People are dumbest of God's creations : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Who can refute this and why?

-- Creature (, October 30, 1998


Will people ever learn to yeild w/o stopping? Will they stop holding the door when you are 30FEET AWAY? And then block the whole aisle 5 mins later? Will they learn to MERGE?

-- type r (sortapreparin'@polly.anna), October 30, 1998.

Very difficult to refute such a dumb question.

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 30, 1998.

I object. The average IQ of an adult human is 100 (taking into account the entire population's bell-curve; retarded at one end, genius at the other, plateau-ing in the middle.) Everyone who can turn on a computer and navigate a browser up to here, and attempt to answer your question, on their own, without hand-holding, has an IQ above that. Therefore, anyone responding here is not representative of the average human but leans heavily on the more self-reliant, breathing-on -his-own side, and is therefore, not qualified to answer your question. The Little People not able to access this forum and obviously not able to answer your question, being the most qualified people to answer, should be asked this question directly on a forum they can access. Any answer from here on out is therefore null and void.

-- Chris (, October 30, 1998.

Dear Creature: And here I thought the turkey was the dumbest creature on earth! In college I had to watch a film on the mating habits of turkeys. It was funny to watch a tom try to get it on with a flag pole!

-- bardou (, October 31, 1998.

Are you asking this out of self observation?

-- R. D..Herring (, October 31, 1998.

My dearest Bardou,

I used to survey highways. Had to walk many miles along existing roads. While doing this, I studied archeology/sociology by sniffing items I found along the way. Much of it was sicko porn. Men, women doing the weirdest things. Compared to that, your turkey had class. And turkeys would never create carbage dumps that criss-cross the entire nation. Poopy diapers, plastic, guns, dollar bills, ...

I always was hopeful to find a Scientific American or a Wall Street Journal., but I never did.

-- Creature (, October 31, 1998.

What animal is so dumb that it steals the fruits of its brothers and sisters to blast an old geezer into outer space while they are reduced to live in metal shacks loaded down with tyres to keep it from blowing away and straw bales around its periphery to keep out the cold wind all the while proudly flying the Stars and Stripes.

-- Creature (, October 31, 1998.

Dear Creature: I can relate to the highway garbage. In my days of commuting and sitting for hours along the highways in traffic, I made a game out of what I could see laying by the roadways. I often wondered how in the hell did that get there and who threw it there! I second your take on sending an old geezer into outer space. He even took his Metamucil with him! But you see, his philosophy is he earned the right to go into space and those poor souls living in shacks haven't earned anything.

-- Bardou (, October 31, 1998.

Have limerick, will annoy! Humans do an amazing thing

when not dueting with whales that sing.

We double-dog dare,

draw borders in air;

a foolish game --dichotomizing.

Is it black or white? Is is smart or dumb?

Moot, schoolyard taunts that must benumb.

The stuff of wars

Through all our "yores".

Use Inner Knowing. Don't succumb. **************

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 31, 1998.

I personally believe that Homo Sapiens is not one of Mother Nature's "success stories".

As an idealist young person, I hoped that Man would learn to live in peace with himself and his environment, and that I would live to see that come to pass.

Then I found out that apes have wars too. . .

Is that pessimism or realism?

-- Hardliner (, October 31, 1998.


Have you noticed that no other known, phyical creature in the entire universe, is smart enough to knowingly be able to (simultaneously)

1) think of the question

2) communicate the question to another

3) respond to the question

4) find a way to get answers to that question from all other similar creatures of equal capacity

5) respond to the answer(s) to the questions.

Now, when you find a concrete example of a counter, I'll entertain it. Doesn't mean all such creatures are intelligent, nor are all as stupid as some of the creatures, but ....

Note my "parsed" words carefully, I know there are things we don't know (another example of the creativity af said creature), and I know there are perhaps communications going on that we don't know about (ESP (for example) between dolphins or whales cannot proved, cannot be disproved, therefore is irrelevent), and extra-terierestials and their capabilities cannot be proved (are likely, but aren't known to have asked this question, and so don't count), and aren't available to respond.

By the way, you got a better idea? What replaces said creatures? And would you be willing to have your children be one of the "replaced" or one of the "replacing"? Not you, but your children.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 31, 1998.

Bardou and "Creature",

I soundly agree with, "What animal is so dumb that it steals the fruits of its brothers and sisters. . . while proudly flying the Stars and Stripes", with the following two opinions:

First, the Stars and Stripes stand for a nation that certainly does not exist today. The ideals that a lot of us believed in and the emotions we felt while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as schoolchildren are simply not those of the government of the USA of 1998. According to the polls so often cited on television, they are not those of most of the population either. To fly "Old Glory" as if it stood for what America has become is the greatest flag desecration of all.

Second, before you set your opinion of John Glenn's philosophy in stone, you should be aware of some of his, perhaps lesser known, deeds in this life.

