New Y2K essay: "The Y2K End Game"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I've uploaded a new essay on my web site, entitled The Y2K End Game
The forthcoming September 1999 Computerworld column, entitled Human Resource Issues for Y2K is also available on the site...
-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), September 05, 1999
Thanks for the heads up Ed.
-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), September 05, 1999.
Just finished reading the Y2K End Game essay. It is well-written, clear and to the point. It is presented in a way that non-technical people, as well as those who have not been paying attention to Y2K at all, should be able to understand.
Here's what I'm going to do for those DGI and DWGI loved ones that I am unable to give up on. Make a package that includes a copy of yesterday's C-SPAN program with Jim Lord and Paula Gordon, print out Ed's Y2K End Game essay, Stan Faryna's 14 days of preps thread, Robert Waldrop's printable flier, and deliver the package.
Thanks, Ed, and all the rest of you for all you've done.
-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), September 05, 1999.
Ed: excellent writing, as usual.
The blue chessboard squares remind me of ponds, and some pieces resemble public utilities.
This could be a new game. Post Y2K, how many ponds would be contaminated? Plot your strategy of remediation.
Would the King and Queen accept responsibility or blame the pawns?
-- Randolph (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 05, 1999.
-- Bill Byars (email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
Liked the article Mr, Yourdon made this ant cry.
-- sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 05, 1999.
Ed, Thank you for your thoughtful essay. As a single woman I have many fears about what the rollover will bring. I have found your essays to be both informative and motivating. I practise target shooting every week and have a backup plan to my semi rural home. Your post today has motivated me to finish, as best I can, my preparations for both myself and my extended DGI family. Thank you. Lili
-- lili po (lili email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
Ohhhh, crap. Thanks Ed. Awful damn depressing, but thanks.
-- Shimrod (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 05, 1999.
Really good piece, Ed. Clear, calm, rational, to the point. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.
-- Anita Evangelista (email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
I'm always amazed at your ability to make complex ideas clear, you're definitely a talented writer.
On my pc netscape though, the chest pieces come out as white for white, and yellow for the black team. Sort of confused me at the beggining of your essay.
-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), September 05, 1999.
Hmmm... sorry about that. On my Mac, the black pieces are a darkish gray with black borders. I used MacChess, v2.50 (freeware from the Netherlands) to create the graphics, and saved them as a GIF file.
Clearly, the solution to the problem is for you to get a Mac
-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), September 05, 1999.
Ed, much thanks for your assessment of 'the end game' as we delve into the dog days of y2k. As an avowed fence-rider on this issue, I am left to wonder if the average citizen will ever even attempt to see the various chess board configurations as it seems that the issue has not garnered the needed interest. Truly, this debacle will always stand out to me as a study in contrasts:
over here we have the camp mentality, doomers versus pollys hurling epithets and self-validating stats, quotes, links, articles and professional opinions at one another.
over there, we have entrepreneurs who envision large profit margins to be made via capitalizing off of the anxieties of others
and most notably, we see the yawning masses. 'Too technical' they say. Lost amidst the reporting of Monicagate, Kosovo, Columbine and other assorted school violence, y2k has been relegated to less-glamorous, less than prime time reporting that all too often portray the individuals who prepare as being eccentric and untrusting of the old idea that good ol' Yankee ingenuity will take care of everything.
This was a great article and one that should have been required reading some time ago. As it is, I doubt that those without a clue will ever stumble upon it or ever understand the game, in general.
I plan to stay on the fence and to pray that the 'white' players pull some late surprises. In essence, I appreciate the storm warnings and pray the storm blows over.
-- Bad Company (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 05, 1999.
Mrs. Driver, who, as some of you are painfully familiar, considers herself a RGI (Reluctant GI), read the article, turned to me and said "Get more ammo!"
I can't think of anything to add.
Chuck, a Night Driver
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
"Clearly, the solution to the problem is for you to get a Mac"
LOL!! A hard-core MacAdemia nut eh? ;-D
I have 2 Macs and I understand your pride, but I just thought I'd point that out about the PeeCee side. I'm always looking out for you Ed.
