Y2K and the human being

From: Walter Nissen (wnissen@freenet.tlh.fl.us)
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 10:22:51 PST

  • Next message: Walter Nissen: "re: What's in a Name?"

    3 simple steps you can take to fend off the non-computer-based Y2K
    problems you haven't tripped over yet:
    1) Immediately begin using the four-digit year.
    2) Immediately begin using the logical format 2000 FEB 01 or 2000-02-01.
    3) Use 'ought', pronounced ahtt, as in 'hot' or 'Ott', for years before
       2010, e.g., ought-three for '03 = 2003.
    1) Our dependence on the 9 in '98 is deep.  Slowly over the next couple
    of years, immense levels of confusion will evolve over dates such as
    02-03-01 or 03-01-02.  Not having the year anchored is devastating.
    2) European, and US military, usage has been DD-MM-YY.  US civilian
    usage has been MM-DD-YY.  Both forms are internally inconsistent.
    Each is readily confused with the other, as illustrated by examples as
    in 1).  Logical usage, widespread within astronomy and data processing,
    is YYYY-MM-DD, wherein the rightmost digit changes most rapidly and the
    others successively more slowly.  The format least likely to be
    misunderstood is YYYY-MM-DD.  2000 FEB 01 has the advantage of
    alphabetic relief from numerical monotony, but is language-dependent.
    3) Jay Leno says, "What are you going to say to your friend when you
    trade in your '98 for new wheels, 'Hey, come on over and see my new
    4) The ambiguity, to the 20th Century-trained mind, of statements such
    as "2000 will bring friendly smiles." is bad enough.  We don't need
    Walter Nissen                   wnissen@tfn.net
    -81.8637, 41.3735, 256m elevation
    Did you know?:
    Many of the most prominent and productive observers rarely look at a
    "ground track" display?  The information presented is largely
    irrelelvant to a visual observer.  Instead, the VSO needs to know when
    and where to look, how bright the object will be, and may also need to
    know something about the visual characteristics of the object.
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