I read somewhere that, "Putting your money where your mouth is, is not brave, it is simply an investment. Putting yourself in harm's way on behalf of others requires true courage and love of your fellow man". I believe that to be true.

John Glenn went in harm's way on behalf of us all, many times, in war AND peace. Have you flown a jet aircraft in combat or sat atop an Atlas rocket waiting to be shot into space, not knowing if it would end your life or knowing what being in space itself might do to you?

Did you know that during one of the earlier non-space, test flights, when John Glenn was in Florida and his wife was at their home in Houston, Lyndon Johnson, then Vice-President, showed up at Glenn's home (for what is called a "photo-op" these days) and was refused entry by Glenn's wife? As you might imagine, high level telephone conversations took place between the VP's limo and the Cape, with the result that Glenn's boss at NASA told him to order his wife to let the VP in or lose the first slot at spaceflight. Glenn telephoned his wife, (who has a speech impediment and is apparently somewhat self conscious about it) and asked her if she wanted to let Johnson in. She said no. Glenn said, "then don't do it". John Glenn did in fact lose the first slot at spaceflight.

John Glenn was a full Colonel in the American Marines, and holds the American Medal of Honor.

His political record as a senator will have to stand on its own, and you must judge for yourself how that plays out but it should be remembered that he was one of very few senators (along with John McCain) who all concerned, trusted, during the S & L scandal.

His contributions to our society should be judged in the light of his motives and intentions when he made them, and not, necessarily, in terms of their value to anyone or anything.

What impresses me most, of all that John Glenn has done, is that he willingly sacrificed, what had to be a strongly sought after goal, simply to spare his wife's feelings.

I believe that he has more "right" to be on that shuttle than any of the others, if you understand what I mean by "right". "What goes 'round, comes 'round", comes closest to my meaning although the phrase is generally applied to punishment rather than reward.

I think it fair to say that he is not simply an, "old geezer".

Once again, I agree with you both regarding the use of our society's resources in sending the shuttle up before, "taking care of business" here on earth, but I believe that the shuttle would have gone whether John Glenn had been aboard or not.

-- Hardliner (, October 31, 1998.


Consider the following. The scene is the entrance to a beehive. A common honeybee flies in, legs laden with pollen, after a foray into the great outdoors.

A second bee in the hive observes and wonders, "Where did that pollen come from"? [1) thinks of the question]

The second bee then does a little dance in front of the first bee. [2) communicates the question to another]

The bee with the pollen then does a little dance for all bees present to observe. [3) responds to the question]

At this point, all bees who have observed the "little dances" can pass the message on to other bees who have not. [4) find a way to get answers to that question from all other similar creatures of equal capacity]

Next, the bees who now know where the pollen is, go and get some and "pass the word" to still more bees who have not yet found out. [5) responds to the answer(s) to the questions]

Now, I certainly don't mean to suggest that bees can entertain the same level of complex thought as Homo Sapiens (although, as you point out, none of us really knows), but they seem to me to meet your criteria. As to, (simultaneously), I think that fits as well with the obvious proviso that posing a question, receiving an answer and responding to that answer by an individual being must occur serially in time (unless, of course, we postulate time-traveling bees!)

As to your final questions:

(By the way, you got a better idea?) No, I do not. I most assuredly do not want to live in a hive-like society.

(What replaces said creatures?) I'm not sure if you mean us or the bees, but in either case, I don't know and I'm not sure I'd like to know.

(And would you be willing to have your children be one of the "replaced" or one of the "replacing"?) Not a snowball's chance in the Sahara!

-- Hardliner (, October 31, 1998.

Dumbest? Hell no! Try one of these descriptions that fit man but not animals-

Angry, Hostile, Evil, Vengeful, Petty, Jealous, Greedy, Inconsiderate, Corrupt, Dishonest, Sinister, Disagreeable, Critical, Hateful, Selfish, Destructive, Wasteful, and Murderous.

The more I get to know people, the more I love my dogs.

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 31, 1998.

>In college I had to watch a film on the mating habits of turkeys. It was funny to watch a tom try to get it on with a flag pole!<

Dear Bardou,

Really now. By the type of course you took in college, I would guess that you're not very old.

Did you blush during this tom scene or...?

And what is stupider, the turkey, the "college" "professor," or those matriculating is such courses?

-- Creature (, October 31, 1998.

Dear Hardliner,

Thank you for your explanation about Glenn. I was ignorant about most of it. I now can admire him, not because of space shots, but because he loved and respected his wife.

The dwindling American middle class cannot be squeezed much more. Leads to anarchy, revolutions or other interesting side effects, er, collateral damage. If Glenn wants to be a space cadet, let him find a way to pay for it.

I over-react. I'm not a senior, I'm old, an old geezer, better than being ignorant, inexperienced, brain-washed Xer.

-- Creature (, October 31, 1998.

Dear Creature: How do you know that I am not very old? Maybe I'm in my 60's and returned to college recently, or maybe I was in my 20's and saw the film 20 years ago. However, your statement that God is the creator of dumb people, is to say that God has no brains.

