Do YOU believe the government's claims of Y2K compliance? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

OK, everybody is making fun of my post on the Y2KNEWSWIRE survey, I guess because of their history.

98% Don't Believe Government's Claims of Y2K Compliance

So what does THIS forum think? Do you pollys believe Uncle Sam? <:)=


Sysman - No way!

-- Sysman (, April 05, 1999


I see that we have a related current thread, so please feel free to answer there if you prefer. <:)=

How do we trust what we hear?

-- Sysman (, April 05, 1999.

Nope, Sysman, I do not believe anything of importance the government has to say.

-- (, April 06, 1999.

Sysman Thanks 4/9/1999 I think Governments books are cooked, I also don't think they've had time to test what fix?? they have made.

-- && (&&@&&.&), April 06, 1999.

I believe what the government says about Y2K as much as I believed His Slickness when he said,

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

The government has been lying too us as a matter of course since World War II. However, it has taken a quantum leap since Slick Willy became president.

-- Angry at Clinton (, April 06, 1999.

I have a novel idea.

I don't believe the U.S. government either. But I think they're more on target than, say, the Russians. Or the Chinese.

Let's all go over to Russia...or China...and complain loudly over there like we do over here now! And see how we end up.

Point being, what are you guys accomplishing? If it ain't constructive, then hush. If it is, then shout it from the rooftops.

So far, I don't see much rooftop material.

-- Chicken Little (, April 06, 1999.

Chicken Little,


Sheesh, I'm so fed up with these Clinton haters. They have nothing better to do except sit in their armchairs and hate the friggin' President? Haven't they ever heard the phrase "get a life?" If they have, do they know what it means?


-- *****! (*****@****.***), April 06, 1999.

*****! - Do you believe the government claims, Clinton or not? <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 06, 1999.

NO, not one bit. The government is lying IMHO. I won't belive it until i see it with my own eyes.

-- crono (, April 06, 1999.


-- Old Git (, April 06, 1999.

For the most part - yes. They cut the critical system count drastically to get at those numbers. They didn't hide the fact that they cut those numbers either. I'm not defending these guys, they piss me off sometimes too. But I think they're being truthful about the percentage of critical systems they deem Y2K ready.

you asked....


-- Deano (, April 06, 1999.

Only a fool would believe a self-admitted habitual liar.

-- Novacop (, April 06, 1999.

"I do what this corporation asks me to. That's what they pay me for."

- Deano (, February 05, 1999.

-- 0 (1@2.3), April 06, 1999.

I'm sorry, only a fool can't see that they cut the numbers of their critical systems to get at 98%. Are you that blind?? How do you manage to live in paranoia and disbelief all the time?

I'm supposed to apologize for believing in the corporation I've worked for for years? All they've ever done is allow me to live a life I dreamed about as a kid. Shame on them!! I guess that 5 figure bonus I got last month was just a slap in the face (see children? The Y2K business can be quite profitable if you're part of the solution!) Why the hell do I believe them and do what they ask of me?? I must be as insane as you to let them take advantage of me like that! My mom is so disappointed.......sad really.

I must say that I pitty you that live in such a paranoid state of mind. What type of organization did you work for that would make you think they're all liars?? Musta been a real horseshit one......bummer.'re just a fucking loser.


-- Deano (, April 06, 1999.

Folks, can we PLEASE try to stay on topic here. This isn't a hard question. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 06, 1999.

An informal online poll at such a biased site as means nothing.

-- Doomslayer (1@2.3), April 06, 1999.

BTW 0123 - you reek of hardliner as he has 'attempted' to use that line against me(?). Although I don't understand why since it's something I'm proud of. But I don't see him hiding........why are you?


-- Deano (, April 06, 1999.

What's wrong with doing what the company pays you to do? If you don't like it go someplace else. Strippers are paid to strip. If they don't like doing that they can do something else. If I don't like what my boss wants me to do, I quit. We agreed (when I was hired) that I would do my job to the best of my ability and in turn I would be paid.

However my boss (current and past) has never ever asked me to do anything unethical. (This seems to be your implication by the remark). As a matter of fact, if I was ever caught doing something unethical, I'm sure my boss would fire me on the spot.

-- Maria (, April 06, 1999.

I don't get it either Maria. Kinda makes you wonder what some of these folks do for a living. I, too, have never been asked to do anything unethical. Not once, not ever.


-- Deano (, April 06, 1999.

Are u 2 a pair of European skaters yet to divulge yourselfs on the scene?

I think we should be told.

-- Andy (, April 06, 1999.

