Time is running out. If you haven't fixed the computer, the toaster
and the VCR, stocked up with water, toilet paper and ammunition, updated
your will, mortgage and insurance and spayed the cat you may be looking
forward to a bleak 2000. Of course, if you have done all these and
nothing happens you might be annoyed (but not as annoyed as the cat will
be). This month, we looked at how bad things are going to be. In January
2000, we will look back and laugh. Maybe.
There was such a depth and breadth of both idiocy and opportunism
about the Y2K problem that future historians will have trouble analysing
the times without thinking that everyone was mad. In 1841, Charles
MacKay wrote in the book "Extraordinary
Popular delusions and the Madness of Crowds" about the panic at
the end of the tenth century and said "A panic terror seized
upon the weak, the credulous, and the guilty, who in those days formed
more than nineteen-twentieths of the population." Not much has
changed in the last thousand years.
Minorities added 30 November
Why should majorities have all the fun and danger. This week I have
found some Y2K sites which are specially targeted at minority groups and
their special needs. I would have thought that when the end comes it
will come for all of us at once.
For Women - Karen Anderson
Around my place, the women are more ready than I am. That's
because they control the money supply, the car, the VCR, the microwave
oven and the travel arrangements. The things I am responsible for
(gardening, fishing, killing spiders) still use the technology of Y1K.
I am pleased to see that at least one of the millions of Y2K web sites
addresses the particular needs of women. Australians have a saying:
"She'll be right, mate". This site will make sure she is.
2000 and the African American Community
The strange thing about this site is that it doesn't actually
tell us any thing about what the title says. There appears to be
nothing that relates to African Americans in any special way, or even
in any way at all other than what is going to happen to everyone. This
site isn't really nutty like some of the others here and the advice on
it seems to be reasonable. I just can't see what it has to do with
Like the end of the millennium, it's gone.
Food Insects Newsletter
I don't know if this represents a true minority, at least not one in
the political sense. I just like to think that there aren't that many
people out there who want to eat insects. If there are, I hope they
are vigorously persecuted and discriminated against. Where were these
people when the Millennium Bugs were first talked about? Why weren't
they eating them then and saving us from all this trouble?
"Waiter, there's a fly in my soup." "Yes, sir. It's fly
Y2K - The Big Guns added 24
Something different this week - three for the price of one. It's hard to
move around the Y2K maze on the 'net (or even in the real world) without
coming across Gary North, Peter de Jager and Ed Yardeni. Each has his
own slant on how and why the world is going to end
How anyone ever took this reconstructionalist religious archloon
seriously is beyond me. He believes that all the computers are going
to fail as God's way of destroying society. He has said "Call me
a dreamer. Call me an optimist. ... This will decentralize the social
order. That is what I have wanted all of my adult life. In my view,
y2k is our deliverance." Some people are pessimistic about Y2K
because they think things might go badly - North is an optimist
because he knows things will go badly. To avoid having to
recant when nothing happens he is predicting a long period of
I heard Peter de Jager speak once and he said that time had
run out and everything was going to go wrong and come 1/1/00 he
wouldn't like to be in a plane, elevator, car with electronic
ignition, or even a coracle because it rhymed with a software product.
(I made up the bit about the coracle.) Billions of lines of program
code could not be fixed and billions of embedded processors could not
be located. I assume he then collected his speaking fee. You can now
read how everything
is going to be alright and isn't it lucky we listened to him.
Early in 2000, the domain "year2000.com" was offered
for sale on eBay. There was a hot rumour that Peter de Jager had
been offered $10 million for it, and we all said "He won
after all". Sadly for PdJ, the bid was a fake. What will he
do now? PB October 2000.
Dr Yardeni is an economist and probably possesses all of
the predictive skills associated with members of that profession. He
has been telling us that Y2K is going to be 1929 all over again,
except worse (we can't even open the windows to defenestrate ourselves
because our buildings all have air conditioning, which will fail
anyway). He now says "I am no longer an alarmist about Y2K. I am
just a skeptic now. There is no point in sounding the alarm any more
with less than 90 days left to the century date change." You can
now read how there is now
only a 40% chance of financial system meltdown and isn't it lucky we
listened to him.