-- Bardou (, October 31, 1998.


Perhaps a wretched sense of humor: Make them think their smart, give them an ego, color them differently, and see what happens.

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 31, 1998.

Sorry Gayla!

That should read: think 'they're' smart (not their)

Hhhmmmm, maybe not so dumb after all. Maybe dumb but learning?

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 31, 1998.

I guess I'm going to have to quit "picking" on people for their spelling! Newbies are going to think I'm an OGRE! :-)

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 31, 1998.

Uncle D,

It is apparent to me that, "this ain't your first rodeo".

By way of expansion of your post, I offer the following list of human traits:

Happy, Friendly, Good, Forgiving, Magnanimous, Generous, Considerate, Honest, Agreeable, Complementary, Loving, Constructive, Creative, Thrifty and Peaceful.

My experience has been that the more people there get to be, the more often the traits in the first list show up and the less frequently you see those of the second.

BTW, I agree so strongly about your sentiment regarding dogs that I have had a t-shirt that quotes it exactly, for years. (I only wear it in public when I feel particularly belligerent)

A friend of mine once said, "A dog is a creature who will give you all of the love that he has, in return for however much you're willing to give him".

-- Hardliner (, November 01, 1998.

The story goes that an old man sat at the gates to the city. A stranger approached and asked, "What manner of people live here?" The old man replied, "What manner of people live in YOUR city?" "Wicked, evil men. That is why I am searching for a new home." The old man then said, "Wicked, evil men also are the inhabitants of this city." Another stranger later approached the old man with the same question. However this time the stranger answered the old man's question with, "Good and generous people live in my city. I leave it in great sorrow." To this answer, the old man said, "Good and generous people also are the inhabitants of this city." We do not always get what we seek, but many times expectations are met by the people with whom we interact. (IMHO).

-- Lois Knorr (, November 01, 1998.

This creature went to college. One evening he came back from the dining hall with his belly full. An idea flashed:

Roll a snowball as big as possible and place it on the sidewalk by the road, loop around campus. Go to room and watch big snowball.

It was not 10 minutes until a couple of boys came along and rolled it as big as they could. Then more students made it even bigger and rolled it unto the road. Soon a hundred students made many such snowballs and blocked the major road. They ripped out traffic signs and stole Pota-Pottie, etc. to bury in their wall. Cops...

Meanwhile this creature watched from his room. He started a riot but only he knew who, why and how this began. Creature took no blame or credit.

And the big lesson is ...

-- Creature (, November 01, 1998.

(Tongue planted firmly in my cheek...)

And the big lesson is? Creature has way too much time on his hands?

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 01, 1998.

Welllllll, now I'll grant that the bees seem to illustrate more credible behavior than the college creatures.....Gonna have to think about htis one.

Alright people, help me out of this one. Do I concede the point is made, or do I struggle on?

Got me on ventilation, civil/structural design, organized warfare, defense of tribe over greater self interest, self-sacrifice, socialogy, communication, orgainization, farming (if termites/ants are cousined in to the discussion), don't think bees use anything like that.

Only thing missing is medical/medical research. Limericks and humor is an open question - they might be laughing themselves silly about the killer bees problem.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 02, 1998.

Creature--- Of course people are the dumbest. Look how they got sucked into believing in Y2K. Humans are easily brainwashed and then have the motto, "prepare for the worst, hope for the best" when nothing happens. hahaha Bardou-- How can god have a brain when there is no god? Gayla--- You pick on people's grammar because something is lacking in your own life, perhaps a life!! hahaha That's why you live here.

-- Beleiver (, November 02, 1998.

Don't think bees farm Robert, but they do use air conditioning - as I found out the hard way the first time I flipped over a comb I was examining on a hot day. Water all over my pants. They fill empty combs with water and then fan air over it to cool the hive. They had to acquire this trick - wax melts at 103 degrees F and hives are often in the sun.

-- Paul Davis (, November 02, 1998.

>Meanwhile this creature watched from his room. He started a riot but only he knew who, why and how this began. Creature took no blame or credit.

And the big lesson is ... <

... that the masses can be manipuled and exploited. And they are. One little example:

Remember how the women's "liberation" had a quick beginning in the sixties? A few women wrote a few books, gave a few speeches how horrible it was to be a housewife, etc. Now the instigators are gone and forgotten.

The women were liberated from their precious little children. The governments added twice as many servants the feed their bureaucracies. Crime, drugs, counselling, lawyering, etc. have become big business. Croak rates for women have increased because they've come under great stess because ...

Somebody write a book about this ...

-- Creature (, November 02, 1998.

Creature, can you say, "non sequitor"?

Actually your blame of women for all the crime in the US is a more apt demonstration of how people can be led to "believe" all sorts of nonsense. Not very original thinking dear child...the power hungry blamed women way back when ancient "sacred" texts were being used as spin to convince conquered peoples that all that goddess worshipping was the cause of the world's woes. Read Genesis...Don't spout blather.

