Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Declan McCulla » Wed, 29 Apr 1998 04:00:00



*******

http://www.veryComputer.com/%2c1012%2c1936%2c00.html

time.com / The Netly News / Afternoon Line
April 28, 1998

Bug du Jour

   The millennium bug is one problem politicians can't seem to resolve.
   How can they warn people of its urgency without scaring them into
   panicking -- and igniting social problems even worse than the
   technical ones? This morning government witnesses testifying before
   the Senate Commerce committee strove for just the right balance: We're
   concerned, they said, so the public shouldn't be. A recession is
   possible, Ed Kelley from the Federal Reserve admitted, but not
   anticipated. The telecommunications network will survive, FCC chairman
   William Kennard said, "but there will be glitches." Sen. Bob Bennett
   (R-Utah) was not as optimistic, slamming the Defense Department for
   wasting precious time fixing "nuisance problems" in "noncritical
   areas." How does he plan to tackle the problem? Simple: By heading a
   new committee. Bennett will be the chairman of the Senate Special
   Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. But it may be too late.
   "The blunt truth is that the President should have raised this in his
   State of the Union address," Bruce Webster, a Y2K programmer and
   chairman of the DC Y2K group, told us afterward. "The longer the
   administration goes without a speech like that, the more significant
   the backlash is going to be." --By Declan McCullagh/Washington

[...snip...]

Beauty and the Beast

   The People magazine poll of the world's most beautiful individuals is
   a perennial crowd-pleaser that even folks who claim not to be
   interested can't help but peek at. This year they're voting online for
   the top 50, and the battle is yielding some unusual results. So who's
   the fairest of them all, the cynosure of *space -- Julia?
   Leonardo? Gillian Anderson? Well, no, no and no. According to the
   chart -- before People pulled the plug for "maintenance" -- the top
   vote-getter was... Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf. Sorry, Kate, Denzel
   and Wil. It's dwarf time! So what gives, you ask? The Hank campaign
   was started on Usenet by fans of Howard Stern, on which Hank is a
   recurring character, and as it picked up momentum others began to see
   the piquant social commentary one could make by elevating Hank to the
   empyrean heights reserved for the likes of George Clooney. The tide
   turned dramatically in favor of the irascible inebriated imp in the
   past day or so, and before the plug was pulled, the Hankphiles had
   prevailed -- final tally: Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, 5,093 votes;
   Leonardo DiCaprio,4,337; Michelle Kwan, 2,597; Faye Wong, 2,544; Kate
   Winslet, 2,361. (My personal favorite, the ineffable Gong Li, was not
   in the top 20.) But of course putting a spotlight on obscure radio
   personalities isn't really what the poll is about, so when access to
   the standings resumes you can expect to see a Hank-less roster.

[...snip...]

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by paul leblan » Wed, 29 Apr 1998 04:00:00



> *******

> http://cgi.pathfinder.com/netly/afternoon/0%2c1012%2c1936%2c00.html

> time.com / The Netly News / Afternoon Line
> April 28, 1998

> Bug du Jour

>    The millennium bug is one problem politicians can't seem to resolve.
>    How can they warn people of its urgency without scaring them into
>    panicking -- and igniting social problems even worse than the
>    technical ones?

If the Y2K message is that "urgent" to begin with, then it will not be
denied forever, correct?  Then, what value is there in delaying the
communication of the inevitable?   The only thing accomplished is to
make the shock value increase when the Big Announcement is finally made
with no time left on the clock.  It will be too late for people to
prepare, and that is the most shocking and panic-producing event that
anybody could spring on the public.  

It's INSANE to hold back the truth in order to avoid panic when you
already assume an "urgency".  It will make the panic worse by a million
times.  It's totally insane to multiply the panic for no good reason.
Australia and England have basically announced very blunt warnings and
you don't see the Commonwealth self-destructing, do you?  So where is
the Y2K precedent for widespread panic?

