Milne: More Ignorant Hoffs : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Subject:More Ignorant Rubes
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The financial services sector is the most interconnected industry after telecommunications, Mr. Carrington said. But whether it's because of a slow economy or other reasons, equally sized banks in Japan have been spending a fraction of what their U.S. counterparts have on Y2K solutions.
"Various Asian nations appear to be dramatically behind," Mr. Carrington said.
However, panelists said the effect of bad data entering the U.S. banking system is not expected to contaminate the pool of a system that has been repaired. If a transaction with an incorrect date enters the system, they said, it would simply be rejected.
Just screen out non-compliant dates!!! Why didn't I think of that!!!
Its those DATES that are the problem. Not all the erroneous data that they will have NO IDEA whether it is accurate or not, that will be the problem.
No problem about the erroneous data.
Once again, proving that these people are INCREDIBLE RUBES.
Paul Milne
If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast.

--== Sent via ==--
---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---

-- a (a@a.a), May 11, 1999


The Dallas news link is

-- (, May 12, 1999.

I would have to agree with the esteemed Mr. Milne.


-- Andy (, May 12, 1999.

You said:


Just to be clear here, YES, you CAN screen out the erroneous data.

But that doesn't mean it's easy, or can be done quickly, or that we're just fine. Let's just keep the hyperbole out of it.

HOWEVER, to "screen out" that data, you have to "open the hood" on the software and/or system. Once you do that anything goes. In this case, to carry the metaphor further, to do a "simple" thing - such as changing a fanbelt, requires that you disassemble the motor.

Hope you don't forget to put in new gaskets.

Jolly doesn't fix cars - he fixes software.

-- Jollyprez (, May 12, 1999.

Can someone please give me a realistic, hypothetical example of a Y2K problem creating a financial transaction which is corrupt but valid? All the Y2K problems that I have seen have either broken the program (abend, throws an exception, whatever), or else yields a negative number, which IS screened out by edits.

And I'm not chomping at the bit to attack the example, I would be perfectly happy to see one that makes sense. It bothers me that I can't construct one.

-- Polly (, May 12, 1999.

Polly -

Bank A miscalculates account x, allows transfer of funds to Bank B which would have been an overdraft on account x if it had been correct and would not have been transfered to Bank B, etc. Get the point??? x $1,000,000,000.00 transactions per DAY, day after day after day after day. OK. Impossible to correct this manually as the job of tracing each problem is to gargantuan.

As they say 'To really foul things up you need a computer' and 'Computers allow you to do stupid things really, really fast'.

-- David (C.D@I.N), May 12, 1999.

Too high level. Give me a detailed example of how a Y2K error could cause an account or transaction to be miscalculated in some subtle fashion. All Y2K errors that I have seen either break the program or give negative numbers or such.

-- Polly (, May 12, 1999.

Hoff -- Once you check in, I hope you won't take the thread title or my next comment personally. Even though we tangled mightily on the original Andy thread, you are a VERY worthy polly and I intuit that most of us cheerfully grind our teeth as we argue with you, a included I'm sure. A SAP bigot (arrgh, is that why your handle is Germanic?) but hey!

... anyway, it's probably just my mood today but I keep chuckling at a's title: "more ignorant Hoffs." It conjures up this image of lots of you running around the world like a tribe or flock of lots of "little Hoffs". Or have you cloned yourself when we weren't looking?

-- BigDog (, May 12, 1999.

a --- maybe we could get Hoff to give an example of how one non-compliant Hoff could pass corrupt data to the next "ignorant Hoff" and, before you know it, all the ignorant Hoffs are forced to abandon SAP (post Y2K, of course) for Quicken plus an abacus. Or ..... ;-)

-- BigDog (, May 12, 1999.

The reason they can't answer your question is that there is no friggin' way you can make that sort of thing happen. That myth started with Gary North, and was spread by Milne. If a program does not crash, it will show obvious errors - such as reporting 100 years interest on EVERY ACCOUNT. Now some might say that is subtle - because they have never bothered to calculate the interest paid on 10 bucks at 7% compounded monthly with no withdrawels over the next century. Believe me, it would be obvious - you would not be wiring that kind of money around without setting off all kinds of alarms.

