How did we get into this y2k? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Doesn't the y2k problem seem to be the result of simple colllective stupidity, pardon me, mentilly challengednes? I don't think so. It might be the result of something else. What is your guess, insight?

-- Hammer Me (, September 25, 1998


Doesn't the y2k problem seem to be the result of simple colllective stupidity, pardon me, mentilly challengednes? I don't think so. It might be the result of something else. What is your guess, insight?

-- Hammer me (, September 25, 1998.

Thought about that myself. Only conclusion is stupidity or perfect plan. Global warming is the ultimate danger for the whole planet. There is now a 200 mile crack in the antarctic ice shelf. Ozone protection is nearly gone. When 200 million in China want combustion engine cars in the next few years, the planet is history. Lot of debate about the problem but it is real and caused by human production. How do you stop it ?. How do you put everybody back to the 1890's and turn off cars and jets and smoking factories. Y2k may be a blessing. We will all shed a few pounds, get more exercise, breath a little cleaner air, level the playing field and change society world wide without losing the technology we have learned. May be we can put it to better use.

-- Tom Format (Tom Format, September 25, 1998.

Global warming is not as clear cut as you make out. The earths temperature is actually cooler now than it was before the Industrial age. Granted, there was a period of increase for a few years but overall it is cooler. The earths temperature was considerably hotter thousands of years ago, long before we had any sort of civilization except for a few Ringo Starr / Raquel Welsh types who swung clubs at dipplodocus' in their spare time.

Even today, one major volcano has more effect on global warming than all of mankinds combined effect for the last 100 years.

Y2K is here simply because of a combination of factors including the very high cost of computer space resulting in the need to use 2 digits for years, the faulty assumption that the programs being written would surely not last that long and the combined inaction of governments, companies and individuals when it became apparent we needed to do something.

Also, please remember there are many places that would benefit from global warming. For every negative there is a positive. Earth is far more resilient than we give it credit for. Sure, some low lying areas may be subjected to flooding. However, it has always been foolish to build in low lying areas. Floods are merely natures way of replenishing minerals in the soil. Without floods, we would be screwed. Similiarly, it has always been foolish to build in the area of earthquake fault lines, however people still do it. Also, if you build near the edge of a cliff, forgive me for not being too weepy when your house falls in the ocean. Erosion is natural.

-- Craig (, September 25, 1998.

I think there are several factors contributing, not all obvious.

1. When electronic computers were being developed in the 1940s-1950s, how old were the folks who had been adults _during our last century change in 1899-1900_? Answer: In their sixties, seventies, or older. How many of _them_ designed computers or were consulted by computer designers about whether to use more than two digits for the year number? Not many, right? IOW, 99.99% of the people who have designed and programmed computers have _never themselves experienced a real-life calendar century change and seen what adjustments had to be made_!!!

2. Try this: As you go about your daily business, notice how often people in "ordinary", non-computer situations (store clerk, dentist, haircutter, auto mechanic, etc.) hand-write the date using only two digits for the year, as in "9/26/98". Over a period of eight months while I made particular note of this, I only once saw a handwritten date with a four-digit year where that wasn't required - on an informal letter written by my aunt, now retired after working with computers for twenty years! Folks have been abbreviating the year number lots longer than there have been electronic computers.

-- No Spam Please, I'm Y2Kute (, September 26, 1998.

I blame the whole thing on Julius Caesar, or maybe this Pope Gregory -- I'm not too up on this calendar stuff.

But I know one thing. It's up to Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox to go back in time and fix whatever either one of them did wrong. Seems the ruling Disney party in Congress should pass some legislation forcing them to do so.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, September 26, 1998.

BTW, the global warming theory is pretty much in the same category as the theory of evolution -- debunked, out-of-date theories that so-called scientists are hanging onto for fear of facing the truth

-- John Howard (, September 26, 1998.

Y2k had to come. It's built into our social fabric: that is "optimism" and denial. I've foresseen and pointed out many times in the past unpleasent facts. Often I was called a "pessimsist," but then proved to be right. I venture to say that many IT professionals were "pessimists" when they informed their managers about this date problem. Our schools did not allow "pessimism," thereby squelching the expression of thruth. I could write volumes....

-- Hammer Me (, September 26, 1998.

To John Howard,

Can I just say that Michael J. Fox is Canadian and is in no way involved in the plan to invade North Dakota actual Y2K remediation plans.

-- Craig (, September 26, 1998.

I'm not sure I'd call it plain ol' stupidity. I see it as a combination of things.

First, I've seen a real decline in the level of personal responsibility. "That's not my job." "It's his fault." etc. So the average attitude is that it's someone else's problem, and it's up to someone else to fix it. In a way, his may be true for many, but the part that bugs me is that folks who think like this also come around pointing the finger, and demanding that they be taken care of - after TSHTF. Personal preparation is not part of their thinking.

Second, it is quite natural to procrastinate. How many kids do the weekend's homework on Sunday night? Again, no preparation or inadequate planning. Cost overruns and late deliveries are the same thing. The problem with Y2K is that it's different than most situations. There is a finite amount of time to fix the problem. There is no grace period.

Third, there is a real lack of knowledge. Many people - even top level business managers - don't really understand the gravity of the problem. And most people are not going to take the time to learn about it. They figure if it breaks, someone will just have to fix it, and we'll all go back to business as usual. I also think many managers see this strictly as a technical issue. They think that the geeks should take care of it. They don't understand that their business lives on information, and if that information stops flowing, it's all over. (Information may be machine instructions, account or inventory data, communication by voice or data.....) They also don't see that it's up to them to make sure the remediation is managed properly. This means that the project is done right, and done on time. The trouble is that soooo few managers really do a good job of managing.

There's alot more to this, but that's what I have for now.

-- Mike (, September 26, 1998.

I think it's like with the farmers. Every year they drive their tractors into Washington to protest whatever it is they protest. Apparently no one listens, because the next year they come back. Everyone laughs at them, the same way geeks get laughed at. Then one day, when the price of food goes way up, everyone goes "Well why didn't the government help the farmers?" It's hopeless, no one is listening. No one.

-- Amy Leone (, September 26, 1998.

The answer is one 4-lettered word: S-P-A-M. We should have seen it coming with all the Spam web-sites on the Internet. There's even one called "The Church of Spam"-a friend told me,I never went there myself of course. The Great Spam Conspiracy-they just couldn't wait for a resurgence of their war-day popularity. So they infiltrated the computer industry in the 40's...and, well, you know the rest of the story...

-- madeline (, September 26, 1998.

LOL Craig, about Michael J. Fox! And I'm glad to see a strikeout line on this forum that was intentional

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, September 28, 1998.

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