A Non Apology For BigDog: On FUD and TimeBomb 2000

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

BigDog, you demanded an apology from a while back for insinuating that TimeBomb 2000 was a forum where Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt was spread:

Flint, with your typical bias, you conveniently ignore the fact that Messing's post was replete with innuendo about FUD on this forum, agendas (apparently lots of the regulars here sell prep supplies, you see), etc.

But, then, you're so busy being "objective" that you never notice you have the biggest negative agenda of any regular on this forum.

Messing: Apologize for your post and I'll be glad to answer your question.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), December 20, 1999.

I will not apologize. Before I explain why I want to state flat out that not every prep supply merchant is a liar. Not every merchant will twist the truth to spread FUD so he can make another sale. Some prep merchants got into the business because they believed y2k would be disasterous and they really wanted to help others. But there is little doubt in my mind that some were willing to twist the truth in order to get new customers and make more sales. Does this mean that you should disbelieve anything a merchant says, simply because he is a merchant? Of course not. But it is a factor one should weigh in evaluating the evidence and opinions that he presents. There are many who post on this board who would discredit anything anyone in the banking industry says. According to their logic, a banker wouldn't tell the truth about y2k because it is not in the banking industries interest to do so. Therefore, anything a banker says is a lie. If a banker tells you that his bank is ready, it must be a lie--almost by definition. Do you doubt me? Think back on the bum's rush that the regulars gave Deano when he posted here. Also, attempts were made repeatedly to tarnish Mr. Decker's credibility by tying him to the banking industry. And it wasn't just bankers. If CEOs of industry said that they were ready for y2k---well, they had to be lying. After all, they wouldn't tell us the truth. It might hurt their stock prices, don't you know. And of course you couldn't trust anyone from the government. They wouldn't tell us the truth because they were afraid of panicking the sheeple. Now, you will agree with me BigDog, that there is a double standard going on here, won't you??? If we question the integrity of those in business, government and the banking industry, isn't questioning the integrity of prep merchants fair game??? Or would you have us believe that the only people in the world who will give us the unvarnished and unquestionable truth are the prep merchants???

Now, it is no secret that vendors do post here. I don't know what percentage of the regular posters here are vendors. I suspect it is a small percentage, but so many people post under assumed names it is hard to tell. You remember Greg Caton. Remember his Death Pool thread where he spread rumors about programmers who had a pool to bet on how many would die within the U.S? Remember that those programmers were betting that between 22 and 87 MILLION would die in the U.S. due to y2k? Greg Caton did not hide the fact that he was a soybean merchant who was selling y2k preps. Don't you think its possible that he was spreading some FUD? Couldn't he have been exaggerating just a teensy bit to make a sale? Now, here is the clincher: I haven't seen him posting much recently, but there are so many anonymous posters going under so many different handles. Isn't it possible that he could be spreading FUD anonymously? Is it possible, for example, that he could have been posting under another name: Homer Beanfang perhaps?

But Caton isn't the only merchant. We now know that Stan Faryna and Ron Schwarz are also prep merchants. They are calling each other unethical liars. I don't know who is lying, but it seems likely that someone is not telling the truth. It seems like someone might not be an ethical person. Isn't it possible that if someone will lie in his business dealings with another merchant, then he might not be beyond spreading FUD?

Prep Merchants aren't the only ones with an incentive to spread fear. Computer consultants who are out to milk the y2k problem for all its worth might also spread FUD. Here is an excerpt from Cory Hamasaki's April 23, 1997 Weather Report.

---------------The reader mailbox-------------------------- An email question came in: "A thought has just occurred to me. If many companies do let it [y2k repair work] go until the last minute and it does turn into a real crisis, the government may step in and limit theamount of money that computer people can charge for their services. I think they can do that if a state of emergency is declared. I am not sure but it would not surprise me if something like this happened. What do you think ?" Here're my stray ramblings: Can't happen. No one has figured out how to make someone do creative work under the lash. You can force a programmer to sit in a room, run his fingers over the keyboard but you can't force him to produce correct code. If they cap rates at, say, $30/hour, I'll spend 8 hours/day on moving code around aimlessly at $30/hour and another 8 hours at $300/hour really making fixes at a black market job. In fact, I'll do the black market job first while I'm fresh, and then go to my $30/hour job, put my head down and doze off. If they wake me, I'll say I was thinking. You can prepare now; start by telling people that you're developing a sensitivity to bright lights and squint a lot; after a couple weeks start wearing dark glasses in doors. Also train yourself to look at the monitor with your head braced in your hands. Do this when your boss is working with you. "Uh-huh, look at this routine, the mm/dd/yy is overlayed on the retention period." After a few months, you'll be able to sleep two or three hours a day and no one willnotice. If they put a cap on rates and try to enforce it, I'll write some pointless utility program, "If you want my $30/hour services for the next 6 months, you have to buy 'wink-wink' this valuable utility program for two hundred thousand dollars." You could even resell my REDWOOD program, if you do, send me two hundred bucks after they pay you the two hundred grand. It's not as if we're doctors juicing the medicaid system. We're technologists who sell our services to private corporations. Don't worry, when the dust settles in 2003, you will have a big sack of money. Plan on saving most of it, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is bigger than the microprocessor was in 1983, bigger than windows in 1989, this is big and all of us programmers have a good chance to grab the gold ring. If a programmer isn't a millionaire by 2003, they did something wrong. There's several ways to do it. 1) Form a Five Guys COBOL Inc. and do it yourself. 2) Go the 1099 consultant, hired gun route, charge what the market will bear. Get a new higher contract every six months or so. How to get started? Just doit, call Steve the Recruiter and start now. 3) Remain an employee but only for a company that gives you bonuses, stock equity, and save aggressively. You may have to change jobs a couple times to get your fair share. Be sure to negotiate for instant vesting. If they want you, they have to pay, and pay and pay. In the case of 1) and 2) be sure that the contracts state that your are providing service hours and not a guarenteed correct solution. In fact even as a 1099'er you may want to incorporate to limit your liability.

