The state of Y2K, 4/10/19100 : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

It is now obvious (to me, anyway) that the TEOTWAWKI scenarios that I and many others worried about aren't going to occur. Even if there is serious data corruption in enterprises all around the world, obviously they've been able to keep running for three months anyway. Even if there are further failures, the odds are overwhelming that they will work around them, just as they have worked around whatever failures have already occurred. Therefore, I now declare my previous expectations and estimates of the severity of Y2K to be null and void. Or in simpler terms, wrong.

Are there any lessons to be learned from this failure of prediction or at least expectation? And are there any lessons to be learned about the general notion of predicting the future, and what happens when predictions are wrong?

I think there are. The first lesson is that predicting the future is very difficult. I can say this not solely because my predictions were wrong, but because the actions of many government and private organizations indicated that they took Y2K extremely seriously, making preparations for major disasters (that did not in fact occur). It's easy enough to dismiss me as a crank or simply uninformed. It's much more difficult to dismiss FEMA, state disaster agencies, and giant corporations that spent hundreds of millions of dollars apiece on preparation for Y2K disruptions. It's their business to try to anticipate problems and to prepare responses to those problems, should they occur. The fact that they took extraordinary measures to deal with possible Y2K problems, to me, is an indication that the private citizens who spent their own money and time to do the same weren't crazy.

The second lesson, which is my explanation for why Y2K turned out to be not much of anything, is this: software never works right. People are used to working around it. Although Y2K undoubtedly introduced a few more bugs than usual, they weren't enough more than usual to cause any serious disruption most organizations. This is a humbling lesson for software professionals, but it's the only explanation I can come up with.

So far, I imagine all the "attack Pollys" in the audience are jumping up and down with joy. But they have a lesson to learn too, and it is this: just as I was wrong about the impact of Y2K, they were wrong about the impacts of incorrect predictions on the careers and lives of the "doomers".

To put it as simply as possible: other than the attack Pollys themselves, no one cares that I was wrong about Y2K, and no one cares that anyone else was wrong about Y2K. My boss doesn't care, my friends don't care, my family doesn't care, and my publishers don't care. My incorrect estimate of the impact of Y2K has had no negative effects on me, other than of course a lot of extra beans and rice, but I think I can deal with that without too much trauma.

So my parting words to the attack Pollys are these: Give it up. Your 15 minutes of fame as "debunkers" are over. If you have a life, live it. If you don't have one, get one. Y2K is over. No one cares.

-- Steve Heller (, April 10, 2000


Never thought I'd agree with Mr. Heller, but I totally agree with his comment that:

"The second lesson, which is my explanation for why Y2K turned out to be not much of anything, is this: software never works right. People are used to working around it. Although Y2K undoubtedly introduced a few more bugs than usual, they weren't enough more than usual to cause any serious disruption most organizations"

Viewed from a distance, perhaps Y2K looked insurmountable. Viewed up close, as a bunch of small problems to be adressed by a lot of people, it never seemed to me to be that big a concern.

-- E.H. Porter (Just, April 10, 2000.


I agree for the most part, but let me add some food for thought. All of the material you needed to make a correct prediction was available to you. As I recall, Ted Hoffman explained it to you, in detail.

During the debate, Steve, you seemed to let your ego get in the way of rational analysis. You were so busy defending your position (and attacking others), you stopped listening to alternative arguments. Rather than consider other views and data sources, you posted your resume and suggested a person of your superio intellect and peerless IT experience could not possibly be wrong. It was hubris, Steve, nothing more.

I never thought you'd be ought of work, or friends, because you were wrong about Y2K. In fact, I never thought anyone would notice. I just hope during the next great IT debate, you are a bit more willing to listen to the opposing side... and a bit less willing to hit people over the head with your resume.

-- Ken Decker (, April 10, 2000.

Oh, by the way, unless we get a few more rate hikes, I may have completely blown my recession prediction. Mea culpa! (It helps to have a sense of humor about our inevitable shortcomings).

-- Ken Decker (, April 10, 2000.

I had my 15 minutes of fame long before Y2K.

As for "attack Pollys", they (we) were a direct result of the arrogance of many of the doomers.

As for negative effects on doomers, maybe you shouldn't generalize from your own personal experience. Others don't seem to have gotten off so easily. What has it done to Paula Gordon, for example?

-- Buddy (, April 10, 2000.

Nice confession there, Steve, and I won't even mention all the names you called me last year.

Ken: I'd have to agree with you as well. I haven't seen ONE bit of evidence that Y2k will encourage a depression.

-- Anita (, April 10, 2000.

Stop heckling and hectoring the doomers? No way, Steve.

The key to understanding the doom cult is Spam. Who but thinking-challenged folks would stockpile Spam?

The chances of cardiac arrest from eating Spam are far higher than Y2K disruptions.

-- (retard@but.happy), April 10, 2000.

I think the debate between Hoff and Heller did more than any other single thing I read to change my mind. I came away from it convinced the worst was already over, months before rollover. Especially when neither Heller nor anyone else could counter Hoff's data and logic with anything more solid than fear-driven speculation. And Hoff managed to support his point without ever attacking anyone, unless you want to call a recitation of documented facts an attack.

-- Flint (, April 10, 2000.

Ive never appreciated Steve Hellers brand of arrogance but his admission that he was wrong is to be commended. Should be a clue to some of the remaining reality holdouts.

-- Sifting (through@the.rubble), April 10, 2000.

Anita: No, Y2K resulted in a lot of depression.

Many people were depressed that so many fell under the spell of doomer cult leaders like Yourdon and North.

-- (retard@but.happy), April 10, 2000.

While your apology is interesting, and to be commended to a degree, I am disheartened that it came with a further condemnation of your "critics".

If any one is going to apologize, they should do it unconditionally.

Oh, and there is a little concept of making amends that you might want to consider, Steve. Saying you were wrong is only the first part of the process.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), April 10, 2000.


Your first point about how government and corporations were preparing for Y2K is well taken. OTOH, these entities are always preparing for disasters - command posts existed long before Y2K. It was always the scale of reasonable preparations on the part of the public that was the question. If anything, Y2K may have been the impetus for the average American to lay in a few extra days of food and water and that's a good thing.

In retrospect, how did government and corporations preparing make you believe that level of your preparations were necessary? How did you see a situation coming that not only turned out be wrong but that the vast majority of Americans never saw? What special knowledge base were you operating from?

-- Jim Cooke (, April 10, 2000.

How did you see a situation coming that not only turned out be wrong but that the vast majority of Americans never saw? What special knowledge base were you operating from?

Maybe it was front page of the Washington Post.

-- I'm not Steve but I did (, April 10, 2000.

I'm Not:

So, from a report in the Washington Times about a Senate Committee report on February 24, 1999, it was clear that we should take extraordinary precautions like months or years of extra food, guns and ammo, moving out of the city, etc.? And, did your entire knowledge of this issue end on that Februrary 24? Did none of the subsequent 9 months of news convince you that maybe things wouldn't be that bad after all? If not, the problem is not what was written about Y2K, it was about what you were willing to see and how you were able to interpert what you read.

-- Jim Cooke (, April 10, 2000.

Anyone who thought it was prudent to prepare for Y2K also knew that it was risky to be able to count on being able to start preparing in late 1999. Many of those who prepped started preparing in 1998.

-- Prepared (but@prepared.early), April 10, 2000.

"Future Shock" wrote- " While your apology is interesting, and to be commended to a degree,..."

This was NOT an apology! Far from it. Frankly, I can't figure out why some people on this thread are complimenting/commending Steve for his admission of being wrong in his "expectations and estimates of the severity of Y2K". After all, this was simply a statement of fact. Why should this "confession" of what has long been incrediby obvious to us all warrant any praise at this late date? Perhaps to some, the fact that a person of such large ego makes the effort to spit out the words "I was wrong" qualifies him for this praise. Call me cynical, but I just don't see it.

