Reframing the question : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Eventually, we will run out of humorous material graciously donated by last year's Y2K pessimists... though not for lack of effort.

As Flint observes, we can learn by examining the Y2K debate. In an increasingly complex and technical world, Y2K will not be the last "threat" we encounter. In retrospect, Y2K was simply a frame for a larger debate about technology, society and culture. Y2K touched a nerve for individuals who think we are riding a handcart to Hell.

There are legitimate threats... but can a reasonable argument be made to justify "preparation?" More later....

-- Ken Decker (, March 20, 2000


"more later"

Your going to spank the monkey, eh?

-- (I saw@you last.time), March 20, 2000.


As a newcomer to the "Preparedness" life style, (though the definition varies, and I'm sure that my futile efforts at being "prepared" fall on the low side of the scale) I'm surprised that you, a man well versed in history, cannot fathom any need for setting aside for a rainy day.

Perhaps more later as well....

-- Uncle Deedah (, March 20, 2000.


It is good to see you back in the "discussions". Someone told me that you made a batch of coffee beer, how did it turn out? I have started making wine (a hobby of my dad's that I have always enjoyed), and have just started a gallon of coffee wine as a test. The five tank is full working on some apple at the moment.



-- (Sheeple@Greener.Pastures), March 20, 2000.

"In retrospect, Y2K was simply a frame for a larger debate about technology, society and culture. "

No, not in "retrospect." We doomers have been posting about collateral risks in the Y2K timeframe (in such areasa as environment, economy, technology, and geopolitics) since the inception of the old TB forum.

Pay attention son.

-- Doomy (@ .), March 20, 2000.

Doomy is quite right. Some Senator is supposed to have said "I'm opposed to any conspiracy I'm not part of." The doomers have generally extended this to say "everything I don't feel part of is a conspiracy."

Every now and then, a topic has come up that splits the doomer camp. These are always entertaining.

As for preparations, I don't see any problem there. This is Boy Scout 101. The line between prudence and paranoia isn't one I'd like to draw in the sand.

-- Flint (, March 20, 2000.


It was a dark stout with coffee and chocolate. The fact that none of that glorious nectar remains says it all, don't you think?

Good luck in your wine making,


-- Uncle Deedah (, March 20, 2000.


I'd really like to have some good wine recipes. Do you share yours?



-- Jean Schenker (, March 20, 2000.

Have you had to buy groceries lately? When you have to use more of your dollars for food other thing slide. Think of the people who make the least. What can they do. I just hope more people put back supplies.

-- ET (, March 20, 2000.

Of course an argument can be made for preparation in my state of California. Folks still do not prepare, unless they've been through adversity before. Even when they have, most are not as prepared as they should be - if at all.

Do you suppose there might be a backlash for people who prepared a bit for the rollover, and are to cynical or embarrassed to respond appropriately to legitimate risks in the future?

-- flora (***@__._), March 20, 2000.

Ah, some wheat amidst the chaff.

Unk... I am a proponent of "smart living" or any sane variation thereof. It was actually easier without the Y2K pessimists making it seem like a "fringe" idea.

As for you, "Doomy," ("a?") many of the so-called risks posed by the doomsayers are simply the product of overactive imaginations. Chemtrails? Rubbish. I'm talking about "threats" reasonable people can discuss with (gasp!) real verification. By the way, "Sightings" is not the online version of "Scientific American."

In fact, the fringe lunatics cloud the debate. Real threats are lumped together with the imaginary... and the entire debate is marginalized. The matter is not helped by the usual sideshow barkers who arrive with the fall of every sparrow to sell inflatable bunkers, powdered water, and such.

There are real threats... and many of them defy any sort of "preparation." Bioweapons come immediately to mind. Perhaps this forum can move to serious discussion and realistic preparation. Perhaps we can reframe the debate to consider what happened with Y2K and extropolate valuable lessons for legitimate threats. Perhaps we can move the debate forward without bogging down in conspiracy theories and other silliness.

Just a thought.

-- Ken Decker (, March 20, 2000.

Ken, you are right. Somethings you can prepare for, others you cannot. I would like to hear from you what you believe the real issues to be and what you individually can do to prepare for them? In the mean time, living smack in the middle of hurricane country, I'm profoundly greatful that I have the preps I do and the ability to survive infrastructure failure.


-- NH (, March 20, 2000.


Perhaps it's too bad that you came to Da Bomb so late in the game. It was not always inhabited by 'sideshow barkers'.

-- flora (***@__._), March 20, 2000.

Mr. Decker,

I always have between 2 weeks a months supply of the foods we normaly eat. During storms I do not have to go to the store on icy roads for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.

I have a kerosene heater that has been used during power outages and when the furnace failed.

Ihave a generator and battery back up sump pump. Power failures during storms here are common. Why let my basement flood?

I have 2 separate bank accounts for checking. One bank was closed for three days during a takeover. I used the other.

I have a large first aid kit that has been used on numerous occaisons for kids and neighbors.

Also a battery powered tv so Mrs. Chief can watch Oprah.

Can you make an argument against these preparations?

The term "Preparations" does not mean a buried school bus. The term for that is "Nuts".

