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Old 01-29-2018, 03:08 PM   #31
Undertoad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
institutions would have spent the money to do all that naturally, even if they hadn't been warned?
They were doing that all along. No additional "warning" needed. And then this industry issue turned into a widespread panic that it was pretty likely major systems would collapse.

Did I tell the story before: mom had a party that night. I told her, why not play a joke. Have someone slip away one minute before midnight, and at then end of the countdown, have them hit all the breaker switches.

It worked as a joke, because everyone considered it plausible.

Major media gave us to-do preparation lists and quotes from politicians saying it could be trouble.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:42 PM   #32
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I would argue with equal veracity as your OP claims, that human culture is *very, VERY good* at ignoring threats.
So I guess the question is when they become apocalyptic threats. I guess we could use any disaster or problem that led to broad calamity. Maybe the Japanese tsunami is at that level? Of a thing that was pretty apocalyptic that was ignored? Other examples?
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:13 PM   #33
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Part 1 was quite good, hard science fiction, like I expect from Stephenson. Part 2 was a wild change in direction, that felt like the pilot for a SF TV show - more Star Trek than 2001. I probably would have enjoyed it more if it weren't tied to the first half. But overall, I did enjoy it, and will look for the sequel it quite blatantly set itself up for.
Spot on.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:00 PM   #34
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They were doing that all along. No additional "warning" needed.
I am not confident that that is true, to say the least. There were large scale Y2K efforts in the industry in the very late 90s, which should have been long over if they had been doing it all along. Many critical infrastructure systems are very old legacy systems, which are expensive to change - including pulling people out of retirement. I do not trust that an engineer predicting a potential issue would have had as many expensive updates like that funded as did the general alarm raised.

The majority of the advice given to the general public was similar to that given for a potential blizzard - a couple days' food and water in case of power or other infrastructure interruption. It was covered more breathlessly because computers are more exotic than weather, but the actual advice given was usually appropriate.

I did test my personal computer in late 1999 (I forget if it was win95 or 98, in either case it was the latest patch set) by setting the date to a minute before Y2k, and it crashed when the time came, even though the Y2K fixes were distributed by Microsoft in December 1998.

If that could happen, it is not unreasonable to prepare for the possibility that it could have happened to a computer that was doing something important.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:41 AM   #35
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"Why are you snapping your fingers?
"It prevents tiger attacks."
"But there are no tigers here!"
"It is working!"

Because it's impossible to prove a negative, I can't show that there weren't going to be problems without the panic. There might well have been. I'm saying they wouldn't have been apocalyptic.

Like your situation. MOST WIN 95/98 boxes were not patched for any Y2K problems these OSes had. Luckily, there was a workaround: reboot.

That's it. Reboot! OMG Apocalypse? No!! If you ran Win 95 and didn't have to reboot on a particular day that would be a good day for you!!!

But you have gone to the trouble of *imagining* an apocalyptic result (what if my system was doing something important!) and, that's exactly how this works. Voila apocalypse.

(J'ever talk to those legacy programmers? I knew some. They were doing global search and replace in COBOL code to prevent the checks from being printed with "19" instead of "20" in front of the year. The panic became more costly than the problem when it left the realm of the experts.)
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:57 AM   #36
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But you have gone to the trouble of *imagining* an apocalyptic result (what if my system was doing something important!) and, that's exactly how this works. Voila apocalypse.

I didn't imagine my computer doing something important, I knew that computers do important things and that my computer, a "modern" OS with the patch installed for this particular issue, still crashed. It may well have been a driver or firmware issue, rather than OS, but the point isn't assigning blame, it's acknowledging that computer systems are very complicated, and the advice to prepare for some level of infrastructure interruption was appropriate.
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(J'ever talk to those legacy programmers? I knew some. They were doing global search and replace in COBOL code to prevent the checks from being printed with "19" instead of "20" in front of the year.
That might be enough for something that only prints the current date, like checks or receipts, and I'm sure there was plenty of that to do, but that would be a dumb solution for anything that stored historical data (1989 becomes 2089?), and would be irrelevant to the real concern - anything that compared dates, and would behave in an unpredictable manner if the comparison came out negative.

If they told you that all they were doing was cosmetic, they were either working only on the simplest of the software, or they were exaggerating the simplicity in order to make fun of the hype.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:30 PM   #37
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It worked, there were no tigers!




