Re: poly: Y2K crisis?

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Sep 11 1998 - 12:16:38 PDT

Hal writes:
>For what it's worth, I tend to be less pessimistic than most in the Y2K
>forums, although I see the situation as quite uncertain. I've been
>involved in software development throughout my career, and certainly
>the field has a terrible track record in terms of meeting deadlines.
>At the same time I think many of the fears are due to the overall
>complexity and multiple manifestations of the problems. Here I think
>the pessimists are underestimating the collective ability of people
>to solve large problems by having each person work on his own portion,
>or to work around flaws in creative ways.

The track record for meeting deadlines is in part due to gaming.
Programmers don't really believe deadlines, and to compensate others ask
for earlier deadlines than they really need, etc. This will be a nice
test of what happens when everyone knows the deadline is real, and won't
be postponed no matter what.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Fri Sep 11 19:05:00 1998

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