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

I am in disconnectland. Compelled to come to this forum, I daily read the the posts with detachment, seldom participating. I surf on over to Rick Cowles website, now Energyland, and look around. They are the only two Y2k stops I make anymore.

I notice the flaming has decreased, pollies are fewer. Media input is on the rise, as well as government spin. Six months ago it was reversed. New names are added daily to the posts. "Fourteen days of Preps" is a constant.

In the real world I encounter people with knowledge of Y2k. Some are preparers. We don't even discuss Y2k anymore. We have come a long way together and there is no need for talk. Others are different. There is the guy who sits next to me. He is very angry that his stocks are not doing well. He blames the people that are prearing. He feels it will be all their fault if the economy crashes. I sure don't want to discuss Y2k with him. He is full of the Y2k rage.

A computer teacher is blase about Y2k when questioned by a student. Her retort on 9/9/99 was, "Well, it didn't crash the system, did it?" giggle, giggle. When asked what the problem of 9's was, her reply dwindled to she really did not know.

Another class, different teacher. It is the study of electronics. A Biomed program. The lab is full of medical devices for the students to practice on and repair. When asked how the embedded chips will effect these devices, I am told not to worry because there is no embedded chip problem in medical devices. Huh? I am not going to argue. He's the Man that should know.

Listening to snips of conversation the perceptions of Y2k range from fact to bizarre. I don't say anything. Hearing people discussing Y2k, seeing commercials, reading business spin (especially that of the banking community), receiving pamplets in with my bills, I am now surrounded by Y2k. It is a lot different then this time last year.

Are there still DGIs? I don't think so. They may not acknowledge that they beleive something might happen but they know. Just like me, just like you, they are surrounded by the negativity of Y2k and it does have an effect. All negativity does, it causes fear. A little niggling fear that they carry inside.

Yes, the herd is stirring. Dust floats in the air as they stomp and snort, deciding what to do. When the stampede starts it is going to be ugly. For too many years we have lived in a "Me First" world. Compassion and thoughtfulness have fallen by the wayside. It is the mentallity of the times. Few of those charging to prepare at the last minute will have the decency to stop and extend a hand to the fallen.

We saw the frenzy of survivial as residents left their homes seeking santuary from Floyd. It will be no differnet with Y2k, only on a much larger scale. There will be no safe havens this time. No matter what direction they drive, they will encounter Y2k.

We live in interesting times. They are also scarey. The intensity of unease in my gut is increasing. I rely heavily on this feeling, it has directed me well in the past.

So I sit here in Disconnectland, a product of Y2k overload. I read my moniter and it's many posts. The real world offers a different insight about Y2k. I no longer connect to either on this issue.

I'm just sitting here watching, ready and waiting. I feel I am not alone.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), September 26, 1999


You're not alone Linda. Well said! Thanks for the great post : )



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), September 26, 1999.

Sounds like somebody needs a hug...

-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Y2KOK.ORG), September 26, 1999.


My wife and I were out last night, at the kids football game the talk among the parents was about new cars, New Years Eve parties, and vacations in the Bahammas Oct 2K.....When I hesitated about attending a big NYE party in Downtown SF all I got was a bunch of gruff, and "those looks". The herd just Do Not Get It.......

It will get worse before it gets better.....

-- Helium (Heliumavid@yahoo.com), September 26, 1999.

Don't worry about what "the herd" thinks, just do what you think is right. Following the herd can get you killed.

-- Ignore the Herd (noone@nowhere.com), September 26, 1999.

Linda, you scare me! Every thing you say is true, but the quiet, logical way you portray it makes me more apprehensive than all the exclamations being slung around.No one truly knows what will happen, but there is a large dark cloud drifting our way, and it will arrive in about three months. Will it be a small storm or a killer storm? One thing for sure.....it will be one or the other. Who wants to gamble?

-- citizen (lost@sea.com), September 26, 1999.


The problem navigating "Disconnectland" is there we are surrounded by chimering mirages.Which is the true reality,which is false or are they multiple realities?

One thing for sure is that "Disconnectland" itself will probably morph into the adjacent country "Unexplored Territory".

Whilst "Unexplored Territory will not be so confusing as "Disconnectland" one needs to be aware that this could be where the four horsemen of Apocalypse take regular exercise .As there are currently no published maps for unexplored territories any where,it is best to be prepared for any eventuality !!!

Thanks for the post.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), September 26, 1999.

While you wait, in digital connect with the rest of us Linda, begin to create your own inner reality.

