If I could have jumped ahead a year from last July

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Few people respond to the postings and the debates are few and far between. Do the heroes and champions {my perception] of Y2K [L. Core, R. Martin, G.North,P. Gordon E.Yourdon etc...etc.) still post under alias's. Is there still significant time/date issues in current systems and do the posts on this forum reflect failures from Y2K (OIL/CHEMICAL) or is this a site documenting background noise in a complex arena. It seems there are many more failures in the refining and nuclear power industry than 2 years ago. Anybody have a site that documents statistical evidence to support a present threat to our current situation because of continued Y2K or other technology related problems. In 94-97 the company I work for boasted up-times in manufacturing at 94%. In 1999 we dropped to about 87%. This year we are about 78%-80% and production lags sales. I have spoken with those on the Y2K team and the department heads who all say it has nothing to do with Y2K....random failures is the answer, usually dealing with PLC's and controllers. Where are the experts who once roamed these sites?

-- questioning (vission@net.com), July 29, 2000


Great post!

I have been wondering the same, for awhile now. WHERE ARE THE EXPERTS? Apparently, they have tossed in the towel on y2k, ran, humiliated, from the scene, or taken on new identities as in an F.B.I. secret witness program.

I have long held the belief that y2k was similar to a termite invasion, that Jan. 1 only signaled release of these termintes--date setbacks, meshing of 2-date and 4-date systems, etc., in a complete surrender of anything resembling "standards"--into the system. And, that the house would stand, for a time, until a good-sized wind storm came up to blow the weakened structure down.

Now, I'm perplexed. Is this REALLY the case, or, as you say, Questoning, is it background noise?

-- JackW (jpayne@webtv.com), July 29, 2000.

Production lags sales. That says a lot to me.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), July 29, 2000.

Your post hit me right between the eyes, questiioning. The Q in my names stand for the same thing. And, I have all of the exact, same questions.

-- QMan (qman@c-zone.net), July 29, 2000.

The first quarter report on productivity came out recently showing a big drop in productivity from the fourth quarter of 1999, coinciding with what you say, questioning, about the experience of your company. The fourth quarter of 1999 hit an all time high of 6.9%, and the first quarter of 2000 came in at three point something percent. Overall, it was a huge quarter to quarter drop.

This has to mean something, but it is puzzling to determine just what.

-- Billiver (billiver@aol.com), July 29, 2000.

There are random reports of shortages developing in a lot of places. Some brand name cosmetics are getting scarce, as are many antibiotics used by hospitals in intervenous solutions. And, at the cigarette store the other day, I was told that they hadn't been able to get any book matches for the past month. Yes, I am one of those sinners who still smoke.

I've also been told that shortages are developing in copper production that are leading to some shortages in certain plumbing fixtures.

-- LillyLP (lllyLP@aol.com), July 29, 2000.

The big problem is that therre doesn't seem any place to go anymore where these seemingly accumulating shortages are documented, statistically. I can't find any, and I've looked everywhere.

I, myself, think any hard evidence of these alleged, developing shortages would be significant, indeed. If anybody on this board finds such evidence, please post it here. I, for one, will be most eager to see it.

-- Wellesey (wellesley@freeport.net), July 29, 2000.

The big problem is that there doesn't seem any place to go anymore where these seemingly accumulating shortages are documented, statistically. I can't find any, and I've looked everywhere.

I, myself, think any hard evidence of these alleged, developing shortages would be significant, indeed. If anybody on this board finds such evidence, please post it here. I, for one, will be most eager to see it.

-- Wellesey (wellesley@freeport.net), July 29, 2000.

Ed Youdon is still around see: www.yourdon.com.

Paula Gordon is still collecting data. She has meetings once a month. I went to her July one. She is still getting reports of Y2K problems.

Y2K Kitchen has morphed into www.SallysKitchen.com

Michael Hyatt is still around www.michaelhyatt.com

Jay Golter is still alive and kicking.

Stuart Umpleby is still studying Y2K.

Y2K is an unacceptable topic of discussion.


-- Sally Strackbein (sally@SallysKitchen.com), July 29, 2000.

I am usually the silent type, but after posting over 2000 times on this forum I believe that probably 90 per cent of the items posted have absolutely nothing to to with Y2K. It is a complex world out there and many things do go wrong for a lot of the usual reasons such as aging infrastructure,incompetence,greed and probably stupidity.

The forums purpose was changed a few months past to track "Critical infrastructure incidents". I quote from the intro on EZ board for GICC.

"The GICC is now serving as a clearinghouse for tracking a broader range of problems, and is being used as a key Y2K and infrastructure information source for the public, governments, media outlets, businesses, and individual news analysis and pattern tracking."

I have followed the y2k phenomena since 1998 and have seen all the so called experts mentioned above either disappear or change to other pursuits. Even the founders of this forum have moved on to other subjects.

