The Lessons of Y2K

by Ellis J. Neiburger, DDS

Well folks, Y2K has come and gone. The dire predictions of mass computers crashing, aircraft falling, missiles detonating, riots, ill fitting crowns, electrical outages and frozen senior citizens with starving pets on their laps have not come to pass. With few exceptions, these problems did not happen. They did not happen in North America where billions of dollars were spent on computer corrections and they did not happen in countries like Russia, China and Gambia where few funds were available for their ‘old’ computers. No serious problems happened at big corporations, which spent millions or in little one-person dental offices that spent nothing for Y2K. It was essentially much ado about nothing. There are some lessons to be learned from this experience.

1.As in the 19th, 20th and now 21st century, there are suckers born every minute. El Nio, excessive infection control measures, mercury in the amalgams, waterline biofilm, responsive organized dentistry and Y2K is essentially hype. In the end, it makes little difference.

2.The news media is not very accurate in its predictions. If you believed the news, you better move that generator and drain the water tanks in their newsrooms.

3.The government, which wants to run our health care, office safety and pension programs, doesn’t know fact from practicality from hype… and can’t economize either. Those leaders and bureaucrats who led the Y2K programs and used our money to pay for it are morons and should be removed now.

4. Our school system has not taught the people how to evaluate risk but should. The name of the game is ‘accurately interpreting risk.’ Remember the AIDS epidemic where in 19 years, no dental worker has ever experienced occupational AIDS?

5. Big business is almost as wasteful and silly as the government. We should dump all those corporate officers who wasted stockholder dollars in their private corporate Y2K bunkers.

6. Survivalists who stockpiled ‘C’ rations, ammo, dental floss, etc. must now have big garage sales. If you pass by their homes piled high with water jugs, stop and laugh. Roll around on the ground too… just to push the point.

7. The droves of nerd programmers and systems analysts that started and greatly profited from the Y2K hype must now get honest work. Y3K is a long time from now.

What a funny, silly, expensive $600-billion joke Y2K was. So much for modern, 21st century man.

J. Neiburger, DDS, is editor of Dental Computer Newsletter.