Coates interpretation of Yourdon's position?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I found this at comp.software.year-2000
I could tell you what I think Ed was talking about but I'd rather let Ed speak for himself.
Unfortunately, others will form their own interpretation and feel that there is no Y2K problem. You can see how one person has already interpreted the article.
I have included the link and original article further on down.
Subject: * LAMEBRAINED * Y2K Comments Of The Week - Chicago Tribune's James Coates... From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Theo DP) Date: Mon, Nov 9, 1998 01:04 EST Message-id: <email@example.com>
...for his column in which he concludes that Y2K must not be a big deal because everyone agrees that it is try sticking your hand in fire Jim - it must not be hot because everyone agrees that it is!) and indicating that Ed Yourdon now feels Y2K is a hoax!
--> Snipped From http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/coates/
VOICE OF REASON DROWNED OUT IN SEA OF Y2K SCAREMONGERS
I smell a rat and the name of the beast is Y2K. This reporter's reportorial instincts prompt me to ask this: If the Year 2000 problem is such a big deal, where is the Ralph Nader of Y2K? Man and boy, I've been covering Y2K since 1994 and have been stunned to note virtually ubiquitous acceptance without a peep that the problem is immense and can only be solved by throwing huge amounts of money at it. This bothers me because in the America I understand, dissenting voices are as fundamental as fish sticks on Friday. There are two sides to every story, we're taught from the cradle through grad school. Having somebody to question the popular wisdom keeps us honest...Even those of us who believed that what's good for General Motors is, indeed, good for America felt relieved to know Nader was there to blow the whistle...An unlikely Nader, this man Yourdon. But it's good to hear at last a dissenting voice.
************************************************** Here is the actual column
VOICE OF REASON DROWNED OUT IN SEA OF Y2K SCAREMONGERS November 8, 1998
I smell a rat and the name of the beast is Y2K.
This reporter's reportorial instincts prompt me to ask this: If the Year 2000 problem is such a big deal, where is the Ralph Nader of Y2K?
Man and boy, I've been covering Y2K since 1994 and have been stunned to note virtually ubiquitous acceptance without a peep that the problem is immense and can only be solved by throwing huge amounts of money at it.
This bothers me because in the America I understand, dissenting voices are as fundamental as fish sticks on Friday. There are two sides to every story, we're taught from the cradle through grad school. Having somebody to question the popular wisdom keeps us honest.
Even those of us who believed that what's good for General Motors is, indeed, good for America felt relieved to know Nader was there to blow the whistle.
Lyndon Johnson had Abbie Hoffman to howl that the war in Vietnam was wrong. Richard Nixon had Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Woody Allen has Mia Farrow. Bill Clinton has Kenneth Starr. Bill Gates has Janet Reno. Even Pope John Paul II has Protestants.
Y2K, however, has precious few critics. It has cheerleaders.
Dataquest, the highly regarded computer industry market research house, now estimates that corporate computer departments will spend $14 billion between now and The Day to fix Y2K problems.
The Gartner Group says that worldwide more than $600 billion will either be spent or lost, either fixing Y2K problems before they happen or cleaning up afterwards.
But where is the voice in the wilderness warning us to look out for hollow wooden horses as we gird to battle the binary beast that well-paid Y2K consultants say is slouching toward Silicon Valley to be born Jan. 1, 2000?
Does every last living soul on Planet Earth agree that fin de siecle meltdown is such a mortal lock that businesses, governments and even individuals need to drop almost everything else and prepare for Armageddon brought about by errant date fields?
Most of us understand the scare well enough. Many of the world's computers and its sundry electronic gadgets were designed to keep calendar time by using only the last two digits for the years, which means that they will fail in part or whole once the calendar rolls over at the end of 1999.
Without a fix, we're told by an overwhelming horde of handsomely compensated consultants, the computers that write Social Security checks will think Medicare recipients are 1-year-olds and airport control towers will lose track of the airplanes they watch and stock traders will be told their beloved options have expired even before they are issued.
Who is there to point out that human clerks will quickly see that the computers mixed up the birth date and that pilots tend to know where they are flying without looking at the calendar? Surely options owners' howls will be heard very quickly indeed.
Will city traffic signals really start blinking mindless orange throughout the intersections of America? Will elevators plunge to the basements of high-rise America and shut down? Will your driver's license expire on the spot?
