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NHNE Special Report:
Thursday, January 13, 2000


Y2K AfterThoughts

"News,
Inspiration,
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"

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NHNE Special Report:
Y2K AfterThoughts
Thursday, January 13, 2000

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MY PREDICTIONS DID NOT COME TRUE

"I believed that Y2K would create havoc. It still might, depending on how many bugs are still in the systems, but I will not here appeal to the 'still might' argument. So, let me say without hesitation that my predictions did not come true. The events did not take place. I put up over 6,500 documents and links (where available), along with my comments, doing my best to explain my position. I did this free of charge. I sold nothing on that Web site. I invested about 3,000 hours of my time to create that site.

"In retrospect, I have doubts about my rhetorical strategy. I may have been unwise to have stated things as boldly as I did. But I felt like a man on a river's shore, frantically waving to laughing people in a boat. I had heard the roaring of what sounded to me like a waterfall, and I wanted them to pull ashore."

--- Gary North

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"ALL YOUR WARNINGS WERE A BUNCH OF BULL!'"

"I feel like the doctor whose patient has for months been fighting terminal lung cancer, with a rapidly growing and metastasizing tumor. I'm sitting at my desk looking at the latest X-rays and tests. There are no signs of cancer in either. I say to my patient, 'I don't know what to make of it, but your cancer appears to be gone.' My mind is wondering, 'Is this a miracle? Did we get a mixup of records?' The patient laughs in my face and says, 'I told you all your warnings about smoking were a bunch of bull!' -- and pulls out his cigarettes."

--- Tom Atlee

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WE NEED TO CONTINUE OUR WORK

"Many of us who have worked on Y2K saw it as the 'canary in the mine' of our other concerns -- destruction of ecosystems, runaway consumption, growing gaps between the rich and the poor, increased stress and decreased quality of life. We got through Y2K, so far. AND, many of our underlying concerns about the directions of industrial growth society remain the same. We need to continue our work to keep things from getting worse, to develop effective alternatives for people, and to evolve a whole shift in consciousness."

--- Bob Stilger

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CONTENTS:

Y2K AFTERTHOUGHTS

The Bomb That Didn't Blow Up (So Far Anyway)
Much Ado About Nothing?
Where Do We Go From Here?

EXCERPTS FROM THE Y2K AFTERTHOUGHTS WEBSITE:

The Y2K Critics Were Sharpening Their Knives
Contradicted By A Fact I Cannot Refute
We Need To Wait A Month Or Two
It's Always Easier After It Becomes History
I Was Wrong, But I Am Happy That Y2K Has Been A Nonevent
Why Aren't They Pissed Off At Their Elected Officials?
I Don't Get That Much Respect
A Form Of Respect That I Can Do Without
"You Dipshit..."
We Were Doomed To Be Viewed As Fools
The Two Y2Ks
The Most Successful Prophecy On Record
Gary North's Contribution
No Man Wants To Be Wrong For All The World To See
Let Me Make Another Prediction
I Have Lost All Respect For These Leeches
Why Bill Clinton's Y2K Mouthpiece Was Completely Ready
Looking Forward To Being Forced
It Rewarded Complacency
Now The Real Work Begins
Nothing's Changed, Except Us
Let Us Not Throw It Away
Let's Pray That We Have Learned Something
One Of The Most Remarkable Phenomena In History
Time, Money, And Credibility Well-Spent
Not Dressed In The Clothes We Thought
If I Were The Voice Of The Planet
We Must Become Part Of The System
Y2K As A Teacher
I Have Felt Embarrassed, Wrong, Doubting
Assisting In The Birth Of A New World
Our Species May Actually Continue

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Y2K AFTERTHOUGHTS
By David Sunfellow

THE BOMB THAT DIDN'T BLOW UP (SO FAR ANYWAY)

While it is still too early to know how much trouble the Y2K bug will ultimately cause, it is clear now that it won't live up to it's notorious reputation. Indeed, many of those who warned the world was headed for serious trouble (including yours truly), have now publicly admitted they were wrong: Y2K not only caused fewer problems than expected, but it seems unlikely that our global infrastructure will suffer any major outages in the near or distant future because of it.

