Milne Was Wrong : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Milne Was Wrong

LINK Like I promised, by the middle of February, I am here on schedule. I was 100% mistaken about the eventual outcome and consequences of Y2K. Not a little wrong, or partly wrong...100% dead wrong.

Whatever the reason, good, bad or indifferent, I was dead wrong.

No excuses. No hemming and hawing. No hedging. Dead wrong.

The bottom line: The pollies were wrong in not making substantial preparations REGARDLESS of the outcome. I am completely satisfied with having made the preparations for my family that I did make. It was always better to have been safe than sorry and my preparations will remain in place indefinitely.

This is not an exculpation for having been wrong about the consequences. I was indeed, dead wrong.

If this newsgroup is still available in the coming months I will make a post concerning the pig roast at my place. The Milne Dunking Booth will be in full swing. Get there early. There will be a long line. : )

Paul Milne

-- (hell@frozen.over), February 18, 2000


Many of us were wrong Paul, you have plenty of company. Better to be safe than sorry. Rather have it, and not need it, than need it and not have it.

I feel much better than I have in years, I feel safe having what I have. Peace of mind is a good thing!

-- Michael (, February 18, 2000.

Y2K did not bring the problems that could have been expected but I don't think it is over by a long shot. There is too much going on in this world for anyone to take the posistion of all is well. The price of goods have already risen in my area since Christmas. Without my preps I would have to cut back on a lot of little luxuries. As for me I will always be y2k ready. Thank you Paul for always jump starting me with every post.

-- Carol (, February 18, 2000.

A case could be made that all the money spent on preps has contributed to the continuing vivacity of the U.S. economy.

(Alan G. has even affected my diction...)

-- Tom Carey (, February 18, 2000.


More importantly, you were right in trying your best to understand the situation, and acting or not acting on your conclusions and best judgment. Many pollies, doomers, and lots of others in between, took this approach, which was the ultimate "right thing to do".

And that, you can be proud of.

-- eve (, February 18, 2000.


Dead wrong concerning Y2K was the best new years present we've got. I never in my life hoped and prayed to be so wrong. The "damn I was stupid feeling" was rapidly replaced with a great sense of relief.

We've got freezing rain and snow coming down now. No worries about losing electricity, water, or having to run to the grocery store. Like you, I'll be prepped for life. It's been a wild ride on the emotional roller coaster. Being wrong on this one is a good thing.

I'll bring pineapple and some beans for the pig roast.

-- Trafficjam (road@construction.ahead), February 18, 2000.


Never had the time to respond to your posts before now, but I always admired your style of writing whether I agreed or disagreed. But this time, perhaps, you are wrong to admit being wrong except perhaps on timing and the fact that it won't be TEOTWAWKI. However, it could (and it now seems to be a growing likelihood to me) that it may get very bad here in the oil industry sector due to Y2K.

I was never a doomer, like yourself but I was never a polly, either. I thought it would be a 4 or a 5. I'm a retired broker-trader of commodities, Precious Metals, Oil, Currencies, Agricultures, etc. My experience with the markets tells me that something is SERIOUSLY WRONG with oil. It's not OPEC. It's NOT the weather. It IS PRODUCTION problems with actual equipment. And yes, I've talked to some folks, lately in the oil biz now who are telling me that the problems are "extremely" abnormal for this time of the year, particularly.

Since things started going nuts in the oil markets I've tried to make some sense of it. I began to put out some "feelers" awhile back making some contacts. But only lately, in the last week or two have I begun to get some responses. A bit here, and a bit there. Here in the past few days though I ran across one credible source who's telling me that things are a whole lot worse than they seem to be to the public and most but not all do have direct or indirect relationships to Y2K involving production snags. If this is indeed the case, this guy tells me it IS getting worse by the day/week and not getting better and thinks it won't get any better and instead will only get worse for a long time to come. Now, I'm a retired trader and not a petro engineer, so some of these contacts are blowing tech stuff right over my head, and I just "nod" along trying not to act ignorant, ya know? Trying to soak up as much as my shoddy little memory can remember. Us old geezers have that kind of problem sometimes, ya know.

