Y2K: Official Event of the Lunatic Fringe?

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

The Y2K debate has been marginalized.

For a period of time, Y2K was the subject of serious discussion. In 1998 and early 1999, some serious people were very concerned about the potential impact of "noncompliant" hardware, software and embedded chips. In mid-1999, the debate began wandering away from rational discussion into the land of Oz. The media has been an active participant in this process. Ironically, the best articles about Y2K were published before July 1, 1999. The quality of Y2K coverage has steadily declined.

The TB 2000 forum has declined in similar fashion. While the forum has always suffered "off topic" posts, during the past few months it has been difficult to find "hard" Y2K discussion amidst the "chem trail"-type posts.

Now, as we move towards a single-digit countdown, the Y2K argument has become a sideshow. Serious commentators have largely abandoned the subject. In short, Y2K has become the "official event" of the lunatic fringe.

On the eve of the millennium, the Y2K problem has been coopted by individuals and groups who are simply using the problem to push some other agenda. While I do not always agree with Ed Yourdon, his presence provided a gravity to the Y2K debate that has been missed. The same for Peter de Jager, Ed Yardeni, etc.

As the Y2K debate moved from the "mainstream," the discussion seems increasingly dominated by hucksters and malcontents. Mike Adams (Y2Knewswire) seems intent on squeezing a few last pennies out of his marketing scheme. Gary North is ever consistent in predicting a "10." Even Paul Milne's "7-11" tagline seems stale.

While this forum is busier than ever, it is hard to make the argument it is better. It surprises me to make this observation, but I miss the comments of some forum regulars... including Big Dog. I miss the intelligent debate between Hoff and Heller. It is disappointing to have the Y2K debate become an online version of the "Gong Show." Whatever you think about the ultimate outcome, it reflects poorly on our society and our ability to engage in serious discourse.

Does this make me a pessimist? (laughter) My prediction about Y2K has not changed... despite the declining quality of the information and the argument. Oh, and I don't think this has anything to do with a conspiracy of international bankers or a meta-plot by government and big business. Ironically, I think if the government wanted to marginalize the Y2K argument... they could not have done better than the conspiracy theorists or quick-buck artists.

What will happen after rollover? I don't know... but I wish there were more serious people asking the question.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 07, 1999


Ken: WHY do you CARE?

If you don't care, why write 6+ paragraphs about it?

For God's sake man, get a life.

-- you're (way@beyond.boring), December 07, 1999.

obviously a clueless paid disinformation shill

-- 21 days (until@trolls.begone), December 07, 1999.

Decker, I believe the QUALITY of PROPAGANDA coming out of governments and corporations has improved markedly. Should be interesting to see how the BLAME GAME unfolds.

As a group or as individuals, politicians NEVER take responsibility for anything bad. I think we will see the MOTHER of all responsibility shirking.

Your Pal, Ray

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), December 07, 1999.

There you go again, Ken. I guess Yahoo has nothing interesting on this topic -- I feel your pain. May I give you some pointers on where to find an interesting information about Y2K.

Even though I know your disdain for professional publication (or rags as you call them) I would suggest starting with Computerworld. If you do a search for articles by Mrs. Ulrich or Yourdon (why do I think that you know these names??) you will find enough to satisfy your hunger for information. And a lot of articles that you will find were published after July 1999.

You can continue at Dr. Yardeni web site. Check Y2K Reporter -- it does give an interesting perspective. May I also suggest Y2K Newswire -- you might disagree with the messenger, but there are a lot of links to other publications, ans, what a surprise, many of those articles were also written after July 1999. I am sure that if you will exersise due diligence you will be able to find what you are looking for.

In regards to your claim that more extreme message is being voiced right now -- may I offer my own interpretation. With a silence of the popular media, and a 3-day message that comes out of the White House, more and more people who have good idea about what might happen in the year 1900 try to inform public of the dangers of being complacent. Even FEMA on its web site states "Let's hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." Unfortunately, too many people fell for a fraud perpetrated by people like Koshkinen and you. Let's just hope that Y2K will be BITR, because if not, even your guns will not help you.

P.S. I think you had too much Bordeaux today. I have not seen so much BS from you in a single post.

-- Brooklyn (MSIS@cyberdude.com), December 07, 1999.

Your getting colder, colder, colder.

If you start getting closer to the correct answer, I'll let you know.

-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

The polly trolls are back. Do we really need this stuff here??

-- (brett@miklos.org), December 07, 1999.


Why do you feel I have a "disdain" for the trade press? I like PC Week and read ComputerWorld off and on. As you must recall, I have actually spoken with Bill Ulrich who has written many of the CW Y2K articles. (Once again, he think the impacts will be primarily economic.) There are some other IT trade rags I glance through, but nothing serious. I also read several water utility publications and other journals relating to public utilities. Oh, Government Technology isn't bad for an IT perspective on the public sector.

