Strange logic of a doomer : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Have a look at this, from a recent article by Michael Hyatt called The Reality of Y2K Failures:

Generally speaking, governments and corporations do not call a press conference when they experience a Y2K-related failure and announce their blunder to the world. There is absolutely no incentive for doing so. It puts their most important relationships—those with customers, vendors, shareholders, and employees—at risk. It would also hand to their competitors an important weapon that can and will be used against them. As a result, most organizations remain silent, working against the clock, hoping that they can fix the problems without detection from the outside world. (This also explains, in part, why there were so few Y2K failure reports when we passed the April 1 and July 1 "millennium milestones.")

Is it just me, or are there signs of desperation in this "explanation" of why April 1 and July 1 were non-events (and therefore failed to comply with Hyatt's predictions)?

Now have a look at this, from the same article:

The bottom line is that the only failures bubbling to the surface are those that cannot be contained. Based on e-mail reports I receive routinely from Y2K project managers, I estimate—and this is a guess—that for every publicly reported failure, there are at least ten others that go unreported. (Yes, I know, some of my colleagues will accuse me of being too conservative.) Regardless, here is a list of failures for your consideration. You may click on the links to get the full story.

No, it can't be just me; this is desperate.

However, I do agree with Michael Hyatt to some extent when he says "the only failures bubbling to the surface are those that cannot be contained". Curiously, Hyatt seems to see this as a sign of danger, as if those failures being contained are, somehow, much more serious than the ones "bubbling to the surface". This strikes me as very strange logic. I think it's more likely that if a failure can be contained in the first place, then it cannot be so serious (as demonstrated by the fact that we have been successfully shielded from its effects). If the ten or so unreported failures—assuming they exist—that go with every reported failure pass by unnoticed by us and have zero effect on our lives, why should we worry about them?

I have read the failure reports listed in Hyatt's article and taken note, but I can't subscribe to the theory Hyatt is apparently suggesting, i.e. that these reported failures are merely the tip of an iceberg of much worse failures to come. It doesn't make any sense.

-- Richard Dymond (, July 06, 1999



You can find lots of info on accounting software, the Jo Anne Effect and fiscal year rollovers on the following thread...

"Significance Of States Fiscal Start"

-- Linkmeister (, July 06, 1999.

I have read the failure reports listed in Hyatt's article and taken note, but I can't subscribe to the theory Hyatt is apparently suggesting, i.e. that these reported failures are merely the tip of an iceberg of much worse failures to come. It doesn't make any sense.

Au contrair, it makes great sense.

1. The problems encountered by look ahead programs -- and these will be the only ones affected by Jan 1, July 1, beginning of fiscal year, etc. -- occur only in these specific programs. Therefore we would expect them to have a low frequency of occurance relative to most y2k failures.

2. Many problems can be avoided (and have been avoided) by truncating the program at Dec 31, 1999. This subtrafuge isn't valid after this date so that all problems become immediate.

3. Many problems will take a long time to develop and show themselves. If they are detected early -- before they become financially disabling -- then they just become an unmentioned glitch.

4. Many problems will take a long time to develop. This is a good reason to avoid drawing any conclusions from failure to detect a plethora of problems immediately after look ahead programs begin looking into 2000.

5. The greater the distance between today's date and 01-01-2000, the less the chance of failure. Not all programs look ahead to the end of the fiscal year; quarterly reports are a good example -- problems in such would not be expected to surface until 4Q 1999.

In other words, as 2000 rolls around the problems that do occur today (and are unreported) are added to problems in other programs, the frequency of occurance increases because all programs now look into 2000, and subtrafuges no longer work.

If this isn't an indication that the problems we hear about today are but the tip of the iceberg, I don't know what is.

-- de (, July 06, 1999.

Does not make sense to me either. If a problem is found, and repaired, or remediated, it is not a problem anymore. The result will be a zero impact and thus it did not happen. It seems to me that when he point out failures, he is saying that it is already too late and there is nothing that anyone can do. That logic is nonsense for anyone working on the problem with 5 months to go. If you run to the hills after finding a failure, the failure will happen, because he will not even try to fix it. The game is not over intil it is over. Maybe he should just finish his life now. Ultimately, he will die, so why wait for the end?

-- Ned P Zimmer (, July 06, 1999.

Let's cut to the chase Richard and Ned.

Are you saying that your logical conclusion is that making preps, in any form, degree or any given length of time, is unnecessary?

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

-- Michael Taylor (, July 06, 1999.

*slams head into keyboard* How, in the world, did you make that jump in logic Mike? Neither gentlemen said one word about not preparing. Now, admitadelly, I am not privy to their thought process, BUT I sure did not see anything in their writing that implied not to make preps.

-- Just Full Of Questions (riddlemethis@riddleme.that), July 06, 1999.

