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Technical glitch or Millennarian event: psychological responses to the Y2K bug

(N.B. Another, related, seminar will be held in Computing Science.)

Organisers: Paddy O'Donnell and Steve Draper
Time: Noon-1pm, Monday 15 March 1999
Place: Seminar Room, 58 Hillhead Street.

This seminar will be concerned with psychological aspects of the Y2K or Millennium bug. Besides contributions from the organisers, David Fildes (University Year 2000 officer), Steffie Plotnikoff (see also her group) and others will contribute.

The technical background is a small but widespread programming problem, which however is associated with great uncertainty and possibly far-reaching implications. Its effects cannot be predicted, and the main rational responses are not computing but managerial ones.

The classic psychological responses are either to deny there is a problem, or to see it as a catastrophe, and start leaving for the wilderness with a year's survival supplies. These are widely observed currently. Members of the audience are invited to classify their own response.

In fact, as the University's responsible officer David Fildes will tell us, the rational response is neither of these, but to address risk management with some substantial effort. For instance, Strathyclyde university has already had to reschedule exams as they could not guarantee their students web access for essential revision in the preceding week at the time originally planned. So: are you too worried, or not worried enough?


See also:

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