Here is another Cory gem from 1997 that indicates that he might just be building up the threat so he can exploit it for all it is worth:

But back to Y2K. I expect rates to be reasonable within 6 months. Reasonable means high enough that I can pay off my house and fund my pension by working until 2003. I hope to earn much, much more but my minimal expectations are: $120/hour by year end 1997. $150/hour 1998, and somewhat more in 1999-2003. Given that lots of tier 1 and tier 2 companies already charge those rates, this should be easy to attain.

Given Cory's All American Work Ethic, don't you think that maybe, just maybe, he might have been a touch overly pessimistic in his assessment in order to drum up business?

But Prep Merchants and Y2k Programmers aren't the worst offenders in spreading FUD. By far the worst, and the most dangerous, are those who were doing so in an attempt to spread fear in order to undermine the banking system and ultimately our system of government. Granted, we don't have the most honest politicians in the world and Clinton is a liar. But we are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone has the right to vote and post there opinions on the internet and in the newspapers. Perhaps these misfits don't like it here, but most of the rest of the people in the world would give their right arm to live here.

Yet, these people want to bring down the system. And they were willing to see millions of people die if that is what it took to do so. Is it not possible that those who would wish that others die because they don't like the system might be be spreading FUD to undermine the system?

BigDog, would you agree with me that only an EVIL person would want to see millions of people die just because they were skeptical of the Doomer message and did not prepare as thoroughly as the average TB2000 poster? There are such people who inhabit this forum. I tend to believe that they are a small minority of those who post here. I do not believe that they truly represent the views of you or Chuck or Diane. But they have been allowed to fester here with very little condemnation from any of you or from Ed Yourdon. That is unfortunate. As Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." As far as I know, the Sysops did not choose to censor, or even vigorously and consistently condemn the vile statements posted here. Yet, they see fit to delete on sight anything Y2K Pro or Lady Logic writes. Here is a double standard.

I will now repeat the list of statements that Y2K Pro has compiled. I understand that the Sysops will delete anything he posts on sight because he has been at times less than civil. Fair enough. This time I am posting it. I believe that I have always been fairly civil in posting to this forum. This is a test to see if the Sysops are really deleting his posts because they don't want HIM posting here or if they are deleting it because they don't want HIS IDEAS posted here. Are they trying to censor HIM because of his allegedly obnoxious behavior, or are they trying to censor HIS IDEAS because they do not fit into their world view? What does it say about them if they delete this post because they want to censor Y2K Pro's IDEAS, yet they let those who wish death to the Pollies go unchallenged? So without further ado, here is Y2k Pro's post.


Oh heck, since I'm still in the spirit of giving, it's probably time once again for a short compendium of statements made by some of the kind folks who populate this forum. If you are a newbie, this will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up - as it should - cause this is what they think about you! Notice how they love to fantasize about other people dying? Not a definitive list of course, but rather a small sample of the inherent evil that populate Timebum 2000 "Joeseph McCarthy, as it turns out was more right than wrong." Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), December 22, 1999. All those that didn't prepare are sinners and will enjoy eternal damnation. Infidel (Barbarians@thegete.net), December 21, 1999. "I AM SO SICK OF YOU LOW IQ POLLYANNA IDIOTS....YOU ARE GOING TO DIE IN 3 WEEKS, SO STOP SPAMMING UP OUR BOARD AND GO BUY SOME FOOD YOU LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!! " p.s. I hate you! Rational Doomer (doomer@big.time), December 12, 1999 "They will go away by slow painful death." -- wacko (gonewackie@aol.com), December 12, 1999. "THE CHEAPEST WAY TO OBTAIN NIGHT VISION EQUIPTMENT IS REMOVE IT FROM THE CADAVER OF U.N.FORCE MEMBERS AFTER THEY DESCOVER WHAT A FREE AND ARMED POPULATION IS CAPABLE OF!" rumpled foreskin (hillarysucks@lesbo.org), December 01, 1999. "Amen. That's how I figure I'll end up with my NV. And a new weapon or two. I know they don't want to come to Idaho. We're ready. anonymous (anonymous@anonymous.com), December 01, 1999. "Do I wish to see the present Federal governmnet completely disemboweled? Yes, absolutely" Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), July 05, 1999. "I hope ALL democrats die in Y2K. -- goldbug (goldbug@mint.com), December 07, 1999. "Another Polly is dead. Good riddance. The rest will follow shortly anyway when TSHTF." (its@coming.soon), August 15, 1999. "Just about any sacrifice is worth getting rid of it (federal government) and moving BACK to a Constitutional republic with extremely limited Federal government powers. Even if it means the decimation of the population. If the population is 'content' to live under this tyranny, then they deserve to be wiped out as a result of Y2k. They do not deserve to call themselves 'Americans' because they have not the first clue what an 'American' is." Paul Milne, August 1, 1999. "If the government becomes a tyranny, it needs to be destroyed. If the majority of those people support that tyranny, then they need to go too." Milne, November 7,, 1999. "I don't know about you all, but I'm right tired of the world as we know it....Can't wait for the sound of them cosmic keys jingling and that big voice boomin' across the skies, "Gentlemen....its closin' time." and the Spirit andmthe bride say, "Come, Lord Jesus!" Jay Urban (Jayho99@aol.com), November 01, 1999 "This culture offers us corporate slavery and snickers bars, two car garages and shiney chains. The people are such contented cattle they'll never wake up to the fact that we need a revolution.I pray that y2k will bring teotwaWki bad enough that we loose the trust that has enabled us to be so complacently enslaved.Our numbers are too high anyway,if our species is lucky it'll be a few billion dead and not just a few million.The species doesn't need you or me just enough genetic diversity to ensure survival.Maybe then our species won't suicide like it appears to be so eager to do." I pray for TEOTWAWKI (hopeful@doome.r), November 01, 1999. "I would like to know if us on the West coast will ba ablle to see New York City go down when the ball falls in time square?" Larry Lamb (gfmd@tgi.net), November 02, 1999. "As long as "diversity" (3rd-world immigration) and "multi- culturalism" (anything goes) continues the USA will continue to drift from being a Christian (like it or not) cohesive nation to New World Odor" Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), September 09, 1999. "People who want to survive Y2K should be prepared to kill." (its@coming.soon), July 27, 1999. "So, of course I want to see y2k bring down the system, all over the world. I have hoped for this all of my adult life." -- Gary North "Nobody gives a flying f*** what you pollies post anyway. Life is to short, quit wasteing your time. The gene pool will be cleansed soon enough." FLAMEAWAY (blehman202@aol.com), November 05, 1999. "To be honest, the first one that is able to rend the mainstream press mute, would be one of the greatest American Heroes since Washington." INVAR (gundark@sw.net), November 07, 1999. "The government "strategy" seems most suited to facilitating a 5 to 7 scenario. This is why I often root for a 9 or a 10. Time to thin the herd (flock), and hopefully take the shepherd, also. " A (A@AisA.com), November 25, 1999. "Klinton's plan is simple. He will turn out the power in NYC when the ball drops. Then declare martial law to stop the riots. Special UN troops will spread across the country burning and looting in each time zone as the hour passes and the lights are turned off. By Saturday noon, it will all be over. Better be ready for the resistance movement." NOWAY TOO MANY SPIES (AIN"TNOWAY@TODAY.COM), November 25, 1999. "Check www.garynorth.com under martial law. Klinton is ready to make his move using Y2K chaos as cover to impose UN control over America. Its guaranteed this was all predicted in the BIBLE and now it comes to pass! Klinton has ruined this country over past 8 years. Economically and socially the country is in tatters and depression, never has this country been in worser shape than now. No one can get a job, immorality and vice and drugs are everywhere. Klinton destroyed our armed forces, he even gave the atom bomb to Red China! And he did NOTHING about Y2K! Why? Because Y2K chaos is his chance to take over the country! Everyone knows this but no one did anything to stop him! Now Klinton, along with liberals and Jewish anti-Christian media are ready to make their move. Check out sightings. Check out troop movements of UN and NWO forces throughout the country. In San Diego they are building concentration camps. I saw them myself! UN vehichles are being stored in Texas. NATO troops have been sited in Modesto, making their move. Check our gary north for the details. And in 5 weeks the Y2K bug will devaste this country like nothing ever before giving perfect chance for,Klinton and Jewish liberals to make their move and enslave America and patriats. It has finally come to this. Get your guns, your beans and your Bibles out. When UN and NATO troops make their move be prepared to resist their satantic push for world domination. Ferret out all non-christian traitors. Lock and load, and close ranks!" Cal Talit (ctal@apple.com), November 25, 1999 The problem with tolerating polly's is that by the end of January they will be demanding that the government find our supplies and distribute them to the masses, And then we have to kill them. goldbug (goldbug@mint.com), December 12, 1999. BOOM, Y2K Pro, YOU'RE DEAD!!! You mindless, pathetic gov't robot. BT hehehehhe :) -- "Bible Thumper" (Y2K-Pro@is-govt-shill.com), December 12, 1999. Those who prepared will sleep safe in their bed, while those that did not will sadly be dead. -- (its@coming.soon), December 21, 1999.

