have been following the potential problems of Y2K since 1997, long before
Y2K became a noun or a boutique industry. I wrote my first Y2K piece for
WorldNetDaily in April 1998. I have interviewed the full spectrum of Y2K
doomsayers and critics from Dr. Gary North to assorted government officials.
I have contended for over a year that Y2K is not an event but rather
a process. Nevertheless, there are those who are taking misplaced
visceral satisfaction in chiding, "Neener, neener. It was all much ado
about nothing." BULLFEATHERS!
reader in Tampa Florida wrote,
"You promoted and offered an uncritical ear to the creators of Y2K hysteria,
but you're about to discover the price."
Not true, I have been most critical of both the doomsayers and the naysayers.
"Sure, you can defend yourself by saying that nothing said was technically
untrue. You can join in with all the other back-pedalers and dismiss your
warnings as better safe than sorry. You can even claim that you did us
all a 'service' by promoting preventive action."
Yeah, I could say all that, but I won't. I am neither back-pedaling, nor
disappointed with a relatively uneventful New Year.
"Today, Jan 1, 2000, is a milestone marking the beginning of the solidification
of doubts as to the trustworthiness of many individuals that aggressively
promote a wide range of conspiracies and disasters. It's the beginning
of the end of success for many news reporters and entertainers like yourself
because you have too often chosen expediency over honor."
What a crock of self-righteous arrogant bull.
"I am more saddened to see all the valuable work that you and other good
people have done damaged in the fallout. So many important open-ended investigations
into real government scandals will be tarnished by the impatience of those
who couldn't resist selling them all out for a sponsor or an alliance."
Neither I nor WorldNetDaily has any proprietary interest in Y2K. Frankly,
the time, effort and attention we have devoted to the issue will not only
fail to negatively impact on our credibility or ability to expose future
controversial issues; it will actually enhance our credibility -- unless
you believe that Ernst & Young, all the government Y2K entities, scientists,
experts and technocrats around the world will somehow suffer reciprocal
negative impacts to their credibility.
for all those pretentious, self-righteous boobs on both sides of the Y2K
hoopla, here's the reality check (especially for those who don't want to
be confused with facts which contradict their preconceived opinions). The
following is NOT my opinion:
are so conditioned for instant gratification that we become myopic (as
well as deaf) to things subtle and/or complex. A gaggle of experts (not
me) are saying it is too early to claim victory over the Y2K bug. Last
week Massachusetts Institute of Technology shut down all their 20,000 computers
for the weekend. They were not the Lone Ranger. Tens of millions of the
world's business systems will be rebooting today. Canadian Y2K poobah Peter
de Jager says, "It is very, very premature at this point in time to declare
victory. We expected the infrastructure to be OK, but wait until next week
to start drawing conclusions about how successful or unsuccessful we've
a trillion dollars was spent to mitigate and prevent serious Y2K problems.
If it was truly "much ado about nothing" why did the U.S. government spend
over $8.5 billion to fix what was not wrong? Why did the private sector
spend over $100 billion?
the extraordinary effort and expense to prove that technology can
work, the Pentagon (although sandbagging initially) eventually acknowledged
a significant Y2K failure. Despite telling the world everything was cool,
the same officials (including Deputy Director John Hamre), later revealed
a major computer failure occurred shortly after 7 p.m. EST (which is midnight
Greenwich Mean Time).
of the 103 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors had minor problems.
was the only country that has reported it was seriously affected. Significant
power outages threatened the Gambian energy sector. Major and/or significant
disruptions were expected in air and sea transportation, the financial
sector and government services.
and credit card problems occurred.
nuke plants had problems.
of minor problems occurred in systems ranging from slot machines to taxi
cabs to vending machines to websites.
Kyte, analyst with the Gartner Group, a U.S. information technology research
company says, "Unless purged, the bug will act more like a debilitating
disease which insidiously weakens computer systems before finally toppling
to Kyte, fewer than 10 percent of all Y2K-related failures will happen
during the two weeks surrounding Jan. 1, 2000. Fifty-five percent of problems
will hit over the balance of the year. "We've been saying for a long time
that this was not going to be a pyrotechnic event," Kyte says. "It is not
about fireworks going off now or a sudden explosion. It's about the gradual
degradation of the efficiency of computer systems."
2000 team leader at Ernst & Young, Nick Fitzhugh believes (like most
knowledgeable experts) it is too early for companies to lower their guard.
more serious Y2K hassles will take time to reveal themselves. The full
damage of Y2K will be mostly hidden until mid to late January. Bruce McConnell,
head of the International Y2K Corporation Center, which is funded by the
World Bank, says officials probably won't be able to tell the overall impact
until the third week in January.
list is long and I am confident others will be reporting on Y2K ad nauseam.
My concluding comments on Y2K are this: It ain't over. However, having
survived the first hurdle, as life, inertia, and other news cycles gain
dominance, please consider the following:
are three basic dangers we continue to face regardless of whatever does
or does not result from the monumental global efforts to "kill the bug."
First, the very real threat that all the premature articulation claiming
victory will overshadow or negate all the remarkable work done by legions
of nerds, who deserve but will not receive commendation. Secondly, the
unintended consequences of some companies and countries failing to report
(or acknowledge) problems. Lastly, (and I think more significant) is the
danger that if or when a Y2K-related glitch does create a problem months
or years down the road, it may never be recognized or managed as a Y2K
over a trillion dollars to pre-empt or mitigate Y2K-related problems, problems
resulted across a wide spectrum.
all the experts in government, industry, and academia parrot the same line,
"It is too early to tell. ..."
or when problems do materialize, they probably will not be catastrophic,
but debilitating (and progressive).
of the success in surviving the Y2K panic was a product of government and
the private sector compelling a pro-active approach. Technology coupled
with the sense of urgency worked marvelously.
have dodged a bullet, and survived a battle, but the war could be longer
than many would like to admit.
synthesize the scholarly, diplomatic, academic and technobabble of hundreds
of assorted experts: It ain't over.