-- Chief (, March 21, 2000.

The bioweapons and biowarfare had me far more worried in December 1999 with all the media hype about terrorism and cyber terrorism that was going on then. Does anyone else remember this stuff happening in the news in December? I can't remember specifics now and I'm too tired to look things up tonight. It seemed like the us press was just baiting someone or some group to try something. Haven't yet thought about the significance, if any, of those stories. Anyway, as part of the Y2k prep thingy, I bought a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills Manual early last year and also found a copy of Bacteriological Warfare by Larry Wayne Harris on the web and then proceeded to get even more nervous after I read that. I don't know if it's possible to prepare fully for NBC warfare, but there is some info out there on how to do a few things to make life ?easier ? is that what I really mean? if one survives and is not DRT (dead right there or shortly thereafter) and if one can get through the fear of facing those types of scenarios mentally just reading about them. It sure made me sweat then and the past few weeks with the Taiwan elections have me feeling about as uneasy. Think I'll go read some more tomorrow. There's something about hope eternal, guess the GAME OVER,MAN scenario is something I have not yet chosen to believe. Best wishes to everyone. (I really don't give a rat's ass about the census either. Piss on em.)

-- Ma Kettle (, March 21, 2000.

There's an article on this thread

about what the government knew about cyberterrorism in 1999. The situation was worse than what the government was admitting.

-- Old (threads@never.die), March 21, 2000.

Chief -- another name for a buried school bus is "tornado shelter". Lots of people have them.

Ma Kettle -- The Nuclear War Survival Skills Handbook has excellent information on why nuclear war is surviveable. Ordinary people with ordinary hand tools can build an emergency shelter in a matter of hours. Learn as much as you can about it and worry less.

-- helen (, March 21, 2000.

Living where a power outage is common from 15 minute to 24 hours average, we're prepared for two weeks minimum always, with lots of extra water. And I'm not too put out about preparing for Y2K when we're talking about food and water.

But Ken said, "Real threats are lumped together with the imaginary..." and this is very true. Sometimes it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's why we have an expensive, usless generator sitting in the garage and fewer dollars for our retirement. Most of that is my fault for listening to those who didn't know any more about it that I did.

But I feel to even attempt to prepare for biological terrorisn, cyber terrorism, or nuclear attact is futile, and I don't intend to waste my time or money doing it. I've had it with the fear mongers, religious nuts and doomsday hawkers of goods to simpletons.

-- gilda (, March 21, 2000.


Why do you feel that preparing for a biological or nuclear attack is futile? There are some simple things you can do in advance, particularly in the area of information that cost little and could mean the difference between surviving or not. I suppose that where you live has a bearing on your attitude toward this issue. If you live in the boondocks, why worry about Nuclear/Biological/Chemical warfare. But, if you live in a major city that just might be a target of opportunity to some terrorist group that wants to make a statement, some simple preparations make sense.

I used to live near San Jose California which I believe is a possible target due to the strategic importance of Silicon Valley. An HEPA vacuum cleaner plus a roll or two of duct tape can create a quick safe room at low cost. Add in some dust masks from the local drug store and you are almost set.

I'll admit that I overprepared for Y2K, but frankly I'm only regretful that I had to do 10 years of buying in a short time. Did get some nifty camping and ham radio gear, though, (although my wife never let's me forget that I was wrong). I always wanted a generator, anyway!

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), March 21, 2000.

gilda, you're right, "even attempt to prepare for biological terrorisn, cyber terrorism, or nuclear attact is futile, and I don't intend to waste my time or money doing it. I've had it with the fear mongers, religious nuts and doomsday hawkers."

We can chose to live our life in fear; or not. We can spend our time worrying about useless things or we can spend our time doing something constructive. Damn, if Y2k taught us anything, it should have taught us that.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be prepared for the occasional power outage, but cripes, preparing for nuclear war is stoopit! If it's our time to go, we'll go. Needless preparation and worry is for those guys who stand around on the street corner with the sign that says, "The End is Near".

We're all gonna die sometime! We need to live while we're alive.

If I had bought a generator, I'd sell it at e-bay or someplace that that. There are people who move to remote areas that are probably willing to buy it and even pay shipping charges if you make the price right.


-- Laura (Ladylogic@...), March 21, 2000.

Monday, March 20, 2000

Cyber Siege

Don't drop your Y2K worries

By MICHAEL PLATT-- Calgary Sun

Chewed fingernails, frazzled nerves and then a worldwide sigh of relief -- on the surface, the Y2K experience amounted to mass worry and little else.

Dig a little deeper, though, and it becomes obvious the world's first global computer crisis had a far greater effect than fattening the wallets of a few cyber-repairmen.

Y2K forced us to finally acknowledge our total dependence on the microchip.

"The pervasiveness of computer technology was finally understood," said Judith Umbach, who led the city of Calgary's computer team on its $8-million quest to squash the millennium bug.

"The problem of where computers were working and could fail became clear, and it was not just the computer on your desk or the mainframe," she said.

"Computers are used across the board in everything we do, and this was a real-life illustration of that."

