Elitist Disconnect Syndrome

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This was such a good post over on csy2k, gotta copy 'n paste for us Yourdynamites:

Elitist Disconnect Syndrome by Greg Caton, Lumen Foods (soybean.com):

* If Y2K is going to be so bad.... why is Hillary.... running for the Senate next year?

For the same reason that Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, Ross Perot, and Peter De Jager are singing the Opera of Mild Inconveniences in F Major. We'll just call it EDS for short: Elitist Disconnect Syndrome.

I asked a close Y2K programmer friend of mine just why such a monumental disconnect could exist among higher "ups" who should know better. His reply?

Once you achieve a certain level of authority in this society, you are almost guaranteed to be cut off from vital information at the bottom. We have relegated our most important technical functions to men and women who are now veritable "technological field hands..." No matter that we pay these field hands $50 - $150k per year.

Most Y2K programmers I know, in fact the vast majority, are highly negative about the outcome of Y2K. Negative... as in 90% expect Y2K to usher in economic conditions that are worse than the Depression of the '30's.... Those very same programmers will tell you that their bosses are clueless. And those very same programmers will tell you that they intend to KEEP their bosses clueless. Why? There is no reward for reporting bad news. These people really ARE modern day Cassandras, living in a modern-day Troy: they know the Truth, but no one will believe them.

Recent developments in our cultural and pollitical standards support this: If we support and coddle a President, for example, who commits perjury, obstruction of justice... and some would say murder, with no legal consequence of any consequence.... why should it surprise us that programmers are uniformly telling good news to the boardroom to protect their ass?

If it's good for the Prez... why isn't it good for an $80,000 a year programmer who just wants to keep his job until December? I mean... it's only a little white lie, right? Is keeping your job for six more months too much to ask?

After all, Clinton lied HIS ass off to his HIS job for TWO MORE years, right?

But even from a broader prospective, there is something universal and timeless about the EDS phenomena: in every major crisis that involves a technical issue (and the Titanic comes to mind because it's now fresh and current in the public mind) is it ever the guys on top who are first to discover there's a gaping hole in the bottom of the hull?

Or is it more likely that the elites, be it a Bill Gates or a Bill Clinton, are so busy sniffing the ether of their own success, perched on top of their metaphorical skyscrapers, thousands of bureaucratic layers removed from the foundation that supports them, that they themselves are clueless?

You go figure it out.
The guys in the trenches... (you know... the ones we are expecting to bail us out of this Y2K mess...) already have.

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-- 2 Cascadians (allaha@earthlink.net), June 19, 1999


Exactly. So many threads on How Can They Not See? Ester of Anesthetic Ether. Numbskulls.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 19, 1999.

There's more to it than that - Gore and Hillarious for example manoeuvering for position - it's expected, what would the public think if they DIDN"T run for office - gotta maintain the illusion...

I don't expect an election in 2000.

Not even sure if Clinton will be around, remember how Gerald Ford got in via Spiro Agnew after Nixon fell on his sword? he sure wasn't voted in... a silent coup... heads up ..look at Bush junior in 2000

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), June 19, 1999.

Would someone please give the link for the computer software 2000 group mentioned in the above posting. Thanks!

-- Sure M. (worried@aboutyear.2000), June 19, 1999.

Whether people "get it" or not is often more a matter of faith than information. No reason Clinton or Gates or any of the other muckety- mucks would be more likely to GI in the face of overwhelming information.

I expect elections in 2000, and I expect them to be interesting.

-- Gus (y2kk@usa.net), June 19, 1999.

This post
http://x22.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=491541048&CONTEXT=9 29843396.974389363&hitnum=12


http://www. deja.com/topics_if.xp?search=topic&group=comp.software.year-2000&GRPP= 929843396.974389363&title=Related&query=

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 19, 1999.


-- mb (mdbutler@coastalnet.com), June 19, 1999.

What if Y2K is not systemic flaw but rather a deliberate effort to achieve a goal?

