Debunkers and Doomers: Conservatives of the same stripe? : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

The Y2K debate seemed to attract a large number of conservatives. Unlike libertarians, conservatives support limitations on personal freedoms congruent with their particular morality. For example, the religious right supports limited government except on issues like abortion, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, prostitution, etc. According to religious conservatives, we should bring the full weight of the gov't to end these "evil" activities.

During the Y2K debate, it was clear many of the doomsayers were conservatives. Some were quite religious as well. There was a general feeling that America was on the verge of moral collapse. There was a clear longing for earlier times and earlier values. This includes a desire for a much different interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

As an aside, Y2K paralled a common theme in Christianity with historic events like the Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon, the book of Revelation, etc. In Christian theology, God played an active role in returning wayward civilization to the straight and narrow path. I feel this parallel played a role in the attraction of Y2K to religious conservatives.

The Y2K doomsayers venerated nostalgic writers like Bonnie Camp. The desire for a "Little House on the Prairie" existence was palpable. The debate over Y2K was often framed in moral terms. The "grasshoppers" would face punishment while the "ants" would thrive.

Not as clear was the conservatism of the Debunkers. The Debunkers saw Y2K as a jihad against the doomsayers. Again, the issue was defined as a moral battle rather than an intellectual debate. Now, in the aftermath, some Debunkers obsess on the "guilty" of Y2K. Soothsayers like North and Yourdon are seen as unrepentant and unpunished.

What is missed in the sparring in the more significant underlying debate: libertarian thought versus conservative thought. [With all due respect, the liberals and socialists are greatly not well represented on this forum.] The real issue is the tension between freedom and morality. Is the role of the government to protect liberty or morality? Should we tolerate freedom of expression, even to the benefit of hucksters? I doubt we'll resolve the issue here, but I think the debate better served by framing the issue outside the individual personalities.

-- Ken Decker (, September 14, 2000


I don't see where the Debunkers advocated government intervention to limit speech by "hucksters" such as Gary North or Ed Yourdon. For the most part, they took it upon themselves to respond to their claims, in whatever way they saw fit. You yourself identified that they perhaps saw themselves as "heroes" in the Great Y2K War. Whether they really had any impact is obviously a point of disagreement, however I didn't see any indication that they believed that the government should disallow this kind of behavior.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 14, 2000.

Just as an aside, Ken, Charlie once told me that many of the debunkers were "recruited" from a "right wing Christian list." To be honest, I don't know who those folks were. As you mentioned, few posters were active at the Debunker forum.

-- Anita (, September 14, 2000.

I didn't say the Debunkers called for restrictions on speech; I simply noted that they often framed the argument in moral terms. I have also read suggestions that Yourdon, North, Gordon, etc., be held "responsible" for their reckless behavior, however, I haven't heard any specifics.

-- Ken Decker (, September 14, 2000.

Well, I for one am a centrist I guess. I don't know whether I am more of a moderate conservative or a moderate liberal. I am a registered Independent voter. I agree with libertarians on some things, republicans on some, democrats on some, liberals on some, and socialists, well, most socialists I've known were downright scatter-brained. I almost never agree with socialists.

Is the role of the government to protect liberty or morality?

I think the government should stay out of the morality arena as much as possible.

Should we tolerate freedom of expression, even to the benefit of hucksters?

Yes. However, we all also have the right to call the hucksters to task.

-- Buddy (, September 14, 2000.

One way to hold North, Yourdon, Gordon, etc. responsible is to continue to tell others that they were and are spouting BS.

-- Buddy (, September 14, 2000.

Please do so, Buddy...anywhere else but here. The vast majority on this board (may I be so bold?) realize these two were completely wrong about Y2k. Mission accomplished (clap, clap). What good does it do to preach to the choir? Just pisses off the choir and wastes everyone's time (cpr excluded, of course).

-- Bingo1 (, September 14, 2000.

With all the media hype about the gov views on "hollywood" freedom of artistic expression, where do we draw the "freedom" line? Yes, I agree the gov has no business in morality, yet we do have censorship. How far does that censorship go? I find some of the hollywood trash disgusting, and I agree with labels. Is that where it ends or should we hold the entertainment industry "responsible" for society woes?

Ken, take a look at the poll on one of the other threads. You'll find many liberals, some greenies, as well as conservatives. I don't think we can generalize doomers and debunkers by political affiliations.

