Some people will believe anything

This is from an email soliciting money for The Skeptical Inquirer:

What needs to be on our agenda? Recent surveys suggest that Americans believe some outlandish things, often in astonishing numbers:

Last spring, Public Policy Polling found that:

  • 13 percent of Americans think President Obama is the anti-Christ. Another 13 percent weren’t sure—they only thought it might be true!
  • 20 percent believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism; 34 percent weren’t sure.
  • 37 percent think global warming is a hoax; 12 percent weren’t sure.
  • 28 percent believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is actively conspiring to rule the globe through an authoritarian world government—you know, the New World Order. 25 percent were unsure.

I think it’s the same 51-37-12 split here in Australia which may be the same split in both the Federal Cabinet and the Opposition front bench. Which is why we may keep wasting money on this stuff until hell freezes over, literally.

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57 Responses to Some people will believe anything

  1. Token

    ■20 percent believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism; 34 percent weren’t sure.
    ■37 percent think global warming is a hoax; 12 percent weren’t sure.

    The sly bastards of course don’t reveal that the correlation between this point is extremely low.

    ■20 percent believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism; 34 percent weren’t sure.
    ■28 percent believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is actively conspiring to rule the globe through an authoritarian world government—you know, the New World Order. 25 percent were unsure.

    Where as the correlation of this is extremely high (especially the wingnut OWS version of the 2nd point)

  2. incoherent rambler

    My grandfather was told we would exhaust our coal supplies and he would freeze. My father was told we would exhaust our food supplies and he would starve.
    I have been told we were entering an ice age, then I was told we were all gonna fry, then I was told we were entering an ice age …
    I was told that the disappearing ozone layer would kill us all, then the disappearing ozone layer disappeared.
    I was told that the Y2K bug would make airliners fall out of the sky, elevators crash and the banking system collapse.

    The media’s habit of not letting the (scientific) facts get in the way of a good story is one of life’s dependables.

    Modern electronic media in the hands of a journalist is like a jet fighter in the hands of a neanderthal.

  3. Toiling Mass

    13 percent of Americans think President Obama is the anti-Christ. Another 13 percent weren’t sure—they only thought it might be true!

    That is an astonishing statistic. It is not as if Obama tries to hide it.

  4. Robert Blair

    The Skeptical Inquirer is not very skeptical – when it is pondering leftist dogma …

  5. JD

    The Y2K bug was very real. Thousands of programmer spent a long time fixing programs to eliminate the problem. The fact that nothing serious went wrong on 1 Jan 2000 is a tribute to their hard work.

  6. Just for the record:

    Teddy Roosevelt was behind the McKinley assassination.

    Cui bono? I ask you again, cui bono?

  7. jupes

    100% of Australian leftists believe that the ‘carbon’ tax will change the weather.

  8. candy

    Some people actually think there are UFO’s that capture people and do things to them and bring them back.

    Maybe it’s just a love of drama or something, to believe in weird dumb stuff for thrills.

  9. The Skeptical Inquirer is not very skeptical – when it is pondering leftist dogma …

    100% of the Taleban believe shooting a girl in the head because she goes to school is the only thing to do in this situation.

  10. 37 percent think global warming is a hoax; 12 percent weren’t sure.

    Is that among the “scientists”?

  11. C.L.

    100 percent of leftists believe a man is actually a woman when he says he is.

    Of course, he is just a man in a dress.

  12. stackja

    Minister warns against dodgy energy saving devices
    Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres and NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman (EWON) Clare Petre today issued a joint warning to all consumers to be on the look-out for cold callers and online traders claiming to sell energy saving devices for domestic use.
    Mr Ayres said NSW Fair Trading had investigated a number of consumer complaints about the devices, which can cost up to $2,000 each.
    “We have proved under stringent testing conditions that these devices are a complete con,” he said.
    “These power correcting units, which traders are claiming can decrease energy bills by up to 25 per cent, simply do not work under domestic conditions.
    “The device itself consumes power and will increase your energy bill when connected.”
    Mr Ayres said Fair Trading had confiscated 216 of the devices and is preparing enforceable undertakings for the signature of the director of Earthwise Power Savers Pty Ltd.