As for Yardeni, I've written everything his written on Y2K. Of all major Y2K commentators, his position is closest to my own. Yardeni's 100-day conferences have been interesting... but it's a shame he's the only economist talking Y2K.

My bone with Y2Knewswire is simple. I have caught them "spinning" information on several occasions. The most vivid example was their "re-write" of the DoD testing results. Y2Knewswire actively omitted information and presented the remaining information in a dubious manner. I am skeptical of many media sources, but I consider Y2Knewswire to have very limited credibility.

As for your "theory," I don't think anyone has a crystal ball. If more people were worried about Y2K, we would see increased preparation activity. It ain't happenin'. Almost everyone is ignoring Y2K. The handful of thoughtful people worried about the issue are shouted down by the Y2K crackpots.

As for a "fraud" perpetrated by me... your accusation is not only unfounded, it is silly. I have made a prediction about the outcome of Y2K and have written on a number of related topics. If I am wrong, it will be an honest mistake... not a fraud. And what if I am right?

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 07, 1999.

Brett... sorry if you don't think this is "on-topic." Maybe you should stick to the chemtrail posts and save bandwidth.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 07, 1999.


There's that damn incessant laughtrack again. Ken, the only ones that think the serious issues described on this forum are funny are you and your band of pollies. 90% of the population is clueless to the risks ahead due to the diligence of folks like you who have continually downplayed the dire situation our digital, financial and social systems find themselves in.

In your typical hit-and-run fashion, you leave a trail of slanted vitriolic hubris, then duck out when you are confronted with the facts. Case in point, your claim that present day crime levels are no worse than the 70's, a position you supported with 'government statistics'. We proved you wrong at the time, and now we see that your fallacy has been exposed to the general public. You have yet to address this issue in the thread

Despite Rhetoric, Violent Crime Climbs; Updated '69 Study Shows Increase of 40% in Cities

So what's wrong Ken? Did you misplace your dissection kit or has the cat got your tongue?

-- a (a@a.a), December 07, 1999.

Ken the Cockroach lashes out again with his worthless shill drivel. The trolls are ganging up, gang-banging. 21 days

-- eeewwwwwwwww (stinky@squishy.splurt), December 07, 1999.


And to round out this wonderful exchange:

Ken are you a skillful human being?

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." ---Robert Heinlein


-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

This might surprise people but I agree, for the most part, with Decker on this and not (I think) because he paid me a slight compliment(?) (it's always hard to tell, isn't it?) At least he used my handle out of courtesy ....

The Y2K debate HAS been marginalized. It's pathetic that the best piece written about Y2K was in Vanity Fair at the beginning of 1999.

This is a serious subject with fascinating (and potentially positive) implications, long-term, for the way we all approach technology world- wide -- that has been completely voided by the way the subject has been handled (cf Lane Core's recent article for a tremendous and rare positive example of trying to learn some lessons).

Not only the media but the government has been a participant. Many of us can remember the 180 degree turn in coverage that took place after Koskinen and the Fed's Kelly had their little "meeting" with mainstream media biggies in March. We entered the Twilight Zone almost immediately thereafter.

It's no secret that TB2K's regulars, including Ed but MANY others, no longer show up here much. I credit that primarily to sustained and successful trolling and, in Ed's cases, repeated and mainly vicious attacks on him. Why should he or they bother? I don't bother myself much anymore.

As for consistency, there I disagree strongly with Decker. Or, to put it another way, North, Milne AND Decker have been consistent. So have I. What's the point to that? It's lost on me.

Now for something (not) entirely different:

From, say, August onward, it seems that TPTB have made a consensus decision to say basically nothing of any significance about Y2K that isn't hedged by spin. "Yes, it will be bad but it won't be." "Yes, Y2K is fixed at our (entity) but you never know." And most of the above without any hard facts to chew on beyond the press release. This scarcely provides ground for interesting discussion.

This is the reason we had those discussions about "deliberate misleading" or, what some of us old-fashioned folk refer to as "lying" long about August-September (I may have my dates wrong).

While I happen to believe that "chemtrails" are real and worth discussion (ditto the disquieting activity by the Bear), the level of content on TB2K HAD deteriorated markedly between January and June of 1999 and has deteriorated much further in the past three months. As, indeed, has discourse about Y2K in the broader culture. There is a connection, albeit unconscious perhaps between "THERE" and "HERE".

I expect this to get much worse before it gets better, if it ever gets better.

Since entities that experience Y2K problems (AS IF Deutschbank isn't having one right now, cut me a big one) claim they AREN'T EVERY having a Y2K problem, the chances for a reasonable debate about Y2K pre OR post-rollover are dwindling to near-zero.

THAT has nothing to do with TB2K, chemtrails or even trolls.

