Dumb and Dumber

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In the film, "Dumb and Dumber," there is a scene where Jim Carey asks Lauren Holly about the likehood of "getting together." Carey asks if the chances are "one in a thousand." Holly says, "No, more like in a million." Carey breaks out in a big smile and say, "So you're saying there's a chance."

It's a funny scene, and it is repeated here on a regular basis. See if this sounds familiar.

"Can you prove everything will work on January 1st," the pessimist asks. "No," replies the optimist. "HA! Then your admitting it possible we'll have problems!" "Yes," the optimist concedes. "And could those problems cause the end of the world?" "It's highly unlikely." "So you're saying there's a chance," and the pessimist breaks out in a big grin.

I can't "prove" the sun will come up tomorrow, let alone prove all will be perfect post-Y2K. On the other hand, I reject the idea every company and government agency needs to be "Y2K perfect." Widespread computer problems are not unique. Recent worldwide virus attacks have amply demonstrated mass failures... without systemic collapse.

Reasonable people accept the fact there will be Y2K problems. We simply disagree on the magnitude of the problems and the social/economic impacts. Let's try to stay on topic and discuss the issue without the little games. This means exchanging information... which is much more useful than hearing "I'm right and you're wrong" for the umpteenth time.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), July 31, 1999


We'll see.

-- Art (artw@lancnews.infi.net), July 31, 1999.

Decker's convoluted posts are dumb and getting dumber. Flowers for Decker Algernon, the big brain going backward into retardation.

-- h (h@h.h), July 31, 1999.

Decker commented:

"Reasonable people accept the fact there will be Y2K problems. We simply disagree on the magnitude of the problems and the social/economic impacts. "


The disagreement stems from the extent of ones preparations and this is NOBODY'S BUSINESS but the one preparing.

Your Pal, Ray

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), July 31, 1999.


You said "The disagreement stems from the extent of ones preparations and this is NOBODY'S BUSINESS but the one preparing". I would agree with that statement providing one's preparations were not made public, thus open for discussion. Mr. Decker may be a polly but most who post against him are way out of his league. you included. Read his words more closely and you may learn something. Your own posts are, for the most part, fairly introspective and should not be torn apart based on your views regarding Y2K.

-- Just (thinking@out.loud), July 31, 1999.

"Recent worldwide virus attacks have amply demonstrated mass failures... without systemic collapse."

Poppeycock - another straw man.

Because virae can't and haven't done us in, why of course y2k won't either...

Very lame double-d.

There is no comparison here and you know it. A recent report said that 78% of banks were not compliant, worldwide, with just five months to go. The 22% that were allegedly compiant had self-reported their status. What credence can we give to this scenario. Bearing in mind what the BIS in Europe recently said regarding International banking compliance, a logical person could only conclude that the banking system will cease to function as it does now in five months time.

This is just one example of your disconnect double-D size, you are not capable of Spocks' level of logic. This is just one area, supposedly YOUR area of expertise, yet you cannot grasp the implications of what the BIS, and yes even Greenspan have been saying - the necessity of 100% compliance in Banking.

If you cannot grasp and acknowledge this then why should we listen and accept the other twaddle you come out with on a regular basis.

BTW I believe a is still waiting for a reply.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), July 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

If you want some facts, go through all the documents at the NERC ftp site. It is likely that you will be unhappy when you are done with this reading. Do it soon before they realize the incredibly stupid mistake they have made by not password protecting these ftp documents.


Sincerely, Stan Faryna

P.S. Your cigar was lovely. And I hope to see you again sometime soon.

-- Stan Faryna (info@giglobal.com), July 31, 1999.

Gawd, Stan's "P.S." reads like something that Monica wrote to Bill. What the hell is going on between these two??? (Makes me want to barf!)

-- King of Spain (madid@aol.com), July 31, 1999.

Mr.Decker, I thank you for your clear, concise opinions. Too often times, the negative reports are the ones embraced by the media as they sell more advertising. It seems that this negativism has made many inroads into the minds of the general public on the net, as well.

I am no 'polly' and I am certainly no 'doomer', but rather, someone who wants to hear....no, demands to hear....both sides of the story. I would hope people who offer their sentiments on both sides of the coin in such clear manner are not deterred by those who already having their minds made up in what really is a case of speculative, prognosticating reporting prior to the big event itself.

-- Bad Company (johnny@shootingstar.com), July 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

I am one of those guys who chose to Study the Bible instead of computer technology, etc.

The thing that puzzled me for years, starting in about 1975, was...How could such a huge and well organized economy go down. I knew it would die a violent death but could not comprehend what would take it down.

I first read about y2k in the San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle approx. five years ago. It didn't dawn on me till 1998 that this could very well be the "snare" that would take Babylon the Great down. This economy is called Babylon the Great because it was in Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar implemented the system. It's in the Book of Daniel and described very plainly. The final maintainers of the economy are described as being made of clay and iron mixed. Very weak!

Babylon is doomed! I don't even care if it's y2k that takes it down, but I think it is. God is a poet and this event will be pure poetry, as in poetic justice. The SYSTEM KILLED ITSELF! And all the kings horses etc...

