For the past year I have been inundated with email and forum messages, often quite rude and abusive, castigating me for my moderate editorial on the Y2K bug (see: "Year 2000 Bug - Is The Sky Falling?") first published in December of 1998. The following letter was sent out to many of these individuals shortly after midnight on January 1, 2000 my time--after my position was borne out. Y2K turned out to be mostly a big yawn, not the dawn of the end of the world.
January 1, 2000
An Open Letter To My Detractors:
During 1999 you sent or posted a message taking me to task for my position on the consequences of the Y2K bug. Many of you wrote to tell me I was being irresponsible by suggesting that it would not be "the end of the world as we know it." Some cursed me, threatening me, saying that "the blood of those who followed my foolish advice" would be on my hands. Some were even ruder and more abusive, damning me to perdition for my moderate position.
Well, as I send out this letter Y2K has come and gone for most for the world. Your dire predictions of disaster and catastrophe have failed to materialize, as I predicted. Who is rightly damned to perdition now? How many millions of people spent needless hours laying awake at night, scared or seriously worried about Y2K, as the result of irresponsible doomsayers such as yourself? How many millions of hard-earned dollars were wasted preparing for a disaster that was not to be, that was never to be, when far more moderate, reasonable, and more affordable personal precautions would have been more appropriate? How many lives have been disrupted needlessly because of the factually unfounded and irresponsible paranoia of those such as yourself who misled these people into believing Y2K was going to be "the end of the civilization as we know it?"
My predictions and moderate position about Y2K have been validated. Y2K turned out to be, as I expected, a people problem, and you were part of the problem, not the solution. Don't you think you owe a lot of people an apology?
I won't hold my breath. I do hope you learned something from this experience. I know I did.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year.
-- Doug Ritter
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