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Revisiting the Y2K Bug: Language wars over networking the global order

SAGE Publications
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  • Linguistics


The Y2K bug was a global media event of the twentieth century, only to fade from view after an anticlimactic change of millennium. This article argues that a reexamination of the text of the Y2K bug illuminates the contemporary cultural construction of value in information and networking technologies. Through the examination of a broad range of media reports and articles, this article illustrates how a hegemonic discourse is creating scales of value that have a profound impact on resource allocation. However, the Y2K bug also illustrates how this discourse is subject to its own gaps in meaning, or internal dissociations, as well as to a variety of creative external attacks, including culture jamming.

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