# Remember the Y2K debacle?

by jim mcnamara
Tags: debacle, remember
 Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 1,381 The time in Sydney Australia is 6:28AM, as of right now. December 21, 2012. I sure hope the Mayan Calendar nutcakes are miserable. Because they sure made a lot of gullible people unhappy or scared.... Just like the Y2K thing - I worked with a lady who bought a $3000 generator because all of the utilities were going to fail Jan 1, 2000. She still has it in the box, I believe. The current Mayan nonsense is just like Y2K - 'deja-vu all over again' as some great wit used to say. Mentor P: 26,460  Quote by jim mcnamara The time in Sydney Australia is 6:28AM, as of right now. December 21, 2012. I sure hope the Mayan Calendar nutcakes are miserable. Because they sure made a lot of gullible people unhappy or scared.... Just like the Y2K thing - I worked with a lady who bought a$3000 generator because all of the utilities were going to fail Jan 1, 2000. She still has it in the box, I believe. The current Mayan nonsense is just like Y2K - 'deja-vu all over again' as some great wit used to say.
We all know that the only time zones that matter are the ones in the continental US. That's only fair since the majority of the nuts live here. I wonder if that guy is going to jump off the cliff through a magic portal that will appear at 11:11 AM MST and save the world?
 P: 2,785 We''ll know if he succeeded in a few hours. I'll keep you posted.
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Remember the Y2K debacle?

 Quote by jim mcnamara The current Mayan nonsense is just like Y2K - 'deja-vu all over again' as some great wit used to say.
I hope not, because Y2K was actually real. I worked on fixing a few genuine Y2K software bugs. None of them would have hurt the general public, but some of them could have cost my employers $millions through inability to ship products. And I knew the owner of a small shop who had no accounting system for a several weeks after Jan 1 2000, till his database software got itself working in the right century. Mentor P: 26,460  Quote by AlephZero I hope not, because Y2K was actually real. I worked on fixing a few genuine Y2K software bugs. None of them would have hurt the general public, but some of them could have cost my employers$millions through inability to ship products. And I knew the owner of a small shop who had no accounting system for a several weeks after Jan 1 2000, till his database software got itself working in the right century.
What about the UNIX 2038 problem?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem
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 Quote by Evo What about the UNIX 2038 problem? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem
We don't have to worry...

...either 64 bits would save us or we would die anyway according to Mayan/New Age prediction.

(I used "or" so I think that technically speaking this sentence is true)
 Mentor P: 26,460 So what's the next big apocalypse? How many Mayan 2012 end of the world websites are there?
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 Quote by AlephZero I hope not, because Y2K was actually real. I worked on fixing a few genuine Y2K software bugs. None of them would have hurt the general public, but some of them could have cost my employers \$millions through inability to ship products.
I agree with you, Y2K is not a good example of a debacle. We spent a huge amount of money and time upgrading old systems and validating clock rollover problems with legacy systems that would have costs millions to replace.

The reason the economy did not crash was people worked for years examining code and fixing the Y2K problems that were found.
PF Gold
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 Quote by nsaspook I agree with you, Y2K is not a good example of a debacle. We spent a huge amount of money and time upgrading old systems and validating clock rollover problems with legacy systems that would have costs millions to replace. The reason the economy did not crash was people worked for years examining code and fixing the Y2K problems that were found.
I suggest a new term: Self-defeating prophecy (contrast with self fulfilling). Y2K disaster predictions were a self defeating prophecy; fear of the prophecy led to largely successful amelioration.

[Edit: It has been pointed out to me that this usage is establised; However I had never heard it before.]
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 Quote by PAllen I suggest a new term: Self-defeating prophecy (contrast with self fulfilling). Y2K disaster predictions were a self defeating prophecy; fear of the prophecy led to largely successful amelioration. [Edit: It has been pointed out to me that this usage is establised; However I had never heard it before.]
What usage? Do you mean the term, "self defeating prophecy"?
PF Gold
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 Quote by zoobyshoe What usage? Do you mean the term, "self defeating prophecy"?
Yes, "self defeating prophecy" turns out to established usage, and Y2K is a cited example. I guess it is a pretty obvious leap from "self fulfilling prophecy".
 P: 2,179 Jonah was supposed to warn the people of Nineveh to reform or the city would be destroyed. He warned the people as instructed. They reformed. The city was not destroyed. He felt that he had been made a fool.
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 Self-defeating prophecy (contrast with self fulfilling). Y2K disaster predictions were a self defeating prophecy; fear of the prophecy led to largely successful amelioration.
Isn't that true for anything that would happen but doesn't because precautions were taken?
PF Gold
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 Quote by leroyjenkens Isn't that true for anything that would happen but doesn't because precautions were taken?
Yes, but there are also predictions where the act of predition makes them much more likely to come true. For example, a big name investor predicts stock x will go up or down. Whatever they predict is likely to happen because of the buy / sell actions of followers of the prediction. In the Y2K case, it was not obvious whether amelioration would succeed - some prognosticators were near certain of disaster up until the end.
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 Quote by leroyjenkens Isn't that true for anything that would happen but doesn't because precautions were taken?
Only if the precautions were taken as the result of a prophesy.
 P: 2,179 Y2K was not a prophesy, it was a piece of good advice. Check your mission critical software. It got hyped in the press, and that was a bad thing. But it would be foolish to reject all future good advice for that reason.
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 Quote by PAllen Yes, but there are also predictions where the act of predition makes them much more likely to come true. For example, a big name investor predicts stock x will go up or down. Whatever they predict is likely to happen because of the buy / sell actions of followers of the prediction. In the Y2K case, it was not obvious whether amelioration would succeed - some prognosticators were near certain of disaster up until the end.
A prediction about an event happening making that event more likely to come true would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we're talking about a self-defeating prophecy, like the Y2K example that was given, then was it true that the hype surrounding it caused the experts to stop half-assing it and get to work?