How Is Y2K Perceived Outside Of The US?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The email that I get from overseas indicates that our neighbors across the ponds view us a bit warily. There simply isn't that much of a Y2K As TEOLAWKI movement in Britain, for example, according to this (typical) response (which is posted at my Web site):
As a non-Christian, politically very liberal guy, I want to congratulate you on your wonderfully _sane_ Y2K page. Here in Europe, there are far fewer doom-mongers, for all kinds of transatlantic cultural reasons which I don't want to get into, but at least in some part because idiots don't have such free access to the airwaves.
I have been personally slightly worried that some Americans might actually buy into all this end-of-the-world stuff and blow up some more Federal buildings or whatever.
One sure sign that there is no problem, is that European political leaders didn't start government-funded Y2K awareness programmes until something like September of last year. There are two interpretations for this:
1) They didn't know much about it until the Y2K software company lobbyists got to them (ugh), or
2) Their advisers have told them that the world will _not_ end, so when everything doesn't cave in on 1/1/2000, they can take the credit.
In either case, it gives me a warm feeling (not about the politicians though).
In my organisation, we found exactly two Y2K problems:
- our entire payroll worked on 2 digits
- our entire accounting system worked on 2 digits. I say "worked" because we found these problems in... 1993. The accounting system was brought up to 4 digits in 1997. The payroll system was "due for replacement" before Y2K, which of course didn't happen (not _that's_ an example of a standard, everyday computer system screwup), but we weren't allowed to spend time fixing it until January of this year. It took one person six weeks. Big deal.
I'd like to hear from other persons outside of the United States.
-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (email@example.com), May 08, 1999
And what did you say your Web site link was? Could you give it again? Again? Again? I certainly recommend people go to it. Make up your own mind indeed.
And your point here is?
Oh, your point is that Britain, Europe, Asia (let's include them), South America and the rest of the continents have even LESS seriousness about addressing Y2K than the U.S.
How reassuring .....
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 08, 1999.
That is my read on the UK, also. But they are a hard people to understand. They have spent the last few months undergoing a nervous breakdown over genetically modified canola and soyabeans. Who can tell what this means.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 08, 1999.
They have spent the last few months undergoing a nervous breakdown over genetically modified canola and soyabeans.
ROFL! I hadn't heard that one! What's the scoop?
-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 1999.
Can't speak for the rest of Europe or indeed for the UK.Most people I have spoken to are not on the Net.Those that are are not looking at the Y2K sites.Very little in media so Joe Public (who doesn't understand computers & doesn't want to) only worries whether the toaster & central heating will work.Usual response is businesses cannot afford to fail & it is the Government's responsibility to sort it out. Small firms seem to be relying on vendors's assurances or are simply buying new. Heresay from London is that Y2K project leaders are beginning to jump ship & head for Scotland.
I guess I believe that we are heading for an 8.The only success I have had in awakening people has been anmongst the 70+ age group.They have become GI's to man..or woman.
-- Small business (email@example.com), May 08, 1999.
For an intro go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/. That is the home page. Go to the guardian front page and then access documentaries. Then access "what is wrong with our food" It has recently died down but will probabley flair-up again.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 08, 1999.
Oops a spelling mistake ! Are we really hard to understand?
Genetically modified food has some frightening implications not least about good practice by Monsanto.We are beginning to be very cynical about gene modification & its implications.Dolly the Sheep made a powerful impact.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 1999.
I didn't mean to indicate that there aren't valid concerns. Indeed, the concerns in the UK cannot be answered by research elsewhere. The ecology is different. Based on my experience as a research scientist in the area, I would support a ban on the widespread planting of GM crops [depending on the actual genetic modification] in the UK until many questions are answered. I was referring to the alarmist reports which are quite uninformed. Best wishes.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 08, 1999.
They also aren't happy that the U.S. insists they buy hormone laden beef. Seems eve the WTO thinks that no country has the right to choose chemical free food!!!! Funny bunch the Brits!!! Maybe you should think more about what you eat????? Sheep
-- sheep (email@example.com), May 08, 1999.