-- Maria (, September 14, 2000.

"Please do so, Buddy...anywhere else but here. The vast majority on this board (may I be so bold?) realize these two were completely wrong about Y2k. Mission accomplished (clap, clap). What good does it do to preach to the choir? Just pisses off the choir and wastes everyone's time (cpr excluded, of course)."

With all due respect, I will post what I want when and where I want on this uncensored board. I have been participating in discussions that were started by others here, including Ken D., King of Spain, and cpr. If I find those topics interesting, that's my business. If you're not interested in the topics, don't read them. Who the heck are you to say "anywhere else but here"? Besides, there are still a few folks here making claims of Y2K-related oil crises and such. I'll post my opinion on those if I feel like it. I'm willing to talk about other issues, but I'm not here for idle chatter.

Boy, talk about freedom of expression!

-- Buddy (, September 14, 2000.

{Wildly OT - Good thing I'm not quite as old a biddy as that fossil known as eve, or I'd be really cantankerous today. Look out glida hon, I'm heading into your 'bitter-ol'-broad' territory}.

Buddy, dear,

I'd betcha dollars to doughnuts that the oil schtick is poasted by EZ- peazies, just to keep Chas foaming repeatedly. Old trick. Now you've got your new campus, & this place takes all the firefights staged in between camps.

I know none of you knuckleheads will heed my request, but I'm spewing it forth on you anyway. Give it a rest, would ya?! Sheesh!

Bud - you prolly personally don't deserve all the above, you just asked for it.

Rant mode on idle.

-- flora (***@__._), September 14, 2000.

I offered my OPINION, Buddy. And notice I prefaced my remarks with the word PLEASE. How 'bout "I'm begging the cpr's of the board to take it somewhere else."

I spent too much of my time fighting censorship on TB2000, Buddy. You're way off-base with that comment.

Take a look at how the Y2k debate has once again devolved into character assassination, Buddy. You wonder why I suggested it be taken elsewhere? Because it's not intelligent debate, it's mudslinging. As I stated so often on TB2000, when adults adopt the playground mentality of heat-stroked 3rd-graders it is time for each of us to step up and call them on it.

Ken Decker has once again drawn people out into the light of day - just as he did so well last year on TB2000 - that the forum at-large may witness posters' abilities to present their opinions for all to read and digest. It is easy to see who is willing to take the time to craft a post minus cheap personal attacks, and who can't control their tempers long enough to offer cogent thoughts laid to "paper".

-- Bingo1 (, September 14, 2000.


You use the terms "religious right" and "Conservatve" interchangeably. Surely you don't think that they are the same thing?

-- Lars (, September 14, 2000.

poasted? - LOL

{Sorry Ken}

-- flora (***@__._), September 14, 2000.

Point taken, Bingo. However, there's plenty of subtle character assassinations going on, even in Ken's and your posts at times.

One thing the whole Y2K forum experience has given me is a thicker skin. This place is mild compared to many of the forums out there in the wild, wild web.

-- Buddy (, September 14, 2000.


Conservative thought is much broader than the religious right. (Let me add that the religious right has had a tremendous influence on Republican politics.) In general, I divide conservative thought into two large subdivisions. Social conservatives focus on issues related to family life, values and morality. Fiscal conservatives are primarily concerned about economic matters like limiting taxes and government regulation. There is a probably a third element of Constitutional conservatives. The focus of this brand of conservatism is adherence to a "founding fathers" interpretation of the Constitution.

During the Y2K debate, the distribution of political philosophies seemed weighted towards the social and Constitutional conservatives. Specifically, I think some of the serious "doomers" constituted (no pun intended) the far right of conservative thought.

My original observation was simply to point out the irony that the "Debunkers" seem just as conservative as the "doomers." Certainly, they seem to share no great love for the libertarians...

-- Ken Decker (, September 14, 2000.

flora, you refer to eve as a "fossil?" Talk about stirring up controversy. 8^)

-- David L (, September 14, 2000.

Ken, it was not necessary to provide several paragraphs of dubious generalities about doomers and debunkers in order to frame your question. That is simply your way of drawing us in.

The problem with this approach, as you have consistantly demonstrated, is that it launches a thread that is long on gossip and vituperation and short on substantial ideas about the "more significant underlying debate." This makes it ironic to end by saying "I think the debate better served by framing the issue outside the individual personalities."