After reading Hyatt's full editorial, it appears the target audience he is writing to is those that believe Y2K is all hype and 100% hoax. By documenting actual failures, he is refuting the hoax.

Re: Tip of the Iceberg; this coincides with Gartner Group's projection of an increasing amount of publicly disclosed Y2K failures occuring as we get closer to rollover date.

-- Bill P (, July 06, 1999.

Here's an example of a Y2K problem that--six months later--has still not been fixed:


There are no delays -- in fact, one-day processing is standard -- for mailed vehicle registration renewals, but that is an area where the Y2K bug raised its ugly head. Manual processing has been under way since Jan. 1 because "the system has been rendered unreliable by the Y2K problem."

The staff is working after hours to achieve the one-day processing goal, resulting in unbudgeted overtime costs, the auditor found.


-- Linkmeister (, July 06, 1999.


No, I do not think that anyone who is investing millions of $ thinks that the repairs are un necessary. The cost of the upgrades is evidence that they believe that it is very important to the health of the business. Our company did the testing last fall. They also found that things needed to be upgraded. After six months of upgrading the mainframes, servers desktops, and loading the new softwhere, we are ready for the changeover. Since the testing showed a problem, and the problems have been fixed, would you say that the problem was covered up or that the problem has gone away? This author would say, in this case, that the company found a problem and covered it up. He is doing a dis-service to the people who read his work by suggesting that if you hear nothing, there is odviously a problem. I believe that if this were a trial, it would be followed up by drum head justice. Everyone is guilty, if they can't prove their innocent.

My message is clear. Look around you, if you see a computer problem in your home or at your job, fix it. In the end it will take all of us to fix this problem. Maybe it will pull us a little closer together if we unite against this common problem.

-- Ned P Zimmer (, July 06, 1999.

Ned, with all due respect, you didn't answer my question.

As for Richard.

He posted his editorial under the title, "Strange logic of a doomer". This suggests to me he has a preconceived notion of what constitutes a "Doomer." I am interested in the deeper motivation which is the undercurrent of this thread.

I don't have the time nor the inclination to bicker with people who have questionable motives anymore. That's why I "cut to the chase." If Richard is a troll or a Polly bent on preaching his personal take on "doomers" and their perceieved mental shortcomings I want to know right away.

Richard is fully justified in his "theory" regarding the logical failing of Michael Hyatt. I'm fully justified in my own personal theory regarding Richard Dymond.

So, "Full of Questions", I hope that explains my logic and my motivation. Don't ever feel the need to bang your head into the keyboard over anything I write. I mean no disrespect to either Richard or Ned.

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

-- Michael Taylor (, July 06, 1999.

Just Full of Questions,

To further clarify where I am coming from please read de, Link, and Bill above.

In my understanding, the JAE (if it exists) is a problem in accounting software which is compounded over months until it's conclusion at years end. In the grand scope of possible Y2k problems JAE is a very, very minor one which progresses and becomes a compounded, serious issue. It is only one of serveral Y2k glitches, some related to eachother and some completely independent of all others.

To extrapolate that because the JAE has yet to show any severe, public problems means Y2k is a non-event with "zero effect on our lives" allows me to conclude or theorize that Richard needs to investigate all associated Y2k problems further.

Just MHO, anyway.

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

-- Michael Taylor (, July 06, 1999.

hello? hello? Richard? Are you there? Richard? cat stole your logic???????????

-- answer the question (, July 06, 1999.

He evidently does not want your feedback about the "problem" he brought up.

Oh well. The "reported" failures is the key. No company will report "bad news" that they can fix before it becomes catastrophic. And even then, they may not "report it" - like not being to mail bills out. They will just try to "get something out" - perhaps late, perhaps an "assumed amount" - like the water company issues when it did not read your meter for the month.

Only governments would issue a news release of a failure - and then only if the news industry wanted to issue it, write it, and release it. And even then, like the US nuclear secrets sold to China for cash by Clinton - if the news media believes that the story would hurt this administration - then they still might cover it up.

More troubles have been postponed while fixes are attempted - they not actually become stories until later. For example, my countylibrary system issued library cars for a year and a half to expire in Dec 31, 1999. Because they couldn't do anything else until the new library computers were installed.

But this would be a y2k failure if the new computers had not been ordered 30 months ahead of time, and funded, and all books recoded, and all cards re-issued.

If this failure had not be resolved after it was postponed, the failure would become evident only next January when no books could have been checked out.

Sure, this problem has been fixed. But only after it too had been "covered up" temporarily. How many thousand, hundred thousand, millions of similar problems have been covered up, but cannot be solved in time?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, July 06, 1999.

Robert, if being a "doomer" means I can contemplate a problem at even a 10th of your ability I consider the term to be quite an honor!

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

-- Michael Taylor (, July 06, 1999.

