On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

March 16, 1999 Permalink

Back in December (?) of last year, a gentleman posted a “story”, in serial form, of life in the year 2000 into 2001. A very positive and uplifting tome it was, too. I can’t remember his name, but I’m sure someone here can refer you.

Among the more memorable aspects of his scenario was that, after rollover, everyone referred to _every_ date by its full four-digit year. This practice was to display respect for those who had died in the transition. It moved me deeply.

Ever since, I’ve tried to write, type and speak the year in full four digit format. It really makes my awareness visceral and, as a bonus, I have not misdated a check this year.

—Hallyx, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 03/16/99

The problem is that only a few folks can even think systemically and/or nonlinearly. I’ve noticed repeatedly that most folks I contact about y2k can only look at their own shop, e.g., the computers at XYZ have been made compliant, so I’m OK. I see this all the time in St. Louis Post-Dispatch articles. One piece in the P-D on Sunday said that all the inventory and checkout systems at a local grocery chain were just fine, so there will be groceries on the shelves. I could not imagine a more simplistic nor idiotic story. I can easily imagine a dozen problems that would make most groceries disappear. The US Senate’s own report says that food processing is in bad y2k shape. But the Post Dispatch keeps running happy face stories. I’m very thankful for the internet, and for all the folks who post usable information on all the bulletin boards. Those who rely on the mass media with respect to y2k are SOL IMHO.

—Les Holladay, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 03/16/99

People are always trying to come up with analogies for the Y2K problem. The Titanic is probably the one that I see most often. Hardliner came up with a pretty good airplane analogy a while back (though had to add parachutes at my request). Others: “Like a boat sailing on a beautiful day towards a deadly waterfall, not seen, but the sound getting louder and louder.”; “Like a shotgun on a room full of people that will be fired, but it is unknown whether it is loaded with birdshot or buckshot, or for that matter whether it is even loaded at all.”; etc.

My own personal favorite Germany in the early 1930s, after Hitler took complete power, and how Jews viewed the future. Now, Hiter had written his Mein Kampf a few years before, and in that book he said exactly what he would do if he ever got the chance. Now, he had the chance.

Certainly, in hindsight, the smartest thing that any individual Jew could have done in Nazi Germany would be to leave, even if at great material cost. And a few did, but of course the overwhelming majority did not.

And I suspect that the reasons for remaining in Germany were, at face value, probably reasonable. “They”, meaning the civilized world, would not allow anything like Hitler had promised actually happen -- “they” would step in through various ways (diplomacy, sanctions, etc.). Or maybe the thought was that the Jew bashing had simply been the rabble rousing that Hitler needed to get what he wanted, and having achieved this goal, they were not really in any danger. Or maybe even the thought that no one, not even Adolph Hitler, would actually do the unthinkable -- such a thing would be too much for even him to carry out.

I think that the time has come, this day in middle of March 1999, to realize the following: It was more reasonable for Jews in Nazi Germany in the early 1930s to believe that Hitler would not actually implement the “Final Solution” than it is for us today to believe that Y2K will be anything less a disaster of global proportions. I base this claim on The Usual Overwhelming Evidence: lack of any Y2K compliant anything that counts as I type these words, just empty promises that everything will somehow work out.

—Jack, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 03/16/99

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