I'll save my accolades until the time if/when he acknowledges what Ken Decker pointed out to him... "Steve, you seemed to let your ego get in the way of rational analysis. You were so busy defending your position (and attacking others), you stopped listening to alternative arguments. Rather than consider other views and data sources, you posted your resume and suggested a person of your superior intellect and peerless IT experience could not possibly be wrong."

Buddy wrote- "As for "attack Pollys", they (we) were a direct result of the arrogance of many of the doomers."

Amen to that Buddy! And you can put Steve Heller's name at the top of that list of arrogant doomers.

-- CD (, April 10, 2000.

Ken -

Well, we're going to get another .25 point "tap of the brakes" real soon, and if this week's March PPI and CPI numbers don't show any cooling from those first few "taps", the Fed will be putting its foot down again almost immediately. Dr. Greenspan may be finding the brakes a bit "mushier" than he expected.

-- DeeEmBee (, April 10, 2000.

I hate to do this, but I have to make a few comments.


I know in my heart you believed everything you said last year. After spending some time with you on the phone, I knew you thought all those terrible things were going to happen. But, I have to tell ya, you scared the sweet Bejesus outta me! I went out and spent an extra Grand because of you! It's no big deal though, it's only MONEY :o)

It's funny you should post today because I spent part of my morning pulling a bunch of stuff out from under my brother's house today. As I was digging around down there with dirt flying up in my face and rocks hurting my knees, I was thinking it was a good thing my niece and nephews weren't there because I was cussing you, and all the rest of the "experts" that influenced me at one time. (You wrote programming books, for Cripes sake! I thought of all the people in the world, you must know what you're talking about.) I'm not cussing you this afternoon though, at least I can eat my mistakes. (How did the rest of that go? "What are you gonna eat?" Ha! I haven't thought about that in months! :o)

At any rate, I'm wondering if you learned anything from your experiences, Steve. If you're honest enough to admit it, you'll remember that I put you in touch with the Y2k representative in Canada that knew a WHOLE lot more about Y2k than you did, and you catagorically denied everything he said. Furthermore, I put you in touch with the engineer at Boeing who told you that fire storms could not happen as a result of Y2k, and you ignored him too. Those two men were experts, Steve. Do you know that now? Do you realize that we -- real live people -- spent our time and our money to try to get you to work with us, and not against us?

I somehow don't expect you to answer me, and that's Ok. I'd just like you to think about it, so that if this type of situation ever comes up again in your life, you won't make the same mistake. You're a smart man, Steve, and you can contribute a lot to the I.T. field. However, when it comes to your ego, I hope you'll spend some time thinking about how that affected your decisions, your life, your wife's life, and mine.

Wow, I reread what I just wrote, and I seemed a little heavy-handed. I guess I'm a little irritated that as an "expert" you never said, "I'm sorry." It doesn't matter to me if you ever say it to me; you know I've forgiven you,... and pretty much everyone else that I've met because of Y2k. (TB's sysops are a sore spot with me, but I'm asking God to help me with that.) You know I don't have any real animosity toward you because I told you so when you changed your e- mail address, right? After today, I'm never going to remind you of the past again Steve. We can learn, and grow from it; or not...the choice seems to be ours.

Dude! There's some cool threads going on here on occasion. Why don't you and your wife join in sometimes? I know you have a LOT of information you can contribute, and I'd love to hear your opinions on things. Lord, I'd love to hear what your wife has to say, too! :o) I think it would be GREAT to read the thoughts of a serious doomer's wife. I think she, and Mrs. Yourdon, would make for some very interesting reading.

I'm outta here for another four or five days. (I HOPE! Please! Nobody else say anything interesting! :o)

Take care, Mr. and Mrs. Heller.


-- (Ladylogic@...), April 10, 2000.

We all KNOW he was wrong. Why can't he make a gracious apology?

The first rule of communications, when one is stuck between a rock and a hard place, is an absolute admission of guilt. If Heller had said: "You know what, I was completely and absolutely wrong about Y2K. Sorry about that" and then shut up, this thread would be half this length. He did not.

