Friday, January 10, 2020

y2k anniversary

Commander Zero had an article on the Twentieth Year Anniversary Of Y2K, which I hadn't even thought of at all. I was just focused on the end of 2019, amazed and awed that we actually made it to the next year without a major crash. Of course, I say that every time I thought we surely simply HAD to collapse this time. Which is really what this article is about. How easy it is for me to continually panic, nothing happens, and I wait a decade before panicking again. Do I ever learn? NAH! What, are you smoking dope?
Remember, I'm a rather high strung individual, and have been most of my life. I live inside my head too much. Not that this is a bad thing, as it aids my creativity and “art” ( not that my writing is artistic, just that it is part of that career field ). I don't look at myself as a writer half crazed by the voices screaming to be released upon the page. I look at the rest of you and feel sorry you don't share that affliction. It's just passion, nothing to see a doctor about. And how else could I rant nonstop?
I'm going to get a bit more carried away than your average Joe, as a result of the above. I don't take that to mean I'm wrong and need to learn any lesson, but rather that everyone else should be MORE emotional and passionate. You could call it fear, I suppose, although if I was afraid of the future, constantly, you would think I'd have already eaten a bullet. Fear is just shorthand. I'm only afraid I haven't prepared enough. Which also seems silly, as I know I'll die soon as Spicy Times roll. Even I am unsure why I'm just prepping to supply a random stranger who shoots me first.
I look at Y2K a bit differently than most. To me, it was the time of awakening from my dumb ass slumber. Up to that time, I was a prepper, not a survivalist. I don't believe we had that term yet, just as “survivalist” went through a few false starts being titled. I believe “retreater” was the father of “survivalist”. I think the simplest descriptive would be that a prepper believes in the cavalry coming, of being saved, while the survivalist knows he is on his own forevermore.
I was following the advice of My Boy Kurt Saxon. He thought a return to 19th century technology would save civilization. All the doomers prior to that followed the standard Cold War faith in the “recovery” being when the nuclear fallout was down to safe levels. That was more of a survivalist belief, because you cannot recover from global thermonuclear war. Nuclear Winter was real, back then ( we could debate its accuracy-I think it was a legitimate worry ). Yet, there was more of a “prepper” thought process that recovery was guaranteed.
We would just recover with a much smaller population base, and a more “alternate/appropriate” technology. This is of course wrong, but I didn't realize it at the time. Then, of course, there was that bastard Dave Duffy. I'm being harsh. He did good things and walked his talk. Unfortunately, the man was an incurable optimist ( not that I'm reminded of any of my readers, cough, cough ) and that really polluted the movement that only had the equally optimistic ( but ONLY if you had super ninja Yuppie Scum gear ) American Survival Guide as a counter.
Hell, ASG was a walking advertisement for blindly optimistic. Their view was the properly equipped would naturally, without effort, be one eyed kings in the valley's of the blind. They never dared discuss what would happen when all the Industrial Age/Oil Age supplies dried up. And Rawles, well, he was POST-Y2K, but he is of the “recovery” paradigm anyway. Nothing new to see there, move along. Sure, he painted a more fundamentalist shade on the old wisdom, but it was still the same bird with different feathers. Everyone, without fail, preached good old 'Murican Ingenuity recovery. The BS and hubris was eyeball deep.
Now, I want to sing the praises of Gary North. I was a fan of the man a dozen years prior to Y2K, even subscribing to his mailed economic newsletter for a time when I was flush. He wasn't a One Answer Man like a lot of gold bugs. He had a rounded education. For the time, his subscription price was insane, and yet I never felt I was being ripped off. How can I recommend him higher than that, being the tight wad I am? Most folks call him a fear monger for his work prior to Y2K, but I don't see it as that.
He performed a public service, at no charge, at a cost to himself, by linking you to the world of the Y2K writers, at a time when the Internet was new and this was no easy feat. Talk about getting crapped on for a good deed. I waded through all this, hours a day, for a very long time. I devoted more time to it than I eventual would Peak Oil ( I think. Looking back, at least it seems like it ). And I eventually learned that civilization is much more fragile than I or the “prepper” writers would lead you to believe.
If it had just been one author I read claiming this, I would have of course dismissed it. But this was NOT the default setting of all the articles. The focus was on WHY everything was so fragile. I don't remember a sense of post-crash doom as much as it was a fixable problem. See, before, whatever was going to happen, nuclear war or King Klinton dictatorship, it was just assumed you only needed to prepare for a down period, and then all would be well. Y2K never talked of recovery, only prevention. It didn't take long before I was filling in the blanks myself, understanding if the system went, that was it, goodnight Irene.
If the Y2K writers had tried to “lead me to water”, as in told me we were all going to die, I would have ignored them, being distrustful of everyone by then. But by letting me figure it out myself, I became convinced ( keep in mind, these are twenty year old memories. And you know how faulty those can be. I'm PRETTY sure this is how my thought process went, as I'm deconstructing how this was the change in my world view ). This was when I realized calamities on these scales were not going to see a recovery.
You understand why this is significant, I hope. If there is a recovery, you needn't worry overly much about the coming disaster. Peak Oil? Not a problem! We'll Frack Forever. Communist dictatorship? Meh, Trump will take care of it. But if you view the system as fragile and recovery impossible, you do not so easily dismiss the danger of running low on oil or having Blue Bellies hijack the elections. So, while I'm easily frightened about each new impending disaster ( Y2K, Housing Bubble, Everything Bubble ), it isn't because of that specific event. It is because of the underlying fragility of our systems. The upcoming disasters are just what is going to be the straw on the camels back.
( .Y. )
( today's related Amazon link click HERE )
note: I want to thank "Wait, But Why" ( HERE ) for quoting from this poem I had no idea existed.  "The gentle downward slope gets steeper and imperceptibly becomes an abyss" by Thomas Transtromer.  Sounds a bit like my "waterfall collapse", right?  
note: yes, I understand Wikipedia is "Moscow On The Pacific".  But an off-line Wiki seems rather a practical thing to have.  And, no, I wouldn't do it exactly as this article spells out ( it seems you might be able to break it up on to USB sticks rather than have one expensive tablet, but I'm just spitballing ).  The how-to is HERE 
note: a hearty thank you to H.C. for the generous PayPal donation.
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  1. Looks like the download wiki article is 3+ years old so that 56gb download size may not be accurate. I decided to give it a try. I have a 256gb kingston USB stick sitting there doing nothing so I will use that for the download. Then I can put it in my desktop, notebook, or tablet, or phone and see how it works.