Does this mean there weren't any problems?

If you've been gathering your information from the mass media, which has done a suspiciously poor job of reporting on Y2K failures, you would probably think NOTHING happened. That, of course, is not the case. For while nuclear missiles and power plants didn't blow up, there have, and continue to be, plenty of Y2K fireworks. I encourage you to visit the following links to find out what has been happening behind the scenes:

Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC):
http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=Grassroots%20Information%20Coordination%20Center%20(GICC)

Y2K Glitch Central:
http://www.ciaosystems.com/glitchcentral.htm

wild2k:
http://www.wild2k.com

Center for Y2K & Society: Y2K Problem Reports:
http://www.y2kcenter.org/resources/glitches/index.html

Michael Hyatt's Glitch List:
http://www.michaelhyatt.com/glitchlist.htm

International Disaster Information Network:
http://www.humanitarian.net/challenges.html

Y2K International Watch:
http://www.iol15.com/coggeshall/Y2K-International-Watch/Update.htm

Bug Bite 2000:
http://stuarthrodman.com/Bugbite.htm

 

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?

We published our first story on Y2K in June of 1996 (NHNE News Brief 18, June 28, 1996). A year later, we published our second story (NHNE News Brief 64, June 6, 1997). And, finally, in the summer of 1998, after repeatedly dismissing the problem for over two years, we stopped everything else we were doing and dove headlong into all aspects of Y2K: we published lengthy special reports, created a popular Y2K website, launched a weekly Y2K Report, began organizing our local community (and encouraging others to do the same), and helped produce the nation's one and only national grassroots community preparedness survey. I even managed to get invited to participate (via written testimony) in the U.S. Senate's Community Preparedness Hearings on Y2K.

All these efforts (and others like them) have been faithfully recorded on our Y2K-related websites:

The NHNE Y2K Report:
http://www.nhne.com/y2kreport/index.html

The Sedona Y2K Task Force:
http://www.wild2k.com/sedona/index.html

The Nation's First Y2K Grassroots Community Preparedness Survey:
http://www.nhne.com/y2kgrassrootssurvey/index.html

wild2k:
http://www.wild2k.com

The NHNE Y2K Mailing List:
http://www.onelist.com/community/nhney2k

But so what? Wasn't Y2K much ado about nothing?

Now that numerous trigger dates have come and gone without causing any serious national or global damage; and now that we are two weeks into the new millennium with only minor glitches continuing to be reported, many people are wondering what happened?

Personally, I don't know.

What I do know is that my personal expectations were wrong (Y2K has not turned out to be as bad as I expected) and I need to take another look at how, and why, I misjudged the situation. (See "NHNE Y2K VisionQuest: Part One", <http://www.nhne.com/y2kreport/specialreports/srvq1.html>, for more discussion on how my/our biases distort our perceptions.)

On the other hand, I can't shake the feeling that my time has been well spent. For while Y2K didn't cause humanity, as a whole, to reevaluate the faulty ideas and practices that are endangering our species and terrorizing our planet, it did provide the vehicle by which many of us who are concerned about such things to gather together.

I have often thought about how South Africa rounded up the opponents of apartheid and threw them in prison together. The South African government did this, of course, expecting to silence the voices that challenged the oppression in their society. What happened instead was that all these folks had a chance to compare notes, build friendships, and remerge a more potent force than ever. In the end, apartheid was abandoned and the nation of South Africa is now ruled by the people were once locked away. Perhaps Y2K has provided many of us, who are normally constrained to the outer edges of society, a chance to create a more potent force for change than would have otherwise been possible.

Y2K also unleashed another chain of unexpected events: countries, corporations, small businesses, and individuals, all over the world, pooled their knowledge and resources to cope with what was perceived to be a common threat. In many cases this meant that people who are normally competitors, enemies, or rivals, set aside their differences and focused on the common good. Indeed, while the mainstream media has been trumpeting Y2K as the greatest hoax of the century, history will probably remember it as the first time in human history where the entire planet joined together, in a spirit of true cooperation, to deal with a common concern.