His ego is so large and his self esteem so small, he spends his time defending why he was wrong and pointing at the real villains of the piece: "the attack polly"

It would be easy to write him off as just another pin-headed jamoke, but catch what ol' stevie said last year...

On January first, there'll be a spike of errors in process control systems that will cause widespread power outages, communication outage s, and other immediate effects. However, some power companies will manage to keep the power on in many places, and many people will breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, this relief will turn out to be premature. Over the next several weeks, breaks in the supply chains to the power companies, primarily fuel supplies, will result in a gradual degradation of the infrastructure. Water treatment plants will run out of supplies, hospitals will stop functioning properly due to lack of drugs and other supplies, and this will be repeated in every industry. The economy will grind to a halt.

But the most serious problem, in the north at least, will be frozen pipes. If the power's off for more than a few days in the middle of winter in Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other northern tier cities, they'll be devastated by frozen water pipes and sewer line backups. Plague will follow shortly. Most of the inhabitants of the northern cities will die within a matter of a few weeks, from cold, disease, fires started in an attempt to keep warm, or random violence.

Steve Heller  July 1999

-- Y2K Pro (, April 10, 2000.


Late 1999? Like June or July? Because you were afraid all the beans would be gone? And you saw signs of this happening when....? When every single "critical" date passed with no ill effects, did you think it was still going to be bad? How much stuff did you need to buy in 1998 that you didn't think would be avalable in 1999? You actually believed that society would have already been crumbling in 1999? Did you buy everything in 1998 or did you continue in 1999?

At some point prudence becomes paranoia.

-- Jim Cooke (, April 10, 2000.

Listen folks... I don't think Steve Heller is evil incarnate. He was just another voice, albeit one who had written a some books about programming. Heller is not very different than a few IT "gurus" I have known. Because they can sling code, they think the rest of the known universe is child's play. It must be something in the Jolt Cola.

All things considered, Heller has a chance to learn his lesson for a bargain price. Y2K may have saved him from performing surgery on himself because "the damn neurosurgeon is such an idiot!" Given a chance (and some time to detox from the overdose of ego), he might prove a decent guy.

C'mon Steve... freedom is just one step away. "My name is Steve Heller and I am not God."

-- Ken Decker (, April 10, 2000.


At least ol' Steve has done what one Mr. Ed Yourdon has not been able to do.....come out and say flat-out, "I was wrong". And I respect that.

But Steve, in all fairness, you should give some credit to one S. Poole for a couple of themes you've used here....."State of Y2k"....."work-around".....


-- Chicken Little (, April 10, 2000.

Steve, very nice post. It takes guts to admit we were wrong.

Mr. Decker, you once asked why not more of the doomers would come out and admit they were wrong. And now with your egocentric and acerbic comments, you jump those that do.

It is undeniable that you do have brains Mr. Decker, but unfortunately you have let that fact inflate your ego to an unbalanced proportion, which in turn leads to your self-delusion.

I am getting pretty annoyed with your misusing of your intellectual talents to humiliate people.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 10, 2000.


Are you reading the same stuff I'm reading? Hard to believe. Heller has quite correctly come to the conclusion that nothing much has happened or will happen, and his expectations were in error. A bit tardy, perhaps, but good for him.

But my reading is, after he says he's wrong, he spends a while justifying it on the grounds that others were wrong in his estimation, and then he ends by attacking those same people he attacked all along. This is penitence? This is learning from one's mistakes? Hey, where is the credit due to Hoff, who debated Steve so eloquently and so correctly? Where is the recognition that only a small amount of the total y2k data were worrisome, and he selected and exaggerated only that? Where are the apologies to those he lambasted so vitriolicly last year? Do you seriously think he's more open to differing opinions, when he coins the term "attack pollies" for those who got it right, and then casts around for some reason why they must STILL be wrong?