Doomslayer, you're one of the more optimistic here - do you believe the government? <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 06, 1999.

What about you and Diane?

-- Maria (, April 06, 1999.

Me Maria, I voted first, No way! <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 06, 1999.

We must have hit the submit at the same time. That was for Andy (and Diane). My vote is the gov is being honest about Y2K.

-- Maria (, April 06, 1999.

Beliefs carry a certain degree of "assumptional" baggage, the core of which is based upon a degree of "knowing" something. Beliefs in this case have about as much validity as predictions. They are immaterial and are no more than another kind of spin upon the y2k topic.

Personally researched, thought through probability assessments re y2k problems are a clean method by which one can arrive at the ultimately, personal decision, as to how one is going to prepare and the degree of, or not to prepare.

I don't care if 98% or 3% don't believe the govt, or whoever. As if, those poll results are going to change how I prepare! Polls are just a way for people to justify action, based upon the degree to which they agree with the poll results. Pretty flimsy way to live a life, imho.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, April 06, 1999.

Geez Andy, you really and truly are the perverbial waste of human skin. And you continue to prove every single time you open that mouth of yours. A prime example of why some mothers SHOULD eat their young........


-- Deano (, April 06, 1999.


I don't know about "claims of Y2K compliance," since they mean different things to different people. However, I believe that Y2K problems will not shut down the government.

-- Doomslayer (1@2.3), April 06, 1999.

referring to the british government, they were so far behind a few months ago that many could not have possibly completed in time(I am referring to their own status reports), now miraculously we are told by a Govt spokesman (mary beckett) that they will all be complete by July 1999

never believe anything govt says, they tell you merely what they want you to believe, after all that is their business

-- dick of the dale (, April 06, 1999.

Sigh. At the risk of offending the absolutists around here, I believe the government agencies are telling the truth *as they see it*. One thing I learned from my brief experience in government is that words and phrases are context-sensitive, and the number of different contexts is large.

Consider -- a car is going down the road at 50 mph. Is the car going 'fast'? If you're a kid on a bicycle, the answer is yes. If you're a race car driver, the answer is no. If you're a cop, the answer depends on the posted speed limit. If you're the driver, the answer depends on the driving conditions.

'Compliant' is an even hazier term than 'fast'. Each agency has a set of definitions, procedures, milestones, certifications, and statuses unique to that agency. The definition of 'compliant' is determined by the position of each system within that structure. These structures are unique because the code base, mission, and traditions of each agency are different.

To simplify but hopefully not *oversimplify*, 'complaint' for one agency might mean all repairs are made. For the next agency, it might mean unit tested. For the next, it means unit AND system tested. For the next, it's not compliant until inter-system testing is done. And for some, independent verification is necessary for 'final' compliance certification.

Under the pressure of policy-imposed deadlines, it may be necessary to 'define down' compliance, perhaps to meet some lowest common denominator among the various reporting agencies. This doesn't at all imply outright falsehood. No organization anywhere, no matter how compliant they believe they are, is going to *stop* testing their code. And as tests continue, new bugs continue to crop up and be fixed. This process goes on forever.

I've worked in environments where the question "when do you ship the code" as a very hard question to answer. You *know* there are always more bugs. At one point, our procedures defined a system as "ready to ship" if no tester had found a bug for the last N hours of testing. N tended to be variable depending on current financial requirements. This is the real world.

Doomslayer has it right. The ultimate test of 'compliance' is how well the code works when it needs to,, and how effectively the agency can handle the failures (which will be many, everywhere). And the code isn't going to care how sincerely you believed it was much better than it turned out to be in practice.

My take: I don't think they're lying, but neither do I think they're right. There are obviously some wild disagreements among posters to this forum. None of them are lying. But they can't all be right!

-- Flint (, April 06, 1999.

"Do YOU believe the government's claims of Y2K compliance?"

A partial yes, and mostly not.

I believe the government WANTS to believe they are, and wants us to believe it too. How can they claim compliance without end-to-end testing? Easy. They just do.

Check and verify. (Not easy).

We DO know corporate executives, managers, politicians, government types, et. al. -- heck, people in general -- will white lie and outright lie to craft public perception.

Too many organizations fixing Y2K glitches are self-reporting. Too many have legal word-crafting claiming no guarantees.

Would you bet your life, and those of your loved ones, on assuming that they dont have vested interests? Or that they do?

Skeptical observation is a useful life skill. (So is prudent preparation circa 2000).


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 06, 1999.

Do I believe ANYTHING government officials say? #@*& no!

