Suppose Gary North wrote like CPR, and vice versa -- would this have affected your Y2K perception? : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Although I would like to think that it was the LINKS that Gary North had on his web site that did a lot of convincing that Y2K was going to be a mess, I must admit that the guy's commentary was also extremely persuasive. Seemingly very logical and rational, simply weighing the evidence backed up by the links, I found myself often nodding in agreement with most of what North had to say.

Conversely, the few times that I visited the "de-bunker" web site where CPR posted, I was reminded of this homeless guy that used to harangue anyone within earshot on a street corner, sort of half talking to himself, with all kinds of crazy half-baked innuendos and accusations. I mean, one can only shake one's head sadly at anyone who constantly blathers on about white supremacy conspiracies, memes, creation of lists of people out to get him, gold dealers, more memes, and of course all the "doomers" over at ye olde TB2K.

So ... suppose it had been the opposite: North's site was where the chaotic half-mad rambling could be found with NO links to anything, whereas the de-bunkers site is where the seemingly rational, authoritative analysis was. Would this have affected your perception of what Y2K was going to bring?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 05, 2000



Another excellent point...

From a purely technical perspective, I found North, Yourdon, and other doomers extremely unrealistic in their views.

Some may remember that I started out as a doomer myself, in late 1997. It was the utter cluelessness of North, Yourdon, and others that led to my "polly-ness." When it came to industrial systems, these people defined terms and paradigms a little worse than the average five-year-old other words, they did not know anything about which they were speaking.

It was a disillusioning moment when I realised this. But at first all I did was question. After months (literally) of harassment and one-sided moderation at the Hysterium did I finally realise that these people had an agenda (or were victims of a meme) - and it was far from any "truth."

So in answer to your excellent question, from a technical perspective, CPR made (and still makes) sense, and North was jabbering like an idiot.

Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, September 05, 2000.

Hmmm... I have to agree with Andy here. Many of Gary's links didn't make much logical or technical sense. Now if Gary had written as coherently as Stephen Poole, it might have made a difference.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (, September 05, 2000.

I became a polly precisely because of the likes of North, Hyatt and Adams. North in particular. Although CPR did not make me become a polly, he did present me some good links and some sound logical reasons why y2k was not that big of a deal.

-- Butt Nugget (, September 05, 2000.

Good point, King. If the "debunkers" had been able to marshal any significant number of people who could actually write intelligible sentences that followed in some logical progression, they would have been much more convincing.

I'd also like to thank Andy Ray for not disappointing me by actually answering the question rather than indulging in further flights of fantasy of the greatness of the debunkers, including himself of course. This maintains his perfect record of evasion, illogic, and general irrationality. Good work, Andy!

-- ABC (a@b.c), September 05, 2000.

It probably would have made a difference. Never spent any time at North's but I can compare with Yourdon's TB forum. Fell across it quite by accident in Mar '99 and it represented my intro to y2k beyond the rare newsy article.

After little lurking it was clear that by and large here was a group of people out to help each other and protect themselves from an unknown. There were goat raising chats for God's sake. It was easy to make friends among this very honest group.

By that time Rueben had turned the corner to unconcerned and led the raucous parade of venom from debunky. To this latecomer it was a parade of fools. Fools either because they were wrong to some degree about y2k or fools because they so easily cast aside people I had found so generous and open. Fools either way.

Had the tables been turned I'd have probably been turned off to even thinking about y2k.

No regrets here. Much better prepared now for the inevitable 7 on the old San Andreas and have the friends I made at TB2K to thank.

-- Carlos (, September 05, 2000.

With all due respect Andy Ray,

"Some may remember that I started out as a doomer myself, in late 1997"

I thought you weren't 'born' 'til '99.

-- flora (***@__._), September 05, 2000.


In a word, YES, it would have probably deflated the entire Y2K "doom movement", since North's site would have been a laughing stock.

In fact, only half in jest, I have asked if maybe CPR was PAID by North to act the way he does, so as to make North and Yourdon look more credible. Intentionally or not, CPR made all pollies look bad.

-- WD-40 (wd40@squeak.not), September 05, 2000.

"Some may remember that I started out as a doomer myself, in late 1997."

Oh really? You have the nerve to come to this forum insulting and antagonizing others for months on end, when you yourself at one time had the same perspective? This speaks volumes about the integrity of your character.

-- Reasonably Prepared (suprised@arrogant.hypocrisy), September 06, 2000.

Howdy King, long time no see...

Yea, I did like North's site for his links. I didn't read much of his personal commentary, after all, if he had something to say, I figured he would say it on a forum, maybe even Yourdon's forum, since they were such good friends (big grin)...

But you do have a very good point, as far as the deBUNGers go, they never did back up their argument, with things like LINKS. Naa, that wasn't important to their "logic". All they needed was some know-it- all, big-mouth "genius" (very, very, big grin) like cpr, to make their case. Yup, one smart-assed, son-of-a-bitch, that walked on water, and knew that Y2K would be a dud.

Oh well, maybe I shouldn't say "ONE" considering the folks that have answered this thread...

Anyway KOS, nice to see ya again. Stick around, we could use the help here...


-- Sysman (, September 06, 2000.

Suppose...If...But...Maybe...Could...What If...Etc...Etc... The proverbial horse is pulp,decayed matter,long absorbed by the forces of time.

Where were ya KOS during the censorship battles? During the times when we held our feet to the fire volunarily and admitted our miscalculations and over-preparedness? And had lengthy conversations about it during the tougher times after the rollover? Lurking? Maybe at both boards under another handle? Nonetheless,you ran and hid! Where the hell were you???

NOW,you want to discuss this useless dribble that has become "y2k",seems awful convenient,just seiner in wanting meaningful debate,why don't ya email Decker?,he's dyin' from the lack of it.

Your posts used to get a Big chuckle from moi,but for me the pristine mud has turned to muck and the new order of the day is FUN,hot tub rasslin',beach rasslin',jello rasslin' or just plain ol' text rasslin'.

Did ENOUGH time pass to where you felt safe in reclaiming your crown?King Of...?

-- capnfun (, September 06, 2000.


Not yet convinced this really KOS. He followed up his posts with regular responses as I recall. Either way, this "dribble" of a thread is better than most around here.

-- Carlos (, September 06, 2000.

Oh ya Garree was real sensible, logical. This is the coffeetable newsletter publisher of extremist crud, who for thirty+ years has been calling for the end of the United States of America. Face-it, you were sucked by a Whacko, many of us were, me included at first. But just seeing the bozo's picture(on Gary North is a Big Fat Idiot) alone sounded my warning alarms. Once his record was known, North was unmasked as the Historian who cannot even learn from his own failed history. Deducing the Y2k hoax was the easy part, not simple and required some homework, but not at all difficult if one really wanted to understand with an open mind.

Unfortunately many would not even spend 20 minutes finding out how "their" own computers booted-up, or if they were even compliant. Expecting these same folks to understand how a PLC operates, or what windowing means is a major stretch. Many of North's links and logic were/are asinine. However without even a basic understanding of the technicals many fell for the outright baloney. North is a CONMAN. The internet brought his gig to levels unimaginable even to Garree. Swept up in a Millennium frenzy North was listened to even by those who thought him a bit odd. He bended you with your own fears and lack of technical knowledge. And like his history, has now disappeared back under his rock waiting for his next profitable issue.

Look, the history speaks for itself, Y2k was an utter dud. How was a North logical in the face of a complete WIPE-OUT? Any wonder many of us Debunker types were less than polite? Hell you try debunking the same old bs over and over again, bet you lose it as well more than not, especially when confronted by some of the nuts who were around, many of who were shills for the supply vendors. Again, Y2k was a complete and utter dud, just like we told you with dam links many times. There is over 100mb plus(13,000 posts) of info at Debunking Y2k. Sure most of it is obnoxious, as the debate was between those who knew certain and those who basically had no clue. Over a million page views (in 3 months) to the site of ranting and stupidity as some here like to refer to it as.

CPR can speak for himself. Everyone has a style, deal with it. CPR was not alone, some just never wanted anything but to be lied to by some pretty lame folks is all. Far easier to be stroked, the way a pick-pocket operates best.

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.

Guess who wrote this back in 1996?????

I clicked Rightime. No address. Oops! > > I'm an outsider. I'm dependent on computers, but I >have no technical skills. But I write a business-oriented >newsletter, so I'm willing to do what I can to alert my >readers to the problem, as well direct them to individuals >and firms that sell solutions. > > If you have programming services to sell, and I quote >you in anything I write, I'll be happy to let people know >who you are and what you sell. That's the least I can do >to repay you for any insights on this problem that you can >give me. I am flying blind. Are we all flying into a >brief downpour or a hurricane? > > I have heard a few rumblings about the Year 2000 >software problem, in columns here are there, but the media >have generally ignored or downplayed it. My first exposure >was in "Robert X. Cringely's" book, ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES >(1991). From time to time since then, I've talked with a >few COBOL programmers, and they tell me: (1) yes, the >problem exists; (2) it's being taken care of; (3) mainframe >computers are not that important these days; (4) the only >affected computers are very old and are scheduled to be >replaced anyway; (5) there's really nothing to get excited >about. I have asked half a dozen computer-literate people, >and all but one have given me some variation of this reply. > > The exception is a non-COBOL guy who works in the >insurance industry. He designed his brokerage company's >data retrieval system. He says that it's a really scary >problem for the insurance industry, and that hardly >anything is being done about it by mid-sized local firms. > > I don't know what to think. It seems like a very big >problem to me. I read about some government forum last >spring that discussed it. I have contacted a Congressman >who says it's a problem. Yet how could anything this big >be so widely ignored? I don't want to be chicken little, >but maybe the sky really is about to fall. On some >mainframe-based firms, it is, unless they act fast and can >find programmers who can fix the problem. But where will >they find them in, say, 1998 or 1999? > > You obviously think it's a real problem. So do others >on the forum. Are you regarded as crazy in your segment of >the computer world? Or is the problem taken seriously? > > I guess what I'm asking is this: How big a problem do >you think this is likely to be over the next four years? >And then in the fifth year? > > What I have noticed is that the programmers doing the >corrective work on this problem don't seem to be working >for well-known, publicly traded firms. They work for small >outfits or by themselves. Is my perception wrong? Are >there mid-sized or even large specialized firms devoted to >solving this problem? I ask this because, once again, >critics can dismiss the computer clock problem by saying >something like, "If this were a big problem, well-known >firms would have entire divisions devoted to selling >services for solving it, so we know that this has to be a >narrowly confined, quick-fix, minor problem to solve. It's >a cottage-industry type of problem." Is it? > > If the Federal government can solve the clock problem >on its aging mainframes for a few billion dollars, that's >chump change for most of the agencies. But where will they >find the programmers? Are the agencies' decision-makers >really serious about dealing with this problem soon? If >they delay much longer, they won't solve the problem in >time. Also, if our government has the problem, other >governments must. > > I sure hope that you and others on the forum can come >up with cost-effective answers. I have this sinking >feeling that the media have missed the story, and that >there will be sporadic disasters in firms that don't see >what's coming in time to take defensive action. I guess >I'm wondering: How sporadic? How disastrous? Could there >be a domino effect? > > The world's stock markets seem to have discounted this >problem into "no problem." But the markets could be wrong. > > I realize that your time is valuable. If you don't >have time to answer in any detail, could you refer me to >published material that doesn't overstate the problem, but >which deals with it realistically? Is there any other open >forum that discusses this problem? > > I really appreciate the fact that you took time to >read this. >