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), July 31, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

You like to throw the phrase "the end of the world" around a lot when you talk about people who call this forum, and yet a recent poll taken here shows the forum thinks the chances of an Infomagic scenario are quite small:


It is quite possible for Y2K to cause significant disruptions without causing "the end of the world." If it's important for you to call here and convince people that the possibility of significant disruptions is also quite small, then perhaps you'd want to call your members of Congress and complain about the proposed $40 million Y2K information coordination center:


And I don't know if you live in the Washington D.C. area or not, but I take it that you think these contingency plans and the stockpiling that D.C. is doing are unnecessary:

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

District Prepares for Y2K System Failures

By Eric Lipton

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 28, 1999; Page A1

The District government, recognizing that its year 2000 repair program likely will not be completed on time, is planning a massive New Year's Eve mobilization of emergency personnel and other staff to ensure that critical city services are not interrupted if computer systems fail.

Police will be stationed at more than 120 locations across the city, working 12-hour shifts, to take walk-in requests for emergency services. Twenty-one "warming centers," each supplied with food, water and cots, will open. School crossing guards will be on call, ready to replace traffic lights at major intersections. And D.C. General Hospital will have extra staff members  as many as 175  on site.

These are just a few of the 88 contingency and emergency plans the District is feverishly working to put in place by the end of the year. Similar efforts are underway across the United States among governments and private companies, but in the District, officials have acknowledged the city is so far behind on its Y2K fix that it may have to rely on some of these "work-around" techniques.

"Because we began late, there may be things that suffer an interruption that we did not completely get to," said D.C. Chief Technology Officer Suzanne J. Peck. "Within our agencies ... in some function, a handful may fail temporarily."

Officials are confident that most of these plans  even those that will be put into effect regardless of any system failure  will not be needed, and that even in the District, Y2K will be one of the century's most hyped nonevents.

City officials want to convince the public that the new year will begin in the nation's capital without chaos no matter what happens with D.C. operations or outside services such as telephone, gas and electricity.

"Our intent is not to alarm people, but put people at ease that things are under control," Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said yesterday. "We are going to have this city work for people."

Added Cmdr. David B. McDonald, the supervisor of police Y2K planning: "We want to reassure the residents and visitors to the District that even if Armageddon comes, we will assist and protect the public."

The D.C. Council will be briefed on the public safety contingency plans at an oversight hearing this morning.

The District's own assessment of its progress in making year 2000 fixes demonstrates the need for such planning: With six months left in the year, only 41 percent of the District's 336 major computer systems have been fixed. The rest are scheduled to be repaired and tested by the end of October.

Of the city's 73 agencies, 19  including key departments such as Health, Housing and Community Development; Tax and Revenue; Child and Family Services; and Public Works  are not even halfway done with their year 2000 repairs and planning.

Williams said he is "not at all surprised" that so much work remains, given the city's late start on addressing the Y2K problem. But he added that he is reasonably comfortable with the status of the city's Y2K repair efforts and has the impression that the District is about even with other major cities, saying the city may be understating its "readiness."

Virginia and Maryland, by comparison, say their government systems are virtually Y2K-proof, and while they also have contingency plans, they are more confident that they won't have to use them.


The District's late start is largely to blame for its lagging effort. While Maryland and Virginia began working on the problem several years ago, the District waited until last summer. Recognizing the danger of a catastrophic failure in the city, Congress gave the District $62 million in emergency funding this year to accelerate the work. But even with an army of more than 300 consultants at work  most under a $76 million contract with IBM Corp.  success is far from assured.

The struggle at D.C. General Hospital illustrates the challenge. D.C. General and its related health care divisions are about 48 percent "ready," according to ratings released Wednesday by the District's year 2000 program.

The hospital's mainframe computer system  which handles medical records, patient accounts, budgeting, laboratory data, patient registration and other hospital operations  will falter at year's end unless several million dollars in repairs are made.

The city is rushing to install a new computer system, but the first phase is not scheduled to be operating until mid-September. Officials are debating whether to repair the old computer in case the new one is not ready.

And that is only the beginning.

An estimated 80 percent of the 1,000 pagers assigned to staff at D.C. General and other divisions of the city's hospital and health care network are not Y2K compatible. At the start of June, the city had not issued a purchase order to buy replacements.

Each of the hospital's four ultrasound machines and 21 defibrillators  used to reestablish a regular heartbeat-is not Y2K compliant, although replacements are on order. And the critical-care monitoring system in the intensive-care unit also must be replaced.

"You can't have an emergency room without a defibrillator. You can't have an intensive-care unit without monitors," said William D. Wild, senior vice president for compliance at D.C. General.

Given all this uncertainty  and fewer than 190 days before the end of the year  D.C. General administrators and staff members are spending hundreds of hours preparing backup plans.

The 250-bed hospital, which served 51,237 in its emergency room last year and 80,000 in its hospital clinics, is arranging to have 50 temporary workers available to hand-process records and other tasks if computers fail. As many as 124 employees  including nurses, doctors and financial staff members  may be asked to stay overnight on New Year's Eve, Wild said.

