Former Y2K Gurus Desperately Seeking Dignity : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Jan. 5, 2000 |

It's a pathetic sight. Like seeing former Wall Street tycoons selling apples on the corner after the Great Crash of 1929. But alas, that is the fate that awaits all the former Y2K gurus, experts and ill-advisors. As we mop up after a quiet noncataclysmic entrance into the year 2000, the only question left is whether the Y2K prophets of doom are the biggest fools of the last millennium or the new one.

Meanwhile, the defeated experts must be undergoing some assessment of the damage they've done and the whopping blunder they've committed. It is too psychologically brutal to face the stark truth that one's actions rank up amongst the highest all of human history's list of folly all at once, so now we laypeople can expect the Y2K doom gurus to try to salvage some shred of dignity--something positive-- from their kooky, alarmist, sky is falling rhetoric.

One line of spin control that these now fully discredited gurus are advancing is that they at least deserve credit for provoking governments, businesses and individuals to make all the necessary corrections and preparations which resulted in such a serene dawning of the new millennium.

Two thoughts about this last desperate grasp for respectability.

One. Y2K gurus, would you please refrain from speaking another word about Y2K? You lost--you got it wrong--it's over--why should anyone give your new interpretations and spin any more credence than your wacky original pontifications? Have your intellects grown sharper? Have your analytical skills blossomed within the last week?

Gurus, do us all a favor--just shut up. Close down your websites, shut down your discussion forums, turn off your word processors, crawl under a rock and live the rest of your lives exclusively in the presence of the few people who still love you. Your thought and opinions about public issues are of absolutely no value. And only a gigantic ego or warped hubris could lead you to think that anyone gives a rat's *&%$ about you opinions, especially your final "thoughts" on Y2K.

Second. The facts negate even this feeble attempt to restore dignity, or make your two years of fearmongering worthwhile. Now I know facts haven't been the Y2K gurus' strong suit--that's why they are in this mess--but gurus, sit back and listen to others for a change:

1) Most American businesses and governmental agencies were making plans to correct their Y2K software glitches long before you Chicken Littles first uttered or read the term Y2K. You gurus may as well take credit for the sunrise.

2) Around the world, many governments and business did little or nothing, with no apparent ill effects. If, over the next several months these governments and businesses continue operations without serious adverse effects, then the question will arise for all of us Americans--did we have to do anything?

The second thread by which these defrocked gurus are attempting to salvage some dignity is the fire insurance analogy.

It goes like this: I, [insert Y2K guru name], am proud of the fact that I made people think about this potentially life-threatening disaster. All responsible people want to be prepared in case of a house fire. As an insurance salesman, I helped my customers be prepared in the event that fire struck. No one wants a fire, and no one, including me, is disappointed by the fact that no fire occurred. I have performed a valuable service, just like a fire insurance policy salesman. I encouraged people to purchase a fire insurance policy, just in case. Many did. Thankfully, there was no fire. But my customers were prepared. For that, I can be proud.

This analogy is both flawed and inappropriate. First, again Y2K gurus, my best advice is for all of you just to shut up. My mama passed on to me an old adage: remain silent and others may think you a fool; speak and you may confirm it. You people have proved your mental numbness already, so don't try to fight your way out with your wits--you can't win a sword fight with a spoon.

First, the fire insurance analogy ignores these elements: What if the the fire insurance salesman told his customer that the customer's house was certain to burst into flames on January 1, 2000? What if the fire insurance huckster told the customer that he was certain there were canisters of gasoline embedded in the drywall and support beams, and the canisters were set to explode on January 1, 2000? What if a fire insurance con artist told a little old lady that he smelled the odor of gas in her house? What if a flim flammer told a newlywed couple that they had moved into a bad neighborhood, and thugs regularly roamed the block setting fire to the homes of newlyweds?

All of these dubious scenarios would get a legitimate fire insurance salesman arrested for consumer fraud. Licenses would be yanked. These were the methods of the Y2K gurus. Hardly a practice to be proud of, is it?

Secondly, the whole fire insurance analogy is inappropriate because house fires are an occasional hazard of home ownership. Over the course of a lifetime, X percent of people suffer a house fire of some magnitude. Y2K, unlike a housefire, is a unique, one-of-a-kind disaster--like having one's house crushed by a stampede of raging elephants. House fires are reasonably foreseeable, and when an insurance salesman knocks on my door, he doesn't have to convince me a fire is possible. I know that. His job is simply to help me weigh the risks and costs.

