What Will Yourdon/Gary North Do Now???

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Seriously. Looks like they are going to be spectacularly wrong.

North is a religious nut, he'll probably just say that y2k doom has been postponed for a few more months or years. But Yourdon seems like a rational human being. I wonder what he'll have to say about this?

I'm just happy my wife stopped me from buying a few thousand dollars worth of survival beans and a generator.

-- xat (xat@ibm.com), December 31, 1999


As I suggested in another post, even John Koskinen is suggesting that it might be a little premature to declare "victory" over Y2K.

But if it turns out that the next 365 days are as uneventful as this day has been, I'll be just as happy as everyone else. I was aware, when all of this began, that I was going out on a limb and potentially subjecting myself to taunts from anonymous hecklers -- after all, "xat," if you're not brave enough to use your own name in an email posting, I can imagine how easy it would be for your wife to stop you from ANYTHING! God forbid you should do something as rash as buying some addition food that you would have eaten anyway (what a radical thought!) or a generator (what a wild, crazy idea!) ... after all, there won't ever be any other crises, blizzards, hurricanes, or problems ever again, right?

If indeed I turn out to be completely, grossly, wildly incorrect about the pessimistic outcome that I've been forecasting for Y2K, it won't be important to spend a lot of time castigating me -- you can rest assured that the xat's of the world will provide plenty of enthusiasm for that. What will be important is to figure out HOW the entire world managed to pull off what Koskinen et al have described as "the most complex management task since World War II" without having any serious problems.

Even WW II produced a lot of monumental screwups on the part of the Allied forces ... and as I've repeated ad nauseum, our software industry has a 40 year track record of screwing up almost everything it touches. So, if we somehow managed to find the "silver bullet" to conquer the Y2K problem so completely and so perfectly, then we need to have someone -- or multiple someones -- survey the scene and figure out how we did it, so that we can apply the same wisdom to all of those ordinary, mundane, run-of-the-mill software projects that we continue to screw up day after day.

To the extent that we haven't seen any horrible disasters on our television screens today, I'm delighted. But I don't think the Fat Lady has sung yet ... I don't think she has even begun warming up her vocal chords.

-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), December 31, 1999.

Don't count your chickens just yet. There's a lot of eggs but very few chicks.

-- 3-0 (not@yet.bud), December 31, 1999.

Scat, xat. Moron.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 31, 1999.

Feeling a bit defensive, eh, King Of Spain? Not every day is one made this big of a fool, so I understand your reaction.

I have to admit I thought there would be a bigger y2k problem. But, thank god, I didn't commit my life to it, like some did.

-- Jon Bilderback (jonb12@aol.com), December 31, 1999.

What? The generator is a big mistake? Wonder if those millions in France would agree with that. Guess anybody "religious" is a nut, huh.

-- (dcone@npwt.net), December 31, 1999.

What will they do?

The better question is what are they doing now as we watch the unfolding of news. (It is 4:28 pm PST 12/31/1999 where I am)

Like me, they are Waiting For The Fat Lady To Sing. I have a window open, but have not heard her yet.



-- Harvey (Harvey_Fartz@hotmail.com), December 31, 1999.

ED HAD A JOB BEFORE THIS STARTED AND WILL HAVE ONE AFTER. don't know about Gary. don't count thy chickens just yet. my family is calling to say, "wow, you were wrong" hahahahah....i just don't have the energy to say anything about the long term stuff.

-- tt (cuddluppy@nowhere.com), December 31, 1999.

I have been following GN's website for over a year, and I don't believe him to be a nut. The overwhelmingly number of his posts were from mainstream media sources or individuals that are IT specialists. I believe that a lot of the kind of reactions that we are getting now are based on discussion, not research. I have followed various websites and stories from folks who ought to know about this things, not just GN. Also, I have reviewed and considered all points of view on this matter. I concluded that the Y2K computer problem was and is an event worth taking some heed to.

Also, it is my opinion that this is not a matter of right and wrong, doomers vs. pollys, etc. This is about making practical and rational decisions regarding our survival. Your decision was not to purchase a generator and beans. If that is okay for you, then that is fine with me. My decision was somewhat different. I'm not ashamed of that. Even if there are no problems ever, I do not and will never regret my decision. It's called free will thinking.

Personally, I think Y2K is the least of our problems in this society....

-- Mello1 (Mello1@ix.netcom.com), December 31, 1999.

They'll probably wait until Y2K starts to take its toll on the business world, the economy falls apart, and we go into a depression. Then they will be damn glad that they had the wisdom and foresight to be well prepared and self sufficient. Just like me.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), December 31, 1999.

Keep flyin, Hawk.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), December 31, 1999.


I wonder what could have brought on an attack like that???

Maybe because I dared to speak TRUTH, that this mess is only now just getting started? The Pollys are in denial though, and they are going to have a real hard time with that truth, because they wanted to rub it in our faces on the first day, and then ignore all the problems that are still yet to come. How pathetic.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), December 31, 1999.

I don't think Yourdon has been predicting that anything significant would happen on Jan 1. Ed Yardeni, who is predicting a recession, has stated many times that he does not expect any problems on Jan. 1.

-- Dave (dannco@hotmail.com), December 31, 1999.

