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Author Topic:   Trump and Trump supporters keep using the Y2K Fallacy, and it is driving me crazy
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 5 of 126 (882952)
10-28-2020 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
10-26-2020 9:35 AM


It's the boy who cried wolf problem.

So many predictions, from the Y2K panic to all those "Day of Revelation/Rapture is at Hand!" apocalyptics to the Global Warming hyperbole (James Burke's documentary predicted that by now the USA would be unable to feed itself), so many predictions of DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! have proven undoomly that now when a real disaster strikes (hundreds of thousands dead and no end in sight) people just shrug it off.


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 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 10-26-2020 9:35 AM coffee_addict has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by coffee_addict, posted 10-30-2020 9:32 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 7 of 126 (883050)
11-02-2020 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by coffee_addict
10-30-2020 9:32 PM


All right, have it your way, their projections were wildly inaccurate.

But if they base their calls to action on such projections, they will be less likely to have popular support for the actions they recommend.


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 Message 6 by coffee_addict, posted 10-30-2020 9:32 PM coffee_addict has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by AZPaul3, posted 11-02-2020 10:36 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
 Message 9 by coffee_addict, posted 11-20-2020 9:41 PM Sarah Bellum has responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 13 of 126 (883763)
01-10-2021 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by AZPaul3
11-02-2020 10:36 PM


I'm actually more optimistic. I think if you tell the truth you might just have a chance of convincing people.

It's happened in the past, you know, that's why we got pure food and drug laws, child labor laws, seat belt laws, civil rights laws etc. etc. etc.

Of course, lying to people can convince them as well. But the results are often . . . . antisocial.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 14 of 126 (883765)
01-10-2021 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by coffee_addict
11-20-2020 9:41 PM


Of course if your reports had been inaccurate and the bridges had fallen down because of the resulting maintenance recommendations that would have been a bad thing, no?

Same thing's gonna happen here if their work is shoddy.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 22 of 126 (883805)
01-12-2021 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by AZPaul3
01-10-2021 10:23 AM


In the short run one might be pessimistic. In early 1941 it looked like an unlikely alliance of Soviet Socialism, National Socialism and Japanese Imperialism might doom us to a millennium of woe.

But it didn't.

In the long run we got things like polio vaccines, unleaded gasoline, civil rights laws and the the replacement of the Chinese Communists with a bunch of industrialists looking to get rich (well-fed consumers are more likely to demand democracy than starving Red Guards).

One can get things done by lying to people, yes, but I think telling the truth is more effective at getting things done you really want done.

And by the way, I'm from Vulcan, but don't tell anyone, I'm waiting quietly for Zefram Cochrane.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 24 of 126 (883866)
01-16-2021 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by AZPaul3
01-12-2021 8:57 PM


Predictions in the 1980s that the Maldives would be underwater within 30 years, predictions in the 1980s that New York City's West Side Highway would be submerged within 30 years, predictions at the turn of the century that within a few years children in the UK won't know what snow is....

On the other hand, if they stuck to predictions like the spread of tropical diseases, increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes, lowered crop yields and such it would be much easier to get the needed reforms.

If scientists behave like Millerites, they'll be treated like Millerites.


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 Message 25 by AZPaul3, posted 01-16-2021 11:46 AM Sarah Bellum has responded
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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 29 of 126 (884055)
01-21-2021 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by AZPaul3
01-16-2021 11:46 AM


If you're saying people like Dr. James Hansen or Dr. David Viner (climate researcher at the University of East Anglia) or the Environment ministry of the Maldives are a bunch of charlatans, then you're really throwing a monkey wrench into the campaign to save the planet.

By the way, if you're so worried about people who are "definitely not climate scientists" doesn't that write a lot of sensible people, from former V.P. Al Gore to Greta Thunberg, onto the pay-no-mind list?