-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), September 05, 1999.
From one Mac-head to another Ed:
I Love You Man!
Thanks fer all you do.
-- INVAR (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 05, 1999.
I'm picturing a rather more complicated chess game. Perhaps a large donut-shaped (for Cory) table with pairs of players on the outside and inside of the ring. About 10 or 20 pairs is all I can picture but in reality there are many more (in different rooms and many floors). Each pair is mainly concerned with the board in front of him/her, but here is the complicating factor. Each piece is tied by invisible threads to one or more other pieces - pieces that can be on the same board or on any other board. Some pieces only have one connection, some have thousands. The rule is that when you capture an opponent's piece you throw it into the center of the donut-shaped table. And then of course it drags with it whatever pieces it was attached to. So even if you play an absolutely flawless game, you may lose because of your connections to other losing pieces. So the only way to win is to play the best game you can and have pieces that are attached only to winning pieces (something you cannot find out until those pieces are tossed into the heap or until the whole game is over). But how can they ALL be winning pieces? They can't. And if you decide the "end game" is lost before you move the first pawn and decide to take your pieces and leave... and very many others also have the same idea... then it is massive CHECKMATE.
-- Linda (email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
This is a mind-boggling scenario that you've created. I don't know if you've ever watched a "simultaneous" chess match, in which a chess wizard walks from table to table, usually in a U-shaped or O-shaped configuration, playing 10 or 20 concurrent games. My younger son once participated in such a match against one of the Polgar sisters (when she was about 12), and it was awesome to watch: she never spent more than 30 seconds at any one table, contemplating her next move, and she ended up losing one game, drawing another, and winning roughly 20.
Your scenario is, of course, in the realm of science fiction: if each move within a game has an impact on the status of a dozen other games, the overall complexity is clearly beyond the ability of a human mind to contemplate. But I acknowledge your point that this may indeed be a more accurate analogy of what we're really facing with the Y2K phenomenon.
If this is indeed the case, then it might be safe to assume that EVERY organization will end up in the position of the White player in Figure 1 of my article. In which case, those of us observing the game(s) would be well advised to begin making SERIOUS contingency plans as soon as possible.
Thanks for your interesting extrapolation to the metaphor that I constructed!
-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), September 05, 1999.
Oh, this is a MAC forum.
Sorry I intruded.
Anyway, the blue ponds are accessible with optional scuba gear, but that will cost you two points per move.
The rooks have Y2K bivalves, but they will not open them until the Queen is in a fertile position to conquer.
-- Randolph (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 06, 1999.
I like the essay, Ed..it's all too reality-based and persuasive.
-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), September 06, 1999.
But of course. The Mac RULES !!!!!
Charlotte's Web, the tapestry, the interweaved, interleaved, connected silent silken sinews of the electronic pulsing carrying capacity, about to coocoon-harden and stiff humanimals into a stranded prison.
Check six, mate.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), September 06, 1999.
Thanks for all the great writing you've posted the last couple of days. Your points are so sensible and highly readable, and this non-geek GI owes you alot of gratitude (and maybe even my family's survival, if TSHTF) for making them so!
Linda, thanks for sharing your image/idea! I can't get it out of my head, it's such a powerful metaphor(?)/analogy(?) for the concept of interconnectedness. Cross-pollination of ideas is so POWERFUL!
-- Kristi (KsaintA@aol.com), September 06, 1999.
to Bad Company: well you have a vocabulary...I can say that but talking is not the issue...unless you work for the government...hav a hard time spelling words here not much education and poor to boot but...I understand the game of chess..been playing it all my life
-- sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 06, 1999.
Ed.. glad you liked it. If you can use it, its yours.
-- Linda (email@example.com), September 06, 1999.
Re: The Y2K End Game
My dad taught me to play chess, long ago... always with the end game in mind. Encouraged a letting go of most the extraneous pieces, then youre positioned to get down to the real strategic moves.