So you decide to criticize Decker? I suggest you wander around through the old TB2K archives. Hey, I also overreacted, and I'll be eating Stockpile Stew for a long time. But I can admit Y2k Pro figured out things better than I did.

-- Flint (, April 10, 2000.

Flint, I hear you. My point is, Steve had to swallow his pride, knowing all he had said last year, including the heated debates with Decker et al. But Decker could have been a gentleman and leave his ego at the door himself, in deference of someone who had disarmed himself.

This is plain old "my dick is bigger than yours" testosteronia.

Just thought I'd point it out, since he wondered why not more of the doomers would come out and admit they were wrong. Steve is one who has the required guts, but I'm wondering if Decker had been so wrong himself, about anything, would he come out and admit it? Sorry Flint, Steve wins on the size and strength of his spine, if not his dick.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 10, 2000.


You're right. My reading comprehension skills are off. It was NOT an apology. I do, however, believe in admitting when I am wrong. At least he got that part right.

He only owes an apology of he believes anyone was harmed by his actions. I would not demand that apology. I believe his soul was harmed enough by his own vitriol. One cannot escape the damage wrought by their negative thoughts and actions.


What's all this talk about dicks? I thought you were a nice girl :).

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), April 10, 2000.

Sorry if I disappointed you FS, I tend to use whatever means and form of communication I think my interlocutors will understand, when I seem to have failed being understood with my primary mode (in this case I attempted to talk like a man ;-) )

-- Chris (!@#$, April 10, 2000.


I accept sincere apologies with grace. I openly praised the infamous King of Spain for his noble post-rollover behavior. At best, Heller has given us a grudging admission of the obvious. Perhaps you weren't their to read Heller's many comments during the 1999 debate. You may have missed the debate with Ted Hoffman. Last year, Heller made posting his resume an regular feature. He said, implicitly and explicitly, that he was intellectually superior to the rest of us (most particularly the "Pollies.") C'mon, Chris... did you check the email address? Every time Heller talks I think of Wile E. Coyote... Super Genius. (laughter)

When Heller actually swallows his pride, I will be among the first to welcome him to the mortal world. What would really impress me is an apology to all the people he tried to look down upon... like Anita.

Unlike most of the "doomers," I apologized for my occasional rant on TB 2000. And for the better part of a year, I (and Flint and Hoff and CD and others) put up with incredible amounts of bullshit just because we didn't believe the world was going to end. Heller was a bully last year... and that doesn't take any backbone at all.

Of course... how would you know? You weren't there.

-- Ken Decker (, April 10, 2000.

, no one cares that I was wrong about Y2K, and no one cares that anyone else was wrong about Y2K. My boss doesn't care, my friends don't care, my family doesn't care, and my publishers don't care. My incorrect estimate of the impact of Y2K has had no negative effects on me, other than of course a lot of extra beans and rice, but I think I can deal with that without too much trauma.

Now all you have to figure-out Steve is how you can trust that brain of yours again(LOL). Following Flint's reasoning(100% correct BTW), you will be waiting a very longtime before you even approach what is referred to as a GI.

You were not wrong Steve, you were not even in the stadium to be wrong. You are what us "attack-pollies" call a MEATBALL. Wrong on Y2k,,,, ya think? I tend to side were not even close, myself. Go read the Newbie link at Debunkers for clues, *specially the part that says "if the information here looks strange-you have not begun to understand Y2k".

Truth is, Y2k was an overblown joke from basically 1998-on. One scan of the planet should convince anyone wanting answers, that Y2k was not nearly any threat requiring public mobilization. Sorry, you bozo's were not even close to right as we said for anyone interested for over a freaking year ahead of time. Grandma knew more than you Steve HELLer. Did the "work" make a difference? duh. But one must conclude based on the statistics available, Y2k was massively overblown as to risk.

-- Attack-Polly (, April 11, 2000.

I was there to read enough of Steve and of you Ken, and last year I was a doomer who thought you were arrogant and egotistic, and this year I am a polly who thinks you're still arrogant and egotistic. Steve's ego I'm not bringing into the issue because I'm not pointing anything out to him in this thread, other than praising his guts to admit he was wrong.

