What else do we know about responses to Riskgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Y2K and the Coming Digital Winter is like an avoidable plague.
Here's what I have established about people when they have to deal with Risk.
1. People simpify. They neglect to consider systemic consequences. (Lots of Y2K risk is about the connections between systems) Once people's minds are made up, it is difficult to change them. 2. People remember what they see. (How many folks have experienced a major power outage and loss of national support systems at the same time?) 3. People can't detect omissions in the risk information they receive. (We are all vulnerable to those with borrows to push and unless we invest in time to establish the broader picture evalution turns not on knowledge but confidence. Few of us have the luxury of unlimited time and resources to properly understand the problem and thus detect omissions. So who are you going to believe?) 4. People disagree more about what risk is about than about its magnitude (how large the risk is.) 5. People have difficulty in detecting inconsistencies in disputes about risks. (Again who are you going to believe?) 6. People find it hard to evaluate expertise. (Having been misled by some many for so long many of us have become our own experts, because no one is expert about the future.)
All of which does not bode well for Y2K preparedness.
Any one else got anything to add about human 'Risk' behaviour?
-- Bob Barbour (email@example.com), July 13, 1998
Bob, The first item in your risk-response analysis should be "denial". Maybe the most salient characteristic of the American personality is what you might call "positive thinking". A synonym is "denial of true bi-polar reality". The best known and most recent practitioner of this style of thinking is Ronald Reagan. When he was functioning, he was essentially a salesman. Salespeople market products & ideas and engage in motivational rhetoric. They believe that perception is reality. THEY RULE. y2k is a problem that will have disastrous consequences because we are a nation of salesmen. ( Thanks to Earl Shorris for his book, A Nation of Salesman.)
-- Joseph Danison (JDanison@aol.com), July 14, 1998.
Let's begin and the end. You said,
>>>> 6. People find it hard to evaluate expertise. (Having been misled by some many for so long many of us have become our own experts, because no one is expert about the future.) <<<< >>>>
Isn't it ironic that we're now forced to take responsibility for our own futures?
Actually, we're presented, with respect to Y2K, a whole series of futures, ranging from not a blip to the end of the world.
We can't do much about the last scenario.....if the world ends it will take everyone, regardless of what they've done to forstall it.
But, we do have a choice about how (and whether) we prepare for anything in-between. Amazingly enough, some will simply not prepare for any possibility.....because of denial. Others will (almost grudgingly) prepare minimally, and some will be ready for major upheavals in their lives.
In the final analysis, we are each responsible for our own decisions. Those of us who make decisions that may effect family have an added responsibility to play this one safe.
-- Rocky Knolls (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.