What If Y2K Doesn't Get Real Bad Until 09/2000?

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Arlin Adams sent me a presentation yesterday given by Jim Lord (not sure where/when given but certainly within last month or two, since he refers to his issuance of the Navy report) that proposed the Y2K spike around rollover would be followed by an apparent lull and then by gradually worsening conditions from April on, with Y2K's worst effects hitting visibly (economically) 4Q 2000.

This isn't a foreign thought to this forum. I have long felt that Y2K will be prematurely declared "over" by late-January ("those stupid doomers! The world DIDN'T end!"), with panic buying in the markets, etc. I have also felt March-April would mark the beginning of devolutionary effects.

(Caveat: Embeddeds remain a wild card).

Anyway, despite the pounding he has taken, Jim is a man of integrity who has tried to call 'em as he sees 'em all along. And this view isn't that different from Yourdon's ten-year depression: it don't all happen in an eyeblink. (Lord, btw, predicts a deep recession/mild depression, followed by a major technology/economic boom period).

Recapping Lord's scenario:

1. Rollover will be nasty (milage in your locale may still vary) but eminently survivable nationally, to say the least.

2. An uncertain period will be followed by a rise in government and business system failures between April and October, 2000, leading to a serious and lengthy economic downturn (another btw: Lord doesn't see this as a high-unemployment downturn, not sure why).

3. Y2K impacts will be followed by a boom.

If Lord is onto something, some of the intense panic by doomers who foresee imminent martial law may be fairly groundless (.gov still has enormous ability to affect impacts positively or negatively, mind you). TEOTWAWKI is unlikely or, if experienced, will take a form that is NOT sudden.

More pertinent, the long run-up to Y2K over the past two years will be accompanied by a lengthy Y2K impact period -- more like a gradually rising and subsiding flood than a tsunami or hurricane.

For you market watchers (including oil mavens), excluding the sheer, mass DGI possibility on the part of market makers (quite possible, in my view), Lord's scenario might explain why the market hasn't yet priced in Y2K. That is, the market "dimly" realizes that we haven't "gotten to" its impacts yet and may not get to them for 'x' more months.

I'm heading off on a blissfully email-blind holiday till Tuesday so may not respond after another hour or so. I think this has the potential of being a truly useful thread -- let's try to keep the flaming down to a minimum and do some serious thinking together. I am personally interested in the feedback of the regulars, doomers and pollies (Flint: you're out of jail on a temporary pass, behave yourself).

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 08, 1999


I feel like Y2K problems may loop.

So... what does that mean?

Well, some embedded, et. al., showstoppers at the turn... larger overseas... and we will deal, as best we can, with the local problems as they crop up. But the overall scene is in a slow looping spiral downward into global depression that will begin to manifest next summer. (Looping... as in... it surfaces as the key area to focus on, then submerges, then resurfaces, in a similar but different form, then sinks a bit, then comes up for air again... etc.)


See also threads...

New Jim Lord article (Jim Lord)

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001X6u

Y2K Seminar transcripts (Jim Lord)

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001X71

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), October 08, 1999.

The thing is, BD, it won't change the way we live very much, whether there's a crunch in January, September, or not at all. If my husband keeps his job, then we'll buy more solar panels and maybe look at windpower too (electricity won't get any cheaper, not soon anyway), and we'll keep most of the stash we have, which is all eminently edible and/or useful. (We didn't buy tons of raw grain and dried beans.)

I've said from almost the very beginning that storing food and emergency supplies is prudent no matter what. Sweetie and I always thought so but never really got around to it because we were going to do it "tomorrow." And, true to form, "tomorrow" never came, except when a hurricane scare cropped up and we ran to the store for long-life milk and essentials (wine, beer, nachos!). Y2K gave us a DATE, a DEADLINE, and that made us get to work.

I reiterate what a comfort it has been to be able to select meals from a wide variety of stashed items when I've been feeling puny and when my foot was injured. I also reiterate what a shock it was to find out that my life-sustaining prescription med is regulated by a frighteningly vulnerable JIT system, restrictions on quantity available to me, and overseas manufacture. I now have a comfortable stash (for me and my oldest cat), and enough aspirin to relieve the headaches of all the Y2K remediation programmers in the eastern half of the United States, possibly more.

Just recently, Hurricane Floyd has pointed up another frightening vulnerability--fresh water supply. I've started filling my large collection of containers already, and am feeling more secure each time another filled soda bottle goes in place (with dated label).

Hence, even though I found Jim Lord's article somewhat consoling (preferring a slow slide rather than a nerve-shattering drop), it doesn't matter a whole lot to me, because it's not just Y2K.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 08, 1999.