...the end game is the result of the cumulative moves -- the clever moves, the mediocre moves, the pointless and unproductive moves, and the blunders as well -- that took place from the very beginning of the game, and all through the middle game. ... an ...unfortunate situation... is the result of a gradual deterioration in his position through a series of mis-steps, missed opportunities, and blunders large and small.
Good analogy, Ed, to Y2K getting readiness... or not.
But a real gaming challenge (or metaphor) is playing a couple billion 3-D chess games. (Utilizing Lindas above chess game string theory). Then shift it to multiple, simultaneous levels. (The mind indeed boggles). Clearly, our current international Y2K playing field... is NOT level.
Sometimes, I do wish we could switch games, or as in the Wargames movie, just not play and revert to Tic-Tac-Toe.
Global... 3-D Dominoes, anyone?
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 06, 1999.
Ed, thank you so very much for this excellent essay. I have printed it out and will copy it today to add to three packets I am giving the three men from my church who are invited by the Polly who heads our Y2K Committee, and whom I have been fighting for months to awaken. The Polly belongs to the National Press Club, and invited me and our pastor and the Vestry member in charge of preps to hear Sen. Bennett there on Weds. 9/8/99. I could not get out of work for this, and knew it would be more spin anyway, but I have prepared a packet of materials from this wonderful forum for each of them to read before they go. I will drop it at church tonight. Again, thank you so much for your initial prep book, this website, and the essay. You have surely saved far more lives than you can imagine, including mine and everyone I can get to GI as a result of your book first informing me. May God bless you for your faithful and untiring efforts. Wish I could shake your hand.
-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), September 06, 1999.
good essay Ed- even though I've never played chess before-yuck- and will just have to take your word for who's winning or losing in each game(I know- just metaphors).
Received flyers re: Y2K sessions being held in my state for businesses- all about y2k, remediation, contingency planning, testing, etc- all in late fall- too litle too late.......
-- farmer (email@example.com), September 06, 1999.
Dear Ed, May I present a lightly longer contribution but with serious and practical intent? Personaly I've now spent too much time with the "How serious?" and the software aspects of Y2K. It is now time to allow the end game to run, to leave the mechanics of the fall of globalised living to happen as it will. The good news is that our children, grandchildren and even today's adults had been facing a fate far worse than Y2K: gradual asphixiation, a self anihilation through a plethora of conflicting small-minded interests (corporate and individual), pollution and the ongoing sacking of the Earth's resources. Why has the 'Old Millennium" has been characterised by conflict? Because increasingly people saw themselves as separate from the Earth and the rich tapestry of Life. What an illusion! We were already millionnaires: all of us owned in joint stewardship a whole planet at our disposal.
It's so clear now. And what a finale! A surgically clean cascading collapse of all the uncaring systems of technology recently put up, mainly for competing interests looking only for profit and believing in separate wealth for each one. What a mess it's turned out to be! And what an inheritance to pass down to our children!Well, now it seems it could soon be over. Pollution etc will be stopped dead in it's tracks. It could be a genuine small second chance for our species. There may be a huge splurge of pollution as the dust settles (e.g. future CFC release from millioons of deterioring useless fridges, nuclear accidents and other horrors which the 'leaders' are apparently doing nothing yet to mitigate, their noses still being firmly glued to profit forecasts for their mindless and heartless technological new century).
The sad thing is that we could have gone slower and created sustainable and Earth-respecting technology, always ensuring that it first of all cared for life and people. LIFE! THAT'S the bottom line, not profit! Oh well, (sigh) what an effort . . . At least it's been a great lesson not to worship money and material things above the inner cost-free life of joyful respect for the creation. Perhaps ther'll be better technology next time round, in say 500 years.
The rich and beautifully balanced planet we inherited as a species has recently been becoming uninhabitable much faster than the more responsible people such as environmentalists and NGOSs could invent, propose, and implement more sensible and more caring systems.
