Ed Yourdon's "Sayonara Y2K" Gives Me Pause (Tom Atlees E-List Message)

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An e sent round today from Tom...

Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 21:21:29 -0700

Ed Yourdon's "Sayonara Y2K" gives me pause

Dear friends (yes: dear friends),

Ed Yourdon says he's leaving Y2K work. Yourdon's book TIME BOMB 2000 was my first intro to Y2K scenarios. David Sunfellow of New Heaven New Earth and Wild2K says "I expect there will be some major shock waves generated by this..." I agree. And I think part of the shock will be that many of us involved and active in Y2K work share (perhaps subconsciously) Yourdon's sense that we've just passed a watershed, that we're in new territory now, that "we're not in Kansas any more." This feeling has been building in me for several months and peaked last week, a week that included

* the 60 Minutes program,
* the survey of Y2K community activists,
* the Senate hearings on Y2K Preparedness (with poor press coverage),
* Koskinen's Community Conversations announcement (and community prep folk's dubious response)
* all happening as we're about to enter the sixth month of 1999 (it seems like the 98-99 rollover was just a month or two ago...).

For me, the sense that we're in a new, more intense context also comes from Chernomyrdin's nuclear threat, headlines about "the inevitability" of a NATO ground war in Serbia, and the intensifying war between India and Pakistan (with nuclear China, allied with Russia, in the background). Not only does Y2K seem poised on an edge, but so does the peace of the world.

As we come down the home stretch (down the toboggan slide, nearer the waterfall, into the end game...), perhaps it is once again time for reflection. Part of me wants to suggest we reflect on the meaning of this watershed for remediation, testing, scenario spinning, contingency planning, preparation, education, spreading (and keeping up with) news --at all those levels and sectors where they're needed: global, international, national, state, regional, county, local, neighborhood, household, individual -- private, public and non-profit -- military and health care, transportation and food, communications and utilities, PCs and firetrucks, and all the rest -- and the implications for nuclear and toxic accidents, for panic and war, for the stock market and the stocks of preparedness supplies, and on and on and on.... I've been in this complex world of all these dimensions for 14 months. And to think that thousands of newcomers every day are just realizing all this, or beginning to...

I was in a meeting of Bay Area Y2K organizers a couple of weeks ago. A new organizer from Richmond (a city north of Berkeley, and poorer) was waxing eloquent about how exciting it was to organize her neighbors and to learn about all the dimensions of Y2K. I suddenly felt old. My struggles and experience and conclusions about all this had encrusted my sense of possibility. I realized that a certain type of newcomer to Y2K will see only how much can be done in seven months. They'll fling themselves at it with fervor, into realms where I have long concluded nothing could be done. And maybe they won't accomplish ALL of it, but they'll make some progress, certainly more and faster than I would have done. And that's important. In something this big, every piece counts. And so I find myself reminded of the archetypal lesson of generations: The old folks have experience. The new folks have energy and untarnished possibility. We need to remember to pass the torch on without blowing it out. Yourdon does this well.

I wanted to write an essay here that organized all the different issues, that invited everyone to an inquiry, as I did in December with "Where's the Juice in Y2K". But something else is coming out. I find myself not so organized. Yet I find myself still wanting to join with you in inquiry: For some the inquiry will have to do with what what we (and others) are doing. For some it will have to do with where we (and others) are. For some it will have to do with who we (and others) are with. For some it will have to do with spirit, with growing, with looking the future in the eye and waking up -- individually and collectively. For all of us, I suspect it will have to do with what's possible -- good and bad, easy and difficult -- again, individually and collectively. And it will have to do with how bright or dim life is, in the face of that. And what it all means. And where, therefore, to focus our attention, our lives. These decisions seem suddenly more important than ever before, more stark and vivid.

Emily Dickenson said "I dwell in possibility." May we all find real paths of positive possibility through these rapids, skimming down the other side of the Great Divide, breathless, afraid, hoping against hope, doing our best in the most challenging times we've ever known.

And may we all know peace -- whatever peace is right for each of us -- when the river levels out, broadens, and makes its inevitable steady course for the sea.



Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * Oakland, CA




-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 01, 1999


Also sent round today, from a great Portland area activist, Michael Dowd. (He said I could post it on the Forum).

Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 17:05:55 -0700
From: Michael Dowd
Subject: Yourdon and Dowd Say Goodbye!

Dear friends,

Taking my cue from Ed Yourdon (please read his excellent farwell essay below (or attached), I'm shifting my focus and I will no longer be sending out Y2K Updates like I have been. (I can hear many of you exclaiming "Thank God! I never had time to read all that stuff anyway!!" ;-)

I've done all I can to raise awareness and to trumpet the importance of individual and community preparedness. Now it's time for me to get off the computer and practice what I preach: by learning to garden, sprout seeds, dry food, etc., and helping my neighbors prepare using the ALL TOGETHER NOW materials that you'll hear about in another week or two. It's time to focus my energy on Global Action Plan's EcoTeam work here in Portland, and on helping my mother and siblings in Miami and my children and former wife in Ann Arbor get prepared.

I agree with virtually everything Ed says in his Sayonara essay. After spending nearly 30 hours a week (on top of my 40 hour a week job) immersed in Y2K for the last 10 months, I don't see any way that we will avoid a worldwide depression that will probably last 5-10 years, if not longer. I hope and pray I'm wrong but that's what I'm preparing for and I suggest you do to. I will say this if you ASSUME that you will still have your present job next year, and that things will bounce back to "normal" within a week or two, you SURELY do not understand Y2K. (As a point of interest to those who don't know me personally all my life I have been an optimist. Indeed, I'm one of the most hopeful, positive people that I know. My assessment of the likely impact of Y2K comes as a result of looking deeply into the issue nationally and internationally, not because I'm predisposed toward pessimism.)

From this point on, for the most part, I'll only be forwarding the NHNE Weekly Report. It will keep you up-to-date better and with a LOT less reading time needed than the volumes of material I've been fowarding. I expect to send or forward 4-5 things a month now, rather than the 5-10 per week that I've been sending.

The networks that we've created through Y2K are a beautiful demonstration, at a grassroots level, of how interconnected we are. May that interconnectedness sustain and empower us well into the new millennium.

Blessings to you and yours!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 01, 1999.

I'm just a browser. A believer, but not hooked on this site or any other.A lot of you guys are caught up in the emotionalism of the thing. Ed Yourdon is not God. Just a person who believes - understands - certain technicalities and possibilities. That's it. All this, "Thankyou Master"

-- igw (igw@one.net.au), June 01, 1999.

I'm just a browser. A believer, but not hooked on this site or any other.A lot of you guys are caught up in the emotionalism of the thing. Ed Yourdon is not God. Just a person who believes -maybe understands - certain technicalities and possibilities. That's it. All this, "Thankyou Master"is, in my (not humble) opinion is Over The Top. Get a grip. Do what YOU think is right.; Stop leaning on other people. Grow up.

Cheers!!!! Ian

-- igw (igw@one.net.au), June 01, 1999.

Ian, you are mistaking leaning for love. Granted love has lost favor and worth in this cynical falling world, but it is the manna of heaven.

Many of us regulars on this Forum have been communicating and sharing for a long time. Friendships have blossomed. Ed has posted, and eMailed back and forth with many of us.
He is a sincere, decent, honest, intelligent, generous, down-to-earth person with a heart, in addition to being a proven long-standing computer expert. He never solicited our inquiries, but was gracious enough to respond.

It is sad that you have not recognized or been receptive to the love on this Forum. In the end, when we take leave of this material world, love and love alone guides us to our Creator. To lose sight of this one overwhelming foundational truth is to be trapped in this world and its inherent miseries.

Freedom is won through love, learning, sharing, and growing. Kudos again to Ed Yourdon for exemplifying the more noble qualities of life.

xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 01, 1999.

What will you poor folks do when the GPS rollover goes without a hitch, 9/9/99 goes by without a hitch and Y2K debuts like a bump in the road.

I suspect most of you will lose your sanity when this site goes away. Yourdon is like a cult leader with a power over you like I've never seen. Don't forget to save a slug for yourself.

-- Black sheep (Wondering@about.com), June 01, 1999.

This Forum is a reality culture, Mr. Yourdon is no longer our leader, unfortunately, and we long to have a reunion party ASAP should it only be a bump! Curb your ignorance and petty jealousies at the Submit button, and engage your head, please.

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 01, 1999.

Well put, Leska!

Black Sheep, while sad, I suspect that you might be right that a handful of people will use a slug on themselves. However, I also believe that the vast majority will breathe a sigh of relief, and move on to the next stage of their lives. The whole preparedness thing is about taking personal responsibility, and more and more people seem to be interested in that rather than "letting the government take care of things" or whatever. For the few who decide to permanantly and physically "opt out," that's their sad way of taking personal responsibility. I have a feeling that if TSHTF, there will be much more "opting out" than if things go smoothly.

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), June 01, 1999.

Good one, Leska!

I respect Ed, because he had the courage, that few do, to take a stand, and to communicate it based on his expertise and convictions.

There are FEW people in our political arena, that I can say the same of.

Black sheep,

Your "cult" comment is just plain stupid, IMHO. Guess you never stood up for anything... worthwhile.

My suggestion to you is simply... be prepared... for next year.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 01, 1999.

To have been preparing in the company of many on this forum has been a God send as well as a privilege. There is an abundance of respect among these people that isn't easily found these days. Even those unworthy of our respect have been afforded an opportunity to participate and learn (or not).

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 01, 1999.


I know you're the Queen Bee around here and love hearing yourself buzz. What's going to happen when all the drones and worker's fly the hive? You will be left alone and empty.

Dont' presume to think I never stood up for a cause.


-- Black sheep (Wondering@about.com), June 01, 1999.