    If the kiwi app will download the entire wikipedia then it should also be able to download any other website too, no? Like maybe the library of congress? Or the smithsonian? Or bisonville?

    BTW, you can get Seagate 2tb external 2.5" hard drives on amazon for about $50. I have 2 of them and keep everything doubly backed up around here. The heartbreak of hard drive loss can be devastating. In a moment of retardation a year ago I managed to lose 300gb of graphic files that I had been collecting since the early 90's. Personal family photo's that had been scanned, old army pix, pets, etc., etc. All gone, with a simple mouse click. I'll never get over that one. A powerful learning experience, too late.

    1. Sometimes I miss my paper newsletters, all going goodbye in my Mac. I think my default setting is dumbass until I learn the lesson the hard way. Luckily, I don't get too attached to pictures. Far too many trashed or burned or left behind in divorces. And if it's one thing I'm skilled at, its divorces.

    2. Computers are good for one thing: losing stuff. If it's valuable at all, print it out and put it in a box. I like the idea of loading stuff up to the "cloud" in case an artillery shell finds my position, but I still feel that paper copies, kept in 2-3 different positions, are best. (The "cloud" idea only gets my attention because it's cheap as free.)

      I think in terms of artillery shells, being for the most part of course figurative ones not literal ones. The effect's the same though. Booom! You lose everything at that location.

    3. Like moving three times equals one fire :)

  2. The Minionite that is a devoted accolyte to the "fundamentalist suvivalist church", does his preparing in spite of y2k or any termed incident/event. He is going about his gear hording as that is what his belief systems dictate from his Lizard brain. The Apex Predator dna, even a little bit left in one will trigger a physch type of drive for surviving as a default focus. The prepping gearing up and digging in behavior is thus animal instinctive traits. Natural as farting.

    I just carry over Zombie appocalypse training and gear preps for application in shopping excursions, as it really is not too far different in many regards. I try to hover in the DEFCON 4 status regularly as it is easily then one more notch in my dial to get to launch time.

    Keep at it, as nobody is out of the woods yet.

  3. re:
    brain re-wire

    In the mid-1970s, I owned the workbook THINK LIKE A TYCOON by Bill 'Tycoon' Greene.
    Each chapter was a series of thought exercises designed to challenge my beliefs.
    He starts with:
    Imagine you received a gift of ten dollars.
    What would you do with it?
    Pay down a credit card?
    Go out to a restaurant?
    Buy a gift for a friend?