09/09/2000 Just in time for the presidential election.

-- ($$$$@$$$.~), October 08, 1999.

Dear Mr. Big Dog Sir I have stated time and again that the embeded systems will be reacting (going down) for the next 20 months. This is due to the drawn out times that they where first brought on line for testing and calibration while the various complexes were being built.

If it takes say four years to bring a job from being a bare fild to a fully functional power generation complex, smelter or refinery. There will be, on average a two year duration of start up on it's systems as they come into exhistance (been built).

The first systems calbrated are the first to face their particular "infinity" dates. The last systems face their dates last...I am of course using construction descriptions...Not the maintance slang that engineer or the other maintance people use.

There is a world of difference in the people who actually build something, then the folks who set at a station desk watching a computer screen and guages.

One knows how to operate a system...but could not build it from sctatch..The other knows how to put it to geather and check it out for function, but who, would fight you to the death before they would spend the rest of their working lives doinng the same thing over and over again such as the person watching the monitor does. It is just in the personality of the two different types of workers. After a job is done, I get the satisifaction of being a part of making it a reality. But it is no longer of interest to me, I want to move on to the next "puzzle" being drawn out on a drawing board somewhere. Some other dream that I can help to bring to a reality. There are no two power generation stations built alike, they are all individual personnalities. There are no two refineries built alike, no smeltes built alike. And each and every job REQUIRES me to think, to face a different problem to solve. New country and people to live in and amoung. An evey day my job is different always changing as we bring the job to completeion.


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), October 08, 1999.

OK, so Y2K may have a 'long range' effect. Isn't hard however at that point (9-00) to continue to blame the rollover effect? When will it NOT be Y2K related? I mean if the economy tanks in april of next year, are we going to blame the Y2K issue, or are we going to just admit that the overinflated market finally caved in under its own weight? I realize that the .gov will take full advantage, (as well as numerous if not all corparations) of blaming the Y2K issue for everything under the sun come rollover. Will we even see another lawsuit in the year 2000? With all the legislation prohibiting Y2K related lawsuits and a general absolvence of responsibility on behalf of the Mega-Corps, won't companies be blaming everything they can on Y2K? "We didn't fill your order? OOPs!Y2K!" "Computer doesn't work? Sorry! Y2K!" Isn't this a nightmare!

-- Billy-Boy (Rakkasn@Yahoo.com), October 08, 1999.

If rollover is a breeze, I'll be looking forward to all the cool things to be found at yard sales... not to mention the fire sales on dehydrated food that can store for 5 years or more.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 08, 1999.

I should add that Lord does believe, as many of us do, that the government made a very dangerous bet with public safety that protecting the markets dictated a "low preparation" PR campaign. And Lord by no means feels we're home free with respect to rollover.

Old Git -- I agree and, as is true for many of us, Y2K has permanently changed our view towards our own "readiness/compliance" for unexpected future events, whatever they be.

$$$$ -- the thought about year 2000 elections occurred to me as well. If Lord's scenario proves reasonable, it's bad news for Gore, good news for Bradley/Bush and, possibly, a Reform Party candidate, if they don't choose a wacko.

Again re markets, this scenario suggests that the really weird attempts to manipulate, move, control, mitigate, etc, whether Fed Reserve, Wall Street, gold/silver/oil, will take place about six months from now (March), not, say, in December.

A note to pollies before I leave for holiday -- one could rightly ask, "isn't this just another way to cover for Y2K being a BITR"? No. Big Dog expects visible impacts of a serious nature in January and visible impacts of a serious nature beginning in March-April. Absent those impacts by May 1, maybe sooner, I will DELIGHTEDLY judge Y2K to have been a BITR.

This thread is focusing on the dynamic of Y2K as a potential "slow unfolding impact event", not on it having NO/LITTLE visible impact.

Thinking about this has huge potential practical prep implications, for instance on the need for emergency bug-out in December-January -- reduced? But pay attention, doomers. Weigh the tsunami implications, especially embeddeds, carefully before you act on the basis of Lord's scenario.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 08, 1999.

Excuse me but isnt there a point of illogic here? One of the original premises about Y2K being so disruptive is that everything would happen at the same time. Or within the span of the first weekend. This would overwhelm any ability to fix things because too much would be going on at the same time. If the prediction is now problems here and there over a period of time.well isnt that sort of like real everyday life? In that case you should be able to martial your resources an repair things.

Also as Billy-Boy said. How do you separate out the Y2K problems from the normal problems.

Shakey you are going to have to explain infinity dates to me and why embedded systems will go down for 20 months or so.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), October 08, 1999.