An extra 30 to 60 days' worth of pharmaceuticals is being ordered, and up to 90 days' worth of other basic supplies  from bottled water to bandages  is being purchased. The cost to the city just for the contingency planning, excluding the basic Y2K repairs, is about $4 million.

Even at agencies where year 2000 repairs are farther along, extensive contingency planning is underway. The broadest effort involves emergency services, where the plans are largely directed at anticipating failure of outside utilities such as electricity and telephone  all extremely unlikely.

"The phone company says they are 98 percent certain it won't go down. The power companies say they are 99 percent certain everything will work," McDonald said. "But if that 2 percent and 1 percent cross, we need to be prepared."

Every officer in the city's 3,600-person police force will work 12- hour shifts during the New Year's weekend. Starting about 10:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, the police department will deploy two-person teams to 120 locations across the District, including fire stations, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.

Each officer will have a radio, and each of the 10 antenna sites for the radio system will have a backup generator. The city's 150 school crossing guards will learn how to handle traffic if lights go out. Staff is prepared to process crime reports and bookings by hand.

"We can't say, 'Sorry, Mr. Burglar, we can't book you today. Why don't you come back tomorrow?' " McDonald said.

At the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, leave time is being restricted for the 1,763-member staff between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15. Crews on the 16 ladder trucks are being given the tools and training to perform elevator rescues, supplementing the city's three regular rescue squads.

Backup to the city's computer-aided dispatch system is ready: thousands of 3-by-5 cards detailing which trucks to send depending on the address of a call. Fire trucks and ambulances already have been checked.

The city's Emergency Operations Center will be in gear before New Year's Eve, staffed by the public-safety-related agencies, including the Red Cross and the National Guard. All 21 warming centers, most at city schools, will be open New Year's Eve.

"If need be, people who go to these centers will be warm. They will have somewhere to sleep and something to eat," Emergency Management Program Officer Barbara Childs said.

The contingency planning extends far beyond the central emergency agencies.

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, for example, will spend more than $1 million to rent several locomotive-size generators to ensure that water will flow if the electricity goes out.

The Public Works Department will ensure that the city has 87,000 gallons of vehicle fuel available, double the normal supply. Extra truck parts, backup generators and other supplies also are on order. Plans have even been made for trash collection crews (they would work day and night), tree maintenance (complaints would be taken at the Reeves Municipal Center on 14th Street NW) and rat patrol (private exterminators would be used).

Officials are urging residents to prepare for the new year as well, stocking up on food, fuel, bottled water and other supplies as they would for a winter storm.

Jack L. Brock Jr., a U.S. General Accounting Office computer expert who described the city's Y2K outlook in February as "bleak," said last week that while he is reassured the city is making contingency plans, it must be able to implement them.

"They can't just be paper plans," said Brock, whose office is about to start another review of the District's Y2K status for Congress. "They have to do enough testing and validation to be confident that they will work."

Interim City Administrator Norman Dong said Williams is committed to ensuring that the plans work. To date, 38 of the 88 contingency plans are in draft or final form. From July until September, 23 mission- critical city agencies will hold mock drills.

"Our hope and expectation is that it will be business as usual," Dong said. "But we are taking nothing for granted. We want to make sure we are covered, that no matter what happens, we are prepared."

) 1999 The Washington Post Company


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), July 31, 1999.

To make your life most meaningful and beneficial, live your life with boddhicitta, the ultimate good heart. Try to do every action during the entire day with the ultimate good heart of boddhicitta. Even if you cannot practice boddhicitta, the altruistic mind wishing to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, as much as possible try to live your life with a generous, good heart. The ultimate good heart is the thought seeking enlightenment in order to work for other sentient beings. Even if you are not doing the profound practice of the ultimate good heart, it is important if you have a job not simply to think. "I'm doing this work to survive. I need the money for food I have to eat". If you live your life with this attitude, you are thinking about nothing other than yourself., it shows no concern for others. Among all the sentient beings, you are thinking about nothing except this one sentient being - and that is not even another person, but yourself!

With the attitude that you are working just to survive, your mind is not happy or relaxed. If you look at it, it's not a comfortable attitude, but painful and sad. Being concerned only about yourself, doing everything for your own happiness, is the principal cause of depression. All the problems of depression and aggression that lead you to depend on a psychiatrist or psychologist, making your life expensive, come from the selfish attitude. The selfish attitude also makes you busier, because you then have to earn the money to pay for the psychiatrist and so forth.

Even if you're working for just three people in your family, or even one person, since your work is done with a sincere attitude, with the thought of loving kindness cherishing others, even if you do not know how to transform your actions into virtue, your everyday activities will naturally become virtue. Even if a person has never heart of the lain-rim, his everyday activities done with this sincere attitude become pure Dharma. Because they are unstained by self- cherishing thought, these activities are the most difficult to do, but the purest holy Dharma.

Dharma means protecting oneself from suffering, from samsara. If someone is in danger of falling down a precipice, you can save him with ropes. Dharma is the rope that stops a person falling down into the sufferings of the lower realms. Your own virtuous actions, Dharma, protect you from true suffering and true cause of suffering.