Not bad for a bug that didn't do what it was expected to do. And not bad for us either, to have played a significant part in helping humankind build stronger, deeper connections.

 

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

At this point in the Y2K game, there are a lot of loose ends to tie up. We still don't know, for instance, if the Y2K bugs that remain will cause widespread, serious disruptions. We're still not sure why things went so smoothly. We also don't know how many failures have been kept a secret. Twenty years from now, will you and I be reading stories about how close our world actually came to a meltdown?

More important than wrestling with computer bugs though, it seems important to spend some time reflecting on what Y2K has meant to us while things are still fresh in our lives and memory:

What did we learn, as individuals and as a group?

What mistakes did we make?

What would we do differently if confronted with another problem like Y2K?

How have our core beliefs been affected by Y2K? Do we still trust ourselves? Our guidance? The guidance of others?

How can we use the relationships and networks we've built through Y2K to create a better world?

How does Y2K, and the other grave problems our planet presently faces, fit into the grand scheme of things? Where are we headed, in other words, and what are the roads we need to walk to get there in one piece?

To help us explore these issues, I've created a website to serve as a database for some of the best, most thought-provoking and inspiring commentaries on Y2K. I have included excerpts from some of the material on this new website with this report (see below). I think you will be impressed with the depth, breadth, and heartfelt soul-searching that is reflected in many of these excerpts.

And now I want to hear from you.

I'm expecting some of you will have things to share that you would like to have posted on the new website, while others of you will want to keep your sharing private. Just let me know which camp you fall into when you write and it will be my pleasure to honor it.

Those of you who have something to share with the world, will need to include your name and where you live on planet Earth (city, state, province, country). I would also like to include your email address (and website if you have one), so those who are interested can write you, but a contact address is not required.

In either case (whether you've got something to share with the world, or simply share with me), please send your letters to:

y2kafterthoughts@nhne.com

Because NHNE has spent so much time on Y2K, I am also very interested in knowing how you felt I/we handled this situation. Were we fair, even-handed, balanced? Or did we go overboard? Were you inspired, informed, and empowered? Or did you feel like we took you on a wild goose chase? Let us know. Your feedback, as always, is very important.

Finally, if you are interested in discussing the issues raised by the many thoughtful comments on the Y2K AfterThoughts website, you are invited to join The Y2K AfterThoughts Mailing List. This list is composed of people who wish to build stronger bonds with one another while, at the same time, deepening their understanding of the true nature of Y2K.

To subscribe to The Y2K AfterThoughts Mailing List,
send a blank mesage to:

y2kafterthoughts-subscribe@onelist.com

And that's it for now.

This has been quite a ride for me and, I know, for many of you. It will be good to compare notes and then move on, with greater knowledge, wisdom and experience, to the next adventure...

With Love & Best Wishes,
David Sunfellow

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EXCERPTS FROM THE Y2K AFTERTHOUGHTS WEBSITE:
http://www.nhne.com/y2kafterthoughts/

THE Y2K CRITICS WERE SHARPENING THEIR KNIVES

"Throughout the globe, the phones worked, and nuclear reactors hummed. Missiles remained undisturbed in their silos, and planes flew through the air. I was particularly grateful for the latter, because I was at 37,000 feet over Toronto on a United Airlines flight to Heathrow just to prove a point about my confidence about Y2K.

"But before dawn even broke over party-weary cities, the Y2K critics were sharpening their knives. To them, the lack of havoc was proof that the Y2K problem was an illusion, just as they suspected all along. Within nine hours of midnight, Universal Time Code (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time), I gave several interviews to reporters who seemed to be gloating over the apparent lack of Y2K problems."

--- Peter de Jager

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CONTRADICTED BY A FACT I CANNOT REFUTE

"You could place a gun to my head and threaten to pull the trigger unless I told you the 'truth' that the problem was NOT real -- and I would steadfastly refuse. I KNOW, with every fibre of my being that we were right. Nothing can shake me from that belief.

"And therein lies the glaring contradiction I struggle with. My view of the problem is contradicted by a fact I cannot refute, and make no attempt to, Italy has seen no significant effects."