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), December 29, 1999


I have already explained two double standards allowed here: The pollies were censored while the death wishes for the Pollies were allowed. Statements by banking officials were automatically suspect while statements from prep merchants went unquestioned. Here is a third double standard--the Doomers here seldom questioned Yourdon while they were quick to whip out their magnifying glass to find any possible flaw in Peter de Jager, no matter how small. Please, read my article on de Jager vs. Yourdon if you doubt there is a double standard. Make sure you click on the link toward the end of the article and you will see Ed Yourdon do some Fancy Dancing on his "New York will look like Beirut" analogy.

I have often wondered what goes on behind the scenes here. Whenever a Polly shows up with a logical cogent argument he or she is met with a variety of snide and rude remarks that have little to do with the argument. It often seems like the purpose of these remarks is to chase the Pollies away or to try to divert attention from the Polly argument. Witness the list that Ken Decker compiled. Stephen Poole was hounded off this board. Too bad, because he could have told anyone here why embeddeds were not going to be a big problem. Same with Paul Davis. In fact, Davis wrote:

I did my best to explain the embedded systems controller failure modes in simple English, and to totally debunk Bruce Beach's silly fantasies about RTC clocks.

For my pains, I was hounded by KOS and Old Git/Squirrel/whatever her name of the week is now, got emails explaining how I was MURDERING MILLIONS, got told all about how I was a damfool polly, was accused of being on the government payroll (which I am, I am a contractor to the Corps of Engineers, but that wasn't what they meant), was told I wanted everyone to be dependant on the government, got death threats because I did not let the BFI board die but helped find it a new home. And Will Continue told me I pulsate. WTF does that mean?

Need I go on? Want the documentation and proof of every one of those statements?

Look, people, I told the truth, and told you that the people predicting vast trouble from embedded systems were full of it. (I do expect to hear about some more startup troubles, BTW, but not much more than a normal days troubles) I got kicked all over the place, and not with reasoned arguements, with personal attacks.

So wondering why pollies came off as having a chip on their shoulders is just not kosher. We got treated like shit over here.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), January 01, 2000.

And Flint was hounded as well. It seemed that whenever someone posted with the voice of reason he or she was met with snide remarks and unreasoning ridicule, often by people hiding behind anonymous handles. It makes me wonder if there was a concerted effort to try to force those who knew what they were talking about off the board. And if so, why did these people behind the anonymous posts want so desperately for the Pollies to be gone? Perhaps some were genuinely concerned that the Pollies might influence others not to prepare. But perhaps they had a darker agenda. Perhaps their businesses would be threatened if people knew the truth. I don't know why these anonymous people behaved like they did. I suspect I never will.

And there were other tactics used to divert people's attentions away from the Polly's arguments. So often, someone would argue why embeddeds were not a problem or this or that aspect of y2k was being exaggerated and they would be met with retorts that had absolutely nothing to do with the argument. The most common one was Why are you against preparing? There were several variations on the theme. The most intimidating being Let's hold the pollies responsible for all the deaths when (not if) TSHTF Here are a couple of threads for you to look at to see examples of this


Taking names is a good idea: builders of internment camps beware!

