took Y2K very seriously, and made every effort to clarify the issues
involved so that laypeople could easily understand them in time for the
Action. The Y2K Fund (now retired) contained the following projects:
VCR2: "Make and distribute a videotape with packaging that claims it will 'scan any VCR for Y2K compliance.' When played, the video should show how, in the name of progress, of the future, of the Year 2000, corporations have permanently crippled public transportation, destroyed ecosystems, evaporated leisure, and are now again attempting to profit at the expense of our health, with genetically engineered food: these are the real 'Y2K bugs.'"
This project was in fact accomplished, by the "Y2K Preparedness Committee," an anonymous group of videographers, who distributed it by reverse shoplifting to many video stores, where it warned countless shoppers of the perils of VCR Y2K incompliance. Unsuspecting viewers found themselves questioning whether any of the technology they use--car, dishwasher, computer, even food--was "Y2K compliant"--i.e., whether it lives up to corporate promises of enhanced social welfare through widespread technology usage.
WARO: "Create a simulated but realistic radio news broadcast that urgently
reports systems failures and the ensuing panic that results from the Y2K
bug. In the spirit of Orson Welles' 'War of the Worlds,' broadcast and
netcast the program on or near the day of January 1st, 2000."
DEAD: "Assume the identity of Y2K man, a superhero who destroys computer systems
in an effort to stave off the dreaded Y2K problems and save the world from
that impending disaster. Must have an appropriate costume and be featured
on television news to collect payment."
2KOK: "Get as many websites as possible to alter their html
on or after Jan 1, 2000. Pages
that this website is not y2k compliant and informing them of the dangers of non compliancy,
followed by directions on shutting down their computers. A concerted hacker
effort to alter major sites would be required. Code for voluntarily changing
or altering your site could be cut and pasted from rtmark's site or sent
out in email."
ST2K: "Print up little round stickers with the words 'NOT Y2K Compliant' in the
shape of happy and sad faces and then sticking them on all manner of
objects; parking meters, produce, Bank Machines, birdhouses, cat litter,
you name it!"
LLAM: "Advertise Llama delivery service to compete with Fedex, UPS, Postal
Service. Publicize damage that large-scale near-instantaneous delivery does
to the environment, and point out the benefits of the pack-animal
alternative. Play up Y2K fear with a tag line along the lines of 'When it
absolutely has to be there after doomsday.' Must get television coverage."
Perhaps the clearest ®TMark analysis
of the problem is to be found in three PowerPointTM presentations, which were bolstered by widely-seen advertisements: