Concerns and Fear alleviated !!?? anyone else? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I just purchased a copy of Time Bomb 2000 and I am finding that Ed Yourdon seems to be less concerned than most of the people I have read on this forum. It seems like his concern is mainly for the first few days to be extremely chaotic and then the next month somewhat and after that only a few minor problems. I'm not finished the book yet but did anyone else feel that way when they read that book? What is your take on this?

Any insights or opinions welcomed and appreciated.

Hadassah Victor

-- Hadassah Victor (, October 15, 1998


Ed has moved to a farm in New Mexico and purchased 7 years worth of food for his family. That should tell you the level of his concern.

-- Amy Leone (, October 15, 1998.

"...7 years worth of food"?!

This is a lot of food. Maybe he figures on having some company?

-- Max Dixon (Ogden, Utah USA) (, October 15, 1998.

We're all invited, right?

-- rocky (, October 15, 1998.

We are all responsible for our own lives, no one else is. Noone knows for sure what will happen, you just have to prepare for what you think will (or may) happen. A lot of info has come out since that book was written -- Y2K is a very dynamic issue. If you are making decisions merely because so-and-so is doing something, you are not being very responsible.

-- Jack (, October 15, 1998.

THE PARTY IS AT ED's HOUSE< ?/// Right Ed?

-- partytime (, October 15, 1998.

A lot of people will think it's at yours! I already told my relatives not to come to the party empty handed.

-- Bardou (, October 15, 1998.

No one knows precisely what will happen. But the potential is ominous. Anyone who claims otherwise has not done their homework or is deluding themselves. Ed acknolwleges this in Time Bomb 2000 by giving us a range of possibilities to consider. Indeed, we still have an opportunity to make choices that will significantly impact which of those possibilities become realities.

Ed is not trying to scare people so much as he sees the danger of ignoring the problem and is attempting to prompt each of us to take positive action.

My own involvement in this issue came as a result of my work in information systems (my profession).

A few months back I decided to get a head start (knowing Y2K issues existed at the company where I'm employed) and learn more about Y2K methology. I read one such book. The book's approach was sound but I was concerned because there clearly was not enough time to take the approach it recommeded. So I bought another book - same story. Then one day while at the computer section of Barnes in Noble I spotted Time Bomb 2000.

At the university where I received my undergrad computer science degree, Ed's writing was highly respected and his texts were required reading in several of the courses I took while I was there.

I instantly recognized Ed's name on the book and, believing it to be a technical book on Y2K software methodology, bought it without even reading the cover. I thought Ed's approach to the methology might give me additional insights from which to draw practical shortcuts.

Two days later when I finished the book, I was floored. Here was a man I had respected for years and it was if (a technical) Shakespeare had begun writing for the National Enquirer. No way could this be true, I thought. This guy's popped his cork, lost his marbles. I even doubled check the bio to make sure it was THE Ed Yourdon. Maybe Barnes and Noble had incorrectly shelved a fictional horror story by some OTHER Ed Yourdon.

I have always lived by the motto "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence". So I began researching the issue in earnest. Surely, I thought, if such wild claims are true, there will be additional evidence. No problem, I thought, if Yourdon's just compiled one too many programs, the evidence will be there and I will quickly put this matter to rest. Too bad about Ed, I thought, but sometimes these things happen and life must go on...

So I began reading everything I could get my hands on, GAO reports, news items, Yardeni's writings, De Jager, Sen. Bennett, Cong. Horn and many, many others. The more I read, the more incredible and unbelieveable the story became and yet the evidence was overwhelming an obvious to anyone willing to do their homework.

Had the book come from just about any other source, I would have dismissed it out of hand and not bothered doing the additional research. I have always respected Ed's technical knowledge. His technical teachings have served me well during my career. In the past few months, I have also come to respect his personal courage. This issue would have been so easy to run from.

So I began my personal preparations in earnest because my first obligation is to my family. Then I began speaking to others on a one-to-one basis because personal preparations alone will not be enough to reduce the potential for calamaties. For me, Ed summed it up best in his article Shouting Fire In A Crowded Theatre because I too helped build the theatre.

It's what each of us choose to do today that will make the difference tomorrow.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 15, 1998.

Wow Arnie, very captivating post you wrote.

I needed to hear that this morning, because while in the shower I began questioning my sanity. Life around me where I live, on T.V., on radio and newspaper and magazines; nothing is out of the ordinary. Even the gloomy news on global markets and recession and possible Nato/US attacks are not stirring a squirrel. Is it all in my head? Why am I seemingly the only one to worry?

Your reaction when you became aware was exactly like mine. Except that I was made aware by Wired's article back in the spring, and decided to look into this on the internet, because I was ready to drop my subscription if it turned out to be a commercial hype stint on thier part. I don't go for that kind of stuff in my subscriptions.

You said "Had the book come from just about any other source, I would have dismissed it out of hand and not bothered doing the additional research."

I assure you I would have not bothered to read the book myself had I stumbled upon it as I didn't know Ed Yourdon until I started doing research on y2k on the internet. Even if it had been recommended to me by someone I trust. I would have dismissed it as hype, a wacko author out to make money on scaring the kind of people that buy tabloids and believe that stuff. I'm afraid that could be how most people think and therefore have a preconception that prevent them from really doing research :-(

-- Chris (, October 15, 1998.

I read somewhere just lately that Ed Yourdon has become more pessimistic of the probable outcome since the book was published, and that his updates to his chapters (on his website) reflect more concern now.

-- Chris Gelowitz (, October 15, 1998.

The whole idea of Time Bomb 2000 is to discuss varying degrees of failure in each area, and make suggestions as to what to expect. The book does downplay the ten year failures as difficult to believe, but the 2 day, one month, and one year failures are given equal treatment.

The authors don't try to tell the reader what to do. They simply give him/her food for thought.

As far as Ed's personal preparation, I get the feeling he is prepared for the worst, but expecting something less. Yet, as well informed as he is, he can still only make a calculated guess about the actual effects of Y2K. He indicated in previous posts that he sees preparation as insurance.

-- Mike (, October 15, 1998.

Mike: Thanks for pointing out that book indeed has authors (plural). My reference to it as "Ed's book" was not meant to discount Jennifer's contribution to the work. And Jennifer, if you are reading this, you have my sincere apology for the unintended slight.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 16, 1998.

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