In the name of efficiency : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

It grows tiresome to have to explain again and again the various logical fallacies committed by certain members of this forum. I propose that we streamline this process by simply citing the specific logical fallacy involved along with a link to its definition, description, and refutation. For example, when CPR tries to discredit something I have said because I am the one who has said it, that is an example of attacking the person (argumentum ad hominem). I'm sure this will make everyone's forum experience more pleasant.

-- Steve Heller (, July 05, 2000



REPOSTING.......YOUR **OWN WORDS & SCRIBBLINGS *** HERE, TB I, & C.sissies2k are all that is necessary.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.

Attacking the person (argumentum ad hominem) again. Can't you at least come up with a different fallacy?

-- Steve Heller (, July 05, 2000.

I removed that page from my site after concluding a mutual nonaggression pact with Mr. Poole, with whom you can easily verify this. To your credit, however, you have at least switched to a different form of the "ad hominem" fallacy: hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the person notes that a person does not practise what he preaches. .

Of course, this is still a logical fallacy. But nevertheless, you're making progress (of a sort); maybe you can switch to a completely different fallacy next time!

-- Steve Heller (, July 05, 2000.


THAT WAS DONE ON TB I. HOFF THRASHED YOU AND YOU ***...QUIT...**. Before the debate on your terms was over.


Y2k : Anti-Doomer CORRECT.

HELLER completely wrong



-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.


You are engaging in the same type of "critical thinking" responsible for your "mis-estimation" of the impact of Y2k on society by such a wide margin (this is the nicest way I can surmise to state you were really, really wrong); specifically, you are attacking someone for using tactics by using those very same tactics.

But, then again, you're a pathetic memetic doomer ( much for attempting to be nice...) - what is one to expect?

And, perhaps had you won the debate, you would enjoy the standing afforded the victors - i.e. the spoils. As it is, you were wrong - have some more crow, rice, and beans! Cheers!

Vindicated Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, July 05, 2000.

The reason your Y2K opinions have been discredited is that they have been proven wrong. Perhaps the most egregious logical error you made was argumentum ad ignorantiam. If I might summarize, "Since you (pollies) cannot prove there will not be rollover problems, there will be rollover problems."

Your "prudence" argument was a variant on Pascal's Wager. (In simple terms, better safe than sorry.) One of the logical flaws in Pascal's Wager is the assumption there are no additional costs in being "safe." At best, your argument is incomplete without a full discussion of the elements of risk and the costs of prudence.

Let's move on to argumentum ad verecundiam, or the appeal to authority. You have presented expertise in C++, however, this did not make you an expert in social/economic collapse. At best, you might have argued specific knowledge of given systems with date- related flaws. During the Y2K debate, however, you basically said we should believe you since you 1) were an IT expert and 2) were smarter than most of the other sentient life on the planet.

The popular variation on the "appeal to authority" was your (and others) reference to second and third party reports of dubious credence. To be honest, I'm not sure if you were guilty of one of my personal favorites--anonyous authorities. Remember "Mr. CEO" or "C4I?" (laughter)

While we can debate this, I suggest your entire approach to Y2K exhibited slothful induction. There was ample evidence the rollover was not going to be the "end of the world." The "polly" conclusion was based on inductive evidence, however it was still denied by the Y2K doomsayers.

The Y2K doomsayers provided enough logical fallacies to write a textbook... and you helped.

In closing, Steve, I think most people separate your egomania from your argumentation. Since rollover, I'm not sure you've argued anything except that you are really smart and wrote a great book about C++. To me, these are more matter of opinion than logic. You have to make an argument, Steve, before argumentum ad hominem applies. Until then, it's just an old-fashioned pissing contest.

-- Ken Decker (, July 05, 2000.



As the Brer Tilton would say, "HOMANA HOMANA HOMANA, be bob a lu Ba".

Heller was good at it using "Sloth-ful Induction" AS IN : WRITE ONCE, READ MANY.

He would point people to his web site for his "resume'" but the Y2k area was replete with 2 year old "personal reports" never updated.

Heller's error now is simple. Before 1/1/2000, he **DEMAND** audiences give *his* viewpoints credence because of his "30 years" and "The Resume". Now, we are to remember the Resume but forget the Pre-1/1/2000 statements.

Until then, the terms Waffle and Weasel should be applied to Resume- Boy.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.