If these posts weren't made with the intention of intimidating Pollies from posting here, I don't know what they were for.

But aside from the intimidation factor, the basic premise that Pollies were trying to discourage preparation was a lie. And I suspect that most of those making these accusations knew this was a lie. I don't know how many times I have seen Pollies state, both here and at Debunkers, that this was just not true. I have seen Pollies ask time and time again for those who accused them of dicouraging preparation to show them just ONE post to back up this charge. No one has ever been able to find a link to a post where a Polly said "Don't Prepare".

Another tactic often used is to post the mission statement of the forum as a rebutall to a Polly point:

"This forum is intended for people who are concerned about the impact of the Y2000 problem on their personal lives, and who want to discuss various fallback contingency plans with other like-minded people. It's not intended to provide advice/guidance for solving Y2000 problems within an IT organization."

This again is a diversionary tactic from the argument being made and is an inappropriate rebuttal for someone explaining embeddeds or debunking why a particular rumor can't be true. Yes, this forum is intended to discuss contingency plans, but in order to discuss contingency planning effectively you have to know what you are planning for. Most people would plan for the loss of their job due to a y2k-induced recession in a very different manner than they would plan for facing months without electricity. If I were faced with the imminent loss of a job I would be saving my money rather than investing it in a rifle with thousands of rounds of ammunitions and gold and months worth of food and a piece of land out in the country so I could be self-sufficient.

Ah, but I can here some people say that the food is not a wasted investment. It can always be eaten. True, but if I'm looking for a new job I may have to move and I would not want to have to cart around hundreds of pounds of rice and beans. There is another test of whether this is excessive. How many people would willingly invest in 6 months food if they didn't have the exaggerated y2k worst-case scenario hanging over their head? Will many people keep a rotating 6-month supply of food after the y2k crisis is over or will they let their stockpiles dwindle down to a more reasonable two or three week supply? If people answer that 6-months is an excessive amount to keep under normal circumstances, then this indicates that the excuse that it is not a wasted investment is a justification after the fact. Few would have prepared in this manner had there not been the fear-mongering. In other words, this has been a type of bait and switch. Bait them with FUD to support a worst-case scenario. Try and suppress any information that contradicts the worst-case scenario. And when the worst-case scenario doesn't happen then switch to the fallback justifcation.

Again and again I here the cry, "Who does it hurt if we prepare?" The answer is no one if you prepare in a reasonable fashion. But excessive and unnecessary fear has hurt a number of people. I am now seeing people regret spending so much money on their preps. Even more alarming was this thread where someone was willing to give their baby to an unknown stranger over the internet rather than give it to an otherwise acceptable family that just didn't Get It. You will notice that a poster named "A" called the parents idiots for not aborting their baby. Only someone who is excessively scared would think like this. And where did this excessive terror arise from? From the FUD that was allowed to fester here and on similar fora.

BigDog, have you ever wondered how many babies might have been aborted because of the uneccessary terror brought on by FUD? I hope not many. But FUD did not have to happen. There were experts like Paul Davis and Stephen Poole and Dale Way who said that the embedded problem was being exaggerated. But very few here listened.

-- Robin S. Messing (rsm7@cornell.edu), January 02, 2000


Gee, Robin, give it a rest.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), January 02, 2000.

You know, I didn't even bother reading that mess, because it smacks of 'I really need for somebody to acknowledge my superiority' material.

Move on, Robin.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), January 02, 2000.

Blah, Blah, BLAH!

This is what PRIVATE E-mail is for. Go Away.

-- (cavscout@fix.net), January 02, 2000.


-- (DELETE@DELETE.DELETE), January 02, 2000.

Wow! Another eye opener!

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), January 02, 2000.

Well Robin, your post must be on the money to upset these four dips. Keep those cards and letters coming folks!

-- Look (at@the.facts), January 02, 2000.

Robin, would you like to borrow some dental floss?

You have simply confirmed what we all knew, you need


-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 02, 2000.

Today Y2KPro has given a perfect example of why his posts were deleted. He isn't interested in contributing anything worthwhile to this forum. His only interest is in being as obnoxious as possible. He has continually posted the same thing over and over and over in a very childsih manner. Some of the other pollies are doing the same thing in a juvenile attempt to harrass the Sysops. Hopefully someday they will grow up and behave as adults should. I have no interest in what they have to say on their forum so I don't visit it.

-- Nadine Zint (nadine@hillsboro.net), January 02, 2000.

Although I suppose I might have perused it had you indulged us with some formatting.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), January 02, 2000.

Was this a homework assignment gone out of control Robin?

-- Porky (Porky@in.cellblockD), January 02, 2000.

Lisa, it seems apparent that the bluff you were pushing, that you were only here to get the unwashed masses to prep, was a lot of propaganda. Your continued boorishness in the face of the y2k fizzle makes me wonder exactly what you had at stake in all of this.

Up above, Robin speaks the truth and is met not with any type of explanation but an almost fraternity-like resentment. While you dislike the ideas denoted with the word 'cult', the responses speak volumes.

On another thread, you spoke about 'graduating to ' becoming a polly.

It seems you have a lot of schooling to go.

-- Bad Company (amused@shootingstar.com), January 02, 2000.


this rambling mess

-- Guy Daley (guydaley@bwn.net), January 02, 2000.


Thank you for your very inciteful post here. I've been a doomer - but that happens to have been my job...to look at the gloomier side of Y2K and make plans accordingly. I do, however, have a boss. He was polly. His job was to make sure that I stayed in the envelope.

I'll get flamed, but I don't care: if I had it to do over and had to assemble a team to plan for a possible catastrophy such as Y2K I'd have no problem including the likes of yourself and Ken Decker on that team. A balance of opinion and some "reality checkers" to keep me honest.

-- Darby (DarbyII@AOL.com), January 02, 2000.

Geeze Robin,

Don't take up writing as a hobby, you don't have the talent kid. If you want something you can handle, go to e-bay and start collecting beanie babies.

-- Mabel Dodge (cynical@me.now), January 02, 2000.