  13. dianeh

    28 percent believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is actively conspiring to rule the globe through an authoritarian world government—you know, the New World Order. 25 percent were unsure.

    Hard to believe it is not more considering how many bad decisions that the Govt (US and ours, and others) makes that are clearly not in the national interest. Whose interests are the Govt looking after?

  14. Pickles

    70% of all accidents occur in the bathroom.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    ◾37 percent think global warming is a hoax; 12 percent weren’t sure

    Another poorly worded survey question. As usual if you ask the wrong thing you will get a misleading answer. I am surprised it is as high as 37%…which shows just how bad the CAGW people have been behaving that so many respond in this way.

    Almost all scientifically aware sceptics of CAGW will agree that CO2 does have an empirical warming effect. A small effect. Therefore global warming is not a hoax, it is just harmless.

    CAGW on the other hand could be a hoax, or just the worst example of noble cause corruption in two thousand years.

  16. Andrew

    100% of Australian leftists believe that the ‘carbon’ tax will change the weather.

    And eradicate bush fires. And regulate precisely the right amount of rain.

    ◾37 percent think global warming is a hoax; 12 percent weren’t sure

    Anyone who frames the GW debate as a binary outcome must not be tolerated – they are trying to portray normal people as extremist deniers of basic science. Like thinking gravity is a hoax.

    CO2 is a weak GHG, known for 150 yrs, at roughly 1C per doubling from pre industrial levels. It has likely accounted for more than half the 0.7C of warming, despite a continuation of the post Little Ice Age trend and a strong solar cycle in the Late 20th C Warming period helping along. Thus perhaps 0.4-0.5C of AGW has accompanied the greening if the world and enhanced ag yields. GW is not a hoax – only fuckwit leftards want to erect that straw man.

  17. Token

    Anyone who frames the GW debate as a binary outcome must not be tolerated

    Sounds like a whole lot of people will no longer be tolerated…

  18. David

    70% of all accidents occur in the bathroom

    I’m not sure about that Pickles – I always believed it to be in the bedroom.

    :-)

  19. wreckage

    28% believe that extra-national bodies are slowly entwining governments around the world in a system of obligations leading ultimately to an unelected elite? What, the other 62% don’t know the UN exists?

    It all depends on how you word it and how you then interpret the responses to your wording. Why not ask how many believe GWB Knew Something? Why not ask who believes in a cartel of big corporations bent on:

    - driving up the cost of food
    - suppressing science
    - buying elections
    - introducing GMO and hybrid plants that will give them total control of the world food supply

    How many believe that modern agriculture and trade is reducing people’s intake of proper nutrition, and that nutrition was better 100 years ago? How many believe agricultural production is currently declining, and getting worse, because farmers have poisoned their soil? How many believe Roundup is carcinogenic or sterilises the soil? How many believe that the latest generation of pesticides are more dangerous to bees than those developed 10-20 years ago? How many believe mobile phones or artificial sweeteners give you cancer?

    How many believe that Catholic and other church organisations saw higher rates of abuse than similar government institutions? How many believe that familial sexual abuse is usually carried out by the father? How many believe that conservatives want to control women’s bodies? How many believe Christians condone rape? That the Pope is the anti-christ? Stranger Danger? Homeopathy? The Paleo Diet? Class warfare? Trade makes you poorer? How many people do they think Fukushima killed? How many do they think have been killed by organic bean sprouts?

  20. Paul

    Oh CL, the cruelest thing you could say to a man in a dress is that he looks like a man in a dress.

  21. Paul

    “28 percent believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is actively conspiring to rule the globe through an authoritarian world government—you know, the New World Order. 25 percent were unsure.”

    UN Refugee Convention and our “obligations”. A great example of how a democracy can be subordinated to decisions taken by external, unelected bodies, to which someone apparently agreed that we would be bound.

  22. Oh CL, the cruelest thing you could say to a man in a dress is that he looks like a man in a dress.

    That’s so true. To Wong Foo proved that conclusively.

  23. mizaris

    Yeah…and 79% of all statistics are made up on the spot

  24. Robertus Incognito

    JD:

    The Y2K bug was very real.

    Piffle.

    I was one of those “thousands of programmers”. Most systems were unaffected.
    Some mainframe-based financial systems would have had accounting errors.

