Hindsight, doomer style

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

I noticed an interesting thread on the EZboard, where people were invited to use hindsight to look back on y2k. The thread is called "Re: Preppers looking back on Y2K: Any thoughts?

Typical is a response from "senses on" in which he writes:

[We had plenty of negative evidence, and virtually no *substantive* positive evidence. The stakes were pretty clear. If the power went down, and stayed down for 4-6 weeks it *would be* TEOTWAWKI.]

I select this out because it's fairly typical of the input on that thread, not because it's in any way exceptional or unusual.

What's astounding is that no hindsight is being used at all. If the "plenty of negative evidence" has been substantive, we'd be in deep trouble today. Fortunately, this "evidence" consisted of what proved to be unfounded speculation, combined with an unwillingness by anyone to *guarantee* they'd have no problems. Such a guarantee can never be made, ever. In a nutshell, the negative material wasn't "evidence" in any real sense. We couldn't be sure of that at the time, perhaps, but we certainly know it now.

Conversely, the positive evidence (of which there was plenty, but who's counting) has by now been clearly demonstrated to have been substantive. Nothing happened! One would expect, in hindsight, that someone would *notice* that their refusal to give any credence to what was in reality a flood of positive reports was an error.

Yet rather than recognize their systematic refusal to believe a massive volume of what turned out to be correct, they look back today and say there was "virtually no" such evidence! If they didn't believe it, then it didn't exist! So looking back today, they can't remember any of it.

From early in 1999, NERC started saying that they had yet to find ONE SINGLE noncompliance that would have prevented the flow of power. Yes, they found quite a few date bugs, some of which would have meant longer hours, some of which would have delayed recovery from outages due to other causes. As 1999 continued and reports flowed in, it became increasingly clear that power was not imperiled, and NEVER HAD BEEN.

Yet even today, the pessimists recite their rote worries about loss of power, and lack of any "substantive" evidence to the contrary.

Other contributors hammer away at the themes that (1) Preparation is a good thing, so we were right even though we were completely wrong; (2) We escaped disaster by a hair's breadth, but we're the only ones who realize it; (3) Y2K bugs are still accumulating, so don't lose hope just yet, it's still coming.

The infamous Todberg contributes this priceless gem:

[Regarding your title, I would say the answer is a resounding "NO, we were NOT wrong!" Those who fed us spin and lies were WRONG, those who risked the lives of their families by not preparing were WRONG, those who CONTINUE to spray us with chemicals, manipulate our economy, and take our hard earned money to cover it up are WRONG. And they always will be.]

The irony that the "spin and lies" were demonstrably spread by doomers is hilariously lost on this poster. As a demonstration of rejecting reality when it conflicts with congenial fantasy, you could hardly do better.

The closest anyone comes on the entire thread to actually facing the issue is this comment from Ladybugz:

[I admit to being totally bewildered by the soft landing Y2K made]

But to redeem herself, she goes on to say:

[I won't be the tiniest bit surprised if in 5 or 10 years there is a rash of "expose" books written about just how close we came to a crash landing.]

As a collection object lessons, this thread is marvelous. We learn how NOT to learn from your mistakes, we see Groupthink in action, and by omission we see what happens when those who *can* exercise hindsight don't dare say so. An excellent thread for anyone with an interest in anthropology -- a very strange tribe.

And I can't help but notice that Moderator Big Dog weighs in to give his blessings to all this stunningly self-serving rationalization, and compliments the denialists on their perspicacity! Gotta let all these "free thinkers" know what opinion they'd damn well better hold, you know.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000


An interesting excerpt from another EZBoard thread:

It is amazing how little the posters to the so called "uncensored board" can find to talk about. The only way they can stir up any interest is by perusing this board and then rudely commenting on the topics here; though admittedly they don't bother to read them.

Ever so often the "big brains"? of the DeBunker crowd (Decker and Flint) try to revive the Y2K debate by analizing why "doomers" believed like they did and why they refused to be enlighted by mental giants such as they.

-- (tiredofstupidity@aol.com), April 12, 2000.

Find solid brick wall,slighty higher then eye level.Face wall about 6" away. Interlock fingers behind head.Pull head forward rapidly and repeat as needed. They are lost,are thy not???

-- never a doomer (q@q.q), April 12, 2000.


You tempt me to actually read EZB... much like I feel tempted to read the National Enquirer. (laughter) I do admire your succinct summary of the post-Y2K "doomer" mentality:

"(1) Preparation is a good thing, so we were right even though we were completely wrong; (2) We escaped disaster by a hair's breadth, but we're the only ones who realize it; (3) Y2K bugs are still accumulating, so don't lose hope just yet, it's still coming."

A brilliant summary...

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 12, 2000.

The Dead Horse beating goes on and on and on by the Mental Midgets!

-- Y-not (GiveItUp@Guys.com), April 12, 2000.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding so please explain what is *wrong* with having a few months worth of supplies and some disaster survival gear laying around?

-- Prepped (isnow@mywayof.life), April 12, 2000.

Amazing (todberg) how hard it is to admit that you're wrong even when it's stares you right in your face. Good summary Flint. They couldn't see the positive reports then and now, they refuse to admit that any existed. Blinders don't come off even in hind sight.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 12, 2000.

Interesting too, how many Mormons and others still keep a YEARS worth of supplies on hand--just in case! EXPERIENCE has taught them this is a really good idea.

-- BestTo (StayWell@Prepped.com), April 12, 2000.