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, April 06, 1999.

Do I accept as credible anything the so-called 'government', the chimera, has to say on the subject of Y2K? Nope. And I gave up Santa Claus, gods of all persuasions, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, and other myths and fairy tales a long time ago. I do not base my life on fictions other than well-written prose and poetry.

Pancritical rationalism is: the holding of everything open to questioning. This is accomplished by the fostering of a creative and experimental mindset.

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 06, 1999.

Poor Donna. You don't believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? You don't know what you're missing!

-- K. Kringle (, April 06, 1999.

Ah, Kris, sorry,...nothing personal,..I'm sure you're a great guy. Just decided it was a good thing to grow beyond age 6 and adolescence. Wanna come over for a beer?

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 06, 1999.

I do not believe the govt. Kostinken has said to the effect:

There is a dilema between giving accurate information which may cause a panic and giving inaccurate information which delays or averts a panic. Since Y2K will be what ever it becomes, more time will be available for repair and more systems will be ready if panic can be averted.

So I expect the main goal at the moment is to avert a 1999 panic even if it means lying to the people and delaying adequate contingency preparation for 2000.

-- knotty (not@thisaddress.yet), April 06, 1999.


I tend to agree with you. The government will act according to what it believes best for the country, not what is objectively accurate if it turns out not best for the country. Sadly, in reporting optimisticly to avoid public panic, they create pessimism, suspicion and distrust in the public that does not believe the mission impossible. And sadly, a complacent, unprepared and ultimately angry public. I need evidence to believe the government. Self-reports about self-evaluated, self-defined criteria is suspect for me.

-- Leslie (***@***.net), April 06, 1999.

NO! I believe the government will do and say ANYTHING to avoid panic.

-- none (none@none.none), April 06, 1999.

Flint commented:

"To simplify but hopefully not *oversimplify*, 'complaint' for one agency might mean all repairs are made. For the next agency, it might mean unit tested. For the next, it means unit AND system tested. For the next, it's not compliant until inter-system testing is done. And for some, independent verification is necessary for 'final' compliance certification."

Flint, am I to believe that with all of the Billions of dollars .gov is spending on y2k that they DO NOT have a set of STANDARDS to work by. That they all went their merry way with LITTLE or NO common specifications.


-- Ray (, April 06, 1999.

Well, I do believe the U.S. government has remediated 92% of approximately 10% of their computer systems. That comes out to about 9.2%.

-- Kevin (, April 06, 1999.

This, a long thought aside, Sysman,....the reference to Uncle Sam, AKA the so-called federal government...I'm immersed in the study of semantics, words, is it that the so-called federal government has become anthropomorphized...? How is it that so many individual human beings have given up their liberty, their power of free thought to a 'contruct' abstraction, a collections of buildings, and functionaries, and piles of paper? Why do we care what the fictional 'government', the abstraction says about anything, let alone Y2K? It seems like preparation to live and prosper is in order.

She who says don't mind me, I'm so far out of the mainstream, no map could get me back.

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 06, 1999.


OK, I can see that I *did* oversimplify. I was afraid of that, and I apologize. I'll try to make things more realistic, and run the risk of making things hard to understand (unless, of course, you've worked at a management level in a very large organization. Then understanding is intuitive).

There are two things going on here. I'll skim the first briefly -- there is pressure to report success. Faced with such pressure, of course you see some fairly liberal interpretations of the compliance definitions and criteria. But this only begs the next question -- why are these criteria open to interpretation in the first place?

Now things get nasty. Clearly, each system must pass a certain point in the remediation process, and hopefully pass everything. Now, how do you know whether a system has passed that point? There must be a definition of compliance suitable for each system. Different types of systems (IT systems, interfaces, embeddeds, packaged apps, networks, and other broad categories) clearly must have different compliance criteria. If it's your job to examine and certify each system, it isn't much help (in actual practice) to use something as broad as "does it work right?" You need to define what each system does, what circumstances each system must be subjected to, what the acceptance criteria are, etc. You have to do this system by system.

But wait a minute. We're looking at thousands of systems! Doesn't this mean we need thousands of different testing and acceptance criteria, each created appropriate to the system in question? Well, yes it does mean that.

But doesn't this mean we'll spend so much time creating these definitions, criteria, and the like that we won't get to the actual remediation? It better not. At some point, you need to make a tradeoff -- you need an *effective* definition of compliance for each system that isn't so complex it'll never be done, and isn't so boilerplate that you can't tell if you're compliant or not. Some useful, practical middle ground. And middle grounds are subject to interpretation.