Missed a line : REVISED: Heller's error now is simple. Before 1/1/2000, he **DEMANDED** audiences give *his* viewpoints credence because of his "30 years" and "The Resume". Now, we are to remember the Resume but forget the Pre-1/1/2000 statements.


Until then, the terms Waffle and Weasel should be applied to Resume- Boy.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.


As one example of what I'm referring to, I made an argument in this thread. Please examine this thread and then tell me who committed one or more logical fallacies.

-- Steve Heller (, July 05, 2000.

Steve Heller, apropos of this, it would be interesting to hear your comments about how it was that you (1) came to buy into the Y2k fear in the first place (2) stuck to this position till rollover.

I have done the same for myself (some of it publicly) but as I am one of lesser raw intellect than you, think it's been not nearly as instructive as if you were to do so.

-- Debbie (, July 05, 2000.

Debbie brings up a good point. Why did you follow this line for so long? Your explanation is not required, but would be interesting.


-- DB (, July 05, 2000.


Here we see the fallacy of trying to repeat error until others believe it is truth. That is the tactic of the propagandist / debater of the Y2k "mountain out of mole hill" club.

One could make the case for your raw *wisdom* over someone's self- claimed raw intelligence. You were able to see through the fog and use your own judgement. Though "chosing the winner" does not necessarily equate to wisdom, clinging to proven error is "evidence" if not proof, of not using one's mental firepower (if there was any to begin with).

IQ does not equate to wisdom or even the ability to process information into "knowledge". "Sorry with excuses" is not an apology. It is a rationalization of one's error.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.

It just seems that this is the "LOGICAL" next step in all this. If we are going to be talking about logic (thinking), here is where we need to go (Y2k).

Now, Brian pointed out (somewhere) that proving that someone is wrong about one thing cannot be used to prove that that person is wrong about some other thing.. (By that logic, since we each are wrong about something at one time or another, then we could each prove everybody wrong about everything, a reductio ad absurdum.)

But if nothing else, I am extremely curious. I don't know what it would "prove"just that it suggests a Disconnect within the same person's mind. If it was me, I would be a bit concerned. [grin]

-- Debbie (, July 05, 2000.

Heller (since we are on a last name basis),

The cell phone thread was admittedly ugly. Reuben doesn't like people who drive while using a cell phone. You pointed out the rather common paradox that people often engage in behaviors they characterize as risky. Your math was correct though I felt you both missed important questions as to the nature of the survey, the sample population, the framing of the questions and the compilation of data. In the end, it was watching two ships pass through the night. To the extent possible, you proved your (limited) point and Reuben responded with rather predictable attacks.

Moving onto matters of more immediacy, you also criticize the logic commonly found on this forum, "...the sort of illogical thinking that is (unfortunately) so well represented on this board."

I fail to see where you have demonstrated the expertise necessary to provide this critique. In fact, I have pointed out some glaring logical errors from your Y2K days. Let's say Reuben committed more logical errors on a particular thread. What does this prove? You also may weigh less than Reuben. Does this make you "thin." What if Reuben weighs 500 pounds?

Your post seems a personal attack leveled mostly at Charles Reuben and a bit at the entire forum. A bit ironic, I think, coming from one whose recent past is replete with logical errors. Please note, Heller, that I do not approve of baseless personal attacks from Reuben or anyone. In fact, I was one of the few people in the online Y2K debate to criticize both "pollies" and "doomers" for tactics I felt inappropriate. This includes Reuben's list making.

You may have better table manners, Heller, but I fail to see where your powers of logic make you a resident expert.

-- Ken Decker (, July 05, 2000.

What a waste! Haven't you guys thrashed people enough yet?

Let's get this forum back to discussing useful things instead of this constant re-opening of old wounds.


-- wally wallman (, July 05, 2000.

Opening the "wounds" and allowing the pus and venom that was collected on TB I, TB EZ, EY 2/3, CSY2k,GN and Hyatt's garbage pits, to *drain* is part of the *Y2k Recovery Program for Doom Zombies*.

It also very nicely allows others to see the bile and has the bonus feature of AIDING **SELECTIVE MEMORY*** DOOMZIES ARE **FAMOUS FOR**.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.


I've posted an essay that I hope will answer your questions. Thank you for being civil, a rare treat on this board.