Who would gain? Who would lose?

The possibility, that the whole effort is to trounce currency so that the global public will clamor for the "stability of smart cards and a cashless society" in which the public is blamed for the Y2K crash, could benefit most banks (no longer have to keep that pesky 1.3% cash reserve and no one could cause them pain by demanding their deposits in cash (an end to bank runs?)); most Governments ( complete monitoring of all transactions who bought what and full tax collection) Law Enforcement (criminal movement of funds and laundering would become extremely difficult if not impossible).

Who would lose? Criminals of course but are there others?

The recent moves by Bank of International Settlements and Swiss Banks suggests that Switzerland may be happy with the current arrangement. In a cashless society, what is the need of an international clearing house or a Swiss bank? As I recall the big meeting of the elite was held in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year.

Maybe it isn't an elitist disconnect but rather a global economic war jostling for position in the 21 century!

-- Conspiracy (Here@2000.now), June 19, 1999.

Greg's further comments

>Wasn't De Jager just about the first person out there ringing the warning bell?
>Hard to claim that he is outta touch, even if he does reassess his position continually based on what the current assessment of the situation.

De Jager is too busy lecturing, all the while leveraging his new found fame into rocket fuel for his ever ascending missile called the Respectability Express, to be in touch in the first place.

Unlike Ed Yourdon, who based his decisions on a steady stream of information coming out of the Y2K pits, de Jager is now too respectable to remain in close touch with the lower echelons of Y2K remediation, where the real work is going on.

People invest too much esteem in a small article written... what? some 5 years ago now? That's the beginning of Creation in terms of the Y2K timeline.

de Jager is now far removed from those early days. That's why he, too, is a product of EDS.

Greg Caton, Lumen Foods (soybean.com)
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 20, 1999.

This guy's on a roll! From csy2k again:

"Pollys... sing this one with me, wouldya?
"I can see clearly now... the power's down..."

Oh, never mind.... you guys are off-key anyways.

Folks, you have to read this.

If you don't "get it," you deserve what's coming to you.

Anyone who can read this Wall Street Journal article and not understand my points on "EDS" have serious mental problems...

Some background:

I got a lot of email with respect to my "EDS" post (Elitist Disconnect Syndrome) over the last couple days. To support it, by sheer chance, I came across this article in Friday's (6/18/99) Wall Street Journal (to which soybean.com subscribes).

Mind you, it's about the Chinese Spy Scandal. It appears, at its face, to have nothing to do with Y2K. Or does it?

The fact is, here you have a situation, where a few geek physicists at the bottom are SCREAMING at their superiors about the Chinese stealing our most sensitive nuclear technology (in this case, the W-88). You couldn't have more convincing evidence from more credible witnesses. What happened to them? In the case of Dr. "Bobby" Henson he was fired. Not once, but twice. Others who reviewed the evidence, discovered in January, 1995, were treated equally severe. (In the end, as you'll read, the guy who most put his head on the chopping block is rewarded a $10,000 bonus by the U.S. Department of Energy!
(LOL ... LOL ... there are porn stars who won't jerk off on camera for that! ... LOL ... LOL)

Now if we discover in January, 1995, with evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the Chinese have stolen our top nuclear secrets. And, I do mean beyond any shadow of a doubt... just how easy would it be for the ignorant, bureaucratic masses in Washington and in the media to ignore the negative side of Y2K, despite the strength of the evidence from guys in the trenches. Remember, too, that it only took YEARS for this to surface. (Even our venerable c.s.y2k NG has only been around since Nov., 1996, for God's sake!)

I was very shaken by this article.
Far more so than any article I've read to date on Y2K itself.
The parallels will shock you, too.
The article has been re-keyed character-for-character (I couldn't find it at wsj interactive, to which we also subscribe, or I would have cut and paste.)
Also, I have added a few editorial comments, but these are clearly segregated from the rest of the article. Enjoy.


