Are you being entertained? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

While all this dazzling rhetoric is fascinating, I'd like to point out that "diversion" most safely belongs in the entertainment industry. Y2K is NOT entertaining me today. I like the idea that the economy may be organic. I like poetic images. I don't like the idea that my personal economy may turn to organic shit. Shit stinks. It's bad poetry.

Recession is when your neighbor looses his job. Depression is when I loose my job. So what if my business is compliant. What if my customers decide my service is non-essential? I'll tell you right now, compared to utilities, my services are nonessential. Can I go three to six months without good cash flow and have a business future - NO. I personally don't want to bet on the "TEOWAWKI" insurance policy, to wit: my obligations disappear because of chaos.

I do have a talent for conceptualizing "systems," interrelationships and possible future results - some people don't. It doesn't make them stupid - just different. There are many, many things I am inept at. They just can't visualize a future result until it is in the present. Its unfair to expect them to possess it. Its a capability that is unessential to their daily lives. Why do you think furniture stores set up mock "rooms" to display their furniture - so Dick and Jane can "see" that new waterbed with genuine stained pine side tables in their doublewide.

It is a legitimate interest to sift these discussions for facts and news. You won't find them on "television news," an oxymoron if there ever was one. Certainly I'd like to estimate the Richter value of the coming economic consequences - to know which way the sands are shifting. However, as anyone with a grain of common sense knows, all youll be standing on in the end is shifting sands.

As imprecise as the recent FAA announcement is, it certainly is encouraging. Hartsfield in Atlanta recently announced compliance, too. Will I book a flight in Atlanta? No - Id prefer Kennedy Air and Limo Service on a nice day from Charlie Brown Field to Delta at Hartsfield. Perhaps the risk is smaller today, but the consequences of failure are still ordinarily and personally catastrophic today. I do not accept the risk nor will I buy a ticket for my wife or any of my children. You dont have to know COBOL to figure that out.

Heres a suggestion for the FAA. If youre so confident in your compliant code, why not order all your traffic controllers to move their clocks ahead to 01/01/2000 sixty days from now. Youll have two months to install and patch the new software. Many airports are protesting the planned tests for the end of the year. OK. No tests. Just install the software and fire up those vacuum tubes. Then, put every employee of the FAA on distributed flights through Denver, Miami, OHare, Kennedy, etc. for a couple of weeks of flights, assuming, of course, the pilots are willing to cooperate. Surely there are some bureaucrats within the beltway that would enjoy a free trip to Chicago. What a refreshing public exercise in the quality of government contracting that would be. Maybe this isnt NASA but my family arent astronauts, either. But what about our healthy economy? Unemployment is low. The stock market is great. I dont think so. Employment has shifted for a great many regular, ordinary folks from hard, high-asset leveraging jobs into soft, low value-asset jobs. Example: operating a blast furnace to flipping burgers. Not every transitioned employee can get a Masters and teach Developmental Education or become a Certified Microsoft Engineer. Not that we dont need them, its just that we dont have what it takes to do the job.

As for the stock market, let me ask you a question. If you had a child, who at age nine, and according to generally-accepted accounting/ health standards was expected to be 56 tall and weigh 125 lbs. instead was 11 tall and weighed 250 lbs., would you be personally concerned? Or, would you, and ALL your neighbors be lining up three times a day to thrust more food down his or her throat in expectation the child would hit 20 and 500 lbs.? On top of that, suppose you and your neighbors were even mortgaging your houses and using credit cards to buy more and more food to cram down the kids throat - even stealing time from your job to slip down and buy more food? Im sure the grocery store owners would like it. But, would the Social Services experts say thats a healthy family? Would the President try to take credit for the kids growth? If Y2K technical disruptions, regardless of actual severity, and psychological fears halve the market, dont blame the code-heads.

I like neatly-packaged solutions to deal with risk. The minimum effort I have to make for auto insurance is nothing. I could probably even get insurance cheaper. But you know what - its hardly worth the effort. My wife recently changed our insurance but probably only because she works for the new insurer that provides our coverage. How do you make an Excel spreadsheet to calculate this one? The factors alone are numerous, risk percentages change with every announcement and do I have what it takes to be dispassionate about my future expectations?

One concept is very simple. If I do nothing, take no action at all, I would be displaying an amazing amount of faith in our collective organic and that I wont be the one who ends up in the mulch pile. And if I look foolish later, so damn what. It sure wouldnt be the first time, and I survived those experiences just fine, thank you very much.