Regrettably, "it's still Y2K, stupid." And Y2K has been characterized increasingly by the most outrageous marginalizing by TPTB we have ever seen, IMO. Anything we marginalize here by our own efforts is the palest copy!

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), December 07, 1999.


I can appreciate your point, and I may be talking out of turn here, but you seemed to have taken it upon yourself to run off the serious posters here long ago.

I know we can't falut you for Runway Cat's leave, but I do recall some decidedly unpleasant exchanges between you and Hardliner, Hallyx, and others. I too am saddened that the level of discourse isn't what it was a year ago. What do you intend to do about it?

-- flora (***@__._), December 07, 1999.

Yes, I too have sadly noticed a demise in the quality of the threads. I believe that it all started when some pus bag created a thread where the characters from "The Simpsons" cartoon show were matched to forum posters. And it pretty went downhill from there.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 07, 1999.

>> As for Yardeni ... Of all major Y2K commentators, his position is closest to my own. <<

Yes. I find it ironic that Ken Decker is constantly attacked as a polly, while Yardeni is constantly cited as a respected economist with doomer leanings.

This could be because Yardeni is the only respected economist who publically states that Y2K will have detrimental effects on the world economy. So, the doomsayers have no good alternative. They must either clasp Yardeni to themselves or reject him. In response, they seem to accept Yardeni and paint him as fellow-traveler, while glossing over what he actually says.

OTOH, Ken Decker actually engages in the conversation around here, so he is too close for comfort. He cannot be counted on to stay put wherever you put him. Basically, Ken talks back and that is his sin.

If Ken would just write a solemn paper on Y2K and then retreat into the empyrean blue, I bet he'd get a link from TB2000 to whatever he said. Or maybe not. I could be wrong.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), December 07, 1999.

Ken I agree with you in this respect. The volume and spectrum of topics on this forum is increasing dramatically. Yet I wouldn,t pass judgement on the supposed quality of the issues or dialouge. This forum is simply running its course. Individually we are no more capable of altering this forum overall then we are of altering, say, public education.

Personally I'm new to the computer as of this year. New to this forum as of March. That should give you some idea of my capacity to distinguish fact from fiction in the overall development of Y2K. Would you respond to the following observation? As of December I have noticed an increasing number of computer processing failures within businesses and agencies throughout this country. In your estimate is it possible that a shroud of optimism is now unraveling before our eyes?

-- Rob Carroll (flyingred@montana.com), December 07, 1999.

a... Still smarting over the trip to the woodshed, a? In fact, if you remember our exchange, your opinion was that "today" is substantially worse than 25 years ago. Crime was just one indicator. My facts were posted based on not only crime, but on a number of social indicators. Finding a single study that says crime is worse hardly constitutes an overwhelming argument. Your point is lost on my grandfather who died in the mid 70s from a disease now curable. You may think we live in miserable times, a. You have every right to sulk, pout and fret about the condition of modern America. I prefer to see the accomplishments and progress of a nation. As for your "crime study," we can go once again to the federal data collection numbers. I can provide links, if you wish. As I told you before, it is impossible to "prove" now is better than then, or vice versa. Arguing your misty-eyed nostalgia is a modestly interesting exercise... but much less so when you behave like a five- year-old. Make an articulate, well-grounded argument comparing life in 1999 to life 25 years ago... but don't pretend finding one study conclusively proves your point. I don't think you're that stupid.

Snooze... unlike some forum regulars, I can do most of the tasks Heinlein describes (Lazarus Long, if I remember correctly.) Not well, perhaps, but passable in a pinch. Stop by the house anytime and we'll compare vitae.

Big Dog... I thought you might agree with at least some of my points. While I disagree with you, I hardly think you an idiot. If only some of your companions had two synapses to rub together.

As for your role as Ed's apologist, I think Yourdon received far more adulation on this forum, than brickbats. Had he stayed much longer, he would have been deified. The most vicious attacks have been those from the lunatic fringe, though I hardly expect you to offer an objective opinion on that matter, BD. We do agree that Y2K deserved better... from both sides of the coin.

Flora... I ran off serious posters? (laughter) When approached in a civil manner, I am generally quite courteous. I appreciate serious posts from every corner, including the serious pessimists'. I have crossed verbal swords with several regulars. I found Hallyx an insufferable intellectual prima donna. Hardliner and I engaged in a few slugfests. Unlike any of my opponents, I apologized for my behavior and made an attempt to improve (though Invar and I bumped heads.)

You see, Flora, seeing the situation as my fault suggests you have little grasp of the situation. I have contributed a number of threads, including a few that have made Brian's "prep" post. When asked, I have provided reliable information on all manner of subjects. I don't go out of my way to rain on anyone's parade. The only folks I have truly annoyed are those who want TB 2000 to become a private chapel for worshipping the "prep" God. Those who want to discuss Y2K like adults find little fault in my presence.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 07, 1999.

