What's Going to Happen? (General Concensus)

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

I'm trying to get an idea of what y'all think may be happening come New Year's. Gradual collapse starting Jan 1? Ke-rash on Jan 1? Spike of failures on the first, dusts settles and bigger spikes in Spring and Summer? I'm just trying to get a feel for what scenario(s) people are preparing for.

We're prepared for Yourdon's "A Year of Disruptions, a Decade of Depression."

Every polly who tells me it's not going to be TEOTWAWKI doesn't remember '74-'74 when the price of gas doubled and doubled again by the summer of '79. That WAS TEOTWAWKI!

Everything changed. It was the beginning of the two wage earner families because everything (y'know...EVERYTHING!) cost a whole helluva lot more.

If the oil crisis stomped us because of a 7% reduction in oil then what will a 10% to 30% reduction do? Enter TEOTWAWKI.

That's just one sector folks...the sector that just happens to run the world.

Oh yeah. Electricity. That's pretty useful too.

Do y'all see level 5 going 8 then 10?

I'm new to the forum and trying to see the landscape.

-- Fractal (bobalex@silverlink.net), November 14, 1999


You dont need the forum. You already have the idea.

-- Earl (earl.shuholm@worldnet.att.net), November 14, 1999.

Fractal,society is about to reach it's bailout.chaos>order>chaos..ad infinitum.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), November 14, 1999.

The beauty of Y2K is that all of us get to be prophets for a day. It is kind of like Andy Warhol's predicition that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Soon our time will be up. The future will be here, and all the fortune tellers will have to take down their shingles. But in the meantime----

I think, if we excluded the international financial system, Y2K would be a slow-rolling domino-effect that could probably be managed over the course of the year--- perhaps resulting in only a recession or depression. Of course, leaving the financial system out of the picture is sort of like saying: "The patient is fine except for that bullet wound in his head!"

Seeing that finances are really the life-blood of the world, and that it truly is a global system, and that trillions of dollars of hot money, digitized money, speed through the computerized network every day; only a minor dis-connect in the system will be amplified many times over. For that reason, it seems that there will be a Von- Hindenberg style crash of the bloated speculative bubble --- falsely called the economy. Can we go higher than a 10 on the calamity scale? "Oh... the humanity...the humanity!!!"

-- Robert King (robking@dell.com), November 14, 1999.

There are many variables and combinations of variables that could take place and some of them are governmental and personal choices. The depth of business, governmental and personal self-fulling prophecy will be deep and interconnected in my own estimation. We'll see it with the people if they riot and tear down what was functioning or would have been only 3 more days to function. No water? So they'll start fires and add a lack of housing, jobs, shelters, gas and electricity to their personal woes. That self-fulling prophecy can be exampled in Indonesia. In the riots they targetted the Chinese, burning and chasing them out, only to then find themselves unable to utilize the donated rice because it was the Chinese who polished it.

I do think the USA government has taken some self-fulling prophecy actions already. It loaded the nation with immigrants fully aware that the resources would be too limited. It has yet to break the dependence of the people on the "Gobmint" and has tolerated the populace to think it will feed, water and change newspapers. It has tolerated too many riots and looting sprees. It encouraged just in time delivery as a travel companion to global trade fully aware that this was a danger to national security. It allowed the populace to purchase SUVs. It allowed the populace to believe that electricity was a right. It allowed too great of a division between the richest and the poorest so that it must now hide truth "so the poor don't pre-riot." It's harping on noncomplaint health care when 45 million haven't experienced health care in years. It has allowed families living right down the street in Chicago to ignore their elderly parents in a heat wave power outage. It's putting the militias on the defense. It has yet to pass a law that religious entities "helping the down and out" may not proselytize/ victimize the hapless. It keeps harping on the Red Cross that is too hated by too many Americans. It deliberately went forth creating a pre-panic causing a tiny and prepared special interest group, and then left them standing there clueless about the future and their role within that future. And the list goes on and all those chickens will come to roost.

-- Paula (chowbabe@pacbell.net), November 14, 1999.

A rise in gasoline prices is the end of the world as we know it? Sounds suspiciously like a strategic rearward advance to a prepared position.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), November 14, 1999.

I think I'll just wait another 48 days and see it in person.

-- cavscout (99% compli@nt.now), November 14, 1999.

My forecasting techniques are projecting 5+, maybe a 6, but definitely not a 7 or greater.

What I find a more interesting question is what are TPTB going to do about it. Everyone knows the "blame your local Cyberterrorist" isn't going to fly, it doesn't pass the laugh test. Remember, Clinton was planning the Gov't shutdown almost a full year before it happened.

What does he have up his sleeve this time??

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ Can't wait for " The Moment of Truth" in January.com), November 14, 1999.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ Can't wait for " The Moment of Truth" in January.com)

What happened to "ItsAllGoingAwayInJanuary?"

