What is credible information?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

You know, I hear alot about whether information we hear from the media releases is "creddible" or not. I personally would like to see facts and figures. But when Kennedy said that the Americans would definatley land a man on the moon ( I hope it was president Kennedy who said this as it was a bit before my time. I think I was maybe two months into conception at this point ) the mass of public people didn't start asking for him to prove that we would. We just had faith in his words and when it came to pass, we celebrated.

This may have made a few of you out there literally laugh out loud. Beleive the Clinton administration? Bwaaa ha ha ha ha...

I understand that feeling, really I do. Especially when it comes to something as serious as Y2K and not frivoulous as landing a man on the moon, however serious it seemed to the country back then. But is it within the realm of possibility that even when we hear good news about Y2K we are putting ourselves into a sort of DGI group who cannot imagine that this modern world really can accomplish this herculean feat. I mean, although not guiltless of their own faults, if the IRS says that business will certaintly continue as usual why do we automatically jump to the cynical conclusion that they MUST be lying to cover their own tails. The same people who work at the IRS sit down to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with some of us. Why should be so inclined not to believe the good news so quickly.

Is it because we are so accustomed to the bearer of bad news that it is a knee jerk reaction and quick sensibly the honest, human reaction in these rough and tumble times of individuality and geurilla business? Maybe it's because, although too many to list on this message post, the majority of us here at Time Bomb 2000 would secretly ( or not secretly ) like to see our industrialized society bite the dust. I asked myself that today and personally I trhink being the loner and seperatist I grew up as, I have to say that maybe my own opinons about Y2K updates are being mistaken because I am reading them through, well, crap colored glasses. Excuse the metaphor.

I am not unaware of the utilazation of proaganda bu governmental control agencies to keep order and sway public action to the best interests of the country. Even if the so called best interests set by the Senate and Congress don't necessarily coincide with that of John Q. Public. But again I reiterate... the same people who work at the very same places that provide our governemt, utilities, banking, and transportaion are the same people who you all eat, sleep ,play, laugh, and cry with. What I mean to say is, self preserving cautiousness is embedded into the insticts of every man woman and child... but prejudicial mistrust, even that against our government workers, is something that we humans have aptly cultivated over the last hundred years.

Call it a plea for a sensitive approach to thei Y2K remediation... Call it a flimsy attempt to sugar coat what I man already know to be an imminent tragedy. But in short what I hope to convey is that we should not be so quick to condemn our brothers and sisters who are working very diligently to solve this Y2K problem. Maybe a little less word by word anaylis of media anouncments ( Y2K "ready" vs. Y2K "compliant" ) and a little more faith in the fact that NOBODY wants to see a breakdown in the global community so severe it costs the lives of loved ones and family.

-- Adam (Y2KSrvivor@aol.cmo), January 12, 1999


Hey, I don't secretly want to see it all come down. If it does then one close family member will certainly die. Besides, not too long ago I got a great job and started doing well for the first time in my life. I was ready to live it up at this point, and it kinda pisses me off to still be squeaking by while I spend my new income on Y2K preps. There are some very good reasons to be skeptical: The Defense Department and the FAA have both been caught in flat-out lies, most organizations have been wildly overoptimistic, cost estimates keep going up, deadlines keep getting missed...I have a certain amount of optimism in spite of all this, but I sure as heck am not going to count on it.

I don't think anybody is condemning those who are working to fix the problem, but we've long since gotten sick of the sugarcoating by management.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), January 12, 1999.


In some ways I agree with you. I do not have a grave distrust of "THEM" whoever "they" may be. However, I do believe in the statement "trust but verify". Unfortunately, I am finding it hard to verify. However, the hard data I have seen from such sources as the S&P 500 SEC reports on Yardini's site does not give me a warm & fuzzy feeling. It causes me to view statements from people who claim that "all is well" with skepicism. I would like to see more organizations obtain independent confirmation of remediation success similar to that the Social Security Admin. had.

-- Sue (conibear@gateway.net), January 12, 1999.

Adam, this is a really, really tough situation to deal with sensibly. It could be life and death, the consequences are totally unpredictable in any detail, the information we have available is of unguessable accuracy, and opinions are all over the map. The essence of pressure -- extremely important, very little you can do about it, and no certain knowledge of what's coming.

From what I've read, almost everyone has abandoned sense in favor of certainty. The vast majority just won't think about it and refuse to admit there's much of a problem. A growing minority is resigned to the end of the world (or seems to welcome it), and refuses to admit anything positive.

And the small number still agonizing over it, hanging on every new shred of dubious evidence, are often paralyzed to the point where they can't function effectively. I know I've lost 30 pounds since I got into this, no end in sight.

Other than that, everything is OK, I guess.

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

I almost completely agree with you Flint. Except for "A growing minority is resigned to the end of the world (or seems to welcome it), and refuses to admit anything positive."

