Where the blame belongsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The blame for the entire Y2K controversy belongs to the Presidents, CEO's and our elected officials for not taking this issue seriously enough to handle it years ago, and have everything fixed by the end of 1998.
Why was it a race to finish? Why did so many (including the pollies & TPTB) have to hold their breath on 12/31/99 to see if there was really going to be problems? How dare you roll the dice with something so critical to our way of life.
Maybe we lucked out, or maybe there was really nothing to worry about. But to keep everyone guessing to the last minute. You should all be taken out in public and slapped up the side of the head.
Why didn't you have IV&V done and made public? Why did you hide behind your lawyers? The fact that the public has no trust in what you say (especially politicians) should tell you that something needs to change. It's a sad commentary of where our society has come to.
You dodged a bullet this time. Many of you still don't know how, and probably don't care. Your stock price and stock options are still in place (for now), and your attitude that money is more important than people is still secure.
For everyone pointing the finger out there, maybe this is the direction it should go. From all indications, things should have failed, and to everyones amazement, it didn't. I'm glad things didn't fall apart, but am still pissed that so much of what is so important was left to the last minute, because of greed. I hope your stock prices and stock options do go in the toilet. Maybe it will help teach you what is really important. More important than your net worth.
Next on the soapbox?
-- Bill (email@example.com), January 06, 2000
-- shockwave (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 06, 2000.
At the risk of sounding like Don Mclean (sp)--that "American Pie Guy,"
A long, long time ago. . .
I became aware of a concept that goes something like this:
"Question: How do you convince a CEO to spend tons of money on a problem he CANNOT SEE?
Answer: You scare the HELL out of him."
Having spent more than a few hours of my life interviewing "captains of industry/government," along with the people who worked for them, the concept somehow "struck home" with me.
-- FM (email@example.com), January 06, 2000.
Another righteous finger-pointer! Getting so sick from self appointed judge posts....
-- W (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 06, 2000.
If you'd like to get another viewpoint on this issue, read an interesting post from a fellow journalist who has been following this "extraordinary story" for some time.
You can find it at:
A recent Tom Benjamin essay
-- FM (email@example.com), January 06, 2000.
Bill- Just the right mixture of loathing and righteous indignation. I like that!
-- Gia (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2000.
Shamelessly stolen and reposted from a stolen and reposted site:
Oh heck. I'll save you a trip (although you may find the debate on that thread interesting)
"Tom's New Take" (My title for this thread, not his title.)
"I want to put this argument as clearly as possible for the embedded guys listening to this group. The ones who want to try to understand the extraordinary story of Y2k. If you want to try to tell me that the problem is that I am hearing voices, post it in another thread, okay?
I think it will all come out in time anyway, but here is the problem in a nutshell:
1) Gary North says the are billions of chips and remediation is futile.
2) John Koskinen allows that yes, while there are billions of chips and it is a real problem because some of them fail, the remediators will succeed.
3) Chris Torek says "Show me the system that will break. Embeddeds are not a problem. Get a grip."
There is no doubt in my mind that Chris Torek was correct. Instead of laughing at me for not listening to Chris Torek, I want to know why Kosky did not listen to Chris Torek. People think I believed Gary North.
That was not the problem.
The problem was that I believed John Koskinen. I had to believe he was talking to someone every bit as qualified as Chris Torek. Why didn't Kosky and NERC and the Telcos and the satellites and the hospitals and the oil companies and the chemicals and the trains and all those reports on all those industries say:
"Show me the system that will break. Embeddeds are not a problem. Get a grip."
They did not say that. They would not say that. They said they were on track to fix the problem. Check deja news. A guy like Mark Kinsler would carefully explain how a water system could not be affected by an embedded. He makes sense. My answer to him was "I don't know anything about it, but Kosky is running surveys and telling me 90% of water companies are 90% complete in remediation. Why aren't you testifying before the Senate?"
All they had to do to satisfy me - and everybody who is not Gary North - that the embeddeds were not a problem is to sound like Chris Torek. To get off the fucking track. To declare "There is no problem" instead of declaring "There is a problem but we are fixing it."
Now *anybody* tells me that there is a very widespread problem but I don't have to worry because it is being fixed has a tough sell. Homer Simpson is going to screw up or a PHM will screw up and it won't get done somewhere. That is one of my rules of life.
There is a huge difference in these two positions. I want an explanation of that gap. Everybody is applauding the thousands of remediators who put the shoulder to the wheel and solved this problem.
Fine. This is a group of remediators. Tell me about one system that you fixed that would have failed in any catastrophic way. One. One 911 system. One set of traffic lights. One defibrilator. One sewage system. One power plant. One whatever.
Otherwise we have to explain Kosky. Why were the words "embedded systems problem" ever uttered in an official report? I was worried about the embeddeds despite the Chris Toreks of the world *because* Kosky said it was a problem and they mounted a huge effort with compliance charts and everything. If Torek was right, I thought, why are they doing all these things and spending all this money? If overseas phones could fail, then companies who messed up the remediation here would fail too. Not everybody completes a hard job.
Everybody completes a non-existent job. I believed Kosky when he said there was a problem. I chose him and his experts over Torek. That was my error.
Possible explanations for Kosky:
1) It was all PR to convince me. FUD stirred up by North had to be battled. The plan and effort was bullshit designed to assure us loons. I say that is crap. I say Kosky and NERC and the telcos created the FUD. They did for me. They could have easily eliminated it by declaring that the embeddeds had been looked at and there were a few trivial failures. They weren't even worth fixing. End of reporting on the progress of the power companies battling against the feared Y2k.
Instead NERC said *most* of the failures were trivial. They said *almost* all were nothing. They set up charts tracking the progress as companies eliminated the very few problems that remained. It was the very few problems - multiplied against a vast number of embeddeds - that worried me. That was, I thought, the only reason to keep remediating. Plus, I knew nothing was being done in the third world. Even if we eliminated the very very few important problems, they wouldn't.
2) Kosky was right and Torek was wrong. We do have hero remediators. Well, I want one to put his hand up. What system would have failed in a catastrophic way? Name one single fix.
3) Less than scrupulous embedded programmers and vendors saw a way to get rich. They whispered to Kosky about the problem, sucked him in, and made a bundle replacing systems that did not need to be replaced. Jeffrey is voting for this one. If true, I say some people go to jail. The stakes were way too high for this kind of profiteering. They created the FUD with their greed.
4) Kosky has another agenda, yet to be revealed. That is:
The only real problem is in the mainframes and and government and business systems, the money and stock markets and the banks. Y2k was guaranteed to bring fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Better that people worry about power than worry about the banks and stock markets. The "iron triangle" my ass. Power and the telecoms and transportation never had a real problem. The banks, the markets, the governments. The accountants. That was the entire Y2k ballgame.
Any other ideas?
-- link theif (email@example.com), January 07, 2000.