We are not holding our breaths for a dramatic and vindicating (for doomers) nightmare at rollover. We plan on staying prepped for the long haul and remaining watchful and as ready as possible.

I still don't understand how someone can spend hours studying the 'possible' problems of Y2K and spend time preparing, and ignore the warning signs for other cataclysmic changes such as bio and nuclear warfare, solar flares, etc.

With all possibilities in mind, we will watch for bargains brought about by a milder than expected rollover scenario. I think some people are living with such anticipatory nervous tension, that they will be easily tempted to dump/sell their preps come January if it is not a very bad situation. Many do not have much of a support system, and seem to be burning out with prepping. Can you imagine all the angry and bitter DGI spouses? It will not be easy to endure the mocking smug "I told you so, you stupid paranoid doomer" remarks and looks, but personally, I don't plan to let that bother me. We cannot truly control our life, for the unexpected happens to all, but I now believe that those evaluating, prioritizing and 'prepping' are living the way we are meant to live. We have become naively soft and dependent in our techno society. I think that those who dump their preps for a song will live to regret it, sooner than later.

I would much rather maintain a balanced 'prepared' life. I don't think I will EVER take JIT as a granted again. Our family will never be the same; however, regarding changes we have undergone, the positive seems to outweigh the negative by far.

It has concerned me very much when I have perceived that people are pinning everything on what happens immediately at rollover.

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), October 08, 1999.

Billy-Boy -- you have a valid point. I have never seen Y2K as a sporting event where everything hinges on, "was it Y2K or not?" As a points out, many on this forum have always seen Y2K as one among several impact events that could, for instance, trigger a deep recession/depression.

And, as you say, depending on their self-interest, gov and biz might begin blaming 2Q 2000 problems on Y2K that aren't Y2K! That would be an ironic switch, eh?

That said, for purposes of this thread, I repeat again: Lord certainly expects VISIBLE Y2K trace-able impacts, just impacts that aren't concentrated in a spike at rollover. The contrast with Hoff, for instance, is precisely Lord's expectation (and mine) that they will certainly be visible.

If, say, the USPS is flopping around in April but I don't know about it, cool! That ISN'T a visible Y2K impact. If, starting in April, 2000, the Post Office now takes two weeks to deliver routine letters and loses 10% of the mail entirely, that IS visible (no snickering, please, about their current operations). The expectation is that devolutionary effects from these types of impacts across the board will trigger a serious downturn -- but not one that takes place in an eyeblink.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 08, 1999.

The Engineer --- you certainly have a point IF this scenario proves more plausible than the usual negative one. That is, FOF should be much easier because spread out over greater lengths of time with life going on vaguely as normal (though, if your company goes belly-up because it failed remediation or a key supplier failed, FOF won't be a consolation)!

I wouldn't call this being just like ordinary life, however, or else we're not talking about visible Y2K impacts, but just a BITR. Again, expectations of a deep recession/depression heavily influenced by Y2K impacts ain't a BITR.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 08, 1999.

Many of the non-techs I talk to believe that once we get past 20000101, it'll be smooth sailing. I wish that I could agree that "it will all happen in one day", but my few experiences in fixing corrupt data lead me to think otherwise.

That data could sit there for a period of time before reports are run or programs are executed to flag records, update balances, copy to other databases or to a specified file format to be transferred externally to other systems, be it within the company or to vendors, government agencies, clients, etc. This period could be a week, a month, a quarter, bi-annually, whatever.

If you have newbies on your team that don't know the sequence of events as to when and how these are executed, doing an audit trail to determine where the problem began could be a drawn out affair, especially when you have apps for multiple departments strewn across multiple locations tying into multiple vendors, etc. And, it doesn't help if your documentation is pithy regarding these protocols...I don't even want to go there.

But lessay you some print out reports, using corrupt data. Based on my experiences, half people who request them can't interpret them correctly in the first place; it may be weeks or months until someone else picks it up and sez, "Hmmmm...something just doesn't jibe up..."

By then, other updates could have occurred/transactions created, and it goes on and on to the point that there are so many possibilities/variables involved as to why/how the problem occurred that it becomes one big tangled mess that cannot be solved in a matter of minutes or a few hours.

I've had few experiences where "everything crashes at once"...it's the things that occur in the background, the intangible events that the eye cannot see that are my concern. Yes, the computer is still running, the lights are on. However, once the data is corrupted and you don't discover this for a period of time, you may be able to stumble through if your business has a reasonable fault tolerance level.... Depending on your business/market sector and the nature of your data, this could be minutes, hours, or months. Your systems are only as good/reliable as the data that resides on it.