So, to balance the awful effects of concentrating power and systems and money into ever fewer hands (i.e. globalisation fuelled by self-centredness) how about attempting a super rapid attempt at localisation (i.e. myriads of small locally sustainable and neighbourly communities)? What a joy that vision would produce if implemented! O.K. it will take some time to establish. The Y2K scenario could mean there'll be a sizeable die-off among those unprepared, ungenerous and uncooperative. But this could also be the beginning of a truly sustainable human species, much chastened by the memories of ozone depletion, g-warming, species loss, genetic profiteering and now the amazing Y2K. Much heartened by HAVING to cooperate and know well our immediate neighbours.
It seemed that nothing could have stopped the existing runaway nightmare of globalisation of industry and today's endless human self-inflicted demise, could it? . . . Or can it?
Suddenly there has appeared this wonderful, even miraculous possibility: cascading computer failures. The rich and powerful are suddenly levelled with everyone else and are totally without resources to continue their ransacking path; the crass consumption (i.e. consuming of 'other' people and the Earth) of this un-civilization suddenly ends. Perhaps too suddenly, but we've been preparing for it every day haven't we? Haven't we been ALLOWING our lives to become dependent on multinationals and their products, by petrol and electricity regardless of the consequences for our childreN?.
So where do we stand? We are left with our neighbours, the land and water we will be able to manage locally, and a respectful and ecological attitude to nature as our only way ahead.
Please see a fabulous vision of the sort of new civilisation which could be born, whatever outcome transpires with Y2K through 2000, on www.earthmillennium.com This site is in construction and necessarily displays amateur website ability at the start. But the idea is there. It could do with some immediate collaboration by very competent people if it is to have an impact by December. It will be much simplified and made highly useful and communicative.
The touching C-1 emblem, representing a caring future human society, is especially worth downloading and putting somewhere as a reminder of where we can CHOOSE to be headed (black and white for easier copying by the less hi-tech members of the human family). As always it will depend on the small efforts of many people to create something positive and worthwhile. If you like it please ENDORSE the Earth Millennium. Spread it, tell your friends, then participate and watch it grow over the coming weeks. Really useful links will become available.
With anticipation that joy, life-caring skills and world-wide small friendly communities will predominate in the post-Y2K era for those few or many who decide to go for it. As the Ed Yourdon chess analogy shows, it's time to stop dithering, lay the white King down and decide to commit starting NOW! The days are closing in.
Thanks for your great efforts, Ed and for providing a forum for a new initiative s
-- George Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 07, 1999.
George, that was wonderful, brimming with hope and energy. Uh ...
That's how we and many others felt a year ago. Y2K would rally neighborhoods! Everybody would embrace this obvious imperative to get to know one another and cooperate! We would all see right away that Mother Nature would be our lean-to, and we would cherish her once again. Etc. etc. etc.
Now (just speaking for this wilted dynamic duo here) we're old, tired, crusty, cranky, wary, weary, creaky, creepy, and downright sourly pessimistic.
Just a question: How long have you been expounding your glorious visions, and to whom? And, uh, the reactions?
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), September 07, 1999.
Ashton & Leska,
Even... "old, tired, crusty, cranky, wary, weary, creaky, creepy, and downright sourly pessimistic..." you guys are still cute!
Good writing George. Often, we don't tend to learn our lessons until we struggle through them. I suspect Y2K may lead to more eco-centric thinking and business/individual sustainable living practices becoming more "normal." But, not without some hard knocks and... further "experience."
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 07, 1999.
That's a fine idea for your friends. You can't be expected to beg them for ever. It hurts to leave them but you have the compassion to leave them WITH something to hold on to if they decide to GET moving. Great thinking. Needs to be a standard. Many will find themselves in your situation.
Could you kindly give me web references to find the bits of your package. You've obviously come up with some good stuff about this. I have little time to trawl the net myself as there's this giant project occupying my days. Can I have a peek?
Best wishes. George. Coordinator, www.earthmillenni
-- George Thomas (email@example.com), September 08, 1999.
Dear Ed, This is an update on the previous hurried and badly spelt contribution of 7th September. Can you delete the previous version please.