Even if someone doesn't know about Buddhadharma or the lam-rim teachings, if their everyday life is lived with the thought of cherishing others, it becomes the purest holy Dharma. It is the best protection and the best cause of happiness in this life, and in the lives after this. Otherwise, if all our activities are done with non- virtuous motives, out of selfishness and worldly concern, only for the happiness of ourself and of this life, every activity in the day becomes the cause of suffering, since non-virtue is the cause of suffering and confusion in this life and in future lives.

Instead of creating the cause of happiness, it sometimes looks as if all our education is used to create negative karma. After he gains a degree, a person may go to an office and work there until he retires. But no matter how many years - even forty! - the person does the job, if his attitude is one of worldly concern, all those years of work become negative karma. Because of the selfish attitude, worldly concern clinging to the happiness of the self and this life arises. If there were no selfish attitude, there would be no space in the mind for worldly concern, as well as the many other disturbing thoughts such as anger.

If the selfish attitude is replaced by loving kindness and boddhicitta, the thought of cherishing others, these other confused minds don't arise. In this way there is much peace and happiness in the person's life. And much happiness and harmony for his family and other people around him. As a result of his good heart in this life, the person will experience much peace of mind and happiness not only in this life, but in his next life.

-- ZenMaster (Zen64@usa.net), July 31, 1999.

I was flying back to San Francisco from Chicago two years ago. The man seated next to me was a NASA scientist, or whatever, engineer. He mentioned some things about NASA and I mentioned that the photos from space were fantastic and they reminded me of some descriptions I had read in the BIBLE. As soon as I said that he jumped out of his seat and left. Didn't see him for some time after that. Something about the word Bible that frightens? Or is it that NASA knows too much...and they are frightened?

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), July 31, 1999.

MARK, havn,t you picked up' om the resistance to anything>christian. including BIBLE=PROPHECY? it,s a SIGN OF THE TIMES. remember st.peter say,s in the last day,s=scoffers=mockers,will be rampant.

-- no-surprise. (dogs@zianet.com), July 31, 1999.

Yes, Linkmaster, to answer your question: Mr. Ken Decker has stated many times that he does indeed live right smack in Dee Cee. So, who says that Y2K is going to be all bad? LOL!

(Apparently, Ken likes "the scene" there. But you would have to Stan for the details.)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), July 31, 1999.

Sorry, dude, I meant LinkMEISTER. That Zen-buddah moron is really getting annoying.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), July 31, 1999.


Yes! I stopped quoting Scripture on this forum because people don't want it?

However I don't think that I should stop talking from my point of view, and it comes from the Bible (Babylon is doomed, doomed, doomed!) from which I can view the past and the future...with considerable study. Don't trust the main stream religionists to pass on the truth.

"Only the wise will understand."

Take care and carry on!

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), July 31, 1999.

Its Buddha not Buddah!

-- ZenMaster (Zen64@usa.net), July 31, 1999.

It's Bullshit is what it is!!!

-- Zenmaster (go@way.now), July 31, 1999.

Zen- they are confusing Buddha and Bubbah-Bubbah is the Southern equivalent of Everyman with the 6-pack, the pick-up, and 4 mean dogs under the trailer porch. The rural south, where theres already rice and beans in every pot and a rifle in every garage... to reach Bubbah, we need to get Dale Earnhardt on TV telling him to store more than Skoal and Budweiser. Any supply chain problems around here are going to be different hthn what you might expect in the northern cities. Its not cold enough to kill too many here. Not too many will mourn the inavailability of Grey Poupon, but turn off the TNN, the beer pipeline, the welfare system and the local underground xanax supply, and things are gonna get real ugly in about 3 days- has anybody thought or considered, all kidding aside, what breaks in the supply chain of booze/beer/drugs/Rx drugs would do? Ive heard estimates in the medical community that as much as 15% of the population is actively addicted to some substance- and Im not counting smokers. The loss of a flowing alcohol supply alone could seriously disable the hospitals-the volume of patients needing treatment for DT's and other less life threatening withdrawal symptoms would be massive. (saturday night in the ER here is already bad enough-the resources consumed by this facet of the population is already pretty staggering) This could back up the EMS systems, too, just when they might already be overburdened and stressed. It wouldnt take a 10 to do this-just a few weeks of decreased supply at the local ABC store and the beer joints. Just price inflation alone beyond the average means could have a serious economic fallout. How would desperate druggies searching for supply affect the police department and the crime stats if we end up with a 5 or 6? I havent seen any indication that these issues are being taken into account in munincipal or medical contingency plans. Has anyone else? Ive talked to a couple of other fellow ED nurses (in the trenches, so to speak) and this is a really worrying concern for us. The problem is a lot more pervasive then most people might think. In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, theyre on their own, but anything less than that (which is what most of us expect), and this issue might become the Achilles heel of the EMS system. Thoughts?

-- LauraA (Laadedah@aol.com), July 31, 1999.

ZenMaster is talking about living your life in an unselfish healthy way. Call it Buddha, dharma, Christ or Bible, the message is the same.