(Wall Street Journal -- Friday, June 18, 1999... Front Section, p. A-22; by John J. Fialka, staff reporters of The Wall Street Journal).

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- While Department of Energy officials wring their hands over whom to fire because of the agency's clumsy role in handling the nation's most recent nuclear spy scandal. Robert "Bobby" Henson, a balding, round-faced physicist has quietly gotten his old job back.

This is especially comforting to Mr. Henson because he discovered the scandal. In January 1995, after poring over new U.S. intelligence reports on China's bomb tests, he concluded that the Chinese had stolen design features from the W-88, America's newest and most radically different nuclear warhead.

Until now, Mr. Henson's role in the politically explosive scandal has been obscured as the marathon round of political finger-pointing continues in Washington. As the 61-year-old Mr. Henson explains in his soft Texas drawl, he knows there is pain involved. After his finding about Chinese espionage first rocked the secretive hallways of the nation's largest nuclear weapons laboratory here, Mr. Henson was fired: not once, but twice.

Although he is a former hydrogen bomb designer and one of the nation's top analysts of China's nuclear program, Mr. Henson says he found himself delivering a message that nobody wanted to hear. A panel of experts here at first rejected it, concluding that China's bomb program must have come up with U.S. design features independently.

((( Caton: I'm convinced that the panel must contain some of the pollys from this NG. )))


The penal pressured Mr. Henson to agree. He resisted. "I told them they were absolutely nuts," he explains. He kept pushing the issue, but it was hard. "They (Los Alamos) wanted this thing to quiet down and go away," he says.

((( Caton: Mr. Koskinen, enter... stage right. )))

By April 1995 he had won a convert, an intelligence expert named Larry Booth. They took their information to Notra Trulock, who then headed the Department of Energy's office of intelligence. Mr. Trulock was interested, but cautious. He wanted them to show their findings to John Richter, one of Los Alamos' most experienced weapons designers.

Mr. Richter agreed that what Mr. Henson found was disturbing. He remembers later warning a State Department official that if China had the W-88, they might be tempted in a crisis to break their test-ban treaty obligations and test it. But he says the official immediately rejected the notion, calling it "unacceptable."

((( CATON: Oh... pollys, are you listening? I guess that Y2K can't be a crisis, after all. I mean.. hell... it's "UNACCEPTABLE!" I'm calling my congressman right now and insisting that they pass a bill to make Y2K go away! If Y2K meltdown is "unacceptable," we'll just get rid of it by making it ILLEGAL! )))

Mr. Richter, who has personally conducted over 40 nuclear tests -- about as many as China has held -- still fumes over "bureaucratic inertia" he found in Washington. "It's 'Don't tell me what's true, tell me what I want to hear," he grumbles.

((( CATON: "NO! Say it ain't so, Joe!" ... LOL... LOL ... LOL )))

Mr. Truclok had the three scientists present their findings to a group of 20 experts, including weapons scientists from DOE's other weapons labs, and intelligence analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. After a couple of contentious meetings, Mr. Henson recalled the legendary tale of the emperor who shot messengers bearing bad news. "I remember telling Booth and Richter that we're the guys who're going to get shot in all this. Well, they didn't get shot, I did."

((( CATON: ... and you wonder why Y2K programmers are keeping their mouths shut? LOL LOL LOL )))


In October 1995, Mr. Henson was fired. He still thinks it was in retaliation, but Jim Danneskiold, a spokesman for the laboratory, says it was part of a "blanket policy" to reduce the work force at Los Alamos. Mr. Trulock, however, wanted Mr. Henson back: "He is an iconoclastic, out-of-the-box thinker. I viewed him then as I do now as making critical contributions to our understanding of this problem."

Mr. Trulock discovered that another weapons laboratory, Sandia, would hire Mr. Henson if it received money to cover the new position from Mr. Trulock's budget. Sandia, located in Albuquerque, assigned Mr. Henson back to his old job at Los Alamos.