So anyhooo, I don't quite know what to make of it, and I won't go into all the sordid details, but if these reports are only 10% right then we've got a serious crisis on our hands for the next 6 months. If 80% right, then we've got a long term crisis for the next couple of years. How odd then, that the LONGEST TERM Oil charts seems to be setting up the price chart pattern for a 2 to 3 year bull market price run. This I know how to understand because, it used to be my job to analyze the price charts. The Monthly bar charts and the oscil- lators for those charts are showing that something seems to be seriously adverse that will support a long-term bull market move for perhaps the next couple or three years. The Monthly charts with the DMI-ADX oscillator just looks incredible. It's been a long time since I've seen such an oscillator configuration go so wide open for such long-term implications. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen such a pattern even historically for any commodity on a Monthly Bar Chart basis, except maybe the '89/'90 runnup to the Gulf War...except only stronger... and perhaps the 79-86 price run. The only thing it would take to break that technically is a move back down to $12.00 a barrel. Not too likely at this point especially with pipelines and refineries choking on production problems, as borne out by numerous newswire and industry news releases.

So what's my point?

Hey, if what I've heard is even close to right, Y2K IS right now causing serious production problems in the oil fields, pipelines and refineries. The only question is whether or not the truth will ever come out? Only a few key experts on embedded systems apparently know the big picture and right now, those guys apparently are unable to talk publicly, probably out of fear and contractual obligations. The problems seem to be world wide and ONLY related to infrastructure that co-incidentally happens to be with embedded systems. Old manual- only systems seem to be chugging along just fine and are NOT terribly stressed out on their own. I'm a wondering how much of this refinery capacity stuff is simply folks being forced to try and run on manual?

I've just begun to pick some of this up in the last few days. I don't yet know how valid all of it is but it seems that certain types of automated oil wells are having trouble pumping out anything but the lightest weights of crude in certain parts of the world. In other words, heavier crude weights are unable to be pumped out. This may well explain some of the problems with shortages in certain distallate products. Still more problems seem have developed with pipeline pressures and the ability to meter and measure how much product is flowing. This seems to be just some of the problems that have developed. This also explains the reasons for explosions. Also incorrect metering could lead to severe financial losses or fraudulent gains, (except perhaps it's just accidental, but a logistical nightmare just the same).

I don't know much more other than it is not affecting every system (yet)...but the culprits seem to be a certain series of Honeywell products/chips primarily. Parts are no longer available and it could be 2-3 months in many or most cases before back-ordered parts are available and installation labor may take perhaps another 3-4 months. And then I'm told the "fun begins" with trying to figure out what else is screwed up that they've not yet been able to track until the main systems are back up. I understand that there's a desperate scramble for new Intel chips and even some new Honeywell parts that are on long backorders and the 2-3 month B/O is just an estimate. (I dunno, but is it possible that the Taiwan quakes last year are still impacting the chip mfg business to such an extent now? I;ve heard retail computer store salesman complaining about Pentium III chips and another type of chip are in short supply or back-ordered). Anyone of you out there able to shed any light on that?

Oh well. My expertise rests with price charts on the markets, but these price chart patterns seem to be meshing nicely with some of the latest rumors coming out of the oil biz.

If this is so, Paul... you may have been a third to half right all along... in which case you only missed the mark on the timing and the extent of that it won't be TEOTWAWKI. The current oil situation, has already forced a heating oil shortage because the resulting pipeline pressure problems forced Nat.gas co's to interrupt service to some power plants (? as I understand it) who in turn bought up a bunch of Diesel and or Heating Oil which in turn has precipitated a shortage in heating oil and propane. IF so, then it's already had a significant impact and it looks to me like were at a "4" or a "5" on the scale already and still climbing with the oil fallout requiring a 6 month lag for the rest of the economy.

Frankly, I was always a 4 to a 5. In light of this, maybe a "7" wasn't quite so crazy.

Maybe Milne was a "half-wit" who at least got it "half-right"...which would be more than the Pollies who think they're right already but in reality but were only half right on the timing.

Meanwhile, as a fellow half-wit with you, (of which all pollies and doomers share the same trait with the rest of us middle-roaders) maybe it's time to stop and realize that maybe EVERYONE has been wrong on this. (Didn't someone predict that everyone would be wrong on Y2K forecasts?) Maybe the Gartner group was right all along about "a thousand paper cuts" bleeding out over a longer period of time? Maybe Gordon Gecko, and Shakey, RC, Dog Gone, and others were right all along.

Who knows?...One thing seems clear... it is premature to draw any iron-clad conclusions that Y2K is NOT going to be a crisis based upon the New Years results...because it seems it is already become a crisis since New Years, but that it has been a quiet crisis that started out as a paper cut and just keeps getting wider and deeper but no one realizes it yet because Dan Rather/Pete Jennings/Tom Brokaw haven't made it official on the Nightly News. If it ain't on their shows then it can't be real, nor true. Anyway, Paul... you maybe just more than a bit premature in your admission... YOU MAY HAVE TO APOLOGIZE AGAIN FOR BEING WRONG in ADMITTING YOU WERE WRONG when you were were half right all along. LOL.