Even psychiastrists and doctors will tell you that helping people and getting involved in society is what we need for a healthy mind and body. Worrying about others takes your mind off your own little problems we think we have. Puts a new perspectives on our percieved problems.

-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), July 31, 1999.


By looking at these posts it seems you are developing a cult following.

You could discribe paint drying and folks will flock. A true leader.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), July 31, 1999.

LauraA, many thoughts on this! Good post, BTW.

Read an MSNBC report a month ago that stated 80% of all Americans regularly drink coffee. Headache time.

Just had a patient, alcoholic, go into DTs after surgery in ICU, they gave him morphine & haldol, other psychotropics, idiocyncritic reactions, now in geri-psych where they say it's complicated by anesthesia psychosis, and this is COMMON in those over 60.

Took the whole array of electronic tools to keep him alive.
Complications during/after routine surgery included heart attack, aspiration, pneumonia, internal bile leakage, etc etc. One of the Drs said that many more people than one can imagine are addicted to drugs, many without realizing it.

Spent 3 weeks going to one hospital after another, clinic after clinic, Dr offices galore, bouncing around a maze system. Looked closely at procedures, methodologies, saw total and complete automation of all processes!

We travel in broad circles throughout the medical community and so far have not heard any serious concern whatsoever about Y2K. Too surreal for words.

xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), July 31, 1999.

What don't I understand about the following news item?

"Logging in federal forests is down by as much as 25% this year in some regions because the US Forest Service can't find enough paint it needs to mark trees. ..."

-- Not Again! (Seenit@ww2.com), July 31, 1999.

OT - the rumor is true, according to my buddy the local forester. Apparently the paint and the propellant in the cans are not up to environmental snuff. There is so much BS going on, you wouldn't believe it. Now the USFS wants to declare that all roads in the forest are to be assumed to be closed to the public unless specifically posted as "open."

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), August 01, 1999.

Brian is right, that zen dude really seems to like posting on Decker's threads. That other swami also, though he has not made an appearance on this one yet. (Probably in a lotus position on a mountain someplace.)

Makes sense, for as the Great Buddha said: "As the moon finds its reflection in the waves of the sea, so it is that flies find their true karma in shit."

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), August 01, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

I wholeheartedly concur. By all means, let us dispense with the Hegelian dialectic of false choice between "doomer" and "polly" and revert to real, good faith exchanges of information.

Personally, if I had to pick a label, vis-`-vis Y2k, I'm a "prepper", not a "polly", not a "doomer", and not part of any externally imposed "group", but merely an advocate of self-reliance, reasonably tempered as changing circumstances may dictate.

In fact, I think most of the well-intentioned folks on this forum are neither "polly" nor "doomer" but simply "preppers", prepping to some personal comfort level based on whatever reliable information may be gleaned over time. You know, sort of like that silly soft-drink song: "I'm a prepper, he's a prepper, she's a prepper, we're a prepper, wouldn't you like to be a prepper too? Be a prepper, a self-reliant prepper; be a prepper, a self-reliant prepper; ...." :o)

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), August 01, 1999.



Life is filled with risk and surprising outcomes. That is why we pay insurance premiums to cover improbable, but not impossible surprises that can damage our health, homes, cars, and businesses. Every such situation requires a personal assessment. Should your car insurance include a collision rider? If not, you can reduce your current out-of- pocket expense. How risk averse are you?

Right now, people are attempting to assess Y2K risk.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), August 01, 1999.


What's going on here?

I take a little break and you lose all your marbles.......

-- MidWestMike_ (MidWestMike_@hotmail.com), August 01, 1999.

Just in case anyone is tempted to be fooled by the bafflegarb nonsense that Mark Hillyard is spouting out.......

Babylon were completely destroyed by the Medes and the Persians approximately 2400 years ago.......

YOu can clearly see this in Biblical history and other ancient history books.......

Mark is just another one of those poorly educated souls who has read a few books by Hal Lindsey and rewritten history to try and prove that the end is coming.............

The J.W.'s were one cult that named dates and had to slink away when they never happened. Mark has learned from their mistakes and trys to fool you with the art of twisting scripture as well as at least not naming specific dates like some of the cults.......

If you were to press Mark hard enough he might even admit that he thinks the whore of Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church.....how about it Mark?

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), August 01, 1999.

Craig, are you calling Mark a cult?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 01, 1999.

You mean the Bore of Getalong isn't Rome?

-- Spidey (in@jam.commie), August 01, 1999.

I see this thread has wandered far and wide. My original point was simple. I'm interested in a civil discussion of the potential impacts of Y2K. The childish rhetorical games do not help anyone achieve a greater understanding of Y2K. As "Spain" demonstrates, the oldest game is "attack the person when you can't attack the argument." If we focused on providing information and/or making well- reasoned arguments, I think this forum would become more useful.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), August 02, 1999.

"If we focused on providing information and/or making well- reasoned arguments, I think this forum would become more useful."


Answer the points I made about your straw man argument. Tell us why 78% of banks worldwide are not ready, yet you still expect no significant banking problems.