When so many who post here were (or still are) self-identified "doomers" and "debunkers", it does no good to plead that these terms do not reference individual personalities. Many folks will take your characterizations personally. It is human nature. 'Nuff said.

You said:

>> The real issue is the tension between freedom and morality. Is the role of the government to protect liberty or morality? <<

The short answer is: yes.

As you say, there is a tension between these two values. But this tension is inextinguishable. We cannot resolve it. Government will always define some actions as crimes as punish them as immoral. The desire for liberty will always resist the criminalization of cherished desires. These two spheres will always have a border where the skirmishing is hot.

Our system of government recognizes that the only way to harmonize the differing values of a heterogenous population is to impose a series of buffers between any one individual and control over the power of government.

Just be thankful Protestants are so fragmented over what constitutes the one true faith. If the Pentecostal lions ever lie down with the Episcopalian lambs, morality crimes will multiply like the flies of summer.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, September 14, 2000.

Thank goodness we have you, Brian, to lead us into green pastures... though I see you have no better luck restraining yourself from generalities than the great unwashed.

As for how a thread develops, I'll defer responsibility for the writings of others. Personally, I think it's interesting that the Y2K debate attracted a disproportionate amount of interest from the social conservatives (on both sides). (A few liberals did make a grand effort of framing Y2K as a chance to build a kinder, gentler world, but this really went nowhere.)

In addition, I'll pass on assuming responsibility for other people's perceptions or hurt feelings. "Doomers" and "Debunkers" are have passed into common usage on this forum.

As for your conclusions about morality, I disagree. Government can create and enforce based on rights and responsibilities conceived outside of the tenets of "morality." We're just not used to thinking this way. (On a side note, I thought you might be Canadian, so I am unsure what you mean when you talk about "our" system of government.)

As far as your last comment, I imagine someone will find it offensive. Fortunately, I am not so thinly skinned.

-- Ken Decker (, September 14, 2000.

Tsk tsk tsk....

The proper role of government is to protect us from the evil intent of others (national defense, police protection), and to do collectively that which we cannot do for ourselves (build roads, etc.) government's role is NOT to enforce "morality". Enforcing morality is MY business, in the context of doing what I feel is moral for me, so long as my version of morality does not directly harm others.

-- Uncle Deedah (, September 14, 2000.

My god, why are we still talking about the doomers and debunkers of Y2K. It's nothing but a lot of has-been, talked-to-death shit. Talk about time to move on. I would be quite happy never to hear the work Y2K again, ever.

-- gilda (, September 14, 2000.


-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 14, 2000.

Ken, remember this debate? CPR posted this on the Debunking site


Posted by ( cpr on October 16, 1999 at 14:25:23:

In Reply to: Or even listen to the WHINE and HOWL OF THE DOG ANYMORE?? posted by cpr on October 16, 1999 at 14:16:11:

: : : BigDog humps leg

: : : and then Bigdog gets humped yet again. When is this doof going to learn? He has not succeeded YET in trying to discredit Flint, Decker, and now Hoffmeister. Poor dense fool! : BIG DOG smears HOFFMEISTER---Time for an apology ??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Big Dog,

I find it very funny that you rant and rave about Hoffmeister and his phoney email address while continually calling for an apology.

When was freedom of speech in this county abolished? This is a public forum. I have seen people called assholes, morons and every other cussword in the book. Did you call for their apologies? If you did, I must have missed it.

Please publish your real email address so we can see what a Big Dog you really are?

-- (, October 16, 1999


Is this kinda like:

"sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?"

It ain't recess is it?

Children, children.

-- no talking please (, October 16, 1999.

I've emailed BigDog at his posted address, he wrote back, apparently it is a real email. Just send him an email?

-- Helium (, October 16, 1999.

And who are you?

The thread about Hoffmeister is quite specific. This fictitious person has made libelous charges against a REAL person. In my opinion, those charges are baseless.

Either Yourdon is a coward and snake or Hoffmeister is. There is no middle ground on this one. Let people who read make up their minds.

Calling someone an asshole is not the same as libeling them.

My email is real. Yours isn't. I have been in personal contact with dozens of regulars from this forum. Have you?

