UPDATE - Y2K...A Lookbackgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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Y2K Worrywarts Look Back by Joanna Glasner 3:00 a.m. May. 22, 2000 PDT
The Year 2000 may have arrived without any giant catastrophe.
But a lot of websites devoted to predicting Y2K doom sure look like Hell.
Indeed, many of the sites devoted to contemplating the end of the world appear a lot like the apocalyptic visions they once propagated: Wastelands of broken links spliced with email addresses that go to no one. Scattered about, a few remaining voices uttering plaintive cries of "What happened?" and "How did we mess up so badly?"
Yup. Ironically, the entities most disrupted by the relatively smooth turnover to 2000 seem to be those that spent the greater part of last year prepping for a big disaster.
A few of last year's most vocal doomsayers, however, have spent at least some of the first months of 2000 pondering why Y2K turned out to be one of most anticipated non-events in human history.
Ed Yourdon, a consultant and author of Time Bomb 2000, once predicted that Y2K would bring a year of technological disruptions, followed by a decade of depression.
"I was wrong about Y2K," he wrote in a recent essay entitled "A Y2K Postmortem."
Yourdon still maintains he was right about the potential magnitude of the problem. He didn't foresee, however, the ability of industries and governments to avert trouble.
"I was wrong about the likelihood that enough of the repair/remediation would be finished in order to prevent serious disruptions," he said.
Yourdon plans to continue to poke around in the aftermath of Y2K, in the hopes of gaining a greater understanding of why the much-anticipated meltdown never came to be.
Yourdon isn't the only one doing a Y2K retrospective.
Gary North, who spent several years prognosticating that chaos and tragedy would accompany the turnover to 2000, admitted in January that his predictions turned out to be a little off the mark. Still, North has kept the apocalyptic essays of past years on his website, for historical purposes.
Meanwhile, a number of other sites offering advice for Y2K precautions, like the Cassandra Project, remain up, although many of the resources they linked to are long gone.
Bruce McConnell, former head of the International Y2K Cooperation Center, said there are numerous explanations for why expectations of Y2K were far worse than the reality.
The media's preference for reporting bad news over good news was one factor McConnell cited. People ended up hearing a lot more about the potential for disasters than about successful efforts to avoid problems.
In addition, he said, the public was skeptical of positive statements from government officials on Y2K issues, interpreting them as efforts to create an artificial sense of calm. The fact that agencies often got around to announcing information months after first recording it didn't help matters, he said, adding that he wasn't surprised by the calm turnover to 2000.
"It was about the event we anticipated," said McConnell, who has moved on since January to start an international tech consulting business. "We predicted few, if any, serious disruptions, which is what happened."
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), May 22, 2000
Yes, it's very easy to poke fun at those who, by time, are proven wrong. So here's your chance bud, tell us where the Dow will end next Juanuary or who will be our next president? Hmmmmm, tell you what, why don't you start your own website with YOUR pridictions out where we can all laugh at them when you're wrong?? No gonads aye? Ha you dope!
-- WishYouHad A Brain (SoWhatWillHappen@NextYear.Com), May 22, 2000.