-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.

and the rest is history

We've got a problem. It may be the biggest problem that the modern world has ever faced. I think it is. At 12 midnight on January 1, 2000 (a Saturday morning), most of the world's mainframe computers will either shut down or begin spewing out bad data. Most of the world's desktop computers will also start spewing out bad data. Tens of millions -- possibly hundreds of millions -- of pre-programmed computer chips will begin to shut down the systems they automatically control. This will create a nightmare for every area of life, in every region of the industrialized world.

It's called the year 2000 problem. It's also called the millennium bug, y2k, and (misspelled), the millenium time bomb. Millennium or millenium: it doesn't matter how we spell it; this bomb isn't going away.

Only thing that went away was Gary, as it should be.

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.

History has proven North to be more correct than incorrect. Just drive by you local gas station and check the prices if you do not believe me.

-- wake up (y2k@is.real), September 06, 2000.

The message often takes on the character of the messenger. Like it or not, the postings of the North's and the Yourdon's were presented in a far more civil manner than what usually sprang from cpr's keyboard (which still usually sound like the ravings of a lunatic).

He and others were correct, of course, but I still wouldn't buy a used car from him.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), September 06, 2000.

Sysman, uh, good to see you're letting go of all this "polly/doomer" bullshit. Right. Anyway, to the point: No offense, but there were several of us "deBUNGers" who not only wrote coherently, but presented many a link to back up the point(s) we were presenting.

But some people only read/saw/heard/paid any attention to that which was already a foregone conclusion in their minds, wouldn't you agree? How many "doomers" actually "clicked through for the full story"? I think I just explained this to eve on another thread perhaps last week.

And KoS, there were a good many people "out there" who believed that North's site was just that: "...where the chaotic half-mad rambling could be found..."; especially when you consider that one had to do considerably less than "thousands of hours of research" to figure out what North was all about. In fact, if you had taken just an hour of your "Preparation" time to look into North, you would have found that he was very much like "...this homeless guy that used to harangue anyone within earshot on a street corner, sort of half talking to himself, with all kinds of crazy half-baked innuendos and accusations..." -- the Guy With the Sandwich Board yelling about Doom.

Simply because you didn't like, oh, let's say cpr's style, doesn't diminish the fact that he not only presented thousands of links, but backed up those links with "rational, authoritative analysis". Hey, I wasn't too crazy about cpr's style either (and that continues to this day). But if you want to talk "facts" and "rational, authoritative analysis", then frankly it boggles the mind that ANYONE would have paid any attention to anything that came from North's site. How could one possibly have believed that what North wrote was "rational, authoritative analysis"? You all did your "thousands of hours of research" into Y2K, right? You mean, that didn't apply to those to whom you gave the most credence; those whose "opinions" you weighed heavier than others?

(And cpr wasn't the one only who presented facts, links and logical analysis; there were many of us, but again, you kind of had made up your mind and nothing any of "Those Damn Evil Pollies" said would have made any difference to you.)

Who wrote something about a stick and a horse that was probably already dead?

Further, to the one who claims that "History has proven North to be more correct than incorrect", solely based on the current price of gasoline, well dear, as long as you are sitting in front of the computer, please enter "Gary North" in any search engine and do come back and tell us all what you've found. (Hint: His "track record" of "predictions" stretches back some thirty years. But in your "thousands of hours of research", you knew that, didn't you?)

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.

An excellent line of discussion here! This is great!!

If I may barge in, however, with a small, unrelated, but irritating issue for me: I don't know why people keep questioning my royal authenticity. As far as "where I have been", it's really pretty simple, though I don't know why anyone should care.

I hung around ye olde TB2K until the latter part of January, the last week or so hardly posting at all (just mudwrestling inquiries mainly). I felt that there was nothing further to be gained -- Y2K was indeed a DUD, and there was really not a whole lot more to say ... at the time. And I was, quite frankly, sick of the (non-) issue. I said goodbye, and I left. Period.

As the weeks wore on, I did browse over to Ed Yourdon's home page (, figuring if anything significant happened with post-Y2K, I would find it there. In early April, Ed started his "Y2K Fans" discussion forum, the sole purpose of which was to do a post- mortem on the entire Y2K puzzle. We got off to a good start, with Ed soliciting commentary on previous Y2K papers he had written in 1998- 1999, asking what could he have done differently given the data at the time, etc.

Unfortunately, that forum never had a whole lot of participation, and after a couple of months, Ed mentioned he had business trips coming up, and I don't think that he posted there again. I tried to stir things up (in my usual style), but it was deader than a doornail. I was sorry to see it deteriorate, since I think we ALL owe it to ourselves to try to understand this issue that seemed to captivate us. Regardless of whether we were "right" or "wrong" about it. (If anyone is interested: Y2K Fans Discussion Forum.)

On the "Y2K Fans" forum, someone posted a link to this spinoff TB2K forum, but never actually said what it was. I ignored it for the longest time, but one evening decided to follow the link, and was amazed to find this place, and the familiar handles (and arguments).

I am KOS, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.

(...oh, yeah. I forgot to add: I wouldn't buy a used car from Gary North or Ed Yourdon, either...)

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), September 06, 2000.

hi King,

I'm still disappointed you disappeared when my sister asked u to mudwrestle during the rollover. :-)

-- consumer (, September 06, 2000.

"I must admit that the guy's commentary was also extremely persuasive. Seemingly very logical and rational, simply weighing the evidence backed up by the links, I found myself often nodding in agreement with most of what North had to say. "

As usual, others here have written my thoughts more eloquently than I could. I have only one thing to add: How anyone could believe the ab ove statement has always confounded me. After one read of Gary North's site I concluded the man didn't know what he was talking about, and that was before I found out who he was.

-- Buddy (, September 06, 2000.


Yet you felt completely at home with CPR's ... uh ... commentary. And Doc Paulie, merely from seeing North's PICTURE on a web site, felt he was a nogoodnik.

Maybe doomer brains and polly brains are just "wired" differently -- pollies being more faith-driven, doomers more fact-driven? This was a question I posed on the "Y2K Fans" site, in the thread regarding what I termed "polly-think". Because, quite frankly, most "facts" presented by pollies (with exceptions) tend to be negative info about people such as North, which does not actually address what North SAID (or LINKed to).

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.

"pollies being more faith-driven, doomers more fact-driven"

Quite the opposite I think, given the TB2K conventional definitions of "polly" and "doomer".

-- Buddy (, September 06, 2000.

We seem to have a problem with communications (or however that quote goes).

KoS, what Doc said was that seeing North's picture sounded his warning alarms, not that "And Doc Paulie, merely from seeing North's PICTURE on a web site, felt he was a nogoodnik".

Yes, there's a difference. And what you have illustrated above is exactly the way North and Yourdon and Hyatt and the rest operated. Just change one little word; just put the tiniest bit of your own "spin" on something and you change the meaning entirely. To make matters worse, the new meaning looks completely reasonable to the average viewer (and that's not to demean and/or degrade anyone) unless one analyzes certain things; (1) the source; (2) the source's agenda (utmost importance); and (3) the original piece.

See where I'm going here? This is part of what we "debunkers" referred to as The Great Disconnect. It was seemingly OK by you for the likes of North and Yourdon and Diane Squire to put their own "spin" on something; while at the same time you were decrying the EVIL DOT GOV for "lying and spinning". And, in fact, those accusations of "lying and spinning" on the part of the EVIL DOT GOV were some of the specific reasons given by many "doomers" as to why they felt "it was all going away" and thus had to Prepare.

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.

Welcome back, Your Royal Highness (somehow "Mister Spain" just never did have the right ring to it...:)); and hi, Buddy,

Pardon me, but I think you're both taking on opposing, yet irrelevant, dichotomies. The truth is that there were faith-driven and fact-driven individuals in both "camps." The faith-driven were simply the ones who chose to "coast" and leave all of the thinking and research to others.

I don't even see what the adoption of those disparaging categories accomplished -- unless, that is, they referred only to the UNTHINKING pollies and doomers. I think that both "pollies" AND "doomers" who chose to THINK -- however right or wrong they turned out to be -- should be respected for their efforts.

Oh yes, Flint -- if you're reading this -- I do intend to eventually get back to you on that other thread ("eve to Ken...") -- even if I have to resurrect it out of the cobwebbed, musty "basement stacks."

-- eve (, September 06, 2000.

