Two Rational Strategies for Addressing Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I believe there are only two rational strategies for dealing with Y2K:

1. Panic Avoidance Strategy. This is the strategy of the Clinton administration and the official establishment. They reason that either: A. We could alert the populace today and induce a panic today OR B. We could down play the significance of Y2K and try to maintain the status quo for awhile longer. This strategy will attempt to "buy time" for more fixes in a near business as usual atmosphere. It reasons that what ever Y2K brings will be made worse if there is a panic in 1999 so by avoiding a panic in 1999 more time is bought to repair more systems so the real Y2K impacts are reduced. This strategy is only rational if enough fixes are complete and tested prior to rollover. This, Panic Avoidance Strategy, will in my opinion fail when initial Y2K failures mount to the point that they cannot be hidden or when GM (and other corporations) announces "Fortressing" in July; or NRC orders risky nuke plants to shut down (August, 1999?); or SEC bars non-compliant firms from trading (October,1999); or WallStreet money center banks are forced to cover gold short position; or domestic bank run/stock market crash or foreign panics/failures increase (China currency devaluation?).

2. Preparedness Avoids Panic. This strategy posits that once one is adequately prepared there is no need to panic because the preparations are in place. However, to make an adequate preparation requires specific details on the severity and duration of expected disruptions.

Since Panic Avoidance is doomed to fail upon encountering reality and Preparedness could fail due to lack of information (insufficient preparations), it seems to me WE ARE PURSUING A STRATEGY OF GUARRANTEED FAILURE.

We should insist that all Y2K rankings, surveys, reports etc made to regulators, trade agencies, FEMA etc be made public now. Names should be named. All cards should be put face up on the table. If I were to testify to Congress, this is what I would tell the Senators.


-- Bill P (, May 16, 1999



All of what you say makes sense, however I think you are missing a most important factor in all this, which might be called the "Noah Syndrome." In case you haven't noticed, most people don't want to know and deal with the truth. Most people are intentionally turning a blind eye to all the warnings being issued by *us*, the Noah group. As long as that is the prevailing desire on the part of the greater population, there won't be any dire warnings issued by official sources. Perhaps you have tried to convince some of your friends, family, neighbors. Perhaps you have seen their reactions. They don't want to deal with this and the greater implications. The Pollys that show up on this forum are only the most outspoken of those denialists. The Pollys only represent the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, larger group. The Pollys show you just how creative the larger group can be in rationalizing the news into a scenario in which there will be no large impact or danger to their long range dreams.

-- Gordon (, May 16, 1999.

Then there is the irrational strategy of "whistling in the dark", which I think is more common amongst our leaders than any "conspiracy of silence" could ever be. There probably are leaders in government and business who are panicking on the inside but speaking platitudes to cover their asses and keep the herd quiet, but I bet most of them are as clueless and sunk in denial as anybody else. Many on this forum assume that Clinton knows Y2K is serious but is deliberately misleading people. I distrust him enough to believe that is completely possible, but I think it is equally possible that he is getting fed the same contradictory nonsense that gets offered to the rest of us. No reason to think he'd be able to "get it" any easier than Joe Public. Everyone has heard enough that, if they were rational, would lead them to prepare. Why assume Clinton or any of the "leaders" will handle information more rationally?

-- Steve Hartzler (, May 16, 1999.


The Vanity Fair article specifically states that Clinton was briefed on y2k way back in 96 or 97 (can't remember) and Got It immediately - was asking sharp questions etc. In contrast the word on the street in the same article was that Gore, the inventor of the Internet, just could not grasp the implications of y2k, was asking dumb-ass questions, was essentially clueless.


Since then how many y2k briefings do you think Koskinen, Greenspan, FEMA, the CIA, the NSA have given him? Do you think THEY are all clueless?

I don't think so.

Clinton knows EXACTLY what is going to happen, the probabilities, likelyhoods, you name it.

Yep - and he's keeping his mouth shut.

For his own reasons...

-- Andy (, May 16, 1999.

I think Andy is right about the level of understanding at the top of this pyramid. And I think the polls are telling our "leaders" that the public doesn't really want to be fed scary news. And I think the political leadership is not going to go against those polls.

-- Gordon (, May 16, 1999.

Good morning Mr. & Mrs. L

How ya feeling this morning.


Now you know the rules

You'll be following Big L & Little L


Just so ya know, the whole L family will be right behind ya.


Anything you need to finish up before we get started?


Ok now , follow the leader!

......................NO WA A A a a a

a a i i t t

-- unspun@lright (, May 17, 1999.

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