IMO, his will affect us for years to come. If the money is there and the electricity is on, it's going to be a hellish but lucrative time for programmers and DBA's. I've only covered the data aspect and haven't even mentioned hardware/embedded systems.

My apologies for the lengthiness here.

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 08, 1999.


Apologies in advance for a momentary off-topic question here. For quite some time now, I've been wondering whatever became of Arlin Adams...a once-frequent, well-informed, and helpful regular on this forum?

-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), October 08, 1999.

Tim -- The "trade-off" between stuff ABENDing all-at-once and insidious data corruption over time in apparently working systems is truly wicked, using that word technically. This is why Lord's scenario is scarcely a cheerful one! I agree about programmers and have said this repeatedly on this forum: even if TEOTAWAWKI (especially if TEOTWAWKI), technical skills remain critically important to this culture.

RUOK -- Arlin can speak for himself if or when he chooses. I will tell you he is fine and remains well-informed!

See you forum dudes and dude-ettes next Monday night or thereabouts.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 08, 1999.

Don't forget the terrorists/anarchists/fanatics . . . they sure won't forget us! The rollover will be a target date for them, with or without software or embedded problems.

If computers and embeddeds are the only problem, the "grinding slowdown" might be the most likely of the possible bad outcomes. The US government seems very concerned that computers and embeddeds might be numbers 3 and 4 on the list behind terrorism and anticipatory financial panic.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), October 08, 1999.

Death by a thousand paper cuts.

-- Helium (Heliumavid@yahoo.com), October 08, 1999.

I admit that I like this kind of scenario a lot better than a new year beginning global catastrophes in 80 some days. I would likely seize the opportunity to continue prepping (especially in terms of getting financially squared away as best I could) and, perhaps, figure out how to relocate without significant and dire consequences to my small business. And, yes, I have writtem elsewhere that if nothing is going on by end of Q2 2000, I will be positively thrilled and renewed in my enthusiasm for life-- if not also living differently than I did before Y2K was on my radar screen. As Mumsie observes and I agree, it seems like many of us may have got a good start in a better way of living.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 08, 1999.

Lets say for a moment that Y2K is a BITR. Just enough of a bump to shake the confidence of the average homeowner. Even without bank runs, regional supply interuptions, martial law, etc; a global economic recession could cause buyers to forestall purchases of new cars, new houses, etc. Foregoing added indebtedness for consumer spending will exacerbate (sp?) any Y2K economic disruption.

Just how many new cars do you expect wil be purchased in February 2000?

Several decades ago the chairman of GM testified to Congress that " As GM goes so goes the Unitedf States of America.

-- Bill P (porterwn@one.net), October 08, 1999.


Point is well taken. We're not really talking classic doomer-speak here, but rather a more refined debate. Big Dog is focussing on the economic interconnections rather than computer interconnections. Y2K could look like a BITR from a technical perspective and still, given enough time for the problems to fester, become an economic nightmare. Let us not forget that the "Great Depression" (aka the "great oxymoron"), followed a period of technical growth that dwarfs what we have today, took awhile to kick into gear, and was not exacerbated by any technical problems whatsoever. In the end, the suffering for the unprepared could still be substantial.

PS-for the record, I suspect you are a forum polly regular with a newer handle.

-- Dave (aaa@aaa.com), October 08, 1999.

Suddenly the problems are going to be spread out for a long time. And economic effects won't be felt for months, if at all. How, pray tell, is this different from the 'polly' position?

TEOTWAWKI just ain't what it used to be!


AND, BTW, if you read the last couple paras of Lord's latest speech, he says he expects a BOOM in the economy, due to Y2K causing early replacement of nearly worn out junk. Boom to happen just as soon as Y2K problems are mostly over - he says the worst will be expressed by the end of 2000.

ROFL! And for saying almost exactly the same thing, I am an idiot polly, Lord is a hero. Why? Is it because I refuse to support anti government twits like Bo Gritz? Or is it because I tell it like I see it, rather than playing to the audience?

Here - meaningful snips so no one can claim I am lying ......... I do think we will have a spike in January, and that's going to be basically because of the embedded system part of the problem. But I think we have an accumulation of economic effects that go on for a significant period of time afterwards. And the January thing is going to be largely forgotten, in my judgment, when you look back at the history of Y2K. And I think that the worst part of it comes at the end of the true end of the millennium, around the end of the Year 2000 ................ Just to show you that I am not a doom-and-gloomer, I think that post-Y2K, post the Y2K depression, that we are very likely looking at the greatest economic boom in mankind's history. I think Y2K will have the effect of flushing out a lot of old technology and replacing it faster than it would have been replaced otherwise with some network technologies -- specifically Internet kinds of technologies. And I think the result of that is going to be extremely positive. If you want to make a good investment, wait until post-Y2K. I think it's going to be real boom time then. .............