Decker must have a masochistic streak to still be calling here.


What is the point?

Dear Reader,

The general utility of this forum seems to be in decline. Readers from the pessimist-survivalist-fatalist (PSF) camp appear near completion in their preparations. The idealist-optimist-realists (IOR) folks repeat the generally positive media reports and quibble with the radical elements over the interpretation.

The paranoid posters suspect Y2K connections to every negative event. The hard core survivalists continue to worry about issues like the virtues of the Ruger M-14 .223 semi-auto rifle or how many thousands of rounds of ammo to stockpile. Conspiracy buffs contemplate the all- inclusive government-business-media "spin" on Y2K. Let us not forget the Gaia-types who look forward to a new agrarian age where we live happily without the evils of technology (like state-of-the-art medical facilities). The anti-fractional reserve banking gold bugs trade notes with economic illiterates. The computer wonks (none has less than "decades" of experience with every system ever developed) argue over chips and code. Finally, the rationalists calmly point that having several tons of soybeans in the cellar can do no harm.

What is the point?

The PSF folks are better served by hardcore survivalist web pages or perhaps homesteading or small farming sites. Posts by the IOR contingent generally fall on deaf ears. Has anyone decided to ease up on preparations based on reading a post on this forum?

While I have only posted on this forum a relatively short period of time, the posts have become increasingly less interesting... at least to me. On occasion, some of the more rational folks become involved on a particular thread. Even then, one more often sees ridicule than reason. While I have seen flashes of IS expertise, the quality of thought on economic issues... abysmal.

Yes, anticipating that some readers have a grasp of the obvious, I can choose not to read the forum. I believe there are a few intelligent, reasonable people who read (and post) here. It makes it worth a mouse-click... at least for now.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 22, 1999

-- (long@time.regular), December 07, 1999.

Ken, try some Ginko Biloba for that memory problem. The thread concerned how the population would react to a depressionary change in the economy brought on by y2k, and the issue was that the behavior would be much more violent.

'E' for effort though. Hang in there.

-- a (a@a.a), December 07, 1999.


My hat is off to Brian, I've mentioned to him that he interacts with you very well. You HAVE made positive contributions here, sheesh I even bequeathed my Gaines Burgers to you on one of the C. Gerges threads. I do not fault you {or even falut you, 'scuse the haste, am doing my best soccer mom impression today in the mean time} for the forum's decline. I just thought it ironic that you were mooning over the loss of serious posters, by your admission of apology I think you know what I referred to. You can win several battles and still lose the war, as I'm sure you're aware.

-- flora (***@__._), December 07, 1999.


The nice thing about the lunatic fringe is their resiliency. I mean, look at Scary Gary: In the early 70's the OPEC Oil embargo would bring about disaster, then in the 80's it was either computer viruses or the HIV virus, depending on which issue of his newsletter you got, and now it's Y2K. I'm sure that (assuming he manages to stay in good health for another 10 years) that he will find a new cataclysm in the coming decade to champion.

Besides, isn't contrail spraying the "official" topic here now?

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 07, 1999.

Ken & Paul,

How many of the contrail threads do you think are on the up & up?

-- flora (***@__._), December 07, 1999.

flora, who can tell. Most of these people seem really agitated over the subject, and I know that there are people out there who really believe in the concept. (Never mind that to artificially create a cloud dozens of miles long that spreads itself out in to a several mile-wide swatch as is claimed by these folks requires hundreds of times more liquid than could be carried in the fuselage of the largest aircraft ever built.) Are some of these threads being posted just to make the forum look bad? Maybe, but I bet most of them are from sincere posters.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 07, 1999.

Yeah Paul,

You may be right. I just see these days as being a very interesting time to be alive, and I'm amazed more people aren't taken up with it. I had a maiden Great Aunt who was a history teacher and devotee, I can only imagine what her enthusiasm would be at facing our future.

Thank you for continuing to contribute here, I remember you input from way back in the olden days!

-- flora (***@__._), December 07, 1999.

Decker, you have found "very little of interest" in this forum for more than eight months, according to the date on the following post. If there is so little of interest here, why have you continued to participate? Why don't you open up your own forum and fill it with interesting insights from yourself and others you hold in similar high regard?

Forum: Gary North is a Big Fat Idiot Forum, Date: 1999, Mar 28

Dear Reader,

I dropped by Ed Yourdon's forum and left two posts. The first was a "food for thought" post about how vulnerable the average family is to "marauders." The second post was simply a compilation of other posts I had written here about the free market, Y2K, Gary North, etc.

The response was mixed. Some readers found the posts of some interest. The rest ranged from accusations that I was a "killer" to a "moron" to an "idiot." A few attempted lengthy replies, however, there was very little of interest, particularly in economic thought.