May I here present a slightly longer contribution to the forum, but with serious and practical intent? Personally I've now spent enough time with the "How serious?" and the computer failure aspects of Y2K. It is now time to allow the end game to run, to leave the mechanics of the inevitable fall of globalised living to happen as it will. The good news is that our children, grandchildren and even today's adults had been facing a fate far worse than technology collapse. Is not gradual asphixiation and extinction worse? Self anihilation through a myriad of conflicting self-centred interests (corporate and individual), through pollution and the ongoing sacking of the Earth's resources. Why has the 'Old Millennium" been characterised by conflict? Because increasingly people saw themselves as separate from the Earth with its rich tapestry of Life. What an illusion, this separateness! We were already millionnaires: all of us owned in joint stewardship a whole planet at our disposal. Everything is connected in one huge family, all interrelated. We just didnt see it. Instead we fight each other for separate ownership! Hence the winners and losers, the rich and poor. All lose that game in the end.
It's so clear now. And what a finale were going to see! A surgically clean cascading collapse of all the uncaring systems of technology recently put up. they were mainly put there by competing interests looking only for profit and believing in separate wealth for each one. What a mess it's turned out to be! And what an inheritance were passing down to our children! Well, now it seems it could soon be over. Pollution of our environment etc will at least be stopped dead in it's tracks. ***IN FACT Y2K COULD BE A GENUINE SMALL SECOND CHANCE FOR OUR SPECIES***.
There may be a huge splurge of pollution as the dust settles in late 2000 AND onwards for a few years. An urgent information campaign is needed NOW to avoid this. (e.g. future CFC release from millions of deteriorating useless fridges, almost inevitable nuclear accidents and other horrors which the 'leaders' are apparently doing very little yet to mitigate. Like an obsession we are still firmly glued to profit forecasts for a mindless and heartless technological new century.) Such a prevent Y2K pollution campaign can be a self-started project for the wealthy. They could put something back into the world at this last hour. Contact me if you are such a person.
The sad thing is that we could have gone slower and created sustainable and Earth-respecting technology, always ensuring that it first of all cared for life and people. LIFE! Now THAT'S the bottom line, not profit! Oh well, (sigh) what an effort this century has been! . . . At least in the end we can say it's been a great lesson not to worship money and material things above all. The inner life, of joyful respect for the creation, could have been a source of permanent fulfillment. It remains cost free and doesnt create wars and unhappy people as so many jovial and generous peasants will attest. Perhaps with a more skilfully caring approach to life in the future there'll be better technology next time round, in say 500 years.
The rich and beautifully balanced planet we inherited as a species has recently been becoming uninhabitable so much faster than the more responsible people, such as environmentalists and NGOSs, could invent, propose, and implement more sensible and caring alternatives.
So, the time has come to balance the awful effects of concentrating power, huge industrial systems and money into ever fewer hands (i.e. globalisation, ultimately fuelled by self-centredness). How about trying a super rapid attempt at localisation (i.e. myriads of small locally sustainable and neighbourly communitieswhich decide to survive the crisis and even prosper, through the right attitude and cooperation with neighbouring communities)? What a joy that vision would produce if implemented! O.K., sounds utopian and it will take some time to establish. but this is a time to implement the utopia we have always wanted.
If we dont strengthen our autonomous local neighbourhoods, well have lost our second chance, too! The Y2K scenario could mean there'll be a sizeable die-off among those who are unprepared, ungenerous and uncooperative. Its like after the doctors death sentence. Some people suddenly decide to appreciate life as never before, as time closes in. The generous ones could help others. They could spread their chosen attitude of joy and gratitude for living. As for those who cooperate and eventually survive, they could form the beginning of a truly sustainable human species. Survivors will be much chastened by the memories of globalisation: the ozone depletion, g-warming, precious species loss, genetic profiteering and now the amazing Y2K. We will also be much heartened, by newly HAVING to cooperate and know well our immediate neighbours. Small communities can be gems! We all know that. I thought wed lost them for ever! Three cheers for good neighbours and the thriving local community! Welcome back! Theres still time to model them on the unity of life and Caring for Life. The choice is now ours. Let yours be one of those few communities who decide to take the matter seriously and joyfully. Theres nothing to lose by doing it, whatever the future. It must be worth trying, however hopeless things might seem to those who have analysed the probable cascading effects of Y2K.
