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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

The year 2000

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I must answer David Heilpern. Remember 2000, how the computers were all to fail on NYE? How could so many get it so wrong?

Why not again, now?

All it requires is a monolithic media focused on hourly ratings, a political class focused on responding to that media, and self-censorship by dissenting voices. Add marginalisation of alternative views.

Here we are again. No conspiracy required.

Ask Professor Thomas Borody.

Matt Hartley, Byron Bay

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  1. Matt, this example does very little to indicate anything about the probability of the “re-set” conspiracies having foundation. I won’t go into all the differences between a pandemic and a computer glitch. But a couple of pertinent ones:

    To start, the prediction was not that all the computers would stop! The likely implications were much debated but were all based on quite rational discussion about the problems that may follow from the recognised flaw in some early coding that used only the last two digits of of the year date (ie not the 19).

    No vague mystic language about “re-sets” , no secret cabals. When few problems arose it was easy for the skeptics to say they were right, it was a lot of fuss about nothing, totally ignoring the years of skilled ameliorative work that had taken place in the interim. A good friend of mine was head of IT training at Adelaide University and spoke of the hours of work he was part of to ready the University IT systems to deal with Y2K flaw.

    But who knows, maybe there would have been few problems without all this work. Perhaps it’s proof undeniable that if society can get something wrong once they are clearly being fooled about the reality of a virus and a pandemic.

    But couldn’t it equally be proof that we can get ourselves into a twist about giant conspiracies that just doesn’t exist?

  2. Matt,
    your choice for a comparison doesn’t work out real well for you …
    I was working as an IT professional at the turn of the millennium – I had ONE program I wrote that needed modification. Anyone working in the industry was pretty aware that all steps needed to remedy any problems that would arise were being taken. The only people claiming “computers were all to fail on NYE” and the world was coming to an end were a bunch of conspiracy theory nutters with no training in IT who believed that they knew more than all the professionals. There weren’t a real lot of professional stocking up on toilet paper and rice to see them through the collapse. The only one who got the Y2K issue wrong were the ones who believed the nonsense from the self professed experts who knew nothing.

    Doesn’t this sound like the current situation – people who have spent their lives studying viruses and a how to deal with a pandemic are lost behind the shrill cries of a bunch of uneducated people who think they know better.


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