-- Dick Moody (, February 18, 2000.

Y2K Pro,

Your day of humiliation may soon be coming also, when you too have to eat crow

-- Notta (, February 18, 2000.

dick moody,


first, i KNOW that y2k has something to do with the oil crisis. cant prove it of course, but .. the coincidence of rollover and the worst oil/gas problems i can ever remember happening at the same time is just tooo much to swallow.

but, i somehow just cant believe that embed system engineers would be totally unable to somehow anonymously 'leak' inside information about whats *really* happening in oil production. its just too easy to do with the internet nowadays, what with phoney email addresses and all.

i've read hundreds of posts/articles/essays and esposes on potential embeds problems, but very little about what's actually occuring at this time in the oil refinery industry. even you, dick, seem to be lacking on 'inside' information .. and you say that you are/were a petrol engineer.

so, yeah ... i'm confused BIG TIME.

however, i do want to thank milne, cory and so many others who forewarned us about the risks of y2k, so my family and i could prepare. i never gave due thought to how vulnerable we were before y2k. and, in fact, as i've said on this forum ... WE'RE STILL PREPARING.

by the way .. i'm wondering if hell@frozen.over is really paul milne. great post dick!

-- lou (, February 18, 2000.

"Anyone who tried to convince him before the roll-over that Y2K was fixed, was subjected to a string of obscenities - usually climaxed by pronouncements about having to throw lime on the dead bodies of polly children. This was (is?) an evil, cruel, villainous man - let's not forget that..." (this was a Y2Kpro reply pre-deletion -kritter)

Sorry, that quote right there gave me a huge belly laugh, Pro. Milne was a super fun doomer. And this is one of those things I don't a fence sitter (poomer..dolly..whatever) it never bothered me that some people had extreme views of y2k. I didn't see the need to reform them or be mad at them. I never took the Milne diatribes seriously, but I still enjoyed reading them. I also enjoyed reading the polly speeches. If you step back, and just observe, the entire episode was almost entirely fun. (and funny to read and watch) You know you enjoyed it just as much as I where does the anger come in?? (email..I guess)

-- kritter (, February 18, 2000.

Y2k was never just about computers failing. This country is still on a collision course with its own arrogance.

-- Maher Shalalhashbaz (, February 18, 2000.


If you're trying to make a case, I think the most you can show is that at times he showed a temper, didn't refrain from some offensive language now and then, and that possibly in anger from time to time he would say something he may not have meant or would never act on.

And you know, it's very telling that you never give the whole context, or quote from his calm, reasoned, compassionate or humorous statements. I wonder why? So tell me, where do you get "evil, cruel and villainous" from?

-- eve (eve_rebekah, February 18, 2000.

Y2k Pro:

Shut the *uck up.


Kudos on your honesty. Only the Y2k Pro dimwit can't let go of things. Funny, Y2k Pro slams you and you're the one trying to move on. Too funny. It's obvious who has the problem here.

-- haha (, February 18, 2000.

That took guts, Paul.

I still disagree that the pollies (of which I consider myself one) were wrong in not making *substantial* preparations. (Preparations are always prudent, IMHO.) But, that's all water under the bridge.

-- Lurker (Lurker@lurker.lurk), February 18, 2000.

Because I found many doomers persuasive I purchased a kerosene heater and kerosene. Now we are using it. Our oil usage is half what it was last year at the same time. The K heater and K have already paid for themselves, and it is only mid-February.

So no need to apologize to me. :-)

-- cgbg jr (, February 18, 2000.

Then I agree that it is an extreme position. I do not wish for mass genocide. But he is admitting he was wrong. Try to give credit where it's due.

-- haha (, February 18, 2000.

by the way .. i'm wondering if hell@frozen.over is really paul milne.

I'm not. Just reposting his article from Usenet.

-- (hell@frozen.over), February 18, 2000.

Paul - Stand-up honesty and courage, as always.

I do agree with Dick Moody, though - it's still premature to draw major conclusions about Y2K. Having always hoped I would be wrong, I look forward (hopefully, but without certainty yet) to being wrong and getting dunked this summer.

I agree with you 100% about preparations, needless to say.

-- BigDog (, February 18, 2000.

Y2k was never just about computers failing. This country is still on a collision course with its own arrogance.

Uh-oh... Anyone know what our own arrogance is driving? Is either of us in an SUV, for God's sake?!?! Where's my ^$#^%$ seatbelt!!!!!

