Adrienne #58

    Generally, I wouldn’t call myself a paranoid person.  I don’t think that the FBI or the CIA are after me or tapping my phone lines.  I never feel as if someone is watching me in some covert operation.  I don’t cover various parts of my body with aluminum foil in the hopes of deflecting secret messages being sent to me by government mind controllers.  Nor do I think that there are hidden camera throughout my house that  monitor my every move.  Every stranger that I meet is not some spy who is trying to infiltrate my life in order to learn my secrets and I don’t dress in different disguises each time I leave the house in the hopes that I’ll be able to trick those that are trying to tail me.  I am not a paranoid person.  But I think it’s safe to say that the coming of the turn of the century DEEPLY CONCERNS me.  In fact, I would feel comfortable with using the word obsessed when it comes to how deeply concerned I am in regards to the year 2000.  You see, the word paranoid implies that there’s nothing to be obsessive and deeply concerned about, but when I look at the future in store for humanity, all I see is Y2K staring back at me.
    Y2K.  It stands for Y=year 2=2000 K=thousand.  The year two thousand.  Y2K has also become the catch phrase for the computer glitch that the entire world is facing.  Maybe glitch isn’t the right word.  Let’s try Y2K is the catch phrase for the computer shit storm that the entire world is facing.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with what Y2K is about, let me share with you the information that I’ve been able to find about this upcoming problem.
    When computers were first around, it was common to represent the date with six digits instead of eight.  Instead of the date reading “01011999”, it reads “010199”.  This saves on 2 bytes of RAM whenever it is used.  Don’t ask me what RAM is, I’m not computer literate.  But whatever RAM is, it must be valuable for a computer because almost all computers were made with the shortened date.  The problem that is now facing us is that when the year 2000 comes all computers that are not Y2K compliant are going to flip to “010100” and since computers don’t understand it means to go UP to 2000, it’s going to go DOWN to 1900.  Does this fuck us up? Yes, this definitely does.  The problem can range from minor problems to complete crashes of systems.  Imagine social security.  The year 2000 comes along and all of the sudden, the computer things that your grandparents are -20, not 80!!  This means that either the society security checks won’t get sent out since people who are -20 don’t get social security, or that the whole system will collapse because the computer can’t handle all of the misinformation.  Either way, your grandparents won’t be getting their checks in the mail.  Think about the bank.  If all computers crash at your bank, do you really think you’ll be able to just stroll in and get 20 bucks out of your ATM machine?  Hell no.  That bank will be locked up with no key in sight.  I plan to take my money out of the bank and I know a lot of people who are also planning to do that.  Even if the whole Y2K computer crash goes a lot better than most people are thinking, it’s still going to cause a major problem in our economy because the banks can’t afford to have a mass amount of people take their money out all within the same time frame.  But I don’t want to go to my bank on New Years Day and see a big closed sign and only have five bucks in my pocket.  No way.  If the shit is going down, I want to at have some cash.  So far, I’ve only brought up some minor problems that might face us.  And trust me, if you think about tit, these minor problems can become pretty fucking big.  Try to keep in mind that this problem is being faced worldwide, not just in your town.  Now let’s think bigger.  Let’s consider what could happen at... oh, let’s say.. a nuclear power plant!  You really think that if some computer glitch does come up in a nuclear facility that some computer nerd is going to say “I’ll fix it!” I the middle of a core meltdown?  I don’t think so.  And yes, they may have all nuclear facilities Y2K compliant by the time they need to be, but then what happens if the whole power grid goes out?!  The power grid going out is a real and valid concern.  To quote an article sent to me by my best friend Wendy, “The power grid relies on a sophisticated feedback mechanism: Remote terminal units report their power needs up the communications chain that controls the output of electronic generators.  The entire network is riddled with embedded chips.”  What this translates to is the fact that there are computer chips throughout the whole electric system that are not Y2K complaint.  To quote again, “NO electric plant or facility of any kind has been Y2K tested without some kind of impact.  There isn’t enough time to fix everything.  There will be some disruption.  How long?  How deep?  We just don’t know.”  That’s a quote from David Hall, a senior consultant with the Cara Corporation.
    Now, all of this could be just a lot of DEEPLY OBSESSIVE CONCERN gone a big haywire, but in my book, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  I do plan to take my money out of the bank.  Since it’s going to be the middle of winter when it happens and I live in this frozen tundra called New York City, I plan to buy a wood burning stove and start stockpiling wood.  I’m going to start saving water and food, batteries and a batter run radio. toilet paper, books to read.. all kinds of stuff.  I also am DEEPLY CONCERNED over the fact that I’m living in one of the most insane cities in the world because if the shit goes down, New York is going to explode.  This city already feels as if it’s one step away from utter insanity anyway and given a good reason, I think that it’s gong to get pretty crazy.  I plan to turn this lovely warehouse that I live in into a nice fort that I can survive in for as long as I might need to.  If it all happens as badly as I’m concerned that it will, I’m worried  that I won’t even be able to leave my house without facing complete and utter insanity out in the streets.  I know some people who are buying guns, but I don’t feel the need to go that far.  I’d probably end up shooting my own foot off well before I’d even get a gun pointed at someone trying to break into my home.
    What I would really like is if anyone out there reading this has any information to share or any update on how things are going, to please send it to me.  I’m probably the only human being in my age group that doesn’t have access to the internet for hours at a time and when I did get a chance to go on-line and look up Y2K, there were 80,000 sites.  I was on my lunch break using my boss’ laptop and so I couldn’t’ really get a chance to look through any of it.  But I am going to keep trying to find new information and whenever it’s necessary, I’ll try to share this information with you.  I feel that any of the major media sources of information concerning this issue are simply going to be trying to downplay just how badly off things are.  The government and the local news stations are just going to try to act as if this is a minor scratch in the system when it’s actually a bleeding, gaping wound.  Am I concerned?  Deeply concerned?  You bet your ass I am.  Am if you are too, please contact me.  Peace/Equality.  Adrienne Droogas