This site was first called ...
... Millennium Hysteria
when this site was launched, but I soon found that was far far
too big of a category. Once the Y2K-circus opened its tent inside
my organization and the travelling freaks dazzled management
into doing anything they asked, I whittled the site to Y2K to
give voice to the eye-rolling that all of my programmer colleagues
As I say on the main page of
my site, I admire everyone who's making money off Y2K. To create
a multi-billion dollar industry out of a million dollar computer
issue is outstanding. This demonstrates the essence of capitalism
and entrepreneurship: find a need or a desire or a fear and exploit
it to get as much money out of it as possible until it runs dry,
then find something else.
I would never stand up and debate
any of the Y2K hypsters in public -- they have everything going
for them. With only a few words, they can easily exploit the
fear of the unknown, the fear of computers, and especially the
fear of big numbers. If they opened their speech with a line
I once read on the net somewhere: "Every time bomb has a
clock. This time bomb is a clock!" everyone's heartbeat
would increase and I'd be left mumbling, "but, but, but
..." I'd be slaughtered.
Even after the "crisis"
fizzles to nothing shortly after 01/01/00, the hypsters still
win. They will announce that everything turned out fine and total
destruction was avoided because of their work. They'll accept
our thanks, and walk away with smiles on their faces and money
in the bank. (Actually, some of them won't walk away. As they
don't want the goose to die, they are busy creating post-2000
scenarios: hire con-sultant X to maintain a vigilant check on
your applications in 2000, 2001, 2002 ...)
The original name for this site
was "just a number" as it sums up what I think about
this. Whenever a number is higher than a few dozen, everyone's
mind starts to blur. Debates can only be held up with words;
the moment someone injects a number, the resulting fact-eating
disease starts to kill the debate.
We attach high emotions to bland
numbers. On the stroke of midnight on every New Year's Eve, there
is a momentary thrill. "Oh my God, it's 1990! 1990!!! We're
in The Nineties. It feels so weird to say it." We now await
The Big 2000 as the most gorgeous, sexiest date we'll ever have.
He/she better not let us down.
e-mail With each email
or web-site I read, I say to myself, "Does this person actually
want there to be problems on 01/01/00?" and the answer is
often yes. This dumbfounds me. For whatever reason, I see that
many people are looking forward to major chaos and catastrophe
(not to themselves, of course.) Some actually need there to be
temporary chaos in order for wonderful things to happen to them
The daily onslaught of responses
I receive are now my favourite part of my web-site. I first assumed
only friends and colleagues would comment; and now, due to the
ever-increasing volume, I can no longer personally respond to
every email I get (well, I could, but I need to spend time with
my cats too.) I'm always adding more clips of my favourite emails
on my Viewer Feedback page.
When all is said and done, it
is an absolute certainty there will be computer problems in the
first week of January 2000 (as there were this past week and
will be next week.) I know I'm going to love working on JAN-00
as I'll be able to blame every single problem I have on Y2K.
"Sorry, I didn't send you those stats. My system crashed.
Year 2000, you know."
Every kid dreams of the perfect
excuse; soon, every adult will have one.
All the best to you and yours
Make today a good day as there are only a few left.