Could you please rephrase this in a few sentences? I don't understand what you are stating or asking. If you are looking for some sort of response from me, you'll have to be more succinct.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 02, 2000.

Robin, I gave up on this forum when it became apparent that the moderators weren't interested in allowing an open discussion about Y2k. Since that time the censorship in the NG has become more and more apparent. My advice is to let it go... Reality has caught up with the FUD and the merchants who used it to sell their products. Some merchants were sincere and some were only out for a buck. I hope that those who were out for a buck get taken to the cleaners for taking advantage of people for personal gain.

I'm suprised that this post is still here. I guess the censors are getting a little tired from deleting all the posts that they have had to delete in the past 3 days.

It's over...let it go. Probably, like me, you hope that the courts get to decide the fates of those who took advantage of the situation...

-- Bob Brock (bbrock@i-america.net), January 02, 2000.

Yeah, Brock, it's just AMAAAAZZZING how many attacks of various kinds on a whole host of people AREN'T being "let through", isn't it? Funny, it seems like there are hundreds of posts ragging on all those awful people who believed (and, in my case, still believe) Y2K impacts are up ahead. Including yours, just now.

Odd, why weren't they deleted by those terrible censors?

This deletion stuff has always been the biggest crock. Rick Cowles wisely and sagely deleted posts from the very start that were/are far less rabid than tens of thousands that can be read in the archives of this forum.

Your absence wasn't missed.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 02, 2000.

Good post Robin. Respectful and well thought out. Mara, Lisa and company immediatly provided perfect ilustrations of what you were talking about. I have leaned toward the doomer position but I think you have a good point.

-- JoseMiami (caris@prodigy.net), January 02, 2000.

Bob Brock gave up on us before I even got here??

And I bitch about our current pollies. Ingrate, I am.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), January 02, 2000.

Many good points, Robin. Thanks for posting it.

It's looking more and more like you "DGI's" were the REAL "GI's" all along, eh? ;-)


-- Jim Morris (prism@bevcomm.net), January 02, 2000.

Robin Messing, Bob Brock, And JoseMiami hit the nail right on the head.

I have friends and an ex wife that spent tons of money on preps. The ex asked me today if I needed any batteries or canned food, she's got a ton of both. It's disturbing that none of them would listen to reality, just FUD. I guess FUD keeps the money coming in for some, its just disappointing that people have to make their living off of other peoples fears, either real or imagined.

If this thread disappears from the forum, that will really tell, I hope Mr. Yourdon dosen't let that happen.


-- Jon (jon@home.net), January 02, 2000.

Jon, this thread will stay, partly for the record, and partly because it (asside from the Y2KPro compilation, more about that in a minute) has a point. doesn't make it real well, but that's ok because the point is there.

the threads and posts deleted were USUALLY deleted because they had no point beyond trashing a poerson personally, had no relevance or got caught in the crossfire of trying to leave a thread with some continuity.

Now, in ref to Y2KPro's little COMPILATION:

A MAJORITY of those posts (IIRC) date to BEFORE the current Sysop Team took over. they date to when this was essentially an UN- moderated forum to which ONLY Mr. Yourdon had keys. He was often busy, and ran things as essentially un-moderated. Also, those are the best effort he could come up with to show how horible the posters here are. Considering that the universe he could draw from numbers in excess of 300,000 posts, that is laughable. NOT the content, mind you, but the size of the sample.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 02, 2000.

Butt Nuggett,

Allow me to encapsulate for you....yes, I read the WHOLE thing.

Here's the major points:

1)We're supposed to feel responsible that Poole and Davis didn't have the hangy downy things to take flames. Never mind the fact that other pollies, such as Decker Hoffmeister, Cherri, & Anita S. stayed with it, without suffering horrible deaths, from TB flames. It's still OUR fault that Poole and Davis left.

2)Y2K pro is some sort of folk hero, to the debunkies, for spamming quotes endlessly, that most of us caught the first time around, when spoken by the original posters. Apparently the debunkies think that the ONLY reason we continued to be concerned about Y2K's ramifications was because we misread It's@Coming, and thought what he actually said was, "I love everybody and I'm a life-long registered democrat".

3)We were beastly, just BEASTLY, I tell ya, and we should all kneel and kiss Robin's ass now.

As a disclaimer, I should say that I did not include any direct quotes from Robin's post, but when you're trying to condense a whole novel, in to just a few brief paragraphs...well, some license is expected.

-- Bokonon (Bok0non@my-Deja.com), January 03, 2000.

Man o man!! Opening kick-off and the good guys run it back for a touchdown and everybody gonna leave cause the game's OVER???I ain't even got my uniform dirty yet!!

This game runs for 4 quarters, people. Sit down and WATCH fer gawdsake.

Night train

-- jes a tired ol footballer (nighttr@in.lane), January 03, 2000.

Lisa, I didn't give up on you. I gave up on the fourm. This fourm was not intended to be a place for open discussion. The only reason that I ever posted here to begin with was because the little aaa dude kept crossposting Milne's lies about me and I didn't want people here to think it was the truth. When the censors (Yup that incudes you Chuck and Diane) wouldn't allow me to defend myself without changing the posts, I gave up trying to defend myself here and stayed in the unmoderated CSY2k. No one runs to CSY2k because they are afraid of criticism.

Anyway, the sellers of FUD for profit deserve whatever they get. Unfortunately, I really don't think anything will happen to them. I can still hope though can't I?

-- Bob Brock (bbrock@i-america.net), January 03, 2000.

FUD? Food, underwear, diapers?

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), January 03, 2000.

Robin I agree about the FUD here (and I don't care if your post was a long read! Sheesh). It is the fear-mongering that led people into a 24-hr. a day preoccupation.

Speaking for myself, it would be one thing if it were just the money spent on purchases. As if that were not enough, it's the obsession and the time spent on it. I had file drawers of "internet research" on preps broken down by categories. Water, food, alternative energy, seeds, gardening, hardening your domicile, alternative medicine, etc. etc. gosh I spent untold hours on a crash course with all this stuff, to the neglect of my career and relationships. I laugh when people are now saying "Y2k isn't over! We could be heading for recession in in February!" This was NEVER about getting ready for a recession. This was about the infrastructure meltdown to come! A 5% chance?? 50% chance??? Nobody knew. People were scared shitless and heated up to a fever pitch over this.

