TIME Mag: Millennium Madness!

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We're the COVER STORY! The pictures are a hoot! Lotsa articles. Thank you Declan, for the heads up. Whoo Hoo, this should up the ante. Haven't read it yet, just letting you all know right away.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), January 11, 1999


Millennium Madness!

This is the cover article. More angles than this too. Have been waiting for TIME to print this ever since one of their reporters asked for prepper interviews on this Forum.

Hope they have written a serious overview and not a PollyAnna satire. But in any case, the illustrations are hilarious and keepers.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), January 11, 1999.

You will all be glad to know that according to this article anyone who is preparing for Y2K is a right wing Christian Nutcase! Everyone is lumped into a doomsday cult-type pidgeonhole. I am a Christian but I do not consider myself a right-winger or cultist. It defies the imagination that the seriousness of this issue is being plastered over as some kind of millennial doomsday phenomenon. Can you believe this? Hold on to your hats folks! The mainstream media is going to try to make us all outcasts and nutcases until the bitter end.

-- Sharon in Texas (sk1440@hotmail.com), January 11, 1999.

I just read the article, at this link:


...and it will not help Y2K being taken as a serious issue by the public. Here are the last few sentences from the article:

"Apocalyptic imaginings are fun, but they're wishful thinking. It's likely that the world will just churn on as it is. Or as R.E.M., another set of millennium prophets once put it:

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine."

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 11, 1999.

I have a subscription to Time Mag, should come in the mail today. I'm upset, big time. I expected more responsible articles from them.

Not that I get my news from it, it has other good areas, but it will go of the way of my irresponsible newspaper subscription. I can't support irresponsibility with my money.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 11, 1999.

This is the equivalent of journalistic pornography and Declan should be ashamed. Real people will suffer (and, yes, maybe die) because they blow off Y2K on the basis of this nonsense. Contrast this with Vanity Fair and weep.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 11, 1999.

Declan thinks anybody over a 1.0 is crazy; the "where's the Dow going" pool had him painting this forum's participants as, collectively, bedbugs under glass.

His article "Bankers: Preparing for a Panic?", at the time, seemed to prove him a GI. Not so sure anymore that he really does GI. Seems he's actually using Y2K to mess with people's minds.......for fun and profit.

-- Lisa (lisab@shallc.com), January 11, 1999.

We need to take a deep breath and step back for a moment. Richard Lacayo wrote this article, not Declan McCullagh. Don't blame Declan.

That being said, I am not happy with the way this article suggests that anyone with serious concerns about Y2K is doing so because of fears that 2000 is the Biblical "end of the world."

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 11, 1999.

Thanks, Leska.

Should be a collectors item sometime next century. Or fire starter.

Remember 50%-50%, prepare & no problem. Newsmedia balance. Expect it. Doesnt mean the mass illusion is real. Keep digging behind-the scenes for the hard-hitting goodies. We just know, they, and we, dont KNOW.


Compare and contrast Times article with true investigative journalism: The Y2K Nightmare -Vanity Fair- January 1999 post

http:// www.remarq.com/default/transcript.pl?group=comp.software.year- 2000:50034064:50034064&update=1770

See also ... Guides For the Perplexed and the Paranoid

http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/reports/millennium/ y2k_guide.html

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 11, 1999.

Declan brags on CSY2K that he helped contribute to Time piece and that his name is on it.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 11, 1999.

If you want a really well-written piece on Y2K, check out Vanity Fair January 1999.

-- steve francis (sfrancis@sympatico.ca), January 11, 1999.


Declan's name is listed at the end of the article as one of several people who contributed information to the article. At the beginning of the article, though, there is only one name listed for the article: Richard Lacayo.

We don't know if Declan knew the article would turn out to be this way. Did Declan mention his connection with the article before or after it was released?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 11, 1999.

Kevin, an e-mail from him:

Subject: FC: The End of the World, from Time Magazine

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 08:46:35 -0500

From: Declan McCullagh

To: politech@vorlon.mit.edu

Time Magazine's cover story this week is Millennium Madness. (January 18, 1998)

My contributions to the cover story include the federal government and Y2K, the history of millennialism, the reaction of religious groups, and Y2K activism.

You can read the article in full at:

http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/reports/millennium/ end_world.html


Counting Down to Armageddon: This is going to be a bad year for paranoids. The Y2K computer glitch is bound to cause problems, but will it be, as the doomsayers proclaim, the end of the world as we know it?

You can see some of my previous Time Magazine articles on subjects including Y2K at:

http://www.well.com/ user/declan/pubs/


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 11, 1999.


Well, I always try to be fair. If he provided the link to the story, then he knew about it ahead of time. I appreciate the info. I just didn't want someone to be judged without cause.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 11, 1999.

Kevin, you were right in questioning and I have/had no wish to trash Declan. But this set of stories really is the Y2K equivalent of pornography. It is too late in the game for this kind of crap. Declan deserves to take tremendous heat because he knows better. Or maybe he doesn't and we just thought he did?

What about it Declan?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 11, 1999.


after spending hours and hours and hours and hours trying to de-link the y2k problem from millenialism on the Christian side of things I now get to see all of my work undone by the flippant attitude of some DGI magazine editors!


Y2K Tip of the day: magazines and newspapers which have been tightly rolled and tied together can be used in place of small logs and branches in a cookstove. Just remember that the shiny paper will probably contribute more than it's fair share to creosote buildup in the flue, and you'll be fine.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), January 11, 1999.

Folks here have asked some reasonable questions. Let me try to respond.

First, of course I knew the article was going to run. I was up late Friday and spent part of Saturday responding to last-minute queries. (This is usual.)