--- Peter de Jager

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WE NEED TO WAIT A MONTH OR TWO

"We need to wait a month or two before detailing our success or failure."

--- Peter de Jager

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IT'S ALWAYS EASIER AFTER IT BECOMES HISTORY

"Ironically, the greater our success, the more 'evidence' critics will cite for declaring that Y2K was an illusion. But it's always easier to predict the future after it becomes history."

--- Peter de Jager

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I WAS WRONG, BUT I AM HAPPY THAT Y2K HAS BEEN A NONEVENT

"Last year, in my December 13 weekly comments, I wrote: 'I still expect a recession next year. I am not rooting for this outcome. I wouldn't mind sacrificing it to the forecasting gods. I'll be very happy if Y2K turns out to be a nonevent.I'm skeptical, but I could be wrong.' I was wrong, but I am happy that Y2K has been a nonevent. The IT community deserves most of the credit for the uneventful century date change. John Koskinen, the US government's Y2K man, was especially effective in coordinating the Y2K remediation process both in the United States and around the world. Looking back, I don't regret my efforts to raise awareness."

--- Ed Yardeni

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WHY AREN'T THEY PISSED OFF AT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS?

"Here's what puzzles me: if people are pissed off because I offered a pessimistic Y2K book to the marketplace, and because I posted a number of free Y2K essays on my web site, why aren't they even more pissed off at their elected officials? The U.S. government first announced, back in 1997, that it was going to spend approximately $2 billion to repair 9,000 systems; by the time the dust settled in the autumn of 1999, the price tag had escalated to $8 billion, but the number of 'mission-critical' systems being repaired had dropped to roughly 6,000. Where do you think that money came from? It came from the tax-payers of America, and I don't recall reading anywhere that we could treat this as an 'optional' contribution on our IRS tax forms. If so, I assume that a lot of the people who have been sending vitriolic e-mail to me might have checked off a box on their Form 1040 that said, 'Reduce my taxes by $80, because I don't want to contribute anything to that ridiculous Y2K effort of yours.' ($80 is the result of dividing an $8 billion expenditure by an estimated 100 million taxpayers.) Bottom line: the government spent a lot more of everyone's money than they would have on my textbook, and it was a unilateral decision on their part."

--- Ed Yourdon

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I DON'T GET THAT MUCH RESPECT

"I can understand why a small business owner, with no particular computer expertise, might feel that he was bamboozled if he spent several thousand dollars upgrading his computer equipment, and then discovered that his competitor across the street spent no money, and ended up without any problems. But I hope that nobody thinks that I had the power to persuade hard-nosed executives of the large corporations to spend $100 billion on repairs that they didn't need, or to persuade cash-strapped Federal government agencies to spent $8 billion on Y2K repairs that they didn't need. Even in the best of times, I don't get that much respect."

--- Ed Yourdon

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A FORM OF RESPECT THAT I CAN DO WITHOUT

"If the requirement for achieving respect in the Y2K struggle was one of luck -- i.e.., advocating no personal preparations, and admitting no risk of serious failure, and then crossing one's fingers and hoping that it all turned out right -- then it's a form of respect that I can do without."

--- Ed Yourdon

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"YOU DIPSHIT..."

"you dipshit...

"i hope you feel as stupid as you make yourself appear to be... have fun pulling your head out of your ass for the rest of your life, while trying to suck money out of the nation's idiots.

"couldn't you have at least been a participant of some mass suicide?"

--- Hate Mail Received by Ed Yourdon

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WE WERE DOOMED TO BE VIEWED AS FOOLS

"We knew (or should have known) that this was a (relatively) thankless effort we undertook. The criticism doesn't bother me. I knew 3 years ago that we'd either be viewed as heroes or fools -- depending on the outcome. If efforts were successful to remediate and prepare, we would be considered fools. If we weren't successful, we'd be so busy that there would be no time for acclaim. None of us wanted the worst to happen, so we were doomed to be viewed as fools from the start... However, I would rather be in the company of fools at this time, and am proud to be counted among them."