KOS you suffer so because you are unable to see the forest because of all the big bad trees in your way. The reason nobody ever refuted North using North's style is because it would have been yet another exercise in mass confusion. "I don't want to overwhelm the reader" North said. Total BS, of course Gary wanted to do that, his whole point, scare the living daylights out of his readers. Bury them in doom and gloom. It is WHAT he is all about,,,,that is fact, backed-up with thirty years of hard evidence.

Fact is, ALL the doomer scenarios failed as completely as they did since they were BALONEY in total. You may think it wise to refute these know nothings point by point, I do not. The RECORD-the FACT is they were not even close as we told ya. What possible difference could it have made dissecting each and every North dump when the whole was WRONG???? Main problem was the typical doomer was so lost in the irrelevant details they missed the big picture that little of their worries mattered. Most of the concerns ALREADY existed and have been handled for decades. The doomer scenarios were NON COMPLIANT with reality.

What you write-off as faith is called intelligence. The ability to make the larger connections. Without this ability, one depends on someone to lay-it-all-out, and is an easy mark for all manner of hucksters. These types are what is referred to as sheep.

Again, Y2k was a complete bust. If the Gas person above is for real, present the dam evidence. They won't because there is none. There is no Y2k because it was never even about a stupid-ass computer dating issue, it was about this medium. Y2k has been HAPPENING for 3 decades, and will probably continue for 5-10 more years, who gives a crap? IBM knew of Y2k in the 70's. If it was the monster presented, we would have had evidence long before a fixation in human brains over a century change came along. FACT we had little evidence it was anything but yet another computer glitch handled every bloody day by people all over the globe was somehow lost by all the factfinding doomers and the ensuing madness created over this limited, but lightning fast vector of energy, the internet.

When your spouse, your kids, your friends and dog even thought you nuts about a Y2k bug, you maybe should have listened. Course you had the facts, so what did they know?

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.


The short answer is "no." Gary North provided speculation, rumors and spin about Y2K. North had a 20-year track record of failed apocalyptic predictions--not to mention his goal of replacing the Republic with an Old Testament Christian theocracy. Personal credibility aside, North simply failed to make a compelling argument that Y2K would cause serious disruptions in basic services.

North (and Yourdon) basically used the argument "no one can be sure" about Y2K. The rest of the world was 99.9 percent confident we would manage rollover with minimum problems. North and Yourdon constantly leveraged the tiny sliver of uncertainty into raging doubts about the entire system.

Charles Reuben occasionally offered facts about Y2K. Unfortunately, these facts were often buried in vitriolic outbursts. From a credibility standpoint, Reuben was just a layperson commenting on Y2K. My decision about Y2K was not based on Reuben's expertise, but on my analysis of the data.

You conveniently ignore the fact that Flint, I and others brought rational analysis to TB 2000 during the whole of 1999. We provided data, links, reports, analysis, etc. The bulk of this work was written in a calm, lucid fashion. You were able to ignore this analysis... and accept the speculations and half-truths of the doomsayers. Why? There were hundreds of Internet sites (FDIC, NERC, Federal Reserve) where rational, authoritative information was available. Why was it hard to believe the "establishment" and easy to believe Gary North?

You (and others) made up your mind about Y2K in late '98/early '99 and then spent months entrenched against reasonable arguments for a modest Y2K impact. It was never about the authors, or even the analysis. Once the door to your mind closed, it stayed closed until January 2000. After rollover, you shocked me when you took the calm rollover with dignity. Your last post seems to suggest you still don't quite believe you got it wrong.

-- Ken Decker (, September 06, 2000.

I have a 
problem, it started the first time my lunch money was stolen in the 
2nd grade
Mr. Mothball himself!

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.

Maybe I missed something here, but does KOS know that TB2K was moved to ezboard, where the "Doomers" immediately went on to spirited discussion of other societal elements that pose various risks?

KOS, have you checked out the very active and real ezTB2K where your friends are?
If not, you are missing your former excellent and intelligent Forum.
You would be MOST WELCOME back.


-- puzzled (KOS@doesn't.know), September 06, 2000.


Oh, believe me, I got it wrong all right. (??!!)

But, what all of you pollies (and I am not using term disparagingly, but simply for historical recognition) cannot so easily explain is why so many who absolutely should have known better, "fell" for the "scam". This includes the "EVIL DOT GOV" that Patricia references, though as you have pointed out, the actual expenditures as a percentage of budget was noise level.

Bottom line: What I am hearing on this thread is that Y2K was essentially a non-problem known well in advance, and was nothing but a hoax perpetrated by doomsters out to make a buck. Yet, I recall that many well established organizations, such as IEEE, took even the embedded chips issues quite seriously. Just how was the "average person" to know? Didn't it really make sense, given lack of time and expertise, for one to simply say, "Let me play it safe and prepare; if nothing happens, so be it."?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.


Here's the short answer. There was a serious amount of CYA going on. Why? Government worries more about minimizing risk than minimizing cost. Y2K became a CYA exercise for government at every level. Large corporations also bought into the CYA act to minimize legal risk. Are you familiar with the concept of "due diligence?"

No one in any real position of authority "bought" the myth of a Y2K apocalypse. The real motivation behind most Y2K "contingency planning" was to meet the threshold of due diligence, aka CYA. Forgive my cynicism, but the IEEE letter was pure political lobbying for liability relief.

Y2K was not a hoax... it was a technical problem that needed fixing. It was a large problem, but not terribly complex. There were hucksters like Greg "Soybean" Caton banging the doom drum to sell some beans. This was a sideshow, nothing more.

I'm not sure the "average" person thought much about Y2K. Let me say again, though, for the curious person there was enough information available to draw the correct conclusion about Y2K. There was enough data to assess the risk (exceedingly low) and make a personal decision about preparations. Let's say there is 1 chance in a million of getting hit by a ice cream truck. If you want to run into the house every time the ice cream truck drives by, feel free. Just don't try to convince me this is a "rational" or "prudent" action. By the way, I cannot provide any assurance the ice cream truck will not hit you. In fact, I am sure you can find documented examples of ice cream truck collisions with people. Just let me live my pollyanna life, resting in my hammock as the ice cream truck rolls along.

-- Ken Decker (, September 06, 2000.

I just asked this question over at the other uncensored forum yesterday and maybe someone here could give me their thoughts?

"Hi you guys. Could it be that mainframes didn't need remediation?...that people only thought they did? I know of government offices here in my state that didn't do anything to their PC's and nothing happened. (Not to mention the PC's of everyone I know.)"

Who are the biggest lunatics at EZBoard and TimeBomb Uncensored? LINK

-- (Netsc@pe 6.0), September 06, 2000.


Apparently you didn't read the references you said you would. So I repeat one here where maybe you can find it.

[try addressing the real issue: given the uncertainty of Y2K, personal preparation was a prudent course, regardless of the low odds...I still believe my actions were reasonable and prudent.]

You don't seem to be following the flow of the argument very well. We weren't looking at a single event for which odds were hard to calculate while stakes were limited only by your imagination. Instead, we were looking at a process that took place over several years. The "reasonableness" is a function of how well we understood and followed that process -- what the real threat was, what we were doing about, and how successful our efforts were.

Early on (at the beginning of the awareness phase) few people if any had any solid grasp of the scope of what we were facing. We knew 2- digit years had been the standard date protocol for over 3 decades. We knew this protocol would cause problems if left uncorrected. We knew we relied heavily on systems that make extensive use of dates. We knew we would suffer pervasive disruptions if these systems spent any significiant period of time in a degraded state. We knew the repair task was potentially enormous.

We did NOT know how many bugs there were, nor what their effects on computers and computerized processes would be, nor how difficult the repairs would be, nor how long it would take to make these repairs. And without these data, any serious concerns could not be either confirmed or denied. So you could make an excellent case that, AT THAT TIME, personal preparation was certainly prudent, at least within some limit. Uncertainty was necessary, given lack of information one way or another. Pending that information, it made sense to treat the danger as real.

Ken came on the scene in about the middle of a concerted global repair effort. He was not encumbered with any prior conviction things would be awful (as I was), and was able to survey both the progress being made, and the work remaining to be done, with fresher eyes. And he noticed what I picked up on a bit later -- that there was no panic among remediators, that remediation wasn't even the largest IT expense, that fixing date bugs was a boring, routine, simple and tedious process, that the impacts of date miscalculations were not particularly serious when they happened and were simple to find and fix quickly, that the feared lookaheads (pigs will fly) happened without incident.

As time went on, we moved from the remediation to the testing phase, and tests were passing in huge numbers across the board. Testing revealed that embedded systems posed no significant dangers, and that banking and finance had the situation well under control. Remediators were being laid off, projects were winding down, and it had become impossible to find a single organization worried about their own systems. By all indications, the overall problem had not been nearly as bad as we'd originally feared it might have been, neither as complicated nor as pervasive nor as hard to fix. Even deJager recognized (and wrote) that the problem was perfectly tractable and had been addressed effectively.

To sum up, the information was pouring in, and the prognosis was excellent. Actual hands-on field experience was clearly showing us that our original fears, fully justified before we knew better, had been (fortunately) greatly exaggerated. REAL DATA were systematically and inexorably eliminating any genuine reason to retain these fears. What Ken and I are trying to say is that the doomers, faced with the choice of abandoning either their fears or their reason, chose to abandon their reason and retain their fears! If uncertainty was no longer reasonable, then it had to be maintained by being UNreasonable.

Ken's "Firestone" illustration is NOT a straw man at all. It's a succinct summary of the thought process doomers used to retain an increasingly nonviable uncertainty. As Ken shows, this process involved a combination of (1) Refusal to credit data that conflicted with erroneous conviction; and (2) Demands for levels of assurance that were not possible *in principle*. And these assurances were impossible for two reasons -- because they were physically not doable, and because they'd be rejected *even if they could be done*! Uncertainty had become an article of faith, impervious to real-world results.