We're all waiting.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 02, 1999.

Still waiting for your allegedly "reasoned argument" double decker.

Or is this another of your hit and run excursions?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 02, 1999.


First, provide the link or background data to your assertion. Are we talking domestic banks or the entire global banking structure? As of what date are these bank allegedly "noncompliant." How is noncompliance defined and by what method was noncompliance determined. Does the method consider critical and noncritical systems? Is the statistic based on third-party verification, self reported or the infamous Y2KNewswire "If they don't say 'yes,' they must mean 'no' logic?" Since I doubt you personally conducted an audit of the financial services sector, Andy, I'm going to need your source before I can construct a reasonable counter-argument. Whenever you're ready.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), August 02, 1999.


You've been accused recently by many for not doing your homework. Either that or being disingenuous in your arguments (I favour the latter...)

The 78% figure, and the BIS statement, were posted on this forum and discussed by many people at length, perhaps even you. I suggest you do a search on these topics and then get back to us when you are sufficiently UP TO SPEED.

Specifically, I asked you a question after I called you a hypocrite.

It would seem that you have been reading the 25 rules of disinformation thread this morning in order to bone up on your tactics. The barage of questions that you just spewed out are deflecting no one from the realisation that you are trying to dodge the issue and/or are underinformed on this important area of your ALLEGED expertise. Please desist from attempting to put the onus on ME to cover your intellectual shortfall for you.

Doesn't work like that Double-d, please do your homework, get up to speed, and we can see just how you are going to explain to us all the folly of the recent BIS statement, and just how a system that is only 22% compliant (allegedly) is going to WORK when our esteemed Mr. Greenspan (himself an ex-Assembler programmer who knows of what he speaks) informed the Senate that 100% compliance was necessary for the banking system of systems to work.

WE are waiting for YOU dd. WE know the links and the history here, apparently YOU don't.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 02, 1999.

Well DD, done your homework yet?

I'll give you a clue, I just sent one link to the top. 'Fraid you'll have to find the other one yourself.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 02, 1999.


First, Greenspan was flat wrong. There isn't a sector of the economy, financial services included, where information systems run perfectly. A real IT pro wonders whether even God can produce bug- free systems. Second, I posted some recent news articles on Y2K. Perhaps you missed Greenspan's recent comments on the financial services sector:


Or how about this report from the FDIC. Based on their math, 205 out of 10,400 U.S. banks were rated less than satisfactory as of MARCH 1999.


Or FRBSF President Robert Parry:


Let's get down to brass tacks. From the report you base your 78% figure:

"...the Commission has the authority to assess the degree of risk that the unregulated activities of U.S. brokerage firms pose to the regulated entity, and has concluded that the Year 2000 risks posed by the international activities of U.S. brokerage firms is not significant."

And, "The staff is aware of reports that some countries are behind in their Year 2000 efforts. Given the scope and complexity of the problem, the number of affected systems, and the limited time within which to complete remediation efforts, it seems likely that some Year 2000 disruptions will occur. Nonetheless, individual firms, financial market infrastructure providers, and financial market authorities worldwide have made substantial efforts to resolve Year 2000 challenges. "

There are certainly challenges, but the 78% number is by no means "hard." Look at when the SIA received survey responses:

"The SIA received responses to its survey between February and May 1998, and the overall response rate was 12%. Although the low response rate does limit the usefulness of the data obtained, the survey responses indicated that 86% of the respondents planned to have their systems converted and ready to test by the end of 1998; 95% had completed initial inventories of major systems, platforms, and languages to determine their exposure to the Year 2000 problem; 69% had assessed and developed detailed plans; 38% were in the process of renovating systems and equipment; 18% were validating their systems through testing; and 22% had implemented tested, compliant systems. The majority of the respondents had completed less than 50% of their Year 2000 plan project, but only 37% of the respondents had developed a contingency plan."


To answer some of my own questions, the SEC report covers the Y2K readiness of foreign banks. The information dated and based on an admittedly incomplete analysis.

Here's the bottom line, Andy. U.S. banks are doing well, as are other players in the financial services sector. The major markets are Y2K ready through testing. Tokyo just announced successful testing over the weekend. The Federal Reserve will take whatever steps necessary to keep the U.S. system sound including transactions with financial institutions in LDCs. There may be banks, particularly in LDCs, behind on Y2K remediation. The failure of a bank in Albania, however, will probably not sent us into a death spiral.

Next question.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), August 02, 1999.

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding. "Life of Johnson," Boswell.

-- Samuel (Johnson@boswell.com), August 02, 1999.

How long can Zenmaster Ko-an like this?

-- coprolith (coprolith@rocketship.com), August 02, 1999.

Silence of the "Andy"


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), August 02, 1999.


Once you said greenspan is dead wrong about 100% compliance realised that it it's pointless arguing with an imbecile.

I guess the BIS are "dead wrong" too.

Decker (double) you'll find out that your DEAD wrong in 5 months time.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 03, 1999.