--- Paloma O'Riley

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BE PROUD THAT YOU CARED ENOUGH TO PUT YOURSELF ON THE LINE

"Some recent activity does concern me -- the amount of effort to gather and relate any and all occurrences of Y2K related failures. That the information is gathered is useful and right. However, I hope the motivation isn't to somehow justify all our time, effort, and sacrifice. Our actions don't need to be justified. We did what we believed needed to be done. I personally would go through it again if I thought the potential threat as great. It may be difficult at times to hold our heads up when we are ridiculed, but 'friends don't need explanations, and enemies won't believe them anyway'. Grace and dignity under fire is our only recourse while fools gloat. It's doubly difficult to be glad that they are able to do so. Be proud that you cared enough to put yourself (and everything else) on the line for what you believe. That, in itself, should be enough for anyone who cares to look."

--- Paloma O'Riley

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THE TWO Y2KS

"There are at least two Y2Ks -- the TimeBomb/WreckingBall Y2K and the Termite Y2K.

"The TimeBomb/WreckingBall Y2K was supposed to do its dirty work at New Years Eve midnight, sweeping around the world leaving a swath of vivid new-millennial disruptions in its wake. We all watched the clock tick, the ball swing. The fact that so little happened is a miracle. Although I suspect that we'll find that more happened than met the public eye, the fact remains that the deep and broad disruptions so many of us expected did not happen.

"But the dramatic Y2K is only half of Y2K. Let us not forget the more subtle Y2K, the one about 'supply chains' and 'cascading effects' and 'the increasing viscosity of life' -- the Y2K that happens over time, the one that could even end up being 'death from a million cut'". That's what I'm calling the Termite Y2K. Termites eat away inside the wall leaving only a surface apparency of sturdiness that doesn't need a wrecking ball to punch holes in it. This Termite Y2K has barely begun its work."

--- Tom Atlee

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THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROPHECY ON RECORD

"Someone on an email list I follow wrote apologies for having predicted the collapse of civilization in the Y2K bug. He concluded by saying 'Now I know for sure this is a living hell.'

"There's no pain like being wrong in public. But it's unnecessary. Y2K Was one of the most successful prophecies on record. This prophet's unnecessary anguish arises from his failure to perceive that Y2K demonstrates the little-known category of the self-negating prophecy: it cancels itself, provokes its own untruth, in a structural reversal of the better-known self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Noah is the model of the prophetic failure. Yes, things turned out exactly as he predicted, but the point was that people were supposed to listen and change their behavior, forestalling the dreaded outcome. Noah failed in his mission, while the Y2K prophets succeeded in theirs. They urged us to change our ways and spend untold billions on consultants and software. We did, and we are saved. Hallelujah."

--- Ted Daniel

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GARY NORTH'S CONTRIBUTION

"Gary North: He has done more to educate the world about Y2K than any three other people. The huge majority of people who have decided to prepare for Y2K have done so because of him. I think his conclusions about total collapse are wrong (Oh, how I hope they're wrong) but if you're going to analyze Y2K you better be able to defend yourself against his thinking. Gary is a powerful intellect and a savagely logical defender of his position. He was also an intrepid champion of my Navy Utility Survey when it went up on the Internet. It was awesome having him out front taking spears in the chest on my behalf."

--- Jim Lord

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NO MAN WANTS TO BE WRONG FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE

"As you can imagine, I received a lot of criticism last week! The computers did not die, nor did the systems they support. Clearly, as of this week, I was wrong in my predictions. No man wants to be wrong for all the world to see. Had it not been for the magnitude of the threat, as I perceived it, I would not have spent all those hours at my computer, posting summaries, extracts, and links to the documentary record (www.remnant.org). I knew the risk of making a major error when I began. I will now pay a price. I do apologize if I have embarrassed you or made your life worse. It was my intention to keep your life from getting worse that led me to start the Y2K warnings."

--- Gary North

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LET ME MAKE ANOTHER PREDICTION

"Let me make another prediction: I will not predict anything again with such forceful rhetoric. If I hear that a nuclear war is about to begin, I'll limit myself to sending you an e-mail with a link to www.megaton.org."

