Is it time to re-think our position?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I know this post is going to upset alot of people on this forum. That is certainly not my intent. And, unless I see a need to do otherwise, this will be my last post here or anywhere else concerning Y2K. Likewise, I do not intend to visit Y2K websites except as they might pop up in a different area of interest. The reason for this is simple. I have gone from a full 9-10 doomer to a believer that we will experience disruption around a 1-3 range.
Does this mean I believe people should stop preparing? Absolutely not! In fact, I am prepared with years of supplies. I have solutions for water, power, food, clothes, growing food, handling people in need, and more. So, it is quite easy for me to say I don't think the problem is going to be very bad considering I have a fallback position. But, here is why I have changed my mind (and, please this is only one man's opinion):
1. Almost every negative prediction about Y2K has turned out to be wrong (ie. Infomagic, Gary North, etc.). At some point the basis for these predictions needs to be re-examined.
2. I have heard and keep hearing people say "We should start seeing problems soon now". What many people don't realize is that we have been experiencing problems for quite a while now. Last year and this year the banks had many, many problems with ATM's, credit cards, statements and more. I thought these would continue to escalate, but they didn't. In fact they have decreased coming into the end of the year. And for every company that has been in the limelight like Hershey Corp., Volkswagen and Weight Watchers to name a few, there have been thousands of others that have not made the headlines. Have they gone belly up? No, they have done what most all companies do when they have problems. They fix them. This is something that we humans do quite well - fix things and make them work again. Or better. Or both.
3. The world can't handle the magnitude of this problem. Or can it? What really got me thinking on this one was a question put forth on this forum by Socrates who asked "If Italy's so far behind, why hasn't it crashed yet?". There was a lot of good discussion on why we had not seen anything yet, but what caught my mind was a response from a guy who was actually living in Italy. Here was his response:
"ROTFLMAO!! Where have you been? Italy is one big CONSTANT failure, bub! Nothing works right here.....If you had been monitoring the Italian posts, you'd know that. I live here...I learned that shortly after I arrived.
There are two Italys...the northern one is more like Europe...it works...usually.
The southern Italy rarely works and uses few if any computers...
Northern Italians think Southern Italian are lazy and incompetent and Southern Italians think Northern Italians are NOT Italian and are elitists.
They all think they are descended from the noble Romans...in fact, most are not. If they had managed to retain a modicum of that heritage, something would work. The acqueducts in Britain at Bath still work...my plumbing, electric, sewer, etc... DO NOT! However, they can really decorate nicely and do wonderful things with marble.
Nothing in Italy is fixed until it breaks. Regardless of what you read, I do not for a moment believe that they have tested a darn thing and neither does their Y2K Czar...However, they are saying they are ready...makes one suspect others who say they are compliant too, now doesn't it? There is NO external verification and it is the national pastime here to say everything is AOK....Nothing is ever broken, until it is broken for some time and causing somebody major problems.
The Italian are the greatest folks in the world at "workarounds"...if those gas pumps stop working, they will rip the covers off and pump the gas out by hand...environmental pollution...? No problem...we got your gas for you...now shaddup! They will not have a dozen lawyers around them telling what they can and cannot do here if things break down, they will "make it work"....somehow....hence, no problems.
Relax, things never make the press here unless it is a scandal or juicy gossip. We all know that the planes are ok (at the moment) and so is most of the infrastructure (temporarily). Why do so many folks think this should be a reason to quit preparing and throw the baby out with the bathwater....last time I checked, it was called the Y2K bug, not the December 1999 bug....Give it time before you throw in the towel. The date change hasn't occurred and they have been fixing the things that break due to Y2K (few if any at this point) along with the things that break due to poor Italian fabrication (humongous number and growing) all the time.