    Airliners falling out of the sky, and elevators crashing was always total and absolute c–p.

    Unneccesary billions were spent by companies in the hysteria.

    I converted several systems at the time, as a consultant for one of the big international software firms. I always did pretests (setting the system date forward to Y2K) to see what would go wrong for the client.
    I was not allowed to report the result, because there were none.

    I feel guilty for two meetings in particular that I attended, where clients were fed straight-up alarmist bullshit. I did not speak up.

    Mea culpa. I was wrong. I had a mortgage and small children. I promise to be honest for Y3K.

  25. HK_Brother

    Well, the Y2K bug was certainly real. My father was involved in making sure the Dept of Education in Sydney was able to still pay teachers when the clock went to 2000. The teacher’s pay system is a complex set-up due to the benefits that need to be calculated. Every time teachers went on strike (“stop work meetings”); the servers start crunching away as it ate the Dept’s electricity bill. (It has to re-calculate pay and benefits).

    …Actually, if you looked how teacher’s get paid in NSW, you’d quickly realise why grades have been trending downwards as more money has been spent in the last 6 yrs. The processes have never been changed! Gonski is the biggest scam on the taxpayer. To put it directly, we are repeating what has happened in the USA. ie: Throw money at problem with little in return, as the root problems are NEVER addressed. I give it another 10 yrs before Home Schooling becomes a growing choice in Australia…At least parents will have control of their kid’s education again. (Have you seen the Climate Change BS kids are indoctrinated with?)

    I don’t see Climate Change as a hoax. I see it as a scam. My engineering background tells me there have been very unscientific things going on with this issue.

    ie: When a computer model is wrong, you look at what the model has missed and update it to match it closer to reality. Rinse and repeat with collected real world data. (Within 5% error is acceptable). This allows one to improve their forecasts over time.

    What they (Climate Warmers) are doing is presume the model is right and reality is wrong! Its clearly politically motivated. A Socialist based scam with the sole purpose of global wealth redistribution. It is what they call “Climate Justice” to help the “Climate Victims” (developing countries)…Check their computer models. They are like 200% to 300% off compared to real world collected data! They are intentionally ignoring all sorts of factors! They are scared that the more accurate the model, the more it no longer fits the narrative they have created!

    The death of birds, bats, etc due to wind turbines already tell you the modern environmentalist has long passed their conservation stance. Its outright Socialism on a global scale.

  26. Yohan

    Apart from Obama being the anti-christ, I don’t think having a belief in those other listed questions is very controversial.

  27. Lloyd

    Even if 51% do not believe global warming is a hoax it doesn’t necessarily follow that all of them think it’s a good idea to emasculate the economy to address it.
    No less a person than Bjorn Lomborg fervently believes that global warming is real, yet he preaches adaptation.

  28. 100 percent of leftists believe a man is actually a woman when he says he is.

    Of course, he is just a man in a dress.

    Only took 12 posts for CL to turn a post about global warming into another attempt to discuss his favourite topic, LGBT issues.

  29. Leo G

    37 percent think global warming is a hoax.

    I guess I’m not among the 37%. I think global warming is the consequence of a number of inductive reasoning hoaxes- ie it is not a hoax but involves more than one.
    How would that Public Policy Polling catagorise my response?

  30. Stephen Williams

    There are a number of groups that sort of claim to represent skeptics, these include the SGU and the organisers of TAM. A number of otherwise bright and sensible people eg Phil Plait and Simon Singh who are prominent and influential accept the official AGW meme. These skeptics attack anyone who dares question AGW. I don’t know why this is so. All these people (I suppose you could include Dr KarlKruszelnicki) have done a great job debunking the vaccination scare, homeopathy etc, yet they would believe anything Michael Mann and his ethically challenged mates say.

    As Julius Sumner Miller would have said “Why is it so?

  31. Myrddin Seren

    28 percent believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is actively conspiring to rule the globe through an authoritarian world government

    There is nothing secretive about the UN, the EU and the vast body of supranational bodies they interact with.

    See for example this one from Richard North.

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84553

  32. A Lurker

    Modern electronic media in the hands of a journalist is like a jet fighter in the hands of a neanderthal.