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 02, 1998.

Dear Donna,

I only used the "lib" example to make a point. There are many other examples of "Animal's Axiom of Snowballing." I'm not blaming the beautiful and much more civilized half of mankind for anything. Forgive me, if I sounded that way. A have great respect for women and love them dearly. When my wife travels for a few days, I become an animal: eat out of cereal box, cans, mess the house... ...was born next to the barn.

Since I was abandoned by my father after I was born, and my mother found no justice in more than 16 years of court battles, (male lawyers) I have been closely observing how and why things went to hell in the national social arena.

-- Creature (, November 02, 1998.

I should imagine this (being dumb) is beyond the experience of any of De Yourdon posters, well most of us anyway, no names no packdrill. Strange forum to ask the question, anyway dumb in the UK means speechless, stupid is a better word. Speechless is how I feel after reading Di's posts, or perhaps dumbfounded.

-- Richard Dale (, November 02, 1998.

This thread: Dumb as in stupid. Incidentally, Creature suffers from both meanings of dumb.

-- Creature (, November 02, 1998.

Here are the lyrics to a song I wrote a coupla years ago. Pretty much sums up how I relate to the question...

"Everyone and everthing is flawed. Nothing is perfect except for God. And I don't even believe He exsists. But somehow the idea is hard to resist.

La la la la, la la la la la laaaa...

Humankind has had a rough ride. I hope we're almost to the other side. If we could just keep the killers in line. If people could get past mine, mine, mine.

La la la la, la la la la la laaaa...

Come on, come on let's commmunicate, Face your fears now, don't you wait, I don't think that it's too late, But soon the chance will be gone.

Come on, come on it's time to wake up, Take a drink from Heaven's cup, There's so much left for us to do, And so much that we could be...

Everyone and everything is sacred. But we shield ourselves, we're afraid to be naked. Hey, come on over to the other side. You might be surprised at what you find.

La la la la, la la la la la laaaa...

I rather enjoy all the diversity. I find some strange comfort in adversity. Maybe it means I'm growing my own soul. I don't believe you're born with it, you have to make it grow...

La la la la, la la la la la laaaa...

Come on, come on let's commmunicate, Face your fears now, don't you wait, I don't think that it's too late, But soon the chance will be gone.

Come on, come on it's time to wake up, Take a drink from Heaven's cup, There's so much left for us to do, And so much that we could be...

(the chords are D-A with an E for the La la. copyright 1996,pshannon all rights reserved, bla bla bla...)

-- pshannon (, November 02, 1998.

Seems like a fitting thread for this:

Rules for being human

1. You will be given a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period of this time around.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that work.

4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lesson. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" has become your "here" you will simply obtain another "there" and it will again look better than "here".

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to Life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

10. You will forget all this.

11. You can remember it whenever you want to.

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 02, 1998.


I've been saying for some time now, (since I've became "older"), that one gets smarter and smarter til they die, then the dumb ones take over.

We live our lives getting to the point where the knowledge gained could do some good but then we give up or otherwise lose control. For the most part, 60 years of knowledge goes to waste. The oldsters become "lame ducks" so to speak. No benefit comes from their knowledge because perhaps they turn to wanting to make the most of their personal time remaining. Or, because they aren't allowed to make meaningful changes by those youngers who have taken over. The system is set up for an average age of perhaps 30? Perhaps younger, but certainly IQ doesn't enter into it very much as all. That period of time doesn't give anyone enough time to gain enough usable knowledge. I sure know I'm a *lot* smarter than I was at thirty, but is anyone listening? Don't think so. :-)

They say that in 200 years, there will be people who are 200 years old. That is; there are babies being born today that will live to be that old. As science not only conquers cancer, et al, but completes gene mapping, allowing genetic engineering, learn to turn off the cell aging process, and many other on-going and future efforts, people will easily remain strong and healthy up to that age. As humans approach that time, you will begin to see real improvements in society; not until. The dumb ones won't get a chance to take over. :-)


-- Floyd Baker (, November 02, 1998.

Has anyone noticed that "Y2K" appears only once in this thread, and even then not with any Y2K-related content?

Nonetheless it's quite an interesting thread.

If you're seriously interested in human nature, you should read "The Origin of Vitue" by Matt Ridley. A great book, and after you've read it you'll never quite see things the same way again. There are subtleties to the subtleties ...

Normal Y2K services will be resumed in due course. Drat, now it's mentioned twice in this thread.

-- Nigel Arnot (, November 02, 1998.

Ah, but Nigel,...all things relate to Y2K and vice versa. It seems normal to me that people contemplating the end of the current way the world is organized would contemplate all sorts of philosophies...don'tcha think? We may be redefining a great deal in the next couple of humans, I mean.

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 02, 1998.