The Y2Kers were really selling elephant stampede insurance, not fire insurance. Therefore, they knew they had to put forth some sufficient proof that would convince regular people that their houses may indeed be destroyed by a herd of elephants. Few would shell out the bucks for such a long shot without some proof. The proof? The Y2Kers went door-to-door with a ziplock bag of elephant dung as "proof" elephants lived in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, many people bought the insurance without asking further questions. What the Y2K gurus conveniently left out was that the elephant dung had been shoveled up at the local zoo. There was too much money to be made to volunteer that crucial piece of information.

So, the next time a former Y2K guru whips out the fire insurance analogy, fling a little elephant dung into the conversation.

In conclusion, I encourage the defeated Y2K gurus to lay low and wait. Their opportunistic scam instincts will arise again. They'll be back hawking something within a year or two, if they opt not to retire on their ill-gotten gain.

Remember, Lucy can always talk Charlie Brown into taking another run at the football no matter how many times she pulls it away and he lands flat on his back. There's a great big flock of sheep waiting patiently for their next fleecing.

-- Mild Mannered Reporter (clark@super.duper), January 06, 2000


Wrong again. Peanuts is mysteriously disappearing from papers from Coast to Coast.

We Know Why.

-- PigPen III (, January 06, 2000.

I think you are being a little hard on them. It is easy now that it is over for you to throw stones. Did you say anything before New Year's Eve?

Yes, it appears that they were wrong. That does not necessarily mean that they lacked integrity or were motivated by money. By your standards, the U.S. government, the CIA, most of big business and Ed Yardeni were also wrong and therefore must have been hucksters trying to make a buck. Give me a break! It is not that simple. You a**holes coming out from under cover after the fact to point fingers, assign blame and to attack public figures with annonymous emails MAKE ME SICK!!! Do you know where you can put your pointing fingers? Yeah! you guessed it, up my hairy .....

oops, I got a little carried away there. I guess I ignored my own advice to wait and see and not use vulgarity. Sorry folks. its just that these A**HOLES ARE STARTING TO PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!1

-- JoseMiami (, January 06, 2000.

Jose, can you see?

-- Bob Dole (, January 06, 2000.

"By the dawn's ea-r-ly light!"

Hey Bob, I just want you to know that I voted for you man! Now that the truth has come out, it is clear that we would have been better served with an impotant president than the one we have. Besides, Elizabeth is cool.

Now I am getting silly....

-- JoseMiami (, January 06, 2000.


Understood, but don't let them get to you. These are cowardly, ignorant individuals who relish taking "pot-shots" at others. Personally, we're less than a week into Y2K. Even Gartner has admitted that 55% of Y2K errors will occur THROUGHOUT the year 2000. Only 10% of the errors would occur during the first TWO WEEKS of 2000.

Any who would cry that "we won! We won! Nothing happened..." hasn't looked at the links that have been posted and are extremely premature in the judgements, not to mention exceedingly immature in the voicing of their opinions.

Immature and extremely anti-social in nature, these trolls are.

-- Deb M. (, January 06, 2000.

Goodness, what an angry viewpoint.

Doomers, you've been effectively sidelined, apparently. Either companies were so smart that they were working on Y2k before anyone suggested it, or they were so smart that they never worked on it at all. Not sure who in the company first suggested working on it, since that would make them a doomer and therefore invisible. Did I get that right?

So far so good. The lights stayed on, and we're waiting to see how the big databases do. Personally, I'm not optimistic at this point. But this mild-mannered reporter (note that that's self-reporting, always suspect) is telling you how lifeboats were a waste of money, while the ship is still scraping on the iceberg.

By March we'll know more.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), January 06, 2000.

Coward? Ignorant? Look you dumb ass - I gave my arm in Italy fighting the Facists. One thing you can't call me is a coward you puts. What do you have to show? Ignorant - I'll test my intellect against you any day big boy!

Also, I got a hard on that will split wood!

-- Bob Dole (, January 06, 2000.

You know, he/she really should have listened to his/her momma's advice.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), January 06, 2000.

This article, written by Marty Lasley, is an eloquent description of the fleecing of the Doom stooges. Understandably, said Stooges™ will not be impressed by his prose, although I though it was a bit understated.

How long will it take for some Tinfoil to start shouting "delete, delete!"?

-- Galoot (, January 06, 2000.


Millions of U.S. and international small-medium sized businesses and global corporations that have not completed Y2K updates and testing may be in store for a reality check beginning January 3rd.

