Remember Y2K!?

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GR8TFUL's picture
GR8TFUL
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Remember Y2K!?

Let me first admit that I am very new to this website. However, I am not new to being concerned about the U.S. economy, as I'm a fan of Jim Rogers, and he, like Chris, has been predicting troubles for the U.S. economy & dollar for quite some time now.

At any rate, I have spent many hours over the last few days reading posts in the various forums & watching the entire "Crash Course". (Thanks Chris--great job!) In doing so, I have to admit to having felt more than a bit of "deja vu", mostly when reading various posts in the forum section.

I seem to remember posts like this back in 1999, when so many people were freaking out about Y2K & the impending "end of civilization as we know it". In fact, I wonder if some of you here at this site were not the same people that were on Gary North's website (and others) back in '99 warning everyone about impending armageddon, advising anyone who would listen to stock up on rice, guns & ammo! Tell the truth--how many of you stocked up on freeze dried food, ammo, & batteries in 1999? Did 'ya feel a little foolish come January 1st? I did! ;-)
Listen, I'm not suggesting that this economic crisis isn't serious stuff--obviously it is. More concerning still are Chris's graphs of peak oil, population growth, etc.. That said, I think some of you need to take a breath, drink a beer, and relax--the world is not ending!
History clearly shows that civilizations & empires come & go--the Egyptian, Roman, & British Empires (to name a few) are no more, but those places & people still exist. It's sad to say, but America's best days are behind her, & the next century almost certainly belongs to China. But life here in this land will go on! And if day-to-day life get's better somewhere else, well, you're not a tree--get up & move! Either way, babies will be born, children will go to school, lovers will get married, & old people will die. And as always, there will be plenty of love & laughter, tears & tragedy along the way. But life will go on.
That said, the one thing that no one seems to be taking into account here is the X-factor of human ingenuity. I don't know what form it will take, but humans are infinitely creative (especially when their survival depends upon it &/or when there's a lot of money to be made!), so be it solar, geothermic, oceanic, or nuclear-based, I imagine someone somewhere will come up with something to ensure that our collective lights stay on.
In the meantime, do what you can with what you've got, and by all means, if you're able, buy some gold! But remember what Bob taught & sang--"don't worry, 'bout a thing, cause every little thing gonna' be alright". But if your "trust" is wrapped up in your "stuff", then let me gently suggests that you've got more pressing problems than you realize . . .
Best to all . .
DD
ds's picture
ds
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Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 43
Re: Remember Y2K!?

I could not agree more! I am also new to this site and I find all the talk about impending armageddon to be unrealistic. It is not going to play out like that. (Y2K is a perfect example.)

There is great info here. I am aware of the dangers. I did stock up on rice and I do recognize that the global financial system nearly collapsed. I do recognize the world fundamentally changed right before my eyes. But I also recognize that the US will largely continue on as GR8TFUL described above.

I am able to, but I choose not to, buy gold because that is a market being driven largely by fear right now. It seems to have every characteristic of another bubble.

The environmental crises are more serious in almost all ways than the financial crisis, and the great thing about this financial crisis is that it might do more to slow down global warming than anything else we could have gotten enacted any time soon.
 (Purely a guess on my part.)

I said in another post that many of the views here are far more extreme than those of Dr. Doom (Roubini). I think Roubini has more facts and a better track record than those who think this will be the complete end of life as we know it. Changes, yes. Hard times, yes. Opportunity for change - yes!

Emerging with something better (a better quality of life) on the other side of this is certainly possible if enough of us have a vision of the possibilities.

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
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Posts: 537
Re: Remember Y2K!?
[quote=GR8TFUL]
I seem to remember posts like this back in 1999, when so many people were freaking out about Y2K & the impending "end of civilization as we know it". In fact, I wonder if some of you here at this site were not the same people that were on Gary North's website (and others) back in '99 warning everyone about impending armageddon, advising anyone who would listen to stock up on rice, guns & ammo! Tell the truth--how many of you stocked up on freeze dried food, ammo, & batteries in 1999? Did 'ya feel a little foolish come January 1st? I did! ;-)

[/quote]

 

 Subtle difference between then and now.....

Then

It was a clearly recoginsed specific risk, and in the lead up a LOT of effort went into checking over the code.

I remember news items about programmers being pulled out of retirement  to check over code they wrote years prior.

So either there was no problem or they fixed all the code.

 

Now. 

Politicians acting as if there is a limitless supply of oil ( well in simple terms .... ) and still trying to make the economy grow. No long term plans for peak oil being talked about publicly ( if at all ) by politicans.