In short, I doubt that you will hear much of anything in the news. The Italians, correction MOST OF THE WORLD, do NOT brag about their problems like the United States does. That is why we are perceived as a dangerous place to live, filled to the brim and overflowing with racial riots and tensions, cultist nuts, and militant militia. CNN broadcasts our problems (which we know are few comparatively, which is why they are news in the first place) all over the world 24 hours a day...repeating and repeating and repeating....Accordingly, we are a basket case internationally to most folks.
Quit looking for failures over here...You probably won't even hear about it except from the Americans and foreigners living here. It is the Americans that fill our ears full of conspiracy theories, looting, mayhem, etc....
I am an American living overseas. I have been overseas for 6 1/2 years now. Stop expecting the rest of the world to behave as you do. It doesn't.
Your logical analysis places you in an ivory tower. You believe what you read...Want to really be logical? Move to Italy and look out your window. The world is VERY different from here. Sorry to shatter your illusions.
I know you don't want to believe it..That is of course your choice. Before I lived overseas, I didn't want to believe it either. But there you have it. The world is not the same all over. The news is not reported the same, interpreted the same, or given the same respect and freedoms in America...nor is business, religion, or anything else.. You'd be very, VERY suprised.
Everything is "va bene"...."don't worry"....and of course the ever present...."slowly, slowly"... The world is much slower here. They will still have magnificent gardens, food growing from trees everywhere, olive oil in abundance, pasta and bread to die for. They might not even notice if Y2K breaks down something...they routinely strike every December and August...the trains stop all together. You think they'll notice the bug? Think again...It's all routine here. They are used to it...why report it?
-- Ynott (Ynott@incorruptible.com), November 29, 1999. "
I have come to believe that the world, especially third world nations, will live with, work around, fix up, patch, replace or use bailing wire to deal with any problems that might by added to people's lives because of Y2K. Which leads me to...
4. People will panic at some point. I don't think so anymore. An excellent example of what people in the United States might do in major crises was exemplified by the hurricane that devastated North Carolina. Those people had no power, food, water, shelter, etc. for lengthy periods of time. Did they panic? No, they simply went about surviving and rebuilding there lives when the smoke cleared...or in this case water.
5. And last, but not least, Y2K is a conspiracy for the U.N. to take over America. For those people who believe this, please look around more closely and do more homework. The "taking" over of America has been going on for a long time now. Just research any of these topics as they all lead to the same place: The Tri-Laterel Commission, The Biliberger Group, The Com Three Hundred, The banking structure and the Federal Reserve. There are many more places to dig, but these will get anybody with enough curiosity headed in the right direction. What you would find is some core power structures that run most of the world. These people want us to be good consumers, not concentration camp prisoners.
The only area of concern I still have is oil. Oil, or lack there of, has the potential to disrupt our lives in a big way. But, then I start to think about Kuwait and I realize the power elite will do whatever is necessary to protect there way of doing business.
Of course, this is just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Headed back to the world of men and machines. Good bye all.
-- Damon Devine (email@example.com), December 14, 1999
I agree...i didnt get my long distance bill this month....but before 2K is over, I will...that's life!!!
-- I"m Starting to Relax Even More (Inevercheckmy@onebox.com), December 14, 1999.
Hey, I've never been quoted before! Oh-- am NOT a guy, am a GAL! I know what my point was, what was yours?
In Italy, nothing works very well at any time. I am QUITE worried about some aspects of Y2K here, about others, I am less so. I fully expect stuff to break more often and my breakdowns to last much longer than they will in the U.S....but folks are different here, they won't riot or go nuts and on a rampage (as I fear in say, NY, LA, DC)....They take it in stride...That was the point of my essay.
How would Americans react to the same inconveniences? I suspect somewhat worse. Hopefully, the breakdowns back home will not be so severe.
You seem to have forgotten about the embedded chip problem...Also, about the corruption of data building up problem. Their is a cascade of failures possible when that happens...unpredictable.
You're right. We don't know..Glad that you are still prepped. Don't give it away just yet.