Debunkers were right on the money to get us to question our assumptions. I lurked on Biffy and tried, really tried to get what they were about. But questioning my assumptions was something I kept putting on the back burner. No time, no time! Nobody knows what's going down.. gotta stay pumped, learning and buying, and get ready cause you never know when all the supplies will run out! And that ominous mantra "You are almost out of time..." (Anyone remember??)

The FUD-inspired "Prepping" was not simple preparing, which heck I could have done with a few well-composed to-do lists over a few weeks. I do live in earthquake country and no I am not ALL negative that I have all this "stuff" in the garage. I am a tinkerer by nature and enjoy learning about all kinds of things. Some of it's interesting and beneficial and good to have on hand, other stuff was a big waste. But I don't buy that "preps" is just insurance. It takes me what, one day? to pick out an insurance policy and write a check. We are talking about fear that took over people's lives.

I hope somebody someday chronicles all this.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), January 03, 2000.


When I first heard about the potential problems from Y2K I was afraid, but I stopped being afraid the minute I took control and started to prep.

I spent lots of time and money, while balancing a career, a home and a 20 year marriage. Yes it was tough but big deal, if disaster hits it could be much worse if I didn't prep.

If I'm lucky I may not have to deal with this problem but I'm in no way a victim of "FUD" because I choose to prep.

You're not a victim either Debbie, so stop whining and be glad that today your life was easy, tomorrow you may not be so lucky.

-- Mabel Dodge (cynical@me.now), January 03, 2000.


I'm surprised you are having trouble understanding it. I know you are a smart guy and a good writer. I also know that a number of other people on this thread did plow through this and understood it. I am sure that your reading comprehension is at least as good as their's and that you could understand it if you devoted the time and really tried. I know it is long (though no longer than many of Ed-Yourdon's mega-essays) and I will understand if you don't have the time to plow through it all. There are many, many other posts to read besides mine. I will try to summarize it a bit more succinctly when I get off of work tonight, but a summary won't do it justice. I hope that by then you will have had a chance to reread it and understand it so that I won't have to try to summarize it.


Thank you for not deleting this. That is a credit to you and the other Sysops. I will comment on your other comments tonight.


God gave you a brain. Use it.


-- Robin S. Messing (rsm7@cornell.edu), January 03, 2000.

I'll take a stab at a few elements here but I still await the Cliff's Notes version.

With respect to the other thread: it was/is easy now to claim that embedded systems were "overhyped" (I don't agree with that, btw) providing one buys the argument that Yourdon, for instance, was, as Hoffy continually charged, USING fear-uncertainty-doubt to profit personally and financially. That is, he "knew" or "should have known" that 'x' was hype and wilfully manipulated people anyway.

I'm not God, but I have zero evidence of that state of mind.

Yourdon's books and articles (I'm taking Yourdon as the example for obvious reasons and he was mentioned in the other thread) continually state that he could be wrong and that it was up to the read to make their own decision. Moreover, the book, almost uniquely, paints distinct scenarios for each sector, including scenarios that any polly can recognize.

True, Yourdon made a PERSONAL prediction in 1999 of Y2K's impacts. But it was clearly stated as such.

In the Y2K marketplace of ideas, Yourdon has ALWAYS been painted as a kook by the vast majority of commentators in the media and by many on this forum. His career and expertise have been attacked on numerous occasions (for instance, his book on American programmers). Readers of this forum, in particular, have been exposed to every possible counter-argument to his opinions that can be imagined -- and it was HIS forum!

Moreover, he apologized on at least one occasion when an early prediction about 1999 effects did NOT come to pass.

Call me clueless, I just don't get it.

As for DeJaeger, the man just earned $10M or some percentage thereof for a domain name. I have repeatedly defended that aspect of his activities (as well as everyone else who made a buck on Y2K).

Caveat emptor. This continual infantilizing of people in our culture is a far greater danger than whether DeJaeger is now a rich man. "Yourdon made me do it." The reverse is also true. It wouldn't have been Koskinen's fault if people didn't prepare - there have been a plethora of hard reasons for people to prepare based on their own decision-making. And, again, on this forum, all the counter-arguments to Koskinen were given.

OF COURSE, many people rue spending money on their preps, now that they THINK Y2K impacts are a done deal. That is the oldest, rawest story of human nature - regret and blame. And if cities had gone black, you would have had millions regretting that they didn't prep. What's the point?

Y2K has had expert disagreement on all sides - embeddeds, software remediation, market impacts, predictions, etc. I have never seen an event where the READER could draw on as many well-argued opinions on all sides. Again coming back to this forum, over the past six months it could well be argued that, despite the "horrid moderators", Flint, Hoffy and Decker had a field day arguing for minimal Y2K impacts and exerted far more ink on that than the "doomers". Not random posts, but WELL-ARGUED ink. I didn't agree with them and still don't, but agreement isn't the point.

The notion that this forum is some sort of entity that "knew" what Y2K impacts would be and "hid" them in order to "make money" is nutty. Let me put it this way, Robin: if you think that, you're as big a conspiracy buff as the worst NWO conspiracy buff here. There is no entity. There are a group of people who post a wild variety of opinions on just about anything (and here again, if "chemtrails" is the subject, you can also count on those people to be flamed unmercifully by those who think they're nuts = as it SHOULD be).

Again, I ask, what's your point?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 03, 2000.

One other subject -- prep merchants.

I have always opposed and often posted negatively alongside people on this forum who were trying to sell 'x' as vendors, especially "Minnesota Smith".

Stan Faryna does not own a prep business. He gives the profits from any purchases (and they were minimal) away. As you know, he has invited doubters to contact him and the women's shelter involved to verify this.

I did not know Ron Schwarz sold anything and, as far as I know, he had never mentioned that on this forum until he and Stan got in a fight.

I understand that this bothers you. Apparently, anyone who made a buck off Y2K both SHOULDN'T have said so on this forum (lest they were hustling something) but also SHOULD have (lest we might think they were "objective" about Y2K when they weren't). Huh?