Anybody can make up worst-case scenarios. But how likely are they to really occur? How much do we really need to spend on all this? I am amazed at the lack of skepticism in the face of the blatant hyperbole proffered by those building in-house corporate Y2K remediation empires and the consultants they hire to back them up.
Ironically, the lack of dissenting voices now seems to be bothering some of the very experts who led the way in warning us about the threat in the first place.
A new study by the Massachusetts-based Cutter Consortium now warns that such huge numbers of corporate dollars are being lavished on fixing real or imagined Y2K issues that companies are diverting money from computer resources that are essential for making money.
A Cutter study of 280 major companies found that an average of 24 percent of all corporate technology spending has been diverted to Y2K projects and that the health-care industry now spends almost 40 percent on Y2K at the expense of doing business. Some companies confessed that 80 percent of their technology spending was for Y2K.
Edward Yourdon, chairman of Cutter and a leading prophet of the Y2K crusade, warned that the ultimate outcome may be that we've saved the bath water but thrown out the baby.
"Is the `meat and potatoes'--new projects, client support, or system upgrades--being pushed aside by Year 2000?" Yourdon asked.
"Top IT (information technology) priorities can vary greatly from organization to organization, but one thing is certain: Greater sensibility is needed to deploy the scarce IT resources left over after Year 2000's big bite."
An unlikely Nader, this man Yourdon. But it's good to hear at last a dissenting voice.
-- Anna McKay Ginn (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 1998
I must admit to being confused by this, Ed. I understand that what you're saying, even as I am perplexed by Coates' interpretation. But what profiteth a man if he saves his money-making, improved new apps but suffereth the loss of his mainframe?
That baby-and-the-bathwater is a tired old cliche. I would have expected better from you. Replace the concept of the bathwater with fresh water---or food or shelter---and see what an interesting conundrum it becomes.
Methinks life in the wilds of New Mexico is becoming a little too secure for you, my friend.
"In this day and age, if you're not confused, you're not thinking clearly."---Burt Mannis
-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), November 09, 1998.
Or, as has happened many times, the quote may have been "pulled, massaged and chewed heavily" by a "reproter"with a HUGE axe to grind. ANYONE who deals with the press on an even irregular basis has to understand this system.
While unlike Bob Heinlein (-3 sp), the situations I have witnessed weren't all world class, the 8 or 10 times i have been involved in incidents reported in the press have one uniquely identical detail: at no time did the published account match the incident I witnessed. I have also been misquoted, often to give the oposite effect of the conversation in toto. Let's not push too hard on Ed until he has a chance to let us know the context. We might find that we agree with him, and that what he is saying is something like 'Companies must be very careful what happens to their budget that is'n being eaten up by the REQUIRED Y2K remediation' or something to that effect.
Been there, done that, got the T' shirt, it covers most of the scars.
Chuck, da Night Driver
-- Chuck, d n d (email@example.com), November 09, 1998.
The reporter is "obviously unbiased", yeah right. He evidently wants desperately to find and report the "other" side; becuase he possibly personally does not want to believe this type of trouble could occur.
Look through the reporter's ranting again - see where he is scrambling to find soemthing to discredit those who are consultants (making fun of the haircuts (?) in an article about programs is responsible journalism ?). It is evident in a few other places also - on average, about every other clause.
The specific quote may or may not be twisted or warped - check with Ed, don't believe the journalist.
By the way, if every technical expert is in agreement - and if that "has never happened before in America", isn't he (the reporter) smart enough to realize that maybe, just maybe, the experts are right?
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 1998.
I'll bet fifty cents that some technical expert can be found who will certify that Y2K is a transitory glitch, a bump in the road, not to worry.
There have been certified professionals who swore to us that DDT was safe. There are still some of them who tell us that a moderate amount of radioactive fallout is not only not harmful, it is actually good for our health.
Follow the money.
-- Tom Carey (email@example.com), November 10, 1998.
See what I mean about the media being all opinion and no fact. Just make up your own mind on issues, don't just blindly believe TV and newspapers. Why are you so influenced by them.
-- Richard Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 1998.
As a young boy, I used to watch my grandmother wrap the garbage in yesterday's newspaper before she put it in the dust bin (that's "garbage can" in American). Newspapers are still good for wrappping garbage, just sooner.
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), November 10, 1998.
Looks like Ed Yourdon has settled the question of where he stands (more pessimistic than last year) as of yesterday:
The Y2K Crystal Ball: What's Going to Happen on 1 Jan 2000?
-- Ned (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 1998.