Any 'experts' writing books on why this *wont* be a disaster? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There seem to be quite a few experts out there (and I am not being sarcastic) writing books and maintaining websites with distinctly pessimistic forecasts. Ed Yourden, Ed Yardeni, and Rick Cowles come to mind. Anyone know of similarly qualified people who do *not* share the view that we are in for major hardship. I am actually already convinced, I'm just trying to maintain a little perspective.



-- Stephen Gould (, May 12, 1998


It's generally hard to prove a negative! In any case, with respect to Y2K it's easy to provide evidence that there *is* a problem, and the more you think about it (or rather, them by the millions), the more worrying it gets. I don't know anyone qualified to understand the problem who isn't worried to some extent.

What's almost impossible to predict is how bad it'll be on the day. Emergency planning normally takes the line "prepare for the worst, pray for the best". It's good advice at every level, especially if accompanied by some degree of cost-benefit analysis.

Cost-benefit analysis probably applies to the experts as well. If you say "there's no problem, stop worrying" and are wrong, your career is probably over even if you don't get lynched! If you say that there's a big problem that's being ignored or shovelled under the carpet, and it'll be a disaster if this carries on, and on the day it's not really bad, you have no trouble, and can probably claim some credit for helping to avoid a possible disaster. Having been right if the disaster happens anyway seems relatively undesirable.

-- Nigel Arnot (, May 13, 1998.

The ECONOMIST had an article a few years back. I think it was during the summer. It acknowledged a problem but not an apocalypse. It suggested that the programmers would have a very good decade. The last time I looked , they were one of the best job categories for finding work. The article pointed out that if things did get bad, it would be handled in the same way that any emergency or catastrophe is; triage, mobilization of the required experts. Sorry that I can't give you an exact date, but its out there and it is balanced.

-- joshua (, June 22, 1998.

Speaking as a computer programmer, it seems to me that people are assuming that computer programmers are only slightly more intelligent than the guy working behind the counter at the 7-11. In fact, it normally requires a four year degree from an accredited University as well as strong analytical skills to become a computer programmer. Do you really think we overlooked the fact that there was going to be a century change in all our programs? Comon guys, give us a little credit.

-- Amy Leone (, June 29, 1998.

Oh sure, Stephen, bring common sense and truth into this discussion! You can't make money pointing out that on 1/1/00 we will all still be here doing what we regularly do. The folks who were running Real Estate seminars in the 80's are likely the ones selling the Y2K "hunker in yer bunker" view today. This very website has a link pointing to a "Y2K for Women" site that is a real hoot if you don't mind being offended at the concept that us womenfolk need to have special Y2K explainations. While at the site I learned that I'd better buy a battery operated CB (or maybe a cup -n-string set) to communicate after the Y2K Day bomb explodes because communications could be down and don't forget that electricity will be gone which means no TV which means that if I have small children I'd best get started on making sock puppets and writing sitcom scripts to entertain them with in lieu of TV. Better put in that vegetable garden so we'll have something to eat and might want to vote against your town's livestock by-laws so you can raise chickens in the driveway.

See? This just makes better copy than "There is a date handling problem that must be overcome for most systems before 1/1/2000. To handle it, many programs will be replaced wholly and need to be budgeted for. Others will need to be fixed in order to run with the correct datestamp, which is tedious. There are planned workarounds for many programs which may not be ready on the day." So be sure to trade it all in for gold and tobacco since that's what we'll be trading for goods and services when we emerge from the bunkers, unconcernedly yours, Sarah Sheehan

-- Sarah Sheehan (, September 09, 1998.


It's been a long time since I've read a real PP post! Even though he tries hard, even Buddy has drifted well to the right of this. Almost forgot what one read like.

-- rocky (, September 09, 1998.

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