-- (duh@duh.duh), November 14, 1999.

I can honestly say that I don't know nor does anyone else. Keep watching and waiting.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), November 14, 1999.


It is just another way of phrasing it. "It's (the controversy ) is ALL going away in January.

To make the controversy go away we need a "Moment of Truth."

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ can't wait for the "Moment of Truth" in January.com), November 14, 1999.

And, "what is truth?"

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), November 14, 1999.


I am just wondering why you mention SUV's. I have a Jeep, and I love it. Saved my life in the floods we had a couple of years ago?

-- justwondering (karlacalif@aol.com), November 14, 1999.

I really don't know. It doesn't look good, though. A recession is inevitable. If we can squeek by without a major disruption in oil (unlikely), without terrorist attacks on the infrastructure (maybe), without last minute panic withdrawals and buying (probably not), without a huge number of industrial-sized embedded systems showstoppers (perhaps), and without a massive number of defaults to the international banking system (unlikely), without a massive power and water outages on New Years (probably), without enemy sneek attacks on US military forces (maybe) --- we MIGHT be able to get through with a minor recession and not another Great Depression.

-- coprolith (coprolith@rocketship.com), November 14, 1999.

I love my SUV too, pedal to the metal, get out of my way, cell phone stuck to my ear, yeh baby, I'm cruising now. Shove it into low gear and crawl right over those plastic fenders with my 35-inch tires. Yeh baby! As I drive by all those poor souls sitting by the road side putting on tire chains, I just cruise on by waving as I go. I can go where no man dares to go, people are jealous with envy.....

-- Rasty (Rasty@bulldoggg.xcom), November 14, 1999.

Fractal --

If you come up with a viable scenario, (or even two or three possibles), please post them. I've been trying to 'game' out what the possibilities are and the number of variables is just too great. You must first decide what level of problem the embedded chips represent, as the infrastructure is dependent on them. If this is above some level, exactly how much is another item you have to estimate, then nothing else matters. If it isn't, then you have to guess what the next item that is that will become a focal point.

This process continues, all the while trying to figure out just what steps can be taken to correct, how long it would be, how many resources would be available, etc, until ones mind boggles and you decide to stop the speculation and make another trip to Sam's Club.

I was a real-time embedded systems analyst and designer up until about 5 years ago, when I slid over to the SCM and Process world. Even given the experience, I haven't a clue about how bad this sector will be. I know it is likely to be greater than the .5 to 1% failure rate that many are now talking about. It is even likely to be greater than the 3-5% that was being bandied about a year or so ago. How much greater? I have no 'feel' for it. I know that 'functional analysis' isn't going to be much help. There are probably a lot of applications out there that no more needed a date dependency than they needed a wine cellar added on, but got one due to marketing influence. The capability was there and it got used. How many is problematical.

Being unable to make a reasonable estimate of even an area in which I ought to be able to make some realistic guess leaves me floundering in confusion as to how to estimate the overall impact, the types of scenarios that might develop, and the course that they would then be likely to take.

Just too many variables, with no adequate guesses as to the weighting to put on each one.

-- just another (another@engineer.com), November 14, 1999.

It's a good day to die

-- (little@big.man), November 14, 1999.

Well, my crystal ball cleared just enough for me to predict (acurately) that 1999 would my year of living schizophrenically, then clouded entirely and remains that way still. I am slightly more hopeful that we (my immediate family) may escape relatively unscathed than I was, but remain gloomy about my larger family's prospects, which means that we really will be affected, too. I still think 5-7 is most likely scenario (severe recession to depression, scattered outages of power/water/telecom/banks, shortages in unexpected items for a year or more) perhaps leading to a permanently reduced expectation of living standards for a majority of people. I still believe that those who will suffer the most are the old, ill, and/or poor. I have little hope that Y2K will lead to a change of values in the population at large. Clear as mud? That's right.

-- Tricia the Canuck (tricia_canuck@hotmail.com), November 14, 1999.

I disagree with the positions that "nobody knows". I suspect alot know their own Y2K status, although they may not state it publicly - good or bad.

There are several Knowns and those Knowns have consequences.

1. USD 100+ Billion spent to date. At 3-5% after tax profitability it is difficult to see how this much can be spent on IT without affecting corporate earnings in 1st Qtr 2000, maybe longer. Litigation cost may go higher.

2. Implementation of Contingency Plans. Pre-emptive actions prior to 12/31/1999 will have consequences that result in at minimum a further slowdown/disruption to the economy. Off the top of my head, some Y2K contingencies include:

International Banking will delay trading due to unacceptable counterparty risk and risk of gridlock - no bank can afford a delay in settlemnet of multi-billion transactions. This will stall closure of Letters of Credit which will slowdown import and export.

Cargill has said they will cease agricultural trading with S. Africa.

Many airlines have said they will cancel or reduce flights. This coupled with a rise in oil costs will impact airline profits in 1st Qtr 2000.