Donna, your observation is why perhaps the "silver" triangle (people, faith, morals, judgement, willing to help vice attack & stea, whatever other symtoms you want to use ...) is as important (more important) as the copper and iron triangles in seeing society (not just individuals) through these troubles.

Those (the paper, copper and iron triangles) are only what are being used by people exercising judgement and being honest and respecting others. The other three are somemwhat under control as technical "things" that will respond to technically correct decisions made by competent people (who can't all spell.) doing their jobs and maintaining things.

The paper, copper, and iron triangles can be fixed, given time, money, and effort It can be argued how badly they are broken, it can be argued how quickly they are being repaired, or whether they are being repaired at all. But even after 2000, they can be maintained and repaired - although with difficulty - ONLY if the fourth triangle (the silver or society relationships) is still viable.

That why we so often come back to faith, morals, morale, hope, fear, etc. The people inside the fourth triangle can't be "controlled", are not rational (the premise here in this thread - by a "creature" obviously very frustrated at another "person" who just doesn't get it.

The end-game scenarioes all assume loss of humanity's "good" side - else there would be nothing to fear. I've rambled enough...your ball.

(And I still have no resolution to the bee question - but have not stopped my quest to come back with a beautifully succient to-the-point comment yet. I'll have to think it over as I munch on my peanut butter and honey sandwhich tonight.)

Thank you for noting the water-filled combs - I knew about the fanning motin at the hive doorstep - but didn't know they had air conditioning as well as ventilation. )

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 02, 1998.

These triangles would sound strange in the percussion section of a symphony orchestra, especially the paper one.

-- Richard Dale (, November 03, 1998.

Woof woof! Another example off mass stupidity. Seven states have more administrators than teachers in public schools. Meow.

-- Creature (, November 03, 1998.

******The end-game scenarioes all assume loss of humanity's "good" side - else there would be nothing to fear. I've rambled enough...your ball. *******

Why is this so...who said so..what is the evidence? I am not convinced by mere legend...please go on....

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 03, 1998.

So be it.

The future is unknown, granted? If it were to continue as-is/as-now, with no Y2K troubles (on an unknown, possibly very massive scale) what would happen?

First, you and I would not know each other, but... there would be no turmoil, no reason to assume you and I (focusing on two cases) to assume things would change outside of our decisions and influence. We could trust there would be lights, that the justice system would remain intact, that the food and water and electricity would remain operable. As civilized people, we would expect to continue paying taxes and recieving the roads, politicians and police/fire/army protection we have collectively said we want.

Life them goes on - we are protected and remain in control (soemwhat) of our destiny. Our children's future will be different, but will likewise continue.

Now, what do we fear from Y2K? Certainly loss of _______ (fill in the blank) - that's why survial issues are so important in these threads. Second - replacement of things not available: food, alternative power, medicine, water, heat, communications. Longer term, we've covered libraries, things to take along, what to do, how to take showers, you name it. Also appropriate.

So, given these preparations (done also by a large number of people reading these rambling thoughts), if they become important to survival, which is evident else we would not discuss them, wha thappens if they are lost?

But, if civilization remains intact (society as a group of associating people) and the laws remain on-the-books, and they are followed, is there anything to fear?

No, we (the readers here) are already prepared. At great expense, at great morale/moral pressure by others (many have talked about the pressure they are/were under by less-believeing neighbors, wives/husbands).

Yes - though there is soemthing great to fear: legitimately, unfortunately. There are evidently hundreds of millions of people who are NOT preparing. These may believe government will save them, they may not yet know about the probable troubles, they may not believe them - they aren't mentally strong enough to be ready to survive and change from the TV sated nightlife of soap operas, HBO and MTV. They aren't techincally capable of knowing or learning about the technical problems coming and how these problems interface with themselves and their lives.

And their food, their water, their power, their telephones, their finances, their paychecks, their welfare checks, their food checks/food debit cards. Are you ready to grant me that there are hundreds of millions of people out there who (if things are not perfect) will be bodily/physically threatened by the loss of services and payments from the government?

Are you willing to grant me that there are demonstratably also hundreds of thousands of people who DO commit murder, theft, rape, larcency, break-ins, car theft, drugs, and white collar crime becasue that is easier/more fun than working for a living and requires less time than paying for something? Are you willing to grant the observation that "fear" alone (combined with threat od retaliation) keeps soem of these murderes at bay?

Are you willing to grant me the observation that these crimes are steady/increasing/getting worse (take your pick) but they are not going away? That many are occurring at younger ages as kids get a steasdy diet of MTV/VH1 and HBO/TV/movies and the politcal indoctrination at school against moral virtues? Again any kind of virtues? Are you willing to grant me that these crimes are being committed while the criminals are not facing hunger/thirst/misery/cold/starvation/fire, but rather as they choose to reject legitimate work when offered - even though available?