Toward the end, rejection of real information became nearly hysterical on the forum. Those who believed it were subjected to personal attacks or deleted on sight. When the odds of almost any glitches had become miniscule, the doomers switched over to the "stakes", which were *defined* as horrible without regard for the reality (which was being shouted down).

Errors are inevitable. We all make them, but only SOME of us can learn from them -- those of us who can admit we were wrong and try to understand how and why we were wrong. So long as you continue to insist on a faith-based uncertainty instead of looking at the results, what will you learn? If you prefer to believe you were "reasonable", nobody can stop you. But that does NOT mean you were reasonable after all. As experience showed, you were not. If even a little uncertainty were justified, then a little would have gone wrong. And it didn't.

-- Flint (, September 06, 2000.

"On January 1, 1999 they will experience many more, and it will be much more difficult to sweep them under the rug. On April 1, 1999 we will all watch anxiously as the governments of Japan and Canada, as well as the state of New York, begin their 1999-2000 fiscal year; at that moment, the speculation about Y2K will end, and we will have tangible evidence of whether governmental computer systems work or not."-- Ed Yourdon

Now you want the deeper reason's KOS? Many looked unfolding stupidity like the above Yourdon brainfart, square in the face and like a sissyman clone said "they don't call it no Why2Kay for nuttining". Or the popular Y2k cannot be fixed!

As one of the few non-techie Debunkers let me say this...Y2k started inside the software industry like many other "concerns". As many know, fear-uncertainty and doubt(FUD)is an effective sales tool, and not reserved strictly for Religious Nuts like North.

What made Y2k different than say a flawed line of C++ lurking in anothers Database was the fact even a layperson could understand a Y2k glitch. With this ace, the established Hucksters(Peter de Jager and co), the fixit boys merely sat back and allowed the fire to grow. Occassionally turning a coal here and there. As luck would have it, the internet and its ability to spread memes(ideas)in ways, and at speeds never before imagined propelled the sales pitch all the way to a worldwide stage. Against a backdrop of the information revolution full of uncertainty and doubt, Y2k flew like no mundane software issue had ever flow before. The perfect Racket and Ruse was Y2k.

It is essential to understand North and others like him where largely puppets. Not until early 1999 when most who should have known better before were convinced Y2k was a dud as evidenced by the 1999 rollover, was any attempt to silence the nuts made at any level beyond a Debunking Y2k webboard, or Biffy. Untill early 1999, the popular stance was "we don't know". Mainly this meant we are incapable of knowing since we are not tech-people, just folks who use computers and understand just how unstable they are. The folks who knew played along in many ways as it was to their advantage to do so. Not a winning career move to contradict your boss or the overwhelming consensus that said Y2k was serious.

Y2k was good for many businesswise. Peter de Jager didn't password protect his website, for reasons. He wanted a simple tech issue with public interest to explode into a big issue. Big issue equals big need for solutions, even if big problem is no problem. Fact Y2k has been the complete wash-out indicates just how ridiculous it was. Did they just "fix" it all? course not. Never was about fixing it, that was the sales pitch, the compliancy baloney. The sad truth is, if everything was like stacked ducks in a row all working in harmony, then indeed a Y2k glitch could cause catastrophe. The very fact this level of compliancy does not exists speaks volumes. The reason it ain't all "good", is because it ain't all "good" and most know this and do not stack their systems like dominoes.

Y2k started in the trades. Moved to the internet and the rest is history. Yourdon and North were dupes for Gartner and the like. Any questions?

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.


Where HAVE you been?

In answer to your question, I spent about 15 minutes at North's site once in 1998. I thought he was nuts and moved on. I didn't learn of the debunker site until sometime after I ventured onto TB2000. My first post there basically stated something like "You folks are as bad as the folks you bash on TB." One needed thick skin to suffer through the rantings and ravings of the extremists on BOTH sites. I had/have thick skin.

So, the bottom-line was, North never influenced me and CPR never influenced me. I had the time, so engaged in discussions on both TBI and Debunkers, sticking mostly to discussions of a technical nature, since that was what I knew. I steered clear of discussions that flamed others and steered clear of discussions by folks who couldn't do anything BUT flame. I enjoyed the discussions with Hoff, Flint, Sysman, and some others, but by the time I entered TBI, Y2k was essentially over [in my mind.]

As I stated to Ken in a much earlier thread, I'm not evangelistic by nature. I think folks get scammed every day, and they're all responsible for the decisions they make in life. It's not up to me to tell them they're wrong, nor is it up to me to tell them they're right. Folks got scammed by Howard Ruff many years ago, and he's STILL at it. Folks got scammed by Gary North many years ago, and he's still at it. It takes an evangelist to work EITHER side of an issue to the point where one goes beyond stating specific facts to stating that someone is WRONG if they don't think the same way you do.

I'm profoundly tired of Y2k, and have been since before the rollover, but I can understand why some folks feel a need to evaluate their decision-making. Have fun and learn well.

-- Anita (, September 06, 2000.

I sense some polly-think divergence, here...

OK, who thinks:

1) Y2K was potentially a real problem that could potentially have had a real undesirable impact, but was established to be innocuous within a reasonable time period preceeding 1/1/00. (Flint, Ken)?


2) Y2K was always easily seen to be trivial and innocuous, and was never a threat to anyone; i.e., the very idea that it could cause undesirable problems was a hoax. (De-bunkers & de-bunkerettes)?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.


Thanks, good to see you still post here. Also, like Flint, you have a "hands-on" technical background that also should be factored in.

I was often impressed by your arguments back in the old days (and, of course, the ones presented by Hoffy -- is he still around?). But, other techies with seemingly equal qualifications disagreed, and for us non-techies, it was back to square one. (For some reason, the phrases "common mode failure" and "system integration testing" come to mind....)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.

1) Y2K was potentially a real problem that could potentially have had a real undesirable impact, but was established to be innocuous within a reasonable time period preceeding 1/1/00. (Flint, Ken)?

I agree with this one, but...


2) Y2K was always easily seen to be trivial and innocuous, and was never a threat to anyone; i.e., the very idea that it could cause undesirable problems was a hoax. (De-bunkers & de-bunkerettes)?

I don't agree with the first part, about the i.e. part I would say this:

The very idea that it could cause undesirable problems that could not be handled through normal emergency response procedures and manual workarounds was a hoax. i.e. The need to prepare for emergencies was and still is prudent, but the need to prepare on a personal level for a breakdown in civilization was ridiculous.

-- Buddy (, September 06, 2000.

I will not bash Flint's excellent coverage from his point of view, However the record speaks for itself.

Y2k was not Fixed completely and we still have Zilch. I am talking not a single solitary crash worth a dam. Has your life been directly affected by an issue some were calling TEOTWAWKI? hardly. No question the folks who work with some systems had Y2k up the gazoo, so what, should I care? should you? Most computing could careless what the freaking date is, this is the plain truth.

Tech people are myopic and live in Xs and Os. The rare person who has the view to organize all the bits and pieces. Bill Gates made a fortune making it all easy for us who live in the BIG PICTURE called reality.

Where is the BEEF? Been asking that for almost 3 years now. It is there and it is saying SO WHAT. Risk was the issue and the answer was the infrastructure is not suffciently greased to allow out of control glitches of any kind suffcient avenues to produce anything but isolated headaches. Not perfect, and many areas could be far better balanced and diverse(power grids as an example), but this was ALWAYS the issue, not Y2k. Major mistake most doomers made was to believe that it is all connected. Well it is, but more NOT-CONNECTED than it is connected thus 10 months passed D-Day and nada is the result.

My position is EVERYTHING said by all points of view has some weight. Doomers had legitimate concerns from their point of view. Problem was their point of view was limited and isolated to say the least.

-- Doc Paulie (, September 06, 2000.

"de-bunkerettes"? Would I be one of those? So be it.

I don't know that I'd fall into either of your two scenarios. Yes, I worked on a couple of Y2K projects. Yes, I saw a couple of potential Y2K problems. Yes, these problems would no doubt have shut down their respective systems.

BUT.....the fact that the problems were found and fixed **long before the rollover** spoke louder volumes to me than anything the government or the IEEE or such "reported".

IOW, I went, I saw, I conquered. I couldn't possibly have been the only one.

(Further, the fact that these systems used to go down almost semi- regularly also spoke volumes -- the respective businesses never went out of business, nor did any of their employees/customers/shareholders/whoever suffer one iota from it. The reason? Contingency planning was always in place. But that was yet another thing some of the more vocal "doomers" found a conspiracy in -- "LOOK! CONTINGENCY PLANNING! THEY MUST KNOW SOMETHING!" Again, damned if they did and damned if they didn't.)

That's kind of how I looked at it. And I will admit a good chunk of my "pollyanna-ism" was based on that people knew how to do their jobs, as they always have (and as most people have always trusted them to do).

Funny thing about my "faith" is that I'm a hard-core skeptic by nature; I question virtually everything. But where Y2K was concerned, once I "questioned" and "researched" (it was job from 1996- 1999) I could not for the life of me see any potential benefit to any corporation, government, or other entity to lie about it. Because if they had lied and their business failed, well, who benefits?

No one. And that to me was part of The Bottom Line of Y2K.

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.

Stupid fingers.....grumble.....Who do I have to pay to get a freaking preview feature on this board?!?!?!?!

That SHOULD read "...(it was MY job from 1996- 1999)...".

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.

Pat: LOL, u had it right the first time :-)

sumer, who is sitting at job right now :-)

-- consumer (, September 06, 2000.

This is an interesting discussion so I thought Id add my own thoughts to the mix.

1) What Me Worry? One of the things that fascinated me from the start about Y2K was why people who lived in places that would clearly suffer from disruptions due to natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes didnt have preps for them but were willing to spend themselves into debt worrying about Y2K. When I first started posting about Y2K I received an email from a man living outside of San Francisco. He was very worried about what would happen come 1/1/2000 but didnt have anything put aside or planned in case of an earthquake. The latter was and is an almost certainty but the former was problematical at best. This kind of thinking seemed to be prevalent among the doomsters. A man in Minnesota had experienced power outages lasting several days in past winters due to heavy snowfall and ice but didnt think about going out and buying a generator until he became worried about Y2K. HUH!? Some kind logic seemed to be missing here. As Patricia pointed out, on more then one occasion, most people have more then a few days of groceries and supplies in their house anyway. And none of the pollies said dont do any preparing. It makes sense to have a first aid kit in the house and other things because there are natural calamities that happen.

2) Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Answer Yes or No! One thing that drove me crazy about the doomsters was they thought that they got to set the rules of the debate and you had to answer their questions on their terms. Gary North was the master of this. He posted several lists of questions that he urged his minions to send to their local utilities. If they didnt give the correct answers, i.e., the ones that Gary said they had to give then obviously they were lying. Of course his questions were based on assumed suppositions that were faulty in the first place. Gary repeated over and over that nothing could be manually operated anymore or if it could anyone who knew how to do it was long since retired or dead. Utter nonsense of course but that didnt stop him from repeating it, and others from believing it. Ditto the comments to KOS from Jonathan and the others about the level of the debate. Any attempt to disagree with facts as stated by North, Yourdon and the others led to cries of cover-up , lies, shill, etc.

3) Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. This was a favorite saying of the late Carl Sagan. It applies to Y2K (and a lot of other things!) as well. The doomsters demanded that all of the pollies (governments, utilities, industries, etc) supply absolute proof that everything had been examined and fixed to the Nth degree. Yet their side produced Mr. ( secret identity and no show) CEO, Jim Lords (super top secret) Navy List, Bruce Beachs (super hidden) secondary CPU clocks and Time Dilation. You can add to this the various I heard from a friend of a friend who works. postings that related breathless tails of failures, disasters and of course the inevitable cover up. Norths list of links was full of this type of stuff. Need I remind anyone of the postings about white school busses, martial law, mysterious highway signs, and so on and on and on. Poor Paula Gordon still thinks that Y2K failures are going on every day. Covered up of course.

4) I am the Great Wizard of Y2K (and ignore the man behind the curtain). As I previously posted (and yes I am still smug about it) North wrote to me asking if it was true that the Eastern Grid was at 60 HZ and the Western Grid at 50 HZ. This from a man who knew that everything was automated and that embedded chips were in everything (the answer is no by the way, they are both at 60HZ). North knew everything about computers, embedded chips, power, economics, transportation, and everything else you can care to name or even think of. So did Yourdon and all the rest of the usual suspects. Never have so many know so much about things they didnt know anything about. Mr. Decker (politely of course) pointed out the flaws of their various pontifications on economics. I (and a number of others) pointed out their lack of knowledge and understanding of The Grid. But of course what did I know. Ive only been doing this for 25+ years (at the time). Gary had a Ph.D. in history. Ed has written a couple of books on programming. Shakey was an expert in embedded chips and power plants, when he wasnt an expert in embedded systems and oil wells. Bruce Beech had studied the problem and had interviewed someone or other, once. And as for Roleigh Martin and the rest. Well they just knew, didnt they? Not about Q4 transistors of course, but other then that they just knew. Ditto with anyone else who wrote with any actual knowledge on any particular subject. What did they know compared to the all knowing all seeing Yourdon and crew.

-- The Engineer (, September 06, 2000.

Patricia, I'm glad you clarified that one line. I'd been madly searching for a Bible for your research reference in the book of Job (19:96-19:99). ("I'm glad I caught the fact that she left out the colons -- maybe nobody else saw that -- and this way I'll be the first to actually post the quote! Way cool!")

(self-administered face-slap) Ok, ok, ok...SERIOUSLY...

You brought out a good point, Patricia, and one I probably should have distinguished in my post above. The "faith" I was referring to was more in line with a "blind faith." The "faith" you refer to is a natural, practical faith in people -- a faith that we employ in our lives every day, simply because we can't know everything about everything and HAVE to rely on others to some extent; and sometimes completely.

-- eve (, September 06, 2000.


I'm thinking of taking up mud wrestling! ;)

-- Peg (too@much.spam), September 06, 2000.

Wow, is this a great thread or what?? (Even if I am getting raked over the coals half the time. That's OK, I'm just learning first- hand that indeed "payback is hell"....)

I think "The Engineer" has especially nailed down the "no way to win" position that the pollies found themselves in, with we doomers placing unrealistic and nearly impossible demands on "proving Y2K compliance". Excellent.

(And yes, I know all about Paula Gordon's belief that embedded failures plague us to this day -- and that they are being covered up and suppressed by the powers that be. On the "Y2K Fans" forum, where she and I corresponded a bit, I suggested that we apply Occum's Razor and simply go for the simplest explanation -- nothing SEEMINGLY happened, so NOTHING HAPPENED. She insisted that she continues to get reports from her sources, for which she is not at liberty to divulge, that assure her that THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Gawd, makes one hesitate to use one's microwave for fear of triggering a tardy Y2K sensitive embedded chip that might explode.)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.

Short answer-no.

When I was handed a copy of Remnant Review in the winter of 98 I was amazed that there was such a thing as Y2K. I'd never heard of it, but it sounded plausible so I did some surfing on my new PC (my first) and was even more amazed to find out that it was "real". If North had, in that rag I was handed, written: "YOU IDIOT people who are NOT PREPARING FOR the doom that is without a doubt HEADED YOUR WAY are GOING TO DIE by the millions so pull your STUPID BRAINS out of your ASSHOLES and buy beans! I would have never thought twice about it. But that's not how he came across, so I looked into it further.

Now I'm sure that cpr and Doc will call me a foolish sucker, but what I came across from folks like Yourdon, Hamasaki, and Dejager clinched it in my mind that this could be a serious problem. Having a reasonable grasp of history I was well aware that the shit very often does hit the fan, and I was very well aware that people have been hurt or killed by things that "cannot happen" . Thus I decided to act in my own best interest and prepare for what I thought might be the worst that might happen.

Yes, in hindsight (which is ALWAYS 20/20) I was sucked in by FUD. To my own credit, I eventually expected Y2K to have less of an impact on my life as so called "trigger dates" passed uneventfully. But, having said that, I must admit that cpr never influenced my thoughts beyond "Who is this foaming mouthed idiot?"

"Mr" Decker did influence my thinking on many topics, but cpr changed my mind about as much as al-d did, although I do think that there must a reasonable human being lurking under there somewhere, cpr that is ;-)

-- Uncle Deedah (, September 06, 2000.

KoS, for whatever it's worth, I'm not trying to "rake you over the coals". Not my intention. Just trying to clear a few misconceptions is all.

Peg, I see you're branching out in your interests ;-) (Good to "see" you again!)

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.

'sumer, same here (hangs head and wonders why clock isn't moving).

eve, my friend (and co-worker) happened to overhear me LOL and she read your post and almost fell on the floor!!

Thanks yet again for bringing a smile to this weary face.

-- Patricia (, September 06, 2000.


I think almost everyone (except Reuben and the EZBers) are over the acrimony of last year. I probably would have lost interest in TB 2000, except the doomsayers were so damn smug about Y2K. I could almost hear Paul Milne laughing while he daydreamed about starving "pollies."

What I saw on the old forum was classic group dynamics. I think a fair number of people read Flint et al and thought we made sense. I also suspect these people were reluctant to take the mandatory public whipping for agreeing with a dreaded polly.

The doomsayers were just as guilty of "herdthink" as any group. Instead of continually testing their own assumptions, they (pardon the royal metaphor) filled the moat and pulled up the drawbridge. Hey, it's hard to keep an open mind about an issue like Y2K.

-- Ken Decker (, September 06, 2000.

For over three decades Gary North has managed to build up a group of followers that subscribe to his slant on reality. It is difficult to demean Mr. North without assassinating the character of his believers, for they have swallowed the same bait that North offers to all. When the Y2K issues became somewhat mainstream in 1997-98, Gary North had already established himself as a (1). Religious Visionary or (2). World Class Fruitcake, depending on your given take. For those that had never heard of North until then (most of humanity) he was still viewed in the same manner.

So let us for a moment exclude the volatile Y2K predictions from this conversation. You were either sucked into the North web or you viewed him as the disturbed prophet that he is. No amount of rhetoric or cross-examinations can change your past positions. Live with them or suffer through the ages, but do not beat yourself up too much. If you are/were a member of the North flock take solace in this: YOU COULD HAVE PICKED THE COWBOYS TO RULE IN THE EAST!

-- I (h@ve.spoken), September 06, 2000.

I was going to add something, but then changed my mind after re- reading my earlier response. After looking over it, I could only think of a two-word reponse:

"nuff said"

:) Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, September 06, 2000.

I have to somewhat disagree with you Ken. I think you are mixing apples and oranges.

Most of us were annoyed, like you, at the smugness of the doomsters. However buried within the clueless were the con artists. I think its the latter that CPR is angry with. And quite rightly so.

You wrote many times that if people wanted to spend their own money on preps it was their decision, their money. If it was a level playing field I dont think you would get much of an argument. However, a lot of the FUD spreaders were doing it to make a buck and seemed to be more then willing to out and out lie. I think this comes closer to yelling fire in a crowded theater then free speech on the net. Some may argue that it didnt go over the line but I think it was definitely in a gray area.

I can see where in the mid 90s people who were looking into the issue would have been apprehensive about the outcome. I brought it up in several meetings and was soundly laughed at by my colleagues. I didnt have any F but I did have a lot of U. A man ahead of my time. (LOL) I also think that if businesses and government had heeded a lot of the early warnings a lot of this debate would have been moot. There was a lot of U at the time and maybe a little F was called for.

