TRAITOR : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is about Peter de Jager - the Traitor. Enough is enough. Commenting on de Jagers about turn on the seriousness of y2k, Flint blathers "Is it possible that the problems weren't quite as bad as he originally feared (little data were available then), and that the consequences that now appear most likely to him have been held in check by remediation efforts?"

Come ON Flint - get a grip man - no it is NOT POSSIBLE, data is data, it was there and still is, do your homework laddie! - de Jager has been backpeddling like crazy for a while now - there is ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION - that, world-wide, we have very simply run out of time. There are less than 180 working days left - did you know this? We have re-hashed this over and over. de Jager knows this - it's patently obvious he has been leaned on or bought off. How do you account for his u-turn? the facts as Paul Milne and many many others remind us are overwhelmingly bad - how can you possibly dispute this? How can de Jager?

The 19 largest Banks in Japan are spending the same as Citygroup below - how do you explain this - these Banks are Godzillas too - it is inevitable that they will tank. This is a negative ratio of 20 to 1 in remediation spending!!!

Technically this is an absolutely OVERWHELMING PROJECT - the whole world is linked by computers - it IS one big mechanism at the macro level. Who is in charge of this project? No one. Who is integrating remediations standards? No one. Who has insisted that each entity even so much as begin remediation? No one. Who is insisting on real-world (not spare capacity machine) testing? No one. What of all those entities that won't make it? What of those that will not complete testing and the new bugs that will be introduced?

And de Jager says "the year 2000 problem no longer exists, not in the technical sense"... give us all a freakin' break, does he think we are morons? This guy should be on medication, he has lost it completely.

I know Flint that you do your research and read and post on several fora as do I - so what is so difficult to comprehend?

de Jager, if you've been following his speeches, has done a complete u-turn. It's an insult to the likes of say for example, Citygroup, which is spending 950 million, and still has not come anywhere near finishing, that there is no technical threat anymore. That is complete and utter bullshit, pardon my French! What about Chevron? What about GM? What about those refineries in Venezuela which will be SHUT DOWN prior to rollover? What about West Germany - which relies for 40% of it's power from Russia? Would you like to depend on Russia for power? What about France - way way behind the curve - I worked there, I have friends working over there, they don't have a freakin' clue... Seen many European y2k sites? The communist countries are going to fix-on-failure...

There was a thread recently where all this was hashed out about de Jager being leaned on - I can't be bothered to find it - Joe Bob says check it out.


-- Andy (, January 29, 1999


sorry about the bold caps, damn computers!!!

-- Andy (, January 29, 1999.

The bastard.

-- Leo (, January 29, 1999.

thanks LEO

-- Andy (, January 29, 1999.

I'm going to do a "Leska!" ;)

Check out this link:-

From Dec 15th 1998 - Mr. de Jager is going to be lying prostrate at Koskinens' feet next...

Sorry if my tone is cynical but I come from an advertising and marketing perspective. Peter de Jager is a businessman. He went full tilt way back when as he wrote "Doomsday". It was a great "positioning" and it's made him a lot of money and brought a lot of business.

Just as Madonna went through many incarnations and images to keep her message "fresh" so to is Peter de Jager.

This coming year marks a major problem for those who implement y2k fixes or speak about y2k. It's "cut your losses" time where decisions must be made as to if the business can be remediated, if bankraupcy is the only answer, if contingencies can be worked through, etc.

If those like Peter de Jager continue to go on about "doomsday" then business falls dramatically but also very quickly as those who would utilize his services find it is no longer a valid option. So, change the message.

"We're making great progress! We must keep up the work! If we do we will win! Don't panic!"

A 360 degree change in the message but marketing the same products and services. It's a great strategy.

After all, if he were to continue with a "doomsday" message then businesses would cut their losses now instead of months from now. This strategy buys him additional time before his clients or perspective clients "bug out". He may well be helping them with their work arounds and contingencies as well.

I believe that Mr. de Jager is a sincere man but he's seen the writing on the wall just like all we "GIs". Prior to this piece he wrote an open letter to the President.

