See the Paranoids of Stinkbum One week before Rollovergreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Remember, they were sure they had it all figured out:
It's taken me a while to dig this up, and since the original question has dropped off the board, I've taken the liberty of starting a new thread.
Jim Lord, writing for Westergaard, published this column on January 4, 1999: "World Future Society Holds Y2K Conference".
The conference under discussion had been held December 16-17, 1998 and included presentations by such luminaries as: Michael Aisenberg, a member of the President's Council on Y2K Converstion, The White House; Harrison W. Fox, senior staffperson, U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, the main congressional body overseeing the progress of Y2K repairs in Federal Government agencies; Michael P. Harden, president and CEO of Century Technology Services, Inc., (Mr. CEO?); Jonathan Spalter, associate director and chief information officer, U.S. Information Agency; chair, President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion Working Group on International Public Diplomacy, Washington, D.C.; and Joel Willemssen, director of the Civil Agencies Information Systems at the U.S. General Accounting Office.
In other words, lots of important and well connected people were there (I have listed only those individuals whose presence is relevant to the topic at hand - when did they know and what did they know.)
Again (for emphasis) those present included:
- A member of the President's Council on y2k Conversion
- a senior staffperson on the House y2k subcommittee, and
- The CIO of the US Information Agency
I believe that whatever these folks knew at that time, TPTB knew as well. I refuse to believe that the gulf is so wide and that the Commander in Chief is so far removed from these individuals that he would be entirely (or even partially) unaware of a situation that his subordinates understood well, especially if that situation were judged by those subordinates to represent a major potential crisis.
If one accepts the above assertion, then the relevant question is "What did these folks hear and share (what did they know)?" If their understanding clearly exceeds that which we have otherwise been led to believe, we may have our "smoking gun".
Posted along with the conference report is this article "The Y2K Problem: Technical Dimensions". While this article seems to have been written after the conference took place, it clearly reflects the information gathered from that conference as well as, perhaps, a bit of prognostication.
With regard specifically to embedded systems we read, "Besides producing flawed data and corrupted records, the Y2K problem will show up in three kinds of technical mishaps or disasters:
- Failure of some computers, including mainframes, minis, and personal computers,
- Disruptions of electronic networks and their interfaces with other systems, and
- Unanticipated and dangerous shut-down of "embedded systems," the built-in microprocessors that act as sensors, monitors, or controls in devices ranging from elevators and subway gates to weapons systems.
Of these categories, embedded systems may have the most potential for disaster. Their failure can "hurt people and destroy property." About 70 billion may have been put in use since the early 1970s (although estimates range widely), and of these up to 5 billion may be date-sensitive, or vulnerable to Y2K failures. Many of these are in process control systems that are part of larger, still more complex systems in an estimated 255,000 U.S. buildings and facilities. Others are in familiar, homely devices such as medical appliances, home heating systems, and elevators-where dates are not usually thought of as relevant, but which may be programmed to shut down if maintenance has not been done at specified intervals.
Few companies, government agencies, or facility managers have an inventory of the embedded systems in their facilities, or any knowledge of whether the ones they know about are date-sensitive. Nor, for the most part, do the vendors who provided them. The original manufacturers may be able sometimes, although not always, to provide information about their computers' vulnerability to Y2K failure-if one can tell them the model and serial numbers. But embedded systems may be difficult to reach, even if their existence is on record; they may be under a deep sea oil drilling platform, or an integral part of complex technological structures. Once found, many are impossible to fix or adjust and must instead be replaced. A further complication is that testing some devices may void the warranty, and may even precipitate a failure." (end quoted material)
This assessment was not only available to attendees but clearly sprang from information presented by the attendees themselves.
At the tail end of this article we read: "A congressional aide listed "Ten Top Disasters Waiting to Happen":
- An oil and gas shortage, with up to 46% shortfall (!!!!!!!!!!)
- Defense weapons systems failures
- Air traffic control system failure
- Utility power grid brownouts and blackouts
- Manufacturing production shut-downs, with ripple effects throughout the economy
- Supply base and services interruptions
- Water and sewer system breakdowns
- Public health and safety device failures (fire, police, 911 systems)
- Other embedded system failures in devices ranging from automobiles to robotics
- Public panic (possibly leading to runs on banks, etc.) (end quoted material)
These potential looming disasters were enumerated by "a congressional aide". Only one Congressional aid is listed in the program: Harrison W. Fox, senior staffperson, U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, the main congressional body overseeing the progress of Y2K repairs in Federal Government agencies.
Furthermore, from my reading of the above list ("Other embedded system failures in devices ranging from automobiles to robotics") these problems seem to be those which are directly related to and might be caused by embedded system failures. The potential disasters under discussion stem from the embeddeds!!!!
For whatever reason, the conference did not specifically address oil in their Review of Utilities, Infrastructure, and Supply Chains but did touch on (natural) gas, whereupon they concluded that "The gas production/gathering activity is particularly susceptible to embedded chip problems. Production platforms are heavily automated, with many inaccessible chips."
Once again we note a high level of awareness regarding the embedded problem.
Returning to the original Jim Lord article cited, we read: "On the second day, Dr. Harrison Fox, Professional Staff, U.S House of Representatives, subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology (Rep. Steven Horn's subcommittee) gave what many considered the most sobering session of the conference.
Dr. Fox indicated that,
- By this time next year, the panic factor will be in full force and rationing will be in effect.
- Of great concern are DOD, FAA (them pesky guys again) healthcare and state and local governments (especially water systems).
- Within DOD, nuclear weapons management and logistics systems were cited as most critical.
- Three of the five oil refineries in Venezuela (which provides some seventeen percent of the oil supply in the United States) will not be compliant in time and will have to be shut down. These and other problems "will lead to disruptions" in the flow of oil.