As I noted in one post, Y2K has passed into an article of faith for some individuals. I see little point in continuing a dialogue with those who could not be convinced. I hope someone decides to continue this board until well into 2000. I plan to visit this site and Ed Yourdon's after the millennium to count those who still think the sky is falling.


Mr. Decker

-- Outings Ain't Us (but@we.can.search), December 07, 1999.

Hello folks, been reading the posts in this forum for about six or seven hours over the past couple of days, posted a few comments myself, obviously, if anyone is going to respond, I'll have to create a more nuetral online name then the one I'm using. Somehow the one I'm using now concerns (scares) folks. Frankly, the world as we know it, is going to end, Everything is going to have a whole different look soon. All who read this forum and contribute articles recognize this, that's why we're frightened and concerned. I'm going to be 45 on Saturday, I am an inactive member of MENSA, (That's another story, by the way), either way, I think I have a decent grasp of how inter- connected (over the last 15-20 years) we have become as a society. Somehow, no matter how much I would like things to be different, I see all sorts of changes over the next few months, probably the biggest backlash in history against our leaders for not telling the truth and being less concerned about short term profits rather than the population's overall safety. I sure wouldn't mind being totally wrong about my thoughts about the potential disaster I see imminently gaining on us. Take care everyone......Michael

-- Michael Teever (teotwawki_soon_2000@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

Ken, I have to agree with a lot of what you said -- the signal to noise ratio on this forum has gone down quite a bit recently.

I think that the lunatic fringe have been unwitting allies? tools? of any govenment disinformation campaign. Earlier this year my city had a preparedness expo and the UFO people and blowgun salesmen attracted the media attention.

I believe that Y2K could (that's could, not absolutely will) be a problem not because of Gary North, Michael Hyatt, etc but in spite of them.

To those who feel the need to talk about chem-trails and martial law rumors (that's how you spell it, not "marshall") think of what a newby-type person seeking information on Y2k thinks when visting this forum.


-- Mikey2k (mikey2k@he.wont.eat.it), December 07, 1999.

Yeah, I don't find much to talk about here anymore either. Why try to converse with glazed-eyed fanatics and fantasy-of-the-day paranoids? All you get in response, with rare exception, is abuse. But then, abuse exhausts the response capacity of most of the remaining clowns. No wonder a fanatic has been defined as one who redoubles his efforts after losing sight of his objective.

But maybe the explanation is simple desperation -- terror on the part of those simpletons who see the end getting so close, and discouragement for those who simply cannot understand the utter lack of any significant problems yet. Justice postponed is justice denied, and we sure have been postponing problems wholesale. Efforts to find sure signs of doom in normal, isolated inconveniences seems to be all they have left. Starting next month, they'll have to start claiming that isolated inconveniences *are* doom. Should be more interesting then.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 07, 1999.

Yeah, I don't find much to talk about here anymore either. Why try to converse with glazed-eyed fanatics and fantasy-of-the-day paranoids?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Flint.

-- Steve Heller (stheller@koyote.com), December 07, 1999.

Ken, There is no doubt that the quality of discussion on this forum, as it relates to serious Y2K information, has gone into the toilet. However, I cannot help at this point to visit this forum on a daily basis just for the entertainment value. You must admit, reading the chemtrail posts are as funny as it gets. I enjoy this forum the same way I enjoy watching the purple haired woman on TBN and Jimmy Swaggart lead the stupid into sending checks. Or how about those Art Bell listeners who now believe that "Technical Remote Viewing" is actually a science? I love this! Long live the net! You know, my favorite beer huggy has great words of wisdom printed on it-

"Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

Music to my ears. Well, speaking of beer, need to make another trip to the fridge...and more "technical web viewing of stupid people in large groups".

-- for real (for@real.com), December 07, 1999.

for real:

Unfortunately, the large group is shrinking as it self-selects for the most irrational. It's thin entertainment?


Opposing viewpoints? We don' need no steenkin opposing viewpoints. Only the Truth needs to be spoken here.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 07, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

I'm not a lunatic, nor on the fringe of society. The y2k senario of *only* economic effects is scary to a large family with a low income. The chem-trail posts are ... different, but I just skip those. With only around three weeks to go, there isn't much left to debate on the y2k issue. We're just hanging around until the rollover. I hope we can plan the forum party in six months. If not...we learned things here.

-- helen (sstaten@fullnet.net), December 07, 1999.

Menu for the forum party in 6 months-

2 tons of dehydrated deviled eggs 10 tons of assorted can goods 100 lime insulated barrels of assorted raw agricultural products (beans, rice, etc.) 5 tons of Spam fingers 5 tons of carved slow roasted Spam 5 tons of Blackened Spam 150 large cast iron pots of Spam and dehydrated vegetable soup 30,000 milk jug containers of water w/bleach

Entertainment provided by multiple ham radios, police scanners, full spectum scanners, cb radios etc.