Right. Nor has Hoffmeister. BTW, perhaps you ARE Hoffmeister? Probably so.

-- BigDog (, October 16, 1999.

Big Dog,

I think calling someone an asshole is libel only, if in fact, they are not an asshole. Which might be a tough case to prove in court. Besides who wants to sit there while all ones' co-workers and ex- partners tromp through with testimony about the verity of ones' assholeness.

-- R (, October 16, 1999.

Big Dog:

You seem to be losing it a bit here.

[The thread about Hoffmeister is quite specific. This fictitious person has made libelous charges against a REAL person. In my opinion, those charges are baseless.]

Hoffmeister listed what Yourdon has unquestionably done. Not a baseless charge, a statement of verifiable fact. Hoffmeister then speculated that Yourdon's motivations for doing so were essentially similar to the motivation *anyone* would have for doing so -- to make money. Certainly you can speculate that Yourdon did these things out of sheer boredom or some other reason, but such speculation isn't libel.

[Either Yourdon is a coward and snake or Hoffmeister is. There is no middle ground on this one. Let people who read make up their minds.]

So a complex discussion is reduced to either/or extremes? Granted some of your intended audience is disposed to reduce any complex issue to pitch black or pure white, but you know better. For shame. Isn't it possible that Yourdon had multiple motivations, from earning a living to sounding a sincere warning? Isn't it possible that Yourdon's *effects* may not precisely match his original intentions? Declaring there's no middle ground doesn't remove such ground from reality, only from your assessment, largely invalidating that assessment. Think, man.

[Calling someone an asshole is not the same as libeling them.]

As a hair-splitter myself, I recognize legalistic weaseling when I see it. Calling someone an asshole simply reflects (perhaps willing) lack of thought. Speculating about the motivations of public persons is fair game. Otherwise, where were you when de Jager was being accused of "selling out"?

By all indications, what's bothering you is the sheer common sense and cogency of Hoffmeister's arguments. Focusing on Hoffmeisters anonymity rather than the arguments themselves is a transparent exercise in misdirection. Misinformation, anyone?

-- Flint (, October 16, 1999.

There is no gray for Russ (aka Big Dog). Imagine the most dogmatic fundamentalist you've ever met... and just make the faith Y2K.

Heeeeeeere's, Big Dog.

Russ is incapable of apologizing for his attacks on Hoff and the other forum optimists. His faith will not allow it. For the same reason, Russ is incapable of seeing fault in Ed Yourdon. Yourdon has the Y2K version of papal infallability.

To Russ, the optimists are servants of Satan... any tactics are justified in battling these evil creatures. This is why he has been a eloquent, but nasty, debater during his time on the forum. Oh, in calm moments Russ can weave a beautiful story about Y2K. Get under his hackles, though, and he's a little Bantee rooster.

There are people one can take seriously on both sides of the Y2K debate. Hoff is one of them... and "Big Dog" has yet to effectively answer the "Hoff Challenge." There are reputable people who think Y2K will cause problems. Ed Yardeni is a good example. To the serious pessimists, however, Yardeni just isn't gloomy enough...

As an aside, I am seeing the birth of a new "Russ" argument. The "thousand cuts" argument just isn't enough, so we have the "only a few sacred IT types understand Y2K." OK. It's a recycled argument, but you'll see it again... and again.

-- Ken Decker (, October 16, 1999.

Big Dog:

I guess the question I'd like most answered is "Why are you even pursuing this?" In one thread you didn't notice that Hoff was the one being smeared, even though the title itself suggested it, just as the one you started later this week was designed with the same effect in mind; yet in another you felt that Hoff, et al were smearing Yourdon and took exception. If you're against smear campaigns, I would think you would be against ALL smear campaigns...not simply those of whom you agree. Personally, I'm against ALL of them, which is why I chose not to reply to yours against Hoff yesterday.

The anonymity question on this forum is a joke at best. I posted using my real E-mail address (and full name as part of same) for QUITE some time. Each morning I was met with spam from this action.......not from people on this forum, but from folks who scan forums looking for valid E-mail addresses. I HAVE received communication from Hoff, know who he is, etc.

Just for the record, I don't agree that Mr. Yourdon is responsible for folks deciding to over-prepare or "bug-out." I share that feeling for the others who have encouraged folks to over-prepare for an event that (IMO) has yet to prove to be devastating. In that same vein, however, I fail to see how discussions of successful remediation efforts or discussions of positive attempts at remediation somehow result in dissuading folks to prudently prepare.