Does anyone take my overall point who doesn't just want to be endlessly argumentative?
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:29 PM   #38
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I understand your point, I just disagree.

Forgive my blunt analysis, but this is what I am hearing: It sounds something like survivorship bias, although in a way that can only be defined by future events, i.e. "there's never been (in *my* lifetime, or in the short recorded history of modern man--a mere infinitesimal sliver of time!) an extinction level event (or: insert other definition of the threat level), therefore there will never be one, therefore all conversations that reference this topic are D.O.A., ipso facto.

But it only takes one, right? And *by definition* it hasn't happened yet.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:51 PM   #39
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I swear I did not know that someone has already written a book about this

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...apocalypse-not

https://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-No.../dp/1936740001
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:53 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post

But it only takes one, right? And *by definition* it hasn't happened yet.
Yup.

My dad predicted he was going to die many times. Then he did.



The history of life on our planet is of verdant flourishings and cataclysmic extinctions. Sometimes the stuff that life was doing caused the extinction by fundamentally altering the environment it relied upon for survival. Other times 'external' forces came together to create an environment that no longer supported a given type of life. Sometimes just a few species, occasionally most of the species.

Saving the possibility that humans might find a way to self sustain on other worlds, sooner or later we will face extinction.
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:01 PM   #41
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One thing to keep in mind about grand-scale destruction is it has tended in the past not to be recorded very thoroughly, because the people going through it had other shit to deal with at the time.

Take, for example, the varying legends of a massive flood that wiped out somewhere between "a whole lot" and "all but two" humans on the planet. In its most generic form, the devastating flood story almost certainly has a level of truth to it, because it shows up in different forms in different cultures all around the same point in (very poorly-recorded) history. Meanwhile, forensic genealogy (i.e. mitochondrial DNA tracking) has proven that humans nearly went extinct 150,000 years ago, and again 70,000 years ago. We can even prove that as of 1.2 million years ago, we had either been heavily culled in an unknown event, or else spent the majority of our early development as both a rare and far-flung creature--an endangered species that somehow managed to migrate a hell of a lot.

Statistically speaking, you only have to go back roughly 5,000 years before every single one of us is down to a single common ancestor, which means we could have had non-apocalyptic but nonetheless really-fucking-awful levels of death countless times in our past, and would still only need a couple thousand years to re-establish ourselves.

We're sturdy, and resourceful, and as a species I think we'll survive whatever comes next--but near-extinction events are practically an inevitability. It's also probably not something we can do much about anyway. The Earth abides.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:26 PM   #42
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Not sure if it's what you referred to, but, there were more than two people on the ark. There was Noah and his wife, and his sons and their wives.

Just being contrary and disagreeable.

Abiding...If it's good enough for The Dude, it's good enough for me.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:48 PM   #43
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Imma just leave this here.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:25 AM   #44
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Oh noes! Here's one currently making the rounds (again). Enjoy.

Newsweek: EARTH’S MAGNETIC POLES SHOW SIGNS THEY’RE ABOUT TO FLIP—EXPOSING HUMANS TO RADIATION AND PLANET-WIDE BLACKOUTS (warning autoplay video at the link)

AND WOW this one could be really really bad!!

CBC: "When our magnetic field flips, say goodbye to modern life"

News.com.au: "Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to flip sparking chaos and mass blackouts"

Weekly Observer: Destruction of cell phones and TVs if the magnetic poles of the earth are reversed!

Goodbye to modern life! Chaos and mass blackouts! Destruction of consumer electronics! OH MY FUCKING GAWD!!!

Are you all IGNORING this threat?

Do you keep your bathtub filled so there is potable water available? Well you better get on that pronto! Preparation is going to be critical!
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:45 AM   #45
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The likelihood of it happening now is unknown. I'd say it's small, but I would be bullshitting you because I have no idea. But from what I understand (without reading any of your links) is that the increased solar radiation in some areas would make vast swaths of the planet uninhabitable. It would suck if it was someplace you lived. And it would suck if a billion people wanted to come to your hood because they were being fried at home.

But how likely is it? Beats me. I can't do anything about it anyway. Except maybe buy a sailboat and learn to sail so I can get to someplace safe without competing with a few hundred million other people who also want to get there.
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