We've been able to fix on failure so far because not so much has broken yet....I imagine more has broken than we know...again, we wouldn't expect a company with a large stock portfolio to "brag" about it...drop in stocks, etc. Will we be able to continue to fix on failure when/if a cascade begins with corruption of data? Where do you start then? Should be interesting. I am reserving judgment. There are too many opinions and I am NOT an expert...except on being an American living overseas in Italy..
I repeat, this is the Y2K bug, not the December 1999 bug. You ain't seen nothing yet!
-- Ynott (Ynott@incorruptible.com), December 14, 1999.
I think your argument with regard to not seeing more evidence of Y2k breakdowns in 1999 could be applied ALL OVER THE WORLD. The fact is, the world keeps turning and U.S. corporate profits are WAY UP in the third quarter '99 compared to 3Q'98. However, the fact that NOT ONE SINGLE COUNTRY has been hampered significantly by the Y2k bug SO FAR, make me less than persuaded that we have EVEN BEGUN to see the real effects of Y2k, let alone, the long term hovoc that it will cause.
One more thing. If I were you I wouldn't feel too sanguine about my preps: today's doomers may seem like pollys in 6 months. Those of us who have been following the lastest corporate/government (mostly self- reported) "% remediation" polls can't believe how poorly prepared the US will be on New Year's Day. And with most of the rest of the world 1-3 years behind us (have they done anything at all?), you would have to assume that Y2k is, and always was, a non-event to conclude that we will be facing a 2 or 3 on a 10 point scale. Do you really believe that?
-- Dr. Roger Altman (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
I wholehardedly (sp) agree with the poster from Italy.
Most americans NEVER experianced other then theyre own overblown commerialiced media and coorperate brainwashed culture.
Whatever is on TV is true.... yeah right...
The rest of the world will deal with Y2k in a calm manner. Interuptions? So what?
If the average joe blow in the US doesn't see his mindwashing TV and doesn't have his Mc Donalds and or his six pack he starts to riot.
Ohh and don't forget those working mom's that doesnt have a Burger King, Mc Donalds or other fast food playland to go to after a long hard work day to spent "" QUALITY TIME '' with the kids.( as if 1 hr can make good for the rest of the day and the consquent missing bond and respect between parents and kids, no wonder this country falls apart)
-- justme and my opinion (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
Hey, damon...wanna sell yer preps? Look at the yard sale you could have in the next 2 weeks! You might have a change of heart - no, make that a second change of heart, when you see how fast and furious your goods get snatched up!! Why not chill out for another 3 weeks before cashing in your chips?
Nobody can blame you for not wanting to abandon your paradigm, but on the other hand (there's always that other hand, isn't there?) Y2K DOES present some really ferocious possibilities of a radical departure from life as we presently know it.
You pays yer money an' you takes yer chances. Good luck in whatever direction you decide to take!
-- Jay Urban (Jayho99@aol.com), December 14, 1999.
"If the average joe blow in the US doesn't see his mindwashing TV and doesn't have his Mc Donalds and or his six pack he starts to riot."
And that just about sums up my take on the human condition as well, sadly.
John Ludi, Prince of Cynicism.
-- Ludi (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
This all gets so tiring. I guess you're right --- Everything is beautiful, Americans are the dopes.
Please stay overseas.
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
Y2K may not be the big problem, but the human factor will be!. Don't let your gard down!. Have you noticed how chumie the Ruskies, and the Chicoms are. Well read your history books, and see what Germany, and Russia were up to 60 years almost to the day. Yep, a nonagression pact. Just maybe if things start to fall apart here they will make a move on us. If not then we still have to worry about old Bin Laden, and his suitcase nukes. Then you still have the weather changes, and the Solar max to worry about, and don't forget Global Warming. Well friends even without Y2K IT problems, this world is still up to its neck in the brown smelly stuff. Lets not put old Slick Willie on the back burner, for I think he has plans for us also, and they wont be pleasant. Be careful, The Happy Hoarder.
