What was your worse fear?

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

I have been wondering what it was, back when you first became aware of Y2K, that tipped the scales and caused you to become concerned.

Was it the idea that business computers might mess up, causing all kinds of problems in information technology? Was it Power and water? If so was it the mainframes or the embedded that had you convinced that power generation and distribution and sewer/water systems could mess up?

Was it something that happened, like the sewer overflow, or Olympic pipeline explosion that was the final straw?

Was the fact that chips were in everything and it was not known which would fail that did it?

Had you been worried about certain things before Y2K and reading about Y2K re-inforced those concerns?

Were you more worried about the financial/information aspect or the infrastructor/physical problems?

When you first "got it" did you experience that sense of unreality, with the fight or flee reaction or did it creep up on you slowly, causing you to be more worried the more you learned?

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), January 25, 2000


All of the above.

-- Earl (earl.shuholm@worldnet.att.net), January 25, 2000.

That the system would collapse and the polly-trolls would come out of the woodwork for real ...

-- nightmares (on@elm.street), January 25, 2000.

How much is this pyschiatric session going to cost me, Doc?

-- TM (mercier7@pdnt.com), January 25, 2000.

The embedded chips in the limo would crash and Hans wouldn't be able to get fresh croissants!

-- James (brkthru@cableone.net), January 25, 2000.

Was concerned that something very big was happening, globally-- unprecidented in the planet's history--and that unless we uncovered what it was, and how it could impact everyone, a LOT of people could be hurt... financially, economically, and physically... especially unprepared communites and vulnerable populations.

Preparation for unknown, yet global impact, seemed the only prudent response. That doesn't change, IMHO, as we move into the future of world- wide events, that have the potential for local economic and lifestyle impact.

Cherri, ask youself...

"IF no one, anywhere, globally, had become concerned about Y2K repercussions in their organizations and countries... what would the global picture look like now?"

Questions to ponder.

Lessons to learn.

How do all the puzzle pieces fit? In 10 years time... the millenium historians might be able to figure it out. Or not.

What am I now convinced of?

That renewable energy and sustatinable business practices are "what works" for an interconnected planet... now and going forward. Oil/ gasoline dependence isn't "smart" strategically or ecologically.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 25, 2000.

That if things got really bad and we had to go to a shelter,

YOU would be on the floor next to us.

-- Johnny (jljtm@bellsouth.net), January 25, 2000.

That nothing major would happen in the first couple weeks, then every polly would come out of the woodwork saying "I told you so!"

All those that did prep let off their guard a little and then WHAM! A a major winter storm pummels the Eastern US. All hell breaks loose. Markets drop like a rock, oil and (soon) gold through the roof, supply chains disrupted by rising oil prices and lower availability, random database errors occur everywhere, unexplained power and telephone outages, and nothing was caused by Y2K at all.

Hypothetically, of course. :|

-- Powder (Powder47keg@aol.com), January 25, 2000.


-- Amy Leone (leoneamy@aol.com), January 25, 2000.


To be honest I really didn't think that the management types would take the problem seriously enough to commit the required resources to fixing the possible problems. My thirty plus years of experience has taught me that programmers, analysts, Database Administrators, Operators and other low level workers would pitch in and do their best to fix everything they possibly could if (big if) management would provide the resources.

I am doggone happy that we have done so well so far, but I am not sure that we are out of the woods yet.

Many Thanks to you remediators out there.


-- wally wallman (wally_yllaw@hotmail.com), January 25, 2000.


What tipped the scale for me was the possibility that the date on my PC may be incorrect, and the spreadsheets that I'd slaved over would be "toast."

A collapse of the IRS was also a big fear. I feel much better now.

-- No Polly (nopolly@hotmail.com), January 25, 2000.


I did not have fear for myself since my husband and I are highly trained in survival skills. But I was concerned for my family, who lived in a cold climate, in case of power outage. So, I guess you could say, I had fear for them since they are up in years. This really bothered me.

I am not a Doomer, although I can certainly understand why somebody would be. Preps made good common sense, in our opinion, based on our analysis of the information from both outside and inside sources. But, we already had most of them on hand anyway...we just added a little more along the way.

I would surmise that most of the fear people experienced was fear of the unknown. There were many concerns behind the smiling faces people saw on TV New Years Day, and a big sigh of relief could be heard beneath the fireworks and orchestration.

There are many who feel we are not out of the woods yet...top level orgs are still monitoring systems and making adaptations here and there. It appears to be manageable, but this is just my perception which is limited at this point. I intend to keep an eye on this throughout the entire year. I think we will have a better assessment at that time. I'm not a computer expert, but I have been trained to observe patterns--I'm keeping my eyes wide open. QQ

~Dee =)

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 25, 2000.

Diane, so it was not knowing what was going to happen and how bad it would be, especially globally that created the most concern?

Was there a time when you went from believing the USA would fail, to the USA being pretty OK, but other parts of the world falling into chaos?

That if things got really bad and we had to go to a shelter, YOU would be on the floor next to us.

-- Johnny (jljtm@bellsouth.net), January 25, 2000.

But Johnny, I have experience in "living off the grid"> I can even chop wood!

My Father was explaining to me the other day how to turn a 50 gallon drum into a wood stove for a home.

There are so many things people have learned because of preparing for Y2K that they will use for the rest of their life.

It's just too bad they had to be "scared" into learning them.

At least things have not turned out so bad that we had to do some of the things we mifgt have had it turned out really bad, such as "stitch up" a bad cut ourselves because there weren't any medical personal around. *grin*.

Come'ere Rufus, Lemme get my darnin needle and sew that cut up for ya!

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), January 25, 2000.


There was not one, single, soul-rattling article, realization or whatever. I work during the day in I.T. When it's all untimately in your lap, it can get hard to not realize how unbelievably complex even small to mid-range system and applications are. So does developing applications (design, programming, installation, support -- the whole cycle). Made for a useful perspective to really mull over JIT's vulnerabilities.

Reading about experiences of those in Ontario during the last Solar Max caused a few eye-blinks, ditto exeriences of those folks in those areas during more recent years' ice storms. Gary North's preface caused some more. Ditto some of Don McAlvany's newsletters' contents. Please understand that critical evaluation of what I am told has long been a deeply ingrained habit. Guess I went through a series of those 'thousand yard stares'.

Knowing I could not trust current governments' 'spin' was certainly a factor.

One bottom line was that doing nothing about, e.g., electricity, constituted a direct threat to my loved ones' lives.

One final point: in my view, this (set of periods of overlapping vulnerabilities) isn't over yet, not by a long shot. y2k's (vis-a-vis systems, control systems, etc.) effects will probably be both compounded by and obfuscated by 'spin', Solar Max, political power plays and mischief, ... We may be seeing oil refining and transportation problems complicated by JIT inventory practices. We have yet to see large systems' accounting and financial month-end rollups go successfully. We have not seen Solar Max perhaps play havoc with communications. And, oh boy, the whole set of international political power plays.

Will any one thing bring 'us' down? If it gets to 5-level or worse, my bet is that it will be a confluence of the above.

Dee makes a series of very, very good points -- one may be that being trained in survival sklls helps lessen the doomer-factor a bit. We had some darn serious scrambling to do, with very limited dollars (aren't they always).

-- Redeye in Ohio (cannot@work.com), January 25, 2000.

For those of you that took this bait and answered it honestly, I certainly hope that you don't find your heartfelt comments as fodder for ridicule over at DeBonkers. I believe that was the only purpose for this post.

-- doubtful (about@intentions.com), January 25, 2000.

Ah, Shakey, Cherri's not so bad, once you get to know her a little! :)

Cherri, I'll be pontificatin' aplenty in a different venue, but the nuclear possibilities--as in Russia and China--were a bit worrisome for me, especially during the Kosovo situation. I was relieved when I learned the U.S. and Russia were talking again about "joint monitoring."