Second, only a portion of the cover story reflects my contribution. Other folks worked on other parts.

Third, I would have liked if some of my suggestions were incorporated into the final article, but this is a topic to be taken up with my editors; and besides, bureau reporters never get everything they want.

Fourth, you might want to wait and read the print version before drawing conclusions. I'm not sure if all the articles and polls are up on TIME.com.

Fifth, I see the TIME cover as a look at the cultural aspects of Y2K, a phenomenon that's gone beyond the technical. Importantly, the issue provides links to redcross.org and cassandraproject.org and utne.com so readers can make their own decisions.


-- Declan McCullagh (declan@well.com), January 11, 1999.

Well, Declan, if they had provided links to this Forum so readers could get breaking insider news, maybe I'd cut TIME some slack, but from what they have on their Web Site, I'm disgusted, but still laughing at the illustrations.

We're not talking about some cutsey theoretical tabletop exercise here. If Y2K disrupts the infrastructure and leads to chaos, rioting, blackouts, and deaths, and any long-term consequences, then I expect citizens will remember TIME as a contributor to false and misleading reporting.

We won't burn our magazines yet. Let them be fuel for future boycotts and lawsuits if TIME sways the herd to the ridicule stump.

Declan, you have done some excellent investigational reporting in the past. Others have turned to the Okie Dokie side: have you? Are you a turncoat? If so, why? Tell us what has changed you. Your reply above sounded very calm and excusive of TIME.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), January 11, 1999.

Declan -

Disappointment doesn't begin to describe my response to the TIME article. I could have sworn that you understood the issues associated with Y2K, and how hard it is to help others understand them. My mistake.

You have allowed your name to be associated with a smug, dismissive, stupid piece of tripe. Had it been published in December of this year, it might have been acceptable as a light, year-end sort of "goof", but publishing it now is just plain irresponsible.

You have lost my respect. I'm sure it matters not at all to you, but I'm now heartily sorry that I was complimentary about your appearance on GMA. This article completely undoes the simple and clear message which you and Paloma communicated, so that appearance ceases to be of value. Hope you enjoyed the camera time.

Have you ever tried to get someone to even consider preparing for just a 1 month "failure", let alone a possible 90 days or longer? Have you? If so, please document the conversation, whether you had any success, and then explain how this article helps that process in any way whatsoever. If not, go away. You have made all of our jobs much more difficult, and they were hard enough before.

You mention other charts and references to Utne and so forth. Give us credit for a modicum of intelligence, please. Why would anyone reading the TIME article want to associate themselves with the "religious milleniallists", real estate opportunists, "doomsayers", and other "fringe" types presented therein? Why would anyone listen to someone who sounds like they might be associated with said "fringe"? In other words: after reading this article, why would anyone seriously consider preparing?

I thought better of you. My mistake.

No doubt the more intense personalities have already begun flaming in various groups - the name "Milne" comes to mind. It doesn't matter, really. TIME reaches far more people than any newsgroup or forum. We now have even more work to do, thanks to TIME, and to you. Congratulations.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), January 11, 1999.

Look, I know Declan McCullagh personally. I met him. I had lunch with him. We sat together for hours during the WDCY2k meeting.

He is uterly totally clueless. I am speaking from FIRST hand information. Not what someone's uncle's postman's cousin thinks of him.

He is TOTALLY devoid of any understanding whatsoever. Yet this is the guy who's understanding is slathered on the front page of TIME magazine. I am giving you a first hand account of knowing him in the flesh. He is not merely mistaken or misunderstands. He is consciuosly telling falsehoods. Blatant lies. We discussed this topic for hours, together. He refuses to believe the evidence. He does mental gymnastics to avoid the implications of the evidence.

But, don't get me wrong. He is a very nice young man. But he is severely deluded. his last article assassinating Gary North's character is proof of that. He is not in the lest bit interested in the truth, he is an open and shut proseletyzer of the pollyanna ilk.

If I had to pick a person who understood less about Y2K,after having been exposed to the facts and the evidence, it would be Declan, and I have talked to THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS. No exageration.

And now the american public is going to swallow his bilge. And millions will die as a DIRECT result of his billious crap.

I challenge Declan in any forum at any time to discuss the facts. He has NEVER addressed the facts even so much as once.

I am not the least bit ashamed or embarrassed to call him a bald faced LIAR.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 11, 1999.

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman have exhaustively documented in their works (such as Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media , and others) that no mainstream journalist can write honestly and independently. Either they are consciously deceiving others for their pay/prestige, or they believe what they write and have been "winnowed" through the self-censorship process that applies to all who seek career longevity in the business. There are a thousand others in line for Declan's job if he doesn't toe the corporate overlords' line.


-- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), January 11, 1999.

see no Declan, hear no Declan, speak no Declan

-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), January 11, 1999.

Chomsky should stick to linguistics.

I have written more on Y2K than any other journalist I know. I have read more original documents and done more interviews. As a libertarian, I hardly accept government "trust us" reassurances at face value.

My position on Y2K varies depending on my forecast at the time, but I do not think based on the evidence that's in so far that it will be anything near TEOTWAWKI.

That's not "corporate media" speaking. That's just me, here, solo. (I suspect that most other reporters predict fewer Y2K problems than me, though.)

As for Milne, he's crossed the line and become a frothing loon (yes, I've met him, I know this firsthand). He's been predicting the collapse of Western civilization long before he ever heard of Y2K; his knowledge of computers is matched only by my expertise in astrophysics. (I say this as a former programmer.)

-- Declan (declan@well.com), January 11, 1999.