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 31 of 126 (885382)
04-10-2021 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by AZPaul3
01-21-2021 7:17 PM


The West Side Highway prediction was from James Hansen, assuming a 100% increase in CO2.
Examining Hansen's prediction about the West Side Highway
There's been about a 30% increase (so far) and the sea level rise measured (so far) is in centimeters, not tens of meters.
Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide | NOAA Climate.gov

The Maldives prediction was from the Environmental Affairs Director of the Maldives.
Threat to islands - The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) - 26 Sep 1988

The predictions of a snowless UK was from Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.
https://web.archive.org/web/20150912124604/http:/http://www.independent.co.uk/...hing-of-the-past-724017.html

As for the popularization of the issue by people you concede are "definitely not climate scientists", sure, if they get their facts straight. But the people I quoted above were, first of all, speaking from some position of authority (the environment director may or not have been a scientist, but the other two were) and, second, they got their facts (or, rather, their predictions) muddled.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 33 of 126 (885484)
04-14-2021 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by AZPaul3
04-10-2021 11:51 AM


On some issues, maybe. The overheated predictions of imminent breakthroughs in fusion power by scientists (the joke is, "It's the power source of the future, and always will be") are one thing: cloudy crystal balls aren't likely to dry up research funding.

But on an issue like Global Warming every would-be Paul Ehrlich is a problem. As you yourself noticed when you wrote "Some responsible people were wrong" those points are not fake. So they must be answered.

Once you get into politics, issuing retractions makes you sound like Ron Ziegler saying "That statement is no longer operative." And we all know how that turned out.


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 Message 32 by AZPaul3, posted 04-10-2021 11:51 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by AZPaul3, posted 04-15-2021 8:32 PM Sarah Bellum has responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 35 of 126 (885626)
04-20-2021 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by AZPaul3
04-15-2021 8:32 PM


Perhaps.

But the real problem here concerns predictions of doom (in all caps with an exclamation or two) that haven't come true.

Some of the projections dealing with Global Warming have been apocalyptic: famines (reminiscent of Ehrlich) and drowned cities and the disappearance of snow and the resurgence of epidemics and war. But other computer analyses have shown milder futures with some increase in erosion, changes in growing seasons (longer in Canada and northern Europe and Asia, ironically) and changes that bring some areas more rain, some less, some hotter weather and some colder weather (hence all the dithering about "Warming" or "Climage Change" or "Chaos" etc. etc. etc.)

If scientists can't communicate the whole picture, complete with the unavoidable uncertainties, but instead rely on hyperbole, they're sacrificing what they must keep in order to be trusted. Look, seat belts save lives, of course. But if you were to claim that there is, say, a 10% chance you'll die every time you get in an automobile and forget to wear one (not that I'm saying anyone's actually made such an Ehrlichian prediction!) it would be counterproductive, wouldn't it?

We've made amazing progress. Automobile engines emit fewer pollutants and may soon be replaced by electric motors. Airplanes get more miles to the gallon. Manufacturing everything from steel to toys uses lower carbon footprint technology every year. Power plants are cleaner, from retrofitting old tech like coal to using better fuels like natural gas to substituting renewables. It would be a shame if this progress was hindered by scientists in politics sounding like Millerites.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 40 of 126 (885680)
04-22-2021 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by ramoss
04-22-2021 9:52 AM


The improvements to computer systems were very important (the joke about computer programmers is that if carpenters built houses the way programmers program computers the first woodpecker would destroy civilization), but more for things like defences against hackers and catastrophes like 9/11 (all those offices had lots of computers and the systems had to be secure and securely backed up) than incorrect two-number dates.

The Y2K problems that DID happen show what a meagre issue it all was: a 105 year old grandmother getting a notice about her first day at kindergarten, a plant employee binning an ingredient for a mixture because the computer told him it had expired 98 years ago. You know, disasters!


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 Message 42 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-22-2021 5:37 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
 Message 43 by jar, posted 04-22-2021 6:13 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
 Message 44 by AZPaul3, posted 04-22-2021 6:42 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
 Message 45 by nwr, posted 04-22-2021 8:34 PM Sarah Bellum has responded
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Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 53 of 126 (885988)
05-01-2021 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Tanypteryx
04-22-2021 5:37 PM


Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.

There are bugs everywhere. We've seen them many many times, from the Ariane 5 disaster in 1996 to the Yahoo data breach in 2017. When the next big crisis comes, say when an all-out war starts (for example between China and Taiwan or between China and India or between China and . . . . etc.), all those bugs will be displayed in massive casualty lists.