In Calgary alone, as the final weeks of 1999 ticked down, 46% of people said they expected the failure of most computers to recognize the year 2000 would bring some form of disaster on Jan. 1.

Some assumed it would be something as simple as a traffic light failure, while others worried nuclear missiles might accidentally launch from ill-prepared Russia.

Thanks in part to the billions spent fixing the global glitch, nothing much happened, but for those in the know, the sweaty brow still remains. For them, Y2K proved the world would stop without computers.

Planes would fall from the sky; banks would lose their records; stock markets would crash; lights would turn off. The dark ages would be back with a vengeance.

And for those in the know, all of these scenarios are still frighteningly possible, thanks to the computer criminal known as the hacker.

Once the sole worry of those rare corporations and people using computers as a key part of their business, the high-tech outlaw capable of invading cyberspace to steal or vandalize is fast becoming a universal anxiety.

In January 1999, hackers broke into the Calgary Public Library computer system, leaving an Irish flag and a pro-IRA message in place of the regular screen.

"It was up for about six minutes before we managed to get rid of it," said Grant Kaiser, head of communications for the city's libraries.

The library hack is now enshrined with similar online stunts on pro- hacker websites across the globe, and at least one Calgary company has learned a valuable lesson.

"We're the second-largest system in Canada -- we rely on our computers and can't function without them. Trying to keep track of 11.5 million items on cards would just be too much to handle," said Kaiser.

And with every day that passes, more and more people find their lives are tied up in silicone -- in Canada, for example, computer banking is exploding, with an extra 712 people expected to sign up every day this year.

"We currently have 2.6 million people using computer banking services," said Jennifer Fisk, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Banking Association.

Besides keeping our lights burning, computers are now an integral part of the global economy, and with cyber-money flowing like a virtual river, the thieves are drooling on the shore.

-- (March@20.1999), March 21, 2000.

Personally, I thought the people of Calgary were smarter than that. That sounds more like an article written by a former Doomer on the paper's staff -- probably trying to justify their position -- than anything else.

It's the same old discredited BS and mantra: we're dependent on microchips (true, but we're also dependent on sunlight, nutritious food and a lot of other things. The ONLY question that should concern you is how likely it is that these things should fail or disappear).

My favorite, though, is this one:

In January 1999, hackers broke into the Calgary Public Library computer system, leaving an Irish flag and a pro-IRA message in place of the regular screen.

"It was up for about six minutes before we managed to get rid of it," said Grant Kaiser, head of communications for the city's libraries.

Oh, wow; end of the world. They had to look at a flag for SIX WHOLE MINUTES before someone rented enough of a clue to figure out how to delete the thing!

The banking system is *quite* aware of the threat of cyber-theft, and have spent countless millions to defend against it. (In fact, their preparations against bogus transactions were one reason why I KNEW that the claims of, "one non-Y2k-compliant computer could corrupt thousands of others!" was pure BS the first time I heard it. Didn't care who was saying it, either; it was pure, stinky-poop BS.)

Most businesses are aware of the threat of cybercrime, too. But there's a world of different between hacking a Web page and breaking into someone's secure server and sucking out real money.

And there, you can analyse the risk quite easily: if they're a newcomer to e-commerce and trade, they're more at risk than the Old Guys who've been doing it for decades (and who are paranoid about losing a single dime to start with). I don't deny that.

But protecting myself is simple in that case; for example, I don't use my credit card online, period. I don't think the Web has matured or become secure enough for that yet.

But neither do I think that hackers pose the grave and imminent threat that the morons in government (especially at the Pentagon) think they do. They've been screaming about "Electronic Pearl Harbor" for years now. They're a bunch of clueless Nervous Nellies.

That article is a piece of meaningless fill written by a disgruntled doomer who's trying to say, "yeah ... well, well ... we (had to have! [whimper]) learned SOMETHING from Y2K ...!"

(Yeah, we sure did. IT and IS types need to stick to programming and leave the rest to people who have a clue about what's going on.)

-- Me (, March 23, 2000.

Read the USA Today article on this thread.


The government also had some non-Y2k concerns about Jan. 1, 2000.

-- (Always@be.aware), March 23, 2000.

-- (, March 23, 2000.


The government also had real concerns during the Bicentennial back in 1976. A couple of hundred different militia and terrorists groups (all of which, thankfully, were heavily infiltrated by government agents) were planning big things for that year.

We lived through that one, too.

There's a mindset problem at work here: a survivalist/militia type CANNOT give the FBI and CIA credit where due because of (admittedly very bad) mistakes like Waco and Ruby Ridge. Their philosophy requires that these agencies be painted as thugs, nothing but thugs, and worse than thugs.

(And likewise, with Y2K, the idea that the government was "covering up" or -- even worse! -- deliberately doing so to permit martial law and King Klinton to take "the throne" was just too appealing for them to dismiss. It fed their predjudices.)

Having decided a priori that the government is a bunch of jackbooted thugs, they CAN'T acknowledge that, in the main, warts and all, our counter terrorism efforts are surprisingly effective.

Doesn't mean there's no threat. Of course there is. But give credit to those government agents who work long hours to minimize it.

-- Me (, March 23, 2000.

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