Will the Lights Go Out?

"Our government is not going to get all of its critical systems fixed in time for the century change," writes Sen. Robert Bennett in Just In Case: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Y2K Crisis. Bennett is chair of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem.

Y2K experts have predicted problems ranging from wrong dates on photographs to international power outages if computers misinterpret January 1, 2000, to be January 1, 1900. Amidst the extreme positions often expressed in Y2K conversations—from nothing to worry about to Armageddon—the Just In Case anthology offers a middle range of opinions through its 18 essays: Y2K will not produce TEOLAWKI (The End Of Life As We Know It), but it may create societal disruptions that deserve our attention. The prediction of essayist Ed Yourdan, a leading authority on computer programming, of a year of disruptions and a decade of depression will seem extreme to many readers. However, people who suspect that Y2K is simply a media creation should turn first to the book’s appendix and read "Investigating the Impact of the Year 2000 Problem: Executive Summary of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem."

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