In a nutshell, I've expressed my disappointment in you before, and I remain disappointed. Where others agree to disagree on the unfolding of Y2k, you take every opportunity to use language that you feel will "smear" the dissenter of YOUR unfolding and those with whom you share that philosophy.

-- Anita (, October 16, 1999. you make your wife IRON THE SHEETS??????....WITH A CREASE IN THE MIDDLE????????? Have you thought of getting some psychiatric help for "middle of the road compulsiveness"? Do you divide the food on your plate into equal portions before eating?...start reading in the very middle of a book?.........rotate your tires every Sunday?....neatly refold your hankerchief...down the middle, of course, after using?...Step over or on every crack in the side walk? Do you ever listen or read yourself? You truly need some help, my friend. You have become obsessive to the point where you are destroying your value. Looking at both sides is an attribute,... but not when its compulsive behavior. Its like cleanliness...but when you have to wash your hands 200 times a day, the cleanliness is more dangerous than the dirt. In a nutshell (printed equally on each half) you are destroying any value to your message. It seems that the message is no longer important to you...just the division and remediation, or clarification, of the message. In otherwords, you have lost your originality/creativeness/free thinking to being JUST a technician.


-- Taz (, October 16, 1999.

Flint probably likes to drive in the middle of the road at 80 Mph with no headlights on. Got to respect a man like that. Yep we do.

-- The Cat's Butt (, October 16, 1999.

Yeeee HHHHaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Here we go again....

More time wasting clatter...

-- no talking please (, October 16, 1999.

Big Dog,

I bet you feel like a big man using a real e-mail address. We should rename this forum Big Dog 2000. We should hold a parade in Manhattan in you honor just for using a real e-mail address. Yep, the pope should cannonize you as a saint. We should bombard the news networks that they should break into the broadcasts with the important news that Big Dog uses a real e-mail address. Monday should be declared a National Holiday in your honor. Yep, you have replaced me as the cat's butt around here. Congratulate yourself, you've earned it.

You have motivated me to start using a real working e-mail address in my correspondence. I do hope to regain my title as the cat's butt around here, but I have to earn it, just as you have earned the right to the title.


-- The Cat's Butt (formerly) (, October 16, 1999.


I guess some of us are natural partisan fans, and some of us are natural umpires. When the fix is in, the game suffers. Sorry.

-- Flint (, October 16, 1999.

It's pretty simple, but apparently simplicity is a tough one for some people.

Hoffmeister has accused Yourdon of DELIBERATELY promoting FEAR in order to DELIBERATE promote his own profiteering from Y2K.

I see no evidence from the other thread that "Hoffmeister" denies this charge. Quite the opposite. He continues to defend it as stated. Flint and Decker also support it: they're just not as honest as Hoffmeister about it.

I am perfectly happy to leave the evaluation of the supposed merits of that charge and the people involved at this point in the hands of everyone who comes to this forum.

-- BigDog (, October 16, 1999.

Subject Lipton has been very consistant through out the course of y2k religious evolution. He attacks and smears anyone who is a perceived threat to the cult mind set. Thank you Russ, for being so consistent. My studies of you will gain me much notariety, and hopefully fame as well. A few factual points if I may, 1. Mr. Yourdon has indeed been a top promoter of fear, uncertainty and doubt. To his credit he relies on a differing order of the ingredients namely, doubt, uncertainty and then lets the fear come as a natural by-product. You only have to read a sampling of his numerous essays to plainly see that. As you say, it is indeed simple but lost on some.

2. Hoffmeister is hardly an anonymous individual.

And 3. (because you ARE so predictable!) No, I am not Hoffmiester.

-- Psych Major (psychob@b.le), October 16, 1999.

BigDog- You can pick up this self-improvement book at Hope it helps...

Chapter 4: Three steps to breaking your constant "whining" problem Chapter 7: Bulldog dreams - Chihuahua realities (How to recognize your true role and actual position in the pack) Chapter 9: Hoffmeister or HoffMASTER? (Learn why you need to recognize and accept your master's voice) (No. I'm not Hoffmeister either.)

-- CD (, October 16, 1999.