I am not a "techie." I just got my 1st computer 3 mos ago. I know how to turn it on, get on the web and turn it off. I am not philosophical, religious, or college educated, but I can read. When I read that FEMA, Red Cross, and the National Guard are putting out information on Y2k, it substantiates that they anticipate some major problems. This is not paranoid, right-wing religious propoganda.

I worked in a major hospital for 14 yrs., in the business office. Anytime our IS dept. implemented any changes in my dept's billing programs, we had more problems than we started out with. New programs never started when they said they would, and when they did, we had many new problems to deal with. Supposedly "fixes" created yet another set of problems and on and on. I do not have faith in declarations of "We are Y2k ready." My previous managers knew how to gloss, embellish, and proclaim falsely that everything was OK. I know my scope of experience is very narrow, but it just makes sense to me that there is a high probability that there is going to be some catastrophic consequences. I emphasize that noone WANTS this to happen. What we do want is credible and honest reporting without categorizing and labeling those of us who feel that we need to make preparations. It doesn't matter if someone thinks it's the end of the world, follows Gary North, or Mickey Mouse. I think the responsibility of the media should be to contribute to public awareness of the problem at hand.

-- shivermetimbers (zerodegrees.@Oh.com), January 11, 1999.

Declan, If your article had only been half the article the Vanity Fair article was, you would have redeemed yourself. Please look around you, the Economist, WSJ, New York Times, Unte, Wired, even good ole Newsweek which scooped you by a long shot. They have all presented both the "pollyanna" side and the "extremist" side in a balanced mannor.

I am afraid you will be teaming up with Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts in the near future. INVAR take note.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), January 12, 1999.

Mr. Milne,

"I challenge Declan in any forum at any time to discuss the facts. He has NEVER addressed the facts even so much as once. "

Neither have you, at least here, despite four previous requests from me. Why is that?

Also, show me what statements in the article regarding Gary North were not factual. If there are none (and I certainly didn't see any), then how can a simple stating of the facts be considered as an attack on North's reputation or character? After all, he is a leader in the Christian Reconstruction movement, he is the son-in-law of it's founder, he freely states his fervent desire for Y2K to be the event that brings down the government as it exists, and he is often referred to on the 'Net (even by his devotees) as "Scary Gary." If you are claiming that an accurate accounting of the man's beliefs and activities are character assasination, then what does that say about your opinion of him?

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 12, 1999.

Mr. Milne,

In the search for facts you seem so eager to engage in, let's start with a statement from you and a request for your facts.

You said, "And now the american public is going to swallow his bilge. And millions will die as a DIRECT result of his billious crap."

Pretty strong stuff, Paul. And your facts would be....

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 12, 1999.

This issue of TIME is a keeper, keep it for outhouse duty, fireplace tinder duty, hmmm, what else? We all need to get lots of copies and hang onto them for a year. In January 2000 we can hand them out to the cold, hungry masses to remind they why they never got it. Maybe they can burn them after they re-read the piece of crap and go "DOH!" instead of laughing about the "Y2K loonies" when they first read it.

I seriously think that members of the media had better have some serious bugout plans for Y2K. 'Cause besides wanting to take out thier anger against any and all politicians, members of the media are probably in for some pretty rough treatment at the hands of citizens who are going to resent being *LIED TO* by the press over this issue.

Meanwhile the self-righteous readers (and most gullible believers) of TIME are going to start showing up on the Y2K websites to troll, flame and spam us "lesser" people. And around the country there will be letters to editor about "Y2K loonies who'll cause trouble and shouldn't have the right to buy country homes, food, fuel, guns, generators, etc.." I do know that the TIMESHEEP started trolling last night at "Scary Gary" North's website. Maybe Ed got off lucky by not being mentioned in the article.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), January 12, 1999.

"Fourth, you might want to wait and read the print version before drawing conclusions. I'm not sure if all the articles and polls are up on TIME.com. "

(I'm going to breath deep while typing so it's legible, I'm trembling of rage.)

The print version IS WORSE than the website's. It has '50's print style picture of JESUS CHRIST, viewed from the back, holding a cross, with a sandwich-billboard on his back "The End of The World!?!" in bold red, "Y2K insanity! Apocalypse Now! Will the computers melt down? Will Society? A guide to Millenum Madness"

Very cleverly placed next to his hand holding the cross is a street- crossing neon sign "Panic - Don't panic" with DONT PANIC illuminated.

Have you ever heard of FIRST IMPRESSIONS Declan?! Do you REALLY BELEIVE that the masses who don't have internet access, those who only subscribe to Time in print, and those who don't but still glimpse at the cover in 7-11's, will feel compelled to find an internet access to go read the "other" version online, that is a tiny-winy bit less idiotic in it's cover??!

"Fifth, I see the TIME cover as a look at the cultural aspects of Y2K, a phenomenon that's gone beyond the technical. Importantly, the issue provides links to redcross.org and cassandraproject.org and utne.com so readers can make their own decisions. "

Oh ofcourse readers can make their own decisions! How convenient to say that after deliberatetly portraying Y2K as some millenum madness cult, with all the deceptions known in the disinformation book, knowing full well how the un-thinking population view Time Mag as one of the leading trustworthy news source.

So Declan, what's your editor's and your agenda?

I feel sick knowing I subscribed to Time for so long. What else did they feed me?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 12, 1999.

One more friggin' thing!

After this stunt from Time, I know don't trust ANY friggin' so-called "credible" news agency. CNN, MSNBC, you name it. All have an agenda and financial stake to avert a panic, at any cost, with whatever idiotic means. Business Bottom Line. Fine.

