Jim Lord's latest newslettergreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I read a copy of Jim Lord's latest newsletter and it has some interesting comments that I thought I would pass to you. He has a two page discussion where he asks "how can one explain the governments actions" in dealing with Y2K.
He states that the odds favor that they are 'just plain stupid' (75%) vs. the possibility of them having 'sinister motives' (25%) which was evidently discussed in his previous newsletter. He states that "Government uses force to avoid the constraint of consumer choice. This allows it to be stupid with impunity". He makes it clear that he is referring to the institution of government and not individuals.
I thought that an interesting observation was "Y2K is a problem without a political constituency". He goes on to state that Y2K does not have a lobby (special interest) group giving politicians money and feels that they think there is no political gain in dealing with it.
As an example of this he states that he has recently found out that Gore knew Y2K was serious about 18 months ago, wanted to take the issue on, but was told to not do so since there was no political gain involved. Also, he flames Gingrich for only showing a political interest in Y2K (how it may hurt Gore).
I know that it isn't totally fair of me to only post excerpts but I have tried to summarize what some of the main ideas for this one topic in the newsletter are since they may be, at least to some of you, very interesting.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1998
Since they figured there's no way to get partisan about Y2K, they'll just ignore it? Gotta love bureaucracies.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), December 14, 1998.
And the article in Vanity Fair says that Clinton "got it" right away and significantly before Gore, who was hard to knock some sense into by computer scientists. There goes the idea that Gore is the nation's 1rst geek. We couldn't count on him to wake up the country while he was asleep himself, right? But what was Clinton's excuse? I guess no political money is a good an excuse as any.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1998.
Re thumb-twiddling on Y2K (government, whoever)
Never underestimate the power of laziness and procrastination (me, too)
DB "The biggest motivator to accomplishment is a great idea and not quite enough time."
-- D B Spence (email@example.com), December 14, 1998.
Quoted this in another thread; it's even more appropriate here -
Hanlon's Razor: "Never ascribe to villainy that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
-- Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1998.
Have you considered the fact that perhaps Clinton and Gore DO GET IT, and they're not procrastinating?
Have you considered that perhaps they are just biding their time?
It goes a long way towards answering why he's willing to face continued humiliation by staying in office.
A National Emergency at the right time could do wonders for his permanent career....
-- INVAR (email@example.com), December 14, 1998.
Yep. we've considered that and more, including sinister conspiracy theories too. Who really knows? There are more opinions than facts. Jim Lord , I thought, had an interesting opinion which is why I posted what he thought. As far as I know, it isn't anywhere else on the web yet either.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1998.
Rob, my comments sounded flip but I thought your point (i.e. Jim Lord's) was an interesting one, that Y2K is a problem without a political constituency.
Politicians do have to walk the line between being expedient (dealing with here and now realities, business as usual, catering to the pressures of special interests) vs. rising above that and being visionary to see the common good of the country (but not so visionary as to lose touch). That is a real art (however much I might like to dump on "politicians") especially -before- any crisis (Y2K) is actually "here". (In times of affluence and no crisis, things degenerate to bickering over turf and trying to be right -- all too human nature.)
Y2K is the opposite of special interests. It is in the interest of all to deal with it. Unfortunately it will take crisis-mode before that will be seen and acted on and spoken of as publicly as it should be. This doesn't have to be. In Britain they are being much more forthright with the public. Who knows, if this three-ring circus hadn't been draining both sides of the energy pool in the White House, they might have been dealing with it a lot better. Or not. As you say who really knows? DB
-- D B Spence (email@example.com), December 15, 1998.
Here is a related info link from today's Westergaard site: the url is http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/WI/JW/wi9850.htm
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 15, 1998.