-- Paul Davis (, May 13, 1999.

Paul, you must not have seen the post which announced that Debunking Y2K not only removed the Yourdon link from its site, but also strongly urged its contributors to ignore Yourdon posters. 26576577&P=Yes&TL=926407580

Appreciated - Thursday, 13-May-1999 02:22:57 writes:

. . . I would encourage all of like-mind to heed the advice. I am not saying one cannot watch(lurk), I am saying it is time to IGNORE the memes. . . .

The virus is now feeding on polly types who want to engage. In the process the meme lives and the polly is drained of life-force. As I hope you know I believe much of this issue is about memes and the Millennium Contagion specifically. When we talk about the likes of North-Yourdon-Hyatt-Cory etc, it IS the issue almost completely.

. . . There is no changing the likes of the average Timebomb2000 poster. These folks are infected with a mind-virus. The best one can do for them is to ignore them. Engaging only serves to strengthen the virus. These folks need to hear the doubts from their own kind. I feel this is impossible when pollys disrupt the process, especially on their turf. And I am no angel as even my distant rantings feed the meme if not directly.

I will treat the loud doomer types as I would a troll, ignore them. I have been around long enough to know what even a quiet doomer-meme looks like, they will get similar. These types are as sick as the loud-mouths. I do not expect others to follow this, and do not expect them to. I would only hope some may see the value in patience and maybe decide to do similar. I deleted the link to basically say this board does not even recognize that place in the same breath as Stephen's or Jonathan's websites, we are far better than that. They(timebomb)provide no link here, and I will return the lack of respect. In lurking, if one comes across a newbie, nothing says one cannot suggest a visit here, just ignore the morons, do not engage.

Will this work? don't know. I do know that what we currently see happening to Stephen, Decker, Hoff, Y2k pro, Norm, Maria, you Pat, and even Flint is counter-productive and wastes the lives of some good folks. And I do understand the rush involved in engaging, I am only saying you are part of the problem by doing so. On top of this, you are doing yourself a great diservice, MHO. . . .

Doc Paulie


-- OutingsR (us@here.yar), May 13, 1999.

Doc Paulie via OutingsR (us@here.yar), "... even Flint is counter-productive ..." ????

-- No Spam Please (, May 13, 1999.

Oh, I misread. It's "... what we currently see happening ... is counter-productive ..."

-- No Spam Please (, May 13, 1999.

You see, No Spam, we are draining all pollys, some gradually, some quickly, of their very "life-force." Slurp. Slurp. Ahhhhhhh .....


-- BigDog (, May 13, 1999.

Flint's life force is proving hard to drain, but I think that once we get a good suction going we'll have it out in no time.

-- a (a@a.a), May 13, 1999.

This "imported corrupt data" issue just keeps coming back, doesn't it? Common sense should tell you that if banks exchange data, and if the data from one bank is in error due to Y2K problems, other banks that may otherwise be Y2K compliant will obviously be affected. But, of course, the pollys want a mathematical proof, knowing full well that "proving program correctness" of all but the most simple computer programs is just not dooable.

And speaking of proofs: Of course, no polly has volunteered to prove that imported bad data would NOT cause a problem! You would think, with the entire banking system potentially at stake, someone would....

-- King of Spain (, May 13, 1999.


I think you've mischaracterized that debate a bit. There are two issues here: whether y2k will introduce any new *types* of errors not already being checked for; and whether y2k will increase the *rate* of errors to a point which would cripple the system even if they are all cut off at the pass.

Evidence to date suggests that most y2k bugs generate really outrageous errors, easily detected and trapped. Not often (if at all) subtle errors that would only show up later and be difficult to track down. However, there isn't sufficient evidence one way or the other to determine if the error rate will rise above a manageable level. The current worst case seems to be that some banks will be so screwed up that they will have to be excised from the system, with unknown (but undeniably bad) consequences.

-- Flint (, May 13, 1999.

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