Perhaps it's the fact that I didn't have any "expertise" to bring to Y2K the past two years that made it so I wasn't so vocal and confrontational. I didn't get to "hurt" your feelings in that way, and so you got over my past "doomerism" more easily than Steve's. Or perhaps I'm right to begin with and you just can't let it go and have to get your revenge on the "bully".

Ken, there is a german term (which I can't remember now) for the feeling one gets at being vindicated over time, from bullies, e.g., like the highschool bully who tortured the nerd who became CEO of a successful company, while the bully never got very far. The feeling is acknowledged, but the rubbing of salt in the wound of the bully is not regarded as sporty.

I don't see Flint doing this, nor Jim Cooke.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 11, 2000.

Correction, before somebody jumps on me: I don't see Flint doing this as much or as intensely as you do.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 11, 2000.

Lets see, What Steve has written in the past can speak for him

The usual trolls are attacking me to try to distract attention from my point. To them, I have one comment: I was wrong about Y2K's initial impact, but you are worthless scum. Tomorrow, I may very well be right about something else, but you will still be scum.

-- Steve Heller (, January 28, 2000.

He still does not understand why he was wrong.

Another thing I do not understand is why he, and others think he is above average intelligence? I haven't seen any sign of it and his resume is no sign of it, its the same or less than a lot of people I know, and fluffed up with key words for headhunters.

His post above sounds like it came out of the mouth of James Taggart.

-- Cherri (, April 11, 2000.


Respected former pessimists like Don Florence and David Walden would be the first to acknowledge my occasionally acidic writing style. They will also tell you I provided thoughtful, rational analysis and commentary.

For nearly a year, the Yourdonites tried to push me off the TB 2000 forum. Despite the countless personal attacks, I still tried to contribute on a number of subjects... of interest to both sides of the debate. I wrote article on modest preparation, an "end of the world" library, the myth of self sufficiency, the economic of Y2K, etc. In "real life" I even attended the northern Virginia Y2K gathering... and the people I met will vouch that I do not have horns and a pointy tail. (chuckle)

For me, Y2K was an intellectual debate. My feelings were never hurt because some anonymous poster thought I was a "bad person." Nor are they hurt because you find me arrogant and egotistical. The point of the Y2K debate was not to vote for a forum homecoming king... but to dig out the truth about what would happen. People like Flint and Hoff made real contributions to uncovering the truth about Y2K. And they were uniformly derided by people like Heller. Heller's shortcoming was less arrogance and more his refusal to debate the issue with an objective, open mind.

I'm not mad at Steve. I'm not even sure I dislike him (as if anyone could truly dislike Wile E. Coyote!) I'm not asking for a pound of flesh... but if he is going to 'apologize,' I would hope for a better attempt. Nothing I read in his original post suggests Heller learned anything except the fact he was wrong about Y2K.

With Steve, and others, it was always rough and tumble debate. I am sorry if this offended your delicate sensibilities. I will gladly apologize to anyone who feels I simply attacked them for no particular reason. During the debate, I tried to avoid huring good, decent people like Helen Staten and others.

As for attack dogs like Will Continue, I will not go out of my way to bump heads with them. I do not read EZB nor will I make any attempt to disrupt their private club. But I will not turn "the other cheek" when the show up on this forum with no purpose other than engage in mindless attacks. I am sorry if this upsets you.

-- Ken Decker (, April 11, 2000.

Well... where to start, Chris?

While I'm not too much into twisting the knife myself, you either were not around or have selectively forgotten the abuse heaped upon those of us who disagreed with Steve Resume Heller. "Absolutely undistinguished dimwits" was among the mildest epithets hurled our way. I guess one has to publish a programming book to have a clue, in the universe of Steve Heller -- but Stephen Poole pointed out, much more eloquently than I usually do, that programmers (generally) tend to be overspecialized and don't know diddly about hardware.