And the bug? It seemed that nothing could have stopped the existing runaway nightmare of globalisation of industry and accelerating human self-inflicted decadence, could it?
Or can it? Suddenly there has appeared this wonderful, even miraculous possibility: cascading computer failures. The rich and powerful are suddenly levelled with everyone else. Theyrealise they are lacking the wisdom and years of training in community and caring knowledge (i.e. wisdom). Thankfully, they are also totally without resources to continue their path of ransacking the Earth. The undignified over-consumption (i.e. consuming of 'poorer' people and the Earth) now rampant in this un-civilization suddenly ends. Perhaps it is too suddenly. But we've been preparing for it every day haven't we? Haven't we been ALLOWING our lives to become dependent on multinationals and their products? So manuy of us have squandered petrol and electricity regardless of the consequences for our children. Its time to recognise it.
So where do we stand? We may soon be left with little more than our neighbours and the land and water we will be able to manage locally. A respectful attitude to people and an ecological attitude to nature will be our only way ahead. CARING FOR LIFE can now become our greatest safeguard and our pleasure for the future.
Please see a fabulous vision of the sort of new civilisation which could be born, whatever outcome transpires with Y2K through 2000, on www.earthmillennium.com. This site is in early stages of construction and will necessarily display amateur website ability at the start. But the idea is there. It could do with some immediate collaboration by very competent people if it is to have an impact by December. It will be much simplified and made highly useful and communicative. It is there as a public service and its effect will depend on its visitors.
The C-1 emblem, which symbolises a more caring future human society, is especially worth downloading. Its worth putting somewhere as a reminder of how we can as individuals and collectively CHOOSE a stable future. Its in black and white for easier copying. It looks good in colour, too. As proven many times, the small efforts of many people are what can create something positive and worthwhile. The following is a 3 step process to start rolling the snowball.
THREE STEPS If you, too, support a caring future for human society please 1) first ENDORSE the Earth Millennium on the web site. Then 2) spread the address and the use of the emblem and EM launch date where you can. 3) Then participate actively by living in a more life-caring way. This means responding in a life-nurturing way to each person and situation you encounter. Its very clear: shopping, neighbours, domestic habits, personal growth and transformation. It means learning the skills of caring for self, people and planet. Thats an active and rewarding occupation capable of replacing self-centredness. Training oneself in doing the above will have cumulative personal benefits, whatever the outcome in Jan-June 2000. In the future EM web site thats called C-1 training. Anyone competent in that type of inclusive approach to life can do it, set up classes or workshops in their neighbour hood etc. Theres no copyright! Its self-correcting, because C-1 refers to an unconditioanl perception of the wholeness of life and how to care for it. People will know when self-interest is creeping in. Joy of living is the result. By the way, this is something which any kind of mafia could never experience. But nows their chance! And the more people who take up this approach to life, the better social life becomes too. Permanently. Because it depends solely on the choice of present moment attitude of each person.
There are 3 C-1 campaigns, starting right now. Easy to remember in English: Greet, Meet and Feet! In your community, 1) *Greet people - it gets neighbourliness going. 2) *Meet people daily, even in groups of two or four, to inform them on Y2K (not too much to start with!) and especialy local community preparations for a December launch of a more caring and ecological world. Finally, 3) use your *Feet to get organised. Very tough decisions must be made by everyone. Get the information and action plans as soon as possible.
*** Also, watch the EM web site grow over the coming weeks. Really useful links will become available. Even if just a few hundred or thousand share the vision of a skilfully caring humanity through this site, thats progress. If some real energy is put into it there could be millions and it could spread far beyond the Net.
As the Ed Yourdon chess analogy shows, it's time to stop dithering, lay the white King down and decide to commit, starting NOW! The days are closing in.
Thanks for your efforts, Ed and for providing this small forum for a new initiative.
Lets hope that in the post-Y2K era, life-caring skills and world-wide small friendly communities will predominate, for those few or many who decide to go f
-- George Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 08, 1999.