That means WorldnetDaily and the likes ARE the most credible sources for me from now on.

Hope you kept several years of copies of Time, Declan. They might come in handy to keep you warm next year.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 12, 1999.

Gosh, lighten up, Chris!! My PC is smoking!!!

(As far as what other crap has Time magazine fed you? Well, there are all those lying, lower-than-a-snake, weaseling [no offense, WW!], worming, conniving, misleading, sneaky, self-righteous, dishonest, untruthful articles on gun control....)

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 12, 1999.

As a libertarian, I hardly agree with gun control. I was not involved with those articles; you can be assured that if I were, they would have turned out differently.

I write what I see to be the truth. I less pessimistic about Y2K than I was half a year ago. (Still, my position has not changed since my GMA interview and radio shows I have done since then: it makes sense to be prepared. A month's worth of food/water, for instance, is cheap.)

If the folks here want to see more alarmist coverage ("head for the hills, quit yer job, pull money out of banks/stock market"), you're going to have to convince us reporters that the situation warrants those types of reports.

-- Declan McCullagh (declan@well.com), January 12, 1999.

Though I stand by Chomsky and Herman's analysis of the media in general, I think Declan is just calling it as he sees it. He sure did a good job with that Orwellian KYC thing. If Y2K doesn't come down hard, we're gonna owe him an apology. Even if it does though, I think he's being honest.

TIME magazine's management consists of utterly corrupt corporate overlords, but that doesn't mean every foot soldier is bad. Anyway, we have the political economy we deserve.

-- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), January 12, 1999.

Declan -

Upon further review of the on-line article, my points above still stand. Have you ever tried to persuade anyone to prepare for even a 30 day outage, Declan? Somehow I doubt it, but I will give you the benefit of that doubt. Please describe the conversation.

Please also describe the intent of the article. Was it to inform the general public about the potential issues associated with the Year 2000 computer problem? It seems not. It seems instead to be a broadside directed at "millennialist doomsayers" and other "fringe" groups.

Here are some quotes from the article. Declan, if you can show where, page by page, the article has a markedly different slant, I welcome your response.

- Page 1 -

"To understand what it means to make your home truly millennium ready.. it's the water bed."

[If you substituted "disaster" for "millennium", FEMA would be all over you for irresponsible journalism.]

- Page 2 -

"To begin with, it's based on a misunderstanding. Whenever the millennium is, it's not really next year,..."

[And the point of this is what? That it's all just a misunderstanding?]

"Dennis the Short"...

[Ah, of course. All this to-ing and fro-ing is no different from the actions of some Roman fellah who had a funny name.]

"But in these final days of the 20th century, religious millennialism has once again found a real world problem on which to hang its visions of doom--the Y2K (that's the year 2000) computer bug."

[Again with the religious millennialism. We're at the bottom of Page 2 before we even begin to outline real-world facts about the Y2K problem.]

"The Y2K problem is this..."


- Page 3 -

"Mike McClure, who is in charge of making sure that Georgia's electric-power giant Southern Co. is Y2K compliant, has the attitude of a lot of the techno-savvy elite. In safeguarding his personal affairs, McClure says he will be "very diligent" in keeping bank and stock records for the months prior to January 2000. He will file away his 401(k) statements and buy plenty of candles and water and withdraw several weeks' worth of cash.'

[No mention of the fact that Mark's approach would be seen as a "bank run" if followed by the majority of Americans.]

"...the dire predictions of major social disruptions are way overblown."

[Based on what evidence?]

"The Internal Revenue Service, you will be relieved to know, promises to be prepared. (So it's true about death and taxes.) And the Social Security Administration, which sends out benefit checks, also says it's ready for 2000."

[I don't care about promises - what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? No mention of the fact that (a) the IRS has never succeeded on any major IS projects and (b) its former CIO has been quoted extensively on the likelihood that it won't meet its deadlines.]

"'Nothing should be taken at face value when it comes to government assurances,' warns Dr. Mark Neuenschwander. He and his wife Betsy, also a physician, head the AD2000 Crisis Relief Task Force, a conservative Christian humanitarian effort based in Colorado Springs, Colo."

[Nice one. Provide a valid comment, but just to be safe, have it come from someone who's part of a "conservative Christian" organization. Red flag for the reader: "must be one of them fanatic Religious Right types."]

"It's that kind of uncertainty that some religious millennialists are seizing upon..."

[AGAIN with the relgious millenniallists! Get off it!]

"Then there's the popular series of novels by retired minister Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, a former sportswriter..."

[Words fail me. Couple of guys write some novels based on Revelations. What does this have to do with the facts of Y2K?]

- Page 4 -

"History, of course, is littered with premature prophets of doom."

[History is also littered with figures like Neville Chamberlain. Your point?]

"Karen Anderson of Dallas is a onetime family therapist and marketing consultant (for North, among others)... Her stated goal is to appear on Oprah... If Martha Stewart ran a survivalist sect, it might be something like this."

[Write something with this tone about Gloria Allred and she'll sue you into the Stone Age.]

"Harrison, Ark., a quiet Ozarks farm town (pop. 11,611) that is becoming a mecca for anyone who fears the worst from the computer bug."

[All bow low in the direction of Harrison.]

- Page 5 -

"Two years ago, concerns about Y2K helped persuade Jerry and Carolyn Head to move from a suburb of Dallas to an 85-acre farm near Harrison... stashed throughout their four-bedroom house are hundreds of rolls of toilet paper. 'These are good barter items,' Jerry explains."

[As with the water bed comment, great way to make the subject look like a fool.]

