Realism : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Normally I'd simply provide a URL reference for this material. However, I know that at least one reader may be put off by the source, and in an effort to spare that reader from being exposed to a preamble that is offensive to him, I have copied the salient points of the reference.

The material is from today's (1998-09-08)Gary North Links,

It is a letter addressed to Scott Ohlmstead, with the writer protected. It can be found under the title, "Why They Procrastinated Until It Is Now Too Late."


>>>>>>>snip some preamble<<<<<<

I first heard about Y2K from Peter de Jager in '92 when he was still at Dylex and he and I were discussing a search I was doing at the time. Although interesting, I really didn't pay any serious attention to it until the summer of '96 when I was having dinner with the President of an outsourcing firm and the topic of Y2K came up. He told me there was not a big enough "plant" to replicate the Canadian banking network for testing, therefore, it would pretty well be a crapshoot unless they (all the Canadian Banks) agreed to take the Interact network off-line. (The Interact n/w is like Cirrus but ties all major Canadian financial players together) I don't think they have the determination to shut this down for the required testing for as long as it would properly take. This got me thinking and paying attention whenever I interviewed someone, I would query them re Y2K, what their firm was doing, what their impression of it was, etc.

What I have found out is the basic problem of Y2K all boils down to one thing.... WIFM...What's In It For Me. Senior IT Management didn't want to deal with it because they would be viewed as incompentent by not dealing with it earlier or if they did mention it internally, they always underestimated the cost and scope of the problem or overestimated their departments ability to deal with it. Senior management always put it off because it would affect their bonus this quarter, this year, etc., and besides IT said we can solve it easily later. This combined with procrastination is what has got us to this sad state of affairs.

This denial and looking at the issue from the perspective of how it affects ME (personally, my family, my company) always affects the decision making process of people (unless you are a Saint and are able to put the welfare of others above yourself, and not too many people fall into this category).

This reality is one that I feel most people overlook when looking at the Y2K issue, they fail to take the personal and political reality ("Politics in my company? Surely you jest.") of everyday life into account.

When I hear the sad state of preparation so many firms are at right now and the comments from so many senior systems people, I am convinced we are heading for a least a severe recession, possibly a depression in the best case scenario. The possibility of it being a whole lot worse has convinced me to make other preparations.......

>>>>>snip details of excellant preparations<<<<<<

Most people don't want to hear about y2K and how it is a threat to them, at a minimum a financial threat to their future if they fail to plan accordingly. I have had friends get very mad and a little verbally abusive when we discussed the reality of the severity of the problem. These are educated, successful small business owners and yet they are convinced "they" will solve it (I really want to meet "they" or "them" someday)...........

Based on what I hear everyday from systems professionals about the stupid things companies are doing or not doing has convinced me things are going to be bad. I strongly disagree with Peter's article about people making preparations for the future. His attack on others (like Yourdon, etc.) is not right as everybody must make their own personal choices and then live with the results ("Ya pay's your money, Ya takes your chances")............


Now, I ask, does this sound as if "we're all going to pull together," or does this more realistically describe the situation?

-- rocky knolls (, September 08, 1998


Sounds reasonable, but it is still just someone's opinion full of hearsay and speculation.

==="Most people don't want to hear about y2K and how it is a threat to them, at a minimum a financial threat to their future if they fail to plan accordingly. I have had friends get very mad and a little verbally abusive when we discussed the reality of the severity of the problem."===

Believe it or not, I experienced this situation over the weekend while trying to discuss Y2K with a group of friends and my wife. Even if you don't start off with a doomsday scenario--I told them at the minimum there will be disruptions--they still look at you like you're talking science fiction.

-- Buddy Y. (, September 08, 1998.

Ed Yourdon and Peter Jaegar are both unique individuals with their own contribution to make. I hate to see them attacking each other, as I know they both have the best intentions, as does anyone else dealing with this. No one plans to fail, and yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What we need is someone with bad intentions. Someone who will go around laughing at people who haven't prepared. Someone who will flaunt their preparations and remind you that you will be working for them someday if you are too stupid to take care of yourself. Someone who will remind you that their family will eat while yours starves. This would be an enemy that we could band against. "No" we could say "We won't starve. We have also prepared".

There are people out there with bad intentions. They are remarkable silent. Why should they talk? Why should they say anything which would alert you? Why should they reveal their intentions? It would only make you stronger.

Think about the kind of people that get into politics. Sure, some of them are sincere and think they can change the world from inside the political machine. Some of them lust for power, control, dominion. Some of them are wolves in sheeps clothing. At least with Saddam Hussein, what you see is what you get. What about what you don't see?

Have some sympathy and some taste, folks. Even if Year 2k is just a bump in the road, they are still waiting for their chance. Don't give it to them.

-- Amy Leone (, September 08, 1998.

The full text of the excellent piece quoted by Rocky Knolls can also be found on Scott Olmsted's web site at which is the original source. I thought it gave some excellent insight into the situation in Canada (the home country of the writer), and I sent it to my relatives who live in Canada. <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>.....

-- Dan Hunt (, September 08, 1998.

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