--- Gary North

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I HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT FOR THESE LEECHES

"The Press: Half of them are stupid. The other half are whores, snuggled up in the pockets of the politicians. The third half is just plain lazy. I can't tell you how discouraging it is to get calls from media fools wanting stories about Y2K and the end of the world. Then when they realized they had a serious and credible analyst on their hands they would turn disinterested because I refused to act like some kind of survivalist nut. Over the past three years I have lost all respect for these leeches. The only exceptions I found were a few radio talk show hosts mainly of the politically conservative persuasion. C-Span was the only exception in the television realm."

--- Jim Lord

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WHY BILL CLINTON'S Y2K MOUTHPIECE WAS COMPLETELY READY

"[Senator Robert] Bennett conducted a Y2K Town Hall Meeting in Cedar City, Utah just twenty miles from my home. I met with him privately for six or seven minutes after the public meeting. I gave him a copy of the Navy utility survey and my report, the 'Pentagon Papers of Y2K.' When I asked if he had seen the Navy survey he said he had not but thought his staff had. I told him I would be going public with the report soon and that he could expect some questions.

"I believe Senator Bennett faxed a copy of the report to John Koskinen that very evening. This gave Koskinen forty hours to work with the Pentagon and cook up a story to deal with the press onslaught they knew was coming. This explains why Bill Clinton's Y2K mouthpiece was completely ready for the press when they showed up on his doorstep. Recently, I received confirmation of this belief from another current member of Congress."

--- Jim Lord

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LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING FORCED

"I was very grateful that there weren't any major problems with the rollover. But I have to admit that I realized there was a little part of me that was looking forward to being forced into a simpler lifestyle. The only way I can describe the feeling is the way I have felt in the past when an unexpected snowstorm would hit.

"When my girls were little, occasionally we would get a winter snowstorm that would dump a couple of feet of snow and totally immobilize the area. I'd wake up early and the world would be beautifully covered in a blanket of white snow. Schools and work would be closed and everybody would be forced to stay home. There was this wonderful, peaceful quiet when you went outside. If the power was still on, we'd get up and have a leisurely breakfast and then people would begin to emerge from the homes. Neighbors, who ordinarily never saw each other, would begin to shovel snow and kids would be out in the streets playing. People would catch up with each other and old friendships would be renewed. It was a wonderful time and our whole family was together without anybody rushing off to this or that activity. I guess I was hoping that nothing bad would happen with Y2K but still that things would be a little like that anyway.

"As I've thought about how wonderful it would be to have that kind of situation happen in my everyday life, I realized that living life more simply is possible - it just requires me to take control of how it works, not the weather, Y2K or anything else."

--- Karen Anderson

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IT REWARDED COMPLACENCY

"In thinking about the Y2K computer problem, I came across this comment from Mike Adams of y2knewswire.com and I think it says it well:

"'...even the positive Y2K outcome leaves us with one long-term concern: it rewarded complacency. The fact that no major infrastructure failures occurred taught people that they were right to do nothing. In this instance, they were fortunate, but this is a dangerous precedent to be setting on a global scale. A population that believes it is invulnerable to calamities is no wiser than a street-racing teenager who thinks he's immortal. He may beat the odds this time, but not every time.

"'That's why we hope Y2K can serve as an important reminder to prepare. Had Americans already been practicing general emergency preparedness, there would have been no reason to urge new preparedness for Y2K....Make preparedness part of your life, not as a reaction to a particular event. Once you do that, the outcome of any single event makes very little difference. You're prepared for either outcome.'"

--- Karen Anderson

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NOW THE REAL WORK BEGINS

"When I got a diagnosis of possible heart disease several years ago, I was highly motivated to rework my diet, to exercise, and to meditate and rest. After eight months of this regimen and more intensive tests on my heart, my doctors told me they couldn't find any sure evidence of a heart condition. They couldn't rule it out, but they had no absolute evidence. My disciplined program dissolved INSTANTLY, even though I knew it would save me from all sorts of other medical problems later. I've been struggling for years to get it back on track.