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 08, 1999.

Researching all aspects regarding Y2k leads me to believe that it will be a spiral or loop as Diane suggests.

I don't think enough thought is given to how difficult life in the US would be if things are bad overseas. There isn't any way of getting around this, if it's bad overseas it will be bad here. Too many ways we are interconnected in politicals, the world economy, trade of vital goods. If imports and exports and manufacturing, etc. are affected overseas we're literally in a world of hurt. We can't disconnect ourselves no matter how we might like.

Also, how ready is the government, really? Will it roll over without any hiccups? How long will it take to get those social systems talking to eachother from federal to state to local? How many "local" disruptions can the "system" sustain without collapse? Social order and the reaction of people is the biggest wild card in the game. That's why the gov is working so hard to control perception.

There will be lulls. There will be spikes. If Y2k is a complete BITR in the US it doesn't mean a lot, really, if the rest of the world is going through a 7 or 8 or 10. That condition alone really makes a BITR here impossible, doesn't it? How will computer makers sell computers when a 64 meg SDRAM is going for $600? Or, it could fall to $10. Can the manufacturer stay in business selling at that price? What about oil? A world wide depression is exactly that...worldwide.

It aint gonna be good. Let's not kid ourselves. We will survive by being able to adapt. Will it be bad? Who can really say with absolute certainty? But taking into account that our own State Department, our Senate, our Congress, and a whole mess of our alphabet agencies suggest that it will be so bad overseas that they've made plans to "evacuate our people"...well, that says something, right?

And, there is the whole question of embeddeds...which really just boils down to "how many accidents will occur causing how much death and how much disruption?" And, of course, no one can predict the what, when, why, where and how of embeddeds with certainty.

Get over thinking about a BITR. Get over thinking the roll over is going to be the worst of it. Get used to thinking that problems will last at least through next year. Then contemplate how problems next year will cause more problems for the following year, and so on.

My son is 3 1/2 right now and my hope is that by the time he is 10 the world will be back, only better. Other children have been through difficult times and they are stronger because of it. We should all think about this as a great opportunity for a real education in what's important and what we should hold on to in life.



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 08, 1999.

When you shoot an elephant, it may not die immediately; it may thrash around quite a bit, and you want to stay out of its way.

I don't think the world is necessarily going to stop on 2000-01-01, but will start to wind down. There is some stuff in various "pipelines". Factories will still churn out products, but as the year progresses, more and more will not be able to get materials and parts from other factories, and so they will stop. Then the ones depending on them will stop, etc.

I personally would not consider "breathing easy" until at least 2000-06-01. And the 2000-09-01 or 2001-01-01 dates might be more appropriate.

-- A (A@AisA.com), October 08, 1999.

Well put Paul Davis

I've been saying the same thing on this board for a year and a half now and have been called a lot worse than 'idiot'. It's always the messenger that's attacked.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), October 08, 1999.

Big Dog,

(I guess you can read this when you come back)

One difference is that in the drawn out scenario its not FOF but rather Fix on Found. Its one thing to say that the failure causes the lights to go off, no water, heat, etc. Its quite another to say you found a bad data base. Also if company A goes belly up but the rest of the economy is doing OK then you should be able to find a job with company B. Companies fail all the time. Again the big thing with Y2K was that either all companies would fail or most companies would fail. Usually you can find another supplier. I dont know of anything we buy from X you cant get from Y (or D,E,F for that matter)

And again Im not discounting the possibility of a recession or even severe recession. I think a depression is far less likely then back in the 1930s but I wouldnt put the probability at zero. I do think that the government would try to spend its way out if it, mitigating the effects. But with regards to Y2k; the question is if the recession comes next March or even next October, is it an ordinary recession or a Y2K recession. If you lose your job in either you may not care. But the predicted effects of a Y2K recession (at least among a lot of the posters on this forum) seem to indicate that it would be more profound and effect everyone. Im to old to believe the economy will go on and up forever, but also too cynical to believe the end of the world is approaching.


I sort of agree. Its one thing to say: This is a bad report. But its another to say good by to the civilized world. A bad report in one company may effect its stock options, etc. It doesnt doom us all.

Puddintame: So if they dont attack at the roll over we can all breathe a sigh of relief? Or on the other hand should we all be worried for ever? And one thing I dont understand is why people on this forum believe the government when it puts out bad news or warns against hackers, etc. But on the other hand dont believe any good news it puts out. It seems to me if its lying (or doesnt know what it is talking about) in one part it might be lying (or equally ignorant) in the other part also.

