MUST READ: Another profound Lane Core piece with help from Y2K friends : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From the thread below, I didn't know that this was a another terrific Lane Core article hence this new thread. Sobering, sobering, sobering..friends.

This one you'll want to print

-- PJC (, December 15, 1999


Lane good!

What Will the Future Bring? Some Thoughts from the Y2K Savvy

Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends

Excellent :-)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, December 15, 1999.

(quick sign of the cross)

-- Spidey (free@last.Amen), December 15, 1999.

Bonnie Camp... She said so clearly what I've worried about but couldn't put in words. To those of you who wonder what y2k will be like this is it!

-- citizen (, December 15, 1999.

I think Bonnie Camp writes well. Despite her ability with prose (and her revered status on this forum), I think the logic underpinning her argument deserves scrutiny. I'll pass for the moment, and see if any wants to sally forth on this subject....

-- Ken Decker (, December 15, 1999.

Ken , her logic is based on what she stated. Namely that nothing short of an act of providence ( my words ) could have remediated the amount of code in the amount of time given. Remember when it was opined that testing was 50% of the fix in testing? Notice how the gov't and industry changed their buzz word from 'compliant' to 'ready'? Ready used to mean remediated but not tested. And what about all those millions of 'non critical' computers? Did they have no purpose in the scheme of things? And of course it has always been hard for me to understand why those other countries that provide essential products and services to us are not extremely important to us. I think Bonnie's comparison of the gov't trying to put happy endings to a dreadful fairy tale is real close to the truth.

-- citizen (, December 15, 1999.

Some inacuracies that could have easily been avoided with a little research:

1. Mentions that GM could lose BILLIONS a month for DECADES(!) before going broke! WRONG. Just check their balance sheet, available at any stock research site.Check out the amount of cahs/short term securities.

2. Cowles says a Richter 6 quake is 10X stronger than a 5. WRONG. This is one of the worst examples of lazy journalism perpetuated through the decades! Anyone here who has taken basic college geology knows the equation for Richter power, and it is a compounded logarithmic equation. The end result is that a difference of 1 in the Richter scale represents a power change of the square root of 1000 i.e. 31.6 So, a difference of 2 is NOT 100X, BUT 31.6^2=1000X AS POWERFUL! That is why a 9 is so absolutely devastating. It would be 1 MILLION times as powerful as a 5, NOT 10,000X.

Problem is that it doesn't give me much confidence in these people's assessments when they can't do basic math, or even be bothered to look it up.

-- profit of doom (, December 15, 1999.

profit, thx for the 9 EQ reminder :-P That's what will eventually hit here in luscious Cascadia, and what got us started prepping, and what will make us hug our preps even if Y2K were a 0, which it cannot be :_(

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, December 15, 1999.


Those who do not study geology may be more likely to be familiar with the factor of ten aspect of the Richter scale than with the factor of 31.6.

As indicated by the following from a USGS site:

"Because of the logarithmic basis of the scale, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude; as an estimate of energy, each whole number step in the magnitude scale corresponds to the release of about 31 times more energy than the amount associated with the preceding whole number value.",

both factors apply, although in different ways.


-- Jerry B (, December 15, 1999.

What an excellent, provocative, thoughtful piece. Outstanding. Lets see what the pollies have to say:

"You must trust Koskinen" - Llama man

"(laughter)" - Decker

"Nobody knows" - Flint

"What doomer scum idiots you are" - Y2K Pro

"{insane crap in a pink font}" - Lady

"{insane crap in a green font}" - Andy Ray

-- a (a@a.a), December 15, 1999.

[With all rights acknowledged and reserved, etc., as they say, I couldn't resist posting this portion from that superb page for those tempted to rush on without clicking on the link above...]

Bonnie Camp: "It's very ironic that the clues to the ending of the story, which have been there from the beginning, are being almost universally discounted or ignored."

