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"An attack against honesty".

Who should you believe? Maybe nobody.

Information Week, a magazine devoted to IT (information technology) printed an article (Feb. 15) charging that "self-appointed `protectors' have launched an attack against honesty." The author was Leon Kappelman, associate director of the Center for Quality and Productivity at the University of North Texas, and co-chairman of the Society for Information Management's Year 2000 Working Group.

"Sure, the spinmasters say they're looking to prevent panic by being `selective' with their disclosures. But anyone who's ever worked on an application project knows that if users and customers have unrealistic expectations about attempts to solve a problem, they're bound to overreact if -- or when -- things go wrong."

If those with the information would be more candid, Kappelman asserts, ill-informed people could avoid overreacting later ... "and others, lulled to sleep by the happy talk, could avoid underreacting. As federal Y2K maestro John Koskinen said recently, `For some people, a certain amount of panic would help.'

"Nontechnical people are confused and afraid because they're no longer sure they can trust the technologies they'd placed great faith in and yet don't fully understand. We high-tech professionals still have 10 months to salvage our credibility and reputations by helping them."
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Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:May 1, 1999
Previous Article:Who can we believe?
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