Y2K is No Big Deal, I know becasue my in-law told me

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How often have we heard something like 'it's not a big deal because my sister-in-law works with computers and she said so' - or 'my friend knows about computers and he isn't worried'. How often have we seen this on threads.

This nonsense is one of the biggest awareness suppressors keeping folks down on the lower end of the Y2K Evolutionary Scale (Don't get it, Forget it, Don't wanna get it, Get it). Just because someone works with or is knowledgeable about computers, don't assume they get it.

This is important for us to understand as we speak to people about Y2K. Make sure, if you suggest that they talk to other people besides yourself, that this is considered. Otherwise, if they go and ask cousin Joe (who has his very own laptop) and he says ' Y2K is all hype', they will join the ranks of the Forget its.

Like other industries, the IT field has lots of 'specialists'. If you needed heart surgery would you go to a foot doctor? If you want to greatly tilt the odds of them getting it then tell them to talk with someone who is actually working on Y2K or someone who has a lot (at least 10 - 15 years) professional computer experience. Better still, someone who has many years of experience and is also working on Y2K.

If we have a responsibility to tell folks, let's do it responsibly.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 02, 1998


Maybe it would help if we explain that nobody knows what the impact of Y2K will be. Not Peter de Jager, not Ed Yourdon, not Ed Yardini, not Gary North, not Paul Milne, nobody. We each have to make our own assessments and act accordingly. (Not to act is to act.)

But one always has to keep in mind: If you prepare for a disaster, and the disaster does not happen, you have lost relatively little. If you do not prepare for a disaster, and the disaster happens, you have lost a lot.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 02, 1998.

Jack: I deliberately focused on just the one aspect, but you make a good point. The thread should be expanded to post answers like yours:

Things to emphasize when we are telling folks about Y2K.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 02, 1998.

Rob, preparing for Y2K has become almost a secondary consideration for me. The Global economy is in such a mess that something has to give. I'm preparing for rough times period! Y2K or not, bad times are coming.

On the Y2K side we have all become too dependent on, or take for granted necessities like water. Imagine, I trust a utility to provide me with a service without which I would be dead in 5 days.

As Spock might say, "That sir, is illogical".


-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), December 02, 1998.

MVI: You are so right. I say a decade of frightning contraction and rebuilding. Everyone has been spinning plates for too long now.

-- PNG (png @gol.com), December 02, 1998.

Rob: Ignorance spoken with authority receives credibility from the masses almost every time. It also can un-do the most tenuously achieved progress. It's also not limited to relatives .. as you probably realize... Example:
I have a good friend who is one of several pharmacists at a large hospital in the southeast US. For the past several weeks, I've been doing what I can to gently educate my friend with regard to possible Y2K ramifications. Last week, we'd almost reached the point of "Ah ha! I get it now!" .. when the hospital removed all of their old "non-compliant" systems (networked to a mainframe computer via Novell or similar) and installed new "compliant" units. The installation work was performed by "network computer specialists". So.... my friend asked these "experts" if the Y2K problem was "for real". Their reply:
"No. This Y2K hype is all overblown. Y2K isn't anything to worry about. It will all be taken care of long before the end of next year."
Fortunately .. my friend didn't become closed-minded at this point .. but did go the the trouble to try to "reverse-educate" me with the information from the "system experts". Since my friend said the "experts" were due back the next day to finish the installation job .. I suggested that one more question be asked...
"Were they stating this information to others based on fact which had been researched .. or was this simply their opinion which they were authoritatively passing on with free abandon for the masses to interpret as reality?"
My friend contacted me via e-mail with a reply from these "experts" .. and I'm grateful that they (the purported "experts") were at least honest:
"We were just expressing our opinion based on what we know about computers. We really haven't done any research into the matter. After all.. your hospital will be 'compliant' .. so you won't have anything to worry about."
To that .. the following long-distance telephone dialog ensued between my friend and me: Me: "Ok... the pharmacy computers connect to the main computers .. correct?"
My friend: "Yes.".
Me:"And the hospital main computer then connects to computers in the outside world ... such as Medicare, insurance companies .. and others ... correct?"
Friend:"Yes. Hmmm.... [long pause...] And if those outside world computers aren't done or working the exactly same as ours .. it won't matter if we are compliant or not..." [the proverbial "ah ha!" experience] ..
Me: "Right... now you're beginning to see what I've been saying...".
My pharmacist friend has now started preparing. ... nuff sed ... Dan

-- Dan (DanTCC@Yahoo.com), December 02, 1998.

I have been dismayed at the number of computer professionals I've talked to who claim it's all hype because "it won't affect my job. Our computers at work are just fine." They are unable to focus on anything beyond their little corner of the computer world. The man I bought my computer from says we are overreacting. He says he has some small businesses as clients who will be hurt because they haven't upgraded. When I explained to him the reasons that GM also won't be compliant, he had no comment, but basically ignored what I said. I spend very little time trying to convince such people.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), December 02, 1998.

My favorite example of this is the programmer who made the computers compliant for the county clerk's office (auto registration).

He said the only Y2K problem electric utilities and the phone companies would have is with BILLING. He stated as fact there would be electricity and phone service in 2000.

I wonder how he "knows" this when even the SEC filings at the very least indiciate failure is possible due to vendors.

-- Kevin (musicmixes@worldnet.att.net), December 02, 1998.

Ask your computer expert what he knows about liability insurance subrogation. Or fractional reserve banking. Or automated financial underwriting implementation.

-- Greebo (gret11@aol.com), December 02, 1998.

Jim Lord has a nice article "How to Explain Y2K to Non-Believers". The url is www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9834.htm Donna

-- Donna in Texas (Dd0143@aol.com), December 03, 1998.

This is almost funny: My UPS driver today was being nosey when he delivered my package (which was Ed & Jennifer's new video, which I might add is EXCELLENT!) He noticed Y2K in the return address. Told him it was probably my video on y2k preparedness. He says oh that's not going to be any big deal, they'll get it fixed. I just said that I hoped he was right but I have done extensive research & I've not seen anything to make me very optimistic. Wellll he has a cousin that works with computers at Penzoil (LOL) & he says that it's not going to be a problem. Mr. UPS did say we might have a few problems but certainly no food shortages or power failures. I almost wish sometimes that I still lived in DGI land, so I didn't have to worry about things. Not! Oh well, heavy sigh... Donna

-- Donna in Texas (Dd0143@aol.com), December 04, 1998.

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