The time to make the SIGNIFICANT changes to keep society going on an ever decreasing suply of fossil fuels is not short.

 

Hamish

Kjalnot's picture
Kjalnot
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Re: Remember Y2K!?

 

Don't get you information about the world form MSM. We invested 500billion to make sure we were safe, and we succeded. If anything this is an example of men facing a crisis in a rational matter, not of men being scared of shadows.

 

Since the long awaited rollover into the worlds third millennium, no major disasters appear to have resulted from the dreaded Y2K bug.  Approximately US$500 billion was invested by companies and governments around the world to ensure the safety of our highly technological social infrastructure.  It seems that the majority of known problems were sufficiently fixed by computer programmers and technicians who deserve a wholehearted congratulations on a job well done.

The huge success of the eradication of Y2K problems came at a large price.  Australia spent approximately A$12 billion that averaged out to about A$500 per person.  The United States of America spent approximately US$100 billion over a five-year period.  This averaged out to about US$365 per person.  With a global cost of approximately US$500 billion success was certainly expensive, but imagine the costs that would have resulted from malfunctions if this money had been spent elsewhere.

The critical systems were fixed, however a lot of smaller less important problems occurred throughout the world.  Some of these may sound important but they were apparently fixed with little effort:

1. Automatic fault detection programs in the French military ground stations that are linked by satellites.
2. Operators in a nuclear power plant in Japan were not able to determine the position of control rods.
3. Radiation monitors in Hokuriku Electric Co's nuclear power plant were effected.
4. Japans largest cellular phone operator NTT Mobile Communications Network reported problems with message banks on users phones.
5. Wind-shear altert systems failed at airports in Tampa, Denver, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago and St. Louis.
6. Two Internet sites dedicated to giving accurate time were effected.  Jan 1 19100 was given on www.swissinfo.net and 100-01-01 was displayed at www.businesswindow.com
7. Workers at a nuclear power plant in Arkansas were denied entry through automatic doors because of malfunctioning radiation monitoring units.
8. A federal building in Omaha was left wide open after a security access system had malfunctioned and locked the doors open.
9. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was forced to stop the licensing of businesses that sell guns because of software problems.  This could also affect the FBI because they use the same system to verify licensed gun dealers.
 

and so on.

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DavidLachman
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Re: Remember Y2K!?

Well, it would be nice to think that human ingenuity can fix all our problems.  Certainly when the problem isn't running out of cheap energy and the basic feed stock of the chemical industry--ie OIL and NATURAL GAS--human ingenuity has done well.  Unfortunately, we've just spent 100 years of human ingenuity creating a society and a planet of 6 billion people that relies on cheap oil.  This seems like a problems several orders of magnitude greater than Y2K, and its not like we've done a great job creating a perfect world with cheap oil, it is a system that doesn't work well in many ways, like fairness, environmental protection, justice, etc.  To add, on top of the peak oil problem, the problems of an economic system and a currency system that require growth just to function, seems to really put us over the top if we don't prepare.  We rely on cheap oil to keep everything else cheap and available in a world of dwindling resources and long distances between manufacture and market.  We rely on the economy and currency to work to keep critical systems functioning.  As the events of the last few weeks make all too evident, we are dangerously close to the edge and we are not prepared and not preparing for the transistion that the limits of the physical world are demanding.  As much as we think money and ingenuity can solve our problems, if we don't give them time to work the problem they can't come through for us, and problems as fundemental and pervasive and massive as the ones we face are going to take time to solve and will take time to implement, and time to embrace.  I worry we may have waited too long, are too committed to making the world work the same way it has, and don't yet grasp the depth of the problem.

Davos's picture
Davos
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Posts: 3620
Re: Remember Y2K!?

You can always go to an Astrodome and let Fema take care of you.

 No one should go overboard but no one should rely on Fema to provide for them - unless they want to share a bathroom with 1,0000 other people and find out their wife got raped under a stairway. 

Just like today, our government can only do so much for us, especially when we don't want to pay more in taxes.

 I agree, the world isn't ending but I also advocate always being prepared so you don't have to burden an overworked system that doesnt work all to well. 

GR8TFUL's picture
GR8TFUL
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ds's picture
ds
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Posts: 43
Re: Remember Y2K!?

In the short term we know that market prices overshoot. Fear and greed drive this. The same emotions drive news reports as well as expert predictions.