Also, Mr. de Jager is a Canadian. Canada has 8 national banks and a much smaller population. He views this reality through a different perspective. Yet, Canada is openly preparing for military deployment, blackouts, food shortages, bank runs, etc.

What is our government doing? We don't know. It's a secret.

The bottom line is that people are preparing regardless of what our government currently says. That is their marketing strategy. There are NO big failures, NO disruptions, No problems that can be attributed to y2k at this time. Our government is reactionary and they wont act until they can fix on failure. It's their strategy right now, but they'll pull a Madonna sometime this year when their old message becomes obsolete. When that happens they'll turn 360 degrees and yell, "get everyone in the lifeboats!"

Mike ==========================================

-- Michael Taylor (, December 15, 1998. "

To Cody Varian....

You had the audacity to write --Peter de Jager is relieved because awareness has arrived? I think the stress of this whole thing has gotten to him and he is having some kind of denial delusion--

Cut out the crap Cody. de Jager has done more for Y2K awareness than 10 million little Cody's ever could. What's with this obsession to trash everyone and anyone who doesn't buy this "Road Warrior" fantasy that so many of you seem to be on. I'm sick of this overuse and unintelligent use of the word 'denial'. You've gone one step further and created an even stupider broadstroke called 'denial delusion'.

This forum has gone from a place of responsible balanced people sharing ideas about sensible preparation plans, to a place where trashing others is commonplace, depression is normal and Mel Gibson riding through a desert wearing body armor is the expected and almost desired scenario.

Sure, buying a wood stove, stocking some food and supplies and preparing for the inevitable disruptions to life makes perfect sense. However, it's becoming a place where schizo conspiracy theorists are king, technology is evil, a 'God is gonna get us' fundie mindset pervades and we're all gonna die seems to be slogan of choice.

What a waste of time!! If the one in a million GN scenario happens, do you think the masses will for one moment allow GN to relax in his rural retreat, merrily polishing his scores of solar panels while his wife makes rice and bean cakes to her hearts content?

No, we can't fix everything. But we sure as hell can and will do a lot better job of coping than you paranoid extremists give us credit for.

As for de Jager, he is one of the most respected authorities on Y2K there is. Give the guy a break. He's got ten times the brains of an Infomagic.

-- Craig (, December 15, 1998.

Mike - all great points you made.

It's particularly pathetic that only 120 delegates turned up at the conference, what happened to all the other countries (60-80???). And don't say they are not computerised, they don't need to attend, I don't buy that at all.

The US is the most ahead of the game worldwide - that's the good news AND the bad news. The US is 700,000 programmers short at this point in time and what do we read every day??? Budgets skyrocketing, assessments finding more areas needing remediation, the problem becoming magnitudinally *more* complicated not less.

You all know the facts.

De Jager IMHO has either lost it completely, has been "gotten to", or is letting his greed take over his conscience as Michael postulated above.

I was talking about VISA and the Banking system yesterday. Now De Jager knows full well that compliance in Banking must be 100%, 99% will not cut it.

Bryan posted this on the Banking issue a little while ago - something De Jager seems conveniently to have forgotten about.......

"Wrong calculations beget wrong calculations ad nauseum. Within 24 hours of the turnover, the Global Finacial System will either A) be completely corrupt B) be completely shut down so as to avoid A. The result is the same in either case; even if we don't go Milne, you are going to see a mess bigger than you can imagine. Alan Greenspan was entirely correct when he stated that 99% is not good enough. We will be nowhere close--not even in the ballpark. The engines have shutdown; the plane is falling--we simply haven't hit the ground yet. Scoff if you must; as a professional working with professionals, I know the score. It's going down. This is why at least 61% of IT professionals are pulling their money out before it hits--of course, in 10 or 11 months, that number will rise to 100%; but then, it will be to late. We know for a fact that that 50% of all businesses in this, the best prepared of countries, will not perform real-time testing. As a Programmer/Test Engineer, I can therefore assure you that at least 50% of all businesses in this, the best prepared of countries, are going to experience mission-critical failures, Gartners new optimistic spin not withstanding. Remediation sans testing is not remediation. The code will still be broken, just in new and unknown ways.

