This week's Y2K stories

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

PacifiCare looking for alternative (spider, 2001-07-30) MI: Phone woes persist for Oak Park (spider, 2001-07-29) MN: NCS case could set precedent for how other errors are handled (spider, 2001-07-29) GE: Grady downplays budget deficit (spider, 2001-07-28) The Lucent connection (spider, 2001-07-28) England: TAXPAYERS HIT BY REVENUE CHAOS (spider, 2001-07-28) UK - 100m cost of Tube fiasco (Doris, 2001-07-27) Nebraska Cattle Producers Ask Congress For Help On Price Reporting Glitch (Doris, 2001-07-26) AR - Late paycheck brings trouble for state worker (Doris, 2001-07-26) VT - Auditor: State to blame for tax mess (Doris, 2001-07-26) WI - Qwest admits second glitch in computerized phone bills (Doris, 2001-07-26) Accident Summary added to Y2K Graphs (spider, 2001-07-26)

-- spider (spider@web.com), July 30, 2001

Answers

Thanks so much for your continuing efforts to track ongoing problems related to Y2K. It would be very helpful for those who do not know your website (and for the completeness of the GICC archives) if you would always include the URL for your Y2K Discussion Group when you post the titles of newly posted threads. It would also be a help if you posted the instructions that they need to follow in order to acquire a password.

Many thanks!

-- Paula Gordon (pgordon@erols.com), July 30, 2001.


Paula,
I don't think there are more than a half dozen
people interested in these type of stories and
they all have the password already.

But in deference to your request, the password
and link can be obtained by request: spider@freeze.com

-- spider (spider@web.com), July 31, 2001.


I don't think there are more than a half dozen people interested in these type of stories

Looks like this forum is on the same track.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 31, 2001.


<< I don't think there are more than a half dozen people interested in these type of stories and they all have the password already. >>

Actually, I bet LOTS of readers of GICC would be very interested. Any reason you don't just post them here???

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), July 31, 2001.


Andre,

The first reason is that when I post the stories
here, they get lost in the volume posted here. I
need to be able to find the stories again so that
I can link the related stories together.

The second reason is when I checked last Dec. as
to who were reading these stories, I only got a
handful of replies. If there were more that really
cared to read about the continuing Y2K saga, more
would have posted a reply.

The third reason is protection from disruptive posts.

I have tried to contact numerous people that I
thought might be interested in the fact that thousands
of Y2K stories never hit the mainstream press. I have
yet to find a media investigator that would reply to
my email. People either don't believe it or don't care.
As the cascade effect rumbles through the economy, the
association with the original Y2K tremor becomes
increasingly tenuous.

-- spider (spider@web.com), July 31, 2001.



Thanks, Spider, for posting information concerning your e-mail address where people can write you (spider@freeze.com) to get a password for your Y2K website at http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and- a.tcl?topic=Y2K%20discussion%20group

I second Andre Weltman. I have also read your response to Andre. Perhaps the items could be crossposted here as well.

Whatever you decide, many thanks for all your continuing efforts.

It seems to me that the number of people who may be interested in Y2K is, at one level, neither here or there.

The number of people interested in information on any subject, particularly a subject as daunting as Y2K, may have little or no relationship to the ultimate significance of the information. The dauntingness of the subject, along with the global dimensions of Y2K, are things that have set Y2K apart. Y2K not only has multiple dimensions, it involves subtle effects (predicted effects) that are difficult if not impossible to prove. (Indeed the difficulty of making the linkages to Y2K was also predicted.)

Most people interested in Y2K were apparently only concerned about worse case scenarios, scenarios that could have had immediately cascading and cataclysmic impacts. The impacts could have overwhelmed resources and capacities to respond.

Such worse case scenarios were averted owing to a complexity of factors that have few people appear to comprehend or be interested in studying or trying to understand. The information that would explain what happened is scattered. To date, I have seen no post rollover report that has identified and begun to document the full spectrum of actions that were taken that helped to avert a worse case scenario. Suffice it to say that in addition to the remediation (temporary fixes or long term solutions) that was done, that far more was done than has been publicly acknowledged in any one report. These actions included such things as the implementation of critical contingency plans, reliance on work-arounds, and operating at reduced power.

The fact that worse case scenarios did not occur seem to be the end of the story for many individuals concerned with Y2K pre-rollover.

Prior to the rollover, some people and analysts talked about the possible longer term impact of cumulative effects: the death by a million cuts kinds of scenarios. What we have in my view is a less serious mid-range scenario that involves "gradual debilitation by a million cuts". I think that this debilitation process could well bottom out in a year. I also think that there are things that could be done to minimize the impacts even now, although action would likely only mean the difference of one to two points on the impact scale. If nothing is done, I think that we could reach a 7 on the impact scale.