Hmmm... I don't agree with Hoff completely. I think Yourdon's trying to sell books, videos, etc., AND maintain enough credibility to work after the rollover. He could have put the fear of God into the Senate sub-committee... but he just asked for better information. From the TB 2000, to TB 2000 Revised and Updated, it has been a virtuoso performance. The "retirement" from Y2K was a nice touch. Ed is not pushing hard core "fear." He's just jacking up the anxiety level a few notches... enough to make money, but far short of aligning himself with the Big Dog movement.

Sorry, folks, but you can't have it both ways. The pessimists ream private firms and public agencies for "self reporting." They cry out for "independent, third party verification." When Yourdon serves as Y2K vendor AND Y2K reporter, an amazing blindness comes over the pessimists. "What conflict of interest," they ask. (laughter)

Personally, I take my hat off to Yourdon. He's a sharp businessman and he'll be writing books well into the next century. He'll not only claim to be right on Y2K (even if we dodge the "Beruit" bullet). He will also take credit (a la de Jager) for sounding the alarm. Who knows, he may be right to take some credit.

-- Ken Decker (, October 16, 1999.

Hmmmmm Ken - the last few posts I have read with your comments makes me think you have really loosened up your collar! :)

-- Kristi (, October 16, 1999.

Hmmmmm Ken - the last few posts I have read with your comments makes me think you have really loosened up your collar! (and rolled up your sleeves?) :)

-- Kristi (, October 16, 1999.

Oops... I'll shut up now...

-- Kristi (, October 16, 1999.

Big Dog,

No, this is not Hoffmeister. I'm sorry but I didn't know that was a real address. I apologize. Have a nice day.

I still say calling someone an asshole or a moron calls for an apology.

-- (, October 16, 1999.

you asshole phoney address

-- Andy (, October 16, 1999.

-- chilled out (chillout@chilledddd.xcom), September 14, 2000.

>> Government can create and enforce based on rights and responsibilities conceived outside of the tenets of "morality." <<

Rights are a fairly strict standard. Although for a time in the 1970s, the concept of rights was stretched mighty far out of shape.

Responsibilities are every bit as slippery a standard as morality. So, the tension won't be resolved by trading one slippery slope for another. Instead of politicians denouncing child pornography as immoral, it will be denounced as irresponsible. Same with public nudity. Or public drunkeness. Or swearing. All damnably irresponsible activities.

However, dropping the "morality" standard in favor of "responsibility" might finally get prostitution legalized (at least for unmarried men and women), since it is hard to paint either party as irresponsible. But, of course, someone would find a way.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, September 14, 2000.

Wow! It seems I was saying the same thing last year about Yourdon. Last year it annoyed the "doomers" and this year it annoys the "Debunkers." Oh, how fashions change.

-- Ken Decker (, September 14, 2000.


It seems that I've used the same consistent argument all along, as well. Since I can't always remember what I said last WEEK, it's kindof nice to see what I said 10 months ago.

-- Anita (, September 14, 2000.

The similarity between the "de-bunker" pollies and the hardcore "doomers" is just amazing. Like CPR, apparently many de- bunkers overreacted to what they perceived as a huge threat, and did dumb things like quit their jobs, drop out of the mainstream, etc., so that they could "prepare" in a sense for what they thought was going to be TEOTWAWKI due to DOOMER overreaction. Fascinating!


"When 'Y2K debunking' changes it's meaning: '2nd Order' Doomers?" msg_id=003mjm

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 14, 2000.


You annoy PEOPLE in general. That's because most of us don't fit into your narrow-minded stereotypical view of the world. You need to get your ant-brain out of your 50 year old textbooks and get a taste of real life. Or are you afraid of being squashed?

-- (textbook@view.of.reality), September 14, 2000.

Yeh, be careful what you say, you never know when it will come back to bite you in the ass. Thank God for archives where one can go back in history to set the record straight.

-- chilled out (chillout@chilledouttt.xcom), September 14, 2000.

Wow, your highness, you believe that debunkers prepared for doom! How many turns did you take down that path?

-- Maria (, September 15, 2000.

Ken Decker, Gary North, Ed Yourdon, King of Spain - The Four Goofballs of The Apocalypse.

-- birds of a (feather@flock.together), September 15, 2000.

Careful, you might send Ken off on preaching how boring the rest of us are, while pontificating self-righteously about how interesting he is.