GotGot wheat?" Well, at $1,000,000 a year salary, I'm sure De Jager has plenty of wheat, much of it stockpiled around his stomach it seems! The next time you see the "Incredible Bulk" pontificating on that ever so scrumptious lecture circuit, take a look at that stomach and remember, where there is wheat there is *chaff*... and Peter is spewing out a lot of y2k chaff at this point in time.......

Got *CHAFF* Peter???

-- Andy (, December 15, 1998.

I quote Mr. de Jager from his book "Managing 00: Surviving the Year 2000 Computing Crisis":

An enterprise starting in 1997 is likely to get through only about 80% of its applications; if it waits until 1999, only 30%. And even conceding that only 30% of the applications may be critical to the business of the enterprise, that 30% is probably attached by data to another 40% of the other applications that wont make the transition in time. At best, the organization will be crippled; at worst, it will no longer exist.

For Mr. de Jager to boast of how wonderful it is that the "awareness battle" has been "won", and still KNOW that anyone starting a Y2K project at this late date is at best "crippled" is the ultimate in hypocrisy. He and Koskinen appear to be performing the same goofy high-wire act: scare, but don't panic.

The battle has been lost. De Jager just doesn't have the balls to say so.

-- Steve Hartsman (, December 16, 1998.

I like to give credit where credit is due. Peter de Jager deserves a lot of credit in bringing out awareness of Y2K. Indeed, I imagine that for him to be present at the United Nations while representatives of so many world governments discussed Y2K must have indeed been a rewarding personal experience, if not outright vindication for all the skepticism that he had to put up with all these years.

But: bad computer code does not care. It is still broken, it still needs fixing, and there is still not enough time to fix it. Whether the result will be "doomsday" (as Peter de Jager's 1993 article in Computerworld was titled) or not is, as always, open to speculation (which we do a lot of around here). I sure would not dismiss this as a one-in-a-million chance -- if anything, we have had so much verification lately of how interwoven complex systems can fail (San Francisco cascading power blackout; Galaxy satellite failure causing gas pumps, pagers, etc., to stop working), I would think that it would be a one-in-a-thousand chance if Y2K does not result in a complete collapse of our life- sustaining systems.

The bottom line is that de Jager has, suddenly, gotten very "comfy" (and fat) with his whole Y2K Awareness gig, seemingly seeing his role (like that of Koskinen) as simply the horn trumpeter, nothing more. Which is fine, quite frankly, as long as everyone recognizes this.

-- Jack (, December 15, 1998.


1 byte

-- Andy (, January 29, 1999.

And *ANOTHER* Leska:-

Peter de Jager, Y2K, and the real threat to liberty Dateline: 1/29/99

I honestly believe that the year 2000 problem no longer exists, not in the technical sense, says Peter de Jager, a man best characterized as the town crier of the programming glitch usually referred to as Y2K or the millennium bug. He was among the first to point out that programming shortcuts taken years ago could cause major disruptions in anything computerized when 1999 rolls over into 2000, inducing cyber-epilepsy in a wide variety of software and high-tech devices. In recent months, though, hes voiced satisfaction at the pace with which people are fixing the problem  at least across North America  and backed away from predictions of serious computer problems and resulting social chaos with the coming of the new year.


There you have it. Y2k will not affect us in any technical sense at all. The only problems, now, will be those created out of people's MERE peceptions. No objective problem at all.

Read His own words.

"I honestly believe that the year 2000 problem no longer exists..."

If you do not see by now what an asshole de Jager is , you never will. This is an OBJECT lesson in cognitive dissonance. Worst case I have ever seen.

I have openly an unabashedly called de Jager an ASSHOLE. There is no other more fitting word for an ASSHOLE, than ASSHOLE.

Paul Milne

If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast.


1 mechanism...

-- Andy (, January 29, 1999.


Here's the proof you're looking for. This is a link to an open letter from Peter de Jager to President Clinton dated November 17, 1998...