Up here in the Great White North Y2K has been discussed in the media quite a bit in the last few months.
Most of the techies I know who are involved in Y2K work are fairly upbeat - they foresee glitches but not TEOTWAWKI. The general population is not unduly worried. The federal government has been pretty open about its plans for having the military on standby. We don't have the same conspiracy mindset up here that seems more prevalent south of the border.
It is hard to imagine a bank run in Canada - we just don't have the small local banks like the US does. Six banks control 90-95% of the retail banking sector. And the banks also put pressure on the other members of the "iron triangle" long before Y2K surfaced as an issue on the net. A contact of mine works at a telco and he told me that the banks were bugging (no pun intended) his company back in early 96 about their remediation plans and contingency planning.
Will there be a pre-Jan 2000 panic in Canada? I don't know, but my feeling at the moment is that it won't happen. We are getting good reports from the hydro (power) companies and also from the Federal gov't (lack of problems at 1 April etc.).
For better or worse, we Canadians tend to place quite a bit of faith in our institutions (governments, military etc.) and also in our fellow citizens.
-- Johnny Canuck (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 1999.
Faggot says "As a non-Christian, politically very liberal guy"
-- Wiseguy (email@example.com), May 08, 1999.
I'm not liberal. I think JBS is. People like you give true Conservatives a bad name.
Know this: Y2k is over and you are a total asshole.
-- Yo Dickhead (Yo.Dickhead@idiot.org), May 09, 1999.
People, people, will ya puh-LEEZE stop doing lazy ol' Poo-poo's research for him? Ya see, when he asks questions like this he's trolling for information for his much-mentioned web site. Sold any advertising yet, Poop?
Now, Poo-poo says on his site: "Everything on this site is copyrighted 1999 by Stephen M. Poole, CET, and all rights are reserved. You may not copy, redistribyte, alter, fold, spindle, mutilate, misappropriate, mail, sail, or otherwise tamper with anything here without my express written permission. So there." Well, I guess Poo-poo's never heard of the four points upon which Fair Use doctrine revolves and which (if followed) permit anyone to quote from his public web page.
Thing is, Poo-poo thinks there won't be any problems in the US and has written and posted enough biased links to support his contention. He says "Except for a few isolated cases (which will undoubtedly make the news for a few nights), your lights will stay on. Your faucets will still produce water. Your neighborhood supermarket will still have food. Your bank will still be in business. Anyone who tells you otherwise is basing their claim on older information or plain paranoia and distrust; take them with a grain of salt."
I guess that pretty much covers Y2K in the US. So now Poop has to troll for new info, for example, overseas there might be a glitch or two, but not here in the good ol' compliant US of A.
Let him do his own damn research.
Oh -- don't worry about a hot link to his site. Poop'll be along soon to make one -- he loves makin' them things go all blue.
-- OutingsR (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 1999.
Here in Sweden there is hardly any awareness among common people. Of course, everyone has heard about the "millennium-bug", but few understands what we are really up against.
When talking to friends and relatives about it, I am usually not taken seriously. They think I am overreacting to the whole situation and they tell me not to worry. "They" will fix it, they say. When I ask them who "they" are, they don't know, but it doesn't matter, it "will have to be fixed". Yeah, sure...
Personally, I'm not really concerned about direct effects, such as power outages, bank failures and so on, in Sweden. I'm actually quite confident that OUR banks and power companies will make it. (That is, IF the so called "Beach bug" turns out to be a non-event.) BUT, I am worried about secondary effects on the economy and on the environment.
What most people don't recognize in Sweden is that the Swedish economy is interlinked with other countries' economies. And I fear that few countries in the world are going to be as prepared for DIRECT effects as we will in Sweden on Jan 1, 2000.
The secondary effects includes failures of foreign suppliers to many of our large companies, such as Ericsson, Volvo, AstraZeneca, SKF, Saab, Atlas Copco etc, as well as environmental effects in the form of nuclear fallout from meltdowns in Eastern European nuclear power plants.