"The worry in some parts of Washington is that even if most Y2K problems are ironed out, pre-2000 panic could have a real impact. If people are worried about the stability of the economy, they might pull their money out of the stock market, which, if nothing else, would cause real dips in the market. Bank runs stoked by fear could be as bad as actual computer-generated bank problems, says Senator Robert Bennett, the Utah Republican who heads the Senate's Year 2000 committee. As a precaution, the Federal Reserve plans to print an extra $50 billion to $75 billion worth of bank notes this year."

[Japan is fine. Brazil is fine. The market having cut loose from its fundamental moorings is fine. Everything else that Senator Bennett has said is ignored except this comment about bank runs. What tripe.] "There are already small signs of alarm. Preparedness Resources Inc. is a 20-year-old Utah purveyor of dehydrated foods... Because monthly sales have zoomed from $300,000 in December 1977 to $4 million last November, the company has quadrupled its dealerships to 100."

[Just a way for a bunch of hustlers to make money. Y2K is no big deal.]

"In Colorado's San Luis Valley, a onetime physicist and computer programmer named Milt Trosper is fashioning High Valley Cyber Development, a would-be millennium-insulated community on a high plateau surrounded by mountains."

[Eggheads have run for the hills and begun speculating on property to profiteer from the Y2K hype.]

"The proliferation of millennial doomsayers leaves mainstream denominations uneasy."

[AGAIN with the millenniallists. This is getting old.]

"The Y2K alarmists have no such concerns about how their post-millennium credibility will stand."

[You mean "alarmists" like Ed Yardeni, Ed Yourdon, or Paloma O'Riley, none of whom are mentioned in the article?] "R.E.M., another set of millennium prophets..."

[Finish with a rock group. You guys are cooler than cool.]

Declan, please show how the article does not summarize in this way. Its whole tone and intent seems to be to simply dismiss all concerns about Y2K as just so much millennialist folly. Please show me where I'm wrong.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), January 12, 1999.

"I write what I see to be the truth. I less pessimistic about Y2K than I was half a year ago."

How on earth can you be less pessimistic now than you were a year ago?! What is it you SEE as truth?! How do you make a scared man face the facts? How do you make an idiot understand complicated systems? How do you I make YOU read the slew of factual information already posted on this forum, and make you SEE the TRUTH of the FACTS? How do I make you understand if you don't WANT to understand?

If the folks here want to see more alarmist coverage ("head for the hills, quit yer job, pull money out of banks/stock market"), you're going to have to convince us reporters that the situation warrants those types of reports.

I am not religious, I don't go to church, I am a nurse married with 3 kids. I want more RESPONSIBLE COVERAGE from Time Magazine! I DON't want the opposite, irrational head for the hills a la Milne coverage and talk! Are you defending Time's cover page as responsible? The rest of the graphics and articles?

Here are some facts about Energy, Oil, and Telecommunication. All are taken from the most current 10Q forms. I posted the links, check for yourself. That's TRUTH Declan, in as much as it comes from management, the way they SEE it as reported by the guys in the trenches, and WANT to report it because they've had their arms twisted by SEC. Notice that all of them will be ready by June 1, 1999. Deadline set by the Gov. Isn't that a convenient coincidence? It's long I know, but read carefully. I've pasted relevant paragraphs to shorten it on this post, but please read the entire 10Q's. I took the time myself.

PECO Energy 11/02/98 Form 10Q http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/78100/0000078100-98-000022.txt

[PECO owns several nuclear plants, and serves several million costumers.]

The IT Systems section includes both the conversion of applications software that is not Year 2000 ready and the replacement of software when available from the supplier. The Company estimates that the software conversion phase was approximately 48% complete at September 30, 1998, and the remaining conversions are on schedule to be tested and completed by June 1, 1999. The Company estimates that replacements and upgrades will be completed on schedule by June 1, 1999, although some vendor software replacements and upgrades are behind schedule. Contingency planning for IT Systems is scheduled to be completed by June 1, 1999. The Project has identified 343 critical IT Systems. The current readiness status of those systems is set forth below:

Number of Systems Progress Status - ----------------- ------------------------------------------------- 26 Systems Year 2000 Ready 87 Systems In Testing 191 Systems In Active Code Modification, Or Package Upgrading 39 Systems Scheduled to Start after September 30, 1998 The Embedded Technology section consists of hardware and systems software other than IT Systems. The Company estimates that the Embedded Technology section was approximately 61% complete at September 30, 1998, and the remaining conversions are on schedule to be tested and completed by June 1, 1999. Contingency planning for Embedded Technology is scheduled to be completed by June 1, 1999. The Project has identified 119 critical Embedded Technology systems. The current readiness status of those systems is set forth below:

Number of Systems Progress Status - ----------------- ------------------- 25 Systems Year 2000 Ready 94 Systems In Active Upgrading

The Supply Chain section includes the process of identifying and prioritizing critical suppliers and critical customers with common equipment at the direct interface level, and communicating with them about their plans and progress in addressing the Y2K Issue. The Company initiated formal communications with all of its critical suppliers and critical customers to determine the extent to which the Company may be vulnerable to their Year 2000 issues. The process of evaluating these critical suppliers and critical customers has commenced and is scheduled to be completed by June 1, 1999.

Because of the scope of Chevron's operations, the company believes it is impractical to seek to eliminate all potential Year 2000 problems before they arise. As a result, Chevron expects that its Year 2000 assessment and corrections will include ongoing remedial efforts into the year 2000. The company is using a risk-based analysis of its operations to identify those items deemed to be "mission critical", defined as having the potential for significant adverse effects in one or more of five areas: environmental, safety, ongoing business relationships, financial and legal exposure, and company credibility and image. To date, over 350 items in the company's own operations and over 1,200 third-party relationships have been deemed mission critical. Additional items and third-party relationships may be added to this list, as further assessments are completed.