Bill P: But hasnt that happened in the past. There was a sever recession in the 1970s. And remember how Bill Clinton first got elected (Its the Economy Stupid!). GM has been shut down for strikes in the past. People brought other cars. Besides in those days GM had over 30% of the domestic market. Its a lot less now.

Dave: Nope, I am a regular (more or less) but this is my handle. And while I am a polly I dont think I am in your sense of the word. I understand what Big Dog is getting at. But it seems to me that for the problems to fester they would have to go either unnoticed until collapse or noticed but uncorrected. The question is, why? And yes you are correct about the Great Depression. But as you pointed out technology didnt cause it. And it probably wont cause the next one either.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), October 08, 1999.

I expressed doubts about the 10 year Y2K depression scenario, and said there'd more likely be an industrial boom rather a depression: for this I'm called idiot. Hopefully it'll be a 10+ so all you suburbanite assholes get what you deserve.

-- Cigarette Smoking Man (csm@smoke.ing), October 08, 1999.

Thanks for your insights, Engineer. Those reports may affect things though, from purchasing materials and equipment, hiring/firing employees, evaluating vendors/suppliers, effeciency statistics.

If you're one of the vendors/employees/departments that are downsized/eliminated/affected because an executive makes a decision based this erroneous data, it will not be the end of the world, but it affects you regardless. As to how many it will effect is the interesting part.

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 08, 1999.

...not to mention the impact as well. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 08, 1999.

It all boils down to this:

If Lord's assessment is correct then, those of us who believe that whatever happens this winter will be dwarfed by what happens next winter will have "extra time" to make additional preparations. If Lord is not correct and we have a rapid onset of problems, then we will have to rely on our current level of preparations.

I don't know about anyone else, but I could always use some extra time to prepare for possible life-threatening circumstances. And I had always planned on keeping our stock of supplies on-hand until mid- 2001 if absolutely nothing happens during 2000, anyway.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), October 08, 1999.

The "chronic illness followed by glowing health" model appeals to me. And after some thought, the 10-year depression is hard to understand. Surely we learned something about worst-possible fiscal and monetary policies last time? Or is Yourdon suggesting that hidden y2k problems will continue to time out and explode for a decade, in such numbers as to prevent recovery? This seems far-fetched to me.

It seems at worst we'll be blindsided by really terrible End-of-Year problems on 12/31/00 and following. But if accumulating data is going that far afield, wouldn't it show up sometime during the year?

And an economic environment where existing companies are seriously struggling should also make life much rosier for startups doing things right. So bankruptcy rates should always be tempered with employment rates and GDP in constant dollars.

I also wonder about the notion that all this shiny new upgraded hardware and software having a long-term beneficial effect. I know from my own job that it takes longer to develop even a generic PC than the sales window lasts for that PC -- say 6 months to design, build and debug, and 4 months before it's obsolete and unprofitable. This may be very different in the mainframe world, but the halflife of technology continues to shrink. So barring input from someone more knowledgeable, I'd doubt that we've accelerated the technology upgrade cycle more than 6-12 months.

And Big Dog, thanks for letting me out of jail. I was a miserable nonsmoker for 2 months, I'm an ecstatic smoker again! Hallejulah!

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), October 08, 1999.

>> "...after some thought, the 10-year depression is hard to understand. <<

In my view the basic problem that could cause a 10-year depression is debt. Y2K would be the trigger event. Debt default would be the economy killer.

>> Surely we learned something about worst-possible fiscal and monetary policies last time? <<

This presumes that the debt problem *can* be offset by fiscal and monetary policies. Personally, I doubt that mere government policy can control markets to that extent. The market is the far bigger player, unless laws worldwide change to something quite unlike the current set of laws.

During a period of debt growth, current consumption is financed by future earnings. That demand stimulates production. Capacity rises to meet demand. Jobs are created. Everyone's fat and happy.

Eventually a time must come when present earnings must pay for past consumption. The party is over but the bills are still due. If earnings are rising, demand can stay up. But if earnings are flat or dropping, demand drops. If you have been paying attenttion, you will have noticed that earnings have not been rising much in the past decade, anywhere. A drop in demand is indicated.

The owners who built all the increased capacity during the boom years find they have factories with no customers. They shut down, or they drop prices, or they drop wages. None of this leads to rising earnings. Yet, the bills are still due.

A lot of folks think that, in that case, we just balloon up the money supply and away she goes like a wind-up monkey. Nope. It just isn't that simple.

The creditors who actually *paid* for the party goods are not idiots. They can see when a debtor is trying to repay his debts with devalued money. But they are caught in the unwinding of the boom like everyone else. Chances are they will be paid back in devalued money, or they won't be paid at all. When the time comes, they are poorer, and they aren't about to be burned again. As debts go sour, credit dries up.

