Who's Afraid of "What To Do Next Time"? The Best Summary

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Returning to the question of "what to do next time" should someone propose that a "wolf is coming to the door", the best summary is condensed here from Fact Finder to the following thread. It suggests getting "opposing views from credible knowledgeable sources". (Otherwise you end up re-enforcing your own "paradigm" or "meme".)


I think this gets back to having a good "BS detector". When we start seeing extraordinary claims, we should expect extraordinary evidence.

When most of industry and insiders stated that Y2K wouldn't be a disaster, those few who cried doom should have had some good evidence. They did not, they had only BS, and MOST of that was on the Internet.

In the future, when someone claims "doom", "killer virus", etc., I would suggest:

1. Consider the source, investigate the source

2. Research for opposing views from credible knowledgeable sources

3. Turn BS Detector to "maximum intensity".

-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), June 04, 2000.

As for Decker's "solution" of "looking for signs", one might as well have skill in reading tea leaves as in trying to determine whether a major crisis is coming by analyzing economic or financial information for "clues". Yardeni stands as a first rate example of the inability of even the highly trained and skilled to analyze correctly. In most matters, much of the financial data is but day, week or months old snapshots of decisions based upon individual paradigms which may or may not be better than uninformed opinion. (Refer to the theories of "random walks markets" or the "buy stocks by throwing darts at the WSJ tables).

The "economists" invariably go into mixed mode because they forget the classic line from the SEC required disclaimer:

"...Past performance is no guarantee of future ......".

The reason for that lies in the Multi-Variable Calculus involved itself a function of the "weighting" placed upon those variables. Most people think and interpret in a "linear" or 2 dimensions (which nicely explains "econometricians" use of Linear Algebra in huge Matrices. But, in reality, the variables are themselves "functions" of higher (exponential) powers which demands Tensor Algebra. Even there, the "weighting" of the variables is everything.

Thus "reading the signs" is not a simplistic matter.

Prior to 1929, the public could never have "deduced" the coming crash even though a few very strong voices were raised about the dangers of excessive speculation on thin margins.

Conversely, being a "Contraries" doesn't always work because one can point to the very well skilled Dr. Edward Yardeni's 2000 scenario (of which Y2k computer problems were only a partial causative). One could readily dismiss the analysts at Bear-X fund because "down" was the raison-d'tere(sp?). One could not dismiss Yardeni who correctly predicted not only the economic turn around in the early 1990s but also predicted the *extension* of that boom through the late 1990s.

The Yardeni error in being the lone wolf on Wall St. may have come from putting too much stock in the wrong people : Yourdon, the WDCY2k "surveys" and others but it clearly shows that "reading the signs" as per Decker doesn't work either.

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), June 05, 2000


Sorry: replace "Contraries" with "CONTRARIANS".

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), June 05, 2000.

Never post entire paragraphs in all bold, it is for emphasis of small portions of text. Moron.

-- (cpr.is.@.monday.morning.quarterback), June 05, 2000.

Monday Morning 1998? or 1998?

http://www .russkelly.com/statements.html#Reuben

Charles Reuben

(December 1999): The original final Pre-2000 statement for Russ Kelly was written for BEETHOVEN"S BIRTHDAY and contained the line, "Long after 2000, the music of Beethoven will be played.......". The arrest of two sets of Domestic Terrorists forced me to hold that statement that contained a lashing for those who spread and/or condoned the use of FUD to sell their ideas or products vis a vis Y2k.

In the next few days before Christmas, 1999, people will see one tangible aspect of the Y2k problem that few predicted. People will wait at Airports for thorough examination of themselves and luggage for possible tools of Terrorists planning tragedies instead of Celebration and Rejoicing of the CDC to 2000. At the borders, traffic will be slowed as cars are searched completely. Yet, none of it is directly related to the Y2k Computer Date or Embedded Systems Problem.

Rather, it may be related........directly to a CLIMATE OF FUD, fear, uncertainty and doubt built and sustained by vested interests some within the Computer/Business Sector but strangely, even weirdly propagated far outside the boundries of Computers, Business and Government. At the core of the buildup of the FUD, was even more strangely, the WWW of the Internet which enabled the cheap and rapid re-distribution of admixes of ..........fact.......gossip.....hoaxes and opinion......all (and this is critical) ........without the standard Editorial Control that responsible media people even those from the far sides of both Political venues, Left and Right would exercise.