Ticket price- one ounce of gold (market price- $235)

-- for real (for@real.com), December 07, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

When the pros tell us we're getting boring, that tells me we're on to something.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 08, 1999.

a... link us back to the thread and let's compare notes.

Paul... I'll be you a Buffalo Nickel, Gary is still publishing the Remnant Review next year. Two decades of bad predictions and the guy is still making money. It does tell you something about his readers.

Flora... I don't read them.

Outings... I stand by all of my earlier posts. I read a lower percentage of threads today than I did back then. I hang around to make sure the bullies haven't won... and to see if a single pessimist will admit I am right on rollover.

Flint... I am still holding up the torch for Team Optimism... (laughter). The response I receive from the rabble does provide the reasonable reader with good information. Do stay, and enjyo the post- rollover forum with me.

Steve... are you still smarting from Hoffmeister?

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 08, 1999.

Ken, you said:

"Paul... I'll be you a Buffalo Nickel, Gary is still publishing the Remnant Review next year. Two decades of bad predictions and the guy is still making money. It does tell you something about his readers."

No bet, especially since I would be sure to lose. I grew up near where he was based before he fled for the Arkansas retreat. I KNOW the folks in that area, and they will keep pouring money into Scary Gary's coffers long after Y2K is dead. Heck, if his heirs do it right, they will keep sending Gary money even after Gary himself is dead. (It's worked for L. Ron Hubbard's heirs. You suppose Gary will continue to "write" articles for the Remnant Review post-termination just as L. Ron Hubbard continues to "write" books for the Scientologists over 10 years after his death?)

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 08, 1999.

I hang around to make sure the bullies haven't won... and to see if a single pessimist will admit I am right on rollover.

What would have to happen for you to say you were 'wrong'? Just how extensive would problems have to be before you would admit you weren't 'right'? Tell us what you think isn't going to happen so we can judge the accuracy of your forecasts in March.

-- (define@your.terms), December 08, 1999.

I can't define Ken's terms, but I can define mine. If a single poster to this forum requires ANY of their preparations to survive due to y2k-induced problems, then I'm wrong. If a single one loses their bank account and cannot recover it due to y2k banking screwups, I'm wrong. If a single one finds gold more useful than dollars as a medium of exchange, I'm wrong. (This does NOT count selling gold for dollars and spending the dollars, OK?)

How's that for a start?

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

Not bad for a start, Flint....

But just remember: YOU can AFFORD to be wrong, because YOU have plenty of food stored, YOU have your money out of the banking system, YOU have firearms and have practiced to defend against intruders in a social breakdown.

That is not true for everyone. Especially people who might be swayed by your polly arguments, who don't understand the "do as I say, not as I do" position that you are taking.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 08, 1999.

OK, KOS, how's this grab you?

I'll take Ken's position, with one addition: Y2K as the cause of problems has to be verifiable by some method other than "it happened in the year 2000 and I've never noticed it happening before." Any normal run-of-the-mill bank screw-up, somebody losing their job and refusing public assistance, etc. doesn't count. It has to be Year 2000 date math problems so catastrophic that survival becomes an issue. Mere inconvienience doesn't cut it.

And, for the record, I plan on no preparations for Y2K that I do not normally have. I have retained investments in the stock market, I will withdraw only the couple of hundred dollars in cash I would normally have on hand for a long holiday weekend, and I have only about a one-week supply of stored water and food. I could probably heat my house for about three days with the firewood on hand in a pinch, but I plan on the stack lasting all winter to be used for "recreational" fireplace use only. (I just had some wood delivered: Apple wood smells great on cold New England winter evenings with a good book and a cup of spiced wine! It's well worth the extra cost.)

None of these levels of preparedness are different than what I had last New Year's weekend with the exception of the firewood, and that change is not related to Y2K. We used to burn a fire almost every chilly night, but with small children in the house we cut back on the use of the fireplace. Now that they are older, it's time to "light it up" again.


-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 08, 1999.

We still don't know what Ken's position is, Paul. Perhaps Decker will clear up for us what events will let him say he was right and which ones won't.

-- (define@terms.please), December 08, 1999.

OK guys...

For me to be "wrong," Y2K would have to result in worse than a serious recession. Let's use '73-74 as the benchmark. If we see double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment next year, I underestimated the impact of Y2K.

Even if I am "wrong" and the economic is more severe than I predicted, I doubt any of the preparations so beloved by forum regulars will make much of a difference. There will not be martial law nor will there be widespread social unrest. President Clinton will not seize power and declare himself "president-for-life." The United Nations will not take over the world and the blue sign along the road will not be used to guide UN forces to American cities.

