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ZetaTalk: Year 2000

Dated: March 15, 1999

Year 2000 is like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. A lot of noise, a lot of banging around and innuendo, with no punch behind it. Mankind has been told that changes will occur on the millennium, totally disrupting their lives. Trains won't run, the refrigerator will turn off, food will melt, planes falling from the sky, bank teller machines refusing to recognize cards. None of this is true. The average person is unaware of computer programs and how they are structured. If you were to talk about building chairs and tables and you described how the fourth leg was going to dissolve from under every table at the Year 2000, people would laugh. But if you describe a situation where computer programs are going to malfunction, they take it seriously, especially if they hear this from a number of sources and this is not disputed.

Bureaucracies are infamous for being like a lumbering elephant, sluggish and unable to maneuver when changes come their way. They establish themselves with a set of circumstances, they write procedures that deal with these circumstances, and when change comes they make these procedures more complicated and cumbersome. All this works well when the sun rises and sets and crops are harvested and babies are born and old folks die, and life goes on much the same. The least concern of any bureaucracy is totally renovating itself - they resist change. Budgets are always slim, and the first thing that gets cut is any large computer system revamping as this is expensive which would mean that salary increases can’t be made, one’s brother-in-law can’t be hired, and that benefits may need to be trimmed. This creates all manner of uproar so is put off. Now it can no longer be put off. If one does not think this is how bureaucrats think, they should just become a fly on the wall in the coffee rooms. Indeed, they know full well that by creating a crisis they will get an infusion of money that otherwise would have been taken from their salaries and benefits and additional jobs such as aids and secretaries, all the perks that they enjoy, would be cut. This is to some degree deliberately planned to create a crisis, because new moneys are made available then. View this with some cynicism, as it is justified in this situation.

Dated: December 15, 1999

Going into 1999, there were two opposing forces trying to influence Y2K. One group wished to use the possible outages and panic as an excuse to impose martial law. This same group has used, in the past, such mechanisms as the outrage over the Oklahoma City bombing and the crash of TWA800 to cry "terrorist" and attempt to set this process in motion. They failed, as terrorists were not the perpetrators, and those in the know within the government allowed to truth to peek through to the public so that martial law could not be forced upon an ignorant public. This opposing force, which wishes the populace to be empowered to help themselves as the pole shift approaches, not shackled by martial law tactics, has the upper hand as we approach the millennium eve. The battles that have occurred during 1999 were not visible to the masses, but were intense and grueling. There were stories of US military forces practicing riot control, stocking up, and lining up local militias to assist. None of these scenarios will occur, though local free lance forces may attempt to impose martial law in their locale by sabotaging utilities or staging riots and pointing the finger at imaginary terrorists.

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