Now, your answer please, what do you think regular people will do when faced with problems? Will they be as resourceful and virtuous as our ancestors? What will these criminals do when faced with opportunity to steal,rob,murder,rape to get warm and get sex? Will they stay in the street, freezing in the dark? Or do something else?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 03, 1998.

Robert,....People are civilization...governments are not. All the governments in the world have not rid "civiliztion" of "crime." People will deal with antisocial types with or without a central authority that is really now not doing all that much, despite the PR that says they are.

I have a sense that you and I are on almost the same page in our expectations and perspectives...My only disagreement is the thought that large sections of previously "law-abiding" (hate those words cos they are irrelevant) citizens will add to the disruption (with those who do it regularly.) There is no evidence of this in history...especially not when humans are prepared to weather problems....Cite something (not biblical) that proves that there will be wholescale popular running amok. I watched the LA was isolated...very population specific...very issue specific...The people in S. Central LA/Watts had been promised from the government way back when, when Watts burned the first time that they would be renewed....that the government would revitalize them...they believed it..and it did not happen...the most recent events were but a delayed continuation of the old disruptions,....

The problems will come because greedy, scared "leaders" will not cut loose of information they already have....they will doom people to forage for resources in the only way left to them....Unconscionable!

I certainly appreciate urban and suburban peoples' fears...It behooves them to get the word out!..Good guys and bad guys, contrary to the old westerns...don't wear white and black hats anymore...Time for all of us to climb off the sterotype horse. Get a helmet...strap in and educate!

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 03, 1998.

I thought that Watts was formerly a "middle class suburb" correct me if I'm wrong.

-- Richard Dale (, November 04, 1998.

Woof woof! If the worst/best scenario happens, there will be many benifits. We animals won't get flattened to pavements. We bugs won't get splattered. We fish will get back our streams and oceans and won't have to croak in oil spills.

People won't cut millions of TREES, truck them hundreds of miles while fouling our air.

Turn them into pulp, er, barf, while fouling our air.

Flatten barf into paper for junkmail, that gets trucked hundreds of miles, to thousands of places while fouling our air.

Truck junkmail hundreds of miles, while fouling our air, to discard it into sanitary landfills, er, garbage dumps or burn it to again foul our air.

Turning trees to garbage and pollution is part of people's GDP, gross domestic product. The higher the GDP the happier the ... Chirp chirp!

-- Creature (, November 04, 1998.

Creature, if the Y2K SHTF, I'm afraid it will not end pollution. In fact, things may get even worse. Those chemical plants, nuke plants, Russian missles, etc. could wipe this planet out! Three cheers for the snail darter! I hate the whine of a chainsaw! %)

-- Anti-chainsaw (, November 04, 1998.

Yes, and people will cut down BILLIONS of trees, for firewood. And crap in any running water handy. And dump garbage anywhere they can.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 04, 1998.

Uncle Deedah,

Woof woof! Wrong! How many sap loaded trees have you gnawed of? If there's no trucking, no clear-cutting.

After the initial y2k pollution explosion, there will be little garbage production! No plastic, junk mail, methylene chloride, dioxin, ... and, oh yes, fewer cigars

-- Creature (, November 04, 1998.

Thank you all for the beginnings of a thread that I have been waiting for (after a couple of abortive attempts here and elsewhere, and in the face of some ridicule).

Over 99% of the posts in this and other fora which I monitor concerns the effects of Y2K on the human population. A rather anthropocentric viewpoint. But what should I expect. That's the way it is in the world in general even without Y2K.

I've ranted before about the irony of the selective mutual denial of the environmentalists and the Y2klan, even as they accuse everyone else of being in denial. Awareness is a funny thing. Non? I, among few others, have been trying to think about how Y2K might have an impact on the environment. Here's my latest take.

The opposing issues as I see them are the salubrious effects of economic curtailment vs the dangers of unmonitored nuclear materials and toxicants.

Caused by the oil embargo, the depression of the early 70s (recession if you had a job) reduced production, energy use and material consumption in general. According to ice-core evidence, it diminished pollution. It probably also attenuated population growth (though I'm too lazy to document this right now). In any case, it reduced the "A" (affluence) factor of Paul Ehlich's I=PAT equation. A major Y2K economic disruption will likely lead to an even more severe depression, even if social order is maintained. Remember, the rest of the world is further behind than we are both in remediation and preparation.

My parents, children of the 1929 depression, have been frugal all their lives. It's in their subconscious, part of their "story." It is conceivable to me that Y2K can reduce consumption enough to shift the Meadows' Curve to the right by a couple of decades, (see a generation. Having survived a major economic dislocation, we may pass that "conservative" (literally) attitude on to our children. Remember it was a war that drove our economy back to the "consumption equals happiness" mentality. Y2K might have some effect in reducing population as well.