The real panic is in the minds of those policy makers who agree to try
and stifle the panic.    - pl

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Declan McCulla » Thu, 30 Apr 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>If the Y2K message is that "urgent" to begin with, then it will not be
>denied forever, correct?  Then, what value is there in delaying the
>communication of the inevitable?   The only thing accomplished is to

The best answer I have is that the Congressfolks and bureaucrats haven't
decided it's inevitable -- yet. Or perhaps they don't want to be the first
ones to say so publicly.

Quote:>It's INSANE to hold back the truth in order to avoid panic when you
>already assume an "urgency".  It will make the panic worse by a million

Well, "urgency" was my description of the problem, not theirs.

-Declan

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Chris Kua » Thu, 30 Apr 1998 04:00:00



> Australia and England have basically announced very blunt warnings and
> you don't see the Commonwealth self-destructing, do you?  So where is
> the Y2K precedent for widespread panic?

Um, here in Australia, it appears that between 69% and 78%
of SMEs are ignoring the warnings.

<http://www.theaustralian.com.au/extras/007/4021054.htm>

No wonder there is no panic...

--

Chris Kuan, BHP Information Technology

Phone : +61 2 4275 5555  Fax : +61 2 4275 5547

"A Design Pattern is something that got left out of the language"
- Richard O'Keefe

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Harlan Smit » Thu, 30 Apr 1998 04:00:00




Quote:

> *******

> http://cgi.pathfinder.com/netly/afternoon/0%2c1012%2c1936%2c00.html

> time.com / The Netly News / Afternoon Line
> April 28, 1998

> Bug du Jour

Thanks for your Senate Commerce Committee report.

Harlan

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Scott Kane - MS » Fri, 01 May 1998 04:00:00




>> Australia and England have basically announced very blunt warnings and
>> you don't see the Commonwealth self-destructing, do you?  So where is
>> the Y2K precedent for widespread panic?

>Um, here in Australia, it appears that between 69% and 78%
>of SMEs are ignoring the warnings.

><http://www.theaustralian.com.au/extras/007/4021054.htm>

>No wonder there is no panic...

Agreed, Chris.   Talking to SME's about Y2K still gets you lumped with UFO
nutters and the Apolcalypse chasers.

Scott Kane
MicroNexus Software Australia
http://www.micronexus.com.au

 
 
 

Y2K Senate committee -- and Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf

Post by Chris Westo » Fri, 01 May 1998 04:00:00





<snip>
>>Um, here in Australia, it appears that between 69% and 78%
>>of SMEs are ignoring the warnings.

>><http://www.theaustralian.com.au/extras/007/4021054.htm>

>>No wonder there is no panic...

>Agreed, Chris.   Talking to SME's about Y2K still gets you lumped with UFO
>nutters and the Apolcalypse chasers.

Well, having read through the posts here today, and looked through
the FAQ, I can see why.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking those
who are trying to bring about a wider acceptance of the inevitable
problems, because that is important.  I simply am unconvinced of the
need to build your own rocket-proof bunker with 25 years supply of
marmite for the occasion.  That attitude is not a cigarette paper
away from the 'Soldier of Fortune' crowd.  Is there any wonder people
look at you askance when you say civilisation will crumble?

If we all keep a more rational view of things, rather than hiding under
the bedclothes in 1999 we will be far better off.  Fact - Bad Things
will happen.  Fact - People will die because of this problem.  Fact -
businesses will fail.  If I am desperately ill in hospital in December
1999 I'm not going to be very optimistic about my chances.  If I hold
a great number of shares at that time I'm going to lose money (in the
short/medium term).  For most people the Y2K issue will be a minor
inconvenience.  We must stick to things that people can relate to.  
Nobody can really envisage piles of dead people on every street corner,
gas lamps and salted meat.  They can understand short power cuts,
bank errors and water shortages.  Playing this up does us no good
whatsoever,  people just switch off and we need them to be switched ON
about Y2K.

Just my opinion.

A thought just occured: If vending machines stop working at Y2K, how
will computer programmers survive to fix the problems?  Now THAT'S
scary.

Regards

--
Chris Weston
Computer Programmer
Middleton Maintenance Group PLC
Birmingham, England.