Inventory build-up, some not all business are building stocks of critical materials. Coca-Cola has said they are stocking critical ingredients. Utility companies have increased their stock of coal. This will benefit suppliers in 1999 but may have negative impact in 2000 due to reduced demand.

Many companies that run 24/7 have stated a plan to shutdown operations completely prior to rollover and do a controlled power up module by module. This gyration in power demand would be difficult for power companies to handle in a stable environment let alone one that may have multiple stressors some significant and some insignificant.

Just in Case strategies. Ford Motor has issued their largest debt offering for 4th qtr funding in 3rd qtr 1999 in order to avoid the potentially volatile interest environment - this makes the rate environment for others that issue bonds in 4th qtr 1999 more expensive. Stock market and bank liquidity are other areas that may yet see premeptive action prior to 12/31/1999.

The above are all occuring whether Y2K = BITR or TEOTWAWKI Or somewhere in between. At minimum, I do not see how we can avoid anythong less than a moderate global recession.

Couple the above with the Known facts about other countries late start in addressing Y2K and a moderate recession appears to be the best case scenario. Numerous wild cards make probability analysis difficult.

As the above preemptive actions will be taken in 1999 prior to any actual Y2K failures and they are in the public record, this appears to negate any possibility that Y2K = BITR and undermines the credibility of anyone advocating the BITR.

It would be nice if those in the know were truthful about their risk exposure and probable impacts, but "they" haven't been - you are on your own.

-- Bill P (porterwn@one.net), November 14, 1999.

2000 will be the year of reckoning. The year all bills will come due, all secrets will be known, all chickens will stampede to their repective coops.

A lot of societal delusions will be replaced with stark truth. It will drive many people stark raving mad.

I suspect that Infomagic is an optimist.

But hey, I'm just a Y2Kook!


-- Y2Kook (y2kook@usa.net), November 14, 1999.

My best guess has remained unchanged for quite some time...I'm holding at 7 on the 0-10 scale. Why? Extensive concerns over electric utilities, imported oil, banking and the creep in the White House. If any major difficulties arise, Comrade Clinton will make his long suspected power grab. God knows he has certainly laid the E.O. basis for it. The energy issues are a major concern because everything else in our society hinges on them. Imagine gasoline at $3 a gallon, home heating oil at $2.25 a gallon, coupled with rolling or sustained electricity blackouts. People freezing to death, many others out of work and many facets of our society at a standstill. Not TEOTWAKI by any means, but still mighty ugly.



-- Irving (irvingf@myremarq.com), November 16, 1999.

When my son (now 27) was about 12 or 13 we bought one of the first mass market computers...Commodore 64. One of the really neat and fun games was about sending "function-specific" robots into a dangerous environment remotely. On their way, you could ask them questions about what their particular "sense" perceived. The trick to the game was in "asking the correctly worded questions". If you did not ask the right questions, phrased correctly you got bogus information back, or the pesky devices would ignore you, and in the end you failed to win the game, save the day, the damsel in distress, etc. Very enjoyable game, for the time, once you learned to ask the right questions.

This was introduction to the point of my response. I wonder if "What's going to happen?" is the correct question. Perhaps the question "what am I prepared to do in the event of unpredicted and unpredictable problems in my life?"

I'm not sure our little remote robots can answer the very broad "what's going to happen" question.

Just a thought,...Hang in there.

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), November 16, 1999.

I should have tacked this on the end of the above response.

Another exercise that is fun and illuminating in problem-solving is the creation of flow-charts....Back in the Commodore 64 days I took some simple classes on programming in BASIC. (actually wrote a couple very simple instructional programs complete with stick figures for kids about music, and ripped out information from other programs so I could peek and poke sound and get the dang computer (PETS at the school) to play music in subroutines if the kids answered correctly....)(The extent of my programming, 'ceptin' for HTML, LOL) In the classes we had to flow-chart our brains out. Give it a try...good for the brain and critical thinking muscles.

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), November 16, 1999.

You flowcharted your brains? I never even got to see the source code on mine !

-- biker (y2kbiker@hotmail.com), November 16, 1999.

I particularly enjoyed watching the expression on my Prof's face when I turned in a utility (vanilla) crammed with nested do loops, entrenched with conditional pipes, with registers incremented by date, time functions. And a bug or two or three, in the tree. Tse se se

-- Michael (mikeymac@uswest.net), November 17, 1999.

Hey biker - Probably a bunch 1's and 0's, huh?[g] A delectable, dialectical, dichotomy.

Whoa, brought to our knees by a bunch of +/-'s,On's/off's,Y's/N's,Ying's/Yang's,black/white,good/evil,love/hate . Oops there's Al E. again, playin "spooky action at a distance" Play it again Al!

-- Michael (mikeymac@uswest.net), November 17, 1999.

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