Chevron Corp. Petroleum Refining 11/06/98 Form 10Q http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/93410/0000093410-98-000020.txt

Chevron is corresponding with all mission-critical third parties and expects to meet with a large percentage of them, either alone or with other potentially affected parties, to determine the relative risks of major Year-2000-related problems and to mitigate such risks. Using practical risk assessment and testing techniques, Chevron is dividing its list of more than 350 internal items into three categories: (i) those that are expected to be tested and made Year 2000 compliant by the end of 1999; (ii) items that will be removed from service without testing and replaced with Year 2000 compliant items; and (iii) items to be "worked around" until the items can be replaced or made Year 2000 compliant. Many mission-critical items already have been found to be compliant, while others are undergoing assessment, remediation and testing.

The company is developing contingency plans, which it expects to complete by the end of the third quarter 1999, to identify potential problems and mitigate the impact on its operations of potential failures arising from the Year 2000 issue.

Bell Atlantic 11/10/1998 Form 10Q http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/11107/0001036050-98-001874.txt

As of September 30 1998, approximately 49% of all element types have successfully completed certification testing/evaluation or have been retired. Bell Atlantic has made substantial progress on the remaining items and is on track to make its June 30, 1999 objective in this area.

For Bell Atlantic's other controlled or majority-owned subsidiaries, including Bell Atlantic Mobile (BAM) and its Information Services Group (ISG) companies, the inventory, assessment and planning efforts are substantially complete, and remediation/replacement/retirement and testing activities are in progress. BAM, ISG, and, in general, all of the other controlled or majority-owned subsidiaries are on track to have their mission critical systems compliant by the end of June 1999.

Bell Atlantic's Year 2000 program also includes a project to review and remediate affected systems (including those with embedded technology) within its buildings and other facilities, a project to assure Year 2000 compliance across all of its internal business processes, and other specific projects directed towards insuring it meets its Year 2000 objectives.

Sprint Corp 11/02/1998 Form 10Q http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/101830/0000101830-98-000062.txt

Sprint started a program in 1996 to identify and address the Year 2000 issue. It has completed an inventory and Year 2000 assessment of its principal computer systems, network elements, software applications and other business systems. Sprint expects to substantially complete the renovation of these computer systems, software applications and the majority of the network elements and other business systems by year-end 1998. Year 2000 testing commenced in the third quarter of 1998 and will be completed during 1999. Sprint is using both internal and external sources to identify, correct or reprogram, and test its systems for Year 2000 compliance. Sprint is also contacting others with whom it conducts business to receive the appropriate warranties and assurances that those third parties are or will be Year 2000 compliant.

Sprint expects to incur approximately $250 million in 1998 and 1999 to complete its Year 2000 compliance program. If compliance is not achieved in a timely manner by Sprint or any significant related third party, the Year 2000 issue could have a material adverse effect on Sprint's operations. Sprint is focusing on identifying and addressing all aspects of its operations that may be affected by the Year 2000 issue and is addressing the most critical applications first. Although Sprint intends to develop and, if necessary, implement appropriate contingency plans to mitigate to the extent possible the effects of any significant Year 2000 noncompliance, such plans may not be adequate and the cost of Year 2000 compliance may be higher than $250 million.

As a result of the PCS Restructuring, Sprint will acquire management control of Sprint PCS; therefore, the following discussion provides additional information related to the Year 2000 compliance efforts of Sprint PCS.

Sprint PCS is undertaking an inventory of its computer systems, network elements, software applications, products and other business systems. These inventories are targeted to be completed by year-end 1998. Once an item is identified through the inventory process, its Year 2000 impact is assessed and a plan is developed to address any required renovation. Sprint PCS is using both internal and external resources to identify, correct or reprogram, and test its systems for Year 2000 compliance. It is planning that Year 2000 compliance for these critical systems will be achieved in 1999. Sprint PCS is also contacting others with whom it conducts business to receive the appropriate warranties and assurances that those third parties are or will be Year 2000 complaint. However, full compliance may not be achieved as planned by Sprint PCS and such third parties. As a result, Sprint PCS may not receive warranties and assurances from such third parties. Sprint PCS relies on third-party vendors for a significant number of its important operating and computer system functions, and therefore is highly dependent on such third-party vendors for the remediation of network elements, computer systems, software applications and other business systems. In addition, Sprint PCS uses publicly available services that are acquired without contract (for example, global positioning system timing signal) that may be subject to the Year 2000 issue. While Sprint PCS believes these systems will be Year 2000 compliant, they have no contractual or other right to compel compliance. Based upon our evaluations to date, Sprint PCS believes that the total cost of modifications and conversions of their systems will not be material, however such cost could become material because of the various reasons described above, many of which are out of the control of Sprint PCS.

Global Communications 11/23/1998 Form 10Qsb http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/925004/0000938492-98-000411.txt

As part of the Company's Year 2000 compliance review, the Company is in the process of contacting its primary vendors and customers to determine the extent to which the Company is vulnerable to those third parties' failure to remediate their Year 2000 compliance issues. The Company is in the early stages of this phase of its Year 2000 review and will continue to contact its significant vendors and customers as part of its Year 2000 compliance review. However, there can be no guarantee that the systems of the companies on which the Company's business relies will be timely converted or that failure to convert by another company will not have a material adverse effect on the Company and its operations.

