X-Message-Number: 10494
From: Olaf Henny <>
Subject: Message #10488 From Peter Merel; Y2K Concerns
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 12:05:08 -0700

Re: Message #10488 From Peter Merel; Y2K Concerns

Hi Peter:

Most of the foregoing was the equivalent of discussing the 
emperor's beard:  We have little influence on it and we will not 
find out, who is closer to the actual scenario until it will 
finally happen.  I just know, that no goose is consumed in as hot 
a state as it is roasted.  :)  I have therefore deleted most of
the previous discussion

But will answer your questions as to the situation during the 
blackouts in E-Germany.

>Did you have working fire engines during that time? 

Yes, of course we did, but as I indicated earlier, people avoided 
lighting up their homes in the first place.  :)

>Water pressure?  

Such as it is, when pumps, relying on electricity, don't work.  
While there was still water in the reservoirs, we had pressure.

> Did this happen in megalopolises like the big US cities, or 
>just in the villages? 

It happened throughout the GDR, the biggest City being East 
Berlin with ~2.5 million - the smallest villages rarely less than 

>What was the maximum length of time of the blackouts?

Anywhere from 1/2 to 12 hours often more than one per day/night

>Were people used to handling candles and oil lamps?

You can bet we became used to them right quickly.  People are 
much more sensible than you might want to give them credit for.

If you could have shown today's traffic patterns in big cities to 
the pioneers in horseless carriage construction, I am sure they 
would have opined, that the majority of people would not be able 
to handle this apparent chaos intellectually.  They would have 
most likely felt themselves quite incompetent to cope with it. 

Today even the dumbest have access to driver's licenses, and for 
the most part behave themselves quite rationally and competently.




Tolerance is wisdom's finest fruit

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