Every day I ask myself why do I do this. Does any one really care? I don't have a clue. But I have learned that there are a lot of major problems in the world, so I just keep on documenting them.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 29, 2000.


I care. Thank you.


-- Sally Strackbein (sally@SallysKitchen.com), July 29, 2000.

Martin- The info you and some others provide on GICC is priceless, nowhere else to be found. It provides a balance to the public media and their "filtered", superficial journalism. Needless to say, I am faithful reader and care about your work. Thank you, Swissrose.

-- Swissrose (cellier@azstarnet.com), July 29, 2000.

My Dear Mr. Thompspon;

While I personally have never refered to yself as an "Expert" I am some what conversant in the embeded systems (as installed in the feild-by construction start-up). And sir, I HAVE not retreated from my position one whit. We are seeing the evidence of Y2K incidences every day (most of them listed yourself)

Check the Nigerian series of piple line and refinery troubles. It is rather ironic that that country is having to import fuels (they are an exporter).

We still have to the first of the year; before I breath a sigh of relief.

"As for me...I shall finish the Game"!


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), July 29, 2000.

Mr. Shakey

I do not blame the leading proponents of y2k to go to other subjects. If I was in that position I probably would do the same. Afer all what can you say after the power stayed on after the rollover. I stated above that 90 percent probably did not have anything to do with y2k, but I do see a lot of articles in the other 10 percent that could be belated y2k problems. It was very difficult to pin these down before the rollover and even more so now. As Sally said y2k has become a non word to the media.



-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 29, 2000.

I think your posts are great, Martin, and are much appreciated in this corner.

Keep them coming.

-- Loner (loner@bigfoot.com), July 29, 2000.

I still believe there was some damage from y2k, and probably much more than the media or government will ever admit. However, I am now beginning to wonder if the damage was bad enough, or wide spread enough, to make any significant impact.

-- Nancy7 (nancy7@Hotmail.com), July 29, 2000.

If production is lagging sales at your company, Questoning, this is meaningful. Production cannot lag sales long before there is an economic impact. Once the inventories are used up in filling the gap, only a recession can result.

-- Chance (fruitloops@otmail.com), July 29, 2000.

I know it is late in the game, but I still want to see all the reports on these technical misfirings and goofs. The why of these are still open to interpretaton, I know....but they are still very interesting.

-- R2D2 (r2d2@earthend.net), July 29, 2000.

It's the daily posts of people like Martin and Dee that attract me, like steel chips to a magnet, daily to this board.

-- Wayward (wayward@webtv.net), July 29, 2000.

Martin, you have held steadfast. I Thanked you once upon another post, I Thank you again, now. Only a person with eyes open can notice all the vehicles along the side of the road with"For Sale" signs, driver, vacated. I saw such a thing back in the the 70's, but I was too stupid to care, because I did not realize the Blessings which had been bestowed upon me and mine. It was not the end of the U.S. of A. It just meant hard times, and kind folks chipped in. Hope it is the same, today. Took a boatload of food to one agency, got a few more items to take to another agency. Spread the wealth, or macaroni and cheese. To quote a scripture "what do ye worry what ye shall eat? Watch the birds, they have Worry, Not"."It is provided". Daily Bread is assured, but I am hung up on my insufficient amount in my 401K. Signed, Human in progress, with debris flying.

-- NO CAR FOR SALE (they@retooold.com), July 29, 2000.

Thank you, Martin, and everyone who continues to work on this site. Jeanette, http://www.y2kids.net

-- Jeanette Thomas (ou_2000@berkshire.net), July 30, 2000.

Thank you Martin, and all the others who continue to post information the media is ignoring, especially in this election year.

-- K (infosurf@yahoo.com), July 30, 2000.

Dear Questioning:

The GICC Sysops posted about twenty-two "for the archives" postings on high hazard sectors and problem areas on July 21, 2000. They can be found by clicking on the various GICC categories (the list of topics is on the bottom of the GICC "Top Level" page). As an example, one of these postings focuses on "Fires and Explosions" and can be found at http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003W0O.

Most of the "for the archives" postings are compilations of information and postings concerning problems that have been identified since the beginning of the year. Some of the postings reference comparative analyses of the higher than normal incidence of problems occurring in various high hazard sectors during comparable time frames in prior years.

Perhaps a list of all of the "for the archives" postings can be put in one place or under an additional heading for a new topic such as "For the Archives". I plan to compile such a list. When I do, I will be sure to post it to GICC. Perhaps, it would be an easy matter for the Sysops to compile a list of the twenty-two postings on this thread as well as on a separate thread. I don't know if you saw any of these postings, but I think you will find that they represent at least a beginning effort to identify sources and compilations of information concerning what has been going on. In some cases, analyses are included.

