Death by 1000 little cuts? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Disclaimer: I would classify myself as a "doomer" - in that I prepared for difficult times... could have kept my family warm and well fed for at least six months easy. I was surprised when power around the world didn't even appear to flicker...

I have been thinking about this whole "death by a thousand little cuts" thing... and I think it probably should be changed to "all these little cuts are a real pain."

It seems to me that all of these little "cuts" are getting healed before they bleed so much that they kill us. Power plants have problems... fix within hours. Airports have problems... fix within hours. Websites have problems displaying dates... who cares. If you get a 1000 little cuts all at once and none of them have time to heal... sure you will bleed to death. But if you get 1000 little cuts over the course of a year, you will just have lots of scabs, but you won't be dead.

The little cuts we have seen so far won't kill us, they might hurt, but we won't die from them. Now if there are more major gaping wounds yet to be inflicted, that is a different story, but nothing that I have seen/read so far has been unfixable withing hours or days. Maybe the "fix on failure" approach really is working.

Any thoughts?


-- Long time lurker (, January 09, 2000


Any thoughts?

Yes. You're not a doomer.

Go away.

-- (lurk@somewhere.else), January 09, 2000.

I like the way you said that. Sounds about right.

-- voynik (, January 09, 2000.

A small cut that goes unnoticed or is disregarded because of its smallness can fester and introduce a disabling systemic infection.

-- Sam Mcgee (, January 09, 2000.

Isn't that what our beloved Ed said? A year of "pain in the butt" (my version of what he said, not his) and economic decline for the next decade? I think for every "cut" we hear about there are probably several thousand going on. But the cuts either have to come in sufficient numbers to endanger the patient, or the "cutter" has to change to using a machete!!

Taz...who is munching on the hot crust of bread right out of the oven.

-- Taz (, January 09, 2000.

50% of small to medium sized business's barely survive month to month. This is a chronic condition that has persisted for years, even under the current "boom". Feburary and March will be critical as "death by a thousand cuts" sinks many beyond recovery. Large backroom systems will process week 1 of corrupt and bad data for the first time sense the roll-over this weed-end. Expect to hear more bad news by Monday or Tuesday when some of the majors finally GI.

-- Polly-Morphic Doomer (, January 09, 2000.


For the crime of drawing conclusion from empirical observations rather than from preconceptions contrary to fact, your Doomer License is hereby revoked! If you start several threads along these lines, you will be censored. If you start 100 threads saying Doom is just around the corner, you will be applauded.

Hey, get with the program already!

-- Flint (, January 09, 2000.


"Maybe the 'fix on failure' approach really is working."

Sure, it is working. It will continue to work too, as long as we can keep up with the failures.

However, as soon as we start to become swamped, all bets are off.

Another thought: instead of "death by a thousand little cuts," what happend when we have "death of a thousand by a little cut?"

In the Good 'Ol US of A, some minor glitch that kills 1000 folks will bring lawsuits galore down on the heads of those with the buggy system. The "Y2K Bug" will be a sexy issue once again with the mainstream media, as nothing sells papers like stories of mass death and destruction(except for maybe famous individuals getting oral gratification, but that's another story. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em...). Get enough of these, TPTB may indeed say, "That? That was a pigeon."

Whe ya hear that, it might be time to make sure your water tanks are completely filled and serviced...

Peace Y'all,


-- Shimoda (, January 09, 2000.

The news media is heavily reliant on official government and industry sources for their Y2K information. Don't expect problems to be reported in the press unless they are highly visible and directly affect the public in a major way. Last year, there were many major computer problems that had been occurring for weeks or months before they were reported in the press. Examples are VW, P&G, Hershey, Whirlpool, and the DOD system which processes security clearances.

-- Danny (, January 09, 2000.

LTL .... Here's a thought . You said " Airports have a problem , fixed within hours , etc. " . Where's the proof they were " fixed " ? That is , did they just do another patch/work around , or did they REALLY fix it ? If it's the former , that may lead to continuing problems that will cause cascading cross defaults , and eventually systems collapses . I think it's still the denial game/keep it running at all costs crowd in control , AND , can't blame them . However , the 'piper' MUST be paid , or devolution will surely be the result ,IMHO .Eagle ... circling ... watching ... waiting ... Pollie for supper ???

-- Hal Walker (, January 09, 2000.

All I can say is that I've been "cut" twice, and so far, while the cuts haven't killed me, it's been one hell'va mess, with constant phone calls, verifying this and that and no matter that the mistakes weren't mine to begin with...the attitude on the other end is that I've done something wrong, and possibly crooked.

Even though their computers are screwed up, it's my fault!

Just think, if we're real lucky there'll be months of this nonsense.

-- Richard (, January 09, 2000.

Another one gets it.

The bunkered will always cling to the hope REAL SOON NOW of doom, but those able to think critically are learning, one by one, that Y2K isn't the cause for doom if it's spread out over months/years--it just takes its place along all the other things that make computer systems buggy. It isn't THE bug; it's A bug.

Keep prepared because bad things happen--last month a lot of people in Venezuela died from natural disaster. Use Y2K as an excuse if you need an external motivation to do the right things, such as live debt- free and self-sufficiently. But give credit where credit is due--the vast majority who didn't lose sleep over Y2K had it right.

-- I'mSo (, January 09, 2000.

Like the guy sadi above, as long as the number of glitches stays within our capacity to cope, it will be obnoxious but manageable.

-- Forrest Covington (, January 09, 2000.

What might be just a minor cut to most of us could be a major hemorrhage to the elderly who can't cope with the level of aggravation that, for instance, Richard Astral describes. And the elderly are likely to have more than their share of problems to sort out anyway.

-- Brooks (, January 09, 2000.

Agree completely. As I am fond of saying, I probably suffer a thousand cuts every morning when I shave. They're just too small to matter.

The doomer notion that--just you wait--apocalypse is STILL JUST AROUND THE CORNER is losing credibility by the moment. We made it throught 1/1/99, then we made it throught 4/1/99, 9/9/99, 10/1/99, 12/1/99, and of course, 1/1/00. Then we made it through the first work day. Then the first work week. And still--doom JUST AROUND THE CORNER. Maybe at the end of the month. Maybe at the end of the quarter. Maybe at the end of the year.

Maybe never. We've cleared all the important hurdles, with no --repeat, no--major systemic disruptions. Again I say--you get the remaining 75% of Y2K problems left to be found by multiplying what we have seen by three, and spreading it out over the next twelve months. It's trivial. There's no "there" there.

It's time to breathe a sigh of relief, raise a glass to the overworked remediators, and visit the food bank. We're giving away two cases of cans tonight.


-- Craig Kenneth Bryant (, January 09, 2000.

The analogies of "death by 1,000 cuts", "death by 1,000 bee stings", etc., all depend on those 1,000 events occurring ALL AT ONCE. This was the entire basis of Infomagic's "Charlotte's Web" treatise -- too many problematic events occurring at once to ever recover from.

This is not happening with Y2K. Generally, what few non-trivial problems occur are either fixed or worked around. The concept of these analogies per se is valid, but as it turns out do not appear to apply to Y2K problems (so far).

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), January 09, 2000.

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