Flint, A Chance To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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

Flint, You feel that the Y2k risk, as it currently exists, is a hoax perpetuated by ministers of doom and gloom. I feel that it is a risk which may be managed and that personal contingency planning is part of the management effort.

I'll give you a chance to profit from your prescience. Here's the bet. When the Dow Jones Industrials companies make their quarterly reports for the first and second quarters of 2000, at least half of the companies will have mentioned, in writing, y2k as a detriment to their first half revenue figures.

I'm willing to put up 5 lbs. of Wilbur's Bar-B-Que, but I'd need to see what, if anything, you're willing to wager. Offer void where prohibited.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), April 30, 1999


Well, OK!


I'll SECOND that wager, and add 20 cans of Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans (sorta fits the stereotype, don't it?). Same conditions as Pudd'. If we lose, you can survive for a couple more weeks. If I lose, I'll imagine I'll still do just fine. What have you to offer?


-- spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.

Just to clear up any ambiguity, I'm coming down on the side of Puddintame. Gentlemen, place yer bets...


-- spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.

Hummm, I don't want to put a hurtin' on Flint, but I think I'm in. Let's see what he has to say first... <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.


Oh Fliiint! Aww shoot, he's passed out. Maybe tomorrow....


-- spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.

OK, I'm reposting something I put up on the debunking board. Bottom line: y2k is NOT a hoax, it's very real. It deserves very careful consideration. It does NOT deserve knee-jerk hysteria.


I don't think it can be reasonably denied that y2k bugs are a whole new category of computer errors that will be introduced into our systems in addition to the ordinary incidence of bugs we experience daily. It seems beyond question that this category of bugs will boost the error rate to abnormal levels.

In addition, a pretty convincing case can be made that this bug category is qualitatively different from 'normal' bugs in some ways. It affects mainline code (daily processing) rather than just exceptional cases, and in many cases workarounds are not immediately available.

Beyond this, customary bug-handling procedures are often inappropriate. Normally, troubleshooters follow two main lines of attack: First, revert to the backup data and prior software revision. Second, examine any recent code changes. Neither of these standard approaches applies to y2k bugs -- the new code cannot properly interpret the backup date in many cases, the prior code revisions are worse than useless, and the recent code changes are pervasive. Using our traditional methods to combat y2k bugs can be like using a tank to combat poison gas. Doesn't work.

Will the abnormal error rate be beyond our ability to manage? My guess is that it will, at least in some organizations for a while. My guess is that the upshot of these problems will be an Age of Inconvenience. Screwups, downtime, delays and shortages. I don't expect these to be severe for most of us (unless they either cost our jobs or require 90 hour weeks), but I do expect them to be noticeable. It may even be possible in hindsight to derive an estimate of the economic impact of y2k distinct from normal economic variation.

I have no objection to those who choose to prepare for a full scale technocalypse. I don't expect such behavior to be widespread enough to be concerned about, unless we experience some real celebrity failures (worse than the ice storm last winter). Indeed, I have serious preparations in place myself just in case. I don't expect to need them, but nowhere near enough information exists (or can exist) for me to blythely assume that Murphy won't decide to single me out.

Yeah, it's fun to laugh at the contortions the hysterics go through to justify their position, the lack of logic, the woolly extrapolations from rumors, the stunningly inconsistent standards of evidence being applied. But we won't (properly) fix all the bugs, or even all the big ones. I know from my own computer experience that you often can't tell in advance just how important any bug is. It's the no-see-ums that will get us.

Most of our systems are pretty robust, people are adaptable, the economy is resiliant. But some critical stuff is very sensitive. Best to assume that a few butterflies there will cause a few tornados here.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), May 01, 1999.

FLINT: I enjoy reading your posts. For me the issue comes down to a rather simple one.

In my state of ignorance of such things as "source code", "software loops", and other more obtuse nuances of the intergallactic vortex wherein computers perform their marvelous feats, it is all made sensible by the term "insurance." I am in late middle-age and having learned many of lifes lessons - some of which have been hard, I see the issue in the following context.

As I recently read somewhere. When you purchase property insurance for your home, which in todays market will range from a few hundred dollars annually to several thousands of dollars for those of means, do you then lament at the end of the year when your home fails to burn down and you have "wasted" the annual premuim? I think not.

When it comes to Y2K, I have decided that I will purchase insurance. I hae choosen the level of deductability and the amount of coverage. The bounus to which I have availed myself, with respect to this particular insurance policy, is that at the close of the year 2000, I will have either utilized the insurance or consumed most of the premiums. Where else can you take advantage of such a deal. What a wonderful country!

I now have resumed my life as it was in quest of all that I had been in quest of prior to the replacement of my ignorance of "Y2K" with my awareness of it.

Keep posting, and avoid eating the yellow snow........

-- Dave Walden (wprop@concentric.net), May 01, 1999.

Hey, if we're talking NC-style barbeque, Wilson's in Smithfield is mighty hard to beat.

Since moving to Alabama, I've learned to like the way they do it out here. The best I've found in Birmingham is a little place called Demetris. Beats Ollies and all the other "famous" places hands-down in my book.

Of course, now the folks in Kansas will want equal time to respond . ... .. .

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), May 01, 1999.

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