**John Westergaard Takes Umbrage at Byron Wien's Calling the Millennium Bug a "Hoax" ** ---greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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John Westergaard Takes Umbrage at Byron Wien's Calling the Millennium Bug a "Hoax" By John Westergaard January 11, 2000 New York, NY (Business Wire) - January 4, 2000 -- John Westergaard, Chairman and Publisher of Westergaard Broadcasting Network.com (www.wbn.com), sent the following letter this morning to Byron Wien, Managing Director, U.S. Strategist, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Dear Byron: I tuned in yesterday afternoon via Multex to your presentation of 10 possible surprises for the coming year. Interesting, provocative list. It's an exercise in scenario playing that we should all undertake from time to time. You do it as well as anyone.
I was shocked, however, and take personal umbrage, over your statement that the Y2K Millennium Bug turned out to be a "hoax." Hoax is a very strong word, Byron. My 1974 edition of Webster's New Collegiate defines the noun hoax as "an act intended to trick or dupe; something accepted or established by fraud."
Byron, are you saying that when Pat Moynihan and I warned Bob Rubin in December 1996 that he had a billion dollar problem on his hands for which he had budgeted less than $100 million, that we were participating in a fraud?
You certainly don't believe that Pat and I were knowingly defrauding Bob and the Federal Government about Y2K, so you must believe we were dupes of some other party or parties engaged in "tricking (the World) into believing or accepting as genuine something false" (hoax: verb transitive).
Are you speaking for Morgan Stanley on this? Does Morgan Stanley believe there was some group of people or organizations that conspired to promote this fraud? If so, what are you guys going to do about it? You are not going to sit still, I hope. How about recommending that Senator Bennett's Committee be reconstituted to investigate who was behind this hoax, if so be it?
There's no question but that Y2K was not the big bang I and others expected. But perhaps Y2K was not such a big bang because firms such as Morgan Stanley devoted enormous resources preparing for it?
The irony is that I have on several occasions publicly complimented your firm for its leadership on Y2K. Our mutual friend Heidi Fiske will testify to that. So am I now hearing that the firm feels it was defrauded out of the hundreds of millions it spent on Y2K remediation?
Byron, you're a wordsmith. You are careful in choice of language. Hoax is a loaded word. If you really believe Y2K was hoax, then you have a responsibility to pursue the matter. Demand an investigation. If you're not prepared to do that, then how about a retraction? I think you owe a lot of people that, not the least being your associates at Morgan Stanley who busted their chops over Y2K for the last 3-4 years.
-- snooze button (email@example.com), January 13, 2000
Hey!!! I changed my oil, and my engine didn't wear out. ENGINE WEAR IS A HOAX!!!
-- Pleeeeezzzzzz!!!!! (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 13, 2000.
This rising backlash of "Y2K was a hoax" could easily be flipped around...
I pay home owners insurance every year. So far my house has not burned down. No houses in my neighborhood have burned down in the 7 years I've lived here. I think I'll start a neighborhood petition to stop paying these premiums because obviously FROM THE EVIDENCE I CAN SEE, houses do not burn down in this neighborhood.
More bluntly... these editorials (Byron Wein) that say since nothing went visibly bump-in-the-night, therefore the whole thing was a hoax is like saying "Because my eyes cannot see them, xrays (or any other wavelength in the non-visible spectrum) simply do not exist..." just because I don't see them.
What clear headed thinking.
The fact that many, many people busted their guts to make sure that nothing major happened is why someone like Wein is spouting this gibberish. Perhaps we can put him on the graveyard shift in operations at Morgan Stanley... teach him to read JCL or something simple like that.
-- David Eddy (email@example.com), January 13, 2000.
Something else for Byron Wien to consider:
Thread at: "Y2K...Did We REALLY LEARN Anything?" http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002I7J
Partial excerpt below, (the full thread is better...)
Note: my apologies to the "TB2000 cruisers". This reply *has* been posted on two other threads...but always in response to those calling Y2K a "hoax" and accusing others, with no factual basis, of 'perpetrating' it. There is a bit more to that oversimplification of the situation, and the human beings involved in trying to educate others and raise awareness. If some people want to shoot from the hip and indiscrimantly tear others down, then they ought to have enough attention span and care to read, and think about the following.
Posted not to "get back" at anyone (essentially repeating the same behavior they are dishing out)...but hopefully, to get to a deeper understanding for all...