- Medicare will "fail massively."
- The State Department is still in the "Quill and Scroll" age
- Unsatisfactory performance in dealing with Y2K is indicative of the poor management systems and practices in use in the federal government.
- A comprehensive national level strategy is still needed.
- Everyone needs to prepare for Y2K and they need to start now." (end quoted material)
Jim Lord is the second source and confirms "the congressional aide's" dire assessment.
Dr. Fox later claimed that he his prediction of rationing had been misrepresented by Jim Lord. To the best of my knowledge he has not commented on the other statements attributed to him.
Note the specificity of Fox's prediction: "three of five refineries will fail". Again, this guy is not guessing. This goes to the root of my own suspisions, namely that TPTB actually do know quite a bit, that no one knows what is going to happen, but 'they' have a really good idea. I don't believe that our intelligence gathering and assessment capabilities are so poor that 'they' cannot come up with some fairly detailed information. Their information makes the Naval War College scenarios look like my 'back of the envelope' scratchings in terms of depth and quality (certainty) of analysis. This is what makes the bunkers, the massive generators, the executive orders, the 'mock' attacks on American cities, etc. so horrifying. People, they are *not* guessing. They are not 'playing the odds', contemplating 'risks vs. stakes', or buying 'insurance policies'. They know. This is what makes the other prognostications by Dr. Fox so horrifying. He is not just guessing! But I digress.
So then, if Dr. Fox Knew that the Venezuelan refineries would fail and 'suspects' "up to a 46% oil shortfall" (plus other disasters) which he seems to ascribe to embedded system failures - did Horn Know as well? Did Bennett know? Did Dr. Fox keep these assessments private, only sharing them at Futurist conferences, until late this year?
Are Dr. Fox's speculations something conjured de novo from his own mind? Is this his private analysis? Of course not.
People, this is Dr. Fox's *job*. His purpose in being an aide to the committee is to gather and analyze information. It is, really, totally inconceivable that the knowledge he obtained through these efforts would not be shared with Horn and Bennett. It seems just as unlikely that this expert's opinion and information would not be highly regarded by the committee co-chairman. They hired him and have retained him based on his credentials and his abilities.
And they knew well before December 16, 1998. With all due respect to Paula Gordon, I do not embrace the theory that Clinton and other top level officials have been simply ignorant of the nature, scope and severity of this problem. Whatever else you may think of Clinton, I believe he is a brilliant man. I may be wrong, but I believe we need to look deeper before we begin to understand how we got to this point, at least so far as public policy and public disclosure issues are concerned.
R.C., Downstreamer, Gordon - I hope that you gentleman in particular find some value (at least entertainment) in the above analysis. I single you out only as an expression of my deep gratitude for the information and insights you have each consistently provided in an area that I am otherwise at a complete loss to comprehend.
Best Regards, Me
-- Me (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 23, 1999
Me, sounds to me like you got it nailed. Bill Clinton does nothing without a plan. Bill Clinton does nothing that doesn't further his own interest or gratify his ego and appetite. You can rest assured that whatever is coming down the road he has already calculated a way to make hay out of it. They don't call him slick for nothing.
-- Nikoli Krushev (email@example.com), December 23, 1999.
Thank you for posting this information. I can see that I've either missed some things or I've forgotten a lot. I suspect its a case of both. It is great to have so many fellow team researchers who can pull up this kind of material from archives and personal files.
I can see Dr. Gordon's point. I've seen that type of "beltway syndrome" before. Like yourself and others though, how is it that we managed to get it, and get it so easily even though we're not techno geeks. I'm not sure if we'll get the questions answered here on this forum anytime real soon regarding who knew what when.
To me and any lurkers...
We are all a team of seekers here. We're trying to seek out the truth and the facts. None of us can do it by ourselves. As a team we can help each other out. This forum has such a team orientation. I know certain things about and in certain areas. Others know about areas and aspects that I don't. I hope and encourage all of you to not be bashful about posting your thoughts. Pollies and Doomers do battle here in verbal dialogue but the only ones who really get in the way are the trolls. We need all of you to contribute. Especially on aspects that you know about. Don't be bashful and don't be shy. Good or bad news or information, we sure would like to hear from you. (not you 'trolls' though.)
-- R.C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 23, 1999.
More jocularity from the doom idiots...
Laugh yourselves silly!
-- See the Paranoids (email@example.com), July 29, 2000
BLUE-the official color of OCD Anonymous.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 29, 2000.
Mr. CPR, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Could you please back up whatever your point is with a lot more examples.
-- Toots (email@example.com), July 29, 2000.
I DID NOT POST THAT. SO..........IF YOU CAN'T GET THE POINT TRY OUR REVIEW COURSE:
-- cpr (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 29, 2000.
it isn't necessary to post a link and the text url idiot, one or the other will suffice
-- (email@example.com), July 29, 2000.
Jesus, Charles, anything more subtle than a kick in the nuts is totally lost on you.
-- Jason (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 29, 2000.
CPR, you have made all your points a great many times. Are you planning to continue into next year, or the year after? Surely it must have occurred to you that stopping at some point would be the right thing to do.
-- Really (email@example.com), July 30, 2000.
You go CPR!!! Feminism is not dead!
-- Fem (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 30, 2000.
-- al-d. (email@example.com), July 30, 2000.
CPR, you have made all your points a great many times. Are you planning to continue into next year, or the year after? Surely it must have occurred to you that stopping at some point would be the right thing to do. -------------------------------------
WHO SAYS "it would be the right thing to do"?
-- cpr (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 30, 2000.
Charles didn't post this, I did. The point is made in SPADES, but for you, LOSER, just check the top of your head!
-- See the Paranoids (email@example.com), July 31, 2000.