I certainly understand that people do not want to think about those things. It would be devastating to them (me, us) IF those things really happened. And that's why people choose not to think about it. "Someone will think of a solution. It cannot become that bad..., can it?" Well, hopefully it won't, but what if it does...?
Sweden has had the good fortune of being left out in both World Wars. We haven't been engaged in any real warfare since early 19th century. We have no natural disasters to fear, like you have in the U.S. (earthquakes, floodings, hurricanes, tornadoes etc). There is simply no preaparedness for difficulties. As long as people can remember, there has been no cause for fear of anything. And this concerns me.
Some of the leaders of our business community in Sweden recently wrote an open letter to our Prime Minister to highlight the Y2K issue. But the government in our country obviously does not take the Y2K issue seriously enough, since the reply our business leaders received didn't say much of anything. "We're looking into it..." Politicians rely on their advisors saying that everything is OK.
That's something about the situation in Sweden.
I have a website dedicated to the Y2K issue, mostly in Swedish, though:
-- y2kmayhem (email@example.com), May 09, 1999.
Mr. Poole, the UK is so far ahead of us, in regard to GM foods, there is no comparison. While the U.S. will do anything to livestock, and feed to increase weight gain, or increase in milk production, the Brits and Canada are a little more concerned with their health, the health of their animals and the environment than we are.
After the UK's catastrophe with BSE, (mad cow disease) I think it shows great good sense to be overly concerned about importing beef. I sure won't eat the nasty stuff.
I live in MO, the home of Monsanto, the king of the GM foods. About 70 million acres of soybeans will be genetically engineered this year in order to interact with Monsanto's Roundup. Monsanto is the wonderful company that gave us BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone), NutraSweet, and agent orange. Do your homework before accusing a country of having a nervous breakdown over GM foods. We already are eating many more modified foods than we are aware of. Maybe this explains a lot of our illnesses, cancers, depression and other problems we are live with daily.
And beef--there's a reason I've been a vegetarian for years! Read Diet For a New America, written by John Robbins of the Baskin and Robbins ice cream fortune, (Baskin is his uncle) and find out for yourself what growth hormones, steroids, fillers and anti-biotics do to meat. Add that to the hideous conditions in holding pens and slaughter houses, and you have a recipe for disaster. I know whereof I speak, as my husband is a former cattleman, who in the past won enviromental awards for his ranching. But he sure didn't win any praise from the Cattleman's Association.
He said the cattlemen shot themselves in the feet when they sued Howard Lyman and Oprah. Check our Oprah's and Lyman's website for the skinny on meat; Food and Water Magazine is even better. If anyone's interested I'll post links later.
And Wiseguy, I'm also a nonChristian and a politically liberal gal, but that does not make me, or anyone of either sex, a "faggot," a "lesbian" or any other name you enjoy spray painting us with. I equate liberal with tolerance for differences, and freedom of choice in all phases of life. This does not mean I think we should abuse our freedom. I choose to own a gun, but I realize that with gun ownership comes responsibility. You, and other name calling types, on this forum are what made me realize I needed a vacation awhile back. Don't start, and I won't feel the need to defend my right to be different.
-- gilda (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 1999.
Whoa, gilda! Slow down!
I merely asked about the story; the way the guy posted it, it struck me as funny.
As it just so happens (this has NOTHING to do with Y2K, but here goes anyway ...), I am deeply concerned about some of the techniques used in producing beef and pork. I've also been concerned for some time about the prophylactic use of antibiotics in feed grains for these animals; I believe this is the #1 reason for the increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
I don't question what anyone chooses to eat. The original story, as related to me, simply struck me as humorous. No offense was intended.
-- Stephen M. Poole, CEt (email@example.com), May 09, 1999.
Dear Mr Poole,
You have weird sense of humour.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 1999.
You've just now figured this out? :)
-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (email@example.com), May 09, 1999.
Sorry Mr. Poole, glad to hear that you too are concerned about adulterated food. I can't make hot links, but here's a good site. It's the Center For Science in the Public Interest, and has lots of good information on what is being done to food. http://www.cspinet.org/
-- gilda (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 1999.