The past winners...
The monthly contest for the stupidest thing said about the Year 2000 problem*
From Contest #19
Our man John Koskinen, chairman of the
President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion: "Hopefully those people
[malicious hackers] will recognize we're going to have enough things going
on that [New Year's] weekend that this will not be a particularly good
weekend to demonstrate the need for more information security. ... If you
want to, in fact, make those points, my hope is (you'll) make them the
From Contest #18
A Mr. Weisfeld, in charge of Y2K readiness
in Microsoft Israel: "Our system is already Y2K compliant ... but you
can improve your Y2K compliance by using the special CD, which carries out
some minor fixes."
From Contest #17Sen. Conrad Burns,
R-Montana, commenting on the fact that (in his opinion) the power company
managers are all football fans, and "they're damn sure not going to
let those football games go off" television on Jan. 1.
From Contest #16
manager of Ray's Hardware and Sporting Guns in Dallas, on his plan to have
a gun at home and special security staff at his store when the new year
arrives: "I'm not expecting anything," he said, "but I'm
not going to be standing around with my pants down saying, 'Go ahead and
shoot me in the butt.' "
From Contest #15
Senator Phil Gramm,
R-TX, from the question-and-answer session after the second leg of Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony
before the Senate Banking Committee: "Well it seems to me we ought to
be encouraged that in the year 1000 they had to add a new digit, and you
had no evidence of economic disruption. And then the millennium before, we
had dates going down, and then they started going up, and yet no evidence
of disruption or chaos in the economy, so if they could do it then, surely
we could deal with it now, it seems to me."
From Contest #14
Kansas City Missouri Councilwoman Teresa
Loar, co-chairwoman of the Mid-America Regional Council's Y2K
Elected Officials Task Force: "I don't think we are going to have any
major disasters in Kansas City. ... There may be some glitches at the ATMs
and traffic lights, but other than that, I don't see any problems. ...
Utilities, public safety, banking and water department leaders --
everybody assures me that their systems will be up and running. ... I
seldom plan an hour ahead anyway. Y2K won't be any different for us."
From Contest #13
Russia's Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Valentin B.
Ivanov: "the general engineer [at the nuclear station nearest
to Moscow] promises that he'll have a New Year's party, and he's invited
From Contest #12
Larry King, writing for USA Today:
"I asked Ross Perot, who knows his way around computers,
if he is concerned about Y2K. He said simply, "There are two sure cures. One, tell
all the computers it's 1972. 1972 exactly apes 2000. Every day of every month is the same
and will follow suit for 28 years, so that gives you that much time to correct the
problem." Solution No. 2: Shut off all the computers, go manual for a while and
reprogram. "We can live manual," the former presidential candidate said. He did
not get rich being stupid, folks."
From Contest #11
Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman,
and multi-billionaire: "Some countries will have more problems than others with the
arrival of the year 2000, but for most of us it will only be a minor inconvenience."
From Contest #10
"...[L]ocal bankers who have worked on the problem
extensively are rendered nearly speechless when asked what they would do if their ATM
systems went down for an entire week. Their systems have been tested so thoroughly that
they can't imagine it happening, they say. "That would mean something very critical
has gone wrong," said a spokesman for LaSalle National Bank in Chicago."
From Contest #9
Alexander Krupnov, chairman of
Russia's Central Telecommunications Commission, which is coordinating the country's work
on the millennium bug: "These agencies have already done half their jobs, they've
counted out how much" money they'll need, he told a news conference. "Now
they're seeking their own sources of financing."
From Contest #8
Vice President and all-round technology guy Al Gore: "How could this be a problem in a country where we
have Intel and Microsoft?"
From Contest #7
Commentary by Charley Reese:
"If my computer ever tells me, "Sorry, old chap, but I can't write 2,000,"
I'll just say, "Don't sweat it, old chip. Just leave the space blank, and I'll write
in the date." ... To save all an e-mail, I already know that I'm
computer-illiterate, and I don't care and do not wish to be educated on this topic. If you
want to chew your nails about Y2K, be my guest."
From Contest #6
Columnist Paul Kedrosky:
"Let's say that there's a 10 percent chance of something going wrong in a company
come January 3, 2000 (January 1st is a Saturday -- we'll all sleep through any
apocalypse). And imagine that probability is the same at other companies with which the
company does business. ... The probability of two companies having a problem is the square
of 0.1, or 1%. And the probability of enough companies simultaneously having a problem to
return us to the Stone Ages is 0.1 to a very large power -- effectively zero. But you
wouldn't know that from the "experts." Who knows what math they're doing? Likely
none at all."
From Contest #5
Rob Morse (again), technology
columnist: "Y2K is practically a cult already. "Repent, the end is near"
has been replaced by "Reboot, 2000 is near." .. Why is it I'm not scared? Is it
because I have an iMac that's Y2K compliant? Yes, downloading dominatrixes, an obedient
little computer is called "compliant." "
From Contest #4
From Contest #3
Tom Clancy, author and would-be
NFL team owner, when asked if he was concerned about the Y2k problem: "Actually, I
think somebody just made that up, and if the Y2K problem, you know, the Year 2000 computer
problem is real, nobody's proven it to me yet. ... Yeah, the worse thing happens is we
shut down all the computers. You know, we can still live without computers. I can remember
living in a world that had no computers at all."
From Contest #2
Archbishop John Foley,
president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, commenting on
plans to make the millennial year into an extended 2,000th birthday party for Jesus and
concerns that the year would bring possible computer failures: "In all probability,
the year 1996 should have been the year 2000. It is possibly providential that the
four-year mistake was made by Dionysius Exiguus. Because if it hadn't been ... we would
really be in a bind. At least we have had four more years to get this straightened
From Contest #1
And the winners of Contest #1
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