...less than eleven (11) weeks ago. Notice de Jager's opinion in November compared with the interview with him that came out yesterday.

Either Peter de Jager is being disingenuous now, or else astronomical amounts of remediation have been accomplished during the past 11 weeks!

"Open Letter to President Clinton"

-- Kevin (, January 29, 1999.

Peter de Jager was in it for the money all along. He is nothing more than a fucking liar. He sucked us all in, ate free food until his gut is ready to explode. De Jager.... You liar!!!! Look what you have done to the world. I hope someone super glues your fat ass and you hurl shit!!!

-- BEENhad (, January 29, 1999.

Very odd that now we have non-profit entities (Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard, various state and city governmental agencies, and so on) weighing in with progressively more pessimistic Y2K prognostications, de Jager is backing off. Sure, the non-profits could be angling for more funds to perpetuate their existence but, realistically, funding approval takes so long to get through any bureaucracy, it won't do them much good until some time after Y2K when all will be moot anyway. It's not a wild deduction to conclude that the non-profits genuinely perceive a problem. So why is de Jager, a for-profit entity, now backing off? I think Andy's right--money. Perhaps his speaking engagements were tapering off as his market became saturated. As any good advertising agency knows, reformulating a product ("New formula!" "More ammonia!" "Now more power!" "Less fat!" "More taste!") and putting it in a different box will increase sales. Anyone for a de Jager Light in the cheerful new box?

It's possible that de Jager's been "got at" in some way, but my cynicism tells me it's the money.

-- Old Git (, January 29, 1999.

Thanks Kevin!!!,

That letter proves that in 11 weeks Mr. PDG has turned into a TRAITOR.

Asshole is too good for him Paul.

I really hate to say this, we ALL do, we are intelligent people, we expect leadership, we expect the truth, we do NOT EXPECT to be treated like imbeciles by the likes of Peter de Jager!!!

PDG has a lot of clout, a lot of people will listen, he is a lying bastard - no question about it. He will inevitably cost many many lives if things go to pot. The whole sharade is sickening.

FLINT - don't even bother replying because as far as I'm concerened you are just another paid lackey (and if not you should be collecting some Judas silver...)

Hope you sleep well at night the both of you.

Andy the disgusted.

Less than 180 working days - a technical challenge notwithstanding, thank you Pete.

1 mechanism.

-- Andy (, January 29, 1999.

Peter de Jager, 17 November 1999:

Peter de Jager, 29 January 1999:

-- Kevin (, January 29, 1999.

I'm tired. The first line of my last message should have been...

"Peter de Jager, 17 November 1998:"

-- Kevin (, January 29, 1999.

Check out: He still thinks (ca 12/98) that it's a 6 in a scale of 0-10. That sounds non-trivial to me. Who cares what he thinks; We still have to be prepared... Bruce

-- (, January 29, 1999.

If de Jager has missed the boat, so what? If he's genuinely decided that the threat of computer failure is now exceeded by the threat of panic, so what? It won't be that long before we have some idea how accurate he is, right?

The fact that the very blindest of the doomist bananas are reacting to him so violently is suggestive, though. I wonder if he'd get this kind of reaction if there were no truth to what he's saying? Some of you have crossed the line into sheer fanaticism. Try to get a grip before you suffer apoplexy attacking all disagreement so mindlessly.

-- Flint (, January 29, 1999.


I know I'm wasting my time trying to reason with you, so this reply is really addressed to those who have read your comments above. The simple problem with de Jager's about-face is that, based on what he has written and said in the past, he unfortunately WILL be listened to by some who were "getting" his original message.

The DGIs and DWGIs never knew who he was or listened to him anyway. But some of the ones he has reached with his earlier (realistic) message may now assume that the new (happy-face) message is just as valid. So in fact, he will be responsible for killing people he may have been able to help.

Flint, regarding "sheer fanaticism," your optimistic message is much more fanatical than that of the doombrooders on this forum. Whereas most of us so labeled are at that point because of a multitude of facts, you and the other "optimists" are where you are based primarily on feelings or desires. Pollyannas, just remember... in February 2000, all you have to do is "feel" full or "desire" to be sated, and that gnawing pain in your empty stomach will disappear.