My major, even only, point is that the whole system is predicated on debts being honored. If the debts become too great, the future will be racked for payment one way or another. No amount of fiscal or monetary policy can expunge past excess. What is done is done. Pretending it never happened or decreeing it never happened does not make it as if it never happened. Debts are always paid for. If we are wise, we will choose the most honorable way to reckon our debts and move on. But doing so may require a 10-year depression.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), October 08, 1999.


I think I understand. Maybe what we need to do is increase productivity a whole lot. Right now I'm working fairly long hours developing a device that will help blind and deaf people get around more easily. I hope that helps.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), October 08, 1999.

Engineer, you state that you expect the gov't to try to spend it's way out of a depression. I expect that they might try, but where will they get the money to do so? If they just print it, massive inflation is likely, isn't it (pre-WW2 Germany comes to mind)? If they try to borrow it, who will they borrow from? As I understand it, a lot of gov't debt is already held by overseas interest. Don't you think that those who own that debt are apt to want their money back so that they can dig themselves out of the Y2K mess?

Flint, sorry to hear you're back on the coffin nails. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't remember the exact number, but I do know that successfully ex-smokers very rarely are successful on their first try - I think the average is 3-5 tries/successful ex-es. Better luck next time. As for learning something about worst possible financial policies, as I understand it, there are completely conflicting theories about what caused the last depression, and about what cured it; although a popular one is that the demands of the war had a lot to do with recovery. That really isn't a solution I want to see again.

Thanks all, for reasoned, non-flaming responses.

-- Tricia the Canuck (tricia_canuck@hotmail.com), October 09, 1999.


I think there is one critical factor which Lord's scenario overlooks, and that is the 'wild card' of the embeddeds in the oil patch. All of the credible intelligence we have suggests that there will be an immediate impact in the energy supply of 20-50 percent. This will only be marginally offset by the use of the Strategic Reserve. I think we will find ourselves immediatly on that slippery slope, with boulders and scree cascading all around our heads. As energy goes, so goes the economy.

Believe me, I would much rather see a slow unwinding of the problem. This would give us the much needed time to act and react and thereby control the direction and outcome of the transition. But this seems more like wishful thinking to me.

Flint: Glad you got your self-medication adjusted correctly. You are making alot more sense these days. This is from someone who has repeatedly tried what you tried. The addiction is worse than heroin.


-- Pinkrock (Aphotonboy@aol.com), October 09, 1999.

It's not Y2K anymore..

Even the most hardcore "doomers" on this board appear to be conceading that it is not going to be the way they thought it would be a year ago. The fact that society at large has not "got it" and is not disintigrating with less than three months until the new year would appear to be the final push into helping most people understand that there has to be at least some truth to the fact that there was success to the efforts to fix the problems.

With embedded CHIPS, even the loudest hornblowers now admit it has turned out not to be anywhere near the early "warnings". The only ones left who still mention embedded chips, and even embedded systems are those who have no real knowledge of them other than what they have "researched" (read on websites). Hey folks, it's no longer something that will happen way in the future, its just around the corner! Your logic is finally overpowering your emotional reaction to being to the posibilities you have been concerned with. You have seen the other side of the coin. People, who have been labeled pollies, have intruded into this forum giving you logical arguements, sources, patient explainations that gave you areas to explore that refute the the information that scared you in the first place. These people have in the most part, calmly, without rancor attempted to help you understand that your concerns may be unfounded in different areas. These people have at times been met with blatent hostility, ridicule, degredation and every immature irratic and even some downright sleazy replies to their attempts at mature interaction. Yet they did not answer in a like manner. Where a post may have had some strong points made, there were those who would "spam" it in what looked like an attempt to "lose" the information provided. Old Git, you are guilty of this over and over. Yet the pollies continued to come here and post. These pollies were told over and over in many different ways that they were not welcome here. Yet they returned. They were told this forum was not for the purpose of showing there would be preparing for what would be mass failure due to Y2K. They came back still. New posts by these pollies, even in the middle of the night, would be lost because nonsense posts would appear, driving the pollies posts down on the board. Andy was good for doing that. There were a lot of posts that were cut from an identical cloth. A few facts and odds and ends changed, but basically saying the same thing. HHmmm always picking up the bad news when things calmed down and pollies and GI's started having rational and dare I say- friendly conversations. A reasonable pollie post would have a long cut and paste, usually irrlelevent for the 20th time repeat post added to it. There have been so many tactics that were so obvious that they could amost be predicted. Some actually were. Yet the pollies stubbornly continued to post.