Bonnie Camp, frequent contributor to the discussions on the open forum at Rick Cowles' Electrical Utilities and Y2K website, is that rare individual of profound insight and meticulous attention to detail, though she usually bills herself as a "gray-haired granny" (I have already quoted her at length in Reflections Prompted by the June Y2K Experts Poll.) I asked her if she would like to share her prognosis; in reply, she sent me the following essay, "Modern Americans are Besotted with Happy Endings," which she had written for some of her friends:

"So you want to know how the story ends? So do many folks who have been following the Y2K tale through its many chapters. But I'll bet you want a prognostication in detail. If components will fail, what components will fail, how will they fail, how many, in what infrastructure areas, and what will the consequences be? Which systems will be affected, what data will be corrupted, how many problems will cascade to other systems, or infect data elsewhere?
"You might as well ask a weatherman to tell you exactly how many square millimeters of land in the world will have rain fall on them January 1, 2000, and while he's at it, exactly how many drops will hit each millimeter, and what the effects of the accumulative runoff will be. The weatherman would think you were a screwball, and rightly so. He could tell you whether the sun was shining or not, though, or if a storm was on the horizon. Which you could pretty easily figure out for yourself anyway, if you had a mind to.
"That's why I think you don't really want to know how the Y2K story will end. It's very ironic that the clues to the ending of the story, which have been there from the beginning, are being almost universally discounted or ignored. I think it's because the ability to interpret those clues has been mangled or lost in the often ignorant bliss of our illusion-strewn society. Somehow people nowadays have become besotted with a mandated happy ending and fantasies can interfere powerfully with judgments. Prince Charming is a piker compared to a modern James Bond, after all. Americans thrive on the conquering hero who wields technology like a sword. They also decry anything that smacks of the unpleasant. Even classic fairy tales are re-written; sanitized, fluffed up, endings changed.
"You didn't know that? The Y2K story has been edited and changed, too, over the last two or three years, but few have noticed. Or did not want to notice. I cut my reading teeth on the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson and I'm grateful to those authors. I may have sobbed uncontrollably after finishing 'The Little Match Seller' or recoiled at the greed and evil in the world of Grimm, but I learned the difference between illusions and real life at a young age.
"Cinderella's two self absorbed step-sisters took a knife and cut off their toes and heel, respectively, in a desperate attempt to get a foot into that glass slipper! I'll bet that's not a part of the nicey-nice modern Cinderella story you know, is it? But in the original versions, when the focus suddenly became just making it to the castle, the desperate sisters didn't stop to consider if they might bleed to death before the wounds healed, or if those toes were a lot more important for their future well-being than they realized.
"In the Y2K story line, triage has been portrayed as a simple, bloodless process having little to do with desperate need and imminent danger. And you believed that? The partial or total abandonment of a vast bulk of computer systems here and around the world has been given the illusion of business as usual. Chop, chop. We don't need those heels and toes. We can stomp around without them. Not enough? Well we don't need that arm, either. One will do. Come to think of it, one leg will do as well, as long as you have a crutch handy. 'Put a crutch in the contingency plans, Marvin.' Desperate measures for desperate goals.
"You want to know how the story ends, but you think the massive triage of government and corporations everywhere doesn't give enough of a clue? Try this then. The computer systems people I've spoken with about the triage in the international corporations they work at have sometimes reluctantly, sometimes sadly, agreed that they honestly didn't know of any 'non-critical' systems in ordinary times. Heels and toes. They matter. Except when your life is at stake. Did you catch that? When your life is at stake.
"If you've been following the Y2K story for a couple of years like I have, you also know what rational technology experts in government and business had to say about what it takes, and how long it takes, and how problematic it is to successfully complete any large scale computer project. You know that in the next chapters of the story all the characters began claiming they were certainly going to be able to have all their systems compliant by December 31, 1998, leaving 'a whole year for testing.' Then came the part where the formerly-agreed-upon need for comprehensive testing was edited from the script in increments. You didn't think those deletions had anything to do with the end of the story?
"The Y2K writers probably were counting on the fact that most of you wouldn't notice something odd about the bidding wars in the chapters that followed, either. Bidding wars? Huh? Didn't you pay attention when one champion contender in the remediation game took ten years to almost-finish his project but he was constantly one- upped by other contenders of the same relative size who proclaimed they could do the job in one third or one quarter of the time? The writers were right, that you wouldn't see that as a clue to the ending of the story, weren't they?