After 2000, WHO will be held responsible for the FUD........and the enormous COST.......to counter act it??

That open question will be one of the Lessons of Y2k.

Below, I offer another knowing that ...........few......will understand. Few will see it and few will act because of it. However, I think it offers the key explanation of HOW and WHY Y2k as a Computer and Business Problem was addressed, contained to the current level where it can be properly managed.

The lesson of Y2k is that the PROBLEM **WAS** addressed because it had to be. Western Civilization is a history of the conquering of "Problems" and more importantly the *Improvement* of the best that we have and hope to be.

Learn the Lesson of Y2k. NEVER let it happen again. NEVER. For some, the lesson might be right out side their windows in their gardens.


(August 1999):

"Aside from minor accidents during Y2k testing quickly solved by human intervention, there is no evidence of any "emerging crisis". Thus, *reality* suggests we lower the "warning flags" again. So I narrow the range down to 1.0 to 1.5."

"Work progresses and one I.T. report indicates that 96% of mission critical and non critical applications and embedded systems will see the end of final testing before 1/1/2000. That leaves 4.0% of the work not "finished". NOTE: that does not mean the work is not started. It means at the Large Corporate level: 4.0% is not finished. In all sectors of business, that alone is "better than usual" for failure and problems are every day things in all businesses or all would be "perfect". We know that is not the case EVER. Since the pessimists make the claim that the "failures are being hidden" the argument for "interconnectedness" falls apart. If everything were "interconnected" how could the "failures" be hidden?? That would imply the 45 Million Employees of large Corporations have the ability to "cover it all up". That is ludicrous. There are either real "impacts" or there are not. The argument for "they're coming soon" is old and stale. The Bottom Line here is simple: "problems" can be managed whether Y2k or the weather. If a manager can't deal with problems, he is replaced. Y2k is merely a business problem now that can be managed."

"The NERC information to be released in the next few days will remove most remaining concerns about the ability of Power Utilities to conduct business as usual (BAU)."

"That will end concerns about the so-called "iron triangle". It now begins to look as though the proverbial "bump in the road" might only be on a few back roads and have little consequence. The major analysts long ago stated that problems vis a vis Y2k would take place throughout 1999. Several estimates range from 15%-25% taking place before 1/1/2000. Now one well known Y2k "expert" claims he underestimated the ability to hide the problems that might have been found. I see no reason to comment on such a statement. The fact is there was major damage to business networks in the Orient from the well known Computer virus: CIH. There was no effect noted either in the Global 2000 supply chains or in Corporate earnings. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P may be irrational but they do measure earning power and consumer confidence in several ways. There is no reason to believe the Retail market will not set every record known in the 4th Quarter as we celebrate the Last Festival of the Merchants of the 20th Century. Like Dr. Yardeni, I have long questioned the ability of the economy to continue faced with the impacts of Y2k and all sorts of serious problems from offshore. But only a True Fool argues with reported results to date."

"Bottom line?? We have have underestimated the ability of the US/European and World economy to handle all problems whilst overestimating Year 2000 impacts. History will answer such questions not I. Charlie Reuben DALLAS, A YEAR 2000 READY CITY."

(May 1999):

"Please change my evaluation of the y2k problem down again almost to the Nick Z. range: 2.0-3.5. It would take a series of major exposes about "uncomplete-able work" before I would raise that range which includes now 2/3rds due to "Y2k panic vendors". Even that is almost over. The "fever" is broken."

"Dallas is a MAJOR I.T. center and a Y2k remediation center. The DFW/DAMA Y2k group has had presentations from most major corporations, Texas Utilities and the Fed.Reserve Bank and all present the view point that they can manage their problems. The HCFA seminar show progress even in lagging Health related Enterprises, gov. and private."

"The theme here is simple: "There will be failures but they will be "managed"."

"My view now is that Y2k as a business/computer problem is OVER ...IF... work in progress continues at the increasing rates being reported. We know the knowledge base accumulated over the past five years is being deployed by the Legitimate Consultants and Vendors at increasing rates. Most of the "scary stories" now are merely about the Public or OLD re-hashes of "what-ifs" or "lets pretend". "Lets Pretend" was a radio show that went off the air by the early 1950s. Y2k is heading that way now."