-- Nabi Davidson (, January 29, 1999.


The problem is that Peter de Jager has DISingenuously come to that decision. You know it, and I know it. You *have* just re-read de Jager's November 17 comments, right? The figures he quotes in the letter to Clinton...

...are the figures the agencies *themselves* reported to the federal government. Do you or do you not believe these figures? In any case, it is hypocritical of Peter de Jager to criticize people for saying in January 1999 the same things he himself was saying in November 1998, especially if he's not going to apologize for his "inaccurate" November 1998 comments.

One other said, "It won't be long before we have some idea how accurate he is, right?" True, but that little bit of time will make the difference to someone who hasn't started preparing yet. By the time you are willing to admit that de Jager's 29 January 1999 comments weren't accurate, it will be too late for many to prepare adequately.

Flint, I don't understand you. Your plausible scenario for 2000 is almost exactly like mine. Yet you defend people who are encouraging the public not to prepare in the same way that you have already.

Were you accused of something when you were a child that you didn't do?

-- Kevin (, January 29, 1999.


I'm trying to understand you, I really am. So far I've failed, and I admit the failure is mine.

Consider the very title to this thread - TRAITOR. The term 'traitor' applies ONLY in adversarial circumstances. It makes absolutely no sense in an investigative proceeding. So are we trying to understand what's happening, or are we trying to win a prize of some kind? What's your thinking on this? I'll admit I don't see a battle between optimists and pessimists, I see a battle of organizations against bad code. I personally believe the bad code will win, but not decisively.

I'm not trying to be in any way optimistic. I'm trying to interpret what I read as carefully as I can, seeing bad news as bad and good news as good. Some people here have abandoned any pretense at this, exaggerating all bad news and rejecting all good news. I try to point out that given the limitations on our information, multiple reasonable explanations are possible. I'm amazed at those who jump to utterly unwarrented conclusions based on their own powerful biases, and then call everyone else a fanatic. I know neither de Jager's motives nor his information, and *neither do you*.

You claim to have facts. As one of innumerable examples, consider Kennedy's post on Chevron. Chevron's legal boilerplate notes that they cannot complete remediation of all their non-critical systems in time. Kennedy immediately derives the 'fact' that Chevron is history! Kennedy then takes an obsolete budget figure, decides that Chevron's burn rate doesn't satisfy him, and derives the 'fact' that Chevron doesn't care if they go broke or not!

Armed with these two preposterous 'facts', Kennedy decides that the Western World is lost, since we'll have no oil! This loss of oil capacity has now become another 'fact'! The question has shifted from "How functional will Chrevon be if non-critical systems fail?" to "why can't you see that the loss of Chevron is proof of the coming catastrophe?" When you ask the wrong question, you never get the right answer. Is that so hard to understand?

You don't need to be either an optimist or a pessimist to see that this progression is nonsense. You only need to apply the same intelligence you'd apply to solve a bug in a program. The goal is to find the bug. The goal is NOT to PROVE that the bug lives in some arbitrary predetermined location, and that anyone looking for the bug itself rather than agreeing with your guess is a fanatic. When you project a confrontational model inappropriately, any hope of genuine understanding is lost. You'll never find that bug. You may well succeed in intimidating someone, you can pat yourself on the back for 'winning', but you'll never find that bug. A wise person defined a fanatic as someone who redoubles their energy when they've lost sight of their objective. The objective is to find the bug, not to win an argument.

I'll say it again: We have very few facts. We have a great deal of material composed of guesses, speculations, schedules, personal testimony, statistics, budgets, press releases, guru opinions, projections, progress reports, and what have you. To me, the overall picture these paint is not pretty. But deliberately distorting this material to fit some a priori conviction is less pretty, whether that conviction is optimistic or pessimistic.