Who knows how many people continue to acknowledge or try to track the "predicted coincidences" that have been occurring since the rollover. Earlier this year, postings on another board indicated that ongoing interest was considerable. (People were posting on a thread that asked the question: What do you think the impact of Y2K has been? I suspect that that thread was not achived or I would go to the trouble to post the URL here.)

Postings at GICC and on your website are extremely helpful for those trying to understand and assess what has happened. They are equally important for those who would simply like to know what is going on and are seeking the truth about what has happened and what is continuing to happen. The postings are of interest to those who are concerned that lessons that should be learned from Y2K have not been learned.

The information posted on GICC and on your website is helpful in identifying and understanding continuing trends.

It is a funny thing about Y2K. The definition of the nature and scope of the set of problems known as "Y2K" was never fully comprehended by the public, let alone those in positions of public responsibility, including the media. Even the IT dimension of Y2K has been difficult for people to follow. The complex integrated systems aspect of Y2K that includes embedded systems has been even more difficult for people to follow. I have rarely met anyone in the media whose eyes did not seem to glaze over at the mention of embedded systems.

Not only has such understanding of the basic problem definition been lacking, there has been little apparent ongoing memory of, interest in, or awareness of the most subtle analyses that was done prior to the rollover concerning the possible long term mid range scenarios that could unfold after the rollover. These analyses focused on what might be expected after the rollover over a period of months and years. The role of connectivity issues and cumulative impacts are key to understanding these mid-range scenarios. (Consideration of cumulative impacts involved recognition of pre-existing infrastructure problems and policy consideration such as the deregulation of electric power industry. (I allude to such concerns in my White Paper at http://www.gwu.edu/~y2k/keypeople/gordon .)

In my estimation we are at around a 4.5 on the impact scale at present and moving higher. (The version on the Y2K impact scale that I am using is described in Part 1 of my White Paper at the just noted URL.) If those in roles of public responsibility were to recognize the cumulative impacts, resources and policy might be focused accordingly. For starters, energy policy might be take on new and more realistic dimensions; pharmaceutical shortages might be understood in a different way; aviation and transportation problems; and pipeline, refinery, and chemical industry problems might be understood in a much different light as well. Right now, for a complex array of reasons, including the dauntingness of the subject, those in roles of public responsibility have tuned out (and they may only have been partially tuned in in the first place).

The current status of awareness and understanding is one thing. The implications of the absence of awareness and understanding for sound public policy and action is quite another. This absence of awareness and understanding not only has major implications for our capacity to address current challenges; it also has major implications for our capacity to address comparably complicated challenges in the future.

Sooner or later, I would hope, the importance of such understanding will be more widely understood. In my estimation there is great value in efforts to track and archive Y2K-related information and information concerning cumulative impacts involving interconnectivity with previously existing problems. The results of such efforts may well be viewed in the future as invaluable sources of information for individuals in roles of public responsibility in the future.

Thank you and thanks to Martin and all others here for your continuing efforts.

-- Paula Gordon (pgordon@erols.com), July 31, 2001.


spider, you may of course cross-post or not, but I do encourage you to do so, as Paula has suggested.

I can't quibble with all your reasons, but I must comment on this:

<< The second reason is when I checked last Dec. as to who were reading these stories, I only got a handful of replies. If there were more that really cared to read about the continuing Y2K saga, more would have posted a reply. >>

I can only speak for myself -- December is a lousy time to assess volume and interest; due to competing concerns many people may not see or have time to respond to queries (I for example surf most often at work; what with hunting seasons and holidays and bad weather, the month of December is by far my least likely time to even reply to queries much less post new ones).

Also, sometime lurkers are reluctant to comment, whether from shyness or concern not to waste bandwith or what, I don't know. But I have no doubt many more people read this board than ever comment on it -- including to special queries like the one you posted in December (which I don't even recall!)

Finally, I do recall getting a password from you a long time ago, I used it once or twice and at the time there wasn't much volume on your site...it seems you've got tons more now, that's great, but to be honest there's a limit on how many sites I am willing to spend time at each week...especially if I have to enter a password each visit (I don't like to leave passwords lying around in my computer's innards as a matter of policy). So, I confess I haven't bothered to visit your site again and don't even have the password any more.

Please cross-post?! You'll be doing more than you realize to help inform more people than you may imagine.

Health,

Andre

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), July 31, 2001.


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