This sounds like bafflegab until you see an actual example. Is your home PC compliant? Well, there's the BIOS, and there's the OS, and there's every application you run. Many applications are pretty complex. And some applications (spreadsheets, databases, whatever) are compliant 'with issues' -- which means, YES if you chose to enter 4-digit years, and NO if you chose to use 2-digit years.

So the compliance of your PC depends on exactly how you use it. The hardware could be utterly identical to mine in every way, yet one of our PCs might be fully compliant and the other one basically useless after rollover.

NOW, let's say it's your job to define the compliance criteria for our two identical computers. Are you getting the picture?

-- Flint (, April 06, 1999.

Flint, I have dutifully read your response to my question:

"Flint, am I to believe that with all of the Billions of dollars .gov is spending on y2k that they DO NOT have a set of STANDARDS to work by. That they all went their merry way with LITTLE or NO common specifications."

I will again ask are there or aren't there a common set of standards used by .gov for their y2k work?


-- Ray (, April 06, 1999.


Not every question has a yes or no answer. To attempt to *force* a yes or no answer on questions to which it makes no sense, is to deliberately misunderstand. I tried to give you an inkling of the complexity underlying your question. The issue remains complex. Like the code, it doesn't care if you don't like complexity. It is what it is.

But if you *really* want an answer, I suggest you flip a coin. Heads is yes, tails is no. Neither answer will be closer to the truth than the other, but apparently you'll feel better.

-- Flint (, April 06, 1999.

Do *I BELIEVE* the government's claims of Y2K compliance?

Let's see, twenty + years of service in Uncle's Flying Circus, seeing some let us say "Very Interesting" occurences and then hearing the official public announcements of those events. Not all were military related, just federal government actions which somehow looked very different from the "official explanation".

After experiencing an average of one ferderal government "Big Lie" per year, I'm convinced the feds' Y2K pronouncements are the "Big Lie of the Century".


-- Wildweasel (, April 06, 1999.


OCTOBER 5, 1998

Coming up short on Y2K

Many agencies missed last week's OMB goal for having systems fixed and ready for testing


The first major Year 2000 milestone passed almost unnoticed last week.

Sept. 30 was a target date set by the Clinton administration for agencies to have all their mission-critical systems renovated, yet it slipped quietly past many federal agencies, which are still frantically fixing their computer systems, and past many critics.

In a quarterly report released in November 1997, the Office of Management and Budget asked agencies to complete the renovation of all mission-critical systems by September. OMB also set January 1999 as the deadline for agencies to complete testing the systems and March 1999 as the date to reinstall the systems.


-- Kevin (, April 06, 1999.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if I believe the government or not. Jeeez,you guys would argue about who's got the luckier lottery number.

For once, I'd like to see a thread that didn't turn into a pissing match. How do you function in your daily life? Are you constantly bickering at work? Been divorced a few times? Is this your final social environment because no one can stand being around you? Does your phone never ring with invitations from people who enjoy your company? Do you scream at the little old man driving at the posted speed limit? Do you yell at your kids for making noise while they play? Do you scowl at some young person making a mistake at their new, first job?

Now watch everyone get angry at me...

-- who me? (look@yourselves.closely), April 06, 1999.

Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty and the pig will love it.

-- (, April 06, 1999.

I know what you mean "who me". It sure ain't ease these days. All I was looking for was a simple yes or no, with maybe a little why. Well, my little survey so far has shown about 30% of the answers have been a pissing contest. It looks like as soon as one sees an answer from their favorite enemy, they must attack it. Most of those don't even bother with the topic, just attack the enemy. Many threads today alone show the same thing.

I know this whole thing is a very emotional issue folks. What are we achieving by all of these personal attacks? Is it not possible to present your view without telling the other guy to f-off? I see that "prepared" in another thread is fed up with it all, and is talking about leaving because of it. Is that what we really want? Let's get back to bacics here. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 06, 1999.


-- Wiseguy (, April 07, 1999.

Sysman...I'm a regular here who posted under a different handle (for the first time)because the idea of anonymous and random names may keep the grudge matches at bay, while people read the content.

I understand your post and question completely. It's a fair question and interesting to gauge.

-- who me? (look@yourselves.closely), April 07, 1999.

'who me', your point is both real and sad. There does seem to be an increase in the number of personal attacks clearly not based on the material presented. Too many people are being flamed for things they never said at all.

I've considered using a variety of aliases for that very reason. I never get any spam.

-- Flint (, April 07, 1999.

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