However as it got closer and closer to the big day two things happened. One is the prediction about early indicators that would be the harbingers of the approaching Y2K doom to come failed to materialize. The dates came and went and not much happened. The Jo Anne effect was a fizzle. Rather then relook at their original thinking most of the doomsters just upped the volume of their rants and ignore the good news with cries of cover up and trolls, etc. The other thing was that the approaching day of doom became a year of doom (or longer). A long time ago I posted the question on the original Y2K board asking if Y2K came and went without much happening when would the doomsters say they got it wrong. Most of them (if I remember right) said fairly early. But afterwards things changed. The Queen of Sighs went from saying that Y2K was the roll over date to the over year. Some people started looking 10 or more years out. 2100 anyone? As I stated in my first posting Paula still seems to think cover ups are going on and is looking at any problem anywhere as a Y2K happening.

If someone was just clueless and wanted to believe that Doomsday was just around the corner (like Paul Milne) I dont think there is much you can really say or do, except call them names and enjoy the argument. On the other hand if someone is deliberately telling you to: Beware the Ides of March. late in September in order to sell you something I think its a different kettle of fish.

-- The Engineer (, September 06, 2000.


You asked, "OK, who thinks:

1) Y2K was potentially a real problem that could potentially have had a real undesirable impact, but was established to be innocuous within a reasonable time period preceeding 1/1/00. (Flint, Ken)?


2) Y2K was always easily seen to be trivial and innocuous, and was never a threat to anyone; i.e., the very idea that it could cause undesirable problems was a hoax. (De-bunkers & de-bunkerettes)?"

My opinion is that it was both. I remember Doc and I having a discussion on Debunkers on this one last year. I never saw PC's as a problem. I saw some systems on mainframes [in particular IMS/DB-type hierarchical database systems] that would have REALLY screwed up had they not been fixed. Some places like our local electric company STILL use IMS/DB. They had a good team in place to handle the work when I was there. I'd have to do a Heller and look for my resume to find a date on that one, but I think it was 1996. OTHER places, for sure, simply replaced their out-of-date systems [and I consider IMS/DB TRULY out-of-date] with either newer database methods or newer platforms.

So, from the IT standpoint, some stuff needed to be done, IMO. I know many remediators who worked long, hard hours on stuff, and I've heard of some who even worked in Italy. As far as ramifications if the stuff wasn't fixed on time, some stuff DID break. As has been said before, no system goes in as smooth as pudding. The goal of folks in IT has always been to ensure that users don't NOTICE when things break, and failing THAT, to ensure that systems are repaired as quickly as possible. The public never cared about previous system modifications. They shouldn't have cared about those for Y2k either.

Doc is fond of blaming IT folks for the FUD. I'd go so far as to suggest that the LARGE consulting firms have ALWAYS engaged in FUD. It's how they've essentially taken the market from the small firms and independents with whom they've competed all these years.

-- Anita (, September 06, 2000.


This was a joke. Right?

"Maybe I missed something here, but does KOS know that TB2K was moved to ezboard, where the "Doomers" immediately went on to spirited discussion of other societal elements that pose various risks?

KOS, have you checked out the very active and real ezTB2K where your friends are? If not, you are missing your former excellent and intelligent Forum. You would be MOST WELCOME back.

ezTB2K -- puzzled (KOS@doesn't.know), September 06, 2000. "

I hope so.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, September 06, 2000.

"I can see where in the mid 90s people who were looking into the issue would have been apprehensive about the outcome. I brought it up in several meetings and was soundly laughed at by my colleagues. I didnt have any F but I did have a lot of U. A man ahead of my time. (LOL) I also think that if businesses and government had heeded a lot of the early warnings a lot of this debate would have been moot. There was a lot of U at the time and maybe a little F was called for" -- The Engineer

Once again, I think the Engineer has put it in a way that all should be able to agree. If indeed government and industry had, early on, been able to give an overall joint technical pronouncement that the Y2K problem was WELL UNDERSTOOD and WELL MANAGEABLE, with virtually no chance of end-of-world type scenarios, it would have probably made it difficult for doomsday predictions to be taken seriously. But the lack of ANY such consensus, missed Y2K "compliance" deadlines, the elusive Navy report "exposed" by Jim Lord, National Guard Y2K drills, multi-million dollar "crisis centers", the IEEE pronouncement, etc., etc. -- all of this made it very easy to spin Y2K into a ball of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

There is one point regarding North's track record of failed FUD predictions that needs to be addressed (and in fact was pointed out by yours truly, among others, at ye olde TB2K): The polly argument that North's previous end-of-world predictions had failed miserably, and therefore his Y2K predictions would fail miserably. The reason that I was not duly impressed with this argument is because I figured that if indeed there were anything that could be a true doomsday scenario, then of course North would be one of the first to find it. I mean, if you are always on the LOOKOUT for "the event" that will establish your religious nirvana, then presumably you will indeed be among the first to spot it.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 06, 2000.

If indeed government and industry had, early on, been able to give an overall joint technical pronouncement that the Y2K problem was WELL UNDERSTOOD and WELL MANAGEABLE, with virtually no chance of end-of-world type scenarios, it would have probably made it difficult for doomsday predictions to be taken seriously.

Are we talking about the same government that just recently screwed up the addresses on literally millions of census forms?

If you're looking for the impossible, it is very likely that you will find yourself disappointed.

The reason that I was not duly impressed with this argument is because I figured that if indeed there were anything that could be a true doomsday scenario, then of course North would be one of the first to find it.

But then, by using that logic, one must continue to believe his predictions regardless of his past record of success. If he now predicts that the moon will break orbit and smack into the Earth, would you be inclined to believe it simply because, if it were really true, then Gary would have been the first to mention it??

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 06, 2000.

Are we talking about the same government that just recently screwed up the addresses on literally millions of census forms?

You gotta quit spreading that meme, Doc or whoever you. It simply is not true. Do your homework. It was a mistake by a vendor in the private sector.


Census addresses glitch

BY FCW Staff


The most electronic of all census counts is upon us, and the Census Bureau already has faced a numbers crisis: 125 million envelopes were misaddressed by a contractor.

The envelopes contained a letter to be mailed this week alerting the public that the census is coming. Officials discovered an extra number in front of every address.

No need to worry, however: "In no way does it put Census 2000 at risk," Census Director Kenneth Prewitt said at a press conference Feb. 28. Never fear, came word from the U.S. Postal Service: "Our high-speed, automated sorting machines can read the proper address from the bar code on the mail piece."

The contractor responsible for the error was not so calm. It was a vendors nightmare, said Anthony Alleghen, the government projects coordinator for Wisconsin-based Freedom Graphic Systems, which had a $5.9 million contract for Census work.

The extra digit comes from a code used to identify the type of address on the envelope. The digit could be a number from 1 to 5, although most often its a 1. So, someone at 101 Main St. may wind up with an envelope that reads 1101 Main St.

But whos counting?

-- Setting (the@record.straight), September 07, 2000.

I would chime in here, but this thread seems to be civil at the moment. All I can say is, KOS, analyze your own "theories". THAT will tell you why you got sucked in like you did, AND why you still think North made a "decent" argument.

-- Super Polly (, September 07, 2000.

You conveniently ignore the fact that Flint, I and others brought rational analysis to TB 2000 during the whole of 1999. We provided data, links, reports, analysis, etc.

Thanks for admitting, Ken, that both sides of the Y2K debate were on the old TB2000 for all to see. Some people are now claiming almost all good news posted there about Y2K was deleted on sight.

-- Both sides (, September 07, 2000.

Only some "good news" or positive arguments wer deleted on sight at the Hysterium - the rest was subjected to derision, scorn, impersonation, and character attack.

Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, September 07, 2000.

I thought that last week, for the umpteenth time, Ken Decker had written out yet another boring, protracted, sanctimonious goodbye. So why is he still posting here?

-- ????? (want@to.know), September 07, 2000.

Actually, I wrote my umpteenth criticism of the boring forum. As any objective observer would agree, the quality of the forum was abysmal during the past few months. The return of KOS has made for an interesting discussion. If only there were more threads of this caliber....

I know the closet doomers (hiding under new names) are all anxious for me to leave. Why not just stay over on EZB where you can post your silly theories without fear of rational criticism?

-- Ken Decker (, September 07, 2000.

"If he [Gary North] now predicts that the moon will break orbit and smack into the Earth, would you be inclined to believe it simply because, if it were really true, then Gary would have been the first to mention it??" -- hmmm

No, I would not believe any such thing purely on faith, especially from Gary North. But you better believe that I would be very interested in examining the evidence that I know that he would present on an open and well linked web site that he would undoubtedly set up.

hmmm, would you out of hand DISMISS anything North said, purely because it was Gary North who said it??? (Now, THAT is truly an act of blind faith....)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.

Netscape, I don't think anyone addressed your question so here goes. I remember hearing Ross Perot say (on radio or TV) that all most systems needed was to be turned off prior to midnight then turned back on. I agreed with him but didn't say it out loud on this forum because most people (including KOS) would have thrown both barrels at me. (Ross Perot has a consulting firm doing Y2K work from mid 90's)

KOS, you would have been taken in, no matter what, because that's who you are. As Ken pointed out by some of your statements, you still feel justified in your conclusions. You still feel doomers has better communciations skills than pollies (evidence by the title of this thread). Well, a logical thinking person moves past the delivery of the speech to the facts. The facts were there you were just too busy analyzing the personalities.

-- Maria (, September 07, 2000.


OK, you believed a guy with no "astronomy" experience who linked his site to only the data supporting his views. The rest of the world (sans doomsayers) believed the professional "astronomers" including individuals with recognized credentials in the field. Ed Yardeni, the gloomiest of professional economists, put the risk of economic depression at 5 percent... during his darkest days. The once dour Peter de Jager announced that we had "broken the back" of Y2K. Washed-up IT guru Ed Yourdon wroted a "what if" book and then vanished in mid-1999. North "cherry picked" the darkest speculations and then wrote them up as established fact. He was also caught several times recycling anecdotes. North was deconstructed in 1999. By December 31, he had zero credibility.

Here's a better question for you. Why were you one of a handful of people "sucked in" by Gary North? Why did you stick to your "doomer" conclusion even in the face of quiet "critical" dates and mounting positive evidence. Why did Gary North make so much more sense to you than the FDIC, Federal Reserve, NERC, etc? You fought calm, lucid well reasoned arguments from Flint et al with a smart ass attitude... and very little facts. Are you really "shocked" that you got it wrong?