    I’m certain Homo Neanderthalensis would have sufficient nous to stay well away from the controls of a modern jet fighter – which presumably would give him greater common sense than most of our journalists.

  33. johninoxley

    47% of voting Australians believe those voting for the alp/greenslime are not morons. If you believe that ………

  34. Bruce

    As Julius Sumner Miller would have said “Why is it so?

    Stephen – The common factor between Phil Plait, Simon Singh and Dr Karl is a certain type of politics. You are also aware that Mr Singh’s other half is Anna Rose? This is not to preclude a difference in political opinion in a couple, but its pretty apparent that Mr Singh (ex-GetUp! director) and Ms Rose also agree on politics.

    There is a real problem on the left, which is that the activist climate scientists who support CAGW are all well to the left (eg Dr Mike Mann who recently campaigned for and donated to the Democrats in the US). The left is tribal and has immense trouble disbelieving what any one person in their tribe says no matter how looney.

    As a scientist I was taught to collect the data, verify it and interpret what it means independently of what people may say. I did so. The climate data shows that CO2 has a low empirical impact upon the Earth’s climate.

    Unfortunately the left cannot seem to operate under these principles. Furthermore as Naomi Klein agreed, “Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.”

    When it is something you want to do, which gives you lots of money and fame when you are doing it, and supports and keeps you part of the tribe, the pressure to conform is irresistable. Mere truth cannot compete.

  35. Bruce

    I’ll add that I have been very happy with Dr Karl et al’s support of vaccination. I fully agree with them on that.

    And that proves the thesis. Vaccination is a meme which fits the collectivisation instincts of the left. But unlike CAGW it also is supported by the data.

    (BTW, the different icon is me forgetting to use my new email. Brain: behave!)

  36. incoherent rambler

    Why is it so?

    “Can you show me the raw data supporting your hypothesis?”

    “Nope, sorry the dog ate the original data”

    Ask your own questions and watch the myths crumble before your eyes.

  37. Only took 12 posts for CL to turn a post about global warming into another attempt to discuss his favourite topic, LGBT issues.

    I think we were actually talking about Bradley Manning, which did follow on consistently from the global-conspiracy-theory type things in this thread.

    But it was my fault – CL’s comment reminded me of Patrick Swayze. At least, that’s what we were talking about on an open thread a week or so ago, when we got down to fabulous movie frocks, and I brought up the purple number worn by Swayze in To Wong Foo.

    Hence ‘tired little Latin boy in a dress’.

    That’s all.

    But we can talk about LBGTIQ issues if you’d like …

  38. Jim Rose

    On people believing in odd ideas and voting for policies that hurt themselves, remember the theory of expressive voting.

    People vote against their interests because their vote is not decisive, so they vote for what gives them a sense of identity and self-worth. Many gain pleasure, excitement and self-definition for cheering for particular parties and worthy causes in the same way as they cheer and boo sports teams.

    Consider Obama had nearly 80% of the Jewish vote in 2008.

    Now see Expressive voting and identity: evidence from a case study of a group of U.S. voters A review of Norman Podhoretz, Why are Jews Liberals? Doubleday, New York, 2009 by Arye L. Hillman, Public Choice (2011):
    • Podhoretz describes behavior that substantiates the hypothesis that people vote expressively to confirm identity.
    • Podhoretz is concerned that liberal Jews vote against their self-interest.

    Most of the Jews who voted for Obama did care about Israel but, downplaying or dismissing or ignoring his anti-Israel associations, they voted for him anyway

    The expressive behavior hypothesis explains why they do so. With a single vote not decisive in determining actual policies, the sole source of benefit from discretion exercised in voting is expressive utility.

    Liberal Jews, in behavior that is rational, gain expressive utility from voting against the ‘Right”, which is identified with past prejudice against Jews and with contemporary privilege.

    The identity of a person who opposes privilege and cares about social justice is confirmed through the act of voting for the “Left”

    Liberal Jews expressively support liberal principles through the low-cost actions of voting and rhetoric, so as to place the individual with freedom of choice at the centre of society, in the hope of being safe. Is this a mistake?

    Mistaken policies are not mistakes under the theory of expressive voting because people are voting for feel-good policies they want, good and hard.