Curiously, it was China that helped Mr. Henson complete his case. He found that a spy had appeared at a U.S. Embassy in 1995 and delivered a 1988 nuclear planning document, written by Chinese military officials, that contained details of the W-88 that had never been made public. "That was the nail in the coffin," says Mr. Henson, who made the closely held CIA document available to the panel.

U.S. officials later concluded that the man, called the "walk-in spy," had been sent by Beijing. A few months later, a Chinese weapons scientist gave a public lecture at Los Alamos explaining that the configuration of warheads he worked on had abruptly shifted from one design to another. Historically, the explosire core of most U.S. warheads has been spherical, but the W-88, designed for the Navy's newest submarine-launched missiles, is different. Los Alamos scientists took detailed notes, which were later decreed by the laboratory to be classified, according to Henson.

((( CATON: If it takes this level of absolutism to prove that the Y2K disaster is a "done deal," we might as well close c.s.y2k right now. There IS no objectivity.... )))


By the fall of 1995, Charles Curtis, a former deputy secretary of energy, had already brought the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the case, based on a preview of the matter being debated before the Los Alamos panel, given him by Mr. Richter.

By November, 1995, the panel essentially agreed with Mr. Henson's contention that it was hard to believe that China, with a relatively tiny number of tests, had suddenly invented a weapon that had taken U.S. scientists years and many failed tests to design. The panel, given the secret code name "Kindred Spirit Analytical Group," concluded that it was likely that China had received outside help.

Then the case shifted to Washington, where Mr. Trulock began a long and career-risking effort to convince the Clinton administration that serious espionage had occurred. He soon began to encounter what he later termed "blocking activities" within DOE's sprawling bureaucracy. He was sometimes not allowed to brief top officials and was forbidden to give briefings on the "Kindred Spirit" case to congressional committees.

((( CATON: .. and we wonder by Sen. Robert Bennett and Chris Dodd are pollys.... )))

The intelligence office he headed was reorganized last May, and Mr. Trulock wound up in the No. 2 spot. Still, that was minor compared to what happened to Mr. Henson. He was fired again in October 1996. Los Alamos said it violated laboratory rules to have Sandia funding him. Again, Los Alamos asserts it was only part of a laboratory-wide policy to reduce its labor force.

((( CATON: ... just like Y2K programmers who bear bad news about their progress get fired. The companies involved are ONLY TRYING TO REDUCE THEIR LABOR FORCE! LOL... LOL... LOL )))

It is well known that, in the end, Mr. Trulock triumphed in the China-spying episode. Congressional committees have praised him. He was recently awarded $10,000 by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson "for discovering the problem and for his persistence for pursuing the issue within the bureaucracy."

((( CATON: LOL... LOL... How rich! Now Y2K programmers, listen up... especially those of you making over $100,000 a year. I want you to immediately jeopardize your careers, your family's welfare, your home, everything... on a long-shot lottery. And if, by chance, you win, you'll get a whopping $10,000. LOL...LOL...LOL .... )))

As for Mr. Henson, the man who really discovered this problem, he also has had a moment of triumph -- sort of. He sued the University of California, which runs Los Alamos, for age discrimination in firing him. Last November, the university agreed to give Mr. Henson $10,000 for legal costs and to help him get his old job back. The laboratory still admits no wrongdoing.

And so, earlier this month, Bobby Henson was summoned back from retirement and free time with his five grandchildren. Now he is in the murky and decidedly risky business of analyzing secrets and reporting on developments in other countries' nuclear weapons programs.

Is he happy to be back? "There are only so many things you can tell your grandkids about stars," he says, grinning. "Yeah, I like to work."

((( CATON: Honey, ya home? .... How many more solar panels were we going to buy this month? )))

Greg Caton, Lumen Foods (soybean.com), caton@soybean.com "

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 20, 1999.

Could Hillary be running because it gives her an excuse to move out of the house...early?

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 20, 1999.

This deserves another airing after the Doprah doping down.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), November 30, 1999.

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