------ excerpt from previous thread ---------
In a message dated 1/6/2000 5:04:24 PM Central Standard Time Chris.Rohrs@sf.frb.org writes:
<< Subj: Re: [uk-bcp] FYI - Millennium Bug Prophet Receives Death Threats. (reply) Date: 1/6/2000 5:04:24 PM Central Standard Time From: Chris.Rohrs@sf.frb.org (Chris Rohrs) To: SMeyers33@aol.com
Reference: Posted 05/01/2000 4:00pm by Thomas C. Greene http://www.theregister.co.uk/991231-000005.html
Thanks, Steve I finally found it. Those who referred to de Jager as "Defrocked Prophet of Y2K Doom" really bothered me because de Jager has never been a doom prophet. Guess they wanted to ring a few people's bells.
[Reply and BCC to Peter de Jager]
You are welcome Chris.....
Yes, very disturbing that some individuals can find nothing better to do, other than to tear down someone who is so intelligent, and more so, obviously a very caring person. He seemed to miss that about De Jager....*and all the other* precise, brilliant, caring people who gave Y2K the serious attention it deserved. They did their very best, they were honest; they did real work, hundreds if not thousands of hours...because they cared....and *that* is what counts.
So few are able to admit that the central problem with Y2K were the *unknowns*...NOT what we 'knew' about it. We were all quite lucky...at least so far (no major chemical or nuclear accidents)...that was my prime concern, above all others. Like I said, "Who needs to try to dodge *those* icebergs...when there are already so many other potential Y2K problems to navigate? It would only complicate matters that much worse."
Obviously, the idiot that made that statement about de Jager had no comprehension of what a Y2K breakdown would mean...in terms of human suffering, here or elsewhere. Or its implications for social instability...a very ugly, hurtful thing...(care to visit Russia or Calcutta today?)...and/or greatly accelerating existing ecological problems. What folly.
At best, 'sophisticated egos reduced to intellectual sword fighting'...devoid of human compassion and completely missing the negative potentials involved in Y2K. Very upsetting that someone could 'shoot from the hip' and (attempt to) discredit someone of the caliber of De Jager, and by implication, all the others working at his 'level' as well. Then threaten him? How encouraging, no? To anyone who still has a brain, or a shred of Heart left in them, this individual only draws attention to themself and how much is lacking within...they are saying very little about de Jager, and a great deal about themselves.
Sorry I'm a bit upset here, but I am. For so many to have worked so hard to insure the safety of Humanity...only to have other *very* small people take pot shots at them...is nausiating. That all those years of focused effort...could be reduced to "eat crow in public" because we *didn't* have a disaster?? Are these people insane? Unbelievable.
It makes me think of Rudyard Kipling's "IF"
'If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken, twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools...'
That about sums up my view of the individual who saw *nothing* of value or benefit in what De Jager and many others did. They missed what is most important about 'the Man' as a human being...and all he did, his contributions. We are quite lucky to have the De Jager's, Gordon's, Kappleman's, Yordon's, Martin's, Barnett's, Jim Lord's, Koskinen's, David Spinks/UK, Dale Way, etc. and *so* many others who helped get us this far. Yes, even Gary North deserves much credit, even if only as "Devils Advocate" to make people stop and think twice. He did. Gary North is a brilliant individual and a straight shooter; much insight, much excellent analysis; very hard working, dedicated, caring individual. He certainly is nobody's fool. Gary played 'the part' very few have the guts or tje brains to pull off. He didn't cause the problems...he tried to solve them. That takes a lot of caring...that is what I see about the man.
Everyone did their part and made a difference. North got many people to prepare...and had the situation turned out differently, his work would been seen in a very different light today. They seem to miss the connection between those who kept the pressure on...and how much *did* get accomplished; (more than what most expected it seems). Yes, any informed person knows very well we are not out of the woods yet...still more hills and valleys to traverse before we 'Know' we are in the clear. We are not at that point yet...only 1 week into Y2K. There is still more to come it seems; let's hope it's manageable.
I would much prefer that people were "over concerned" and erred on the side of safety, spent extra money, etc...than some half-ass approach which could have resulted in incomprehensible levels of suffering for millions...had the pressure not been on continuously. How people can miss that..is beyond my understanding.
In my view, hats-off and kudos to all those who cared enough to do everything they could, individually and collectively, to insure the safety of so many. We are all very fortunate (so far) and *that* ought to be the understanding that comes out of this "Y2K thing".
