y2k drug-crazed group sex. TWO THOUGHTS...

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

(Sorry, the salacious title is just to get attention and make it so you can remember the thread.)


These are very general ideas about that help make me so pessimistic re. y2k, and maybe they might do that for you too.. :-)

1. I reckon that most of the time when a problem arises, people usually come up with some sort of solution that "patches" the situation: a band-aid that will keep things chugging along a little longer. Rarely do people address the root cause of the problem - to do that would be "radical." These band-aids are holding situations together in politics, in economics, in our personal lives, in commerce, in international relations, in most systems you care to name. I'm not posting here to explain the root causes of the world's problems, but i'm thinking that this general way of addressing problems has left us with much greater exposure to the coming troubles than might otherwise have been the case. A lot of our institutions and situations are not solid and robust, they are intricate and fine tuned and will only work at all if the problems they run into or cause are averted by continued operation of these band-aids/workarounds. y2k will be enough to destroy many such band-aids, with resultant great unravellings on all levels.

2. People have expresed similar thoughts to this one elsewhere, but here goes. Often when big problems arize there are multiple causes; it's that kind of universe really. Like when the Titanic went down the disaster needed a dodgy design, an irresponsible captain, too few lifeboats, um..an iceburg, a lack of nearby ships to rescue people etc...you might have heard the story. I think y2k, even lots of its minor effects, will add that one more little problem into a given situation so that what might have been manageable will flip into being disasterous. So many organisations and situations will confront SOOO many big and little problems that the necessary critical mass of problems will aggregate so as to cause many huge problems, even where none might be expected. (This might seem a little remedial to some, but whatever.)


-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), March 01, 1999


Patrick--is that you? Yes, it's all very much as Sir Clough Williams-Ellis pieced together the whimsically beautiful village of Portmeirion (which, as you know, houses the No. 6 in your address) from bits and pieces of old buildings. If his new creations didn't look quite right, Sir Clough added trompe l'oeil windows, rock formations, pillars, and so on, to please (and deceive) the casual observer. In similar fashion, so have a great deal of society's infrastructure and computer systems been created.

And you're second point condenses to: "it was the last straw that broke the camel's back." To paraphrase Winnie: Some camel. (Pause.) Some back.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), March 01, 1999.

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