    Imagine you received a hundred dollars.
    Would you splurge on a Vegas weekend?
    Would you buy a new television set?
    A new hair-do?
    Put it in the bank for a rainy day?

    Imagine you received a million dollars.
    Would you invest in treasury bills?
    Give it to a banker to invest in a CD?
    Go for a cruise around the world?
    Donate to end world hunger?

    Later chapters return to this theme.
    And they usually start with "Whatever you said, you're a dummy!"
    A dummy blows his wad on short-term pleasures.
    A dummy loans his money to bankers.
    A dummy believes charities are designed to benefit the children in the photographs.

    In 2020, a dummy mingles in crowds.
    A dummy allows petroleum-based chemicals to touch his skin.
    A dummy has a passel o' youngins to support on minimum wage... and it'll always be minimum wage because you are a dummy.

    My all-time favorite:
    A dummy doesn't realize magnetic north is shifting toward Siberia.
    Is this a lesson for meta-physicians?

    Your obsession with scribbling is entertaining and realistic.


    YouTuber Will Prowse discusses all things solar and batteries.
    Solar With Will Prowse is well-established and popular.
    During yesterday's episode, he announced his YouTube earnings and Amazon commissions and his earnings from his books on his linked web-site.
    The totals look like a consistent hundred grand a month.

    What am I a dummy about?

    1. Wait for him to sell a book about earning $100k a month. Then, don't be a dummy and buy it.

    2. I like John T. Reed's real estate guru page. He has a whole sub-page dedicated to Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad Poor Dad guy. Most of the gurus are hucksters but Reed also points out the few honest ones.

    3. I bought some of Saxon's stuff back in the 90s. His books on 1930s technology were interesting. Saxon got a real wake-up call when he broke his leg or something and American society er, "society" working the way it does, Saxon's friends all abandoned him and his new social milieu was people on welfare etc. He started looking at how one might get out of just getting welfare for life, and hit upon making arts and crafts and things to sell, and found plenty of non-copyrighted stuff from the 1930s and reprinted it. Most of it involved having access to tool that no one poor really has, but the general mindset I think had a good effect on me.

    4. Kurt, for me, was all about frugal prepping. The only one who did it.

    5. He HAD to be frugal. He was disabled until he either got better or died, in good American White Culture style his friends and family all left him in the lurch, so his viewpoint became "What can an individual do to survive, under the conditions that they have next to no money, and must do it all on their own?" - Because he was there.

  4. good ole PMJB,still have a copy somewhere,brings back memories of the plumbers kitchen & various others of the era.there were some good connections in kurts book if i remember rightly,all gone now. twas a fun coffee table book since it was too damn big to go anywhere else.started a lot of conversations back in the day,just about everything in that book has since been banned.the good ole days CHEERS DAN

  5. When I was a young E-4 in the Air Force I was TDY to the pentagon. It was during the whole Iran-contra time and Ollie North was being made the fall guy. I was in the cafeteria and saw Lt. Col North sitting at a table alone. He was being treated like a leper. I approached his table with my tray in hand. I requested permission to dine with him. Mind you a junior enlisted Airman asking to eat with a Marine officer.

    He looked at me and kind of smiled and asked me if I wanted to be seen eating with him. I told him he had alot of supporters and it would be an honor. He told me to have a seat. We chatted for about 45 minutes, and got alot of funny looks but it was a great experience. We didn't get into the political crap surrounding him but I reassured him many thought he was getting screwed unfairly. He mostly spoke of my career aspirations but I think he genuinely enjoyed the company and respect i paid him that day. I caught some flack from my boss afterwords and basically asked him what he wanted to do about it and it was dropped.

    Off topic but since you mentioned him had to share.One of my best memories.

    1. Sorry, no. Gary North the economist. Still a great story, and now I know what is wrong with you ( cough, wingnut, cough ). Kidding! Nice bunch of guys in the Air Force. Never had any empty macho BS or such from your people. The chest beater types went over to another branch. Had two of them over in Korea, and they pretty much stuck together. We all thought they belonged back over in the Air Force, as they were trying too hard. I'm sure the officers loved them to pieces.

    2. I got confused. Alcohol may have been involved.

    3. I'm always confused, and I don't drink anymore. I hope the minions appreciate my sacrifice. I could be peacefully dead already, from organ failure or drunken marriage to a stripper with AIDS.