-- Ken Decker (, September 07, 2000.

Thanks Maria. I suspect you and he were right. Although, I'm wondering about systems that couldn't be turned off at midnight. What about emergency systems like police, electricity, banking or fire? Do you know?

-- (Netsc@pe 6.0), September 07, 2000.

Decker MANY bought North. Many in the IT field did, even those who had no "wares" to sell. North is linked all over the planet. Many state governemnets had Gary as a link. Rationalization was always that Gary had "good sources". North himself boasted on how naive many were about using him.

This is a main problem, North is tainted, his "facts" are not facts, they are tainted crapola. In a court of law tainted evidence is tossed, for a reason as not to contaminate the legit. Y2k is largely a case of tainted evidence contaiminating the hard facts and thus many were led astray into almost any scenario upto and including the Second Coming.

As to the FDIC etc types with their TRANSPARENT assurances, come-on, did these PR campaigns have anything a Y2k person "really" felt comfortable with? Oh sure Jane Soapopera who heard something from a friend of a friend bout Y2k may have been convinced, but were these statements sans hard data meaningful to anyone with a grasp on what Y2k was all about? These types are evasive by default. Their reports meant little without data supporting them. Biggest indicator of Y2k was the calendar, not PR dribble from the "authorities".

-- Doc Paulie (, September 07, 2000.


(Going into Clinton stance:) That depends on what the definition of "wrong" is.

Let's just say that the fact that at midnight on Jan 1, 2000 the power did not go out everywhere was not at all surprising. But the fact that no significant glitches anywhere occurred by mid-January -- this indeed I found absolutely surprising. Pleasing, but surprising.

I expected, at the very least, severe economic impacts. Infrastructure problems would not have been surprising to me, including the declaration of martial law to restore order where needed.

As Uncle Deedah notes above, historically there are indeed times when the proverbial shit hits the fan, and there was enough uncertainty about Y2K that caused me to worry that this might be one such time. Like Uncle Deedah, I found North, Yourdon and Hamasaki to be quite convincing. For all I know, and for all you know, they may have been equally convinced.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.


You said,

"Actually, I wrote my umpteenth criticism of the boring forum. As any objective observer would agree, the quality of the forum was abysmal during the past few months. The return of KOS has made for an interesting discussion. If only there were more threads of this caliber...."

Once again, Ken, you substitute the proper and natural "I happen to think" with the obviously terminally silly "any objective observer would agree" remark.

And, (and KoS, of course, as he was apparently unaware of this place until recently) were conspicuously absent from (and forgive me if I've overlooked a post) the thread discussions we've had over the past several months on topics such as philosophy, psychology, the rights of man, history, religion, theology, ethics, race and racism, multiculturalism, women in the armed forces, family issues, sports, feminism and gender issues, the Bible, humor, abortion, the environment, time, and the universe.

As far as I can tell, Ken, (and I may be forgetting or not aware of something) you appear to be interested in (drum roll):

Y2K and economics.

And WE'RE boring.

But, in any case, it's nice to know that you (and KoS) are finally back to save us all with "quality" threads. Thank you. For that I'm sure we'll all be forever in your debt.

Ok, y'all...sorry for this little side excursion. Carry on...

(Eve puts on Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries")

-- eve (, September 07, 2000.

C'mon, Spain, you're still not getting it.

I read North, Yourdon and Hamasaki and found their work ungrounded, speculative and shallow. You found their work compelling. How could two reasonably intelligent people reach such divergent conclusions? The answer is not in what the Y2K doomsayers wrote, it is buried within you. You found the idea of a Y2K meltdown easy to believe. I found it quite difficult... and yes, I know quite enough history to acknowledge the possibility of meltdown. Do you have preconceived notions about the fragility of modern society? Do you think America is morally bankrupt? Do you think we are close to a collapse and was Y2K just the proverbial "straw?" Have you read a bit too much apocalyptic fiction? Was the sun in your eyes?

You remind of of a man who had just been swindled and cannot quite believe it. In his mind, the act of buying a miracle cure for $10 on a street corner was quite reasonable. Even though the cure doesn't work, he still imagines the $10 well spent.

-- Ken Decker (, September 07, 2000.


I am interested in many subjects... I am just not interested in discussing these subjects with you. I do not find your insights particularly compelling. In short, you strike me as a 48-year-old woman who has read far more than she understands. I came to the original TB 2000 to discuss Y2K. This has been my primary interest in the new forum. For most other subjects, I have a "real life."

-- Ken Decker (, September 07, 2000.


I have to disagree with your assessment of North. He was far more clever then that. North had links on his site to legitimate news sources and forums. What was written may have wrong or highly speculative but the source was above board. Of course if they were optimistic he would then put forth his own doom spin. Mixed in with the legitimate sources were the dishonest ones from people who had preps to sell or their own agendas.

It was this mix of legitimate appearing articles, all either negative or given a negative spin, and the dishonest ones that helped to confuse a lot of people. Whatever Norths weaknesses he was an excellent and intuitive propagandist.

-- The Engineer (, September 07, 2000.


Nope, just an average guy, rule a country by day, watch mudwrestling chick flicks at night, never even thought of possible societal collapse and resultant cannibalism until ... Y2K. I think that The Engineer stated it quite well in his last post above: There was certainly a lot of Uncertainty among techies about it, and intially at least, a healthy bit of Fear. Indeed, this was probably a very responsible attitude to take.

At some point, some of those who worried stopped worrying, because they believed that Y2K was not really going to amount to anything that couldn't be handled. Others got more worried, because as the deadline grew shorter, the picture still wasn't very clear. Not darker necessarily, just not clear.

I could take the debunker's route and explain it with, "Well, Ken, obviously YOUR meme is smarter than MY meme." But I think both of us are above that "meme" horse crap, so it probably comes down to just how trusting one is of the world in general.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.

Damn. Ken, make that The Engineer's SECOND TO LAST post above.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.

Problem with North is his data is tainted. It is carefully chosen(and some of it fed to him, or just made-up, one could conclude)for his agenda. One could read the daily news links at and predict which the Garee would chose, it was that obvious. Mere omission of information is worse than the blantant spin and outright baloney North links to.

Most Y2k news stories were rehashed meme crud. It ALL "sounded the same since few were even doing anything but riding the wave of "what is popular".

I would also suggest many of the legitimate sources are mere spewers for profit and do little if any double-checking. Most do zero investigative journalism and just pass-on what is available from AP or anybody basically. The recent Emulex/Bloomberg case being an obvious case where some were directly hurt financially and sued. Most bs flys right-on by and into the collective consciousness. One has only to look at Mike Adams and for how one works the funnels which many assume are legitimate news agencies.

Do you honestly think people who linked to North would have if they had known who he really was, and about? This indicates what? indepth anything?

Truth is, North understands, like most do, that many authority types are full-of-it. That the press by and large is nothing more than an extended commercial.

Who honestly opposed the crud? We did, a small group of us with some selected supporting cast around the internet. We were outnumbered thousands to one. What were these thousands of folks reading? North? or the "legitimate" sources who basically are not at all.

We in America are lied to by habit. If not for the occassional unrefutable car-plane crash newstory, we would have turned off the press impersonators long ago.

-- Doc Paulie (, September 07, 2000.


First off... to add a few omissions from my list:

Yes, there have been some threads that have been sick or depraved. And words can't express how ashamed of them I am. But those have been, as far as I've seen, very rare.

Other subjects covered recently include:

literature, music, films, chess, suicide, poverty, sexual issues, astrology, chats, games, friendships being made, fights, general havoc, a little insanity, jokes, slapstick (well, cyber-slapstick, anyway), etc. etc. etc.

Ken, I think you misread what I was trying to get across. I wasn't concerned with your personal opinion of me. The fact that you're not interested in my views, or don't find them compelling, doesn't concern me in the least. I was referring to your take on the entire forum, right from your previous post. But don't feel the need to respond to this, as you've already given your opinion of the forum, in a GENERAL sense ("boring...abysmal quality..." etc.). I just took the liberty of making what you'd said a little more SPECIFIC.

-- eve (, September 07, 2000.

Oh yes, Ken...just to give you a little update with some more ammunition for ya, so's you can be sure to incorporate it into all of your subsequent posts about me:

I'll be 49 on September 19th.

-- eve (, September 07, 2000.

Oh yes, Ken...just to give you a little update with some more ammunition for ya, so's you can be sure to incorporate it into all of your subsequent posts about me: I'll be 49 on September 19th. -- eve (, September 07, 2000. xxxxxxxxxxxxx Eve, as always you are such a lovely person to ignore "decker dreck".

And of course, you also very kindly left out a note for him that you are probably at or near 100% of your peak abilities vis a vis sexual matters whereas for him, it is only a matter of time before a renewable prescription for Viagra must be obtained.

At $10 a pop, I do not find it surprising that many men have taken a great deal of interest in the Presidential Candidate's positions on the "high cost of drugs" instead of their usual endless studies in the statistics of baseball and football.

For "Spain", I have always simply assumed that such an impotent brain mirrors his physical capabilities and therefore no amount of Viagra pill popping will be effective. There is hope though for him beyond implants in both areas.

-- cpr (, September 07, 2000.

(sung to the tune of Happy Birthday)

Happy Birthday to you! (in twelve days)
Happy Birthday to you! (in twelve days)
Happy Birthday dear eve! (in twelve days)
Happy Birthday to you! (in twelve days)

And many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think your insights ARE compelling, eve. You always make me think about things. And I thank you for that :-)

-- Patricia (, September 07, 2000.

Well, so much for the civility that we had on this thread. Thanks, CPR, I had a feeling that you would manage to kill it.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.

I obviously did not post the above message. It doesn't have any words IN ALL CAPS, and I didn't use the word "DOOMZIES" ***EVEN ONCE***. In addition, the sentence structure was TOO INTELLIGIBLE. You would think someone trying to imitate me would DO A BETTER JOB.

