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Year 2000 Problem

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  • The Millenium Contagion: Is Your Mental Software Year 2000 Compliant? - a very well-written article by Aaron Lynch (author of Thought Contagion and one of the leading minds in the new science of memetics) that examines the apocalyptic ideas swirling around the Y2k issue from the perspective of thought contagion (thought contagions are ideas that program for their own copying in the human mind much as computer viruses do in computers) with excellent suggestions for how to combat Y2k hysteria.
  • The Cassandra Project - a grassroots organization with resources for sensible Y2k preparedness with an emphasis on neighborhood organizing and working together
  • You're Sick of the Game! Well, Now That's A Shame - an article by Peter de Jager that is directed more at programmers, Geeks, and other IT folks than at the layperson. If you're not a Geek, I still suggest you read this to see how someone in the crux of the project to fix this mess feels.

The Year 2000 problem. The Y2k issue. The millennium bug.

Sick of hearing about it yet, or are you just trying to figure out what's going on?

A few people have asked me (since I'm a Geek®) for my opinion. Those of you who know me understand that asking for my opinion about anything is a dangerous thing! <grin>

So, I decided to start compiling the Y2k resources that I know about (and respect) so that I can pass them on to people who ask. Normally, I try to avoid having pages that are just a collection of links to other sites -- I like to be able to contribute some original material to the 'net. But this topic is something of an exception in that there has been a great deal written about it already.

I happen to think that much of that material is in the form of well-intentioned, but misguided, hysteria-inducing recipes for social collapse.

Now that I have made my position less than clear, I urge you to start reading, learning, and planning.

  • If you're in a position to actually be able to do something about the problem, such as a programmer or administrator, then get going! It's still not too late to get it fixed or at least develop a plan for what you're going to do to make things work if they break.
  • If you're just one person in a tide of humanity, then you're still in a position to do something.
    • Do:
      • Go through your personal electronics and figure out:
        • Does the year even matters to said piece of hardware (does your coffeemaker care?)
        • If it does matter, is it broken (does your electronic coffemaker keep four-digit years?)
        • If it does matter AND it's broken, will it really be the end of the world as you know it (will you still be able to make coffee, albeit in some other way, even if the date's wrong)? Figure out alternatives instead of giving up.
      • Buy Symantec's Norton 2000 or some other Y2k compliance checker for your computer and do what you can to fix it and figure out workarounds for the things you can't fix.
      • Develop a basic disaster preparedness plan (it's a good idea anyway, Y2k or not) using a sensible guide such as that provided by FEMA or the American Red Cross.
      • Be prepared to figure out alternative ways of doing things for awhile. Many ordinary things that we take for granted may not work (or, they might work fine).
      • Talk to your neighbors, friends, and family. Get to know them and promise to help them out. Together we can get through this -- alone we will descend into panic and despair.
      • Find out if there is a Y2k "neighborhood watch" type group in your neighborhood. If there isn't one, consider starting one.
    • Don't:
      • Run off to the hills (you're only going to take your problems with you and contribute to hysteria).
      • Buy a gun for "self-defense" (it will just give someone else an excuse to shoot you if you're pointing a gun at them)
      • Take all your money out of the bank (this only contributes to a run on the banks, and if large numbers of people withdraw their money at once, there WILL be a serious financial crisis).
      • Undertake any extreme measures.
      • Panic. Keep a level head and we'll all get through this, just like a natural disaster or any other crisis.

Good luck! Keep a clear head and be prepared for some challenges and difficulties, but don't get carried away. We're all in this together.

Page created3/3/99.
Last updated 03/17/03 at 14:34.

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