On This Day Pre-Y2K

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December 29, 1999 Permalink

So what is it? Is remediation not necessary for the infrastructure or will this weekend tell the tale? I don’t think the basic premise was wrong, and this weekend will present a sharp boundary condition.

I personally don’t think we will ‘devolve’ into chaos over time. Failures over a temporal period are as manageable as failures localized geographically - resources can be brought in from other areas to ease the problem. Call it ‘whack-a-mole remediation.’

I see this weekend in binary terms: either mass problems will be imminent or we will have less than a BITR. Since we have had no dress rehersals of significant failures, there will be no middle ground. Any severe problems will not be manageable wrt the actions of the population, since few are prepared physically and almost none, mentally. Again: There have been no significant failures anywhere in the world, even in places that have little or no remediation efforts. What is the significance of that?

—Tom Carr, comp.software.year-2000, 12/29/99

There was one more false assumption. That is, the assumption that as failures happened they would be reported, and that as organizations realized they would not be ready, they would have the ethical decency to admit it to their employees and let their employees get the word out so people could make preparations. This false assumption -- that the word would get out that the organizations would not make it -- was the driving assumption behind “the stock market will fall” and “panic will be in the streets” and “people will flood the grocery stores with demands”.

The doomers -- of which I am one -- falsely believed that ethics would win out, therefore panic was ensured.

It was panic that would have caused the pre-rollover calamity. But, the early panic would have meant more people had the opportunity to live through it in the end. Now, with no panic and rosy reports, John Q. Public will just march right up to the end doing nothing to prepare himself.

But the self-reported “I fixed its” are still delusions.

The seeds are planted on December 31 at midnight. They sprout day by day, and within three weeks, they bring down the system. Too bad the doomers couldn’t convince anybody so they woud panic and get ready. But then again, it does say “people will still be marrying and having parties right up to the end”

—Gem, comp.software.year-2000, 12/29/99

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