An interesting excerpt from another EZBoard thread:

It is amazing how little the posters to the so called "uncensored board" can find to talk about. The only way they can stir up any interest is by perusing this board and then rudely commenting on the topics here; though admittedly they don't bother to read them.

Ever so often the "big brains"? of the DeBunker crowd (Decker and Flint) try to revive the Y2K debate by analizing why "doomers" believed like they did and why they refused to be enlighted by mental giants such as they.

-- just in case your ego made you miss it (the first @ time. nuts), April 12, 2000.

Flint didn't comment "rudely" on anything. Flint never said the reasonable preparations are bad. I'm pretty sure that Flint reads articles before he comments on them.

The issue that Flint brings up is how we evaluate information and make decisions. If your mindset is such that you believe any official source is lying and all negative information is correct then you are doomed to repeat the same mistake every time. The vast majority of so- called doomers have realized that they were mistaken in evaluating how bad the effects of Y2K would be. Those that remain true to their original hypothesis in the face of all available evidence are not going to change their beliefs. It's sad but there are always some lost souls in this world.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.

I would certainly like to be an optimist as most of you are. BUT, didn't we just hear today about the Pentagon's computer problems that started in August 1999 and are ongoing? EIGHT MONTHS after it started, we get to hear about it. I am not suggesting that this needed to be announced to the world. I am wondering, however, what else is going on. "Above average" as we all are (credit to G. Keillor), might we, even so, have missed something?

-- Pam (jpjgood@penn.com), April 12, 2000.

Good summary Flint. However, in a certain respect, the comment made by "senses on" - "We had plenty of negative evidence, and virtually no *substantive* positive evidence." - was true for many of them. I have little doubt that the majority of those who frequented the old TB2000 did so at the exclusion of visiting any other sites for their Y2k news. Obviously they were fed a steady stream of the negative, and as we well know, positive reports were both discouraged and few 'n far between on that forum. Those rare positive reports that were posted were immmediately attacked, spun, discredited, buried and dismissed. Consequently, in the minds of those who are easily mis-led, there really was no *substantive* positive evidence.

I have to wonder though, if the "Todbergs" and "senses ons" of that forum are truly that blind to the reality of Y2k. I have an impression that they had been looking for, and found, their niche on the internet and are now just exaggerating/shouting the party line in order to maintain the attention of their new found "family".

-- CD (costavike@hotmail.com), April 12, 2000.

From early in 1999, NERC started saying that they had yet to find ONE SINGLE noncompliance that would have prevented the flow of power.

Just curious, Flint...did you ever post this information on TB2000? You were a regular contributor there throughout 1999.

Interconnectedness in computer systems and in the global economy was also a reason for concern. Humanity has finally created a system with enough complexity that no one individual or group understood how it was all tied together, and what the impact of, let's say, failures in 15% of the system would affect the other 85%.

I did believe before the rollover that I'd have electricity where I live in January, but I did not have that level of certainty about an ample supply of such items as water, food, gasoline and so on. Electricity was not the only issue.

Not only did the government release reports in 1999 that suggested uncertainty, it also spent money and took specific actions later in 1999 in case there would be problems.

Perhaps the real question should be, when should we have known that the outcome of Y2K was going to be as smooth as it has turned out to be? In my opinion, this level of smoothness we've seen since January 1 was NOT a given.

-- Another take on (why@some.prepared), April 12, 2000.

I caught some of MSNBC's show today on Charles Manson. The similarities are frightening. "They" are out to get me, globalists, environmental control, etc. "We" know the truth -- "we will do what is necessary".

Cultists that are MIND controlled remain powerless to change when they separate themselves from society at large. Fear, hostility, paranoia -- a very toxic brew.

-- (doomerstomper@usa.net), April 12, 2000.

I don't interpret the comments of Flint or Ken Decker as criticizing those who prepared, but rather as criticizing those doomers who chastised others for not sharing their (the doomers') view of how much preparation was warranted.

Now I'm no polly. On at least one informal poll taken last year on TB2000, I put myself at a 10. But that didn't mean that I interpreted every incident as Y2K induced. I tried to keep an open mind, and in at least in one instance I explained how apparent misbehavior of the telephone network might actually have been according to design.

But a disconcerting number of doomers were on some sort of crusade to convert the masses, unmindful of how they themselves might have found this objectionable if the roles were reversed.

Beating a Dead Horse? Perhaps, but apparently some dead horses keep provoking others to beat them.

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), April 12, 2000.


Go to www.nytimes.com and read the actual article on the computer problem. You have to register but it's free after that. Don't ever assume that any summary on Drudge reflects the actual contents of the article.

The article states that the problem was fixed in a few days. One unnamed official says the system is still not at 100%. As in all such quotes, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

I'm not suprised that we're hearing about this eight months later. Usually, you never hear about these things. The fact that this got leaked at all indicates to me that the system is working well enough not to affect national security.

We missed lots of things with Y2K. The things we missed get fixed every day along with all the plethora of computer problems that crop up all the time. This is now part of the background noise of everyday life in a technological society. I'm a lot more concerned about how the Cleveland Indians will do this year than I am about Y2K becoming a problem.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.

Did any of you people bother to read the thread that Flint cut selected parts of?.. or did you just jump on his little band wagon

Senses On Global user (4/12/00 10:31:22 am) Reply

Re: Preppers looking back on Y2K: Any thoughts?

Count me as number three from the frigid northeast.

I agree with everything that has been said. From the beginning I looked at the stakes as much as the risk. The risk was virtually unassessable (Is that a word?). We had plenty of negative evidence, and virtually no *substantive* positive evidence. The stakes were pretty clear. If the power went down, and stayed down for 4-6 weeks it *would be* TEOTWAWKI. By that time, pampered people would have been sick, starving and unable to reboot society as it now exists.