-- Careful now (, September 15, 2000.

Guess the KLAVIN WINNER Decker didn't like this one either.

WHY is he "picking his spots" to post?? I know he didn't like this thread:


-- cpr (, September 15, 2000.

I spent the better part of a year on TB 2000 taking flak from the Y2K doomsayers. Why? Because I had the temerity to claim Y2K deserved no more preparations than the oft-quoted three day storm. Now, some anonymous Debunker lumps me in with Yourdon and North. Why? Because I have chutzpah to suggest the Debunkers had no discernable impact on Y2K. Oh, and I dare to think North and Yourdon have the same Consitutional rights to free expression as the esteemed Charles Reuben. (laughter)

I will admit to a dull pattern. I keep making the same arguments over and over. Oh, I could change for the sake of amusement, but I prefer just staying dull... and correct.

-- Ken Decker (, September 15, 2000.


Im more of a Libertarian then a Conservative. It can be argued that Liberals want to limit personal freedoms also. Many liberal groups are trying to ban what they call Hate Speech. Many groups have tried to get the media to not report statements by people who are opposed to what they believe. Dr. Laura anyone?

Im not sure that calling North a conservative is correct. Most people look at Hitler and think of him as a conservative yet the conflicts between the National Socialists and the Communists in the Weimar Germany could be looked at as a conflict between two radical groups. If you look at what Norths idea for a perfect world would be I think it would be properly labeled as radical rather then conservative.

Many of the other contributors such as Diane, Miss. Cynthia, the Utne Reader, and many others seemed to have a far more leftist bent such as using Y2K to reorder society along socialistic lines.

I think that Y2K attracted people across the political spectrum, just like real life.

-- The Engineer (, September 15, 2000.

No Ken, you are rewriting history. You started out as a Debunker and started shifting for middle ground. You spent much time here coddling up to the doomers and trying to distance yourselves from the debunkers.

On top of it, you constantly complain about how boring this forum is, and how wrong it is of ceeper to constantly bring up y2k, yet you yourself constantly write about y2k, and now you brag about how you were right about y2k.

-- I warned you not to (stir@up.decker), September 16, 2000.


You need new glasses.

[You started out as a Debunker and started shifting for middle ground.]

Not so. Decker's message has not changed a bit, though your perception has. Go back into the archives and try to find build your case from actual posts.

[You spent much time here coddling up to the doomers and trying to distance yourselves from the debunkers.]

Again, not so. Decker has asked for thoughtful discussion, the application of some intelligence. He hasn't tried to "distance" himself from debunkers, and regularly mentions me, Hoff, Latimer, and others. Few people have much patience with glazed-eyed ranting. You may as well try to converse with a foghorn.

[On top of it, you constantly complain about how boring this forum is, and how wrong it is of ceeper to constantly bring up y2k, yet you yourself constantly write about y2k]

Wow. This forum was an ourgrowth of the y2k discussion, and attracted people interested in the date bug phenomenon -- what it might cause, and later why that didn't happen. As such, this forum is an excellent potential vehicle for gaining insight into many things -- the role of computers in our society, the degree of robustness or fragility of our physical plant, the appropriateness of our managerial response to a technical threat, even the relationship between individual perceptions of the date bug threat to their perceptions of the quality of our life.

Now, this vehicle can be wrecked (at least for those interested in what y2k means) several ways. One is that those fooled by y2k decide to pretend it never happened and use this forum for random gossip. Another way is for someone to come along who's as prolific as he is paranoid, and fill the space available with screaming rants. It hardly matters that y2k is one of the nominal subject of those rants -- you can't have an intelligent discussion with, or gain insights from, some jerk who engages only in mindless incoherent screaming.

I see Decker consistently trying to get some real discussion going that addresses those valuable topics I just mentioned. Decker is justifiably complaining that very few participants are making any effort to think (and some, like cpr, apparently are not capable of thinking, or at least behaving with basic human decency).

[and now you brag about how you were right about y2k.]

Not quite. Decker expected a y2k-influenced recession and we didn't get it. He's admitted this several times. I think Decker is saying the same thing I've been saying for a couple of years now -- that those who force their conclusions to fit the facts tend to draw much more accurate conclusions than those who force the facts to fit their a priori conclusions.