Saying "yeah, I was wrong, so what" today... big deal. If he were right, he would have gladly shot any of us who got within range. For all the insults and veiled threats, yeah I'm going to twist the knife just this once and repeat a question I asked on Debunky I: if we're dimwits, and we had a better handle on Y2K than Steve Heller, what does that make him?

-- Dirt Road (, April 11, 2000.

Ken, you're not hurting my sensibilities, and I'm not upset. I'm simply annoyed. I'm annoyed again now, because while you rationalize very eloquently your behavior by pointing out that Steve still doesn't understand why he was wrong, you yourself still don't understand the concequences of your own behavior. My annoyance comes from impatience, not my bruised ego.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 11, 2000.


And what, pray tell, are the consequences of my behavior? We engaged in an online debate about the extent of the Y2K problem. To my knowledge, the folks involved were all adults. We shared opinions, ideas, information and occasionally scuffled over the issue.

Never did I ask anyone to take my personal advice. I did not presume to tell people how to invest or how to "prepare" for Y2K. I did not profiteer from fear, uncertainty and doubt... like so many others.

My failing, like Heller, is that I was arrogant on occasion. On the anti-intellectual TB 2000, my formal writing style was seen as pompous and condescending. So it goes.

It doesn't really matter that I was right about Y2K; and Heller was wrong. While you may feel I have an oversized ego, I never closed my mind about the Y2K problem. I never wrapped myself up in a resume and ignored well thought arguments. My position moved up and down the scale... and I was impressed with some of the "doomer" points. You see, whatever you think about my writing style, I was willing to listen to alternative views. Heller was not.

Sorry if you were "annoyed."

-- Ken Decker (, April 11, 2000.


You ignorant slut.

Vindicated Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, April 11, 2000.


I am still waiting to hear the consequences of my behavior. This has me intrigued....

-- Ken Decker (, April 12, 2000.

One of the concequences that your behavior has I already said it in plain language in an earlier post: "Mr. Decker, you once asked why not more of the doomers would come out and admit they were wrong. And now with your egocentric and acerbic comments, you jump those that do. "

In other words, your behavior is not conducive to an atmosphere that would encourage more people to admit they were wrong about Y2K, and from same encouraging atmosphere, learn WHY they were wrong.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 12, 2000.

Addendum to my prior reply: For an example of someone who would foster such an encouraging atmosphere, see Dr. Schenker's threads:

AN '11.5' DOOMER LOOKS AT Y2K, AS OF 2-1-2000



Although Dr. Schenker is a self-admitted doomer, his approach is positive, intellectual, and impersonal.

If you'd genuinely care to impart knowledge with those you deem still don't understand, you'd be opened to such critisms.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 12, 2000.


Within 15 days of rollover, we saw 99.9% of the "apologies" we will ever see from the serious pessimists. I have praised honest apologies... even from formerly bitter foes like "King of Spain." Do really think a "free pass" to Steve Heller will start some parade of apologies from serious pessimists? Do you think Russ "Big Dog" Lipton deleted his mea culpa post when he read my response? Do you think Old Git is just trying to find the right words to say she's sorry?

If Steve Heller writes a real apology, I will be the first to embrace him. If he can be half as gracious as King of Spain, I will let his post pass without anything but a sincere thank you. The problem, Chris, is that Steve Heller demonstrates the same closed mind in his faux apology that he demonstrated all of last year. The high water point of Heller's post is he admits he was wrong... a fact obvious to any forum participant four months ago. The tone is completely unapologetic and he ends with a basic "kiss my ass" message to the people who were not only right about Y2K, but who he ridiculed all of last year.

Heller is not contrite or apologetic in the least. His basic message is, "I may have been wrong, but no one cares except you jerk. Get a life." If you want to praise Heller for this noble effort, please do. Dedicate an entire thread to his gracious admission of error. I will exercise my right to reach and express a different conclusion regarding his post. And as for the "climate of hostility," a watery argument at best.

-- Ken Decker (, April 12, 2000.