Oh, back to reality... if we see an economic downturn, it will not manifest itself by March 31st (1Q/2000). It may take until 2Q or 3Q before the chronic problems cause enough friction to turn the economy south. We may see a market correction early in 2000, but the Dow really ought to be less than 10,000 by all reasonable indicators. Even if it drops to 7,500, I am not particularly worried... but look for me buying back in.

Oh, you can easily add Flint's terms to mine. I do think someone will die due to Y2K. Some idiot will plug their generator into home wiring and kill a utility worker or suffocate from using a combustion heating system inside the house. More than one person will BLAME Y2K for problems ranging from financial glitches to hair loss. As of March 31, 2000, however, Y2K will be declared largely a nonevent with chronic problems, but nothing close to the end of the world. Need more?

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 08, 1999.

There will not be martial law nor will there be widespread social unrest.

Oh, back to reality... if we see an economic downturn, it will not manifest itself by March 31st (1Q/2000).

No more needed. Thanks for being specific, Ken.

-- (terms@now.defined), December 08, 1999.

Paul: Who rattled your cage?? Does "Flint" look like "Paul" to you??? Moron.

Decker: I am glad to see that you are also advocating a March 31, 2000 end-date for the assessment. Surely, by the end of the first quarter of 2000, any true Y2K impacts should be identifiable. HOWEVER, if we see government computer systems failing due to "cyberterrorism", that could get hairy, since many people (like me) would suspect Y2K.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 08, 1999.

While we at it (talking about definitions, outcomes etc.), if Y2K does prove to be a relative non-event, I wonder if EY would tell us at what point in 2000 or 2001 he would say that his 10 year depression scenario would be no longer applicable.

-- Johnny Canuck (j_canuck@hotmail.com), December 08, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

What about a nuclear event; a meltdown or the use of weapons of mass destruction. If these happen, no matter what TPTB say about the state of their code, would we consider that a Y2K problem? I know I would.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 09, 1999.

And ditto for any biological warfare or simply some mysterious illness that kills significant numbers of people.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 09, 1999.

"Paul: Who rattled your cage?? Does "Flint" look like "Paul" to you??? Moron."

Touchy, touchy there KOS! You were the one who was making the issue out of Flint's preparation levels and criticizing him for taking the "pollie" position while "prepping like a doomer." I simply decided to publicly take the stand you were blasting him for not taking. If you don't like that, tough. Go mud wrestle with yourself.

"Decker: I am glad to see that you are also advocating a March 31, 2000 end-date for the assessment. Surely, by the end of the first quarter of 2000, any true Y2K impacts should be identifiable. HOWEVER, if we see government computer systems failing due to "cyberterrorism", that could get hairy, since many people (like me) would suspect Y2K. "

What about government systems failling because of stupidity in their handlers? It happens all the time now, and has been happeneing every since the darned things were installed but isn't remarked on that much because nobody was watching. Also, there have been logic failures in the past that will continue to occur in the future because nobody has fixed them yet. Again, these failures never attracted too much attention. Now, every little pissant failure will be looked on as a Y2K problem when in fact it's really a brain cramp or an FFS (Fat Finger Syndrome) problem on the part of some ham- handed flunkie deep in the bowels of the Civil Service. Those are issues that people looking for Y2K-related failures must also take into consideration.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 09, 1999.

"What about a nuclear event; a meltdown or the use of weapons of mass destruction. If these happen, no matter what TPTB say about the state of their code, would we consider that a Y2K problem? I know I would.

And ditto for any biological warfare or simply some mysterious illness that kills significant numbers of people."

Those are only Y2K problems if they are brought about by failures in ssytems related to date math errors relating to the proper recognition of which century data is to be included in. Otherwise, they are simply the plain, old fashioned screw-ups, disasters and acts of terrorism that occur now.

I mean really, biological warefare? Some goofball decides to celebrate the rollover of a new millenium by lobbing some anthrax at civilians and you would consider that a Y2K issue? That's pretty out there on the fringe to me.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 09, 1999.


This must be a nightmare period for engineers. My dad was an engineer, and had very intense emotions about the physical integrity of structures.

I want to thank you and Flint for 'splitting the hairs' down enough to help me get a feel for which kind of problems we are realistically looking at from your points of view. {And I hope your wife has squirred away a bit more than you're aware of, just in case}. {{How does one rationally estimate goofball insurance premiums?}}

-- flora (***@__._), December 09, 1999.

I found Hallyx an insufferable intellectual prima donna...


"That which is not part of ourselves does not disturb us."

-- Count Vronsky (vronsky@anna.lit), December 09, 1999.

Ken said:

Even if it drops to 7,500, I am not particularly worried... but look for me buying back in.

So in other words, this is just a great big perpetual money machine to you, eh Deck? Like a giant slot machine that works forever and payouts are guaranteed...