-- Karl (, July 22, 1999


Your concept is good, but at what degree of preparation is prudent? One day, 2 day, a month, and year? Some people are so scared out of their wits that their level of preparation is for years to come and they are armed to kill everything that gets in their way. Some people are very impressionable and some take it as a grain of salt. And what difference does it make if your prepared for a day or a few days, when the food and water run out, which it eventually will, where are you going to run to? And if nothing happens then all is well. I haven't seen or heard of one single prediction come to pass. Dates and events have come and gone and the world keeps turning. The Joanne Effect never took effect, so what do you base your thinking and actions on? I hear the sun spots will be the biggest problem for us earthlings, but then again, it's only a prediction and I can't control the sun, Y2K, or anything else for that matter.

-- notsodumb (, July 22, 1999.

How about the immense psychological power of unpredictability!

Of course-- Gambling is unpredictable-- so as far as supporting an argument about the pure unpredictability of y2k to fears of pulling money from any or all financial instruments is silly, since it would seem as if the current valuations are gambling in it purest form.

-- David Butts (, July 22, 1999.

Prepare and have nothing happen, you will look like a fool. Don't prepare and have it happen, you will look like an idiot. I'd rather be a fool than an idiot....

-- King of Spain (, July 22, 1999.

Don't prepare and have it happen, you will look like an idiot.

No, Don't prepare and have it happen, and you will look like a corpse, along with your family.

-- (pollys@gonna.die), July 22, 1999.


You raise a valid question.

I considered the following ,

If the amount of preparation gives me the time to take any needed action without having to run around looking for food and water during the first 2-3 month next year then I am fine. I agree ITSHTF food and water will run out even for the best prepared (it only will last for the 100% self sufficiend). It really doesn't mater if you prepare for one week two weeks or one day two days. The fact is you HAVE to go for an all out efford to be self suficient to be fully on the save side.

I feel that my 3 month worth of supply will give me the advantage I need to plan my future here from suburbia.

I can not afford to run away and start somewhere in them hills but I can store enugh supplies to make a cool-headed asessment and take action dependent on the serverity presented at that point in time.

I will not be blindsided by my need for food and water and my need to provide.

Should nothing happen, oh well I spend money on food I eat anyways, on a nice radio I wanted, on batteries I will use up (they are good til 2002)water barrels I can use in the garden, and the other stuff is prudent to have around anyhow.

So nothing lost just a lot of gain. What did I gain? Knowledge, wisdom, and money in the form of being able to by stuff cheaper this year then next year because lets face it, cost of living will go UP not down so I saved money buying it this year....great.

-- justme (, July 22, 1999.


Great post. Wonderful stock market analogy. Thank you!!!

-- R (, July 22, 1999.

I believe that one of the biggest psychological barriers to taking action on any problem, anticipated or immediate, is too much advice or conflicting information. My main point is to quit using bulletin boards, however entertaining and diverting they may be, and take some action. I am quite capable of speculating regarding the inventory or stocking required to prepare. If I were to do so now, it would be at odds to my original, main point. I would suggest that watching the "pollys" and the "doomers" cross swords here is the intellectual equivalent to watching TV wrestling. If we could have video, maybe it would have the potential to approach the entertainment value of female mud wrestling.

It is not an inherent requirement to action to have a "good, balanced or realistic" appraisal of the severity of Y2K, stock market devaluations, or mob psychology. There is only so much energy and time available to me in one day. Every decision to do one thing sacrifices my ability to work toward some other goal. If you spend all your time trying to "figure out" the "real scoop" on Y2K, which is patently impossible today, you will go to bed tonight with one less day available in which to do anything which would at least make some difference to you, personally, as an individual. Tomorrow, you can again spend all your discretionary time trying to get the "latest." Again, at the end of the day, you will be no closer to that perfect understanding. Get rid of the requirement of "perfect" understanding and I predict you will be a lot more comfortable today with Y2K. It will also increase the odds exponentially that you will be able to do something for yourself and your family.

You may sign yourself "notsodumb" and I agree. I don't think you are dumb at all. You are absolutely right in your observations about the ultimate futility of self sufficiently as an ultimate goal. It is an impossible, and to me - undesirable - goal. So let's both agree to reject that idea right now. As far as being "armed to the teeth" as the answer, I agree with you, too, and reject that. If there is anyone out there who truly is depending upon weaponry for ultimate safety, all I can say is - no matter how big your gun is, there will always be someone with a bigger (or more) gun(s). No matter how much ammo you have, there will be someone with more. So, just you, notsodumb, and me, Karl, agree now to reject together the idea of placing our ultimate security in weaponry. Now, as far as the scared witless folks, you and I are just going to also agree right now not to be one of them. You're right, this old world keeps turning and it going to keep on turning Y2K or not. Shit happens - maybe sunspots will fry us, maybe not. I don't know. I can tell you this much. My gut is telling me some shit is going to go down and evey time in the past when I let my head get in the way of my gut, I was wrong. My past experience has proven to my satisfaction that the most dangerous organ in my body is in my head. Id rather trust my gluteus maximus, and Im not talking panic.