The Y2K bug is just the one that got a lot of publicity because people could understand it from a thirty second sound bite. And because of the eschatological connection with the "coming of the millennium." Not because it was comparable to the more serious problems that are in the news every week. Surely if all those non-Y2K bugs have not been fixed, some of the Y2K bugs would also have been overlooked and caused some catastrophes?

Wait a minute! Some of the Y2K bugs were indeed overlooked! And what happened? A 105 year old grandmother got a notice to report to kindergarten, an employee saw a readout that the ingredients to a manufacturing process had expired 98 years ago and dumped a whole batch, wasting it, . . .

Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.


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 Message 42 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-22-2021 5:37 PM Tanypteryx has responded

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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 54 of 126 (885989)
05-01-2021 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by jar
04-22-2021 6:13 PM


Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.

There are bugs everywhere. We've seen them many many times, from the Ariane 5 disaster in 1996 to the Yahoo data breach in 2017. When the next big crisis comes, say when an all-out war starts (for example between China and Taiwan or between China and India or between China and . . . . etc.), all those bugs will be displayed in massive casualty lists.

The Y2K bug is just the one that got a lot of publicity because people could understand it from a thirty second sound bite. And because of the eschatological connection with the "coming of the millennium." Not because it was comparable to the more serious problems that are in the news every week. Surely if all those non-Y2K bugs have not been fixed, some of the Y2K bugs would also have been overlooked and caused some catastrophes?

Wait a minute! Some of the Y2K bugs were indeed overlooked! And what happened? A 105 year old grandmother got a notice to report to kindergarten, an employee saw a readout that the ingredients to a manufacturing process had expired 98 years ago and dumped a whole batch, wasting it, . . .

Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by jar, posted 04-22-2021 6:13 PM jar has not yet responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 55 of 126 (885990)
05-01-2021 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by AZPaul3
04-22-2021 6:42 PM


Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.

There are bugs everywhere. We've seen them many many times, from the Ariane 5 disaster in 1996 to the Yahoo data breach in 2017. When the next big crisis comes, say when an all-out war starts (for example between China and Taiwan or between China and India or between China and . . . . etc.), all those bugs will be displayed in massive casualty lists.

The Y2K bug is just the one that got a lot of publicity because people could understand it from a thirty second sound bite. And because of the eschatological connection with the "coming of the millennium." Not because it was comparable to the more serious problems that are in the news every week. Surely if all those non-Y2K bugs have not been fixed, some of the Y2K bugs would also have been overlooked and caused some catastrophes?

Wait a minute! Some of the Y2K bugs were indeed overlooked! And what happened? A 105 year old grandmother got a notice to report to kindergarten, an employee saw a readout that the ingredients to a manufacturing process had expired 98 years ago and dumped a whole batch, wasting it, . . .

Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by AZPaul3, posted 04-22-2021 6:42 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by ramoss, posted 07-12-2021 6:55 PM Sarah Bellum has acknowledged this reply

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 748
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 56 of 126 (885991)
05-01-2021 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by nwr
04-22-2021 8:34 PM


Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.

There are bugs everywhere. We've seen them many many times, from the Ariane 5 disaster in 1996 to the Yahoo data breach in 2017. When the next big crisis comes, say when an all-out war starts (for example between China and Taiwan or between China and India or between China and . . . . etc.), all those bugs will be displayed in massive casualty lists.

The Y2K bug is just the one that got a lot of publicity because people could understand it from a thirty second sound bite. And because of the eschatological connection with the "coming of the millennium." Not because it was comparable to the more serious problems that are in the news every week. Surely if all those non-Y2K bugs have not been fixed, some of the Y2K bugs would also have been overlooked and caused some catastrophes?

Wait a minute! Some of the Y2K bugs were indeed overlooked! And what happened? A 105 year old grandmother got a notice to report to kindergarten, an employee saw a readout that the ingredients to a manufacturing process had expired 98 years ago and dumped a whole batch, wasting it, . . .

Airliners didn't fall from the sky, power grids didn't go dark, ATMs didn't dump bags of cash into the arms of hackers. And they never were going to, at least not because of Y2K.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by nwr, posted 04-22-2021 8:34 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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