The New Economics of 2000: Money Grows On Trees

-- a (a@a.a), December 09, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Some goofball decides to celebrate the rollover of a new millenium by lobbing some anthrax at civilians and you would consider that a Y2K issue?

Absolutely! If they're doing it because they want to kick us while we're down. Or even if they want to kick us while we might be down. In any case, the preparations are the same.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 09, 1999.


Your posts seem to follow the same set of rules every time:

1) Belittle somebody

2) (optional) Make sense

You haven't been getting to step 2 very often lately.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 09, 1999.

Ah, "a," I can just imagine your reaction to someone who has never programmed arriving in your shop and "holding forth" about how programming really ought to be done. Your lack of understanding in the realm of economics is almost breathtaking.

The increased standard of living we enjoy in the developed world is due to increased productivity. When I purchase stock, I am buying a share of an enterprise that will (I hope) continue the increase of productivity and profit.

During the speculative binge of the 1920s, only about ten percent of Americans held equities. Now, with the success of mutual funds and employee-directed retirement plans, participation in the equities markets have broadened. Owning stock is no longer restricted to the wealthy. Oh, and the increase in personal wealth has allowed more individuals to invest. In our lifetimes, we have seen the democratization of the equities bourses. In my opinion, this is a good thing.

The current economy is not a "perpetual money machine." That is just a silly thing to say. We enjoy a free market that rewards successful entrepreneurs and their stockholders. Women and minorities have ever increasing opportunities to participate in the marketplace. Speculative bubble or not, we have seen the doors of wealth opened to the common person.

You see technology as the driving force. Technology is simply the byproduct of the free market. It is no coincidence technology flows from the most advanced economies, the most open markets and the most tolerant societies. Capitalism created the software you work on. It created your job and your company and the marketplace where your labor is sold. It created the medium of exchange and a financing system that has built the largest economy in the world.

You can choose to participate, or you can bury your money in mason jars in the backyard. Frankly, I don't care and neither does the economy. I do furrow my brow when you mock what you obviously do not understand. You are like the guest who eats, drinks and sleeps in a luxurious home... only to complain bitterly about the accommodations.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 10, 1999.



Thursday December 9, 2:05 pm Eastern Time

Technology shares slip, drag Nasdaq lower

(Updates to early afternoon)

By Amy Collins

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The red-hot, technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index slipped in early afternoon trading on Thursday as losses in semiconductor and Internet stocks helped erase a week of record gains.

The Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC - news) was down 51 points, or 1.44 percent, at 3,534 after setting a new intra-day record of 3,647.55. The difference between its high and low for the day was 133 points.

Some analysts were saying the highs have gotten to absurd levels.

``We've been riding an incredibly hot streak and it has gotten into la-la land,'' said John Brooks, a technical analyst at Notley Information Service. ``Look at the deal that came out today - people should be laughing at these.''

The deal of the day was VA Linux Systems Inc. (NasdaqSC:LNUX - news), a maker of computer systems and servers that run the Linux operating system, which was up nearly 800 percent at 265 from its $30 initial offering price.

``The IPO market is out of control,'' said Ricky Harrington, a technical analyst and senior vice president at Wachovia Securities in Charlotte. N.C.

``People are buying stocks for the wrong reasons,'' he said, noting that Nasdaq was up 38 percent in only 35 sessions. ``This market looks extremely dangerous right now.''

Harrington said there is a ``great chance'' that Nasdaq will lose 40 percent to 50 percent of its value before February.

The Dow Jones Industrial average (^DJI - news) was up 48 points, or 0.44 percent, at 11,116 after rising to 11,204.21 earlier in the session.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^SPX - news) was down 5 points, or 0.38 percent, at 1,398.

The U.S. Treasury 30-year bond was up 5/32 with the yield, which moves in the opposite direction, slipping to 6.21 percent from 6.23 percent Wednesday.

-- Nasdaq (in@the.news), December 10, 1999.

"Harrington said there is a ``great chance'' that Nasdaq will lose 40 percent to 50 percent of its value before February."

Big deal. Even if it does, how much will it have gained over the last two years total? How about over the last 10? The last 30?

Investing as a way of building wealth isn't a process for short- sightedness. It takes a long term view, and the intestinal fortitude to rough out the inevitable bad times.

Come to think of it, that philosophy goes for a lot more than just investing. It works pretty well for life in general, too.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 10, 1999.

Dancr, you said:

"Absolutely! If they're doing it because they want to kick us while we're down. Or even if they want to kick us while we might be down. In any case, the preparations are the same."

Well if you want to tie them together go right ahead. While I conceed the point that "just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you," living in fear of unknown boogey-men isn't how I choose to live my life. Pain, suffering and heartache are inevetable in life. Misery, suspicion and paranoia are individual choices. Dispensing with them frees up a lot of time for more productive tasks.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 10, 1999.

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