On the other hand, as Infomagic points out and I concur, reducing the societal mechanism below a certain minimum bodes ill for society, and by extension, the environment in a number of ways. Im not too concerned about a desperate population deforesting the planet. Were doing a fine job of that already; but it requires the use of machines and fuel to do it. Im not convinced that we can do a more complete job by hand. As for fouling waterways, most of the unprocessed waste we generate is of an organic nature. Environmental processes are in place to handle a surprisingly large amount. Should that become a problem, it wont remain one for long. Im more concerned with the amount of anthopogenic chemical and petroleum effluent. Natures self-cleaning apparatus are less efficient handling artificial pollutants, let alone nuclear.

Im not going to address the possibilities of nuclear holocaust in this thread, although it would make a fine thread of its own. Unlike radio-active leakage, should massive amounts of radionucleides be released into the atmosphere, all bets are off.

Jim Lord of Westergaard seems to be the only tech guy to weigh in on this issue. His column is at: But he doesnt "get it" environmentally speaking. From comments Ive read here, and judging from the feelings of some of the Yourdon-list respondents, I think many of you do. Id really like to hear what youve got to say about Y2K and the environment, so Im going to repost this as the start of another thread. Thanks for your input.

-- Hallyx (, November 04, 1998.

This seems to be the thread where folks carry their hearts on their sleeves. And about time too. Doesn't matter who started it.

"Creature" has his fortified position, and repels all invaders. As he says, he's got his reasons. OK with me. It works for him, apparently. I do think he'd be more comfortable chatting with Paul Milne than exchanging views with most of the folks here. Yet here he is. Could he be looking for something he hasn't got?

Donna B. has a different position. I like it, myself. I suspect it hasn't yet been tested under fire. At which point she'll learn a lot in a hurry. Who can say what, though?

So -- where am I in this? Wish I knew. Not in a good location. Not many options. LBJ once said (about the Vietnam war) he felt like he was caught out on a country road in Texas in a hailstorm-- you can't run, and you can't hide. Understand the feeling. Born in 1925 -- go figure. At the moment, Hamlet looks like a take-charge guy compared to me.

-- Tom Carey (, November 05, 1998.

My dearest Bardou, you said:

>Dear Creature: How do you know that I am not very old? Maybe I'm in my 60's and returned to college recently, or maybe I was in my 20's and saw the film 20 years ago.<

My animal instinct tells me you are not very old.

Dear Tom, you said:

<"Creature" has his fortified position, and repels all invaders. As he says, he's got his reasons. OK with me. It works for him, apparently. I do think he'd be more comfortable chatting with Paul Milne than exchanging views with most of the folks here. Yet here he is. Could he be looking for something he hasn't got?<

Good question! Creature was abandoned is searching for people with empathy and intelligence. Very difficult to find. However, Creature has big advantage because of vast experiences of having already lived in TEOTWAWKI. Because of that he's a hard-core realist, and paradoxially, likes people, except those that practice artificial stupidity.

Creature read on these threads about Paul Milne that he insults people. Creature even feels bad having to kill poisenous spiders.

-- Creature (, November 05, 1998.


Have you 'seenit before' haahaa heehee?

Your rantings sound familiar.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 05, 1998.

Quoting Tom Carey:

***Donna B. has a different position. I like it, myself. I suspect it hasn't yet been tested under fire. At which point she'll learn a lot in a hurry. Who can say what, though? ***

Thanks Tom...I appreciate your thoughtful comment. As to testing under fire, I've had some as I suspect most people have,...and I more than suspect I'll have a lot more. My hope, I 'spose, is that under fire raining down upon my pumpkin head like hailstones I will still find things about me that are likable, honest, courageous. I won't know 'til I get there, but know I've made it 46 years by some luck, grit, and a little help from many friends. Who could ask for anything more?

A little gift now for seekers and questioners, a poem by another of "the irritable race of poets" For the purposes of this forum...I am imagining the door in the poem is Y2K.

Prospective Immigrants Please Note

Either you will/ go through this door/ or you will not go through.

If you go through/ there is always the risk/ of remembering your name.

Things look at you doubly/ and you must look back/ and let them happen.

If you do not go through/ it is possible/ to live worthily,

to maintain your attitudes/ to hold you position,/ to die bravely,

but much will blind you,/ much will evade you,/ at what cost who knows?

The door itself/ makes no promises./ It is only a door.

Adrienne Rich

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 05, 1998.

***I'm old, an old geezer, better than being ignorant, inexperienced, brain-washed Xer.***

Well Creature, I would say I am inexperienced in many things, but I don't claim ignorance. As for being brain-washed, I challenge all ideas for proof.

People are rather dumb, ... or stupid. But the bees can't make or use computers. While we can communicate with others around the globe without seeing them, the other animals have always been limited to being present to communicate.

Of course homo sapiens created the whole Y2K problem, but we'll live through it. I think that as individuals each of us can be true geniuses. We just need to actually start using our brains.

I loved the movie, _Independance Day_. Right at the beginning the guy is playing golf and the song playing is _It's the End of the World as We Know It_. The habits of the homo sapiens will probably have to change a bit. So it is the end of the world as we know it.

