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WA has time to see the lighter side of Y2K

The most serious threat to our continued corporate health from the Y2K bug is rapidly becoming Terminal Boredom.

Not that there is not cause for very real concern, especially when we think of the potential meltdown à la Chernobyl in any one of the thirty nuclear power stations on our little planet, including the one in Sydney.

Thankfully, the several mooted for SE Asia and sited along a major geological fault line will not be up and running by 1 January 2000.

WA has again been Way Ahead in recognising and dealing with both the known and unknown catastrophic risks of Y2K computer system failures.

We have led Australia in direct government action to ensure our public sector is as compliant as humanly possible.

Given that any number of glitches could disrupt the flow of electricity, gas and water to our homes and businesses, we in WA are far better off than either NSW or Victoria for crisis management.

This is primarily because our State utilities still have only one owner – government – who can immediately make whatever decisions are required to overcome a glitch.

Not so in any organisation with more than one shareholder, particularly if owners are profit-driven and wanting short-term financial gain.

Ironically bad timing to be selling off AlintaGas.

Y2K generated problems are already surfacing, as discovered by a Californian sewage treatment plant whose system dumped 15 million litres of untreated sewage on a park and street during a Y2K test run.

The following slant on the Y2K issue arrived electronically with no glitches from Paris.

As a futurist, the long term perspective is always to be encouraged:

Rome

6 January 1BC

Dear Cassius,

Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven’t much time left. I don’t know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards.

You would think someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort out at the last minute. I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn’t done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty.

We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won’t work. As usual, the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful.

As for myself, I just can’t see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards. We have heard that there are three wise guys in the East working on the problem, but, unfortunately, they won’t arrive till it’s all over.

Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. Anyway we are continuing to work on this blasted Y zero K problem and I will send you a parchment if anything further develops.

Vale

Plutonius

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