Y2K and science

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've found a quote from Hermann Bondi, the physicist, which I think is very pertinant to Y2K. I think the pollies in particular would do very well to take note of it:

"According to Karl Popper, it is the task of the scientist, guided by the knowledge of his time, to propose a theory that takes into account what is known, but which, over and above this, forecasts what future experiments and observations should show. It is only if a theory submits itself to empirical tests that one can call it scientific. If such an empirical test goes against the theory, then the theory has been disproved. If it agrees with the forecasts of the theory, then it becomes the task of the theorist to go on making more and more forecasts, to go on sticking his neck out. A theory is scientific only as long as it lives dangerously. If it is not at risk, it is not part of science...............It is, of course, clear that since every theory must live dangerously, the casualty rate is pretty high. So we do not honour scientists for being right; it is never given to anybody to be always right. We honour scientists for being original, for being stimulating, for having started a whole line of work."

My own feeling is that Y2K will turn out to be more complex and subtle than we had thought.

-- Richard Clark (richard.clark@custompc.co.uk), January 08, 2000


Richard ... Good post ; good thought . As a former science teach and well read in the history of science , I must concur that many a scientist stuck his/her neck out ( i.e. Kepler , Rutherford , Madam Curie , Einstein and Galilei , who nearly lost his ) to advance scientific knowledge to todays level . The ramifications of Y2K have hardly begun , in my estimation . If we were as uncertain of the outcome , as shown by the WIDE variation of learned programers , systems managers and world leaders in the industry before rollover , I think there is just as much room now for a variety of outcomes to obtain from the millions of systems links and program variations that exist in the world today . Also , if we could let so simple a KNOWN problem wait SO long to be solved , don't be suprised if more complex problems from the world wide hook-ups cause dozens of solvable/unsolveable problems THAT ARE ALSO NOT RECOGNIZED/ACNOWLEDGED UNTIL WE ARE ABOUT TO STRIKE THE ICEBERG , AGAIN !!! Eagle

-- Hal Walker (e999eagle@freewwweb.com), January 08, 2000.

Keep it up, Richard. The rest of us can still get a good laugh out of people like you. "Just you wait, the y2k problems are coming!" Get a life Richard, it's time to move on. Try getting a grip on reality.

-- weare (laughing@you.com), January 08, 2000.

Richard Clark writes, ""My own feeling is that Y2K will turn out to be more complex and subtle than we had thought."

weare(laughing@you.com) takes this to mean "Just you wait, the y2k problems are coming!"

weare(laughing@you.com) must have skipped some essential classes in reading skills early in life.

It's certainly possible that the Niagara escarpment that seemed to be looming ahead of us as we floated down the river has turned out to be only a ripple in the stream. On the other hand, we can't see around the next bend.

Molly Ivins once wrote, "Certitude is the enemy."

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 08, 2000.

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