45% of Y2K Experts 'Worried'

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- 06/10/99- Updated 09:28 AM ET

Survey: 45% of Y2K experts worried By M.J. Zuckerman, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -- With little more than six months to go, nearly half the experts grappling with the Y2K computer problem remain deeply concerned, according to a unique survey being released Thursday. "About 45% think it's going to be a bump in the road, and about 45% think it's going to have significant impact," says Bruce Webster, author of the survey of 337 professionals fixing or tracking the computer glitch. "And about 10% think it's going to be the end of the world as we know it."

The experts are more pessimistic than the public at large. USA TODAY polls in March found 65% expected minor problems and 12% expected no problems.

Webster is co-chair of the Washington D.C. Year 2000 Group, an organization of about 2,000 consultants, executives, lawyers and others.

Areas in which the experts agreed: marked optimism about U.S. society's ability to cope and marked pessimism about the survival of essential services or infrastructure such as transportation and utilities.

But White House "Y2K czar" John Koskinen takes issue with polls and surveys. " No one can tell you with any certainty what the end of the year is going to look like because so much work is still under way."

The Year 2000 bug arises from programming shortcuts that could cause computer systems to fail after Dec. 31, 1999.

The survey, which can be found at www.wdcy2k.org, shows deep differences:

The economy: 38% expect a 20% loss in stocks and recovery by 2001; 45% expect a mild six-month recession with 6% unemployment. Business: 35% predict it will be "jolted a bit" with January "Y2K holidays" to make fixes; 28% see "major manufacturing disruptions." Utilities and infrastructure: 40% predict at least "short-lived failures" up to seven days; 42% expect scattered supply and utility problems lasting at least two weeks. Government: 19% predict one state government will run into "serious Y2K problems"; 30% expect "at least one major government agency," such as the IRS, will fail.

Koskinen says, "The basic infrastructure is going to hold. There are going to be glitches lasting hours. But, for example, we don't see any indication that there will be regional brownouts or blackouts lasting two or three days." And he expects the IRS "to be declared Y2K ready in several days."

----------------------------------------------------------------------) Copyright 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

-- Lee (lplapin@hotmail.com), June 10, 1999


I think someone needs a basic math lesson:

45% expect a BITR


10% expect TEOTWAWKI




-- Ican (dosimple@math.com), June 10, 1999.

45% bump in road

45% significant impact

10% teotwawki


-- Evelyn Wood (detention@speedreading.lessons), June 10, 1999.

Gee, I had hoped to dispense with my usual thickly veiled snide remarks here. Oh well.

45% Bump in the road

+45% Significant impact

+10% End of the world as we know it

-and (the headline SAYS...) only 45% are "worried"????????????????

Sorta sounds like all the rest of the y2k-don't-worry spin to me. After all, this came out of the mainstream propa...ummm, media. YMMV however.

-- Lee (lplapin@hotmail.com), June 10, 1999.

One would presume a multi-millionaire like Mort Zuckerman would be able to add and subtract....interesting.

-- Charles R. (chuck_roast@trans.net), June 10, 1999.

I agree 100 percent. I am as drunk as a sailor.

-- Anita Spooner (spoonera@msn.com), June 10, 1999.

Lee -

The 10% who see TEOTWAWKI aren't worried; they have already finished their preps. Expect that other 45% who currently say they're worried to feel much better pretty soon, just as soon as they take delivery of the last few critical items (gensets, additional water barrels, stove inserts, flak jackets, whatever).

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 10, 1999.

The funny thing with this report is that it is very vague in its answers. What do the 45% that answer consider to be a small bump in the road? And what do the other 45% consider to be significant problems? The final 10% is pretty much already established on what they feel.

One persons bump in the road is anothers major problems. The report does delve into economic issues, stock market, and the expected reactions of American society. Do the programmers asked believe that 2 to 4 weeks is significant or 6 to 12 weeks. The story is one that does not delve into the issues that are the basis of Y2K for the simple reason is that 100 newspapers couldn't cover every single aspect of it.

-- Pat (BAMECW@aol.com), June 10, 1999.

This kind of survey is pure PR, with no underlying reality whatever. I wouldn't be surprised if every question on it were thrown out of court as unanswerably vague. Go ahead, anybody, define "significant impact" and get ANY two people to agree on your definition.

This is a joke, sorry. And even if it said *nobody* was worried, it would still be a joke.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 10, 1999.

yes pat agree 100% very vague

very very vague

very very very vague

imho it's vague


-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), June 10, 1999.

Wait, gotta control myself as Im shaking while typing this out. Andy and I actually agreed on something. Never thought that would be typed out on this keyboard sitting in front of me, lol.

-- Pat (BAMECW@aol.com), June 10, 1999.

"10% say it's the end of the world as we know it."

Yep. Far too vague. We need more definitions...maybe we could start with "world".

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 10, 1999.

Anita- Do you ever feel like mudwrestling when you are drunk?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), June 10, 1999.

The Spring 1999 Survey Of The Membership Of The Washington D.C. Year 2000 Group

-- Lane Core Jr. (elcore@sgi.net), June 11, 1999.

Read the comments at the end of the survey report. It's obvious that many participating are not experts, many are not even working on Y2K. Just because you're interested (or concerned) enough to join the group doesn't make you an expert.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), June 11, 1999.

Two thoughts: Will Cory give us his point of view on this "national exposure" of WDCY2K and can you get through to the news group after this? Second: Did Zuckerman forget to add the TEOTWAWKI contingent because "they're just a bunch of crazies" and the opinion of a bunch of crazies doesn't count?


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), June 11, 1999.

Pat said -- One persons bump in the road is anothers major problems.

This is more profound than you may know. A simply vast number of people live life in the 20th Century on the edge of financial instability. The old paycheck to paycheck obscenity. Especially those that depend entirely on governmental subsidies.

While a large percentage of these people are fractionally capable of causing disruptions, a very dangerous percentage *are* capable of affecting the periodics.

Only minor sociological impact was felt during the last great depression, but things were quite different then. We will face a much worse breakdown this time. It will be proportionate to the breakdown already seen in our society. Viciousness is commonplace, honesty is a joke, law is openly exposed as a too small stick, and most serious, is the addiction we have to comfort. The fear of losing our staid lifestyle, will throw an ever growing group into a rampaging vortex that will begin to consume everything it touches. A *blackhole* of human enterprise.

It will be *community* that will be the difference between survival and defeat. Loners beware!! They didn't call them hordes for nothing!

While talking to a DWGI at work, he stated " I'm prepared for Y2k, I've got a gun and you've got supplies" Thinking mobility is a GOOD thing.

-- unspun@lright (mikeymac@uswest.net), June 12, 1999.

Unspun - tell me this person was being sarcastic or funny...PLEEEEESE!!!

********While talking to a DWGI at work, he stated " I'm prepared for Y2k, I've got a gun and you've got supplies" ******

-- justme (finally@home.com), June 12, 1999.

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