Re: Year 2k - for better or for worse

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 16:12:45 -0500

One consideration I read recently:

If Social Security makes errors in 1% of its checks,
then next week 250,000 people will call its offices
which will completely overwhelm its response capacities
for all problems, and create a huge number of exceptions
that the system is not prepared to handle even under normal
conditions - and that can trigger many more yet unfixed parts
of y2k-related code.

Many social systems are sensitive to rates of change, rather
than amplitudes. Needs for many resources change like that,

I think lack of press is to a large extent explained by the
fact that people cannot understand the unusual system issues.
It's much easier to attract public attention with teenage
shooting or political scandals. Even serious journalists
have no clue who to believe on the issues, and cannot suggest
any reasonable coverage - though this exactly the reason why
the issue should be debated more, not less.

The profit strategy for the disaster scenario should be quite
simple: buy lots of small exchangeable things and tangible
property with borrowed money, and get out of locations with
potential riots.

Profit strategy for a milder scenario must be more complicated;
there should be companies, currencies, and goods that will
react differently to financial perturbations. Does Japan
have the same amount of outdated code? If not, buying yen
options together with precious metal options ("far out of the
money") could be a good idea. Are there companies providing
work force for answering services or private guards?

There are several sites and at least a couple of newsgroups
devoted to possible social and economic consequences of this

And then, there are other things - it appears that much of
financial software can't handle Dow indexes over 10,000 - that's
a "D10K" problem - and it will hit at about the same time as Y2K...

Alexander Chislenko <>
<> <> <>