It's time for everyone who "get's it" to strengthen their spirit (in whatever way is their personal choice) and to get ready to exercise those "caring for humanity thoughts, actions and reactions."

It's the last preparation phase before the unknown and potentially unexpected changes... coming next year... to a planet in your local solar system.

There is an e-mail, posted last year, that I read and re-read, during the down times... Attitude Is Everything . Finding a copy of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" would help too.

Shift Happens... when we're willing to be extremely flexible.

Smile... you are NOT alone.



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 26, 1999.

Linda, your next job (if not current one) should be as a writer. I loved your post! Agree the herd is restless and sniffing the air.

Chris, I also loved your response about Unexplored Territory. You both were a sheer pleasure to read.

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 26, 1999.


In my daily travels I find that people DGI. Even those prepping DGI. They talk about things as if nothing will change. Just a few days food and water and no problem...

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), September 26, 1999.

Yes, disconnectland is an excellent depiction of this forum. We KNOW we're in for big problems. They were supposed to happen, and they didn't. People are aware, but not worried. Those who understand what's actually in the chips aren't worried. Those who run "endangered" businesses aren't worried. Those conducting the remediation, the new implementations, the y2k testing are mostly not worried (except here and there some projects are going poorly, no doubt). Those in Yardeni's 100 day conference are confident, but not certain. Nothing in life is certain. By now, the coming calamity must be taken on faith, there being no good hard evidence that things will be bad, and the mountain of good news is dismissed as less than sufficiently credible.

I get this mental picture of people wearing "The World Is Coming To An End" sandwich boards, wandering the streets being mostly ignored and sometimes laughed at. And wondering what's wrong with *everyone else*. Can't they SEE? What more ironclad proof could they possibly NEED, than just by looking around and seeing that the more knowledge people have, the less worried they are? Aha, they must ALL be lying. Isn't it obvious?

And when we apply our collective resources to tracking down the latest scare stories, the leads all fade away. Someone heard it from someone, but nobody quite knows who. Nobody here is willing to own up to working on a failing project, not ONE person. But everyone *else* must be failing, all these lies are proof of that, surely?

There's a disconnect somewhere.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), September 26, 1999.

Flint you ARE a government plant. ONLY the government would kick somebody when they are down.

-- The Count of Meijer Crisco (40@cansof.course), September 26, 1999.


I don't think they ALL must be lying, but enough of them are that real disruptions are inevitable. There is no way on earth that they ALL are telling the truth either is there?


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), September 26, 1999.

"There will be no safe havens this time. No matter what direction they drive, they will encounter Y2k."

Thats it in a nutshell. That sentence alone put chills up and down my spine. Great post - and expressed my sentiments exactly.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), September 26, 1999.


Correct, disruptions are inevitable. We're having them right now, as Hoffmeister has made so clear. I think disruptions will become worse than they are at present, so I'm not quite as optimistic as Hoff. They could become TEN TIMES as bad as they are now.

I know it's damn difficult to devise a calculus of relative reliability. Many are telling the truth as well as they know it. Many more are engaging in wishful thinking. Many more are outright grinding an axe, trying to bring about a desired future regardless of current realities. And of all these, some have detailed inside knowledge, and most are just repeating what someone else said, after applying appropriate spin.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), September 26, 1999.

Flint, bone picker
Lost in Disconnectland
Grinding axe or sharpening spear?

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 26, 1999.

A doctor once told me that the human body could not maintain the physiological nor psychological state of intense panic (as in a full blown panic attack) for extended periods of time. You eventually face the demons assaulting you in order to survive.

My best friend shut her mind to everything y2k at the first of the year...the same period I began reading everything I could on the web regarding it. She will not listen to ANY facts, logic and rational thought (like I so much enjoy reading from Ed Y) We have not mentioned Y2K in quite some time.

Am I at the psychological stage called "acceptance". I cannot forsee madkind getting through this thing unscathed, but I do not fear it (like my friend does...all the while pronouncing there is nothing to Y2K, and we who prepare are neurotics who are hurting ourselves and others with our focus on this "thing") I don't LIKE the image of the various senarios 5-9, but denial of reality WILL NOT CHANGE IT! I will even say that I can look forward to the oppornuities to share what I have and help however I can. Does this make me the fruitcake that she intimates that I am?

-- Frankie (Fransmak@prodigy.net), September 26, 1999.

There really are times Flint, when you have NO HEART! Very sad.

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 26, 1999.