I still see only a very small number resigned to the end of the world (Infomagic) or seem to welcome it (Gary North, Milne). What I see is more and more people resigned to EXPECT the worse, but HOPE for the best. That's a huge difference. As long as the hope is there, the eyes will be opened and receptive to positive news to keep that hope alive.

But I must admit that there is a tendency from many people to post only bad news, me included. That I believe is due to wanting to keep a "barometer" and perhaps from some it's a pessimistic attitude. But pessimistic or not, when the bad news are factual, it doesn't change reality.

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

Even if mankind could fix this problem, they won't. It's human nature. People love drama. The human race will allow this situation to get out of control because the majority want it to. Like gaukers at the scene of a car crash, they want to see something spectacular on the news and in their tabloids. I wish mankind would grow up and quit being idiots, but we just seem to be acting out the same old self-destructive scenarios over and over again. I guess the majority feel it's just easier to be stupid!

-- (@@@.@), January 12, 1999.

I think it's a culling. You know, we're always doing that. Wars and stuff. Just another way...

-- a (b@c.def), January 12, 1999.

Chris, if all the factual news were bad, I wouldn't have this problem. Alternatively, I could choose to focus on (and post) only bad news, and 'pretend' that the future was mine to see. But this is like putting your barometer in a vacuum chamber -- the reading is always constant and reliable, and always artificially low.

I'm tired of any mention of anything positive being met with the same 'go ahead and kid yourself, you'll be dead in a year, you moron' type of response. It's unhelpful, doesn't lead to fruitful discussion, and is almost surely untrue.

I enjoy speculating about the future, but those pissing contests drive me over to the discussions about water storage, where the material is dull but the contributors are helpful. Perhaps I'd understand it better if I'd ever had children?

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

"Perhaps I'd understand it better if I'd ever had children? "

Perhaps. It certainly would be a motive for your fears and frustrations. Hard to keep cool and collected when the lives and/or future of your kids are percieved in danger.

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

Don't discount good news.

We are going to see more and more good news as the year rolls on, lots of stuff is going to get fixed. It's the stuff that doesn't get fixed, how badly it impacts the "fixed" stuff, and whether or not we can keep up with the failure rates that will determine how this plays out.

Oh, and then there is the rest of the world...

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), January 12, 1999.

Adam, I think very few people posting here "condemn our brothers and sisters who are working very diligently to solve this Y2K problem." On the contrary, I'd bet the majority are some of those people working on it, or closely related to someone working on it. I think, as Americans, we are skeptical of government, and we are not taking any chances. I don't believe any of us wants to see society take a dive. But I do believe that deep down, or on the surface, we all want more independence from society; perhaps it's just a desire to be left alone. Government is so darned intrusive at this point, especially in regards to that traumatic annual bloodletting April 15. Besides, beans and rice and toilet paper don't go bad. If it's all a wash, I'll use them eventually.


-- jhollander (hollander@ij.net), January 13, 1999.

Flint, I know you didn't mean this as a pun, but it struck me as funny:

"I've lost 30 pounds since I got into this, no end in sight"

I guess humor is what keeps me going sometimes. :-)

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), January 13, 1999.

For me, I think it is primarily the anger that "they" let it get this far that generally prevents me from taking what appears to be good news at face value. "They" should right now be twiddling their thumbs, reporting that they have done everything they could think of, they have tested everything they could think of, and while they won't know for sure until the real switch over, there isn't anything more to do except wait. There simply isn't enough information available at this time to know whether we need to prepare hard, and if that information ever is available, it won't be in time. I think Y2K will go down as one of the great international scandals of all time given what is at stake and what could have been prevented but for greed and shortsightedness.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), January 13, 1999.

Credible information is the fact that the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Guard have Y2K on their web sites. If they suggest some personal preparation, that should be good enough for anyone.




Everyone should already we making some kind of preparations. We follow news items about Y2K to see just how much we need to prepare. If the news gets better, we can stop. If the news gets worse, then we just continue preparing like we have been.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 13, 1999.

Brooks, I'm afraid Pogo got this one exactly right. "We have met the enemy and they is us."

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), January 13, 1999.

>> Chris, if all the factual news were bad, I wouldn't have this problem. Okay. I'm ready for a piece of "factual" good news. Lay one on us, please, that's
- true right NOW (not promised to be true in March or July) and
- from an organization that's generally held in high esteem, or
- which has verified by a trustworthy third party. I'm serious. Surely there's good news, but I'm drawing a blank... and would like nothing more than some good news. (To judge from reading here, it does seem like "only bad news get posted", and I do get caught up in that.) The compliance of Social Security would be cheering, if it were provable, and if any of the state systems were ready, or the banks... Please reply, no matter how obvious the example. I will apologize most handsomely and pass the good word on to everyone who will listen. Thanks...

-- Grrr (grrr@grrr.net), January 13, 1999.

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