It seems that Dr Yardeni has removed all mention of Y2K from his
web site except for a 1997 piece where he noticed it was coming.
Was this done because there is no problem now or because he
doesn't want to be reminded of his predictions?
PB 28 May 2000
A couple of years later, and all is forgiven.
Or is that
forgotten? No mention of Y2K at all now.
PB 5 November 2002
The Y2K Survival Site - Joseph Foreman added 16
This person doesn't know what is going to happen, and believes that
trying to predict the future is blasphemy because the Bible says you
can't know when the end is going to come. He then goes on to say that
you should be prepared, be really prepared for the coming cataclysm.
Then he says that he doesn't want to be like Gary North who reckons the
world is going to end because the Bible says it will and the computers
are how it's going to happen. Then he tells us how bad the computer
problem is going to be and how this will make the Bible prophecies come
true, except that you can't predict when the prophecies are going to
come true because you just can't do that because it would be
second-guessing God and so be a sort of blasphemy. But you should be
prepared for when there is no power in January 2000. Then he quotes Gary
North again. And why is he suddenly talking about abortion?
Are you confused? I prefer my Y2K prophets to either tell me we are
all going to hell in the dark or that nothing is going to happen at all.
This person would want to bet on both sides in a football match to make
sure he backed a winner, except he would argue with himself until the
game was over and it was too late to bet. And I still can't figure out
why he thinks that "6 foot x 6 foot pictures of dead babies"
is a useful analogy when talking about Y2K scenarios.
The clock ticked on after 31 December 1999. This site did not. PB
Loon of the Month
|The Loon of the Month
awards goes to Jace Crouch and Mike Echlin because they epitomised
the peculiar madness of the computer industry. A couple of ancient
computers of a kind no longer used show some signs of their age,
and this could cause panic that everything is going to crash and
burn around us. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
and Date Instabilities in the Year 2000 - Jace Crouch and Mike
Echlin added 9 November 1999
Ignoring the experience of hundreds of millions of personal
computer users, Jace and Mike have observed for the first time
that sometimes you don't always get what you want when you turn
your computer on. Unlike all other machines and appliances which
work perfectly all the time, some computers have intermittent
faults. Sometimes these faults are in the computer's clock. Next
year is 2000. Therefore, intermittent clock failures must be
caused by the electronics distorting time. They have even seen 286
and 386 computers with faulty communication and printer ports!
Heavens! Twelve-year-old computers with occasional faults! Intel
should be ashamed. (You may think the 286 is no longer relevant,
but remember that these machines can run MacOS9 just as easily as
they can run Windows 2000. Which is not at all.)
Jace and Mike call this phenomenon "The Crouch-Echlin
Effect" and say that it is caused by "Time
Dilation", which is apparently a stretching of space and/or
time. They call this "TD" for short. I suspect that
relativity is working and what we are really seeing is "Brain
Shrinkage". It certainly sounds like BS to me.
macinTOSH added 9 November 1999
Here's somehing a bit different - someone got here without even having a
web page. I felt I just had to share this cheap and quick fix for the Y2K
problem with personal computers.
Ark - Stan and Holly Deyo added 4 November 1999
I just had to put this one in because Stan and Holly have moved to
Australia. This site has the lot - newage, spiritualism, religion,
computer meltdown, conspiracy, drygoods, guns, prophecy, ... This is the
all-purpose, omnibus Y2K site and Stan predicted it all in his many
well-researched books (which, of course, you can buy from the site). There
is no excuse for not being ready for the coming catastrophe, whether it be
the collapse of world society through the fulfilment of prophecy, or the
disappearance of loved ones who are called to heaven, or not being able to
make coffee in January because your kettle is not Y2K-compliant.
and Holly have a nice page listing all the things they know about their
new home. If by some strange and unforeseen set of circumstances things
are still working next year, they will be able to turn this into a nice
resource for all the millions of tourists going to Australia for the