How's this analogy? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Every astronomical expert in the world agrees that there will be a solar eclipse on 1/1/2000. In addition, all of the planets will align. The result will be a catastrophic disruption of the earth's gravitational pull. They attempt to sound the alarm. It is impossible, they all say, to change the orbits of the planets. The only way to survive, they all say, is to buy a pair of gravity boots.

Many others believe the experts, but only after doing some independent research, which is widely and freely available via the internet. They snatch up gravity boots while they can.

The media ignore their story, and dismiss it as hype. Government experts say that such a thing is ludicrous, but they're working on a solution just in case, so there is no need to panic. An all-out campaign is waged to avoid panic and a run on gravity boots.

As more people learn about the issue, they start to talk. They ask your opinion. Most of them don't understand the concept of "gravity boots", even after you patiently explain to them about the Moon Walk, etc. They decide to believe not the experts, or you, but what little they hear from the media. Besides, the boots don't come in designer colors, and are pretty expensive compared to what they usually pay for shoes.

Silly analogy perhaps, but it works for me. Any thoughts?

-- Steve Hartsman (, October 27, 1998


I forgot to mention that those boots are damn uncomfortable as well.

-- Steve Hartsman (, October 27, 1998.


My main problem with this whole planet alignment thing is that this alignment happens about every 3600 years I believe was the date I heard. Now if this alignment is supposed to be so catastrophic and shift the poles and so and so forth, wouldn't Jewish and Chinese histories talk about it? Wouldn't there be some sort of evidence of this already happeneing once before? (I am not trying to argue with you, these are just the questions that pop up in me head)

The other thing is, the planets are all going to be on the other side of the sun when this alignment occurs. So there you have the gravational pull already being diminished because of their distance. I will have to see if I can find the web page again where the guy already worked out all the math on this. It was quite interesting.

The other problem with the analogy is, there is simply nothing that can be done even if it was really going to shift us. Y2K is something that is tangible and right in front of us, the planet alignment comes from nature and is beyond our control. Out of curiosity though, have you found an actual scientist who is scared? All I can find is like New Age people and the such.


-- Rick Tansun (, October 27, 1998.


I'm not claiming that the scenario I've presented is scientifically accurate. Frankly, that is beside the point. The more important point that I've attempted to describe are people's responses.

>>Y2K is something that is tangible and right in front of us, the planet alignment comes from nature and is beyond our control.<<

I would argue that for the vast majority of people who will be affected, Y2K is also beyond their control, other than their ability to prepare.

-- Steve Hartsman (, October 27, 1998.

Thats a real good analogy, silly or not, because it makes the Y2K potential real easy to comprehend.

-- Jack (, October 27, 1998.

So if I lose my gravity boots somewhere, is it safe to reboot?

-- Craig (, October 27, 1998.

No, I don't think it works. It's even less believable than Y2K.

Also, the point about Y2K being tangible and right in front of us misses too. That's the problem with Y2K. The problem is abstract and intangible to most people. Most people can't program a VCR, let alone understand why a computer can't handle dates.

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 27, 1998.

>>Y2K is something that is tangible and right in front of us, the planet alignment comes from nature and is beyond our control.<<

I can't think of anything more "natural" than stupidity and greed.

And nuke/bio/chem weapons have been "right in front of us" for a long time. We're nuts for creating stuff we can't control. We'll do it until we discover the limits experientially, because we're larval.


-- E. Coli (, October 27, 1998.

Actually, in retrospect, to ask why one analogy is better or worse than another, is like asking why one person becomes Y2K aware sooner than another. Steve's analogy might work great with some, totally bomb with others. (And speaking of these things: The most popular analogy seems to be the Titanic Disaster. Personally, my favorite is Germany in the 1930s, when Jews had the chance to get out [and a few did], but the vast majority stayed put -- In spite of the "roadmap" laid out in Hitler's Mein Kampf. ["'They' won't let that happen." "It surely won't be that bad."])

-- Jack (, October 27, 1998.


Most of your posts are great, but this particular analogy is rotten. I urge you to abandon it.

Many people are already confused about the difference between astronomy and astrology. There's a planetary alignment coming for real on 2000/5/5, but some folks are making money selling books claiming that this alignment will somehow cause global catastrophes. Please don't get Y2K associated with this nonsense, I beg you!

Please stick to analogies that won't get fuzzy-headed people (the majority, bless them!) confused between supernatural hype and reality.

-- No Spam Please (, October 28, 1998.

The planets did align in the 70s or early 80s, John Gribben wrote a "serious" but laughable science book called the "Jupiter Effect", predicted intense gravity effects etc, tidal waves. volcanoes etc. Nothing adverse happened (except to deedah but that was nothing to do with the jupiter effect). Gribben also wrote The Greenhouse Effect and many other "Effects" I believe, file the whole lot under fiction. John Gribben was or is maybe one of the more unfortunate members of the British scientific community, he used to lecture at Sussex University, how educatshun has gone to pot (yes deedah).

-- Richard Dale (, October 28, 1998.

PS I did realise you were being analgous but thought you'd like to know, its a baaaaaaaaaaaaad day today.

-- Richard Dale (, October 28, 1998.

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