Correct, disruptions are inevitable. We're having them right now, as Hoffmeister has made so clear. I think disruptions will become worse than they are at present, so I'm not quite as optimistic as Hoff. They could become TEN TIMES as bad as they are now.

Then why be so harsh on those who are preparing? I'm not expecting TEOTWAWKI but I *do* expect real and significant failures. And more than can be dealt with in just 3 days. After 15+ years in the biz I know that everyone *hopes* everything will be OK, myself included, but that doesn't mean it will be so. Unlike some foreign head of state, you can't negotiate a new deadline with a chip or a program. It either will work or it won't. I think, at a minimum, it will take 60-90 days to figure out workarounds. Not *FIX* the problem, but figure out a way to get product X to destination Y in the face of problem Z. Now, 60-90 days isn't that long to solve a problem, but it is a damn long time to be without food, water, electricity, etc. in the middle of winter.

I know it's damn difficult to devise a calculus of relative reliability. Many are telling the truth as well as they know it. Many more are engaging in wishful thinking. Many more are outright grinding an axe, trying to bring about a desired future regardless of current realities. And of all these, some have detailed inside knowledge, and most are just repeating what someone else said, after applying appropriate spin.

How true. But those 'self-reporting' entities we are supposed to take at face value have a vested interest in keeping any problems as close to the vest as possible. And that includes lying. I've seen more times than I can count a manager say 'all is well' up to and including the delivery date when it's clear they are *far* from being done. When something goes wrong with a new install, they usually just revert to the old version. With Y2K they DO NOT have that option.

I just this past weekend got into an argument with a family friend who's worth at least 20+ million dollars. He's not among the 'ultra-rich' but he's got enough that you or I would defintely envy him. He said, and I quote, "Y2K isn't even going to be a bump in the road. All the analysts on Bloomberg and CNBC say so and they're some of the smartest people in the country". I said "What would happen to a companies stock if they admitted they weren't going to make it by December 31st? It would fall through the floor faster than you could say 'sell'. Of course they are going to tell the analysts they're ready. Is there a single company that you own stock in that would say otherwise?" His response? "Ummm...er....ummm....".

My point is the same as Ed's; that historically software projects a late. Problems can be and are dealt with on a daily basis, but you can't deal with everything all at once. Too many problems and things start to fall apart, no matter how much you or I wish it to be otherwise. Y2K presents just such a problem... -TECH32-

-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), September 26, 1999.

Thanks to the reformatting fairy who got rid of my extra italics.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), September 26, 1999.


I think we're pretty close in our expectations then. I know that all of these positive reports can't be true. I expect very few of them are completely true, some are outright brazen lies, and lots of them are (as I said) more wishful thinking than anything else. And I do expect disruptions, many of them newsworthy.

So I'm not being hard on "those who are preparing", hell, I'm one of them. I'll just keep repeating that preparation is prudent, and NOT preparing is foolish. But I'll continue to be harsh on those who cannot distinguish between fire and fire insurance, whether they're preparing or not.

This is a common logical error. For example, baseball announcers have been saying since I was a child that since there are many more ways that a runner can score from third than from second, THEREFORE the runner is many times more likely to score from third than second. And a century of statistics saying the likelihood goes up about 15% rather than 900% doesn't faze them a bit. The specific error is to give ALL possibilities equal probability, simply because they're all possible at all. So the more things those here can dream up that *might* go wrong, the more *likely* they think problems will be. And that's what I'm trying to counter most of the time.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), September 26, 1999.

Linda, very nice posts. You put into words feelings a lot of us have. You certainly aren't alone.

Chris/griffen, I chose to view this disconnect as two separate realities and it helps me deal with it.

Mara, I too -since I resigned myself that I'm hitting a brick wall- while I'm with the "herd" I talk about and make plans as if nothing will happen. I decided that since it's two different realities, I should live and behave according to rules in both. It has brought me some peace of mind. And now I'm wondering just how many people from the "herd" does the same. If you met me on the street you'd say I'm just one of the herd.

Flint, I know you can find it in your heart to not visit threads where your opinion wouldn't be welcomed. All Linda was doing is expressing a feeling, not asking for your "help". But as usual, you appropriated this thread as yours, and trempled the sacred altar of feelings without a thought.

-- Chris (#$%^&@pond.com), September 26, 1999.


So the more things those here can dream up that *might* go wrong, the more *likely* they think problems will be. And that's what I'm trying to counter most of the time.

But that's just a matter of perspective. If medicaid fails, I don't care, and you probably don't either. But if you or one of your parents is a recipient, then it just might really seem like the end of the world to you.