There are two camps:

1. over reaction: "overwhelming rush to describe where we're going in the worst possible terms" 

2. head in the sand: "a quick look at history shows that ... not much really changes."

Both views are wrong and both suffer the same flaw - linear thinking. The over reactive approach draws a straight line from recent crises straight to doom. (Can happen on the upside too.) The complacent approach finds a medium term trend and draws another straight line. Rarely do you find people like Chris who look at much larger trends and who understand that nature is non-linear.

Often the reactiionary approach leads one to conclude society as we know it is going to end almost right away. The complacent approach leads one to conclude that everything will always be OK. The truth, especially now, is in the middle. Things are not going to be OK if we continue on the current path, but those dangers and disasters will manifest periodically over many decades and there will be periods of calm in between.

The trends we are following on this site will play out unless something is done to change them. I do agree that we are facing serious dangers. But they will play out over a much longer time than a lot of people here seem to think. After the worst of this financial crisis passes, people will adjust and life will carry on. The danger is that people will forget about the path (the trend); therefore, after a period of time, the next crisis will follow -- about the time people begin to think everything is great again.

This was the post script to an email I received a couple days ago:

P.S. Buried in the media tsunami of dire economic news has been a series of stunningly positive reports about the reduced tensions and violence in nuclear hotspots—and the dramatic turnaround in America’s relationships with once hostile nations. For example, North Korea, described a short while ago by the U.S. as a member of the “Axis of Evil,” is now forging friendlier ties with America and has been removed from our government’s list of state-sponsored terrorists. At the same time, violence and war deaths have dropped sharply in Iraq and there has been a palpable diffusion of tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Finally, on the domestic front, as the grueling presidential campaign draws to a close, negative campaigning—which dominated the news as recently as a week ago—is now being soundly rejected by voters, who instead are demanding from the candidates a positive, more enlightened vision of the nation’s future along with a more substantive (and proven, prevention-oriented) approach to the nation’s pressing problems.

[A sage] said it was inevitable that the world would rise to invincibility. The only question was how long it would take. That choice has been left up to us. We can make this current phase transition as fast and as smooth as possible for everyone—by [taking action that raises world consciousness].

In my opinion, the action we should take is:

1.  raise our own state of consciousness through techniques known in mind-body medicine that have been proven to create coherent rhythms in the heart and brain while reducing the over dominance of the sympathetic nervous system. I use (and teach) Serene Impulse and this is the method I recommend. However, any well regarded program of "inner fitness" that produces real physiological changes in the body and mind is beneficial. We can't change the trend of the world until we change the trends of our thinking.

2. cultivate positive thoughts and emotions. Check out Byron Katie's Work, for example.

3. understand the ego.  I highly recommend Eckhart Tolle's recent books for great insights into how we are often totally controlled by a pathological ego.The financial crisis we are seeing now has its roots  in the pathological ego (because this is where irrational fear and greed come from).

Abundance consciousness works. The law of attraction works. If we want a really healthy happy living situation for ourselves in the future, it would help if we don't get sucked 100% into the negativity.It is enough to recognize the danger and adjust your actions accordingly. There is no need to continually stay in fear mode.

Isis's picture
Isis
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Posts: 8
Re: Remember Y2K!?

Rememer the "Great Depression", the Halocaust, WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mao's "Great Leap Forward", or the Vietnam War?  How about Pol Pot, Iran Contra, Bangladesh, the US Savings & Loan debacle, Uganda under Idid Amin Dada, Japan's economic "lost decade", Argentina's economic collapse, Rwanda massacres, ad naseum.

Yes, life goes on.  As does death by war, starvation, disease.  And in many places on this planet, so does grinding poverty and oppression day in and day out.

But since Y2K didn't cost but some billions to mitigate we should close our eyes to any bad news that might upset our rose colored paradigm.   "Someone" will come up with "some" solution.  Don't worry, be happy.

Even as unemployment explodes, people nearing retirement watch half their net worth evaporate along with the tuition for higher education of the next generation.   But life goes on.

Guess all those people in the third world going without food tonight just need to be taught how to think positive thoughts and attract "abundance" to themselves (rather than letting those in the industrialized world keep attracting their abundance from them?).  How much "abundance" is there in a finite world?

Denial is not a river in Egypt.  Things that can't go on forever don't.  Easy to believe otherwise when you live in the heart of the Empire and have your every whim indulged.

Oh, my.  Sorry for such sarcasm.

Everyone clap their hands now for tinkerbell....  good.... louder... there, her light is already shining brighter....

 

 

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