What about the individual efforts AND the cooperation which took place?...world wide no less. When is the last time Russia & the US sat down together to make sure their nuclear weapons didn't go off at each other? How did all that get lost? What...because 'we *didn't* have a massive breakdown' on Jan 1? Y2K helped us realize we are all in this together...and that we depend on each other, and that we need each other...how could that recognition not have significant, lasting value in our fractured world? To ignore all that and more....and then tear down the very people who worked tirelessly to cover all bases? My, aren't we an enlightened species...
Actually, Y2K was a good 'practice run' for the ecological problems we are now facing, which arguably make Y2K look quite 'trivial' in true context..(see below)...if only they would open their eyes. The information is there, but who knows if they have the emotional guts to look at it for what it is, and not go back to sleep.
Sorry for all my opinions, but that's they way I see it, based on thirty years of comprehensive, global-environmental research. The data on the environment speaks for itself...doesn't need me or any 'authority' to 'validate' it. It's there, and we better face up to it like we just did with Y2K. This is not the 'end' of our problems which need solving...only the beginning.
Anyone who cares to argue that one....would be a certified fool.
For a short briefing, see:
I invite anyone (including Byron Wien) to read *all* the articles, take them *as a whole*...and put forth their 'assessment' of "what it all means" as far as "infrastructure problems". Good luck.. (smile)...because we are going to need it even more than what we have just seen with Y2K. It will be quite interesting to see how many "experts" will still be standing after Y2K, or...if they truly learned anything about 'infrastructure threats', or... if it was just well- intentioned "academic posturing"...specialists lacking true context, depth and comprehensive analysis. How convenient. Denial is just such a wonderful thing.
The only problem with 'seemingly making it through' Y2K...is that we probably will not really learn anything lasting from Y2K, and continue unabated, pedal-to-the-floor, racing towards ecological disaster as we have been...under the false impression that we are so smart..."Now, we can lick anything." What a dangerous illusion...and lost opportunity to really "focus up" about the truth of our present global environmental situation: Our planet is dying...and we are pretending (or are being told) that nothing is happening. Uh huh. (My, what a brilliant species...so smart.) Think we can fix those problems as easily as a four digit date field? Keep dreaming.
I like Robert Dean's assessment: "If you are not concerned about these issues, then you are simply uninformed."
and "Why are these issues so important?".....Make no mistake: it's because one of the things at stake...is the future of Planet Earth..."
(Contrary to popular myth, there are real solutions IF we got down to it with the same focus as Y2K, we might even surprise ourselves...and 'make it.' see http://www.bashar.com/GSP/door- solution.htm
In very short order...we'll see how much we really learned from all this, or if 'sailing through Y2K' (as so many now think)...actually turns out to be 'a curse in disguise'. Maybe if things had broken down a bit more...we might have directed our attention to the other threats to our True Infrastructure...our bio-sphere...and Man's destructive impact on it, pursuing short-term profits for the few, at the painful expense of the many.
Those are the real issues, now that we are past the Y2K '10 yard line'. 90 yards to go before we reach the finish line.
Let's hope we care enough about ourselves, each other, and future generations...to get the job done. We are way behind schedule as it is. Any doubts? Read the above articles and, please, show me where I'm wrong.
Steve Meyers Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP SMeyers33@aol.com
============================ Another perspective:
I also posted the same in reply to the original "Mr. Lasley" thread at TB2000 - intended for the person that dredged up Mr. Lasley's ignorant, spiteful article. What came to mind is this:
"The punishment of self-deception....is paid within."
"And wherever Mr. Lasley goes...that's where he finds himself. And that is punishment enough."
Amazing, that the only way some people know how to prop themselves up...is by tearing down others around them, and usually, typically, targeting someone who has more character...
Wilhelm Reich had great insight on 'why' and 'what kind' of people are predisposed to do such hurtful things.
"The Murder Of Christ In Giradano Bruno"
"Listen Little Man" and
If you ever get a chance to read Reich's works...do...very powerful, insightful stuff.
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 13, 2000.
Y2K wasn't a hoax...but some very smart people MADE A MISTAKE. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me--or was it by osmosis that countries and businesses that did NOTHING also got through fine? Face-saving is understandable. And we live in a complicated world--mistakes are inevitable. But please...things went okay because "enough of the problem was remediated" to squeak through??? Given that there was apparently no consequence to NOT remediating and NOT preparing, as it turns out, I'm afraid the problem was never that big a deal after all.
Hindsight is 20-20.
-- S. Kohl (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 13, 2000.