-- CPR (, September 07, 2000.

Gosh, you are right, it is actually intelligible! Sorry, CPR, I should have known it couldn't have been you.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 07, 2000.

So I'm sitting at my computer last night, checking mail, looking up info on a couple of new pieces of software for my Palm PDA and writing a message to my parents telling them about my daughter's first day in Kindergarten, when lo and behold I get an email telling me about this thread. "Naaaah," I say to myself, "talk about beating a dead horse. How interesting could that be?"

It turns out that the answer to that question is "Fairly fun. Not something to pay for, but not bad on the whole."

The answer to KOS' original question would then be, at least for me, "No. Had North been less elequent (he is quite mad, you know, even if he doesn't express the madness through wild speech) and had CPR et. al. been less hysterical in their "debunking" efforts, it wouldn't have changed one single thing for me." I make it a policy not to let others do my thinking for me, so no matter what the presentation style may have been I decided to check these things out for myself rather than take other people at their word. I did my research, came to my conclusions that the world was not only not going to end but that it wouldn't even be seriously damaged, and I moved on.

Nice to see so many of the old names here. Between a new job, multiple home projects and the occasional health issue I've been pretty reclusive lately. I'll have to make it a point to drop back by here from time to time to see what's up. I don't suppose Paul "You are all going to die you !@#$%@#$%@ing buttheads, you" Milne is still around here, is he?

-- Paul Neuhardt (, September 07, 2000.


I think a social/economic meltdown is possible. Y2K just never made any sense as a trigger event. We had plenty of notice. The problem was large, but fixing it was fairly straight forward. In baseball terms, it was a slow pitch down the middle of the plate. What will cause real problems is a wicked split-finger fastball... something like cyberterrorism, a "super" computer virus, biological warfare, Chinese agression. Now, I'm still not sure having a metric ton of ric in the cellar provides meaningful security against these events, but you can make a decent argument for concerns. During the next big "threat," do try to listen to the opposition. Just a little.

Eve, congratulations on coming birthday. I really have no interest in bickering with you. You took my comments about the forum personally. Please do not feel compelled to defend the forum. Different strokes and all that. If you find the forum riveting, so be it. If I do not, so what? I enjoyed the long debates over "hot" issues like the difference between the early Marx and his later works when I was an undergraduate. Real world experience has a way of tempering the knowledge we acquire early in life. I read "Lear" much differently at 38 than I did at 18... and I expect new insights at 58. The difference between us is that we have different reasons for being here. You want a grand rolling discussion about the BIG issues. I'm interested in a particular event and its aftermath. I will stay out of your riveting conversations. In exchange, perhaps you can ignore my rumblings.

Reuben, I am really not sure if this is you or another troll. For some reason, I find it difficult to believe you would praise Eve for her sexual maturity (at 48) and suggest I need Viagra (at 38). Well, I will consider it a poor job of trolling without verification. C'est la vie.

-- Ken Decker (, September 07, 2000.


Sadly, no, Milne is no longer around. For a few weeks after rollover he tried to persuade us and csy2k that he wasn't *really* talking about date bugs in software at all, he was talking about the economic meltdown starting "real soon now" that he'd run away from almost a decade before. But when this lame attempt got hooted down even by his ex-sycophants, he basically dropped out of sight.

He DID have his pig roast last July. I guess a few people showed up.

-- Flint (, September 07, 2000.

Patricia, thanks for your sweet words. And of course the song. You know, it was your singing to me that calmed me down (could ya tell I was a little upset? :)) even before I read Ken's last post. Although a lullaby would have been even better, right now I'm as relaxed as a cat. And what a place, eh? I've gotta believe there are few other spots in the world where a group could go from KoS' opening post on this thread to your singing happy birthday to me. That's one of the reasons that, although I may go "off the map" from time to time, I'll never leave this place.

Ken, thank you for spelling out your thoughts, and the birthday wish. I WAS a little upset at first, but between Patricia singing to me and your considerate reply, I feel at peace once again. By the way, I've no intention of ignoring your posts. Sure, a few are kind of irritating to me, but many are thoughtful and interesting. We may not "talk" all that much, but in most cases -- no matter how much I may disagree -- I enjoy reading your stuff. Oh yes...AND the reactions. :)

cpr, if that was you, thanks for your kind word to me. On the other matter, though...well...if you'd seen a thread or more from here out of the past, you'd know I'm no prude when it comes to getting into sexual issues, but with all due respect, I think it's time to get this thread back on track -- ok?

KoS, again, sorry for the diversion. Really cool thread, btw -- so let's rock 'n' roll, y'all!

(Eve takes off Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," with a loud scratch, frisbees it onto the couch -- the vinyl 33 1/3 LP, that is (hey, I'm almost 49 -- whaddaya want from me? A CD? Geez, ya can't even make a decent frisbee out of it!) -- and puts on Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild")

-- eve (, September 08, 2000.

(One more slight diversion, if you please.)

Vinyl?!?!? You go girlfriend!! (Got about a ton of it, myself.)

(And now back to our regularly-scheduled discourse.)

-- Patricia (, September 08, 2000.

"Actually, I wrote my umpteenth criticism of the boring forum. As any objective observer would agree, the quality of the forum was abysmal during the past few months. The return of KOS has made for an interesting discussion. If only there were more threads of this caliber...."


You are intelligent enough to know the difference between "objective" and "subjective". THe problem you have run into here, and which makes me wonder what your motive is, is that you have couched your "opinion" of the forum as the only valid conclusion an "objective" observer could draw. In one fell swope you deride a whole group of participants who have laughed and cried together-a whole group of people who have formed friendships, prayed for each other, and have helped one another evolve.

There would be no problem if you just state your opinion. It comes over very pompous of you to state your opinion as fact. Who would be the "objective" observers? What class of folk? Academics? Scientists" Liberal Arts major? Programmers? See the problem? What satisfaction do you get from trying to be superior? Though you may not have intended it, you are starting to sound like Heller.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), September 08, 2000.

"It comes over very pompous of you to state your opinion as fact."

FS I don't think this is so. I think most of the stuff posted on the forum is opinion, not much fact here at all, opinions on Y2K preparations (good or bad), opinions on politics, opinions on women, and many others. You can think Ken stated fact but it didn't come across that way to me. It's what you have inferred but not what Ken has implied. And that's just my opinion.

-- Maria (, September 08, 2000.


I was talking about the forum based on my interpretation of its purpose... to continue the discussion of Y2K and its many implications. If you want to measure this forum as a online version of "Oprah," it succeeds. It even gives Jerry Springer a run for its money in terms of odd characters, emotional outbursts, strange theories, etc. In my opinion, the quality of writing and analysis, however, has declined even from the rather low standards of the old TB 2000. The level of passion and electricity generated by a date certain vanished. If the old forum was the "war," this forum is the American Legion hall.

The conflicts I have had with forum participants stem from one simple divergence. You, Eve and others come here for a variety of reasons, many social. You cherish the online friendships, the prayers, the support, etc. I am not here to meet my social needs. This does not make me any better or worse than any of the forum participants. It does make me different.

By the way, an objective observer is someone who can analyze the data without allowing personal bias (including friendships) to interfere. If we are here to learn from what happened with Y2K, I think my opinion is reasonable. If it is the post-Y2K club house, then I'm wrong.

-- Ken Decker (, September 08, 2000.


Your response clears things up. Thank you. I would agree with you if the objective observer of all things Y2K were looking at this forum for that purpose. An objective observer who was looking at the forum to see if it were an eclectic, intelligent one would find that is has "improved" from all the tomatos being thrown last year.


Of course, there can be as many interpretations of words as there are interpreters-my conclusion was drawn from ken's use of "objective"- the use of this word automatically deems that it is more than opinion.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), September 08, 2000.

The answer can be found here. Specifically, I believe the following sentence offers clarification:

This forum is an attempt to recapture the free flowing discussions that used to take place on Ed Yourdon's original forum.

This reminds me of when people used to post the old TB2000 "About This Forum" statement seemingly every day in response to some polly argument. Perhaps this will make people feel more at home. LOL.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 08, 2000.

FS, the word objective to me means without emotion. Looking at something objectively means one puts aside the biases. It doesn't imply anything about fact. One can have an impartial (objective) opinion on this forum. Besides, how can anyone state "fact" about something so intangible as this forum?

-- Maria (, September 08, 2000.

A question for Ken (FKA Mr. Decker). In one of your above comments you stated that a social/economical meltdown was still possible. Care to elaborate?

-- The Engineer (, September 08, 2000.


Of course, meltdown/collapse is always a nonzero probability in a complex society. I know enough history to realize even mighty civilizations can rise and fall. I can imagine several scenarios that could spell disaster for America. For example, the Chinese have a good chance of superceding America as the dominant world superpower. The Chinese can win, not my sheer military power, but by using 21st century tactics. The key to defeating America is defusing its economic power, attacking in an indirect manner and sapping its will to fight. China need not defeat us on the open battlefield, but simply hamstring our economy, damage our trade and exploit our dependence on petroleum. I read enough non-U.S. based publications to realize there are many countries unhappy with the U.S. I doubt they'd be much happier with China, but the grass is always greener. We are still preparing to fight the last war.

-- Ken Decker (, September 09, 2000.


Thanks but I think that was a bit more general then I was looking for. You might also speculate that a series of large earthquakes across the country would devistate the economy. Or if the caldera under Yellowstone explodes you can kiss a large part of the country goodby. I've always thought that the true doomsdays might be geological. Maybe a New Thread?

-- The Engineer (, September 11, 2000.

Suppose Gary North wrote like CPR, and vice versa -- would this have affected your Y2K perception?


-- (yes@yes.yes), September 18, 2000.

If Gary North had posted crap on his Web site like this that CPR posted yesterday....


....nobody would have taken Gary North seriously.

-- (
food@for.thought), September 18, 2000.

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