So Stan is wrong. And Ron is wrong. Right?

I don't know how old you are, Robin, but I'm old enough to ASSUME that most everyone has something to sell, even if it's just their "agenda". God knows I have my own agenda. So do you and DerBoonkah.

I prefer it when people's agendas (cf Gary North) are right out- front. I like that about "cpr", the anti-North. That way, I can more easily sift and filter what they say based on their known goals. But life isn't that neat and clean.

Ironically, just as with the "prep merchants", the "regretters" want to have it both ways. IF Ed had actually changed his mind (remember the stupid debates when he stopped moderating the forum?), he would have been excoriated for it, just as DeJaeger certainly was (yes, by me too). It would have been "proof" that he had profited wilfully from people. Yet, Ed didn't actually change his mind. And now he is being excoriated again for his consistent conviction about Y2K! His consistency ALSO proves he was into "FUD".

"Ed, have you stopped beating your wife, yet?"

People are always telling doomers to "get a life". I've been blessed with a wonderful one. As for me personally, I haven't sold a single Y2K item, no, not one. If Y2K is a BITR, it means my entirely non-Y2K business can press forward with the most wonderful prospects for 2000 and beyond. I have always and only tried to analyze Y2K for what it is, given my own background and experience. No one SHOULD do less than that and no once can do more. Now, excuse me while I go live that life, whether Y2K turns out to be a "3" or an "8.5".

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 03, 2000.


Sounds like you're angry because everyone didn't do it the way you chose to.

And I take it that your fears are rational, while most others' are irrational -- right? Apparently in your view, anyone's fears about anything are automatically irrational if they extend to more hours per day than you would like to see.

-- eve (123@4567.com), January 03, 2000.

Well put Robin!

I think we need to redefine the 'GI' tag........:-)

BTW - I left my $$ where it's always been (that would be IN THE BANK AND PART OF THE AWFUL FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING SYSTEM...YIKES!!) and IT'S STILL THERE.....whodathunkit??!!

Where's Ol' Muf-Fer-Brains when you need a whipping boy??????


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 03, 2000.

If only I had a brain.......

Actually, I did prepare for a recession, and it cost me a helluva lot more than my '8' preps, but I also live in a temperate area.

I think I figured it out. Pollies got bullied as children and never got over it. Now have lifelong chip on shoulder.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), January 03, 2000.

Chuck, and the usual suspects . . . YOU miss the point.

When I started posting at TB2000 it was open season, as Chuck pointed out. The flames flew, but the debate was worth turning up for, and many people here of opposing views to mine at least held my respect (for what thats worth) for their ability to argue their side with some eloquence and taste. Many others were then, and remain now, out on a weak limb with nothing to hold on to but their own extremism. When the playing field was flat, there was less noise and more quality debate, as any of that era could testify.

As the censorship began, and then worsened, I and many others argued for a moderate policy for this forum over a period of months , (and this is where Diane, chuck and the rest of the team must take responsibility), and despite all efforts, it became clear that the extremists were being given a position of carte blanche, while those who wished to maintain the valuable and informative balance of views were slowly pushed away from this place. We failed in the attempt to persuade the moderators that they were winning the battle and losing the war. Possibly that argument never stood a chance.

For those who prepped within reason, and planned for a realistic level of disruption, the "grain of sand in the road" result will have come as nothing less than a euphoric release. I am certain that many moderates have been enjoying their best new year in living memory. I know I have. For others though, those same extremists, this will not be allowed to end. WHATEVER happens in the next 12 months, (just as in the last 12), nothing will shake their stance that TEOTWAWKI is around the corner.

Those people may or may not have an agenda. Personally, I believe (from email I have received off board) that most do. Others are simply misguided. But that is for another thread. The point is, for whatever reason, many months ago, the sysop team handed the reins of this forum over to those folk, and it is for that reason, if for no other, that they should ask themselves (and you should ask them) some serious questions.


Kind Regards to all, and a peaceful and prosperous 2000.


-- W0lv3r1n3 (W0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), January 03, 2000.

OK. The day, Y2K, Jan 3. I'm doing some simple web searches, wondering if there have been any disruptions at all in the financial industries (my current vertical market), because things are going even smoother than I thought they would here at work. Must be *something* wrong out there, right?

Then I followed some links to this site/forum. I didn't really know where the Y2K flames were being fanned before this, I assumed it must be the media, even though they never really seemed alarmist to me. Now I think I understand a lot more now about the Y2K phenomenon...

Basically, too much time spent reading newsgroups, fighting virtuality-based idealogical battles can BREAK YOUR B.S. METER!!! You stop being able to figure out that people like this North guy and those others area little off their rocker. I've noticed this even among a few of my co-workers, both here and at my previous job - they must have been reading sites like this all along.

Come on "doomers", most of you seem like you have a brain. Use it to fix that broken BS meter and get on with your lives.

By the way, if I had been taken by any of the Y2K vendors-slash- commercial-alarmists, I might be thinking class-action. You may not get a lot of cash back, but you could take away the houses, boats, whatever they bought with your bucks! (look out, Yourdon!) Actually, I liked Yourdon's articles in the trade rags and his "Decline and fall of the american programmer." I hope he gets back to what he was doing before becoming this Y2K messiah-type guy he seems to be now.

-- Shocked (amazed@you.people), January 04, 2000.

"Your Honor, I am participating in a class action suit against the federal government because they spent 50M of my money on a bunker in D.C., not to mention 15B on Y2K remediation when it wasn't necessary."

"Oh, by the way, I'm also participating in a class action suit against Ed Yourdon because he tricked and deceived me into spending 15 bucks on his book and 20 bucks on his video."

Is this a great country or what?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 04, 2000.

Thanks for the well thought out post Robin. You have several good points (which are lost on the pessimists). One has to wonder why it was okay for them to accuse others of having "blood on their hands" or "stopping people from preping" (or even funnier) being in the employ of the government. CERTAINLY there was no lack of name calling on the pessimists part....and it was okay for them. For roughly three years some of us have put up with the abuse...the taunting....all because we didn't "gi" like these pessimists did. Now, a little freindly ribbing is all it takes to set them into a tizzy-fit and a huff of defensiveness. Oy!