  39. Andrew

    Stephen – The common factor between Phil Plait, Simon Singh and Dr Karl is a certain type of politics. You are also aware that Mr Singh’s other half is Anna Rose?

    Fuck, does Simon Sheikh know she’s cheating on him with this Singh bloke?

  40. Bruce

    Gasp. Sorry Andrew, my mistake. I apologise.

    I think what Mr Singh did regarding the homeopathy court case was exceptional. But I agree with what Dellers says. Mr Singh has worked for the BBC and published in the Guardian, so I suspect he is frimly of the left. But I do apologise for my mistake.

  41. 90% of people don’t how to analise their motives, and therefore apply that to others! 90% of people don’t know what they want, and therefore cannnot begin to understand why others may want they want.

    This explains the massive disconnect between their own thought process and others motives. “New World Order”. Anyone that thinks we’re not headed that way is insane! A conspiracy? Yep you’re insane!

    It’s natural for the planet to be headed this way. The system has been promoting “Get an Education, and get a good job” for ever. OK, So where are the jobs? Oh, there aren’t any! We better get the government to “make some”.

    We’re helpless, because we’re employees and take direction from others. “I, now, need to vote for the best slave master”.

    We’ve created a generation of beaurocrats voting themselves an advantage in the system.

    Where else are they going to gravitate towards? The Beaurocracy!!!! It gets bigger and bigger and before you know it?, maybe one generation you have the bigest government you’ve seen since, since well since forever.

    We have a Tyranny of the majority at the moment. Authoritarian Tyranny is the next step. “New World Order” anyone?

    Oh, BTW, if your country has roots in A variety of Judeo Christian values and those values explain what an Anti Christ looks like? You wreckon Obama doesn’t display some of these tendancy’s?

  42. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Pickles;

    70% of all accidents occur in the bathroom.

    Very interesting. So the best place to deal with one’s enemy is to bump him off in the bathroom. (Not by vivesection etc, though, as this might give the game away)

    Could be useful one day…..

    (NADT)

  43. Lloyd

    Nick, spell check is your friend, especially if you start off with the word “analise”. Just sayin’.

  44. Andrew

    Gasp. Sorry Andrew, my mistake. I apologise.

    Nah, fuck em. Those filthy greenoids are completely fungible in my book anyhow.

  45. james

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    Human emissions have skyrocketed in the last century.

    The greenhouse effect is real.

    Humans have contributed to climate change by the release of CO2.

    Over the course of the last century the world has been warming.

    I believe all of the above, yet to left wingers I am still a “denier” for not subscribing to their paranoid fantasies

  46. kae

    Bedroom accidents?

    I don’t think it’s nice to talk about your children that way.

  47. Combine_Dave

    90% of people don’t how to analise their motives

    I imagine it would be quite easy. You just b… oh right you mean analyse?

    Is there anyway (excluding the implementation of fascism) to prevent the people from using democracy to continually vote themselves greater largesse?

  48. Combine_Dave

    Bedroom accidents?

    I don’t think it’s nice to talk about your children that way.

    Kae, my understanding is bedroom accidents occuring during ‘analising’ won’t result in children.

    Although you can check with SFB on this I believe he is an expert on the subject.

  49. Oh come on

    For argument’s sake, let’s assume that 51% of the population accept the theory of AGW. The more important statistic is the proportion of those people willing to accept significant reductions in their own living standards to cut carbon emissions. I’d happily wager a majority of the believers, when it comes to the crunch, would not.

    Any way you cut it, the vast majority of the population either doesn’t believe in AGW, is agnostic, or believes in it but don’t believe the AGW prophets of doom, as evidenced by their refusal to substantially alter their lifestyles in the prescribed fashion. The simple fact is that it’s the alarmists who are the kooky, tinfoil-hatted fringe-dwelling minority, divorced from mainstream opinion.

  50. wreckage

    Furthermore as Naomi Klein agreed, “Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.”

    Absurd. Climate Chaos will require more technology, more wealth, more adaptivity, more responsiveness, more ideas, cheaper energy, freer trade, GMOs for miles, and a greater emphasis on food over environmental outcomes WRT water and land use policy.