"I believe that a failure to act until a crisis hits shows a lack of intelligence, a failure of our innate ability to recognize patterns in our lives and use those patterns to help us take appropriate action. Since it is abundantly clear that we still have real collective problems we could apply ourselves to in the post-Y2K world, I wonder if we can exercise the collective intelligence to sustain our efforts without the dramatic focus of Y2K. I would be truly sad if we couldn't.

"Personally, I sense what my friend Marianne Morgan wrote to me a few days ago, that 'now the real work begins.'"

--- Tom Atlee

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NOTHING'S CHANGED, EXCEPT US

"Nothing's Changed, Except Us. Many of us have changed as a result of our work on Y2K. The world seems a bit more, well, global. Separate little project seem less important. Our consciousness of our deep interconnectedness has expanded. The stories we tell ourselves about our lives have shifted. Y2K has been an easel on which many of us have started to draw new pictures of our lives."

--- Bob Stilger

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LET US NOT THROW IT AWAY

"Y2K was only one aspect of our REAL AND INCREASING TECHNOLOGICAL VULNERABILITY which ranges from cyberterrorism to downed power lines, from nuclear power to genetic engineering. Instead of abandoning our positions we might expand our vision. Y2K is only the tip of an iceberg of systemic vulnerabilities. Preparedness is still an issue. Sustainability is still an issue. Democratic monitoring of technology is still an issue. The erosion of our rights and freedoms as a solution to terrorism is still an issue. We have momentum. Let us not throw it away."

--- Tom Atlee

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LET'S PRAY THAT WE HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING

"One concern remains -- that business and gov't will learn nothing from our close call, that we will continue the same shortsighted practices. If we do, I will be sorely grieved, but not surprised. I despair of our fellows' ability to meet the unknown without fear, and admit ignorance without feeling diminished. Until we overcome these very human failings, I fear that the next 'bullet burn' may be more than a graze. If we pray for anything from all this, let's pray that we have learned something, and then put it to good use."

--- Paloma O'Riley

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ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE PHENOMENA IN HISTORY

"The Y2K movement is one of the most remarkable phenomena in history, a spontaneous, widespread, self-organized movement based on a deep caring and the ability to rapidly share information and wisdom through the Internet. Networks and friendships were woven, understandings and agreements were hard-won. Let us not throw out the Y2K baby with the Y2K bathwater."

--- Tom Atlee

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TIME, MONEY, AND CREDIBILITY WELL-SPENT

"The collaborative web that's emerging on the heels of this international project is fascinating to me...

"A number of folks I've 'met' in the Y2k Preparedness Movement are now looking at ways to continue the portions of their work that have seemed most beneficial to them. Sustainability, Social Responsiblity, Technical Awareness, Freedom Issues, Participatory Governance, Diversification of Infrastrucutre Service Providers, Self-Reliance, and Ethical Action seem to be high on the list future endeavors. If this is what we visibly achieve as a result of this work we've done 'together', then I'd say it was all time, money, and credibility well-spent."

--- Cynthia Beal

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NOT DRESSED IN THE CLOTHES WE THOUGHT

"Last winter, as I sat in the room at the Fetzer Institute Y2K meeting I was struck with the gathering of midwives I saw before me: a group of committed humans who were gathered together by the thread of what we supposed was Y2K. I left that gathering feeling that it purpose of our gathering was not about Y2K at all, which is why I believe, there was so little discussion about the specifics of the issue in the meeting. We were gathered to witness the articulation of values and energy for a movement to sustain the well being of life upon our planet. Whether we were successful then, or will be the future I cannot pretend to know, but the intention was at least clear.

"I believe that the great perplexity which is sweeping the Y2K movement is because a call was answered but the messenger turned out to not be dressed in the clothes we thought. As I examine my own response to the Y2K issue I realized that the invitation to extend my awareness to global systems was a powerful doorway to what I believe is an authentic and even painful call from the planetary systems for our increased human awareness."