MCI and Worldcom 11/16/1998 Form 10Q http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/723527/0000950134-98-009039.txt

Due to their extensive use of computer technology, both MCI and WorldCom began developing strategic plans in 1996 to address their respective year 2000 issues. Since the MCI Merger, the Company has been melding these strategies.

The Company has substantially completed its efforts to identify and assess year 2000 computer issues, and its business organizations are in the process of developing remediation plans, converting noncompliant code or equipment, and replacing or decommissioning systems, and testing. The Company has targeted year 2000 compliance for the majority of its mission-critical systems, including network and customer interfacing systems, on or before March 31, 1999. The remaining mission-critical systems, and non-mission critical systems, are targeted for compliance by June 30, 1999, with full deployment of the remediation solutions throughout the Company's network targeted for no later than September 30, 1999.

As part of its year 2000 plan, the Company is seeking confirmation from its domestic and foreign interconnecting carriers (collectively, the "Interconnecting Carriers") and major communications equipment vendors (the "Primary Vendors") that they are developing and implementing plans to become year 2000 compliant. The Company has contacted these carriers and vendors, and will continue to do so, but has not yet received enough information from certain domestic and foreign carriers to assess their year 2000 readiness. The Company has received information from its Primary Vendors regarding their year 2000 readiness. This information indicates the Primary Vendors have documented plans to become year 2000 compliant. Like all major telecommunication carriers, the Company's ability to provide service is dependent on its Interconnecting Carriers and Primary Vendors.

The Company plans to complete preparation and implementation of its contingency plans by December 31, 1999. Failure to meet this target could materially impact the Company's operations.

The year 2000 costs incurred by the MCI and WorldCom for the nine months ended September 30, 1998, which have been included in selling, general and administrative expenses for that period, were approximately $116 million. This level of expenditures is consistent with the planned expenditures for the period. The Company expects to incur approximately $384 million in expenses over the next five quarters to support its year 2000 compliance initiatives. The costs of the Company's year 2000 remediation efforts are based upon management's best estimates, which require assumptions about future events, availability of resources and personnel, third-party remediation actions, and other factors. There are no assurances that these estimates will be accurate, and actual amounts may differ materially based on a number of factors, including the availability and cost of resources to undertake remediation activities and the scope and nature of the work required to complete remediation.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 12, 1999.

"Gosh, lighten up, Chris!! My PC is smoking!!!"

Jack, it's hopeless! I'm so damn pissed at this guy, not so much that he's a twit who can't see the facts but because he keeps defending Time's aproach! I was looking forward to a decent unbiased coverage by Time, and it turns out its the opposite wackoness of Milne! As much as Milne sound like an extremist wacko survivalist, this piece by Time sound like it was written by Polyanna's brother who's got a talent for cute drawings! It's all in the presentation Jack! Why can't this serious a damn subject be covered in serious talk by the media? WHY??? I feel like screaming, this is just too unreal! It IS the Twilight Zone! Where are all the intelligent people? Where are all the not greedy intelligent people needed to pull us through this mess? WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA?!

I want to wake up from this nightmare!!

(Millenum Madness is an ironic term isn't it? Yes I am mad!)

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 12, 1999.

I may not agree with everything Declan writes, but I do agree with him that there is a line that some people cross.

Disagreement with someone often indicates the ability to think about things. But intolerant, glazed-eyed, hysterical disagreement often indicates exactly the opposite. Once we cross that line, we've become incapable of ferreting out the kernels from the chaff, and instead reject every differing viewpoint violently for reasons no longer rational at all.

What I like about this forum is that, with only a few exceptions, its denizens actually read what others write, and think about it, agreeing with what's sensible, and often asking for clarification about what isn't.

Now, sadly, this is missing from csy2k. That forum is now mostly composed of those trying to score points, and those trying to shout down any 'opposition'. Reasonable questions or observations are met with jeers. The goal of most of the inhabitants is to make everyone else look stupid.

This thread is veering awful close to the csy2k pathology. Nobody's clarity of thought is improved by debating whether those who disagree do so out of abject stupidity or from some evil hidden agenda. Sufficient to believe they're wrong until events either ratify or sabotage our individual expectations.

I'd hate to see this forum degenerate into another example of attack therapy for the terminally insecure.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), January 12, 1999.

You're right Flint. I lost my cool in a big way, and I don't want to see this place desintegrate into an absurd flamefest forum.

Please Declan, accept my apology for the unnecessary personal attack words. They were typed in a moment of extreme frustration when attempting to make my point. I have no agenda and I have not an evil bone in me, unless you see being direct and outspoken as evil.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 12, 1999.

No, no apology is necessary. Don't worry about it.

I am about to leave for the Microsoft trial so my response will be brief.

I have had reactions to my radio/TV appearances when recommending preparing for Y2K for weeks/a month from those who are near and dear to me. I have had these prepare-for-a-month discussions with them. I'm not sure why this is relevant -- it seems sort of a litmus test -- but there you have it.

Why am I more optimistic? A few reasons: no substantial 1-1-99 failures or Euro problems, contrary to what some of the diresayers had predicted. Some sober reflection on my own mainframe programming experience (ten years ago on IBM hardware) and how difficult it is to figure out if code is date-related. A realization that the collected resources and knowledge of modern society will be enough to keep the lights on, if it comes to that. How even some government agencies I didn't expect to do well have, with independently-audited results. Also a recognition that many of the loudest voices predicting the worst do not come from programmers. Plus more interviews and research.

Without widespread power failures, TEOTWAWKI or anything near it does not appear likely to happen.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare. Rice is cheap, etc. And I worry about the military, for instance, and other countries.