We were the least financially capable among close family members to prepare. However, in light of the fact that those who could afford it chose not to (from a position of almost no information), we had no option but to beef up preps to include them if necessary. (Ironic, no?)

Fortunately, we are rural and we had already started on a trek to more self-sufficiency. We just moved a little faster and expended a little more of our net worth than we would have preferred. Virtually everything that cost real $ remains as hard assets (well, hard-wired/hard-fueled generator, and better wood stove) that add to the value of our home. The many incidentals we stocked up on will only save us money in the long run. We already raise some food animals from time to time, have an annual garden, can, freeze, etc. We were also motivated to clean up the home improvement/maintenance list as much as possible. We weren't nearly as ready as I would like to have been, but we would have survived. We relearned a lot about goal setting.

My funniest purchase? Two cases of strike-anywhere matches. I now have a multi-lifetime supply. However . . . if the power had gone out for a long time, they would have been barely enough for friends and neighbors.

What did we consider our most valuable asset? Our friends and neighbors who know how to do real things -- like welding, plumbing, carpentry, animal husbandry, etc. -- and who have always appeared miraculously in times of need.

I do believe the threat of instant TEOTWAWKI is over, yet . . . Infomagics essays still echo in my mind.

-- Flint is (Kicking@nthills.again), April 12, 2000.

In hindsight I wouldn't change anything I did to prepare for possible y2k problems. What we learned from this was that it's fairly easy to get the basics of food, water, shelter, and sanitation together for a large group of people. Our kids showed thoughtful concern for their friends and teachers -- that alone made it a worthy exercise. I'm far less afraid of anything that might happen in the future simply because we've identified our strengths ahead of the need.

The question of facts versus belief systems keeps coming up in this discussion of y2k. I asked the local managers of various services if they were ready for y2k, and the most positive answer I could get was "we hope so". My attempts to get the facts in person, often suggested by debunkers, didn't lead to a heightened belief that those services would make the rollover successfully.

We set up a potential refugee center on our farm, not a fort. It's still here if it is ever needed.

-- helen (home@the.farm), April 12, 2000.

And what in the entire message from Senses On do you believe contradicts anything that Flint wrote? This person not only was unable to see any positive information about Y2K before the rollover but also states that their relatives made no preparations based on "no information". Their relatives made decisions based on their evaluation of the threat that was different than Senses On therefore it was no information. This is exactly the type of flawed thinking that Flint pointed out.

And this person still has Infomagic's words ringing in her head? Do YOU think that Infomagic had ANYTHING right about Y2K?

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.

Do YOU think that Infomagic had ANYTHING right about Y2K?

Infomagic understood the Charlotte's Web aspect of Y2K, also known as unremediated systems being able to impact those sectors of the economy that were compliant.

-- Everything depends (on@everything.else), April 12, 2000.

To the poster who keeps knocking Flint here:

Flint is not ALLOWED to post on the EZBOARD forum. Are you suggesting that his voice must be restrained on topics introduced on the EZBOARD forum? Are you suggesting that the other folks banned from the EZBOARD forum shouldn't have the ability to comment on topics of interest to them? There would be no reason to bring these threads to this forum if everyone were allowed to post on the EZBOARD.

I read the whole thread on the EZBOARD forum. I noticed the absence of posts by the folks who were REALLY scared.....scared enough to cash in the retirement programs of both partners to buy preps....scared enough to move to a rural location where they now can't find a job. These folks dropped out of all discussions on Y2k.

Of the posters remaining who Flint finds modifying history, I think it's to be expected. Several years went into building expectations. Few folks are willing to simply drop those expectations when they can more easily grab onto a thread of hope that SOMETHING will STILL happen. Of course one can't grab onto the thread of hope without SOME justification, so justification is found.

Other folks are content with the decisions they made, whether it involved spending a great deal of money or not. They have no need to justify ANYTHING.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), April 12, 2000.

"We had plenty of negative evidence, and virtually no *substantive* positive evidence."

From my seat, there was hardly any substantive negative evidence. Most of the so-called negative evidence was pure speculation.

As for the interconnectedness of everything (the Charlotte's Web of Infomagic), this is another exagerration that has developed into a meme. It should be obvious by now that this assumption was as wrong as many of the others made by the doomsayers of Y2K.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), April 12, 2000.

Why can't flint post at EZboard?

Forum: Gary North is a Big Fat Idiot Forum Re: The irony of "DGI" (Ken Decker) Re: Still a tempest in a teapot (Ken Decker) Date: Feb 19, 22:48 From: Flint

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.

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.

"Do YOU think that Infomagic had ANYTHING right about Y2K?"

Jim more than one person lately has posted on the web describing events that are unfolding and incredibly similar to that downard death spiral of economic civilisation.

Are you comfortable leaving your money in the NASDAQ?

-- Prepped (now@ia awayof.life), April 12, 2000.

First, whoever you are, why do you feel it's necessary to post so many different messages under different handles? Why not just state your case while posting as yourself?

More than one person has posted on the web about the second coming of Christ, reptillian space aliens, and many other theories. None of this makes these theories either right or wrong. If you choose to believe any of them without some independent verification that they're true than you go a long way to prove the point that Flint is trying to make.

I feel comfortable investing in America's future and that means putting money in the stock market. Like all investing, it has its ups and downs.

Do you feel comfortable investing in gold?

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.


I never questioned WHY Flint couldn't post on EZBOARD. They've established a private board wherein they can discriminate in any way they choose. They're not getting my tax dollars, so I have no reason to complain about who they accept or who they reject. I'm questioning why YOU complain when Flint brings topics to a forum where he CAN post. HE has no choice. What's YOUR excuse?

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), April 12, 2000.

What I find most amazing especially from my first hand former doomer perspective is the inability for most to utter three simple words;WE WERE WRONG.I have no difficulty in admitting this to you or myself,it matters not the myriad of reasons why I WAS WRONG.I would not try to justify my actions because it only matters to me,I did what I did and what I did was make an error in judgemnt,not a life altering,critical error.

Y2K is history,cold beer/glass of wine anyone?

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), April 12, 2000.

Found this site soon after it started and have been reading fairly regularly. What I can't really understand is WHY--What is the point of dredging over and over the Doomer/Polly issue? There are wonderfully smart people here caught in a situation like a bad marriage. The discussion seems small and mean and not worthy of your intelligence and experience.

-- John Q (musing@home.com), April 12, 2000.

TodBerg, Hal, Brett, whatever.all cut from the same cloth called zombie. The only question is why some of the few thinking folks left at the EZ board dont rip him a new one every time he starts whining.

-- Sifting (through@the.rubble), April 12, 2000.

Anybody know how many crumb donuts I can make out of a 50lb bag of red winter wheat(uncracked-duh)? And also, is it safe to use the sh*tter inside now, I am tired of using that can and board set-up.

GO O/S2!!!!

-- Kori Hand-on-my-saki (fannybubbles@usa.net), April 12, 2000.

"Do you feel comfortable investing in gold?"


-- Prepped (nowis@wayof.life), April 12, 2000.

Anita is 100% correct in what she says about Flint. The "bigdodger" even stated that "flint has other forums he can post at to make fun of others" or something like that. Bigdog, holder of the velvet smog machine.

(lol Doc!)

-- (doomers@re.losers), April 12, 2000.


LOL!! Yes, it is now safe to evacuate indoors. Just don't use more than 4 sheets of TP. You'll need the rest of your stash to write little "messages-in-bottles" after the catastrophic pole shift on May 5th causes the US to become the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Speaking of pole shifts, I gotta go fix my undies...


-- Jimmy Splinters (inthe@dark.com), April 12, 2000.

ego@is.why, it should be pointed out we all have an ego to protect ourselves, myself included, but there is a great variation in the size and functionality of said egos. The problem with this entire Y2K debate past and present is that egos that are more prominent (and some perhaps disfunctional) than others on both side of the issue keep murking everything for everyone.

John Q, the way I see it, debating Doomer/Polly is as much "beating a dead horse" as a general subject as debating WWII, i.e., there's always something one can learn from such ongoing debates.

For myself, reading such threads lead me to ponder more, and helps me understand why I made the mistake of being such a doomer. I like to learn from my mistakes, hence my interest in such debates.

Cap, you examplify IMO someone who accepts responsibility for their own mistakes, and from what I see of your posts so far leads me to think that your own ego is functional.

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 12, 2000.


How could I have guessed that you think gold is a good investment? If you've been in gold for any period of time then even the NASDAQ should look good to you now.

I also find it interesting that you accuse Flint of being the anthill kicker and the question about gold is the only you've actually answered of the ones posted in response to your many personalities.

Keep waiting for doom. You'll find you've lived a a long and unhappy life.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.


The buck has to stop somewhere,might as well be where it originated.

My ego is probably so laid back it doesn't ever really get tooooo dysfunctional.

BTW,I'm glad I'm not the only former doomer here,(and I haven't been attacked once)(hold breath) I think it good not to hide in the closet.Maybe it's a sign that our egos' are quasi-normal.(at times).

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), April 12, 2000.

Flint should be banned from here??? NEVER!!! It's too much fun watching what happens after the anthill gets kicked.

WoW! Dead Horses provoking others...who'd a thought that possible?

Reptillian Space Aliens...I love it!!! This is better than the very best of TV. Are there other channels like this??? I'd go right off and buy another computer and watch in stereo...just as long as they're "merciful and quick" (sorry, Capt. Kirk).

Gold...oh yes, that yellow stuff has historically lasting value...name ONE, just ONE paper currency that has over any substantial period of time. JUST ONE????

Is there a way to add color to this board...???

-- ThisIsGreatBut (WhoReally@Cares?.com), April 12, 2000.

Well, Who Really Cares, apparently you do since you took the trouble to post your most enlightening message.

Tell you what about gold and all those nasty currencies that are so worthless. I'll be happy to sell you gold for the same amount of dollars that gold sold for on January 15, 1980. You'll be able to get more gold and I can relieve you of that fiat currency. Whadda you say?

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.

Jim you are delusional.

On this thread I have only posted using the handle "Prepped".

The RPS guy just delivered some more PM not more than an hour ago. Gold and silver are some of the most beautiful things I've ever held. I have REAL wealth in my hand right now. I am humbled every time I look at it.

I hope next month when you get your mutual fund statement and see how your paper has been ripped to shreds that we can have this conversation again.

Maybe then you can *see* the wisdom of physical wealth.

Good God I'm Hard!

-- Prepped (now@isawayof.life), April 12, 2000.

20 years does history not make

-- Another (Gold@Bug.com), April 12, 2000.

Good God Prepped!!! I sense a scene from Caligula coming on.

-- abc (123@456.789), April 12, 2000.

Miscellaneous comments and replies:

To Stupidity:

I wouldn't expect those people to recognize a giant if they walked straight into his big toe. But I expected at least ONE person to notice what the last 3+ months have made glaringly obvious the world over. To me this is doubly instructive -- it shows both how determined the doomers are to remain blind, and how successfully the moderators have discouraged anyone who has wised up.

To Prepped, BestTo, and Pam:

Hey, I also overprepared and I'll be eating stockpile stew for a very long time to come. Being prepared for even unlikely misfortune is prudent, no doubt about it. The issue at hand is that these people are using their preparations as justification for their mistaken expectations, rather than the other way around. Look, I spent substantial sums in fear of y2k that I wouldn't have spent otherwise, only to find that I *should* have spent them otherwise, y2k notwithstanding. Great, this is serendipity. But my original *reason* for spending it was wrong. Just because I'm glad I did and have no regrets doesn't mean I was less wrong.

To Another:

Yes, I said NERC was finding no functional problems last year. Repeatedly. So did others like The Engineer and Dan the Power Man. We were ignored, of course. Interestingly, one poster here (I forget who) admitted just skipping over anything I wrote on the grounds that I was a polly and therefore not worth listening to. There was even a thread devoted to people requesting that Greenspun's software put the poster's name at the TOP of the post, to speed up the process of skipping posts from people whose opinions weren't worth reading!

Hey, this thread was intended to illustrate what people say who *refuse* to see what they choose not to, even if they've been immersed in it for months. Given that level of determination, do you really question that they might refuse to see mere posts containing facts they don't like?

I'll agree that the level of smoothness we've seen was never a given. Even the militant optimists were surprised. I think the best we could have said based on everything was that the worst case had become greatly constrained. Certainly it looked to me like some organizations (like universities) would experience a month or so of confusion, enough confused organizations to provide news reports for a while.

To Helen:

Yes, good point. When I ship code, I can *never* guarantee it has no bugs. I can guarantee I've subjected it to every test I (and the customer) can dream of, and it passes them all. But what you and many others did was confuse failure to guarantee, with a guarantee of failure. Look, just because you can't guarantee that you won't have a flat tire next time you drive your car, doesn't mean you are SURE to have a flat tire. But that's exactly the thought process that misled so many doomers.

To Everything depends:

Infomagic quite clearly relied on a false analogy. I fail to see how you can equate using the wrong analogy with actual understanding. We know how interconnected and redundent our system of systems is. We know the economy plows right on through hurricanes, spectacular bankruptcies of key companies, even the entire Midwest being flooded. By now, we surely should have learned that the joke about the first woodpecker collapsing everything has no validity. Aren't you even a little encouraged to find that what you feared might have been, in fact couldn't have happened? I must say I feel a lot more confident about the world's ability to live with software now.

to ego:

Did you actually *read* that post, or are you just reciting what you were told to say? It was posted to pull Ken Decker's leg, in response to what I considered one of his more pompous efforts. It is critical of CPR. It says I chose to post reasonable analysis. I notice that of all the people instructed to take offense at it, NOT ONE mentions a single one of these things. I guess they were told not to. But just for a change, why don't you actually read it for yourself, and come to your own conclusions? Otherwise, you sound like a human form letter.

To those who talk about kicking dead horses:

Yeah, y2k is pretty dead. What's interesting is that this thread is a continuation of y2k reflections begun on the EZboard, who are perforce kicking the same dead horse. Yet on that board, nobody dares point this out, whereas here you are welcome to make the observation. Feels good, doesn't it?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

As with the phrase "iron curtain" for 20th century history, the phrase "kick the anthill" seems to have gone down in Y2k Forum History to define an era. (Flint, did you really have any clue at all when you made that post, that as with Winston Churchill your words would take on a life of their own -- to be on the lips of millions? (er, hundreds anyway) :-)

It makes perfect sense that the phrase caught on as it did. What the forums split up over is precisely "Anthill Kicking." Anyone who was on the wrong side of the correct world view or deemed to have the "wrong" motives, was judged an "anthill kicker" - but the TPTB just didn't have a good enough word for this. Leave it to Flint to supply them with one, and then have it used against him!

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 12, 2000.

'Tis a damned shame that "Our Man Flint" isn't allowed to post on EZB.

Although we often disagree, I'd otherwise defend his right to post anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Can you imagine how boring things would be here without him and the Decker Unit?

-- SupportFor (OurMan@Flint.com), April 12, 2000.


Yes, I'm kinda proud of that phrase. If it hadn't been dead accurate, it would have disappeared in the noise. If the censorites could have found a better way of announcing how on-target my description was, I can't picture what it might be. The ant-like behavior I stirred up has been a joy to watch. At least among those who like watching ants.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Flint, I think I was one who said that as a doomer, I had a tendency to skip some of your posts at times.

More I've thought about it, the more I am sure my problem was that my mind was made up early on when I entered the Y2K debate. I was one who had had this "GI vision", this "understanding in one big fell swoop", this "recognition in one GI moment of clarity" that it was too late, the world had started too late (resisting the temptation to put that last part in blinking tags ;-) )

In effect, I had closed the doors to my mind and understanding, willingly, as a reaction from my fears.

I am humbled by this knowledge that I too can panic and become so irrational. I am a nurse afterall, and coolness and rationality is a prime requisite for this job. I am cool and rational in emergencies in a hospital environment, but now it has become much clearer to me that this coolness is due to my professional knowledge. The balm on my ego is that I can imagine even you Flint, panicking were you confronted with making decisions and acting them in the kind of emergencies I've been involved ;-)

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 12, 2000.

Very good Flint.

I still like and will not trade the feeling of security my preps offer me and my family.

-- Prepped (Now@wayof.life), April 12, 2000.


You make a really, really good point there. I'll have to think about it some more, but you're quite right that knowledge is a balm. I remember when I made my living as a musician. I *loved* being on stage performing, and could never understand those who suffered stage fright. Until one day I had to fill in on an instrument I couldn't play very well at all. I was terrified. All those people! What if I screw up? Where IS that note anyway? Am I holding this thing right?

After that, I had more insight into that sort of fear. On MY instruments, I didn't even need to think about the instrument. I just "thought" the music and it seemed to come out automagically, which is what practicing 4-6 hours a day for 15 years will do for you.

And maybe y2k was easier for me to look at analytically not only because I prepared early, but because software is no mystery to me. I know what's involved in writing and fixing bugs. As someone here said, y2k looked like a mountain from a distance, but like fog up close. You could get through it fairly easily.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Flint conveniently skips over what really stuck in a lot of craws:

But hell, you and I chimed in at least partially to feel superior in our own idiosyncratic way.

Well hell flint, how nice for you and kenny.

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.


Yes, I'm honest enough to admit I feel highly superior to those like yourself who think AS TOLD. If all I could do was repeat what I was told to say, you might feel superior to me (and if you didn't, you should).

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Could you point out what makes you think I'm being told by anyone what I should think. Could it be that I really don't like assholes like you that think they are so much better than their fellow man? Could it be that others feel the same way and don't care to share company with you and your like? My God !!! It's a conspiracy !!!

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.


Only that you're aping the same party line that's been repeated essentially verbatim for over a month, and apparently you haven't been issued an opinion on the remainder of that post.

First class people enjoy everyone's company. Second class people enjoy the company of third class people. Third class people are reduced to calling other people assholes. But you might be thankful that you are at least permitted to reach the limits of your abilities here. We need the contrast. I suggest that with a bit of effort, you might give birth to an original thought and stretch those limits. You are giving up on yourself much too easily, and you don't deserve that. Nobody does.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Chris--I appreciate your responce to me and do agree. Being able to see and track my mistakes in processing information, developing conclusions and plans of action is very valuable. I take my beliefs with a huge grain of salt knowing that I can be influenced by past decisions, others opions and by my need to appear smart or on top or ahead--whatever. I welcome the changes in perceptions that lead me towards valid thought and more correct behavior. I get a huge laugh out of my mistakes. So I am Human. There I go again. Ok!

-- John Q (musing@home.com), April 12, 2000.

Bull shit !!! I don't associate with racists, bigots, or snobs that think they are better than everyone else. If I run into them at a public function (like here) I speak MY mind. I don't have to invite them to MY home (like ezboard). No party line, no conspiracy, just personal taste.

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.

Flint, dear man, I carry a spare tire for a good reason. I once had three flats in one day, in 113 degree heat, carload of small children, miles from home, while I was several months pregnant. Each time I had a flat, I made sure it got fixed and the spare was back in the car. The odds were against my needing the spare three times in one day. OK, y2k didn't produce any failures that impacted my life significantly...but the spare food functioned as a back up for a failure that I couldn't risk discounting. It's the same personal characteristic of doomerism that caused me to keep getting that spare back into the car. I sure was glad I had.

-- helen (home@the.farm), April 12, 2000.


Are you saying you consider yourself superior to racists, bigots and snobs? Why, the very idea, feeling superior. You already said those who feel superior are assholes. You seem to have painted yourself into a bit of a corner here.

Or do you now plan to change your mind and claim you're no better than your average racist, bigot or snob? That you fit right in with them? You can't have it both ways, you know.

So tell us, are you guilty of being scum, or are you guilty of being superior to scum, and therefore an asshole for considering yourself superior? I'm a bit curious how you plan to dig yourself out of this conundrum. Do tell.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Good thread! Flint, your'e right on the mark, Decker your summary of Flints take is funny and accurate, and CD's followup commentary is excellent.

-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), April 12, 2000.


Wouldn't it be better to make sure your tires are in good shape rather than risk getting flats all the time? Three flats in one afternoon could very well be indicative of tires that are wearing out, wearing unevenly, or generally not road worthy.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejunglewithouta.net), April 12, 2000.

Boring boring boring

Come up with something original, Flint.Right now you are

Boring boring boring

-- Mr. Pinochle (pinochledd@aol.com), April 12, 2000.

Once again capn'fun's post says exactly what I've been thinking; Doomers seen to be incapable of just saying "I WAS WRONG."

Chris, I too skipped lots of posts by Flint and others, because when I Got IT, I was as convinced beyond all reason this was serious. Yes, there was plenty of news saying everything was going to be ok and it was substantive. But I was a blind and deaf GI, so I didn't believe it.

I look back with mortification at this brain drain I suffered. All my life I've been the critic, who looked at something and said, "Is this for real?" or "What's the catch." or "I don't believe it, I'm from Missouri, Show-ME!" So I feel anyone, especially a born skeptic, that has fallen for such a slickering, should at least have the guts to say, "Hey, I was WRONG. I listened to those filled with FUD. A little older, and a lot wiser and I won't get slickered again.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), April 12, 2000.


You're quite right, being prepared is an excellent idea. Never said it wasn't. I was trying to say that nobody can ever possibly guarantee they will have no problems. So far, my code has been robust and hasn't failed in the field. But it you were to ask me if it would *ever* fail, the best I could say is "I hope not". I can NOT know. Anyone who told you there was NO chance of y2k bugs was lying, no matter how thoroughly they'd tested their code. However, once you've tested 99.99% of what that code does every day and it all passes, you can be comfortable. NEVER entirely certain, but comfortable.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Mr. Pinochle:

Why in tarnation do you wade through to the bottom of a long thread that bores you? And why bother to post this? Why don't you start a new thread yourself that's

interesting interesting interesting

and I'll be glad to read it. If I find it boring, I'll move on to the next one. To be honest, I find most threads boring. But you seem to be looking for some excuse to be critical. Surely you can find a better excuse. There's plenty of material here for you to dislike, if you put your mind to it.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 12, 2000.

Flint, one of the best programmers I know in the telecommunications area of oil production bought a generator in 1999. All I bought was some extra lamp oil, but you get my train of thought...

Tarzan, the tires were in fair shape. I just ran into nails in three different areas several miles apart that day. The odds are against that sort of thing, aren't they?

-- helen (home@the.farm), April 12, 2000.


I can't make a fair judgement since I have too little time to read all of the posts. I can just scan them [this thread took most of my scanning time]. Like late 99, I am gone much of the time. Therefore, my analysis may not be true. It does bring to mind a quote that I remember. I believe it referred to Eire.

There is no present or future--only the past, happening over and over again--now. Eugene O'Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten I now must got to a meeting. [David L.; note that I changed to green] :o)........

Best wishes to all,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), April 12, 2000.

Gilda, yes I've picked up with you right away that you went through the same process as I did. Seems we're both bent on not delusioning ourselves anymore.

I don't believe though, that for the most part "doomers" were trying to "slicker" us. Heck, you and I were part of that "doomer" crowd, weren't we? I view it more as slickering ourselves into it as a group. But, definitely I'm still not convinced that Ed Yourdon wasn't trying to slicker the doomer of us into continuing this self-delusion mindset, as well as any other "expert" with a selfish agenda.

There as so many other "doomers" from pre-roll over that I don't view as extremist in their views, but moderates like you and me, that I still haven't heard from since. Who knows where they all are? Maybe they've just moved on and forgot about this board (some have I know) and maybe others still lurk, or post incognito.

*Waving to all my past fellow doomers*

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 12, 2000.


Tires that are in good shape are usually able to drive over nails, glass, and other detritus in the road without going flat. Tires that are wearing out are more likely to go flat when they hit a nail.

I worked construction while in college, and have driven over hundreds of nails, with only one flat tire. No one else in that team had flats either. It was just a matter of making sure our tires were road worthy.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejunglewithouta.net), April 12, 2000.

I'm still a nine.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), April 12, 2000.


I had to chuckle away to myself when I read your comment about a programmer in the telecommunications field who bought a generator. In our power company I'm not aware of anyone buying a generator, as we were all quite convinced that power generation wouldn't be an issue.

However we did arrange for, and test a number of alternative communications systems because we couldn't be sure of the telecommunications being OK during the roll-over.

This is probably one of the reasons why so many people were sure that there would be major failures all over. Many technical people like myself were saying "Our systems are all OK, but we're not sure about _____". Thus no one was prepared to put any certainty on any system being OK.

The alternative though was that no-one in a technical field was prepared to guarantee that any particular system would fail. So the same argument could have been used to say that "Nothing will go wrong". We all knew that there would be some minor glitches. The big question was how minor or major would they be, and more importantly, what would be the impact.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), April 12, 2000.


When the board split and you knew yourdon had given his "OK" for the bannings,did you feel like you may have been slickered?

I did,and thats my fault,but yourdon is still a stinkin' piece of caca.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), April 12, 2000.

"When the board split and you knew yourdon had given his "OK" for the bannings,did you feel like you may have been slickered?"

Cap, actually I started to feel it way before the split when Ed agreed to censor/moderate the forum and appointed sysops. I was against that and spoke up. But my fears being in the way and clouding my judgement, I was complacent way more than I should have been, which helped fueling my self-delusionment. I agree with you Cap, I'm just trying to be a bit more tactful with the words I choose lately. Part of my "new post Y2K attitude" ;-)

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 12, 2000.


My doubts about Ed started after April 99 when he erased his predictions about fiscal year rollovers from his website. And then that piece about leaving the game before it was over. Oh well. Why I didn't voice my doubts I'm still pondering, lemming mentality I guess.

Hindsight, it's a 20/20 thing.


King of the snookered, he who's faith in his own judgement has taken a serious hit...

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), April 12, 2000.

You may feel you're a lemming Unk, but I have my healthy ego still functioning ;^)

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 12, 2000.

Would you like to point out where I said I thought I was superior to racists, bigots and snobs?

Bull shit !!! I don't associate with racists, bigots, or snobs that think they are better than everyone else. If I run into them at a public function (like here) I speak MY mind. I don't have to invite them to MY home (like ezboard). No party line, no conspiracy, just personal taste.

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.

All I said was that I don't invite them to my home.

Flint, you need to grow up and learn that not all people will like you. The people that own ezboard don't chose to invite you to their home, get over it, They already have.

-- Flints (ego@is.why), April 12, 2000.


Lemmings of a feather...... ; )


There are very much times for tact,then there are times for calling a spade a spade and letting the truth speak for itself.We are not talking about Y2K prognostications,we are talking about very recent,verifiable actions by identifiable people.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), April 13, 2000.

Chris really amazes me some times:

I have my healthy ego still functioning ;^)

Have you heard from Rhoda L. Bolls lately?

-- Shameus (another@otf.r), April 13, 2000.

Cap, I think you missed my attempt at humor again, it was meant as a poke in the ribs to Unk, whom I felt would understand the ribbing. That's why the nose-up-in-the-air emoticon. I've been yelling on the virtual roof-top of this forum just how much of a lemming I've been, seems to me.

It's hard to attempt humor on a forum where one is constently walking on eggshells. But I'm human too dang it!

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 13, 2000.


Emoticons are sometimes over my head ; ) Like I said on another thread,wer'e cool.Just two former doomers tryin' to make our way in the world ; )

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), April 13, 2000.

Chris.... Why would you be walking on egg shells?.. as a fellow doomer, and non-tech type, we did what we thought was prudent. I had no firm commitment to either side of the debate... I just looked at what the stakes were, and preped accordingly, and had a lot of fun twisting the tails of the loud mouths on both sides.. ok.. mostly the Pollys :-) I didn't do anything that would affect my life if Y2k was a bust... zip, zero... think I spent all of 300 bucks on things I won't us this year :-)

Don't walk on egg shells just because this is a make over of De Bunker... spit in their eye :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 13, 2000.


"Mostly pollies"? Seems like mostly might be a slight understatement here :^)

I'm way at the bottom of a long thread so no one will probably ever read this but after reading all the posts I'm afraid it's quite clear that Flint actually does have a "big brain". He's not only been right but has generally been thoughtful, respectful, and logical.

Apparently this really cranks some folks off.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), April 13, 2000.

You're right... Flint is a "big brain"... he is very eloquent in his "ant hill kicking", and his ego shines thru strong and hard.

So What?... He is still an asshole that I wouldn't allow near my house, let alone in it.

Just My personal taste in company :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 13, 2000.


Don't be too hard on yourself, dude. You were always one with whom I could commuicate on some level "back then"; and I wasn't exactly known for being overly 'friendly' to those with whom I disagreed, now was I.

And heck, I was a doomer for about 4-5 months too. (though many never did believe that) Right many pollies were, to begin with....when they first became aware of the whole subject.

-- Chicken Little (panic@forthebirds.net), April 13, 2000.

You're right... Flint is a "big brain"... he is very eloquent in his "ant hill kicking", and his ego shines thru strong and hard.

So What?... He is still an asshole that I wouldn't allow near my house, let alone in it.

But you have no problems going to his "house" to insult him. LOL.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), April 13, 2000.

" I just looked at what the stakes were, and preped accordingly, and had a lot of fun twisting the tails of the loud mouths on both sides.. ok.."

Careful what you say Netghost, this could be construed as kicking the anthill around here. Unless you're envious of Flint ofcourse, and are looking for your own 15 minutes of fame with "twisting the tails" ;-)

And the stakes vs odds issue is not the point, if I hadn't seen the stakes as being so high I wouldn't have panicked in the first place.

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 13, 2000.

Dear Mr. Flint,

There is one word which perfectly describes the behaviour of post- roll-over doomers: meme.

Vindicated Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (andyman633@hotmail.com), April 13, 2000.

I have broken bread with Flint and he is a quite reasonable fellow in real life. Unlike many, he is willing to admit his errors, usually with a sense of humor.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 13, 2000.

"There is one word which perfectly describes the behaviour of post- roll-over doomers: meme. "

As well as pre-roll over behavior, don't you think? Goes for pollies as well as doomers, obviously.

"meme", actual french spelling is mjme. Literal english translation: same.

As in, "plus ga change, plus c'est la mjme chose." or "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 13, 2000.

Andy Ray, trying to understand your usage of "meme", I went to look it up in WWWebster;

Etymology: alteration of mimeme, from mim- (as in mimesis) + -eme

: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

We're both right ;-)

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), April 13, 2000.


What will happen when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 1999? A single, specific answer to that question is still unknown (and, ultimately, unknowable) but the extensive information developed by the Committee and outlined in this report provides an understanding of the size, scope, and nature of the problems that may occur.

There is currently widespread awareness that Y2K involves more than the failure of an individual's personal computer, or an incorrect date in a spreadsheet. Potential Y2K problems increase exponentially upon examination of the multiple layers of computer systems, networks and technologies supporting individuals' everyday lives. It is now widely understood that Y2K could affect the lives of individuals, but exactly in what manner is unknown.

Inherent uncertainty in the outcome of Y2K fuels public concern and makes preparation difficult. Sensationalists continue to fuel rumors of massive Y2K failures and government conspiracies, while some corporations and nations concerned about their image downplay real Y2K problems. The Committee finds that both extremes are counterproductive, and do not accurately reflect what typifies most Y2K problems. The true extent of Y2K failures will match neither the most optimistic nor the most apocalyptic predictions. Rather, Y2K problems will hit sporadically, based on geography, size of organization, and level of preparedness, and will cause more inconveniences than tragedies.

While optimism pervades the domestic Y2K outlook, uncertainty with regard to Y2K's impact dictates that preparation is prudent. Individuals and companies must take charge of their own situation by examining the Y2K readiness of the utilities and services that they depend on, and by preparing accordingly. . . .

The Committee conducted extensive research and held numerous hearings in 1999, but still cannot conclusively determine how extensive Y2K disruptions will be. However, the Committee has no data to suggest that the U. S. will experience nationwide social or economic collapse. Nonetheless, disruptions will occur and in some cases those disruptions will be significant. The international situation will certainly be more tumultuous

-- Was it a reason for (optimism@or.pessimism?), April 13, 2000.

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