John Dvorak "ridicules the spasm of millennial hype and fear" : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Below is an excerpt from a particularly distasteful (and irresponsible) piece by a popular computer industry writer, posted on ZDNet News. It's cheap entertainment, read by millions. (,4586,2416140,00.html)


Cuckoo clocks: Dvorak ridicules the spasm of millennial hype and fear that saw out the century. By John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine January 3, 2000 9:50 AM PT

What a crock. After listening to all the doomsayers and "what-if" mavens promoting their dubious Y2K agendas, we found that nothing came of the Y2K crisis. I'm reminded of the ludicrous hype surrounding the comet Kahoutek in the early 1970s. It was going to be bigger than Halley's Comet; its dust was going to choke the atmosphere; it was going to be the fireworks display of the ages. Then it came and went without even being visible. It was a non-event, just like Y2K. Who is to blame? The media, that's who.

It all started with some computer "experts." Then the consultants joined in. Web sites cropped up. Still, it wasn't much of a phenomenon until the mass media got ahold of the story. Reporters lapped up the Y2K drivel like camels at a desert oasis. (Here in San Francisco--where they should know better--KTVU was still reporting potential gloom on January 2, but then again, it's a FOX affiliate.) Until the last minute, all the local TV newsfolks were recommending that people make copies of their latest bank statements (as if the originals would disappear by Y2K magic), get propane, water, food, and flashlights. Yeah, right. My all time favorite recommendation was this gem: Use a 1972 calendar!

Have any of these jokers have apologized for trying to spook the public? Common folk seemed more mature than the media: Most people wisely ignored the whole thing. Of course, you can be certain that the same troublemakers who tried to scare everyone with tales of potential horror while selling overpriced fix-it products for your hidden Y2K problems will now be coming up with something else: excuses. Expect to hear them say:

"If it hadn't been for us, all hell would have broken loose." "We were inches away from disaster -- whew!" "It never hurts to be aware of the potential problems." "Better to be safe than sorry." "We were lucky this time."

Of course, because the public wasn't buying into Y2K computer hysteria, the media gave them something else to worry about: terrorist attacks. Board up the shops! Cancel events! It was incredible to me that the all-time-most-afraid-of-its-own-shadow wimp city, Seattle, actually canceled its planned fireworks display because of perceived threats. Like a terrorist wants to waste time on Seattle. "Vlad, we have the bombs; we have the detonators; we are ready. Should we attack Rome? Paris? London? New York? Hong Kong?" "Seattle, you fool!" Does anyone besides me think that Seattle has an inflated sense of its own self-worth? And what a marketing blunder for a city that relies on tourist dollars. We saw the Eiffel Tower ablaze with cool fireworks. And in Seattle? Fearful squirrels wringing their hands. Losers.

-- Michael Brownlee (Tucson) (, January 04, 2000

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