Let me state this, just to make sure that I understand it: Ken C. Decker is stating that Allan Greenspan's well documented statement that the banking system must achieve 100% Y2K compliance to maintain reliability is "WRONG"??????? Based on WHAT EVIDENCE???? -- Decker's "belief" that this is not correct???????!!!!


Tell us that you goofed here, Decker, and you meant to say something else. I mean, this is really big time supernova BS, as opposed to your normal BS, even for you, dude.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), August 03, 1999.


It's amusing that Greenspan has talked about y2k at great length, most recently testifying that he's pleased with the progress that has been made, and predicting only a 0.5% reduction in growth next year. Yet you pick up on one, single statement he made (which is demonstrably false, since no software has EVER been 100% error-free), which Greenspan once said for effect, and continue to chant it as gospel while IGNORING ALL ELSE that Greenspan has said.

Now, just how do you define spin?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), August 03, 1999.


I've explained to you time and time again the problem with data echanges. THAT is what Greenspan was referring to and you know it - Grenspan is right on the money here - the whole banking system hinges on whether it can screen out bad data - and the simple fact is IT CAN'T - this has been proven over and over again.

One more time for you and that know-nothing DD, tell me just exactly HOW banks can screen out bad data.

That's all I want to know - HOW????

And while you're at it Flint, did you ever READ the BIS report???

I don't think either you or DD have - if you had you would shut the fuck up and start preparing IN EARNEST.

Numskulls the pair of you.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 03, 1999.


Didn't you know that we have lived in a perfect, error-free world all our lives?? One Y2K bug in a bank and we're history. :-)


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), August 03, 1999.

Watch it, guys!

Andy may just pull out an even older assessment, where 0% was done.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), August 03, 1999.

Beano, Hoffy, Flint, DD - we'll find out soon enough won't we.

I just hope the net stays up so I can see your reactions when banking tanks.

THAT should be funny, watching you four explain away just WHAT went wrong...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 03, 1999.


Fortunately I live on Planet Earth where the banks will be fine.

Give reality a chance dude, you may find that you like it.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), August 03, 1999.

For the last time, Deck: Senator Bennett recommends that people prepare (and prepare means: have materials and capabilities to live independently without basic services and goods)for "a little more than two weeks".

Is it ok with you if we try to get the word out that people oughta prepare for a little more than two weeks? You can condone this?

(Hint into my cotton-candy-stuffed cranium: D&D is my third favorite all-time movie, behind Ace Ventura I & II.)

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), August 03, 1999.

Pollies, so many, many times your answer is: "Well, thats OLD information." I don't get it, when people like Greenspan make a statement (especially one before Congress, under oath), is there automatically attached to it a "Must not be quoted after __/__/__" sort of label? I mean, if Greenspan had later AMENDED this statement, and said that he was wrong, or if a "magic bullet" had been found to the data exchange problem or whatever, I could understand. But unless we know otherwise, regardless of what OTHER separate, independent statements have come from Mr.G, THE 100% COMPLIANT STATEMENT STILL STANDS! You can't just wish it away because it does not fit with your polly view!!!

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), August 03, 1999.


It has nothing to do with my 'pollieview'. It has to do with reality. Try real hard and you can grasp it!


Why do they have to be 100% error free next year?

Valid question. I would like a valid answer other than Mr G said so.

Lisa - cute movies but your ALL-TIME favorites? YIKES!!


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), August 03, 1999.

Y2K projects are typically multi-year affairs--not just three or six or nine months long. That's why articles like the following don't do much to ease my concerns:


"Foreign banks lagging on Y2K"

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), August 03, 1999.

Deano, not the BEST movies, just ones I can watch over and over and over and...... poor little headless parakeet... LOL.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), August 03, 1999.

Do NOT..go in there....WHEEEEEEEEEEW!

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), August 03, 1999.


OK, how are bad transmissions discovered and filtered out? This happens at many levels. At the bottom (my level), there are filters in the silicon itself for detecting scrambled addresses, runt packets, jabbering, invalid CRCs and the like. At the lowest driver levels, there are methods of assembling messages from packets, discarding the message if all packets are not received. Also at this level software checksums are examined to validate individual packets. Packets also have length indicators to be validated. Different protocols have different numbers and kinds of such doublechecks.

Above this level are checks at increasingly abstract levels. These checks are performed both by originator and destination, for example matching totals of transactions with summed subtotals, doing sanity checks for field formatting and the like. Beyond this are heuristic checks to see if values correctly formatted are 'unusual' for given fields, totals, etc.

As I understand it, there are even ack-checks (here's what I received, is it what you sent?). And when errors are found, there are methods for backing out entire batches of transactions from databases.

All of this (and as I understand it, much more) has evolved because every conceivable error has cropped up over the course of time, so filters have been created to trap them all. Invalid transactions, for whatever reason, are daily occurrances for all banks in the system. Under ordinary circumstances, no bank would survive long without such checks and filters.

These are normal, routine, daily facts of life. So when you write:

"the whole banking system hinges on whether it can screen out bad data - and the simple fact is IT CAN'T - this has been proven over and over again"

This is so preposterously contrary to reality as to defy belief. Bad data are screened out normally, regularly, routinely, effectively, and daily. This is proved not just "over and over again" but as a matter of course. You might as well state that it's a simple fact that people don't breathe, and this is proven over and over. An absolutely stunning denial.

As for how this is done, I've offered a very trivial, beginner's overview. I'm sure the banking geeks here could provide literally hundreds of examples of data filters at higher levels -- my specialty is the data link layer.

NOW, it is proposed that y2k might corrupt this system via one or both of two methods: (1) A new *type* of error never before encountered; and (2) A rate of trapped errors so high that communications are effectively not happening.

Efforts (primarily yours) to create even a single hypothetical process that could lead to a new *type* of error have been hilarious failures in everyone's eyes except your own. Such efforts have been forced to assume multiple, complimentary, and extraordinarily fortuitous errors, similar to assuming the coin will land on edge 5 times in a row. One miraculous coincidence piled atop the next.

The possibility of an unacceptable error *rate* has been taken much more seriously, since this threat was initially quite real. This problem doesn't pose the spectre of global contagious data corruption you are so in love with, but it too requires solid testing to discover and correct if it exists. Such testing has been going on for over a year (Read Arnold Trembley's St. Louis Time Machine reports for gory details), and has (over time) included more and more banks, and transaction types, and inclusive test datasets, and various stress tests (high transaction rates, boundary conditions, etc.)

So what all this comes down to is, we have a Himalayan-sized body of evidence that says such problems have been addressed satisfactorily on the one hand, and on the other hand we have Lonely Andy, screaming "IS NOT! IS NOT IS NOT! Waaaahhhhh!!!" But I must admire the sheer power of your convictions, since they plow heedlessly through reality, casting facts aside like toothpicks!

But by all means enjoy your gold. It is pretty stuff.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), August 03, 1999.

You're wasting your time, Flint. Andy and Spain think billions of dollars move around the world each day via the computer version of carrier pigeon. Truth be told, it is impossible to access all of the screens, checks and filters in inter-bank transfer systems because bankers have no desire to print an engraved invitation to hackers.

I don't think Greenspan was engaged in technical analysis of the Y2K problem. He sounds more like a coach telling the team we need a "100 percent." In addition, I don't think Greenspan anticipated his words would be interpreted so literally by the religious fundamentalists of the Y2K sect. Of course, you can refer to Greenspan's recent statements where he is pleased with U.S. banking's Y2K progress. It looks like we are between 98% and 100%. I doubt we'll ever make 100%. Some banks will fail next year... they do every year and I doubt 2000 will be an exception.

By the way, Andy, I suggest you are better served worrying about your personal safety rather than mine.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), August 03, 1999.

Messrs. Flint and Decker,

Yet, as you guys are so fond of pointing out, no software is bug free. With all the checks, balances, screens and filters, banking and transfer errors still occur. Today. Unrelated to Y2K. If the filtering system(s) become overwhelmed due to higher error generation rates, it is obvious that the end-result error rates will also increase. So it's not a question of whether false data will get through, as that is happening now. The question is: What volume of end-result errors, the errors that do get past the filtering systems, can be tolerated?

-- Elbow Grease (LBO Grise@aol.com), August 03, 1999.

Mr Grease:

Good question. I can assure you that the lowest protocol layers will remain as secure as ever -- these never have been subject to any date bugs. At higher layers, there appears to be some debate. My understanding is that you are correct, and that both admitted and rejected bad data rates will rise somewhat. Just how much has of course been one of the key focuses of the current testing, and results indicate that the rise will not exceed (or even approach) the limits of manageability. Not to mention that a larger and more alert IT staff will be monitoring them nervously for some period of time.

But for any details above the harware and low-driver levels, you'll need to hear from a banking geek. I only know what I read about that stuff, which is to say contradictory claims like we read about everything else in this whole mess.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), August 03, 1999.

Flint, I have never seen anything so simple made so complex by anyone. Yes, in some industries, the "error tolerance" can be pretty liberal. However, in other industries, the tolerance has to be "on the money" as they say. (At least, I guess thats what the bankers say.) The head "banking geek" has already defined what that tolerance needs to be for us. Under oath, before Congress at that.

The clumsy attempts by you and the rest to try to weasel out of something so crystal clear goes beyond even the usual polly antics.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), August 03, 1999.


I must admit I envy you. You have found your mantra. You don't have a context for it, so you don't know what it means. And reality is so messy you tune it out and just chant happily away. Banking software is complex? No problem, call it simple and chant. Greenspan has clarified that banks are OK? Ignore it and chant. We have real-world test results? Reject them and chant! You make it so easy.

This isn't even doomism. This is just saying a rosary until the words lose their meaning and become soothing noise. I admire it.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), August 03, 1999.


By peevishly addressing KoS "to the man" you are missing, or ignoring a valid point: different industries do have differing tolerances for error. I'm wondering if there is yet some bland industry or subsector that has so far escaped notice, or is assumed to be "non critical" to the infrastructure, but may turn out to be an unlikely keystone in this untimely event.

-- Elbow Grease (LBO Grise@aol.com), August 03, 1999.

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