-- Steve Heller (, July 05, 2000.

Gadzooks Heller. Just pay the fat Swedish lady with the big whip whatever she is asking. To see you mince and squirm here day after day in the quest for more humiliation is - in a word - embarrassing.

Do us all a favor, button up you raincoat and go see Helga for the strapping you seem to so desperately want - I for one am tired of watching you get it here...

-- Y2K Pro (, July 05, 2000.

No Truer Words about Y2k : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Let me guess, this is another iteration of "Pascal's Wager". Let's see now, who would make the best parents for this kid, the older couple (not sure what this means, when Mom is 15) who have a grip on reality, or do we go with who knows who over the Internet in 8 days - the main criterion being gullibility to millennial hysteria?

Thankfully, even some of the GIs on this thread have a modicum of common sense, correctly pointing out that the baby can manage with Mom just fine for the time being, and making the point that this is a decision that should not be made with undue haste.

In a couple of months the doomers will be gnashing their teeth, bitterly hissing "We have nothing to apologize for! We only took sensible precautions! Nobody knew! Nobody could be sure!". This sad situation puts the lie to their mantra that they are not hurting anyone with their delusion. "If Y2K is just a BITR, nobody will be worse off for having preped". If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, it is only when all of the GIs finally realize that they have been had, will the full cost of this foolishness be tallied.

-- Computer Pro (, December 24, 1999.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.


"Sloppy Induction..." What a hoot! I've always admired your elegant command of the written word, but never addressed you directly. Now that phrase, sir, deserves applause. I haven't heard such deliciously sardonic invective in a long time.

However, on the whole your answer seems to concede to the doomlit apostles a moral high ground and intellectual integrity they don't deserve.

I worked in the Y2K project in a Texas state agency so I got to see many agency projects up close and personal. In late '97 the folks at the Department of Information Resources (DIR) who managed the state's Y2K project were scared spitless. Most of the information they had came from Yourdon, deJager (who was the poster boy for alarmism at the time), Kappelman, and on and on. Even CPR was an "8" at the time. It was a rare bird, indeed, who had heard of Nick Z or the comments of the president of Reader's Digest.

But as weeks and months went by, our projects began to finish. By early '99 it was obvious to nearly all of us that the problem was overblown. Y2K was a series of small projects, not one gigantic development effort. Further, they were maintenance projects, not development. MOST of the work IS shops do is maintenance. We're good at it. Our maintenance comes in on budget and on time, contrary to the metrics Yourdon quotes.

That's why few corporations went outside their own IS staff to handle their Y2K projects. Outside contractors didn't know the applications and would have been less efficient and more expensive than doing it in house. Paul Davis and Patricia Scotto tried to explain that concept to the doomies in excruciating detail, but they were abused relentlessly. That alone shows the shallowness of the doomer's intellectual grasp of the issues.

Further, the doomlits assumed there was some huge conspiracy going down. It had to involve about two million people, and absolute secrecy had to be maintained over several years. Only the doomlits knew the truth and had the moral courage to speak out in the face of overwhelming oppression from TPTB.

But doesn't that attribute unfathomable moral depravity to those two million people? How else can you explain the idea that these people knew some horrible fate awaited "the sheeple" but never warned them? The happy outcome is that by extension, it meant the doomlits were morally superior beings. This seems to be Heller's position even to this day, as evidenced by his abuse of such patiently benign posters as Cherri.

Heller, Hamasaki, Yourdon, Core, you name 'em--all should have known the difference between maintenance programming and development. They all should have had contacts in the "real world" who could have kept them up with developments in various industries. We certainly did. The state jumped through all sorts of hoops trying to find out how various sectors were doing. We had contacts all over the place because Austin is a crossroads for IS.

All we could find was that just about everyone else had the same experience we did. Projects were getting finished. Reporting was about three months behind reality. Everyone felt good about their own work but they were worried about "everyone else" because of what they were being told by "industry experts." Why was this never reported by Yourdon who had all those contacts at Cutter?

The apologists of doom point to the command centers that the Feds and states set up as evidence that no one really knew what was going to happen. You want to know the most important reason these were set up? Read between the lines of the Texas DIR report of October, 1999, page 25,

"As discussed above, the exchange of relevant, accurate information regarding Year 2000 crossover activities is important with respect to the publics interest and need for clear communication to the citizens of Texas."