Now that we're together on the same page here, just you, notsodumb and me, Karl, I'm basing my preparations on my own assessments, what I've seen happen regarding progress, and what I have not seen happen. Everyday Im confronted with the cost of taking small steps, one small decision at a time, to have reserves. I will not presume to tell you what to do. I don't know your situation. My biggest problem has been coming to grips with my own condition - self appraisal. I don't like self-appraisal. Sometimes I see things about myself I don't like. All I say is release yourself from the terrible necessity of having to have a perfect understanding. That was my source of preparation paralysis. Y2K is NOT my problem today. I'm not a programmer. It's not Y2K today. My problem is accepting imperfect information, making a decision and then following through with action.

You can do it, too. You can say to yourself, You know, I dont know everything or understand everything about this stuff and it is easy to get lost in the controversy. But Im going to make a decision at 5 pm today that there may be problems that will affect me, personally in this ONE way. And Im going DO something about it. It may not be perfect, it may not enough, but for this ONE thing Ill go to bed tonight knowing I now have a measurable result.

Good luck, nosodumb. If you can do something, great. If you are near me and I can help, I will. If you can help me, please do. Ill need it.

-- Karl (, July 22, 1999.

Karl, notsodumb, thank you for excellent posts.

we grok.

-- Lewis (, July 22, 1999.

Karl: Your right about the guns. How many of you are prepared to take on a mob trying to invade your house? If they can't shoot you, they'll burn you out. If you kill one of their comrades do you think they'll move on? What about your mental state? Your locked up tight inside your house with your 1-year supply of food. You think about all the money and hours you spent preparing just to have it taken away by the thugs or government. None of us have ever really considered the ramifications or scenarios that could play out. So it really does not matter how much you prepare because something will go wrong and none of us are prepared for every conceivable thing that could happen. By the way, I know I am not dumb but someone on this forum called me a moron....I guess I pushed his wrong button.

-- notsodumb (, July 22, 1999.

Sorry, but, I must ask what sort of idiots would burn down the loot and hooch they were so desperately trying to take? I just love my 100 year old cement walls, hehehe. Anybody attempting to defend themselves in a piece of junk 'new construction' home, is in for a big surprise! Thugs had better bring rocket launchers to get into our place.

-- Will continue (, July 22, 1999.

Idiots that think if I can't have it neither will you. A malatov cocktail up on your roof or thrown through your window may make a believer out of you.

-- notsodumb (, July 22, 1999.

"None of us have ever really considered the ramifications or scenerios that could play out."???

Sorry to inform you that MANY of us indeed HAVE, and every time we bring it up.....happy face folk with tootsie pops in their mouths start whining about how insensitive, cruel and extreme we are. Doomers extrordinaire....extremists, militia minded right-wing fanatics, you get the picture. Some people are unable to prepare to this extent, some simply refuse, but do not make the mistake of thinking we are ALL about to find ourselves in a helpless situation. This simply would be false. You're no moron by any means.....just ask and you shall be enlightened my friend!

-- Will continue (, July 22, 1999.

True, but you have never experienced those scenarios. We never know what we are going to do until something actually happens. Why do you think firefighters and other emergency-type people practice over and over again? The scenarios that they practice for pay off, but we don't have that luxury because we do not know what will happen. If you only have two people or just yourself defending the home front, your chances of survival are very slim regardless of how much food and water you have stored. When people are hungry, we all know what we are capable of doing. I always thought having lots of guns and ammo would be the answer, but I now realize that even that won't save me or my family because we will be out numbered by gangs. I don't lay awake thinking about it because it's out of my control if and when the event happens. But don't think your going to get out of a worse case scenario unscathed.

-- notsodumb (, July 22, 1999.

We bought 10 acres 25 miles from the nearest town (pop. 2000). If you're thinking about this scenerio and live within 5 miles of a 7're toast!