-- The Happy Hoarder (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
Damon I believe you've overlooked something. As Dale Way said in his critique of Yourdon's endgame piece, we have three situations to worry about:
1. Looking forward beyond the rollover. 2. Rollover itself. 3. Looking back before the rollover.
As you've pointed out, we have been experiencing problems at a managable level because of #1. This is reasonable if you consider that this is testable and not everyone had to look ahead past the rollover at the same time. By this I mean that people who looked 5 years ahead had a greater lead time to start fixing things. People who looked ahead four years had some time to get lessons learned from the 5 year folks. The three years folks had even more time to seewhat was coming and start preparing, etc. So you see, the problem of look ahead was somewhat mitigated by the fact that not everyone had to look ahead at the same time.
HOWEVER, once 01/01/00 rolls over, EVERYONE who has to look back will be doing it at the same time with NO LEAD TIME to see if their fixes work. That is when we will truly see if Y2K remediation works or not.
Now, for the matter of #2, rollover itself. Who knows if this is going to cause significant problems or not. One thing we can agree on is if anything is going to break on rollover, it will all break AT THE SAME TIME which could cause serious disruptions but is a one-time event.
Remember, LOOK AHEAD can, and has been, tested for and people had some lead time to prepare for it. Therefore, the consequences have not been serious enough to cause disruptions. LOOK BACK can be simulated but can't be tested in a real environment since we aren't past ROLLOVER yet. So there hasn't been any lead time to see if the fixes worked. Therefore, since everyone will have to LOOK BACK at the same time, there is a greater chance that serious disruptions can result. ROLLOVER itself, can only be experienced at one time.
-- just wondering (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
its easy to understand where you are coming from. we're almost right there with you. however, let me make some comments here ..
> true. not much to be said here.
> true also. but - many of these problems still havent been fixed yet, and we've yet to see the full ramifications to the companies you've mentioned. companies that suffer critical information systems failures usually dont last too long.
and - this is the big one here - since the VAST majority of date-related problems will occur AFTER jan 1 - you havent truly seen the full effect of the 00 problem yet. also, remember that these problems could take several months before the public realizes that databases have been trashed and companies are flying blind. you dont expect these types of failures to make the front page of your local paper do you? i mean, this is pretty boring stuff. to most people, anyway.
so hold on to your preps. and lets hope we're 'wrong' about y2k being teotwawki.
-- lou (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
To Americans living overseas lecturing was Americans still in the U.S., your comments are all self-reporting and mere hoping. By the fact that you are staying in Italy (probably in an urban area, at that) means you are forced to believe that the country will "work around" y2k problems. Have been all over Italy and things seemed to work fine. Their infrastructure has computers just like ours does. IF the bug hits, they will have the same problems. To think anything else is self-delusional, and self-deluding is what humans do if they choose not to prepare. Buona fortuna, bambina.
-- DoroteaGherardiRomano (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
I see stores in my area with "going out of business" banners. We've had water/sewage probs across the country. I've had previously unheard of phone problems all year (and I'm not in the country). Short term power failures almost weekly. I don't have natural gas, but my neighborhood does and so the feed runs through my front yard to reach my neighbors. My yard was dug up, along with all homes in my neighborhood, cause the dang thing just shut down -- and I could smell the leak. I figues from the one-hole-per-yard that I peared into, something to do with the valve mechanism shooting off to each home was replaced. What about the other homes with this fuel source which have not already failed and been replaced? What if their leaks are significant, rather than the leaks in my neighborhood which were minor and easily dispersed without evacuation?
-- Hokie (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
PS--and frequent shutdowns of the credit/debit machines at cash registers...well beyond "average occurence".
I don't know where you doubters live, but I've been seeing the slow downs in service in the majority of categories here in VA.
-- Hokie (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
I hope you're right, Damon, but I'm not willing to bet my life and the lives of my children on it.