According to my computer clock, it is only 7:55 PM...still 1999. This is a weekend. Business for the most part is on holiday. I think it is just a tad early to celebrate! The real problems are going to come slowly as computer systems in millions of companies all over this world begin to have little problems that effect other systems, that effect other systems, ad nauseum... These companies do business with other companies who themselves are having their on little problems that are creating havoc. Pollies, God knows, I hope you are right. I will gladly take your abuse. I want to be wrong! But dont celebrate just yet...you may be the ones with egg on your face...I hope not...but you may be...Happy New Millenium!!

-- Rod (rspain@webcombo.net), December 31, 1999.

If North and Yourdon hadn't been on the circuits pushing the real dangers of the Y2k bug would we be in as good as shape as we are? Government officials generally respond to the wheel the squeaks the loudest. Public awareness is necessary to keep those wheels moving. Personally, I'm indebted to both of them.

-- Barbara Walker (ianwalker@aol.com), December 31, 1999.

We'll have to wait and see what the cumulative business and economic effects of Y2K are, and it might take weeks or even months to get a handle on that. But IF (big IF) Y2K eventually turns out to have a minor impact overall, and let's hope it does, I think that Mr. Yourdon will acknowledge that he made an honest mistake, as did many folks on this forum. Even computer professionals like Ed Yourdon are entitled to occasional mistakes, even big ones, particularly when dealing with a subject that is global and shrouded in murky, often conflicting reports. (What the heck, Einstein was wrong about some aspects of quantum mechanics, plus he invented a universal "constant" in his wrongheaded effort to portray mathematically a "static" cosmos.) The lack of transparency on Y2K (including the lack of hard data, with relatively little independent and widely available third-party verification) by many companies and govt. agencies reduced folks to engaging in estimates, speculations, and sometimes downright guessing games. If some lucky souls out there have had a direct pipeline to absolute truth, good for them. Please email me the secret.

Afterwards, Mr. Yourdon no doubt will return to working for the Cutter Consortium (whose parent company, Cutter International, has some 20,000 client companies globally), writing books on computer programming, editing software journals, and generally contemplating a career that has included being co-developer of OO methodology. If anybody here has had a more distinguished career, let him or her step forward now, with a real name and a real email address. Right or wrong, at least Mr. Yourdon has always been straightforward in his views, told everyone precisely on what he was basing his perspectives (his analysis of software metrics, etc.), maintained a sense of humor and geniality, never engaged in ad hominem attacks, and never hid behind internet "handles" and fake email addresses, the way that so many posters--"polly," "doomer," or middle-of-the-roader--have done on this and other internet Y2K fora. We've always known who he was, what his credentials were, what he thought, and why he thought it. It was then up to the rest of us to factor his perspective into everything else we had researched about Y2K, and reach our own conclusions, rightly or wrongly.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), December 31, 1999.


You are obviously a man of reason and logic. Write on.

-- Barbara Walker (ianwalker@aol.com), December 31, 1999.

Nicely expressed Mr. Yourdon.

Cudos to you for your tenacious efforts in hanging a lantern on this ubiquitous problem. Ubiquitous, lest we forget. We shall see its ugly head reared.

It is thanks to efforts like yours, however, that worse disasters shall be avoided. But I fear that even so, much disaster is yet to result.

Thanks for your hard work and bravery! Highly respectable effort. Thanks also for maintaining such dignity & class.
You are a true man, and a gentleman at that!

-- Me (not@here.com), December 31, 1999.

I can't believe the number of morons (most annonymous, as they are in their real lives too) that have crawled out of the woodwork on this issue.

Meet back here in 3 months time.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), December 31, 1999.

Just a bit of perspective...

"What if..." no one had rung a bell or sounded an alarm? Where would we be now?

What if... no one had paid attention?

What if... almost $300 billion dollars had not been spent remediating code?

What if... we were entering the new millennium... and were broadsided.

Have we avoided the iceberg? Or is it ripping the societal hull, beneath the visible waterline.

Time... and truth... will tell.

Thank you Ed, for being the man of integrity that you are, and for having the courage to "walk your talk."


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 31, 1999.


-- DITTO (Nonamegiven@tthistime.com), January 01, 2000.

What if... almost $300 billion dollars had not been spent remediating code?

Correction D, over one trillion dollars worldwide...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 01, 2000.

Andy, many of us have been waiting for a very long time. I'm not waiting any longer, the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is being eaten. No thanks, and no more what if's, the hitch is up and it's time to get on with life. If the fat lady starts to sing as Ed thinks she will, we'll see about that. In the mean time, I'm, off doing something else, like getting a life!

-- I'mattahereeee (i'mattahere@I'mattahereee.xcom), January 01, 2000.

What will North do? The same thing he did before Y2K: Sell subscriptions to his relegious-based "economic" newsletter and hunt for a new apocolypse to help install his 1,000 year fundamentalist Christian theocracy intended to bring about the return of Jesus.

What will Yourdon do? the same thing he did before Y2K: Work as one of the premiere IT consultants in the world. Trust me, if Y2K turns out to be a dud, he may have to put up with a lot of ribbing but he isn't likely to loose much work or suffer any significant decrease of reputation in the IT world.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), January 01, 2000.

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