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A (Cybernetic) musing: The Millennium Bug

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[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.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CybernEthics Research, 52 Lawrence Road, Southsea, Hants PO5 1NY, UK. 2: Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato, NZ 3: Department of Marketing University for Economics and Business Administration, Vienna 4: The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052 USA.

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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