BD, I used to think you were thoughtful and all that. Now I think you were just shilling for Yourdon all along. Pity.

-- Abused Polly (abused@by.thedoomers), January 04, 2000.


It is hard to summarize this, but here goes.

You asked me to apologize for implying that this forum was a place where FUD was allowed to fester. I did not because the environment here has been one where FUD has festered. Those who may have had the best chance of stopping the FUD did little.

I pointed out a number of agendas and double standards that existed here that made the forum ripe for FUD to fester:

1) Not all prep merchants are liars who will twist the truth to make a sale, but some will. I pointed out that Ron Schwarz and Stan Faryna called each other unethical liars. I make no judgment who is at fault in there dispute. All I did is remarked that someone is probably lying and if one of them is lying in this regard then it is possible that he is also twisting the truth to make a sale. I also gave another example of Greg Caton, the soybean merchant, who told of a conversation he allegedly had with some programmers who were betting many millions would die in the U. S. I could also have pointed a finger to Mike Adams, the man behind Y2KNewsWire. He made hundreds of thousands of dollars off his site. I am also convinced he is a damn liar. Want proof? I wrote a very long critique of an article that Adams had written. Of particular interest was his description of a brochure issued by Pacific Southwest Bank. If you wish, you can read what he wrote about the brochure and what the brochure actually said in my critique Unfortunately, the link to the brochure itself is dead because I wrote the critique last May. But there is no way you could read the characterization of that brochure and the actual brochure itself and not come away with the conclusion that Adams is a liar. Is it not possible that Adams may be posting under an anonymous handle here to drum up more business?

2) In addition to prep merchants, two other categories of people had reasons for making the problem seem worse than it was. Y2k computer consultants (ex: Cory Hamasaki) and the misfits who hated the banking system and our system of government so much that they tried to bring them down through fear and rumors.

3) It is important to allow Pollies to argue their points in this forum as well as Doomers. The point of this forum is to help others prepare for y2k. But in order to decide how to prepare, you have to know what to prepare for. Would you agree with me, BigDog, that if no Pollies debated here, this place would be a pit of FUD?

4) The atmosphere of this place is hostile to Polly arguments. The forum treats a cogent, informative Polly argument like a body treats a foreign object, with antibodies. Picture anti-bodies surrounding and enveloping a bacteria in order to reject it. There are several flavors of antibodies in this forum.:

a) The Twister: One form of antibody twists an argument beyond recognition to ridicule it. See Bokonon's post above.

b) The Mosquito: An annoying little pest that snidely comments without offering up counterarguments or adding anything relevant to the conversation: See posts by cavscout, Porky, Lisa and Mara on this thread.

c) The Censor: See Guy Daley and Delete@Delete.Delete. This is the most perplexing catagory to me. I don't understand why the vehemence against the post and the desire to censor it. If Guy and Delete don't want to read it then there are plenty of other posts for them to read. I don't know why they want to prevent others from reading it. Makes you wonder what their agenda is.

d) The Ad Homenum: A viscous attack on the character of the poster without making any attack on the merits of the argument. For example, the following attack on B radley Sherman Granted, Sherman didn't have much of a point to debate against, but this type of attack was unwarranted.

Your "credentials" precede you, jerk.

But you already knew that.

What next? I'm surprised you didn't have Don Scott hanging on your arm as you minced into the forum.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), January 03, 2000.

bks's problem is that he has never really accepted the legitimacy of year 2000 rollover problems. He thinks it's all a big fairy tale.

I'm starting to wonder if he is just a fairy tail.

-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), January 04, 2000

e) The threatening posts: These are the most viscous and intimidating of all. They are the ones that threaten to hunt Pollies down and shoot them if it is TEOTWAWKI. I hotlinked to two examples of this, though I have seen many more.

5) There has been a double standard in that Pollies have born the brunt of the Sysop censorship. Even if what Chuck said about the censorship was true, it is interesting to note that there are no Doomers on the "Delete On Sight" list. There are only Pollies. However, Chuck is mistaken when he states that the majority of the posts on Y2k Pro's lists were posted before the current Sysops started deleting. The Sysops were deleting as far back as July 12, 1999. If you read Y2K Pro's list carefully you will see the majority are dated back in July. I deleted one of the posts from his original lists because one of the posters came over to Debunky to apologize. Since he repented, I saw no need to post it. But if you look at Y2kPro's original list, you will find that only one of the posts were written before July 12th. Twenty of the posts were written in November and December. So Chuck's analysis that Y2K Pro's list was compiled from posts written before the censorship began just doesn't cut it.

6) I also pointed out in my post that Doomers often try diversionary tactics to distract from the main point of an argument. A Polly could be talking about embedded chips or the state of the banking industry, and a Doomer would chime in out of nowhere "Why are you against preparing?" This was purely a diversionary tool since it had nothing to do with the argument at hand. It was also a lie. To my knowledge, no Polly has ever said that you shouldn't prepare for y2k. And I doubt you can show me a link demonstrating a Polly said you shouldn't prepare for y2k.

7) Dozens of stories from anonymous "insiders" told us that they had info that their companies were toast. Remember all those planted stories from insiders who told us about embedded systems that were planted at the bottom of oil wells that would end up toasting the oil industry? Well the stories were a lot of crap and someone was planting them. What was their hidden agenda?

To sum up, BigDog, you wanted me to apologize for insinuating that this forum was a place where FUD thrived. I will not do so. And now you know why.

-- Robin S. Messing (rsm7@cornell.edu), January 04, 2000.

News flash: Y2K has attracted intense debate between human beings at all ends of the spectrum.

Major news flash: the Internet is a "hot medium" that ramps up normally intense debate to a superheated level on all sides, "doomer" or "polly".

You focus on wounds "inflicted" on the pollies. Others focus on the wounds "inflicted" on the doomers.

Yawn. "It's still Y2K".

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 04, 2000.

Italics Off

-- Robin S. Messing (rsm7@cornell.edu), January 04, 2000.

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