Geez, now we are a cult, Mr. Yourdon is our god? Give me a break...One God I serve, whoever wrote that is just plain mean. What I have found here is a 'family', willing to help ALL new folks and love. We each have had our share of disputes, but it didnt run me off. I rather enjoy some humor and this is by far THE BEST sit around for 'help'...Now we could have some fun with this and should we all get to meet after the rollover, maybe we can share some grape arsenic laced koolaid? Sure beats a slug????? We are in this to prepare, not die. I still cant understand how with even the little bit of info available telling folks to prepare how so many can be so blind...I'm just glad they dont have my address.

-- consumer (private@aol.com), June 01, 1999.

What have you stood up for Black Sheep?? You are probably one of those FOOLS that supports klintoon. I can tell from your attitude that you are one of the "sheeple" that, You ignore his treason, and worship the ground he walks on, you support the treasonous "gun control" campain, ect.. you've never stood up for a GOOD Cause in your life... Are you y2kpro/ chiken little? All of your talk of cults, all we are doing is TAKING REPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELFVES, THROWING OFF THE GOVERNMENT SHACKLES, AND THINKING FOR OURSEVES!! YOU might want to try it sometimes, it beats the propaganda and spin that Klintoon spews! Oh, sorry, I forgot that you're just a mindless robot, obeying the orders of your masters in the government, sorry... Wouldn't want you to think for yourself or anything...

-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), June 01, 1999.

Black sheep, a.k.a. so many "other" names,

LOL... I'm allergic to bees.

Humm. Forgot something in my "bug out bag."


You can choose to continue scoffing at preparing... your choice... hope you do well in a school shelter with all the crying kids and overflowing unsanitary conditions... if the local need arises.

And, if Y2K doesnt inspire you, suggest these natural disaster personal accounts are worth a couple refresher reads...


http://members.aol.com/badice98/ icestormtext.html#anchor111706



http:// members.aol.com/keninga/hugo.htm

Being prepared is a wise investment. Are you wise? Or not.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 01, 1999.

I respect black sheep, because he had the courage, that few do, to take a stand, and to communicate it based on his expertise and convictions.

There are FEW people in this forum, that I can say the same of.

-- cd (artful@dodger.com), June 01, 1999.


You are a mindless twit. You say that you have thrown off the shackles of government. Pay any taxes lately? You will never rid yourself of government, unless you use one of those slugs.

-- Black Sheep (Wondering@about .com), June 01, 1999.

Black Sheep, CD, I.G.W.:

It would be wise to reckognise intentions of the people of this forum. I see good intentions. Many insightful and detailed prescripts describe most posts of the ED.Y. Forum residents. Persistent without being pushy, Insightful without insulting, Regarding Love: Delightful without doubting. I would be hard pressed to see anyone here giving good advice and helpful hints as undermining humanity. Preparation is simply consumers insurance. Pay for it now and eat it later instead of adding to the confusion, selfishness and hostility. There is still time for a reasonable trickle of preparation of our Country's citizens where if you wait until the absolute last opportunity, you will add to the collective madness. The-just-in-time-food delivery of our country has a 3-7 day tolerance. If you try to do your preparations within the last week of this year, you will be considered irresponsible by govt., Red Cross and other entities. They know it, we know it....and if you care about those you may accost due to your lack of insight, you will also "Get it".

Sincerly, Feller, a non-cultist with a positive agenda.

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), June 01, 1999.

Bye Ed. Thanks for all the information. See you in seven months!

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 01, 1999.

I read the two pieces that top this thread just before leaving for work this morning. Excellent articles. Thank you, Diane.

On my a.m. drive, I thought about Diane. You who are new here have no idea how much she had to endure to gain acceptance on this forum. She's a fine, courageous, intelligent, caring human being. She has our respect because she has earned it--mightily. Bravo, Diane. And thank you for all you have contributed here. I know I speak for a great many when I tell you that your presence here means a great deal.

Yes, a watershed. Yes, that rings true inside me, too. I understand Ed's retirement from public participation now. It's the right time for him. (Ed, our gratitude cannot be adequately expressed in words. But you made it all real for us and gave us this incredible forum where the brightest and best have sent their words--on all sides of the issue. Thank you, and God bless you.) It's as if some cosmic grandfather clock is striking far off in the distance. Six bells. June.

I'm sorry that threads that begin as wonderfully as this one so quickly deteriorate into scrapping. The trolls started appearing after my computer broke in November. When I recently got back online, I was shocked at the changes here. A lot of old timers are gone now. A few brave hearts and good minds have stepped in to fill the void. I think about the people whose thoughts I have read here. I have a ferocious liking for so many of you. I have learned here. Not only has my perception of y2k's manifold implications and possibilities been expanded, but I have learned more than I can easily list about the world's workings, and my appreciation for human beans has been stretched and brightened by my visits here.

Yes, time is short, and much remains to be done. But to share here is not a luxury. In some ways it's a privilege; in some ways, it's a kind of duty. This place, for all the shoutin', is a sanity-keeper, an oasis in the wilderness of Oblivia. Let's keep the fires burning here. We're going to need all the light we can get.

-- Faith Weaver (suzsolutions@yahoo.com), June 01, 1999.

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