I suspect that the former requires much more effort than the latter, in psychological terms. It requires you to draw conclusions based on what IS, rather than on what you WANT, and that's hard for most people. It requires that you *change your mind* if the facts change, also very hard for some people. It requires that you *think* about what facts mean, rather than just rejecting them. It requires that you admit to yourself that you DON'T KNOW, and few people are comfortable with that.

Decker is asking for *intelligent, rational discussion* regardless of the viewpoint being expressed. He's criticizing thoughtless, knee- jerk reactions, again regardless of the viewpoint. He doesn't really care WHAT cpr thinks, he cares WHETHER cpr thinks. And whether you do as well.

-- Flint (, September 16, 2000.

Thank goodness it can't be wrecked by the 'thought police' deciding what's an appropriate topic for discussion {or an appropriate form for discussion}.

Flint, I understood your obvious point - yet still am amazed at your talent for not only taking a shot at cpr, but a majority of the posters here at the same time.

-- flora (***@__._), September 16, 2000.

warned, Flint just gifted you with that (short!) synopsis which I find to be as accurate as any I've read, IMO. Take the time to pour over it slowly; digest it. Reason it out, put the emotions on hold for just a little while. You may find you see with new eyes - and like what you see.

-- Bingo1 (, September 16, 2000.

I think Flint is in love with Decker.

-- Dr. Ruth (homos@how.sweet), September 16, 2000.


Is Andy back? He was infamous for making homophobic remarks to anyone who agreed with me.

I cannot write a response better than Flint's, but if I might add a few points. Last year I challenged the "pollies" on issues. This includes criticizing Reuben for his "list making" and Poole for his "fake" story. Of course, I spent far more time on TB 2000 deconstructing the faulty analysis of the Y2K dooomsayers.

Unlike many, I really don't give much consideration to the social aspects of the forum. I'm not here to play on one team or the other... though this is exactly what happened last year. I felt some people yielded to group pressure rather than thinking independently. Perhaps some doomers enjoyed the "status" of the old forum. They may have let this "sense of belonging" intefere with objective analysis.

Some of the "debunkers" and some of the "doomers" never really analyzed the problem. They just picked a side and parroted what someone else was saying. I really don't see any evidence "Doc Paulie" understood Y2K. In my opinion, he is doing what "a" did for Paul Milne... following a party line.

Flint is one of the genuine independent thinkers on this forum. We have agreed and disagreed, but I have always found his opinion grounded in careful thought.

Finally, Reuben has every right to continue ranting about Y2K. And Flint is quite right... my prediction of a 2Q/3Q recession never materialized. I seriously underestimated the strength of the economy. Luckily, I bought back into the market and am doing reasonably well. So it goes.

-- Ken Decker (, September 16, 2000.

Flint, the funny thing is that if I agree with you about Mr. Decker you would probably start disagreeing with me. You displayed this pattern many times pre-rollover. You would make a very logical rebuttal to a self-proclaimed GI and as soon as someone agreed with you, you would start disagreeing with what they commended you on.

You have every right to do this, but don't be suprised that many of us can see right through your pattern.

Mr. Decker, I find you to be very insincere and I don't mind exposing you as such.

-- oh let's go ahead and stir (up@ken.decker), September 16, 2000.

go ahead:

You don't "expose" insincerity by proclaiming it, you expose it by demonstrating it to be the case. This requires data. Where is it?

As for consistency, I've noticed that for most people, when there is something of value to be said for several sides of an issue, they decide one side is 100% correct and all other viewpoints are 100% wrong. This simpleminded approach has the virtue of excusing thought from any further exertion. Should I feel insulted that you've noticed I give due consideration to a variety of valid observations? I commend you on seeing a pattern. Now you need only understand the usefulness of that pattern. Can you?

-- Flint (, September 16, 2000.

The more things change....

Flint adheres to rules of logic and consistent analysis of the evidence. If you make an gratuitious assertion, Flint will challenge you. What Flint (and a few others) realize is that making an argument is far more work than simply stating a conclusion. It's pretty easy for an anonymous Internet poster to call someone "insincere." It's much harder to actually make a case that a reasonable person might accept. In your mind, you have made a compelling statement of fact. I just see another gratuitious assertion... more a comment on the accuser than the accused.

-- Ken Decker (, September 16, 2000.

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