Publication 3136

Glanville R., Barbour B., Schreiber M. & Umpleby S. A. (1999) A (Cybernetic) musing: The Millennium Bug. Cybernetics & Human Knowing 6(3): 71–85. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/3136
[opening paragraph]: In early April this year the Conference Problems of Participation and Communication was held in Amsterdam. Two contributions concerned the Year 2000 (Y2K) Problem, also known as the Millennium Bug: the Problem that many computing systems recognise the date partially, by only (for instance) the last two digits of the year – and will, therefore, confuse the year 2000 with the year 1900, with consequent, potentially damaging results. I had been aware of the technical nature of the problem for some years. What I had not thought through were the social and systemic facets. The conference presentations brought home the complacency with which I had been facing the problem. Enquiry amongst other conference attendees indicated that they, too, had been lax in their thinking.

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