--- David La Chapelle

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IF I WERE THE VOICE OF THE PLANET

"If I were the voice of the planet which is under siege and I wanted to communicate to the human realm of my predicament what could I do? The human community shows little capacity to fundamentally respond to the visible evidence of degradation. Becoming immune to the erosion of ecosystems the human sensibility has become more and more truncated and focused upon the electronic media and the computers of the world. If I were fighting for the health of my home world I would be tempted to use whatever means I could to communicate with the human communities. What better way than to infect the computer systems with a meme of impending destruction? All who use the systems would be forced to consider that their way of doing business was in peril if they did not pay attention. If I wanted to flag my message to the humans of the planet then I would create the suspicion that their computers may be in peril. As the humans responded they would begin to sense and feel the lack of sustainability of the present system. Perhaps if enough of them listened a new level of action might take place."

--- David La Chapelle

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WE MUST BECOME PART OF THE SYSTEM

"Lessons are always there to be learned. This is mine in regard to Y2K. I must plead a certain spiritual materialism when it came to Y2K. I was hoping, somewhere in the recesses of my consciousness, that the disruption which Y2K might bring would be an opportunity for people to wake up and begin to change the structural problems which are damaging our greater good. This was a noble thought, but I made a serious mistake. One which I was projecting onto the consumer-technology culture. I was wanted the material world to provide the magic bullet for change. In doing so I short circuited the true evolutionary process of inner truths become explicit. Any emergence of wholeness takes time to achieve its goals and is the result of hard work and reciprocal relationship amongst all the parts. As long as I was focusing on the problems of the material culture I lived in I was in fact becoming a materialist myself. It wasn't until I was on the Mayor's task force here in Juneau that I truly began to realize that if we are to change the system then the we must become part of the system. Waiting for the demise of a system in order to improve it was a failure of spirit on my part."

--- David La Chapelle

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Y2K AS A TEACHER

"In recognizing Y2K as a teacher, I had no idea what I was in for. I have had some wonderful spiritual teachers, and I know them to be tricksters. They'll do anything, including telling you bald-faced lies, in order to get you out of your ego, to demoralize you past your certainty into the fertile spiritual terrain of not-knowing. Many spiritual traditions are filled with stories about this type of guru behavior, the incredibly strange and even despicable things a teacher will do, but always in support of the student's awakening. I just didn't realize that Y2K would carry on in that great tradition."

--- Meg Wheatley

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I HAVE FELT EMBARRASSED, WRONG, DOUBTING

"I have felt embarrassed, wrong, doubting of my ability to see things clearly. My ego has had a field day, telling me to doubt myself at entirely new levels, to shut up and sit down, to acknowledge my incapacities. But I have also felt deep gratitude that the world is still functioning smoothly, while living with the insistent paradox that this world doesn't function well when it's functioning smoothly. It still needs to change, and I still want to be one of those who facilitates the change. But who am I, and what's going on?"

--- Meg Wheatley

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ASSISTING IN THE BIRTH OF A NEW WORLD

"Y2K has helped me on this path of giving up my very identity. So right now, to free myself from that identity, I want to sit in the startling bewilderment of being wrong. I want to recognize that I couldn't see what was going on, nor can I now. I want to acknowledge that those people I accused of being in denial, or those leaders who I named as intentionally deceitful and manipulative, may have been acting from a different understanding than mine, and that theirs was more accurate.

"I also want to recognize my own pessimism and cynicism -- those beliefs that led me to believe certain things, and be blind to others. Why did I choose to notice what I noticed? What kept me from acknowledging other information, other people? What made me deny hopeful signs, why did I hold onto fear and cynicism?

"And above all else, I want to become more vulnerable, more open, more uncertain. To be in this work of midwifery, assisting in the birth of a new world, requires that, in a spiritual sense, I disappear. I can't move into this new world carrying my ego. Selflessness, emptiness of ego, openness -- this is the path."

--- Meg Wheatley

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OUR SPECIES MAY ACTUALLY CONTINUE

"I have tried and been unable to put into words how proud I am of everyone who put their lives on hold, who got their hands dirty, who put up with derision and hardship -- because they believed that helping others was the right thing to do. Such people give me hope that our species may actually continue if we ever experience very serious challenges to our existence. Thank you, and thanks to everyone who helped you. Words are not enough. My heart is full... May God, the powers that be, the universe, etc., bless you, keep you, and give you strength."

--- Paloma O'Riley

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

David Sunfellow, Founder & Publisher
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