in the operations and profits of at least some of these companies."


Check out the article, and visit Wiess Reports:


Several other fascinating reports on sector readiness.

I dunno. It's hard to "keep your eye on the ball" as BigDog put it, with so much "good news" around. But I still view the effects of Y2K (even without the secondary political/military/social upheavals around the world) as a graver threat to my family than a house fire. So prudent precaution remain appropriate, IMHO.

Leo, I fervently hope your crystal ball is clearer than mine.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), May 07, 1999.

Y2K Pro.......

You have uttered the secret name....Cult of Death........

You have revealed their deepest darkest secret......

For this, they will forgive you.....however do not reveal the secret handshake or the inscription on the ring of doom..for that there would be no forgiveness....

Y2K Pro........perhaps you are also one with the spoon.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), May 07, 1999.

Progress is being made. It is publicized. It is hyped. It is spun. For this I do not blame them, I applaud them. Panic among the public will not benefit any of us.

To assume that any of this means that the problem is solved is stupid. Has the risk gone down? NO! It's better than it used to be, but who ever said that companies or the government wouldn't make any progress? Sheesh!

The only question remaining is whether it is enough to prevent a catastrophe where individual preparation is essential. Nothing has come out to tell me that preparation is foolish. Those who will try to prepare in a few months will not be able to.

Let's hope the government lies to them enough so they won't try. It will only make their discomfort come sooner.

-- Doug (douglasjohnson@prodigy.net), May 07, 1999.

If you check the latest SEC filings of the fortune 1000, you will see that it is more than SOME systems that will go down. Time, will kill the spin and denial. The truth will come out.

-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), May 07, 1999.

Link to the Weiss Ratings report:


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 07, 1999.


Cult of death? Please, I had given you credit for more brains than that. Y2K Pro paints with an excessively broad brush, and anyone who shows any sign of concern about this subject is a loony in his eyes. That is a sign of simple minded thinking which, combined with his reluctance to answer the critics of his supposed credentials, gives his opinions less weight than those of DIetEr.


I too am more optimistic than I was even 3 months ago. But I am not ready to give all of my foodstuffs to charity just yet. BTW, what ever happened with your executive survival farm? Have you found yourself in hock for a million dollars yet?

Remember that it was your old Unc D who told you to forget your impetuous, youthful scheme to get rich quick. Listen to your Unc, he is wise beyond your years. (Though I'm certain you would have out scored him on his SATs, if he had bothered to go to school enough to take them.)


-- Mr Deedah (used2B@unkeeD.B4civility), May 07, 1999.

Where did everyone's newfound optimism come from? The only goood news I've seen is that electricity seems fairly ok compared to what we might have thought a few months ago. And this is good news. But what else? General remediation progress is of course being made, but it hasn't really accellerated like it needed to in order to stave off at least an economic disaster. Maybe the pessimism of a few months ago was bolstered by the constant bad news coming out then. Now we're in a news lull, but most of all that bad news still apllies...Japanese banks are still screwed, Italian government is toast, Asian business is still mostly way behind, Fed Gov will still fail to remediate 15%+ of it's mission critical systems (and those thousands of non-M.C. systems must be good for something,), Russia is still toast, China is still toast, Koskinen's scary statement about water for 30 Million Americans still is what it is, the probability of oil disruption is still high, bank runs are still likely, stock market collapse is still predictable, chemical safety is still dubious, foreign nukes are still anyone's guess. The general remediation progress of the most on-the-ball countries, i.e. U.S.A., Australia, U.K., Israel, Sacndinavia, still reveals that these countries will face major problems. The other countries?...they're even worse off.

The scary and well supported facts are still out there, we just don't have a constant barrage of new scary facts right now. Plus the happy-face goons have been repeating their lie often enough... it seems like Joey Goebbels new what he was on about.

-- humpty (no.6@thevillage.com), May 08, 1999.


Electric is looking good, even Rick Cowles is talking local disruptions now. Hence my new brighter outlook on life, if the power stays on I do not see a Milnefomagic happening.

This gives me great joy, as I live about 7 miles to 7-11 ;)


-- Mr Deedah (used2B@unkeeD.B4civility), May 08, 1999.

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