-- cody (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
If you ever thought it was going to be a 9-10, then - no offence intended - your reversal of opinion now isn't really worth much. There isn't not, and never was, any evidence of a 9-10, just speculation and assumption. TEOTWAWKI is a belief, not a reasoned conclusion based on sound assumptions.
It's nice of you to point that out, but that hardly gives your shiny new 1-3 prediction more credence. What happened to 4-8? I can see enough evidence (or lack of verifiable counter-evidence as opposed to meaningless spin) that 1-3 is ALSO an extreme belief.
You can't berate TPTB for making binary partitions between critical and non critical (not you Damon, I'm generalising) and then decide that Y2K is either a BITR or a TEOTWAWKI.
Perhaps if you explained how you got from a 9 to an 8 then 7, 6, 5, 4 and thence to 3, 2 and 1? I'm reading your post as though you're rationalising a binary belief rather than coming to a conclusion from verifiable assumptions.
-- Servant (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
Jusst me and my opinion~
Thanks for the support...send some prayers my way too will ya?
Haven't got a clue as to what your problem is...re read my post and discover that I do indeed think we will have significant problems...just that we won't "advertise" them and that the Italians will for the most part just "go with the flow"....earlier posts by me indicate that ITSHTF, I am VERY concerned...have talked about bugging out, security issues , etc.
America is not used to the disruptions Italy is, hence my comments on the big cities....I think (as does most everyone else on this forum) that the rural dwellers will fare somewhat better than their urban neighbors. I live in a predominantly suburban/rural area.....I suspect my effects will be somewhat more modified than say, Rome (which is predicted to crash BIG TIME). My neighbors all have gardens and routinely share with others.
America is my preferred habitat, by my husband's job precludes us returning there at this time. In fact, he will be in Germany shortly after rollover...I declined "accompanying" him to the Alps. I figured being without heat in the Alps was a less than intelligent move. He has no choice however.
Excellent post. I wholeheartedly agree.
I agree with your statement that we will have the same problems. I disagree that Italians will handle it in the same manner. To think that is delusional. I don't understand the rest of your post. Of course they have computers. But they are not as dependent on them for their food supply for example. Most of the mom and pop stores around here supply their own or are supplied by local farmers. Unless you live out in the country , that is very different from the average Joe in America.
As I stated earlier, I am in a rural area. I have seen them workaround many things already. Of course, electricity and water are NOT in that category. I have prepped for a 4-5...figure they'll evacuate us if it gets much worse than that. I have a back up heat source, tons of water, and a water purifier. I've done what I can. But I've seen how the Italians handle problems. In general, they handle it much better than their American counterparts...yelling a little (no violence), working around it, or walking away from it. If it becomes a real disaster, these folks know more about basic living than the average American. They'll just go on strike and take an extended repozo (lunch/nap here which runs from about 1-4 pm every day).
Hey bambina, if you had read my previous postings, you'd KNOW that I am prepared. I have tried to pursuade others, but like most here, to no avail. Now, I sit and wait, continuing to pray and prep.
Buona fortuna to you to amica.
-- Ynott (Ynott@incorruptible.com), December 14, 1999.
You are right Cody, the big oil corps have already set the wheels into motion when they said that there could be as much as a 80% cut in the supply if the imbedded chips give a problem. Just look at what they did to us in the 70s. We were producing enough oil for our use, they shipped it overseas, then imported it back in at a much higher price. The problem is all the huge oil, and food corps are multi-national, and owe allegiance to no one, but the almighty dollar. It matters not where the products come from, it will always go to whomever pays the most. Yes you can be a farmer, and still starve, or have a oil well in your back yard, and freeze to death. Not only oil, but food prices may well be on the rise. Just two more weeks, and they will all be trying to sock it to us. Good luck, HH.
-- The Happy Hoarder (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
Yeah Damon, its gonna be a '1'. If that helps you sleep better, so be it. Now for the rest of us, back to reality...