Why did we need "clear communication?" We had been telling them the truth for over two years. WE knew nothing serious was going to go wrong. We had been handling IS abends and catastrophes for years. So what more could "the sheeple" need to know?

The command centers were set up because there were some loose cannons out there saying things like "I don't know what I don't know" and speculating about massive public riots that would result in the death of all the programmers. There were unbalanced individuals saying publicly that they hoped the government of the US would collapse. TPTB were concerned about that class of folk and wanted to ensure that the public was protected against any mental cases taking advantage of uncertainty and fear during the rollover.

It's important to remember that many states closed down command centers on Jan 1 when it was obvious that nothing was going to happen. Ours closed around noon. If we were SO uncertain about our IS systems, why would we have shut down the command center? That's proof positive again of the intellectual poverty of the doomlits.

So I would suggest an emendation to your phrase. It should probably be "arrogant and slothful induction. It was indescribably arrogant of them to think that they were the only moral lighthouses righteously and nobly striving against murky night and tempestuous seas. And they were pathetically slothful in not comparing their own experience with about, oh, two million other IS professionals who were not concerned about the doomies' manufactured crisis.

-- N.Arro (, July 05, 2000.

Left unsaid by Nick is the "circular" reasoning of the Doomzies and the "Prudent" who now dare argue that "prepping" never hurt anyone and that it didn't "cost anything".

Here is the "Top Down":

STEP I: "We need contingency planning for the coming disaster even if it is not going to be as bad as we say it is." -->

STEP II: Enterprises, public and private: "We need something to avoid panic from what we *know* is hysterical over-reaction. Ah ha: Command Centers will show that we are on top of it."


STEP IV: (post 1/1/2000) "Well so far it looks good. Its a good thing we did the prudent thing and "prepped""

DOUBT IT? I can name 20 entities that did this and it was the biggest circle jerk ever. Vendors were made to do it by principles who in turn did it because their banks or insurance companies and their Lawyers said it was necessary under Due Dilligence "In case anything at all happens".


And the "simplified version" played out like this:

The Doomzies and the Gloomzies (less than the EOTW End of the World types including such "experts" as St. Leon Kappelman and the Hessians at "The Center for Y2k and wasted Nathan Cummings Foundation Monies") **DEMANDED** both "contingency planning" unique to Y2k **and** reporting on same. Enter the "command center" a typical device used in *real* crisis.

NOTE: that REAL EXPERT in SOFTWARE, Caper Jones HIMSELF wrote a contingency plan for a town which he then used to promote himself and his services. WHAT DID JONES KNOW ABOUT "CONTINGENCY PLANNING"? Someone show me his credentials other than being the most quoted *respectable source* for the Yourdon and Cutterites for the potential Y2k Computer disaster because of all those Y2k problems in his "Function Points".

LATER, immediately upon announcing the "Federal Command Center" ($50 Million Stage set for Sam Donaldson and ABC) and that of other states, BACK CAME THE "DOOMZIES" and "GLOOMZIES" with


IF...there are no real y2k problems, WHY are the Feds and the States and all those major corporations setting up all those command centers??

AND if you **doubt** that..refer to SYSMAN who STILL USES THE SAME SALES PITCH as *his rationalization* for playing one of the leading Typhoid Marys of EY and even here.

-- cpr (, July 06, 2000.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Heller is even more funny than I rememeber! That is a riot! Heller, in his typical fashion, can't logically think his way out of a wet paper sack! after Charles roasts his @ss with HIS OWN WORDS from his webpage, Heller replies with "I removed that page from my site...."

As if that makes it all "ok". Just remove it, no apology, no admission of wrongdoing (based on the premise of this thread started by Heller himself)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! GAWD heller, you are one big clown! a damn laugh- a-minute!

Looks like I returned at "just the right time" to see some more comedy from the y2kultists!

-- Super Polly (, July 06, 2000.

IT GETS BETTER "SUP". Above he demands proper decorum and GOD FORBID any Ad Hom. attacks. Now that we all know Hellerian "Logic" (i.e. takes the form of "one over" or Inverse) that translates to "do as I say (or else) but don't do what I do.