Y2K expert Bruce McConnell articulated clearly that there would be few if any immediate serious disruptions anywhere in the world when computer clocks transitioned into the year 2000. Any view point which claims victory over this serious technology problem, by pointing to the non eventful transition that was predicted, is presenting a distorted picture of the reality which will impact the functional capacity of all computers with non Y2K compliant operating systems and software.

According to experts at the International Y2K Cooperation Center, the full impact of the year 2000 technology problem would be largely hidden until mid-late January. The [Gartner Group] estimates only 10 percent of all Y2K failures will occur during the first two weeks of January, leaving approximately 60 percent of failures to cascade through 1Q 2001.

For continual news updates on the Year 2000 technology problem, visit the Humanitarian Resource Institute Global Y2K Infrastructure Risks Web Site:

Overview of Y2K Glitches & Failures Worldwide: http://www.humanita

-- (here's@counter.point), January 06, 2000.


In Monty Python's movie "Life of Brian", a follower of Brian justifies his loyalty to Brian with the following quote - "of course Brian's the true messiah - I ought to know, I've followed enough of them."

If what you refer to as stone throwing causes some to review what led them to put credence in the predictions of the self-proclaimed experts and the incredibly erroneous predictions, then perhaps some real benefit will come from this fiasco.

As a utility insider doing Y2K work, I experienced the stoning BEFORE the rollover in the form of accusations of lying, covering up, and spinning. Most utility folks had it much worse than me, Lane Core followed some utility engineers websites around belittling each post as lies and PR press releases. I'm not a believer in turnabout is fair play, but to a certain extent gross error calls for accountability. I certainly would have been held accountable if I WAS WRONG in my assessments.

-- (, January 06, 2000.

D Marty Lasley (mild mannered reporter's source):

Excuse me but could you explain me the following sentence:

"If, over the next several months these governments and businesses continue operations without serious adverse effects, then the question will arise for all of us Americans--did we have to do anything?"

"If". Did I read "If". Let me check that again. Yes it says "If".

You mean you don't even know what is going to happen and you are lambasting those who are willing to put their money where their mouth is and their repuation on the lines, and you don't have the gall to do the same.

Give me a break.

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), January 06, 2000.

"eloquent description of the fleecing of the Doom stooges"?

Did you mean to say that the doom stooges had been fleeced? Or did you mean that the doom stooges DID the fleecing? If you think they were fleeced, how does that differentiate them from any other kind of stooge who can be fleeced, such as people who watch the shopping networks? Perhaps you meant fleecing BY the doom stooges.

No, it wasn't eloquent, it was sophomoric. The writing is shoddy, filled with sentence fragments and sloppy punctuation. The attempts at logic are ludicrous; his critique of the insurance analogy is laughable.

This is not reporting, it's a childish diatribe. I'm almost curious to know what other reading you find worthwhile. Not quite, but almost.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), January 06, 2000.

for the exceptionally ignorant among you (most i agree) MMR didn't write this, duh.

-- doyousee ( look), January 06, 2000.

Mr. Lasley need look no further than this thread to understand the dynamics of the Y2K fleecing. On the surface it would appear that the zombie posters such as BW and DEB M are somewhat reasonable people. In reality, they represent the doomer mentally (or lack thereof) that allows the Yourdons, Norths, and Hyatts of the world to gather around them the weak of mind. What will you people do when your gurus are gone and you are left with nobody to lead you into the abyss?

-- Look (at@the.facts), January 06, 2000.

Sounds like ol' "bw" was one of the fleeced. Perhaps that is why it is so displeased?

-- Galoot (, January 06, 2000.

"Zombie poster" makes me laugh, thanks.

No, I don't think I was fleeced. We're facing a 9 earthquake here, and we urged people to prep for Y2k, earthquakes, the next eruption of Mt Rainier, you name it. We and our neighbors are pretty pleased with the current level of preparedness. We are scheduling our next preparedness activities as if Y2k weren't even in the picture.

Personally, I can't wait to put Y2k behind us. I've worked on it for 5 years (and have been a programmer for 25) so I certainly see the risks. But I have a book to publish (which is being well reviewed so far) and nobody's going to buy it if they're busy eating their neighbors. My greatest fear (last year) was that it would be printed in 1999 and then the copies would be shipped to Minnesota to burn for fuel!

So far I'm delighted, not displeased. As for "weak of mind", well, my friends would all agree with you, but they seem to like me anyway.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), January 06, 2000.