    In short, the more real and catastrophic AGW is, the less we can afford leftist twaddle gumming up the works, or quasi-green fantasies blinding us to reality.

  51. Fisky

    the vast majority of the population either doesn’t believe in AGW, is agnostic, or believes in it but don’t believe the AGW prophets of doom, as evidenced by their refusal to substantially alter their lifestyles in the prescribed fashion

    This is even truer for the alarmists themselves. Tim Flannery has waterfront property with breathtaking views from only 1-2 metres above sea-level, while the remarkably rotund Al Gore is not known for his personal restraint in any pursuit, let alone carbon emissions. The UN global warming commissars throw lavish parties, with lots of imported wine, meat, seafood, and other yummy carbon-hoovering delicacies. Not a single platter would keep global temperature rises below 0.1 degrees, as you can see in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q83CQ_7CGCg

  52. Oh come on

    Quite. Gore being the ultimate example of excess.

    And when you question them about their ginormous carbon footprints, they say “oh I offset”.

    Oh, really? So that’s all we need to do then? That’s a sustainable model for humanity? We can all fly our Learjets to the other side of the country every day to get a takeaway side of beef for dinner every day…just as long as we all offset?

    No, offsetting is not a sustainable model across the population, they will earnestly inform you. So if I can’t run up a massive carbon bill and explain it away smugly by claiming that “I offset”, then why the hell can you? Hypocrites.

  53. Oh come on

    If the AGW hysterics truly believe what they’re preaching and it turns out that they’re right, they have to accept that we crossed the point of no return years ago. It makes no sense to try to turn the clock back on emissions – for the next several decades at least, for every tonne of carbon the self-flagellating developed world cuts from their total emissions, the developing world will make up for it by emitting an extra 10.

    If global warming is real, it’s going to happen. The warmenistas need to come to grips with this.

  54. .

    …and the beat goes on

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/Worlds-climate-scientists-confess-Global-warming-just-QUARTER-thought–computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html

    World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought – and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong

    Leaked report reveals the world has warmed at quarter the rate claimed by IPCC in 2007

    Back then, it said observed warming over the 15 years from 1990-2005 had taken place at a rate of 0.2C per decade, and it predicted this would continue for the following 20 years, on the basis of forecasts made by computer climate models.

    But the new report says the observed warming over the more recent 15 years to 2012 was just 0.05C per decade – below almost all computer predictions.

    The 31-page ‘summary for policymakers’ is based on a more technical 2,000-page analysis which will be issued at the same time. It also surprisingly reveals: IPCC scientists accept their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures – and not taken enough notice of natural variability.

    They recognise the global warming ‘pause’ first reported by The Mail on Sunday last year is real – and concede that their computer models did not predict it. But they cannot explain why world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase since 1997.

    They admit large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250 AD – centuries before the Industrial Revolution, and when the population and CO2 levels were both much lower.

    The IPCC admits that while computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice, it has actually grown to a new record high. Again, the IPCC cannot say why.

    A forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense has simply been dropped, without mention.

    This year has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in history and the US is currently enjoying its longest-ever period – almost eight years – without a single hurricane of Category 3 or above making landfall.

    Don’t be scared, warmies. Piss off and leave my livelihood untaxed for your zany, pseudoscientific schemes schemes and unrepentant graft.

  55. JohnA

    Robertus Incognito #1117210, posted on December 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    JD:

    The Y2K bug was very real.

    Piffle.

    I was one of those “thousands of programmers”. Most systems were unaffected.
    Some mainframe-based financial systems would have had accounting errors.

    Airliners falling out of the sky, and elevators crashing was always total and absolute c–p.

    Unneccesary billions were spent by companies in the hysteria.

    Yes, the hyperbole was hysterical (in both senses).

    But the programming did need to be fixed. Data (century identification – 1900 vs 2000) was thrown away or not captured because of earlier constraints (the costs of storage), and the short horizon view of most people (we tend to think in terms of the present only).

    Because there was no data, it was a laborious task to assess where the data was needed vs. where it was redundant or superfluous.

    The same problem of limited thinking is behind say “data silos”, where legacy systems were built without allowing for cross-fertilisation, data sharing, or relational matching. But as systems are rebuilt (after many years) the shortcomings are eventually weeded out.

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