When it appears that everyone is blowing smoke up your ass, especially when you rely on services from them, you can't afford to believe anything anyone says. And with so many failure points, it's easy to see how even the littlest failure can have severe repurcussions to you and yours.

The determining factor for me when evaluating a companies truthfulness is when they started. If they are a medium-large company (more than 10,000 employees) and they started (evaluation, etc) after April 1998, then I don't believe a friggin thing they say. Before that, and I'll give them a little more leeway but I look at their 10-Q statements carefully to see if spending is at least somewhat in line with what they are claiming.

When I see people freaking out about this industry or that company, and I don't care about that particular area, I keep my mouth shut. Who am I to say their opinion is less valuable than mine. We all have different priorities. No offense meant here, but I think recognition of that fact is something you've been lacking in the past. Keep this in mind the next time you decide to cut someone down because their concerns about something seem out of line with your own.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), September 26, 1999.

Flint, I think I might understand where you are coming from. Do you understand why so many people get upset with you?

You do realize there will be a certain amount of disruptions. It is not just another possibility, but a likelihood that these disruptions may cause loss of human life. One life is too many.

I understand if you care and are concerned about people over reacting, but think about it. If we over prepare, we may look and feel like chumps, but embarrassment and perhaps taking a loss or setback in income is about the worst thing we will have to deal with. There are MANY more people who are ignoring the need for even a moderate degree of prudent preparation who could benefit by a patient and persuasive person, such as yourself, and are in danger of serious irrevocable loss if they do not heed such warnings. Who is more in need of your concern?

It may not be the end of the world, or the end of our nation, but people may die. I'm not talking mass hysteria Flint. What is one life worth? Why not use your abilities to help those who are making the bigger mistake?

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 26, 1999.


I'm not out to trample people's tender feelings. But I can understand how that might happen. It should be obvious that if my own feelings were tender, I'd have vanished from this place long ago [grin]. And I just don't know how to feel someone else's feelings.

But I'm aware there is a preparation forum on this server, and I know Big Dog has his own preparation chat sessions, so certainly the resources are there for anyone who wants to take sensible precautions. I consider those the practical fora, and I consider this the "shout fire in a flammable theatre, because it *might* burn" forum. If you don't like my position, you can ignore it and still read 98% of what's posted here. If you agree with me, you'll find scant support around here. So come down on someone else, OK?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), September 26, 1999.

Flint, after all your experience with getting flamed, you took that as "coming down" on you?


I wasn't referring to you hurting people's feelings when I asked why people get upset with you. I don't think that has much to do with it. I think they get upset because you are probably contributing to people NOT preparing, and that may cause great harm to those people. Do you think you will never have trouble falling asleep, wondering if you could have made the difference between whether or not a child is going to bed hungry, or someone is sick and has no medicine?

Yes, there is a prep forum for those who have decided to prepare and need advice etc. What about those who are just starting to check out the whole Y2K thing? Those are the people I'm talking about. You say you have made preparations. So many have not. I'm asking and wondering why you aren't expressing more concern for those people.

There are people that I love who just may come to check out this forum. Do you ever worry that you will influence someone to NOT make basic and prudent preparations?

I really was NOT trying to come down on you, insult you, or aggravate you. Now you seem so inconsistent, that I am wondering if the same person is always posting as Flint...

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 27, 1999.

Have I been missing something ?I think Flint has made his position perfectly clear over the past months.

Seems to me he's someone who has an academic enjoyment of the precise & accurate interpretation of language.There is no harm in that.. in fact quite the reverse since his comments usually provide a enjoyable counter balance to the out & out doomer spin.

As for lulling newbies into a false sense of security,I think not.Too many posts from the 8 to 10's.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), September 27, 1999.

Mumsie, theres hardly a day goes by that one or other of Flints posts mentions the need for preparation, that he is doing it and that there will be y2k impacts. You have no case to say or imply Flint has dissuaded anybody from preparing. If Flint has any kind of project Id rather think it is to avoid a situation in which the lunatics take over the asylum. Though judging by the number of interventions, I'd wager he also derives a certain amount of enjoyment from the process.

Im not a Polly.

-- Chips (chipping_in@aflkjd.net), September 27, 1999.


Enjoyed your post..but you need to take a "break" and focus on something you enjoy doing.


Did'nt Jesus say, "Come unto ME who are weary and heavy laden and I

will give YOU REST. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of ME, I am

gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS???


-- david (djwolf@lanset.com), September 27, 1999.

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