Being "more optimistic" is not the same as "completely optimistic."

-- Declan McCullagh (declan@well.com), January 13, 1999.

I can't argue with what you said. You've exposed many good points about perception.

My anger comes from the irresponsible coverage of Time and other big shot media. You see what you see and I respect that. And I respect even more the fact that you responded kindly and responsibly to my flame infested posts.

That said, and seeing that you are responsible, how can you defend Time's aproach? Do you see it at all as irresponsible? Isn't their aproach equivalent to my own emotional, irrational flaming only in a much bigger yet subtle way?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 13, 1999.

I never saw the cover article as ever intending to present Y2K issues and facts to the reader. It was billed as an article on the "Doomsayers" that have arisen around the issue, and it lived up to that billing. Whether or not you agree with (or were insulted by) the article's content, this was clearly it's intent.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 13, 1999.

Chevron does not operate alone in an isolated gas tank. It gets supplies globally.

What, does that REALLY mean to claims of being Y2K compliant, or not? It means, IF the power is still on and telecommunications still works, our computers and refineries MAY work, but not to current production levels.

Is gas rationing in our collective future? What does THAT do to a partially functioning global economy? Wide-spread depression I suspect.

Do wish a certain investigative reporter would study the international interdependency issues VERY carefully.

That said, Declan, I do also wish to thank you for responding here. Many of us may not agree with some of your reporting views, and others do agree with some parts, of the whole.

Time Magazine, however rates a top spot in the Y2K Doghouse Hall of Infamy, IMHO.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 13, 1999.

In contrast to this terribly irresponsible piece of garbage by Time - regardless of who was the "final editor" - check the mild but "taking it seriously" attitude in Newsweek in the financial advice column (by Quinn, I believe.)

Any doubter out there now wonder why I fear the stupidity and outright prejudicial bias of the mainstream press? They have proven (in this, and in their performance the last six years) exactly why they are incompetent irresponsible self-pleasing liberal idiots pandering to the remaining liberal idiots. Can you trust anything they "investigate" as the truth?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 13, 1999.

Did anyone notice the full-page ad immediately preceding the Y2K article? It's for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, boasting about their 400 offices in 28 countries. Full-page ads within the article showcase: GMC Yukon Denali (a steel SUV with a V-8, heated leather seats and a Bose Acoustimass), Nicorette gum, American Plastics Council (showing milk jugs!), Hilton Hotels/American Express, and Ford Contour (sporty 4-door sedan). The article immediately preceding the Y2K spread addresses the "fast-growing market for $30,000 and up cars," complete with large photos of same. NOW do you understand why the Y2K article was written the way it was?

-- anon (anon@spamproblems.com), January 13, 1999.

Declan -

When you get back from U.S. v. Standard Oil, errr, Microsoft...

The litmus test (to use your term) is one way to determining someone's personal commitment to encouraging others to prepare. So did those near and dear take any actions? Begin laying in supplies? Ask for assistance in planning? Inquire if you'd perhaps been using recreational chemicals?

I look forward to hearing your "take" on the intent and tenor of the TIME article.

Comparing war stories: I have over 17 years in the industry, just over half that in project management. Have run multi-million dollar projects (many successful, but not all) and have the scars to prove it. As I've said elsewhere, if this Y2K change programme were being reviewed, it would be absolutely "Red Flag" and senior management would be reviewing the contingency plans. If there weren't any, someone's head would be on a pike and their replacement would be developing said plans.

See you when Justice is through grilling the wrong Bill...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), January 13, 1999.

Mr. Milne,

Three days and still no response. Am I to take it that this is a sign that you might think I have an IQ of more than single digits? After all, you were willing to debate facts with someone you termed an "idiot" but are not with me. Thanks for the compliment. I'm willing if you are.

My often repreated request still stands: Can you present even one verifiable fact that millions will die as a direct result of Y2K failures?

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 14, 1999.

The y2k coverage in the Weekly World News was accurate and sensible. The y2k coverage in Time is sensationalistic and absurd.

Yes Chris, maybe this is the Twilight Zone.

-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), January 18, 1999.

The key here is in Declan's response that "you'll have to convince us reporters {that y2k is more serious...etc.}" Declan aligns himself and, admittedly, gets his values and identity from his peer group. He will report, therefore, from the perspective of his peers. Most of his peers are liberal-leaning prima donnas who wouldn't know an investigative report from a PR handout. He will not alienate his peers. How many cocktail parties would he get invited to if he all of a sudden started writing about the wisdom of storing wheat? Y2k doom scenarios are always rejected from an emotional or presuppositional basis, not on the stark facts as presented. The stark facts are so uncomfortable as to require that one respond with ad hominen attacks on those whose presuppositions will admit the possibility of the truth of terrifying scenarios. The DGI's angst is then directed against you, me, and easy targets like Gary North. Expect no less in the future from the Declans of the world. In fact, expect the further marginilization of those preparing and the encouragement by the press of outright hostility (and violence?) against the prepared as things degenerate.

-- James (b@b.com), January 18, 1999.

Let's see if I have this right. According to the TIME poll, 70% are worried about the Y2K problem, 45% think a world war will break out, yet 82% are either optimistic or think that nothing will change.

On the TIME message boards, the one thread of any real significance (Preparing Business for Y2K) has exactly zero posts--NONE.

The Holocaust is esteemed as important as the invention of the printing press. The car more important than the discovery of the new world.

Doodeedoodo-doodeedoodo--- "The next stop..." Hallyx

"Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider." -- Mark Twain

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), January 18, 1999.

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