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You may not believe it, but the pundits are going to have a field day with the
new targets of blame and ridicule. Here are the favorites to become Y2K scapegoats:
1. God. I suppose it was appropriate that Nevada, home of freewheeling Las Vegas,
was one of the first governments to officially declare God the cause of the Y2K
crisis. Yes, the state legislature decided that the Y2K problem was an "act
of God," not a willful act of ignorance or a short-sighted decision on the
part of managers, programmers, and CEOs. This clarification makes it easy for insurance
companies to get off the hook.
However, this clever spin-job does not fix the problem, and it sure doesn't do
anything for the Master Programmer's reputation, either. What a bunch of losers.
2. Viruses. Sure, we have heard a lot about Melissa lately, but wait until Windows
machines start botching data and dropping e-mail messages next January. I'm sure
a lot of know-nothings will claim that a sudden virus infestation has caused the
trouble, instead of recognizing the effects of software design errors.
Viruses are a handy scapegoat, but once again, this blame-tossing does not solve
the problem. Running Norton AV will not fix a Y2K bug.
3. The Church. After a few months or perhaps a year or two to ruminate on matters,
it is likely that some people will point the finger of blame at religion, particularly
Christian religion. They will claim that if not for Messianic prophecies, the computer
industry would not have had a mental block against the year 2000 and would have
prepared for it much sooner! (To which the churches will reply, "You told us
you didn't believe us, remember?)
Once again, people with an axe to grind will find a handy scapegoat, but this
still does not solve the problem of Year 2000. Mental blocks come in all shapes
and sizes. The growing culture of millennial teachings does not excuse programmers
and managers from their responsibilities, any more than the weatherman's forecast
excuses bad driving during a thunderstorm.
Fortunately, OS/2 users don't need Year 2000 scapegoats. We have our hands full
looking for scapegoats to explain the lack of market share for our favorite operating
system. Now that's a goat of a different color....