Stevie "I am not worthy of a Flying Pig because I don't make predictions" ResumeBoy:



I'm sad to say that I'm not truly qualified for this award, as it is supposed to be bestowed only on those who have made failed predictions. I've made no predictions, so I can't have made any failed ones. However, I'm honored to accept it anyway. Being insulted by the morons on the "Debunking" site is a great tribute to my intelligence and character. Thanks again, morons!

-- Steve Heller (, July 06, 1999.

PRE-1/1/2000 SPIN FROM I am not worthy:[ST_rn=ap]/getdoc.xp? AN=490014274&CONTEXT=962845923.1417543799&hitnum=48

I am assuming that there is a significant probability that the current banking system will fail and be replaced by a new one, based on hard money. If that happens, old assets and liabilities will be wiped out as the currency is destroyed. There will be banks, all right, but it won't do the current depositors any good.


No, it isn't the computers. It's the POWER GRID, which in its current form has VERY LONG SUPPLY LINES. Without ELECTRICAL POWER, how will we EVER fix the bad programs? Answer: we won't. Thus, we will need a way to generate power that DOESN'T have long supply lines, e.g., steam engines that can run on wood. Is that simple enough for you?

-- Steve Heller, WA0CPP[ST_rn=ap]/getdoc.xp? AN=493566588&CONTEXT=962845923.1417543799&hitnum=65


As the coiner of the phrase "iron triangle" as it applies to Y2K, I can say with a fair degree of authority that my original definition was banking, telecommunications, and electric power. However, I think Gary North's addition of water supply improves it. I guess that would make it the "iron quadrangle" now.[ST_rn=ap]/getdoc.xp? AN=546672726&CONTEXT=962845923.1417543799&hitnum=67 Steve Heller, WA0CPP


-- cpr (, July 06, 2000.

Classic Heller! Let's don't forget this thread from Ol' Stinky....

Heller made NO predictions???? HAHAHAHA

"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 "


-- Super Polly (, July 06, 2000.

An outstanding thread, beginning with Heller's exellent link and continuing with the excellent discussions by Decker and Arro.

Regarding logic, fallacies of argument,, Steve, did anyone ever really expect to find a definitive argument that prooved that Y2K would be doomsday or what it turned out to be, less than a bump in the road?

Millions of IS/IT professionals, engineers, technicians, working with both software, hardware, and "embedded systems", there was no way one person could have offered up a conclusive proof. Culling the collective experiences and opinons of these professionals as a whole however, it was quite clear that the Y2K rollover was not going to be a signficant event, and THAT is the definitive arguement Arro has made in this thread. Similar arguments were made many times prior to the rollover at TB2000 and promptly ignored and rebutted with the personal attacks that you speak of.

Now on to "logical fallicies". There is this statement from the link you provide for "argumentum ad hominem", i.e., personal attacks:

Proof: Identify the attack and show that the character or circumstances of the person has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the proposition being defended.

This statement itself contains an error in logic. Some here, perhaps including yourself, hold to the belief that any statement should be argued based on the statement itself, that the background, motives, etc. of the person providing the statement are irrelevant.

In your dreams,maybe! In a purely logical world where everything is black and white, zero's and one's, yes. In our world, with human biases and traits, no.

In the real world, motives and biases frequently have a real big impact on what is stated. To say that "the background, motives, etc. of the person providing the statement are irrelevant" is illogical to the point of being laughable. Background and motives certainly don't provide proof of a given statement, but thats a long haul from being "irrelevant"!

Our judicial system admits evidence of "motive" in addtion to evidence of criminal acts. Criminal "background" is often excluded for criminals, but included for expert witnesses.

Steve Heller offers his resume and challenges others to provide theirs - wheres THAT relevancy? ;)

Y2k doomers didn't use "logic", didn't use "background", didn't use "proofs"....they used garbage to deduce that y2k was going to be bad. From sources with opportunistic motives (Hyatt, North, etc.), and from others wanting a "new world".

Read the "claim" (statment). Research for proofs if warranted. But when the cold logical proof isn't there, throw in some common sense and... CONSIDER THE SOURCE.

P.S. I reviewed the thread regarding Hellers "math" and probably took 10 times as long to review it as he did, and have arrived at the same conclusion he did. And if he had made a mistake in haste, so what? I

-- FactFinder (, July 08, 2000.

Italics off.

-- FactFinder (, July 08, 2000.

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