-- a (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
Cody, I'm going to address the one aspect of your post about which I have some knowledge. You said in regard to panic:
". . . An excellent example of what people in the United States might do in major crises was exemplified by the hurricane that devastated North Carolina. Those people had no power, food, water, shelter, etc. for lengthy periods of time. Did they panic? No, they simply went about surviving and rebuilding there lives when the smoke cleared...or in this case water."
First, you are talking about a mainly homogeneous rural population that is used to hardship and community cooperation. Second, it is not true that the victims were without various basic needs for "lengthy periods of time." The Salvation Army came in immediately with assistance, followed by the Red Cross and FEMA, who brought generators and hundreds of travel trailers as well. Then came literally thousands of volunteers (including Chicken Little who was heavily involved in animal rescue).
It was not several months ago and is not currently quite as simple as you rather blithely suggest. Gov. Hunt has ordered a 10% cut in state funding across the board and there is still talk about raising the sales tax by one percent--in addition to the millions in federal relief funds.
Lastly, there was looting in some areas, limited only by the long-lasting flood waters and flood-ruined household goods. Law enforcement ssistance was in short supply and even probation officers were roped in as neighborhood guards.
The following will give you an idea of the current situation, about three months after Hurricane Floyd roared in.
From WRAL-TV today, December 14:
. . . State officials have asked FEMA to give Hurricane Floyd victims an extra month to apply for disaster aid.
Eric Tolbert, head of the state Division of Emergency Management, requested the extension in a letter sent to FEMA over the weekend, noting that 195 people a day over the past month continued to register for assistance.
State officials also say 3,500 people have requested help from housing counselors during the last five weeks.
Hurricane Floyd destroyed 7,000 homes in eastern North Carolina; another 17,000 are uninhabitable. An estimated 56,000 homes were damaged by the storm and its flood waters.
As of last week, more than 77,000 people in the 66 counties in the disaster area had registered for assistance.
For more current and past stories on Hurricane Floyd, see
The devastation wrought by Floyd is also blamed for a drop in Salvation Army donations this year. The SA'a usual Christmas program to help the genuinely needy is suffering. See
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
Well Old Git, I know where you are coming from on that. In 96 when the two hurricanes leveled the crops in eastern NC. our fair Gov. turned out the inmates to help with crop recovery. It seems that him, and a few other choice polititians recieved all the help. Thats right the little farmer got nothing. And this time it will be no different, out of the 1.8 billion that the state recieved from the feds, the regular Joe will be left out. The only ones that will recieve anything will be the Big wigs, the big pork, and poultry producers. We lost in excess of $60.000 when the flood gates were opened to spare the wealthy homes upstream. We were informed by both the state, and the feds that no help was forcoming. Now the EMC co-op says that it wants all bills paid before the 29th, not the 10th as usual. And if that isn't enough my net provider has billed me for Jan. They said they wanted all accounts paid a month in advance. Gas co. is now COD. Old Git are they running scared or just greedy?. I guess the phone co will be next, then maybe the IRS. When will it end? The Tapped out old Hoarder.
-- The Happy Hoarder (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
The IRS is already there. They dunned my business for taxes not yet due. Received a notice asking for my 3rd quarter 941 report. Report was due Oct 31, dun notice received Oct 21. State of South Carolina is just as bad. They billed me for $527 employee withholding for 3rd qtr. Said I didn't pay it and I had 7 days to do so. It takes 12-14 days to get a copy of a check so I paid it figuring to handle it properly when I got the copy. Well, I can now prove that I have paid this twice cause TPTB won't give it back and refuse to let me claim it as a credit on 4th qtr. Does this surprise me? Nope.
-- Lobo (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 15, 1999.
I'll rethink my position in about 20 days. A day or so after the first real business day of the year. I've come this far, another 20 days doesn't matter.
'til then, well, if you know me, then you know that it ain't Y2K yet...
Tick... Tock... Tick... <:00= ...
-- Sysman (email@example.com), December 15, 1999.
"No TV and no beer makes Homer go crazy".
-- Everything eventually (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 15, 1999.