The Erroneous Assumption that precludes many from seeking the truth about Y2K!greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I was listening to a customer the other day as he was trying to decide whether Y2K might be something to be concerned about. It nearly floored me when he presented me with the main obstacle many have made for themselves regarding any hope of discovering whether Y2K should be taken seriously. He said" I can barely USE a computer, I dont have the energy, time or interest in learning computer programming so that I might know whether the Y2K bug is real or hype and what the significance to programs in computers might be!" It hit me like a ton of bricks! HOW MANY OTHERS ERRONEOUSLY ASSUME THAT UNLESS YOU LEARN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING YOU ARE CONDEMNED TO TRUST WHATEVER THE GOVERNMENT SAYS ABOUT Y2K? It sounds silly but, I'll bet many others think you have to be a programmer to know any truth about the matter!
-- Ann Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 1999
-- snooze button (email@example.com), November 09, 1999.
The sad part is that it really doesn't take that much research to realize just how big the problem is likely to be. Most of the GI's I know got it very quickly, once they had done minimal research, and their opinions only strengthened as they learned more. It's just that most folks can't get past that initial step of putting the SLIGHTEST effort toward studying the potential effects of Y2K. It has shown me what an incredibly short-sighted society we live in. Every time someone tells me about a bump in the road, I ask them (nicely) "so, how much research have you done on it?" The invariable response is well, gee....uh, research? Well, I saw that Y2k guy.....what's his name? Gos....Koskillum, er, somethin' like that, and he said it was just gonna be like a storm.
Personally, I know very little about large computer systems, and try to base my course of action on the information I get from programmers and IT professionals. I can't always follow the geek-speak, but I think I can spot a logical argument when I see one. The most telling thing to me is that from the time I began following Y2K (May '98), the people on the "doomer" (for lack of a better term) side of the issue have always had more compelling, concrete, and logical arguments than the don'tworrybehappy crowd. Every time I look across the street to pollyland the silence is deafening, the smiles are blinding, and I don't trust a goddamn thing they're saying.
Americans, as a rule, always dick around 'til the last minute, then go into crisis mode after the SHTF. I just hope this time we haven't let this "managerial problem" go too far.
-- cavscout (hoping@it's only. a "3"), November 10, 1999.
I am puter stupid too, but I do know you don't have to be puter smart to understand it...it will all go down...don't have to be a puter scientist to understand it just gotta have common sense. I am still overwhelmed by where electricity comes from let alone THIS.
-- sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 1999.
I think the biggest contributor to not GI-ing is the 'other guy' effect. Yeah, sure there'll be problems, but not here. And if they do happen here, they won't affect me - some other guy will suffer, but not me, not here.
People always have this reaction in our society - to the point that the first reaction when anything bad does happen is almost always denial followed rapidly by 'why me?'.
Even if we have just a BITR, I expect there to be many bitter people. Some of whom will blame the GI's in their life because the GI's won't be suffering. The revised ant and grasshopper fable resonates big time with me.
-- Tricia the Canuck (email@example.com), November 10, 1999.
Remember when Ross Perot showed America all his graphs and charts, and proved to the country that we would be bankrupt by 1995 or thereabouts? Remember the book, Bankruptcy 1995? It was absolutely convincing. But we're not bankrupt, the evil thing has not occurred as predicted. It is just this type thing that lulls Americans into complacency. I think that Americans have heard warnings about this (the Commies will nuke us, so build bomb shelters), or that (global warming) for so long, that they won't accept any doomer type subjects. No matter how convincing the Y2K info, they have heard "wolf" cried so much they won't listen. Better to wait and see if the tragedy happens, than spend any sweat worrying about it. Alfred E. Newman ("What, me worry?") would be proud.
-- t. (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 1999.
I would think that this is a false statement!
The biggest obstakle by far is............
THEY (whoever they are)would never erlau this to happen. It would hurt them (whoever them is)too much and they (??)would loose too much money so it will just NOT happen
-- Hallo (Hallo@hallo.hol), November 10, 1999.
My mom is definetly DGI. Why? She has seen the PR thats spinning. She has watched the special by Cringley on PBS. She has read the letter from her local Utility that said don't worry be happy. She actually said, "honey, the only computer problems that could effect my electricity company is in their billing programs/department. They don't use computers for anythng else." I couldn't even say anything, I was too busy picking my mouth up from the floor. This is from a women that has read the 100 day report. The connections in our global interdependecies are not 'connecting' for alot of people, my mom is one of them.
-- don'tworrybehappy (email@example.com), November 10, 1999.
Two points. First, as a programmer/analyst, I agree one can understand the issues of Y2K without knowing how to program...or even how computers work. Logic, reasoning and the ability to analyze are what is essential.
That said, item two is that people who do not have a background supporting large mission critical applications, or who do not understand the various components of society and it's infrustructure, often error in their analysis...and thus...their conclusions.
I'm not trying to start an argument here, but, for instance, the idea of redundancy, work around and general coping in the face of various glitches that have been occuring and will continue to occur is lacking. Some companies will most likely go broke. Prepared companies will pick up the business. Organizations that companies interface with become "electronically unavailable" all the time...from computer glitches to somebody cutting an underground cable...and life, business and civilization DO go on.
Basically, any non expert of ANY subsystem !! of an industry like electric power generation does NOT understand the technical realites fully...of the subsystem, let alone the whole thing! Instead, one must rely on "pundits"....and it just depends on who you listen to often. Most folks are drawn to either the optimistic pundits or negative pundits....and this is the core of lots of wrong analysis. Few of us tend to make it a point to listen to both sides with an open mind, critically evaluate, and reason unbiasly. That's why so many doomers here scream "spin" and "shill" at anyone not spewing info favorable to their preselected slant. This is also why so many here are labeled as "trolls" or "pollies" when they point this out or respond in their unique ways...as I sometimes do.
So what to do? I for one have learned a lot about people in general from this Y2K issue. Also learned about how I and others select, analyze and reason with information. I think the point is two fold.
One, "shift happens....and life does go on...plan accordingly; the alternative is rather moot!"...
Two, learn and apply lessons from this Y2K issue....to better "adapt and cope and thrive" in whatever YOUR future happens to be...by better, less bias, more fair minded approach and handling of facts and reasoning.
P.S. For some reason I'm going to be good today...no BWAHAHAHing or flaming post. Heck, I might even "reform" and be good...or who knows!
-- Genius (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 1999.
Genius has hit it on the head. Those with the technical skill to judge the severity of individual problems don't have the Big Picture, and vice versa. No one knows. Like Genius, I believe (despite the evidence of my own eyes, I have to admit) that what's going to happen is an economic shifting, with some winners and some losers, but no appreciable long term effect on Joe Blow.
But I'm just guessing as well. Hope we're right. ;)
-- Colin MacDonald (email@example.com), November 10, 1999.
A rational explanation for making Y2K preparations
Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.
Click here and check out the TB2000 preparation forum.
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 1999.
Here's one worse: those who are operating from the belief that if they *personally* don't own a computer, Y2K won't affect them! As if, you can't have a problem that requires a TV repairman, if you don't have a TV!
I have heard this from several people, who also believe that banks and other industry can "just go back to papare and pencil, like we did long ago".
-- Sara Nealy (email@example.com), November 10, 1999.