GICC seems to be the best place remaining on the web dedicated to gathering and reporting information on infrastructure problems some of which either are or could be related to malfunctioning Y2K-related IT and/or embedded systems. It constitutes a considerable resource provided as a public service through MIT and greenspun.com and through the volunteer efforts of all those involved administering the site and posting to it. I am personally grateful to all those involved.

Regarding ongoing efforts to understand what has happened and what is happening regarding Y2K problems, I posted the following comments on another website on 5/12/2000:

"...The Y2K story at this point in time seems to me to be much more like a Sherlock Holmes mystery than an Alfred Hitchcock thriller however. Even so, I think the Y2K story has more layers than any mystery. That makes it very hard to share the story with others. It certainly cannot be done in sound bites. There is too much about what has happened and what is happening that boggles the mind. Long explanations with lots of background and information has to be provided. This takes time, patience, interest, and openmindedness.

It helps, I think, to have the disposition of sleuth. Figuring out what happened and what is happening with Y2K can best be approached deductively, searching out pieces of the puzzle and piecing together evidence, including circumstantial evidence. Just when the most important pieces seem to be in place, some new information or insight surfaces and modifies the emerging picture. Sherlock Holmes would be working overtime on this case.

Even those with the mind of a sleuth are likely to find it difficult to believe that hardly anyone in Washington or anyone with any connection to the media is tracking the problems that could well be caused by embedded systems problems.

Another aspect of this situation that will be difficult for many to grasp is that hardly anyone who knows about the embedded systems problems or who knows about the ways in which they can malfunction seems to be sharing that knowledge with anyone, including persons in roles of responsibility. In addition, those who understand or are in a position to understand the implications of the tangible, if often circumstantial evidence involving unusually high numbers of uncommon problems in a variety of high risk sectors are not tending to share their understanding and their concerns either. That may all yet change.

Until it does, we are left with some significant concerns:

1) the world has sunk billions into minimizing the impact of Y2K and while worst case scenarios have thankfully been averted, few seem to recognize that the job that was started is not really finished yet and

2) if we fail with Y2K to involve those with technical expertise in all phases of assessing and addressing the complex technical problems including having an appropriate role in making sure that the job is completed, what a poor precedent we will be setting for other equally complicated and daunting problems already at our doorstep.


Some other more extensive comments can be found on the web at the following sites:

"John Koskinen's Responses to Questions from Paula Gordon Concerning National and Global Aspects of Y2K", see http://www.gwu.edu/~y2k/keypeople/gordon/Q&A.html

For a video of April 12, 2000 Panel Program at GW University: "Y2K: What Happened and What Has Been Happening Since January 1?", see http://www.stuarthrodman.com/video.htm For a summary of Paula Gordon's slide presentation, see http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=Grassroots %20Information%20Coordination%20Center%20%28GICC%29

The most recent in the series of briefing/brainstorming sessions at George Washington University on Y2K was held on Tuesday, July 11. (The next session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12. Details are on the announcements page of my website at http://www.gwu.edu/~y2k/keypeople/gordon.)

A primary focus of that session was some newly shared information concerning what is going on behind the scenes. It turns out that according to a number of persons with hands-on expertise in the field, Y2K/embedded systems problems involving integrated systems are very much with us and are becoming more evident with the passage of time. Owing to liability, absence of focus, threats of dismissal, bottomline and market concerns, the political incorrectness of mentioning Y2K problems, and other factors, it appears that information concerning such problems is not getting out. Y2K/embedded systems problems seem to be unfolding in slow motion and only a very few people appear to be inclined or able to identify them and fewer still seem interested in openly tracking, assessing, or addressign them. Few seem willing to talk about what is happening. No one that I have been able to identify in the Federal government has responsibility for tracking, assessing, and addressing such ongoing problems.

Given present circumstances, including high levels of disinterest, absence of expertise, absence of resources, and failure to assign responsibility, potential long term scenarios that could evolve are cause for some concern. For instance, it would be possible for a scenario of mid-range impact on the impact scale to evolve. In such a scenario more and more problems could become evident while little in the way of expertise and resources were directed to tracking, assessing, and addressing the underlying causes of the problems. One possible consequence of such failures is the detrimental impact that they can have on public health and safety or the environment. Two other possible consequences that can follow from a failure to acknowledge or address the underlying causes of problems include the following:

~ only the most obvious symptoms might be addressed when a failure occurs or a malfunction becomes apparent, meaning that the problem may recur again and again until the underlying cause is finally addressed OR

~ costly equipment and systems might have to be replaced in its entirety, obviously a very costly proposition.

Such possible consequences could have been avoided had remediation efforts been completed or had repairs been done that were based on an understanding of the actual or possible causes of the problems.

At the June 12 meeting at GW, communications with engineers familiar with Y2K-related integrated systems problems were reported on and discussed along with suggestions for initiatives. As the developments that were discussed are sensitive in nature (jobs and careers can be at stake), particular care must be taken in publicly reporting them. I hope to be posting some general information about these developments in the next few months.