As shown by your bitter defensiveness, your ego is still at play in this last reply. But, no matter. You've done a good job at explaining to me your position, and I do believe I understand where you're coming from.

One last comment on this issue, if I may. Since you yourself see the close mindedness in Steve's intellect, why then do you keep "banging your head against the wall" by even bothering to engage in confrontations with him in threads such as this? If you feel he is so closed minded, then surely you know that no matter what you say, you'll not open his mind any more than his intellect will allow. I disagree with you that 99.9% of the serious pessimist that would admit that they were wrong already have done so, and if what you're looking for is an "apologie", there is your problem. I've never apologized to anyone for being wrong on Y2K, and I don't believe I should apologize. I did however, apologize to some people for having used pettiness in personal attacks, in perticular to Flint. But this kind of pettiness has been flying back and forth from both sides, and yours included. So unless you apologize for your own personal attacks on Steve, I don't see why he should apologize for his.

I believe I've said all that I can say on this subject, I also believe you have more than enough intellectual abilities to absorb what I mean , it's up to you to do what you want with my views.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 12, 2000.


Who IS Steve Heller [when one looks at the reality of life?] Of course you've heard this argument before, but who are ANY of us? Who IS Ed Yourdon, E. Lane Core, Cory, Infomagic, Flint, Ken, Chris, Anita, CPR, Cherri, Dennis, Y2kPro, 'a', and everyone/anyone else who thought to comment on Y2k? We're not exactly talking about people with the power to shape economies, ya know.

Steve attacked a lot of folks last year, and maybe the year before. I didn't know who he was BEFORE Y2k, and I don't know who he is NOW. Maybe he got a sense of importance posting his opinions on Y2k, but as he said, "It's over." HIS 15 minutes of fame is as over as the 15 minutes of fame he attributes to the Debunkers. *I* won't feel warm and fuzzy if he apologizes. I won't feel cold and forlorn if he doesn't. There's just a certain sense of importance attributed to the folks behind the keyboards on the internet that *I* don't share.

-- Anita (, April 12, 2000.


The debate is somewhat more personal because I have met some of the participants... and with luck, will meet them again. Were I a perfectly rational person, I would have scrolled right by Heller's nonapology. As one occasionally fraught with human tendencies, I commented. I hope you don't think less of me....


I probably should have let Heller slide. My comments were more for my own sake than his. As I said to Anita, it was not a perfectly rational action... but I am a human subject to the usual failings. I am really not looking for an apology from Heller, or any other Y2K pessmist. I just found his admission of error rather passive- aggressive. By the way, I have no problem apologizing if I have hurt his feelings, or yours. My involvement in the Y2K debate was never about ego, but about a search for the facts. In my pursuit of the truth, I stepped on a few toes. When pushed, I pushed back.

I am not a bully, Chris. I don't look for those who are obviously ill equipped for an online discussion and pound on them. Steve Heller was a software expert who did not ask for quarter, and none was given. As he makes clear in his post, he has moved on with no consequences to his life. And I wish him well.

-- Ken Decker (, April 12, 2000.

Then I was right gauging your intellect being up to grasp what I meant ;-)

I'm as human as you are, so in my view you don't have to apologize for being so, and neither does Heller.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 12, 2000.

Steve, I like the humor you exhibit in choosing a title for this thread, and I appreciate the fact that you have admitted you were wrong. Not news of course, but shows you have the self esteem to do so, and I certainly won't take that away from you.

I do believe that the evidence that y2k was not going to be a big deal was out there, but agencies you cite such as FEMA certainly weren't the kind of sources I considered having any expertise in the nature and extent of y2k in IT or embedded systems.

Bascially, those that listened to the industries self-reporting and information on findings regarding y2k were much closer to the truth than those who got their information from rumors and Internet y2k myth sites, including forums such as TB2000. Not to say that facts weren't presented on the Internet and TB2000, but they were pretty much drowned out by the shrieks of, in the words of Y2K Pro, the "tin foil hat" wearing crowd.


-- FactFinder (, April 12, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