Now this post, conceeding. Almost reluctantly acknowledging the fact that that life as you know it will not end at midnight 2000. A last gasp, oh yea... give us 3 moinths sixx months a year, something, or a lot of little somethings will eventually add up to prove it is bad.

Now you are tired, exausted need to rest and recover. From what?

The fear you have experienced has caused you to go through the same chemical actions as any fright. Your stove catches fire - your adrenalin hits, you get the fire out, it was not bad but it could have been if you had not had a baking soda to pour on it. You never expect a fire, never thought it could happen but you were prepared just in case. You are glad you did. The fire is out, you sit down drained. After an adrenalin rush, the chemicals in your body cause you to "crash". You are exausted, recovering from being in shock, or even going into a slight case of it in the aftermath of your fear.

This is what is happening to a lot of you right now, you are having a normal reaction to the (for some-long) fright and state of shock. Logic is difficult to use when you are frightened. When you "come down" from the fear yoiur ability to reason returns. Each "date" that was reached and passed without many (if any) problem caused your fear to ease. As October first was essentually the last "date" to worry about until the actual rollover, it probably was the strw that broke the back of your overwhelming fear. Even if you cannot conciously believe Y2K will be a bump in the road, you mind has been working adding together all the information it has recieved and is coming to the conclusion that it could very well be ok.

Why did the pollies continue to come here and post. Because it was more important for them to be right than the safety of their own children? Did any one of them ring that hallow?

As always, I will not tell you what to believe, what to think (as apposed to some people who are not pollies demand you do). I just post and give you the resoect of knowing you have the ability to think for yourselves and can make your conclusions. I honestly hope you would not want me to tell you what I think is going to happem. If you choose to read what I write, that is your choice, if it gives you something to think about or answers a question you have, that is your choice.If it makes you want to flame me and tell me what you think of me as a living creature in any negitive way, that is your choice.

Why do pollies post here? If you need to ask you cannot understand.

Relax, sit back, take a break so you will be physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the rollover.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), October 09, 1999.

Cherri said, "Now this post, conceeding. Almost reluctantly acknowledging the fact that that life as you know it will not end at midnight 2000. A last gasp, oh yea... give us 3 moinths sixx months a year, something, or a lot of little somethings will eventually add up to prove it is bad."

And your post only gets more ridiculously patronizing from there.

As usual, you and Paul Davis completely misunderstood the tenor of my post and many of the other posts on this thread.

Lord's scenario is ANYTHING BUT a bump in the road Y2K scenario. I'm the one who is ROFLMAO. Amazing that the pollies would seize on it as some sort of justification for their position -- or is it that you foresee MANY VISIBLE Y2K IMPACTS and, at least, a strong Y2K- triggered recession if not a mild depression (Lord's prediction)?

Nor did I say or imply Lord's scenario is my scenario, merely that it is one reasonable scenario.

Try to read more carefully in the future before you assume the ridiculous posture you put yourself in here.

To those of you who did thoughtfully reply to the scenario on its various merits, thank you.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 11, 1999.


In the past, you have posted outdated information that would lead one to think there there would not be any problems with embedded chips. I believe you posted that outdated article about embedded chips several times. Did you forget that you had already posted it? It seems to have happened a couple of times regarding other subjects as well. You also once touted that you were working on a powerful antidote-dissertation to Cory Hamasaki's so-called millenial madness, but later pointed to a very inarticulate thread in which you describe how you were raised in a log cabin or something similar and told us that this thread was the long-awaited refutation. To be fair, I don't remember you being unkind or impolite.

In the same way that you have quietly posted outdated and misleading information on Y2K, this last note about Pollys reads the same way. It is a humble distortion of reality. Do you believe what you write? Or do you think that you can pass this quaint historical revisioning off without anyone commenting on your error? A reoccuring problem with some Polly arguments is the fact that they forget what they wrote at the beginning of the thread or in past threads. But all anyone has to do is scroll to the top of the page or check out the archives to check out the story. Of course, I'm one who has always been interested in intelligent conversations between the optimists and the pessimists.

It's interesting to me that none of the optimists responded to my rational explanation for making preparations. Well, Flint tried to insult me, but he never really tried to address any of the arguments. I guess there wasn't a desire to go through all the common polly arguments one by one in a meaningful way. That's ok by me, I don't have time now to continue that particular conversation. So now you are a psychiatrist/therapist in addition to being a top level IT person at Boeing. Didn't you also work at nuclear missile silo installations too? I'm confused. Am I confusing you with anita@spooner.msn or Janet Abrahms? Why are you trying ever so humbly to insult our intelligence?

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 11, 1999.

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