Meanwhile, I continue to communicate with officials behind the scenes, even though, in most cases, the level of interest is very low. The low level of interest can be attributed in part to the absence of technical expertise within most all government offices and/or the failure of such expertise to inform government policies and priorities. Such technical expertise is needed to understand Y2K-related complex integrated systems problems involving IT systems and embedded systems.

There is a commonly held perception among Members of Congress, the Administration, the media, and the public that the Administration was correct in declaring victory in early January. Efforts to track and assess Y2K problems, such as they were, ceased early in the year. As one contractor to government put it at a public meeting in March, "we (the public) are on our own."

I am aware of only a very individuals who have continued to express continuing concern about Y2K-related matters. Aside from GICC, I know of very few other efforts that continue to include a focus on such concerns and none of these has the visibility that GICC has. It is curious that public institutions have abrograted their responsibilities to continue event to track and assess, let alone address, this stage of the first greatest global challenge in the information age. It makes me wonder if this is an indication that at least for the time being, as a society, we have collectively allowed technology to "snooker" us: Technology may have gotten the upperhand. Very few of those with the technical training that enables them to understand Y2K-related complex integrated systems problems are openly acknowledging their concerns. In recent months, far too few seem to be helping shed light on and address current and continuing Y2K-related challenges. It also seems that when the insights of those with such training and expertise is brought to the attention of those in roles of public responsibility, it can fall on deaf ears. Such individuals too often lack a basic grasp of the complexities of technical subjects and cannot see the relevance of such concerns to policy and action. In our overly specialized society, we have failed to create a sufficient role for generalists and cross-disciplinary experts. We have failed to create roles for persons who understand enough about the complexities of technology and policy to act as catalysts and interpreters between the experts and those in policy roles. This could well prove to be one of the gravest failings of schools that train and prepare professionals in scientific and technical fields as well as the fields of public administration and business administration.

I plan to continue to do what I can on a pro bono basis. Many thanks to so many of those involved with GICC for all that you are doing.

I am interested in communicating directly with those who have technical expertise bearing on Y2K-related complex integrated systems problems who might be willing to share their insights into what is going on behind the scenes, on the record or off the record.

-- Paula Gordon (pgordon@erols.com), July 31, 2000.

Thanks for all the responses. I think the posts reflect a good cross- section of considerations regarding Y2K. Paula, your suggestion to list or categorize probable or proven Y2K hits on this board are worthwhile. In a year, or 10 or 20 our future my depend on the learning's which were gained through historical documentation of these events. I have seen to much hush-hush and political BS in the manufacturing segment to think Y2K was a non-event.

-- questioning (vission@net.com), July 31, 2000.

A good friend who worked on a y2k repair project suggested that while I should prepare for y2k, what I REALLY should get ready for is what we have done to the planet.

Climate change, the eventual end of the oil age, droughts, loss of genetic diversity in agriculture (and in nature), polar ice cap meltings, glaciers in retreat, pollution nearly everywhere, nuclear waste, etc etc etc.

We should be using the remaining years of the fossil fuel era to invest in solar panels and other renewable technologies.

see www.dieoff.org and www.hubbertpeak.com for a basic education on the ending of the oil era


-- mark r (mrobinowitz@igc.org), August 02, 2000.

Martin, I also thank you also for all the information you post on the infrastructure of our society. I have a comment about what we are seeing regarding the instability of man made systems and the change in the environment. Many will say that we are reaping what has been decades of abuse and poor planning. I cannot disagree with this statement per say, but I think something else is at work here that no one seems to be commenting on.

What I believe is happening is that God may be opposing us. Based on the Bible, I believe that God is sovereign (in control of every aspect) and whatever is occurring can be laid at His feet. Whether He is actively opposing or has stepped back and has taken His hands off, (allowing things to wind down), I do not know, but the end result is the same, and it is what we are beginning to see.

What amazes me is that people are not questioning why these things are occurring but just shrugging their shoulders and making an adjustment in their life. We just had a random shooting on the highway in which a 23 year old Navy LTJG was killed by three young men who lived in this community (we are a quiet, picturesque town in the Northwest U.S.). This incident is being throughly discussed (as can occur in a small town) and people are rationalizing the incident with, "well he got shot after midnight and I do not travel late at night."

In reading the history of the nation Israel, I have come to the understanding that when something bad happened to the Israelite nation, the people would look for what was displeasing to the Lord. It seems that we have come very far from that understanding and now what the Bible says is true; "There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God;"

I think it might be helpful if we begin to consider the thought that there may no longer be a human solution for the problems we face.

Very Respectfully, Phil Maley

-- Phillip Maley (maley@cnw.com), August 02, 2000.

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