"Did you notice that if you compare chapters, compare the status information and requirements for success from 1997 and 1998 with those of today, it looks like we're talking about two entirely different stories? That's because part of the story is gussied up to meet modern illusion standards, and the other is real. Which is which? As I see it, there are only two possible conclusions to the comparison.
"(1) Either most of the 1997 and 1998 government and business reports, and the requirements deemed necessary for success in 2000 were lies... or (2) Most of the government and business status reports and prognostications now are lies.
"If you've been inundated with Disney all your life, you'll probably pick number one. I pick number two. We cannot have gotten to where they say we are, from where we were — and we needed to. MacGuyver didn't whip up a fix in the nick of time. Government, military, and business IT personnel didn't suddenly morph into a cross between Super Guru and The Flash in the middle of our story. But you'd like to believe that, wouldn't you? Even though somewhere deep down you know the real story played out more like this in the beginning:
"'Of course we're going to get moving on that project. We've got it all planned. Sure, we haven't gotten very far yet, but we'll get it all done, there's plenty of time. It's early days yet! It's just that we're in the middle of these other projects right now, too... and of course, we've got to keep up with the day to day stuff that has to be done... and by the way, did Harry get that financing approved yet? And Mary, remind me to find somebody that knows what the heck an embedded system is, will you?'
"Then as the deadline draws closer, reality intrudes. Life is what happens when you're making other plans. Shortcuts are taken, errors are made and unexpected troubles arise. It's not as simple or as quick or as easy as you told yourself it would be. The trouble is, you told others how easy it would be, too, and now you're stuck.
"Strip away those modern fairy tale illusions and there's the reality of human nature staring us in the face. We waited too long. We didn't take the problem seriously enough soon enough. Only a small portion of what needed to be fixed has been. What has been fixed hasn't all been fixed adequately or competently. Things have been overlooked and comprehensive testing has been more talk than action. Do you really need to know more?
"Sigh. Okay, I'll tell you. There will be a plethora of failures, in a broad range of types and an equally broad range of severity. Surprises will abound. Most of them will be unpleasant. Our collective patience will be sorely tried, the fabric of our social and business interactions will fray in some places, rip in others, and disintegrate altogether in still others. The shortsightedness of decades will come back to haunt us, as shortsightedness always does. That ghost from the past won't go away in three measly days, either. It will cackle and boo around us for months if we're lucky, years if we're not. In late 1997 this story couldn't have had a happy ending and it can't have one now. The real story is an old-style tale, full of folly and pain. If we're fortunate, we may be able to discern the moral of the story and grow in wisdom as we work through the myriad problems and misfortunes we'll be presented with. But there will be a cost. It will be more than we want to pay.
"Argue if you will. Call me crazy as a loon. I'll stick with my own form of literary prognosis, it's served me well all my adult life. There can be no happy ending to the tale of the two-digit date. Forget the illusions. The real story is penned in the style of Grimm, not Disney.
"By the way, the two foolish little pigs who built their houses of straw and sticks and didn't think the wolf could get them? After the huffing and puffing was over, they didn't escape and scamper away to the wise little pig's house, as Disney tells it. They got eaten.
"And the Little Mermaid? She died. The Prince married somebody else. That's the real story. But you didn't want to know that, did you?"

-- John Whitley (, December 16, 1999.

Very Special thanks to Lane for putting together an outstanding article.

Thanks PJC for the post.

-- snooze button (, December 16, 1999.

Great column, Lane. Thanks.

-- Mara (, December 16, 1999.

[public service anouncement]

The total energy release of a quake is not related to the localized effect. The localized effect is more on the order of amplitude, where as the total energy release relates to the area this amplitude affects. The 10x rule is more relavant to a person's experience of the quake at a single point. The total energy release to the effect over the total range of the quakes strike. Even then there are variations as can be seen in any area where the underlying soil and bed rock structures vary over the area affected.

Don't be such an @sshole about technicalities.

[Back to our regularly scheduled broadcast]

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), December 16, 1999.

One year for testing - the Year 2000.

-- Amy Leone (, December 16, 1999.


-- Jerry B (, December 16, 1999.

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