I encourage you to question ALL your sources. If you question ONLY those sources you disagree with, you've crossed the line into fanaticism. If you decide we're doomed (or that there's no problem) *first*, and then sift through the available material for support for this position *second*, you've crossed the line. At that point, you're not trying to get a realistic grasp of what's going on, you're trying to win an argument at any cost. I claim that's the wrong goal here.


I believe that remediation is indeed having a genuine impact. All of those billions of dollars are really doing something good. I don't think it will be enough to prevent what I described in my own expectations, but I can tell you my expectations would be a lot worse without any remediation.

I believe that public panic represents a very serious threat in and of itself. The Great Depression itself (as opposed to the market crash that triggered it) was largely (not completely) the result of public panic.

In theory, as remediation continues, there's a point where the impact of panic exceeds the impact of the bad code. I don't think we're there yet, but apparently de Jager does. It's a tough call, but I can't consider de Jager to be the Devil himself if he thinks we've reached that point earlier than I do.

My reading is that he's shifted his message to battle what he sees as the greater danger. This is a damn hard thing to do gracefully, especially when *both* dangers are genuinely serious. To get people started fixing an expensive problem with no return on investment, you need to emphasize how very very bad the problem is. Then, to quell panic, it's necessary to minimize the very threat you've been hyping all along. When you start juggling with spin you look bad, even if your intentions are good.

Now, how do you get people to prepare responsibly without stampeding them? If I knew, I'd do it.

-- Flint (, January 29, 1999.


I'm trying to understand you, I really am. So far I've failed, and I admit the failure is mine.

Consider the very title to this thread - TRAITOR. The term 'traitor' applies ONLY in adversarial circumstances.

I'll help you understand me a little better, Flint. I have a close relative that was on the verge of understanding that maybe he should prepare for himself, his wife, and his two small children. But then he went to a seminar put on by the Gartner group. This was at about the time Gartner started saying that Y2K disruptions would probably last a week or so.

To make a long story short, he suddenly decided right after getting back from the seminar that he might not need to worry about preparing after all. What will happen to him and his family? I don't know. But I do know that the about-face done by Gartner played a large part in him deciding Y2K would be a minor bump in the road.

So in my eyes, Flint, these ARE adversarial circumstances. I think TRAITOR is a good description of Gartner and de Jager. I believe that they have betrayed the people of this country for short-term financial gain. That's just my opinion, but I truly believe it.

But regardless of their motives, the effect is that my relative will likely go into Y2K much less prepared than he would have otherwise. And Gartner was the cause. I believe that makes them traitorous scum; you believe what you want, Flint...

-- Nabi Davidson (, January 29, 1999.

OK Nabi, I concede. There are those who won't buy fire insurance until they see the whites of the arsonist's eyes. If you think the insurance companies are traitorous scum for not holding a gun to their heads and terrifying them into buying the insurance, well, you can believe what you want.

I try not to blame others for my mistakes. Failure to prepare is a personal, stupid decision. But it's *your* decision, not Gartner's or de Jager's. Yours.

I insure myself against a great many improbable events, because I recognize that they're *possible*, however unlikely. You don't need to be a genius to see the wisdom in this.

I'd still like to understand the likelihood of y2k problems, both specifically and generally. I do *NOT* want either Gartner or de Jager deliberately lying to me for what *they* think is my own good. If you'd prefer that your relatives be lied to for their own good, well, that's your opinion. If your relatives die because they were stupid, it was their choice, not Gartner's.

-- Flint (, January 29, 1999.


Are you corn holing de Jager? Maybe you are de Jager??

-- Been Had (, January 29, 1999.


I won't make the mistake of trying to talk seriously to you again. Thanks for lightening my reply load.

-- Nabi Davidson (, January 29, 1999.

Nabi, I put a great deal of thought and time into my original reply to you. You grabbed the first sentence, obviously never read the rest, and barged on ahead with your agenda. Of course I was irritated. In my shoes, wouldn't you be? If I picked something you said out of context, deliberately misinterpreted it, ignored the rest, and started addressing an issue that wasn't raised, what would you think? That's what you did. NOW what do you think?

-- Flint (, January 29, 1999.

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