Geek Migration : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Does anyone have stats (or antedotal evidence/info) on number of engineers/techs who are leaving the cities i.e., The Great Geek Migration. Additionally, what about numbers on preparedness within the Engineering community...I work in Dallas, TX as a E.E. for a company that employs approx 250 engineers and have not seen much preparation efforts by my colleagues or close friends (approx 20 engineers/scientists). Moreover, friends at other companies report similar observations...Regards,

-- dw griffin (, October 13, 1999


Geeks are no brighter than anyone else apparently. I doubt if many of them get it. Denial is very powerful particularly when your whole way of life and perhaps your physical survival depends on things continuing to work.

-- cody (, October 13, 1999.

Talked to a super-geek on Sunday and I brought up Y2k when we talked about failing systems. He said the usual "I think its a lot of hype", but then I cited a few recent news items and then he ticked off a new news items himself. I then asked him why he thought it was all a bunch of hype when he himself could see several problems/possible problems. That left him sort of in a daze as he didnt know how to respond.

So many people say "Its all a bunch of hype" or "Nothings going to happen" but then they mention what they think will fail. I dont get it, what eaxctly are these people feeling?

-- hamster (, October 13, 1999.


What was the items that you mentioned within your conversation with the Super Geek...Additionally, what qualifies a person as a Super Geek - I have a MSEE, MSc in Physics, and have worked in the following industries for 12 years: Semiconductor Design, Power Systems and Telecommunications (have 5 patents and 6 publications). Finally, what was the new item put forth by your colleague/friend that might have indicated a change in perspective? Regards,

-- tom sherrefield (, October 13, 1999.

Got a friend that's a Y2K Account manager for IBM, working for a large int'l outfit, US based on West Coast. He plans on leaving the country with his family of 6 (nov. timeframe). He says some of his 'Big City' co-horts have pooled together and bought land in Tx that has free flowing natural gas. I've been in the SW buis for 20+ years and I see and hear great apathy among current and past co-workers. No stats however.....

-- BH (, October 13, 1999.


At first, most programmers that I know were like me; they thought Y2K was under control. Then they actually started doing research instead of just reading press releases and they 'got it' *very* quickly. All of them (that have done the research) are preparing to one degree or another.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), October 13, 1999.


Not very many people want to cross the cerebral line between thinking about a possible horrible event and actually believing it can happen. I think they close their minds before belief has a chance to scare the dickens out of them.

Lack of belief works out to minimal action.

It's simply the difference between thought and belief.

For instance, someone who thinks that y2k could be a serious problem, but hasn't begun to believe the possibility of dire water shortages, might buy some bottled water during a trip to the supermarket. He has not faced the fear.

But, someone who believes that y2k could be a serious problem and also believes the possibility of dire water shortages, might buy a fifty-five gallon water storage barrel.

The difference is that the one has seen the fearful situation and shunned the thoughts of the consequencies. And the other has seen the fearful situation and allowed his thoughts to work through the fear and to understand and actually accept and believe that it could happen. He has faced the fear.

It's the difference between thought and belief.


-- no talking please (, October 13, 1999.

no talking please,

Very well put.

-- R (, October 13, 1999.

It is the nature of human beings to conform to their social context. When I behave differently than the group, I feel a need to explain. If I were dressed in jeans and sweat shirt at a semi-formal cocktail party, I would feel a need too explain why. Other people at the party, (particularly friends,) may feel a need to question why I am dressed like that then "make excuses." There is enormous social pressure to conform to the parameters of "normal" behavior. Those who do not are considered nonconformists, eccentrics, "deviants," etc.

Change in behavior of a group can be made "top down" through the pecking order by leadership, or from other points in the rank by individual or sub-group change that reaches "critical mass" rendering the behavior acceptable as normal. This is how a bank run works, or fashions or popularity of new singers, etc.

It is obvious that the top down approach has been severely constrained. Therefore, change has to come from "critical mass" of cumulative changed indivudual behaviors that become visible and more common. If enough people start carting 55 gal drums around in their cars so they are visible and commonplace, more people will buy them, instead of the water jug. E.g. we are motivated less by our heads and more by our need to belong socially. JMHO

-- marsh (, October 13, 1999.

I think 'no talking's spectrum needs to be extended a bit. At one end, we have the vast majority who really haven't given y2k any thought to speak of. As another thread points out, these people are tired of hearing about it, yet haven't really looked at it.

In the middle are people who have given y2k some real consideration, and understood the real threat it represents. At the least, these people are braced for problems, and many have taken preparation steps beyond (often far beyond) their normal procedures. These are the people who believe in insurance, and see the need for it. These are the thoughtful people.

And at the other end, we have the True Believers. This group is characterized by their determination to force ALL y2k information to fit their extreme beliefs, and do so by systematically misinterpreting carefully selected information. They have also prepared, and are well positioned for whatever might go wrong.

-- Flint (, October 13, 1999.

One of my freinds in Colorado is a geek of some note. She informed over the phone me that she was associated with a fairly large group of fellow geeks who all went in together and bought a large tract of land with water on it in the southern part of the state. From what she said, most of her geek friends are preparing for the sky to fall in. She herself just moved to a little isolated community in Washington State. I'm in southwest Florida and our local geeks don't seem to care at all, in fact the whole populace seems to be asleep.

Reminds me of the old one-liner: "Before I came to Florida I was a brain surgeon, but I had to change my profession because down here I couldn't find any work."

-- Elskon (, October 13, 1999.


What position does your friend hold and at what company? I am interested if determining whether Engineers in different disciplines/industries are preparing at specific rates. The High Tech community in DFW and Austin tend to be not in the preparation mode, from the I.E.E.E luncheon meetings thatI have attended. Regards,

-- tom sherrefield (, October 13, 1999.


I believe that most of my fellow geotechnical and enviromental engineers at my company are NOT prepping for Y2K. I think that this is for a few reasons. The first is that the construction market is currently booming, and we're short staff on many projects; so there is just that much less personal time left for preps. The second is the belief in things won't ever get that bad...the authorities, business leaders, TPTB, etc. would be able solve any problems that come up in a short period of time. The third is the belief that the economy has alot of built-in redundancy. The fourth reason is that I get ridiculed if I mention that some degree of preparation for Y2K is prudent.

-- Bryan (, October 13, 1999.

As has been noted many times previously, whenever someone comes to the realization that Y2K-related problems may indeed have a serious impact on them, they're likely to go through the whole Kubler-Ross "Grief Cycle": shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance and action. This is a very painful process.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 13, 1999.

Mac, we have all had time to go through the grief cycle, those who are just now getting it or soon to get it whether they like it or not, won't have time to go through the grief cycle. They will be the ones to cause the panic, that's what their grief will be all about. The panic will be painful no doubt about that.

-- bardou (, October 13, 1999.


Most people have not even entered the Grief Cycle at all yet! We will see a society go to action without the other steps that we all have struggled through, not to mention the further grief from significant others. PANIC it's called. We won't need a 10 to see it. People aren't yet focused on the new year. It will be very noticable when the wave starts.

-- PJC (, October 13, 1999.


I like that analysis.

Separately, I would suggest an ammendment to Flint's final paragraph as follows:

And at the other end, we have two groups of True Believers. These groups are characterized by their determination to force ALL y2k information to fit their extreme beliefs, and do so by systematically misinterpreting carefully selected information. Those in one of these groups have also prepared, and are well positioned for whatever might go wrong. Those in the other of these groups display a penchant for insulting those who express concern about, not to mention inclination to prepare for, potential Y2K problems.


-- Jerry B (, October 14, 1999.

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