Thesis ID: CBB799263642

Approaching Midnight: Y2k and the World as We Have Come to Know It (2023)

unapi

Approaching Midnight presents the history of the year 2000 technology problem (Y2K), exploring how the efforts to respond to the problem forced a broad societal reckoning with the essential role computers had come to play in daily life in the United States by the close of the twentieth century. While Y2K is at core about a technical issue arising from the mid-twentieth century programming decision to truncate dates in order to save on expensive computer memory, this historic account considers the ways in which Y2K ultimately became much more than just a technical problem. Presenting the history of Y2K through an engagement with the remediation work of information technology professionals, the assessments made by congressional committees, the publications from mass media outlets, and the activities of community preparedness groups—this dissertation investigates how different groups made sense of Y2K, and how they perceived and sought to prepare for what this computing crisis might bring. Pushing back on the condescension of hindsight that treats Y2K as little more than a techno-panic, Approaching Midnight focuses on the tremendous efforts that went into ensuring that Y2K would not result in calamity, while highlighting the uncertainty that fed into anxious appraisals. This dissertation argues that Y2K revealed society’s reliance on complex computer systems, while simultaneously revealing the fragility of those very systems.

...More
Citation URI
data.isiscb.org/p/isis/citation/CBB799263642

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Book Robert A. Jacobs; (2022)
Nuclear Bodies: The Global Hibakusha (/p/isis/citation/CBB596228330/) unapi

Article Robert Peckham; (2020)
The Crisis of Crisis: Rethinking Epidemics from Hong Kong (/p/isis/citation/CBB572762308/) unapi

Article Deborah R. Coen; (2016)
Big is a Thing of the Past: Climate Change and Methodology in the History of Ideas (/p/isis/citation/CBB837855745/) unapi

Book Martin Halliwell; (2021)
American Health Crisis: One Hundred Years of Panic, Planning, and Politics (/p/isis/citation/CBB867832508/) unapi

Book James P. Kraft; (2021)
Havoc and Reform: Workplace Disasters in Modern America (/p/isis/citation/CBB868261101/) unapi

Book William Aspray; (2016)
Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Computing: A Historical and Social Study (/p/isis/citation/CBB189103861/) unapi

Article Clare S. Kim; (2023)
The Art and Craft of Mathematical Expression: Computational Origami and the Politics of Creativity (/p/isis/citation/CBB210192335/) unapi

Chapter Samuelson, Pamela; (2011)
The Strange Odyssey of Software Interfaces as Intellectual Property (/p/isis/citation/CBB001221563/) unapi

Book Ken Kocienda; (2018)
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process during the Golden Age of Steve Jobs (/p/isis/citation/CBB272389468/) unapi

Article Yost, Jeffrey R.; (2013)
Computer Industry Pioneer: Erwin Tomash (1921--2012) (/p/isis/citation/CBB001320340/) unapi

Book Krantzler, Mel; Krantzler, Patricia Biondi; (2002)
Down and Out in Silicon Valley: The High Cost of the High-Tech Dream (/p/isis/citation/CBB000201441/) unapi

Article Ureta, Sebastián; (2014)
Normalizing Transantiago: On the Challenges (and Limits) of Repairing Infrastructures (/p/isis/citation/CBB001421176/) unapi

Book Daniel T. Kline; (2014)
Digital Gaming Re-Imagines the Middle Ages (/p/isis/citation/CBB229297859/) unapi

Article Kita, Chigusa; (2016)
Events and Sightings: Information Processing Society of Japan 78th National Convention (/p/isis/citation/CBB452345639/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Aspray, William F.
Coen, Deborah R.
Doing, Park A.
Dolan, Brian P.
Halliwell, Martin
Hessler, Martina
Journals
Technikgeschichte: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Technik und Industrie
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Engineering Studies
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
History of Science
Publishers
Johns Hopkins University Press
Prometheus Books
Routledge
Springer
St. Martin's
University of California Press
Concepts
Computers and computing
Panic; fear
Public health
Technology and society
Emotions; passions
System failures (engineering)
People
Foucault, Michel
Jobs, Steve
Rosenberg, Charles E.
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
Places
United States
Japan
Chile
California (U.S.)
Germany
Hong Kong
Institutions
Apple (firm)
Challenger Expedition
Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota
Jōhō Shori Gakkai (Japan) -- Information Processing Society of Japan
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment