BigDog Reviews Y2K : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting Russ BigDog's promised May review of Y2K. You can find it here. Enjoy!

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), May 24, 2000


SIZE=2>I have not been posting or visiting EZBoard much lately due to the happy press of daily life. However, I had promised to some that I would share my perceptions about Y2K before the end of May.

Y2K is mainly history, except for some behind the scenes mopping up. That is great news. In fact, it was mainly history after the first week of January  also great news. I said last year and certainly stand by it now that it doesnt matter how many problems there may have been behind the scenes; if they didnt rise above the noise level, they count as a Y2K success.

I became increasingly confident towards the end of last year that the power grid would stay up and was reasonably confident about telecom and banking. However, I was extremely uncertain about the status of the international community and the global supply chain. I also felt there was a small but real chance of a crisis breakdown in petroleum. Coupled to the financial bubble, I expected a depression.

We had always prepared extensively to help our community. We purchased quantities of oxygen, meds and other supplies to support my wifes midwifery practice to the community should the small, local rural hospital collapse (three years worth). We purchased enough seeds to feed 200 of our rural neighbors (not entirely, of course) as well as livestock. During a second year and with the cooperation of other farmers, we could have fed 2,000. I got my ham license to help support local communication nets. We made other similar preparations.

I was under no illusions that any x decision would be enough in a worst case but always assumed that Y2K would be unpredictable on all sides. Besides, one does what one can.

As I recall (I could be wrong), I pegged likely impacts in the summer of 1999 as:

Depression  45% <br>
Recession  40% <br>
TEOTWAKI  10% <br>
Bump  5%

Fortunately, the pollies were correct. Whether they were correct due to accurate knowledge, wishful thinking or something in between is more difficult to determine. Of course, in hindsight, history appears to the winners as though it had always been predetermined. Being right or wrong about Y2K was never important to me so this subject, per se, doesnt interest me.

One of my most strongly held convictions last year was the inadequacy and systemic uncertainty of the data on the subject. I spent a number of years specializing in IT metrics; long enough to understand both the critical value of the subject as well as the ludicrous lack of standards. Some will remember that I often said it was possible that Y2K remediation was much further along than we thought or less far along but that it was impossible to know (with the caveat that my seat-of-the-pants confidence about key systems in the U.S. grew throughout 1999).

I also insisted (and still would) that the systemic deception in our contemporary culture makes it extraordinarily difficult to evaluate facts. This doesnt mean everyone lies. If they did (or if the deceit was predictable, as it was under Maoism or Stalinism), life would be far simpler. Consequently, I was decidedly mistrustful of all the metrics of Y2K completion statistics. I still consider them ridiculous.

I also believed that Y2K uniquely stressed (ie, taxed) the knowledge of all experts, since it crossed over IT career categories, world political and industry sectors and type of devices and applications (soft, embedded, etc). While there were obviously overlaps, this was the first time that the world faced the risk of a common mode failure across such a disparate range of systems. Mixing this with politics made it a particularly bizarre brew, which could only further skew the metrics.

I did not (and do not) believe that there could be, by definition, any Y2K experts as such (that is, who could comprehend the potential impact to all systems simultaneously and then interpret that in light of the political and media dynamics).

In retrospect, my biggest mistake in the Y2K debate was not to take my OWN position as seriously as I should have.

That is, since I believed Y2K impact trajectories were inherently unknowable while we were in the midst of remediation, any personal Y2K impact prediction was inherently irrational on my part. With one hand, I firmly believed it was impossible to know the impact ahead of time  with the other, I expected a bad result. That was dumb. A wide range of good and bad results were possible.

This is different, in my opinion, from the merits of preparation for Y2K. While I always believed preparation for Y2K was a highly personal decision, I was convinced (and still am) that any serious nonzero potential of a common mode breakdown dictated major preparation.

While I consider it entirely consistent with my long-held position that the corporations which spent hundreds of millions on Y2K may have spent that money on a host of blended genuine and deceptive projects, some of the hardest-headed capitalists in the world treated the possibility of a common mode breakdown as considerably more possible than a comet striking the earth.

Since my preparations enhanced my life, the Y2K uncertainties merely sped up a settled life direction.

I also felt (and continue to feel) that the most important preparation was spiritual and ethical. I never assumed that doomers would be better prepared in this respect than pollies or vice versa. Life is too strange for such judgments.

Since hard data (as contrasted to speculation) about the reasons for the absence of Y2K impacts are as speculative today as the metrics were during 1999, any or all of the following, in no special priority order, probably played a role in Y2K impacts:

Less international dependence on Y2K-exposed technology than expected. <br>
Y2K fixes were less complex than supposed. <br>
Longer cycle of system replacement, fix and test prior to rollover than believed. <br>
Minor impact of embedded systems. <br>

Those are oversimplifications that are nearly useless, though each probably contains important truths. Let those who are experts pontificate on each of them.

In the real world, it was always vital that the pollies be right, given the global lack of serious preparation. Thank God they were.

For me personally, Y2K was and remains a fascinating wake-up call about the complexity of worldwide systems and their potential impact on us all. Certainly, I consider the evidence for the robustness of our technical systems most encouraging. Not unlike the Internet, the world as a system of systems has evidenced more ability to route around damage than I expected. Wonderful! That said, Y2K continues to expose how little we understand that complexity, which functions more like an autonomous intelligence than I would prefer.

This is true not only of hard technology but our financial systems, environmental systems, biomedical systems and, for that matter, our culture (which is experimenting in real-time with the wholesale destruction of its past in favor of a presumably undetermined but utopian global future).

My family had been pursuing increasing self-reliance for several years before Y2K emerged as an issue. Obviously, it greatly sped up our personal skill-building. I am thrilled that I could throttle down the sense of urgency once Y2K began to disappear off the radar scope. Now, we can return to a more peaceful life that supports the same objectives.

This has included expanding our livestock hobby (adding more goats and broilers to our goat, layers and pigs, with beef cattle to come) and expanding our garden. Though never really overweight, I took the opportunity to lose 20 pounds over the past few months and weight lift  a blood pressure of 110 over 60 is a nice bonus. My oldest sons make sport of my claim that I am now buff, but that is expected and part of the fun.

As well as reading a number of technical books, I have been revisiting Plato lately as we explore knowledge management in our computer work  the Meno and Theatetus as well as the Republic are quite relevant.

I believe that self-reliance is a missing note in American culture today, to our great detriment. Self-reliance is not contradictory to community but, in fact, makes true, dignified relations between persons possible. Whether evidenced as the ability to grow food, repair a car, build a shed, responsibly fire a gun or suture a wound, we strengthen ourselves and our world when we possess such skills. Technical skills are equally germane, I would add.

More specifically, my wife and I may seek to open a low-cost birth center in our town to help the many farm and other families who cannot afford quality medical services. This is just a continuation of the same convictions that led us to prepare for Y2K. I will continue to support the family by other means, as long as I am able, so we can help folks, whether in this way or others.

Our life was joyful before Y2K. It was joyful while we prepared for Y2K. It is joyful now.

St. John's Wort also helps, at least during the stupidly long winters.

I said many times last year on TB2K (and MEANT it) that I viewed no one there as an enemy - though I became quite angry at times and had others equally angry at me. So what? Serious issues deserve serious passion.

As a Christian, I consider it entirely possible that the world will experience divine judgment in my lifetime  not certain, possible. While personal preparation may make it possible to help others in such an event, the best way to prepare for that, not to mention death and eternal judgment, is repentance. Not least  and without minimizing the human element whatsoever  I certainly believe we experienced Gods mercy with respect to Y2K.

For that and, indeed, all the efforts of those who worked so hard to fix Y2K (the two go together hand-in-glove), I will always be grateful. Whether or not I can be said to have deliberately offended anyone last year as we debated Y2K (I dont believe this was ever in my heart but which of us knows our own heart?), I certainly hope those who were offended can forgive.

I never took permanent offense in turn. I never felt that Y2K was about apologies and certainly not about its outcome! I feel no need to apologize for my expectations about Y2K impacts or my strong encouragement that folks prepare for it  and continue to prepare for much else in life. Quite the contrary - I would be delighted to discover that others have also discovered some of the same simple pleasures.

Now, off to the golf course.

-- Cap'n Revisionist (laughin', May 24, 2000.


I have other matters to attend to, but I'll be back to weigh on the comments from last year's winner of the TB 2000 "nasty little man" award.

-- Ken Decker (, May 24, 2000.

He said that his final input on all things Y2K would be delivered at the end of May 2000. For that I take off my hat.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), May 24, 2000.

Here's a tally of the responses there so far:

"Y2K preps were insurance" - 4 responses

"There was no way to know" - 1 response

"Don't speak too soon, Y2K can still bite us, look at the gas prices, etc." - 2 responses

This is not a scientific poll and there is some inevitable overlap. Still, it's nice to know that some things never change.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), May 24, 2000.


I ask one thing from you - compose your rebuttal, then sit on it for a short while prior to posting it. True BD just gave us a Clinton apology, but please try to show yourself in the best light.

Or you can rip him a new a**hole. It'll be interesting to see which road you take.

Waiting with baited breath,

-- Bingo1 (, May 24, 2000.

BS and time for him to change his "screen name" to "Big Jerk" because he has more than earned it.

There was no way in the world for a nobody like this to reach valid conclusions about such matters when the source of his information was the garbage on the web and his own criteria.

Read what he writes here and you see the typical Yourdon "I know what I know ..............and YOU DON'T because you are not me".


"I became increasingly confident towards the end of last year that the power grid would stay up and was reasonably confident about telecom and banking. However, I was extremely uncertain about the status of the international community and the global supply chain. I also felt there was a small but real chance of a crisis breakdown in petroleum. Coupled to the financial bubble, I expected a depression."

OR to translate for the few who would ever read this tripe: a computer worker takes it upon himself to stockpile for a coming disaster and insist others do the same and now long after he has been proven to be the "Big Jerk" second only to Yourdon and North, he dares limp wrists a backhand, as a Christian, I'm certainly sorry if I offended anyone???


Only Dennis the Non-Menace is left to recant but then his TV interview for his 15 seconds of fame revealed in January that it was only the start of the 2nd Quarter and that by JULY no less, he would probably give his surplus to the Food Banks.

Only 5 weeks left for him.

For the irrational "Shakeys" of the world who still think "ITS COMING", who cares?

-- The Shadow (, May 24, 2000.

Typical AND expected. see the thread

Doomers on Display, Russ Lipton

Wherein I predicted correctly that Mr. Lipton would indeed take the path of "doublespeak". His response to the compilation of threads?

"wah! your not taking everything I said into account! wah!"

"Obviously, picking out a handful of threads that are most likely to embarrass me overlooks a few other contributions, but that's life on the web."

[so a thread from almost every single month...and RL being VERY consistant in ALL of them....somehow is being "selective" on my part???? LOL!]

You ARE a piece of work, Russ.......

-- Psych Major (psychob@b.le), May 24, 2000.

Hi, your guru Big Dog speaking. Here's the rundown on y2k:

So, what happened to "the code is broken"? Well, turns out it wasn't anywhere near as broken as I thought. BUT, nobody could have possibly known that -- except those who fixed and tested it, but who couldn't be trusted because they weren't saying what I wanted to hear.

And what happened to "we started too late"? Well, turns out we started in plenty of time after all. BUT, nobody could have known that, they were *all lucky* since nobody understands their own systems.

As an ethical Christian, I'm not angry at anyone and hold no grudges. So why did I work so hard to ban everyone who disagreed with me, and uphold that ban to this day? Well, since I don't want any hard feelings I think I'll just ignore this, OK? BUT, I'll keep that ban, thank you.

Anyway, "Being right or wrong about Y2K was never important to me". In fact, it was so unimportant that I ran a preparation forum and was ready to feed and care for 2000 people! One does what one can, expending all reasources to do so, even though it's not important at all.

Now, WHY didn't anything go wrong? Nobody knows! Since we can only guess, my guesses are as good as anyone's. And I guess that the code wasn't as broken as I thought and we started early enough. But anyone who said this last year (or earlier) was also guessing, because I knew better. Bottom line: GOD fixed those bugs with pure mercy!

In fact, ALL of our systems are more complex than I can understand. And this means they're all unstable and subject to sudden systemic breakdown. How do I know this? Because anything I can't understand MUST be like that. How else could it be? Therefore, everyone who was totally wrong was really right after all. Hallelujah!

Now, y'all repent while I play golf, y'hear?


-- Flint (, May 24, 2000.

From Big Jerk right above :

"....... This doesnt mean everyone lies. If they did (or if the deceit was predictable, as it was under Maoism or Stalinism), life would be far simpler. Consequently, I was decidedly mistrustful of all the metrics of Y2K completion statistics. I still consider them ridiculous."

Yes, Big Jerk, ITS A CONSPIRACY I TELL YE!!! Read it again:

"......I also insisted (and still would) that the systemic deception in our contemporary culture makes it extraordinarily difficult to evaluate facts" So, it was all "bad information". He was "mislead", poor baby.

And that gave him the right with the others to delete the "disruptors".

In reality, what Yourdon, Big Jerk, Diane, "Chuck" and the rest of the Delete button pushers did was little different than mind control by those they held up as examples of the dictatorships molded by other Fear Mongers from the Inquisition to Hitler to Stalin to TB2000.

Only a "matter of degree". Justified in their petty minds as "necessary" for the cause because of the Evil Pollies (or any who would oppose them).

AND THAT'S WHY WE CALL HIM THE "BIG JERK" and the rest of them are just "gradations" of Jerkiness.

Yourdon is trying to use this sort of line so we must conclude Big Jerk is just blowing up the trial balloon a bit more.

It is almost historically true that Extremists always turn into that which they fear the most. All disguised and smoothed over as "just trying to be helpful" in the role of the self-sacrificing altruists.

Actually, the whole Y2k Fear Mongering business was a well planned conspiracy if you use the arguments they themselves try to pass off.

It should be clear it was all a coverup by Yourdon and the insiders who really work for Gary North Enterprises.

-- The Shadow (, May 24, 2000.

Again, I'm having a hard time acknowledging the significance of Russ's post. [I understand that he said he would do it, and he did. For THAT, the man deserves at least the admiration that is due one who holds to his word.]

BEYOND that, however, I see no significance. IMO, this was NEVER about Y2k for Russ. THAT became evident to ME when he submitted the fictional story of a virus that attacks in the year 2006 [If someone can find that one faster than I, you're welcome.] In that thread, Russ stated that there's ALWAYS a need to be prepared. He elucidates on these thoughts in this post, wherein he states that his family had been moving in this direction for several years Prior to the Y2k "threat", but *I* felt that the post of the fictional story indicated that Russ simply had the desire and inclination to live a lifestyle outside of the mainstream.

I don't think there's anything WRONG with chosing to live a lifestyle outside of the mainstream. One might say that Russ was wrong to concentrate on his experience in IT while discussing Y2k with others. I'd agree with that assessment. However, anyone who read the posts of Russ could see that he clearly stated he had NO remediation experience. He had a "picture" in his mind of what COULD happen [like many others], but his messages were geared toward others who favored a self-reliant lifestyle. Responses from those with experience in remediation were met with the same type of responses that Christians experience when questioned about their faith: "Don't interrupt my message. I KNOW I'm right and you're wrong."

-- Anita (, May 24, 2000.

Does this mean Y2K is finally over?


-- Buddy (, May 24, 2000.

I became increasingly confident towards the end of last year that the power grid would stay up and was reasonably confident about telecom and banking. However, I was extremely uncertain about the status of the international community and the global supply chain. I also felt there was a small but real chance of a crisis breakdown in petroleum. Coupled to the financial bubble, I expected a depression.

I believe this paragraph is representitive of many of those who took part in the old forum last year. A lot of progress had been made, but the impact of what appeared to still be unrepaired was the big unknown.

One of the responses here to Big Dog's piece was this...

There was no way in the world for a nobody like this to reach valid conclusions about such matters when the source of his information was the garbage on the web and his own criteria.

It's all a question of where an intelligent person could have looked for credible information (not opinion) about Y2K last year. The NERC was fairly specific about electricity in the second half of 1999, but information about other sectors in the U.S. and the situation abroad left Y2K a question mark.

I know someone is going to say here that those outside of various businesses and organizations here and overseas had no right to expect specific Y2K info from these groups -- and I respect that. But, it was unrealistic to expect those looking for that kind of information to not make the kinds of preparations they deemed prudent, especially when estimates on Y2K repair costs continued to rise in the late '90s and as deadlines were missed. We were told by almost every responsible party that Y2K was something that HAD to be fixed.

Forget about Big Dog for a minute. I don't believe there was any way that, let's say, a FEMA official or a U.S. congressman could know with certainty that the global supply chain would work as well in 2000 as it did in 1999. Oil, computer parts, ball bearings, and medicine are just a few of the things we depend on -- much of which comes from abroad.

It was clear late last year that Y2K wasn't going to mean a total collapse of society, but there was no convincing information that the only possible outcome was the near non-event that it has been since Jan. 1.

-- (I@prepared.too), May 24, 2000.

>>but there was no convincing information that the only possible outcome was the near non-event that it has been since Jan. 1. <<

ummmmmmmmm....... "near"? I don't think the phrase 'non-event' needs any qualification.


-- Johnny Canuck (, May 24, 2000.

Ah, yes, its threads like this that keep me coming here. I, of course, am of the Polly persuasion; I spent the rollover in Cozumel, Mexico having a very good time. Cozumel was quiet this New Year because fear of Y2K kept people away. For that I thank all you doomers out there (although the restaurant owners in Cozumel were cursing you on a daily basis).

The think that always facinated me about the Y2K thing was "why"? Why did so many of the doomer persuasion feel it was time to head to the hills unless someone could "prove" to them that the entire world had been tested and was Y2K complain. After all, over the years I've had quite the assortment of moonies, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. show up at my door predicting various flavors of doom. And, I've just sort of ignored them. To me, statements like "if our computers get confused about the date, civilization will end" seem like the type of things to be skeptical about. So, what I've always wondered is why, when techno-moonie Yourden showed up at people's doors, they took him seriously.

In other words, why did so many people credit the Y2K hysteria in the first place? I never saw any credible evidence to do so.

-- E.H. Porter (Just, May 24, 2000.

It was the I Ching. Those damned hexagrams told me to prepare. I threw the bones & they predicted "interesting times ahead".

Wait, that was the fortune cookie message from last evening. Uh, give me a minute, E. H., it'll come to me.

-- Bingo1 (, May 24, 2000.

In other words, why did so many people credit the Y2K hysteria in the first place? I never saw any credible evidence to do so.


By 1995, "the Paul Revere for the year2000 computer crisis," as The New York Times dubbed him, was pounding the lecture circuit'. "If today were December 31, 1999," de Jager told audiences, "tomorrow our economy worldwide would stop. It wouldn't grind to a halt. It would snap to a halt, You would not have a dial tone.... You would not have air travel. You would not have Federal Express. You would not have the Postal Service. You would not have water. You would not have power. Because the systems are broken."

Before long, de Jager was delivering 85 speeches a year. A book (Managing 00: Surviving the Year 2000 Computing Crisis) was also in the works, along with pricey seminars on videotape and a 600,000- visits-per month Web Such was de lager's influence that the American Stock Exchange named a listing of Y2Kremediation companies after him. During its first year in operation, the value of the "de Jager Year 2000 Index" jumped 100 percent-two and a half times more than the Dow. Its namesake, who was reportedly pulling in more than $1 million a year; wasn't doing badly, either-a fact de Jager's critics never tired of pointing out. Some scoffed at the need for doomsaying. In 1997, David Star; chief information officer for Readers' Digest, called the clamor over Y2K "the biggest fraud perpetrated by consultants on the business community since re-engineering." Added Money, "We cope with wars, huge upheavals, natural disasters of all sorts. And now we're going to be stopped in our tracks by a computer glitch?" Even the John Birch Society joined the chorus, suggesting that Y2K could lead to a government power grab reminiscent of the Reichstag fire.

IBM, however, was taking Y2K quite seriously, and as far back as October 1995 had announced a series of steps to "assist customers in timely Year 2000 transitions." That IBM had played a leading role in creating the need for those transitions-and faced the prospect of whopping lawsuits wasn't mentioned. But the company left no doubt that big trouble was coming. "The problem is large; it's complex," IBM's press release quoted de Jager as saying. "IBM is right ... to address this issue today."

Internet publisher John Westergaard needed no convincing. His friend New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a different story: he still wrote on a typewriter. But that had not kept the two men from being close, nor had it prevented Westergaard from being Moynihan's campaign treasurer. And so, over lunch one day in early 1996, Moynihan listened intently as Westergaard spun a bloodcurdling tale of a phenomenon he'd never heard of. "I had' a fascinating lunch in New York," the senator told reporters when he got back to Washington. "A friend was talking about madcow disease for the computers of the world." He wasn't kidding, Moynihan said. "There is a bug in every computer that will cause it to go haywire January' 1, 2000, and the federal government better get its act together. If they can't pay their bills and issue checks in a normal fashion it is going to domino to all other things."

When the warning went virtually unnoticed. Moynihan asked the Congressional Research Service to prepare a report on possible Y2K consequences. What came back in June 1996 was chilling: hospital systems failing, airplanes not taking off or landing, records being scrambled-one cataclysm after another. Moynihan passed the news to Bill Clinton in a July 31, 1996, letter, along with a recommendation that the president appoint someone who would ensure that all federal agencies-and the companies that did business with them-be Y2K- compliant by January 1, 1999. "The computer has been a blessing," Moynihan closed. "If we don't act quickly, however; it could become the curse of the age."

Moynihan was not telling Clinton anything he didn't already know; eight months earlier; Howard Rubin, chairman of the computer-science department at Hunter College, had briefed the president in detail. "Clinton understood that technology is more than the Internet and pulling wires through high schools," says Rubin. "He really understood how everything was tied together [and Y2K's] potential for broad reaching consequences. He was very interested and very concerned." Al Gore was slower on the uptake. "How could this be a problem in a country where we have Intel and Microsoft?" he exclaimed when Rubin finished; Rubin shot back, "No way are you going to be able to run for office in 2000 if government systems are failing around you." Gore had no reply. "He was educatable," says Rubin, "but with effort."

Moynihan, meanwhile, was getting only silence. Finally, three months after sending his letter, he received a reply from the Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B.). It thanked' him for' the. heads-up and pledged to keep an eye on the problem.

Far from reassured, Moynihan introduced bills calling for the designation of a Y2K czar, the establishment of compliance deadlines, and a bipartisan national commission to address what was called "a devastating computer problem which will have extreme negative economic and national security consequences unless dealt with."

The legislation went nowhere, even as reports of Y2K incidents piled up. In Pennsylvania, a computer network that scheduled patient appointments at three hospitals and 75 Clinics shut down after someone punched in a visit for January 2000. In Michigan, a produce store's brand-new cash registers crashed more than 100 times when customers tried to pay with credit cards expiring in 2000. In Minnesota in 1993, officials instructed 104-year-old Mary Bandar to report to kindergarten after a computer took her 1888 birth date to mean that she was 4 years old. During a Y2K test-run at a Maryland jail, computers decided that inmates who still had time to serve were ready to be released. Industry was getting hit as well. At Amway, a mixing system for a cleaning product rejected a batch of chemicals when a computer read a 2000 expiration date as 1900. At a Chrysler plant, a Y2K dry run locked every entryway and exit and wouldn't let anyone in or out. At a Fortune 500 financial-services company, computers sent out bills for 96 years' interest.



-- y2k in (the@mid.1990's), May 24, 2000.

-- (, May 24, 2000.

Best advice I ever received -- don't believe everything you read. Did you verify any of this back years ago? And, was there any indication that someone didn't fix the problem promptly?

-- E.H. Porter (Just, May 24, 2000.


No, was either the Welsh Rarebit,

or the Forehead Incision with Sweet & Sour...

-- flora (***@__._), May 24, 2000.


I'm not sure I can improve on Flint's funny summary. As far as BDs Y2K review... there really isn't any meangingufl content. It was this style of post that led me to start calling Lipton, "Big Dodger," last year.

Russ Lipton reminds me of the fundamentalist Christians who divide the world into two neat categories... saved and unsaved. (Remember "GI" and "DGI"?) I think Lipton experienced Y2K in very theological terms. He and Ed Yourdon were firmly on the side of God. Flint, Hoff and others were obviously pawns of Lucifer aka the gov't.

In this Holy battle, I think Big Dog felt justified to use any tactic available to "save" people. This included nasty personal attacks to discredit individuals, particularly when he could not adequately dismiss their arguments. It meant defending Ed Yourdon at every turn and encouraging the egregious behavior of the forum bullies.

For all I know, Russ is a wonderful husband, father, etc. He seems relatively articulate and bright. On the subject of Y2K, however, his fanaticism turned into rather nasty behavior. In my experience, this happens too often with zealots... religious or otherwise.

Along the way, Russ stopped thinking about Y2K and started chanting. Do you remember, "It's still Y2K, stupid?" He was savvy enough to soften his position in late '99, but he was handicapped by the classic "doomer" predisposition. As evidenced, Russ saw a great deal wrong with the world. I imagine Y2K was simply a catalyst.

What I didn't like about Russ Lipton, quite simply, was that I saw in him the same smiling, smug, self-assured face of the Inquisition. I suppose, Bingo, you may find this terribly unfair of me. You have met Russ and I have not. Consider this, my friend. If you agree that his behavior was "nasty," attributing it to a misguided faith is far more charitable than the alternative. I'd be delighted to hear your take.

-- Ken Decker (, May 24, 2000.

Big Dog---"smiling, smug, self-assured" asshole and doom spreader. His late May post is just another example of his self-centered pontificating on an old worn out subject, on which he was wrong, wrong, wrong. I'll never forget on a post about overpopulation, Big Dog making one of his stupid remarks about wanting to fill the world with more and more Big Dogs or Little Dogs or something stupid.

He's a showoff. He couldn't do anything as low key as email consumer, he had to start a thread to call attention to himself with "RUOK consumer." I email two other posters on this forum, but I do not feel the need to set up my own personal chat room here in order to talk with them.

Flint, I liked your post. You said it all. Well I've griped long enough, and I spend too much time on this computer. I'm outta' here. See you the next millennium.

-- gilda (, May 24, 2000.


I think the "RUOK Consumer" thread was started by Chuck, The Night Driver. We can't blame Russ for this one.

Flink had, as usual, an excellent response but let me say something to those of you posting old quotes that showed there might be some problems at Y2K.

There was no question that there might be some problems. The only real question was of what magnitiude. Russ apparently believed there were going to big, big problems if he was ready to feed 2,000 people. That's what there was no justification for - preparing as if modern life was going away. Preparing for the 3 day storm was exactly the right thing to do, as it turned out, but everyone should always be prepared for this. Preparation is not the issue. The issue has always been what level of preps and people like Russ can never show any credible reason for doing what he did. He likes to live a self sufficient lifestyle and that's OK. His mistake was thinking that everyone else should also.

-- Jim Cooke (, May 24, 2000.

I'm disappointed that he didn't post this here himself.

-- flora (***@__._), May 24, 2000.


I agree. It was quite early this morning that I spotted this post on the EZBOARD just to come here and find that Hmm had already presented the link. I fully expected Russ to post his May conclusion here, as he's popped in on various occasions, including an occasion wherein he stated that he would be "ready" at this time.

-- Anita (, May 24, 2000.

Ken: (Remember "GI" and "DGI"?)

Specifically regarding Y2K, I thought in those terms for awhile Ken. I didnt use it as a weapon as some did. Similarly, I believe there are those who are able to capture big picture concepts & those whose minds cant go there. For example, I know plenty of folks who completely dismiss the idea that life may exist elsewhere in the universe. One doesnt need to shake hands with a little green man. Just look at the stars and let the imagination go for a ride. No amount of information currently available could serve to rule out life beyond this planet. Yet to some it is impossible.

I agree with you completely regarding the tactics which were used by Russ & others on TB2000. Bad, boorish, bullying behavior worthy of a five-minute major penalty & a game misconduct.

As to why certain people felt it OK to use any means necessary to get people to prepare is beyond me. You used a religious metaphor, Ken. Convenient based upon Russ calling. I wouldnt go there, but then again I wasnt abused mercilessly day after day as you & Flint were. For anyone reading this who wasnt on TB2000 from April 1999 onward, you have no idea. The outlandish behavior, the vile personal attacks were simply unconscionable.

I enjoyed meeting Russ. He is a bright, articulate individual with extraordinary energy. I was not privy to any dark side of his personality at the get together. We had a blast! Forum participants experienced his dark side through his more heated posts.

As to how much BDs influence contributed to the outrageous actions perpetrated by TPTB on the forum once EY handed over the keys would be conjecture on my part. They circled the wagons quite well.

-- Bingo1 (, May 24, 2000.

Russ, keep your head down and your balls dry. Last year, few cared what you said about the potential for Y2K related problems. This year nobody cares so you are apologizing to the wind. But then, it is your self-esteem that needs a boost is it not? Good luck!

-- Willy (from@old.Philly), May 24, 2000.


I suppose we all have darker sides. The devout Christians of Salem burned "witches" at the stake. Well intentioned people put children to work in factories, committed genocide againt the Native Americans and didn't allow women to vote.

Were these "evil" people... or just tragically misguided. I imagine Russ Lipton as charming, intelligent and gracious as any plantation owner. Were I an African-American, however, I might not fully appreciate his wit. It's a poor analogy, Bingo, but the best I can do on short notice.

-- Ken Decker (, May 24, 2000.

He's a showoff. He couldn't do anything as low key as email consumer, he had to start a thread to call attention to himself with "RUOK consumer." I email two other posters on this forum, but I do not feel the need to set up my own personal chat room here in order to talk with them.

Gilda, What is up with that crack? Jim is correct Chuck started the thread. If you didnt like it, you could have scrolled onto the next one. There are plenty of threads around. Chuck is a cool guy and hasnt posted here much.

You are in need of some glasses deary. BTW, I have noticed you are a cranky thing of late.

Take a good look around, alot of us 'chat' here on these boards, we trade pics, jokes, pot-shots, etc...where have you been?

warm fuzzy regards,


-- consumer (, May 24, 2000.

The first words between Ken Decker and Big Dog.

Y2K and Risk

-- (M@rch.1999), May 25, 2000.

Well, this has been a week of Exercises in Futility for me, so why stop now?

"I never felt that Y2K was about apologies and certainly not about its outcome!"

Call me naive, but if it WASN'T "about its outcome", then what the hell WAS it about? Why the need to "Prepare" for something if it WASN'T about "the outcome"?

I'm so confused.

You know, I'm inclined to agree with Sysman (from another thread) regarding letting this all die a quiet death, but after having read through some of the "old threads", there are a number of sniveling (sp?) little weasels I'd like a word or two with ..... but being sniveling little weasels, they seem to have dropped off the face of the Earth, or at the very least are posting under even more anonymous handles than originally. To coin a phrase, **SIGH**.

-- Patricia (, May 25, 2000.

I haven't read "Y2K and Risk" for quite some time. Big Dog's response to my essay is exactly what I described. He attacked me without ever countering any of my specific arguments.

Bingo... if I might impose, pop over and read Lipton's comments to me on the old thread. If you want, I can even find the thread where Russ squealed like a stuck pig over my post on Debunkers. You remember... when he called me a "coward," etc. Somehow, even though every aspect of "Y2K and Risk" was proven right, I feel a little cheated... though I suppose it is best to not have broken Lipton over my knee like a stick of kindling. Damn our darker sides. (chuckle)

-- Ken Decker (, May 25, 2000.

In fact I began to this morning Ken. I'm shorthanded at work today, thus find it necessary to actually earn my paycheck. Will give it a read during lunch.

-- Bingo1 (, May 25, 2000.

Since we brought up Mr. Decker's first appearances on TB, here is one that has some interesting insite on the "doomer" mind....

Raiding your local y2k survivalist

No responses from Russ (at least not under THAT name) but pretty funny NTL.

-- Ancient Lurker (still@creepin.around), May 25, 2000.

Since we brought up Mr. Decker's first appearances on TB, here is one that has some interesting insite on the "doomer" mind....

Raiding your local y2k survivalist

No responses from Russ (at least not under THAT name) but pretty funny NTL.

-- Ancient Lurker (still@creepin.around), May 25, 2000.


I hadn't really realized you came to the forum so much earlier than I. I was discussing Y2k on other fora that included opinions from both sides equally. I think I recall telling you that folks who had visited Yourdon's forum with ANY positive thoughts shared that they were immediately dismissed. This insite into earlier times is interesting.

-- Anita (, May 25, 2000.

Anita, there's a response on the Y2K and Risk thread by another Anita that explains as well as any why Ken Decker's essay wasn't more warmly received.

I just don't get it. Since this forum is, as advertised, for those concerned with the potential impacts of Y2K on themselves and their families, and for assistance in 2K personal preparedness issues, why on earth would folks such as Mr. Decker and "Go To Hell" even want to log onto such as forum?Why, if they so clearly know this is all such a bunch of bull, are they spending their valuable time and energy posting on this forum? What's in it for them? Since they already know it's a non-event, why waste their time here? Why is it any skin off their back if others want to talk about Y2K stuff here? Maybe, they're in need of a life?? Or do they just need someone to talk to (at)??

-- anita (, March 26, 1999.

Ken Decker's post came not long after a large number of y2k optimists made a sudden and quite noticeable appearance on the forum around January of 1999. When you add to that Ken Decker's avoidance of conversational English that would have made him sound more human (even in his replies on that thread), it becomes more understandable why some like Big Dog thought he was a 'troll' or 'shill' at that time.

-- The forum's name was (Time@Bomb.2000), May 25, 2000.

Well Kevin (or who ever you are) that same line was spouted over and over by the Timebums ad nauseum. I for one got sick of the constant incursion by the Stinkbomb trolls on BIFFY, so I started responding in kind. Yes it turned into a forum "war", but the assholes from Stinkbomb started it. (please note I said "the assholes from Stinkbomb" If you weren't one of the "assholes" then don't get offended by that remark.)

Deckers post was STOLEN from BIFFY and posted to the garbage pit, and look at what happened....Decker, not the TROLL who posted it was lambasted! What a bunch of retards!

Again, it points to THE AGENDA that exsisted behind the scenes of Stinkbomb (clearly proven in the last few months of 99)

-- Ancient Lurker (annoyed@by.revisionists), May 25, 2000.

Dear Russ "Big Dog" Lipton,

You were wrong. But you were so sure you were right.

And now you wish to blame God for your ignorance? Is that blasphemy? Isn't what you stood for and defended and condoned akin to "taking God's name in vain?" (When I refer to "taking God's name" here, I mean calling one's self a christian.)

And to the people injured by the ruse in which you participated - you feel you need not apologise? Who should apologise then? Your god?

Or is your god really just your bruised, pathetic, inaccurate, little ego?

Vindicated Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, May 25, 2000.

Decker's post was STOLEN from Biffy? I thought it was Buddy's idea for it to be cross-posted from Biffy to the old TB2000....

-- just ('am), May 25, 2000.

I made some remark about wanting to see how TB2000 would react, but I didn't do the cross-posting.

-- Buddy (, May 25, 2000.

"Raiding" was taken from another forum and posted on TB 2000. Until then, I had never visited TB 2000.

I've taken a fair amount of crap for my writing style. In response to the routine "flame wars" on BFI, I adopted a the Charles Emerson Winchester III approach. The style pretty much carried over to TB 2000.

Soon after arriving on TB 2000, most of my posts were swamped in nasty personal attacks. (Russ "Big Dog" Lipton was a regular.) At some point, my writing style was just another thing to bitch about.

The "Raiding" post was accurate. The average Y2K survivalist "retreat" would have been laughingly easy to defeat. Some "doomers" were too involved with post-Apocalyptic fantasies to deal with the cold, hard reality I presented.

-- Ken Decker (, May 25, 2000.

I never claimed to have programming expertise. Nor did I suggest I have managed IT projects of any kind. My input on TB2000 was of little value to those grinding out answers to the hard questions.

The topics I chimed in on dealt mainly with preparation questions, philosophy, spirituality & so forth. Since I was known to be a moderate by many of the regulars, I also tried my hand at peacemaker. We all know how successful that was!

I was shocked at the rabid behavior of Russ towards Ken. I informed him both publicly & privately of my feelings. Didnt make a dent. He and a few others were insistent Ken Decker was a paid government shill. Period. Therefore any means necessary to discredit Ken was justified in their eyes.

Ive never stated the above in any public forum simply because I didnt feel it right to divulge private discussion publicly. Im sure, however, you have heard this story from at least a few who had firsthand knowledge of these facts. This information came to me in April, 1999. Now you may have a better understanding why I backed you numerous times, Ken. This was paranoia at its worst. Your posts were never considered as anything but propaganda by those who bought into the shill story. You were public enemy number one.

Russ: "I never felt that Y2K was about apologies and certainly not about its outcome! I feel no need to apologize for my expectations about Y2K impacts or my strong encouragement that folks prepare for it  and continue to prepare for much else in life."

Pardon the language  this is bullshit, Russ! Such carefully crafted wording would make President Clinton proud. This is the type of post Decker was accused of composing time after time. Dance around the heart of the matter. In straight pool it's called shooting the ducks - taking the easy points off the table before your opponent has the opportunity.

You went overboard in your repeated character attacks, executed with the ferocity which your handle implies. That you havent yet felt it in your heart that you were wrong in your behavior towards Ken saddens me. It is my blindness that after all that has transpired I still believe you are a better person than you have thus far revealed to us.

-- Bingo1 (, May 25, 2000.

Let's take a peek at what they are so sure will happen now shall we.

Seems like it is SOSDD. Although, I don't believe that Russ had put his two cents in on this thread.

-- (, May 25, 2000.


My friend, it's the nature of zealotry. The vicious personal attacks provided useful information to the objective observers. Almost every attempt to discredit the "pollies" was a smokescreen. The "doomers" could not answer well-reasoned arguments like those of Ted Hoffman. The astute participant was always left with a simple question... even if Ted Hoffman is the "anti-Christ" what about his argument?

My problem, Bingo, is that I think Russ Lipton is pretty damn smart. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. Oh, I think he honestly believed Y2K was going to be more than a bump in the road. He also felt completely justified in leading the smear campaign against the forum optimists... while pretending to have a intellectual mindset about the whole Y2K issue.

It doesn't surprise me that Big Dog's final statement on Y2K is really more a Big Weasel. It's clear he's learned a few tricks from Ed Yourdon. (chuckle)

Don't worry about it, Bingo. I don't think an apology from Russ Lipton is forthcoming... and even if he apologized, it wouldn't mean much to me. Just roll up my direction and we'll have some steaks.

-- Ken Decker (, May 25, 2000.

I wouldn't dream of speaking for Russ; he's a grown-up and can take care of himself.

Speaking for myself, my 18+ years in IT told me that big projects (even big remediation projects) take loads of time and resources and have a truly astonishing tendency to miss their deadlines. Communicating with experienced colleagues -- some of whom were neck-deep in major Y2K remediation work and spooked beyond words about the likely outcome -- just confirmed my suspicions. This made me a Doomer(TM), I suppose, since I advocated prudent preparation (3 days to 2 weeks supplies at a minimum) to anyone who would listen.

I was flat out wrong. I said that in late January when I rejoined the TB2K Forum and I'll say it again. All my experience (and some of my industry contacts) said that some of those major Y2K projects were going to hit 01/01/2000 and the systems were going to fail, causing some serious problems. That was completely, utterly wrong, and frankly far too pessimistic about the ability of people and systems to get things done or "make do" when necessary. That's the lesson of Y2K for me.

Thanks for listening.

-- DeeEmBee (, May 25, 2000.

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