Venezuela hires psychiatrists to prevent Y2K panicgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Venezuela hires psychiatrists to prevent Y2K panic
21-06-99 Recession-hit Venezuela, fearing the Year 2000 computer bug could spark public panic, has hired psychiatrists to design Y2K policy to fit the Latin American nation's "mentality," a senior government official said. Withdrawing a little cash, and having some canned food on hand might come in handy if Year 2000 computer glitches cause temporary disruptions in oil-dependent Venezuela, Hugo Castellanos, head of the government's Year 2000 task force, told a summit co-sponsored by the United Nations. But Venezuelans are already jumpy about their financial situation, and any official suggestion of withdrawals would have people running for the banks, Castellanos said. "We are talking to psychologists and psychiatrists about how to reach the people in the right way," Castellanos told. "If we say you have to have food and cash at home, we're sure that banks would go bankrupt and food could disappear," he added." White House Y2K czar John Koskinen suggested people in the United States stashcash and food for two to three days in case of possible Y2K-related disruptions. Castellanos said that would not work in Venezuela. "Our mentality is different to the United States," he said. The previous Venezuelan government, which left office in February, made absolutely no preparations to get computers ready to handle Year 2000 dates, Presidential Chief of Staff Alfredo Pena recently said. That left Venezuela with 10 months to do what the much larger United States did in ten years. Castellanos said Venezuela is now making record speed - its key oil sector is now just 45 days from having all critical computers Year 2000 ready and the electricity sector is nearly 80 % compliant. But doubts still cloud government policy. "We don't know how to explain to the larger population what's going happen," said Castellanos. "Because we don't know what's going to happen.
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 31, 1999
Gonna need them shrinks. Here there seem to be a lot of N.S. responses. Oh well, the colors are pretty and I'd bet they've still a good tennis player or two...hey GIT? (Never beat the Argies though)
-- Carlos (email@example.com), August 31, 1999.
Note that this was published in June -- it was one of the press releases that came out of the United Nations Y2K Summit conference, and it got a few chuckles at the time. But now it's two months later -- which leads me to wonder if they have actually hired an army of shrinks, or whether they're still talking about it.
I recall seeing an article somewhere in the July time-frame to the effect that the Venezuelan government was appealing to the global community to lend it $1.5 billion to fix the Y2K bug, because they didn't have enough money of their own. Iran and Iraq made similar requests, of a similar size, at about the same time; Russia chimed in with a request for $3 billion, which probably would have gone down the same rat-hole as the other $15 billion that has apparently been laundered through the Bank of New York.
Would Russia even notice whether we gave them the money (I say "we" because I'm not aware of any other country lining up to make the loan)? If Iraq and Iran don't get their money, will they be mad at us? If Venezuela doesn't get its money, will they be able to hire their army of shrinks?
-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), August 31, 1999.
Prozac... the "Silver Bullet".
-- Linda (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 31, 1999.