-- Bemused (driving@unsafe.speeds), February 18, 2000.

He is admitting he was wrong about what would happen with the computers and infrastructure. I don't know any polly who did not prepare, or was not prepared as a matter of course for other things that could happen in life.

It was not about preparing. It was about what different people believed would happen due to the results of a date problem in computers and systems with computer chips in them. Pollies were not wrong in their evaluation of the results of remediation and the over all vulnerability the infrastructure. Pollies were not people who said there never was a problem, those were the clueless and people in total denial. Pollies were fully aware that the problem with the date existed and had potential consequences. Pollies understood where the problem existed and where they did NOT exist (such as not existing in embedded chips in power plants). Milne is acknowledging these facts. The results of problems and lack there of, now a month 1/2 after the rollover has convinced him that he was wrong in his evaluation of how bad the problem would be and how well the problems that existed got fixed. This has absolutly nothing to do with the common sense preparations people need to have in place for all of the possible disasters in life. And yep, it is a good way to save money too, buying things on sale in bulk as opposed to JIT shopping at high cost.

Pollies were right. Does that make them "bad people"? Just because they evaluated the situation closer to the truth?

Not one "pollie" that has ever posted here said people should not prepare. The Pollies who posted here argued that the results of the rollover would not be disasterous. The constant insistence of non-pollies saying pollies were wrong for not preparing or telling others not to prepare is just an excuse or justification for dislikeing the pollies, probably because of feelings brought on by being proven wrong by them.

As many of you are aware, most, if not all pollies who posted here, in the beginning were "doomers" also. They just found facts that changed their views and convinced them to change into pollies.

Pollies were not wrong for "not preparing" because they did prepare, maybe not to the extent as "doomers" but that was their right to judge for themselves how much they needed to prepare for after evaluation the situation for themselves. Stop "hating" the pollies for being right. It should not be considered a "sin" for being right, just like it should not be considered a "sin" for being wrong.

-- Cherri (, February 20, 2000.

Yes, Cherri, like Flint, who said to his friend Decker yesterday:

What reasonable participants? None of these fora exist to discover the truth, they exist to create and promulgate one. Admit it, your underlying motivation was the same as mine -- to kick the anthill and watch the reactions. And you also recognized that reasonable analysis was the most effective boot to kick with. The CPR screaming attacks, for all they preached a different doctrine, were not qualitatively different from the TB2K approach in general.

But hell, you and I chimed in at least partially to feel superior in our own idiosyncratic way. It was fun. Surely we harbored no delusions of making converts.

-- just one of (many@PO'd.ants), February 20, 2000.

Many doomers understood the actual intentions of several 'well meaning' pollies. Others wouldn't have been able to see them for their true colors if their posts had come with printed directions, 3D glasses and colorful maps. People who always attempt to find the best in others (at the expense of ignoring the obvious) can be grateful for those of us who call a duck a DUCK. Milne was especially good at that. The best.

-- Will continue (, February 20, 2000.


I'm glad you brought this out. If Flint really did say what "just one of" posted above, then count me as one of those who were taken for a ride.

I don't know if it's just that I hadn't read enough of his stuff, or I was turning a blind eye towards his real character. Even though there were lots of his postings that I hadn't seen, maybe I should have taken a closer look at the ones I was aware of.

Although I do strongly believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, apparently in this case (and maybe others too) I carried it too far.

Thanks for the wake-up call, Will. And thank you too, "just one of".

-- eve (, February 20, 2000.

People who always attempt to find the best in others (at the expense of ignoring the obvious) can be grateful for those of us who call a duck a DUCK. Milne was especially good at that. The best.

I don't know about calling a duck a DUCK, but he certainly was adept at calling those he disagreed with a "butthead", a "bimbo", a "moron", or an "asshole", as in his phrase:

Look, ASSSHOLE,....May I call you ASSHOLE?

He was also pretty adept at responding to arguments with phrases such as the witty and insightful:

You'll be dead soon.

You're right, though, he was especially good at that. The best.

-- (LOL@LOL.LOL), February 20, 2000.

As a polly who frequents this forum regularly I have always claimed that I would not be the one to say "I told you so", except to those very few people who have insulted and abused me personally. Paul, you were the most insulting person that I have ever come across on any forum anywhere. You have called me an arsehole and said how happy you would be when I was dead (on csy2k).

For that reason I am enjoying reading your admission. It is a sad fact that you couldn't discuss the issues clearly beforehand, then maybe you wouldn't be in the position you find yourself now.

-- Malcolm Taylor (, February 20, 2000.

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