Get it? Surely you don't think many of us true doomers intend to slug it out in a city, do you? That would be suicide! Kamakazi mentality, unrealistic....dare I say, stupid? As I said before, some people are unable to prepare to this extent, some simply refuse, but don't make the mistake of thinking we will ALL wind up helpless. Many of us have considered these very scenerios and planned accordingly......right down to the net awnings above our windows, etc. We just don't see much of a possibility of gangs of punks taking out to cruise lonely dirt roads, in the winter and running the risk of Bubba and his cousins and hunting buddies getting them, as they look for anything. Take out 3 of the 8, and they'll move on in hopes of easier targets, god knows there are many! Just not in our neck of the woods. I live in the wheat capitol of the world, we all hunt and vote and eat Liberals for breakfast before putting in a 14 hour day..... One neighbor is a WWII vet and still planting crops, lots of Nam vets too! Few sissies around here. The guy who farms the spread behind us can pick up an engine block and take it across the yard! Cityfied street punks would be nothing but target practice! You're right, I've never killed anyone, if protecting my children becomes an issue, we have 10 acres and a shovel. I've seen dead bodies and witnessed ugly gore. First time for everything, if pushed hard enough! We're not the ones who need a trigger finger at each window, but urban types will. I've seen what walks around a crowded mall, trigger fingers won't be enough! This is why we live an hours drive from Wichita and a little over three hours from OKC.

If you're in a city, just look around and tell me how humanity will join forces to combat any obstacles in a team effort, displaying ethics, courage and loyalty. Yup, my point exactly, don't count on it. Hell, I was nearly trampled in K-Mart once over a X'mas blue- light special on wool socks for petesake, just before some witch with bad roots literally ripped a pair from my hand. Pathetic, get out while you can, if at all possible!

-- Will continue (, July 22, 1999.

I completely agree with Will continue. Here in rural Northwest Arkansas, neighbors banding together to block roads, defend our homes, etc., will be easy should the time come that it becomes necessary. Outside maruders will get their asses blown off, pure and simple.

Will continue: Out of curiosity, what part of Kansas do you live in? I'm about two miles from the Oklahoma border.

-- Jack (, July 22, 1999.

And definitely stay away from Interstates.

-- Woodpile (, July 22, 1999.

notsodumb: It was probably me that called you a moron. So how come you didn't name yourself "notamoron"?? Just curious.

-- King of Spain (, July 22, 1999.

We're nearly straight South of Wichita, 12 miles from the OK border. Are you North, mid or South border? Need a goat? We have chickens, geese, ducks, peacocks, guineas, turkeys, and the pigs are coming! We have overstocked the livestock, in order to set the neighbors up, they mostly plant crops, although there are sheep and cattle. Nobody is self-sufficient anymore, no money in it, but they will be closer to it when we're done with them! We've also purchased hand pumps for their wells (on average 25 ft in this area) as well as enough non hybrid seed to go around. Yes indeedy....we will be the popular ones. And we won't have to worry about 'fire in the hole' within our own support system!! Dang, I'm just feelin' better about this every day! I'd better slap some 'Denver Pipe Band' into my CD player, it's so gooood to be a Highlander (even in the Lowlands), Hahahaha.

-- Will continue (, July 23, 1999.

You remind me of whats-her-name in Terminator 2 -- I'd say that you are ready!

Most of my neighbors are pretty self-sufficient, livestock included. In addition to my generator, I was fortunate to also find a good used handpump that I'll be install into one of my 4 wells that I have on the property (30 acres).

I'm about twenty miles south of Siloam Springs, AR, a "fur piece" from where you folks are located. People around here are, I think, quietly preparing, probably because its not a big thing to do when you are 90% there already.

-- Jack (, July 23, 1999.

Wish we were closer. Gotta say, for Clinton to poke fun at rednecks and preparers just toasts my tushie. I've grown up around ALL walks of life, and 'rural Skoal chewin' hicks' are BY FAR some of the finest, most admirable folks, full of down to earth common sense and compassion, that I've EVER had the pleasure to know. I've spoken with VPs, foriegn dignitaries, politicians, movie stars, Airline VP, Owners of huge corporations, doctors, lawyers, professors.......wonderful people of status and education, but, some of the smartest people I've met own pawn shops and diners, plow fields, run cattle and break horses. Bill Clinton would be way out of his league, and is! These people ARE Americans, we haven't quite figured out which country our President represents, but it ain't ours, that's for sure! Good luck and GBA!

-- Will continue (, July 23, 1999.

Thanks, Karl. I wish all the posts on this forum were as thoughtful as yours.

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), July 23, 1999.

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