Let me give you the short version. Computer crashes at gasoline pipeline montoring station during "upgrades". Backup system also crashes. Valves fail. Operators have lost complete control of the system which is now sending a huge pressure surge up the pipe. The pipe ruptures and spills 300,000 gallons of gasoline into a creek. Two ten year old boys are playing by the creek, a third is fishing. The boys unknowingly ignite the fires of hell instantly burning themselves to their eventual death. Their bodies are to hot to touch when they are found barely alive. The boy who was fishing is overcome by fumes, and drowns in the water slightly before the fire.


Why don't you tell their parents that computer errors aren't life threatening or real? Grow up. Fast. You don't have much time.

Local News : Sunday, July 04, 1999

....NTSB investigators initially focused on events at Olympic's Renton control room. Recently upgraded computers had crashed just before the rupture, and controllers sent more fuel into the hemorrhaging pipeline.

Next investigators turned to a fuel depot near Mount Vernon, where a safety valve failed to relieve pressure building up in the pipe. That triggered a second valve to close, and a greater wave of pressure traveled upstream and burst the pipe.

Then last week, after finding the ruptured pipe had markings that suggested it had been damaged earlier by construction equipment, investigators turned their attention to city excavation work.

Lead investigator Allan Beshore doesn't know yet whether the pipe was damaged, but he pointedly told reporters last week that "excavation damage is the leading cause of problems with pipelines."

Beshore also planned to interview the contractors who did the work.

Olympic attorney Jacquelyn Beatty wouldn't say whether she's looking for evidence that the city damaged the pipeline, but Garner gladly discussed the 1994 project reports filed by engineer Tom Franklin.

At least two of the reports indicate Olympic representatives were present or notified that excavation was occurring near the fuel pipeline.

"I just know that we worked with them before the project, in the design, and in the construction they were on site on occasions when we were working near their pipeline," Garner said.

Olympic at first denied that its people were there. It told the Seattle Times on June 17 that the company was unaware of any excavation near the pipeline between 1994 and 1997.

But last Thursday, a spokesman said the company wasn't sure whether it had been there.

"It's the policy of Olympic, whenever construction activity over or near the pipeline, it will send an inspector out when requested," Gerald Baron said. "In this case we don't know whether or not an inspector was requested. We're checking the records."

Olympic has confirmed that it tested that stretch of pipe in 1996 and 1997, using remote sensors that monitor thickness and shape. The 1996 test found a gouge, but the company felt the pipe was sound and declined to dig it up and visually inspect it. The pipeline ruptured June 10 in the vicinity of the gouge.

In 1994 and 1995, Imco General Construction, a Bellingham company paid $2.6 million to install pipes to a new water-treatment plant, excavated within a foot or two of the pipeline.

One of the pipes, a 12-inch duct carrying chlorine and soda ash used to treat drinking water, passes a foot or two above the pipeline rupture.

Imco's superintendent on the job, Greg Burress, declined to comment and referred questions to company executives, who were on vacation.

Franklin, a consulting engineer who oversaw the project for the city and wrote the reports that Garner referred to, confirmed that Olympic monitored the work.

"We tried to let them know whenever we were doing any critical work, and they were certainly there, but I didn't get any names written," Franklin said.

Franklin said the city and Imco were very aware of the fuel pipeline and carefully dug by hand once they got close to it. He did not recall equipment ever striking the pipe.

"As far as I know," Franklin said. "My conscience is cle

-- Caveat Emptor (, July 06, 1999.

Michael Taylor asked:

Are you saying that your logical conclusion is that making preps, in any form, degree or any given length of time, is unnecessary?

My answer is: No.

Of course, you are at liberty not to believe me, and it looks as if you've already made up your mind about me, anyway. There's not much I can do about that.

I apologise if using the word "doomer" in the title of this thread caused you any offence. I thought that "doomer" and "polly" were the accepted terms denoting Y2K pessimists and optimists. I should really have written "Michael Hyatt" in place of "a doomer", I suppose.

By the way, I did not “extrapolate that because the JAE has yet to show any severe, public problems means Y2k is a non-event with "zero effect on our lives"”. I said it was an error to assume that the Y2K failures being contained (those ten unreported failures for every reported failure, if Hyatt's guess is accurate) are serious enough to be worried about. If we have managed to contain a failure, then, ipso facto, it could not have been serious failure, in the sense that it went by unnoticed by us and had zero effect on our lives. Sounds reasonable to me. How you misinterpret that as "all of Y2K will have zero effect on our lives", I really don't know.

answer the question wrote:

hello? hello? Richard? Are you there? Richard? cat stole your logic???????????

Hang on, hang on! I'm not monitoring this forum 24 hours a day! You'll have to excuse any delays between my postings.

That's all for now. Let me know if I've missed anything.

-- Richard Dymond (, July 07, 1999.

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