The Bug That Refused to Die
(?) May 28th, 1997

The Daily Skeptic is back with a vengeance!  The target of our third inaugural Skeptic inquisition?  Our old friend, the Y2K Bug!  He's been with us for a while now, but it's always a good idea to show up every now and then to say Hi! and to let him know that we're still thinking about him.  And it's not just us, either. 

A recent article on focused on a gentleman named John Hammell, who believes that the world is going to go to hell because every computer on earth is going to suddenly come to life and eat us.  But they won't stop there.  They'll eat our children and our beloved pets, too.  They'll crash a few planes, shut down some hospitals, turn the power off here and there, and generally take their revenge on us for their 50+ years of enslavement.  Sounds preposterous?  If it is, it's just slightly more so than the real story. 

So, what does John do?  He goes completely granola and dives head-first into Davey Crockett mode.  He's learning to "live off the land."  He feels that preparation has let him live through hurricanes and other such nasty ocean phenomena (he's a sailor), so he'd better be prepared for the coming Apolcalypse. 

To quote the source:

                  Now, with the 21st century about to arrive, he is
                  stockpiling food, water and chopped wood and
                  lighting his spartan trailer with kerosene lamps.
                  He is getting organic vegetables from a
                  community garden and planning to buy solar
                  panels and a woodstove he can cook on. 

And then, the important tidbit that goes completely under the radar of the reporter:

                   ...[John] is 41 and single. 

Really, folks, are we surprised?

John's not the only kooky resident of Floyd, VA.  There's also this guy:

                  "A lot of people who come here are interested in 
                   getting out of the system and trying to become 
                   self-sustaining," said Bill Truitt, who raises 
                   chickens and eats what he grows in a greenhouse
                   and organic garden." 

We have a name for those kind of people: outcasts.  Here's another: hermits.  And another: dangerously insane.  That's not an indictment.  It's a concern.

Here's another one, except this one has a PhD.  His name is Bill Nye, and while he is a "guy," we can be reasonably sure that he's not "the science" guy.  Nobody who is a professor of Sociology can claim to be a scientist!  Silly! 

             Bill Nye, a Hollins University sociology professor 
             who lives in Floyd County, said the tradition of finding 
             sanctuary in these hills goes way back. During 
             the Civil War, deserters came to Floyd County, he said. 

             "There seems to be an attractive attitude here as 
             opposed to a rural area like Franklin County, 
             which is less tolerant to divergent lifestyles," Nye said.
             "Franklin County is known for its moonshine. Floyd 
             County is known for its pot growing, if that tells you 

"Divergent lifestyles ?"  I don't like that term.  It's what sociologists use to describe hippies.  And I'm supposed to be glad that these will be the people left over after the Rise of the Human-Eating Computers?

And finally, to sum this entry up, we hear from a Floyd Co. hairdresser, Mr. Carl Mandel (no relation to Howie...presumably), who gives us this fond farewell message:

                  "I pray that we're wrong, but this thing has the 
                  potential to really disrupt our civilization," 
                  said Mandell, 52. 

You know what has the potential to disrupt civilization?  Hype.  Just ask George Lucas.  Computers who think it's 100 years in the past are not the danger to our civilization.  They may make for some weird phone bills and a few mix-ups at the IRS, but nothing more than that.  What scares us is that nothing happens when the clock strikes 12:00, and a bunch of these nut cranks decides to make a disruption.  Remember what Mr. Sartre said: "Hell is other people."  That guy had some brains. 



June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001