And--one moment I'm not likely to forget: On New Year's Eve, a reporter stationed at Pete Field (the site of the joint American- Russian monitoring team) was asked by an anchor about what information would be forthcoming from the team during the evening.

She responded with something like, "Well, they'll be willing to tell us what cities have been targeted, and the estimated time of impact, but they won't tell us anything about how the U.S. might respond."

My reaction was, "W-H-A-A-A-A-A-T-T-T-T!?!?!?!!" I mean, I heard the question, I heard the answer and in neither was there any mention of the word "if."

There was another communications gaffe later in the evening, when the Russian missiles launched, but that's a story for another day.

Well, there ya have it. 2 cents from a member of "the duck and cover" generation. Maybe worth what you paid for it.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), January 25, 2000.

"I have been wondering what it was, back when you first became aware of Y2K, that tipped the scales and caused you to become concerned."

I first became aware of the potential roll over problems in 1984 in Byte Magazine. My concerns peaked in June of 1998 and I began "upping" my preparedness levels at that point. It wasn't any "computer" related event(s) I feared but that folks hostile to the U.S. would find the year 2000 a compelling time to make a "statement" and attempt to upset our applecart here. I'm much more concerned about terrorism than any computer glitches.

I've been prepping to one degree or another for over 20 years. Part of this has to do with our "non-sustainable" society that is dependant on good times. My concerns over the years include agriculture, energy, the spread of disease and social conflict. Nothing has happened to ease any of these. Many feel that with the break up of the Soviet Union that we live in a safer world...exactly the opposite is the case. Y2K just provided a focal point for these concerns and might be/ have been the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back. We'll see...the year is young yet.

Still honing my preps in Nor-Cal...DCK (not a "doomer" just prudent)

-- Don Kulha (dkulha@vom.com), January 25, 2000.


{can't believe nobody beat me to it! Where are ya Boks, Steverino?}

-- flora (***@__._), January 25, 2000.

Space Cadet,

The government types I know would give you the shirt off their backs. They have families, pets, etc. just like everybody else and most of them work hard and do the best they can, just like everybody else.

Maybe you've been watching too many movies. Not saying there isn't good and bad in every organization...and some have made mistakes, (just like everybody else) but most I know are good people.

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 25, 2000.


I'd bet you've never endured a randomly administered IRS audit/inquistion. When you have, it will completely change your opinion of a faceless, indifferent, bureaucratic gov. accountable to no one.

-- Space Cadet (ricki@flight.skool), January 25, 2000.

Space Cadet,

A bad experience is capable of molding and shaping one's perception.

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 25, 2000.

its 'worst' not worse.

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), January 25, 2000.

it's it's not its

-- itz (nitz@bitz.ditz), January 25, 2000.

I still fear our general surrender of self reliance to delicate and vulnerable systems. I also fear that our veneer of civilization is a very thin cover for the turbulent beastiality of mankind. Wound such beasts with deprivation and all purported reverence for the lives of others vanishes.

-- Self Reliant (ready@home.now), January 25, 2000.

My greatest fear, during Y2K or any year, is a healthy fear of and respect for Almighty God. Lack of such fear is what has got the world in the awful mess it's in now.


-- Y2Kook (Y2Kook@usa.net), January 25, 2000.

Cherri [or Cherri's because I'm not convinced that you are one person].

No worst fears. Fixed my computers in the middle of 98. I am expanding my fruit and nut supply [not for Cherris] but for wildlife [that may include the Cherris; I don't know]. I am beginning to change management for wildlife increase [not that is really important with our wildlife increase]. Will build two or three new ponds this year. I have a lot of mature chestnut trees [american and asians]. I will increase those this year [SK will bless me].

That is the way it goes if you don't live in Seattle:

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), January 25, 2000.

Was there a time when you went from believing the USA would fail, to the USA being pretty OK, but other parts of the world falling into chaos?

