The goal of this forum is to help us think through the domino effects of y2k. Specifically: What kinds of durable consumer goods will become hard to find? These goods we should begin to buy now, while prices are low. Maybe we can buy them in bulk at a discount. Here I do not have tools in mind, which has its own forum. I have in mind consumer goods.
Some items lend themselves to barter: high value, low volume items, especially luxury items. Why luxury items? Because there will always be rich people who want to buy them, and because some items you may feel guilty about bartering, such as food. But the buyer of a luxury good is fair game.
If you think some item is inherently immoral, such as liquor or cigarettes, you may not like some of the suggestions. You may send your complaint to the moderator, who has the authority to remove any posting. I have told him not to post debates over the morality of this or that item. Argue with him in private, not on the forum. Let him decide. (My rule is to decentralize authority. This places responsibility where it belongs: with the person doing most of the work. If I think he has exceeded his authority, I'll warn him, and I may fire him, but it's his decision until then: an all-or-nothing form of decentralization.)
I want all of the forums to be lively. I want as many people to get involved as possible on the open forums: an increase in the division of intellectual labor. Questions generate discussion. Discussion generates new information. We are all after better information at a low price. Maybe we can get it if we obtain larger quantities of new information. That's my goal, anyway.
If you see a problem with a previous answer, and you know from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE that there is an open pit that we may fall into, warn us all. But don't offer hearsay and rumor in place of personal experience and published warnings, with these published warnings identified by title, date of publication, and page number. Be specific. Also, don't get sued.
If you post a specific answer, and a product is involved, go the extra mile to supply the product's model number, its price, the seller's name, address, and phone number. An e-mail address would be nice, too. If you have information that calls for action on our part, give us as much information as you can that will enable us to take this action.
If you know of a Web site that provides more information, please supply the Web address and any additional information that we can use to make better use of the site. The rules of this forum are like the rules of all the others. First, there are my Ten Commandments, which I have posted on the introductory page of the Discussion Forums - Mirrorcategory. These are basic rules of discussion etiquette. Second, if you would like to see a new subtopic on this forum, send your suggestion to the moderator, James Wesley, Rawles (yes, there's a comma):
Warning: I have told all of the moderators that I advise against answering too many questions by e-mail. Any question worth asking a moderator is worth posting on the forum.
Of course, if you want to buy a bulk order of something from a moderator at a discount, send that e-mail! Every seller wants to hear from potential buyers. But understand that these moderators serve for free. To ask them to do more than moderate for free is to be overly greedy. Don't be greedy. The post-1999 world must be built on mutually beneficial trade, not a quest for zero-price wealth at the expense of others.