"Y2k has reached the stage nicely described in Corinthians: "Why seek ye after a vain thing?" Its not over but it is "winding down". Those who don't see this are now the ones in "denial". If I have one special expertise in Y2k it is in tracking the "Extremists" and Fear Pushers and now, the "Back of Y2k Hysteria" has been broken just as de Jager discusses the REAL PROBLEM: the Computer/Embedded Systems related problems. There will always be niche panic people over any issue. NOW.....few believe the claims of the Y2k "Extremists"."

"There is now simply too much evidence that the Fortune 2000, even SMEs and the Government entities have a "problem that can be managed" no matter how many breakdowns may come from the Code or the Embedded systems problems."

"Contingency plans including inventory stockpiling would enable even the GMs of the world to function until "Weak Links" in the vendor or even customer lines can be "Fixed on Failure"."

"The NERC summary and the NRC release clears up the status of the Utilities and there is little need to debate the Telco or Bank progress. The Security Industry is on track."

"As for "Public Panic" NOT BLOODY LIKELY if the so-called "Iron Triangle" performs as now expected."

"And recently, there has been a significant drop in the commerce associated with the Web Sites pushing so-called Y2k Supplies. Business is off by their own reports."

"Just last week, Y2kNewswire.com reported that several vendors are in trouble because the PUBLIC is returning merchandise. The "purported" shortage of Honda Diesels has been corrected by Honda shipping to distributors and Honda can ramp up more if they see the need is there."

(March 1999):

"The release of the Corporate information has reduced the possibility of any impacts from the Y2k computer date problem into a more than manageable range. I rate the Computer/Business problem now at 3.0. However, the public hysteria due to widespread confusion about remediation makes the Public perception now a major part of the Y2k problem. I rate that as : an additional 2.5 or almost equal to the Computer Business problem."

(August 1998): "Disclosures of the timelines of some major Corps re: completion of Y2k work. In particular: AT+T, Texas Utilities, BankBoston and the City of Dallas. In addition, the State of Texas is meeting all goals as described to Rep. Horn in testimony last Monday here in D/FW. Last but not least, private communications to me show that other Banks and Utilities are in much better shape than reported."

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), June 05, 2000.

"As for Decker's 'solution' of 'looking for signs', one might as well have skill in reading tea leaves as in trying to determine whether a major crisis is coming by analyzing economic or financial information for 'clues'."

I did not get the idea that Decker was propounding formal analysis or interpretation of "signs" in his post so much as suggesting that large, easily obsesrvable movements in the public at large and in common economic indicators are telling intimations of future trouble. This is not "reading tea leaves" but simple common sense. Even someone with no formal training in economics can observe and understand mass public and economic trends.

-- Celia Thaxter (celiathaxter@yahoo.com), June 05, 2000.

Bold off

-- (Bold@off.off), June 05, 2000.

Ms. Celia, Here is the link to Decker's post. Now would you please pick out all the "trends" that the common ordinary citizen could spot to determine what was going on last year? As I noted there is a slight problem in that Decker and Yardeni looked at the same "facts" and "trends" and came to different conclusions as did many others. The Doom Zombies had a far easier time of it. They simply cherry picked any bad news and then pruned it to make it look worse. But then they trained with Garee "Duct Tape will be Money after 1/1/2000". Time Stamps on materials also seem to matter little in the World of Doom but then its hard to have remember the date when you live in such gloom.

Feel free to use both Decker and the links someone placed below his post. You may choose some from Col. A. and Col. B. just like an ala Carte menu at a restaurant.

Then please explain your "criteria".

You will of course, not forget that those "trends" or "facts" are coming from assorted sources and are taken out of context of the whole.

BTW, such an analysis is probably good for some Grad Credit at GWU (but then anything seems to be good for credit there).

Please start a new thread if it takes you a bit longer to get back to us on this.

Thanks mucho. CPR

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), June 05, 2000.

Inflation did not go through the roof. People did not flock to banks en masse to withdraw frighteningly large sums of money. Widespread shortages of goods and materials were not reported. Interest rates and unemployment remained low. The DJIA and the Nasdaq remained surprisingly buoyant despite predictions to the contrary.

Let me put it another way. If in December 1999 the markets had plummeted in one or two days, and then hoards of people across the country had panicked and descended upon banks to liquidate their savings, would you have shrugged your shoulders and declared nothing could be made of such events because they were too complex to analyze?

-- Celia Thaxter (celiathaxter@yahoo.com), June 06, 2000.

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