Dear Cherri,

If you read the archives, I was always a 5, and a die-hard middle- grounder (although my 10 was also global thernuclear war). As an optimistic realist, just prepared to go camping at any time, am trained in survival skills, and am *still* living on California shakey ground! Chances are, you never grew up back-packing into the High Sierra wilderness, or know how to kayak a wild river? Lends one perspective... and creates an extreme appreciation for hot showers.


I NEVER believed the US would fail, or other parts of the world would "fall into chaos" per se... your assumptions... not mine... as is the label Doomer yours... not mine. (The U.S. could stand some very real transformation, however).

Was greatly relieved when the grids stayed up at the rollover. Ah... I thought... so its now on to the slower shift in supply chains and economic impacts. That said, I thought AND STILL THINK our greatest impact will be economic... locally, nationally and internationally. That story will unfold by April. Or not.

Time and tide will tell.

Meanwhile... Ill eat my preps, and add to them, thanks.

*Mona-Lisa Smile*


(Luckily, need to water-proof my hiking boots this week, rather than wear snow shoes like upper to mid east coasters)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 26, 2000.

Since my husband is diabetic and quite dependent on insulin, and his glucometer (dates) I was concerned when I found out how ill-prepared Medicare was at that time. Something like 70% of insulin is produced in one factory in Norway, as I recall, and other areas of the world were less prepared than we were. Without insulin, glucometers, needles, my husband, who has been diabetic for 29 years now, could be dead in a short time

I was never really afraid, but wanted to be prudent, in the event that some of the situations mentioned on the 'Net occurred. Even the most knowledgeable people (Dale Way, Peter de Jager and of course Ed Yourdon) were concerned and didn't know what the outcome would be.

In my opinion, everyone was wrong if they stated that specific things would happen, on both sides. Even the most optimistic thought more would go wrong than has (so far).

The only ones who haven't been humbled are the ones who thought it was a hoax. Their time is coming.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), January 26, 2000.

I gotta say my biggest fear was living w/in 500 feet of a Chemical Company. Also, being an excessive/compulsive shopper, the more I bought, the more I had to have!!! Flew my sister in from San Diego Ca, so she and her children would be safe and bought over $100.00 worth of diapers for my neice!!!LOL...Also afraid government was lying about everything....Still believe they are....The more I learned,heard, etc....the more afraid I became. Now I have learned to let go and let God, cuz it really doesnt matter much anyhow, as I have came to believe there is not much I can change anyway. Was glad so many here were willing to help though. Did give me a greater belief in humankind.

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), January 26, 2000.

Since you asked:

I became aware of y2k problems in late 1998, and I was terrified; I felt I could not trust the government (and still can't, too many half truths(Vietnam, Watergate, I did not have sex with Monica and pork barreling etc.). Therefore, I used the internet to gain as much information as possible. There was so much conflicting information, I decided to err on the side of caution and prepared accordingly.

My biggest fear was public panic/social chaos; civilization is a thin veneer that can erode under stress. Usually lawful people could have become barbarians if water/sewer systems, power supply and JIT delivery systems stalled for any length of time. I could visualize my home filled with people needing shelter. I thank God this did not occur.

I'm not certain that it's all over; oil problems reported on the net are still causing me to be concerned. I'm still trying to decide if it's normal for this industry to have this many problems or are the problems just more focused on.

-- Rose (only rose please) (r.1@juno.com), January 26, 2000.


No, I went backpacking and camping on Mt. Rainier.

Your Momma wears Army Boots? Or did? :o)

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), January 26, 2000.

#1 - Power

#2 - OIL

#3 - Business IT systems

Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), January 26, 2000.

She wore hiking boots... after... getting her Air Force wings in WWII.


Quote for contemplation...

"The secret of action lies in duration. Good fortune and misfortune are slow in the making. Only when a trend is followed continuously do the results of single actions gradually accumulate in such a way that they become manifest as good fortune or misfortune."
-- I Ching (via Cynthia Beal)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 26, 2000.

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