I posted a link to the original of this same article which I see was just deleted. I did not use profanity or harang anyone. In fact, my post had nothing but a link to the article which was the subtitle of the article.

Is there a standing policy to delete duplicate posts? I was not aware of this.

I was a quasi doomer 6 days ago. I have converted my house to propane, bought a generator, stored food, water, batteries, alternate lighting, medical supplies....

I was dreading the rollover, and have had a hard time adjusting now that we are past it to the idea that I appearantly bought the doomer line without a critical enough analysis.

For some reason, I think I wanted Y2K to be serious. I am not sure why. On the other hand, I was afraid of what was coming. I am just being honest. I am disturbed by this, and am trying to get to the bottom of the roller-coaster ride I just took.

I found this article by going to Russ Kelley's site and following links from some of those listed as experts who got it right. There were other voices out there saying that it was going not going to be a big problem. Why was I not willing to believe them?

I am doing some heavy soul searching to try to learn what lessons I can from the experiences of the last 18 months to 2 years.

Could it be that we have met the sheeple, and they are us????

Think about it, if your pride will let you.

-- Prepped Putz (, January 06, 2000.

:) Anyone know what the trend analysis shows? Still waiting for that report.

-- Michael Erskine (, January 06, 2000.

Hey Mild Mannered,

You are anything but!!! I think you must be either a troll or an idiot.

WHERE WERE YOU before January 1?? Why weren't you proclaiming to this forum, President Clinton, Major Corporations, etc., that we were all wasting our money on Y2K.

It is so easy to see clearly with 20-20 hindsight. Where was your clairvoyance last week, idiot???

It still ain't over, but you, fatso, are singing early.

-- No Polly (, January 06, 2000.

I have one for the pollies, six months from now, check to see if the lights are still working, if the water works are still working, and see if you are still working, and then give us your views.

-- Notforlong (, January 06, 2000.

Mild mannered--

You spew a lot of bull. You are nothing less than irresponsible--are you proud of that?

-- Prepared Peter (in, January 06, 2000.

I want to announce this publicly: Ed Yourdon, one of the gurus of which you speak, is a sweetheart and shows real class, unlike those who have the knives out for him. Besides, do I hear any criticisms of Leonard Nimoy? He played narrator to the video "The Family Survival Guide to Y2K." Even Koskinen and Horn were interviewed in that one, and they didn't sound that optimistic, either. If I remember correctly, they were very concerned about the power grid staying up, and they said so. God bless ya, Ed. Y2K or no, your advice regarding economic disruptions is still sound and useful.

-- Marie (, January 06, 2000.


You are hysterical... "...zombie posters..." PLEASE! Hello! What I most appreciate is that I took the RESPONSIBILITY to be prepared for what might POSSIBLY happen. I took the RESPONSIBILITY to research the information for MYSELF instead of having disinformation spoon-fed to me by CNN.

"...gather around them the weak of mind..." Excuse me? How would you explain all of those who fall prey to the fearmongering "Do you have enough insurance?" schemes, "Buy tires because your family's safety depends on it..." Michelin commercials, high-pressure "gotta have" sales such as QVC, Home Shopping Network, etc... on cable. How about infomercials? How about the investment ads, especially with an hyper over-evaluated stock market???

There is a great deal of difference between Yordon, etc... and the "normal life" you espouse. At least Yordon & Co. have been trying to have us think for OURSELVES and do what is best for US, not spend our money on useless materials that fill up large corporate coffers and doesn't improve our life in the least. Corporate fleecing have been going on for decades and floods everyday life with these pathetic messages. Personally, they are the enemies as they don't care WHAT happens to us, so long as they can take our money.

You see Look, many Doomers are willing to make their OWN decisions, about what is best for them LONG-TERM. Short-term thinking, influenced by massive doses of GREED are clouding many pollies and trolls. Doomers are prepped for almost ANYTHING that might harm their family, and that is not foolishness. Being a fool is living paycheck to paycheck and not having a "safety net", which is what many mainstreamers do, I know because that's how I used to live, BEFORE I GI'd.

So, to me, there is no decision to be made. I have seen what "normal life" entails and it leaves me cold - there is no critical thinking involved, just hedonistic impulses and greed - definitely nothing good for humankind in the long-term. I am a rational adult and fully capable of making judgements, based upon sound critical thinking practices, and so I reject what the mainstream tries to push on me.

Think long-term and maybe you'll wake up.

-- Deb M. (, January 07, 2000.

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