|The Millennium Bug and The New Industry of Hysteria
As the millennium approaches, I imagine we will see the advent
of more terrifying cabals and doomsday prophesies emerging
mainly from those who stand to profit monetarily and the
scarier the scenario, the more people will be willing to accept
it. The Y2k problem could be one that is destined to be self-fulfilling
that is, its belief will effect the results already foretold.
There could be a run on banks (some banks are already preparing
for this); the Stock Market could crash; the IRS, by non-compliance
to fix their Y2k problem, could be out of commission (I dont
see the problem there); Computer programmers may flock to secluded
hideaways (no problem again). A whole host of real problems may
be created by something that wouldnt have been much of a problem
if it werent for our increasing reliance on the technology
This suggests the real Y2k problem is a people problem people
who misunderstand the technology, have total reliance on this technology,
and are willing to embrace the idea of societal collapse due to
technological failure. With hysteria as the fuel of the masses,
anything could happen. If we continue to welcome radio talk show
paroxysms, and ranting internet madness, then we deserve the frightful
outcomes that these questionable venues are in business to promote.
Remember, there is no specific media conspiracy involved here, it
is simply what many people want to hear and believe. Mundus vult
decipi "the world wants to be deceived".
Quotes from managers
"What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will
"How long is this Beta guy going to keep testing our stuff?"
"This project is so important, we can't let things that are
more important interfere with it."
"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule."
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've
been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks
and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."