Looking back at Y2K from the Trump Era

Recently I came across an old column I wrote a decade ago on the 10th anniversary of Y2K. You can find it in my archive along with a thousand more, but I am also reproducing it, below. For those who have forgotten Y2K or are too young to remember it, the crisis was Climate Change for an earlier era. It was a very real global problem that turned out to be anticlimactic only because we as a society took heroic efforts to handle it. We should be so lucky today.

The column holds up fairly well, I think, and its major lessons are worth remembering. If anything, it’s even more relevant today because we are living in the Trump era of bombast […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 15 — Future Computing

minority-reportThere is so much wrong and yet a lot that’s right in this chapter, which was the last one in the original hardcover edition. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed by it or proud. How does computing today compare with my predictions from 1992? 




Remember Pogo? Pogo was Doonesbury in a swamp, the first political cartoon good enough to make it off the editorial page and into the high-rent district next to the horoscope. Pogo was a ‘possum who looked as if he was dressed for a Harvard class reunion and who acted as the moral conscience for the first […]

Remembering Y2K

Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of Y2K, so I’m using it as an excuse to look back at lessons learned and not learned from that experience. The greatest lessons had to do with psychology, not technology.

Y2K was no surprise to me. I wrote a chapter on it in my book Accidental Empires back in 1991 — fully nine years before the actual deadline. To my knowledge that was the first in-depth explanation of Y2K in the mass media. I explained how the problem came to be, how it could be solved, and predicted that doing so would cost a lot of money and force a transition on […]