-- Xer (, November 05, 1998.

People are not only dumm, they are gettin dummer. At one time, people punished those that committed crimes. Locked them in dungeons, cut off various body parts, stretched necks, etc. Now criminals get soothed, counselled, counciled, licked and revered and adored. Why? Because other non-deserving people can extract bucks.

-- dummer (observer@timebomb.2000), November 06, 1998.

Of course the main reason whay people are getting dumber is the decline in educashunal standards due to modern methods, non-selection etc etc. A dumb population is more easily controlled, dumb becomes the norm, intelligent is sidelined/ridiculed, its also a method socialists (liberals) use to level out inherited ability. Of course dumb people are entitled to hold views (which are often logically incorrect) and they're more likely to succumb to the constant politically correct propaganda we get on TV (maybe not in the states).

-- Richard Dale (, November 06, 1998.

Richard, I agree with your statement. Would the fact that *dummering* is occuring in most, if not all Western countries, indicate that it is a centrally-guided process, a conspiracy? People have always conspired against each other; ever since the first pre-Neanderthal learned to pick up a rock.

-- dummer (observer@timebomb.2000), November 06, 1998.

Richard and "dummer",

Given that your observations are accurate (and I agree that they are), this is my perception and contribution.

People, as a species, getting "dumber" can be taken as meaning either less intelligent, or less educated and able to think creatively. I think that both are evident and that the causes are as follows:

First, on the physical/biological level, poor nutrition during the "construction" phase of human life (about 20 years, give or take a few) must detract from the quality of the finished product.

Modern diets are vastly different than those of humanity during most of its history, and no matter how skilled the Builder, nor how elegant and complete the Plan, lack of the proper "raw materials" dictates that the finished construction will be missing some of the attributes called for by the Design. A developing foetus that receives less than the required quota of such materials during brain development, for example, will be forever diminished in its ability to use that organ as the original "blueprint" and "spec sheet" called for. "Crack Babies" are a gruesome example. Cocaine, as far as I know, cannot be utilized for any constructive purpose by the human body. Neither can one, "build strong bodies 8 ways" (as the slogan went in my youth) at a later stage of that individual's physical development, with what passes for bread in our society.

Surely the examples point to the corruption of our "food chain", at ALL levels, by profit. Being a miller was once an honorable calling. The miller ground the grain into flour and provided a valuable service for his community. Today's "millers" are corporate entities which use stainless steel rollers at 40,000 pounds per square inch to crush the life (quite literally) out of grain so that it will last longer in storage and transit and thus return a greater economic benefit to the stockholders. Meanwhile, the national trade association of undertakers reports that it takes X% LESS embalming chemicals to prepare a person for burial than it did 100 years ago because they've consumed so many preservatives over the course of a lifetime that they're already partially "pickled" when they shuffle off this mortal coil! We are what we eat.

Second, it seems apparent that the most advantageous course for a society to follow is to find a mechanism to utilize the "cream of the crop" of each generation for the education of those following.

With appropriate exception for our Resident Teacher, Gayla, just look around you. Think of those who you've been blessed with (or forced to endure) in your own educational experience. I somehow doubt that mine was significantly different than yours in that respect. Is this a surprise to anyone here? People like Gayla stand out, even in cyberspace, as examples of what we should have, but the rarity of such examples is the expected result of the status of the position we accord teachers in our society. We pay them as if they were less than paper shuffling bureaucrats, and in a capitalistic society, there is no clearer way to define someone's status than to pay them.

While it is undoubtedly true that educated and "cultured" (whatever that means) people accord teachers some greater measure of respect and admiration than most, I maintain that the day we, as a society, stopped treating "the town schoolmarm" as a pillar of the community, we entered on a downward spiral that has led us inescapably to the state of affairs that we find ourselves in.

We have, for some time now, been building "smarter and smarter" tools for our civilization, simply to keep up as our population becomes less and less capable. We read frequently just how many of our graduating young people receive a diploma without the ability to read. Talk about "mission critical"!

What am I missing here?

And, once again with all due respect to Dennis Miller, "But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

-- Hardliner (, November 06, 1998.


Your observations and analyes parallel mine. You are my alter ego.

-- trying to forget but better remember (, November 06, 1998.

Thanks, Hardliner. Seems like our priorities in this country ARE "out of balance." One of the biggest problems I see with our educational system is the same problem that "plagues" our government. Too much bureaucracy and not enough control at the local level. Somewhere along the line we got away from achievement and turned to assessment. The parties who instigated "Outcome Based Education" should be shot! Richard is correct when he says that a "dumb population is more easily controlled." Critical thinking skills are crucial, yet they are rarely encouraged. There is a lot more I could say about discipline and the way things used to be, but that will only get me flamed, so I'll pass. My hope for the future after this "economic earthquake" is that we will be able to look back and realize what we've lost.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 06, 1998.


One point if I may, The 'smart tools' are a contributing factor in mental atrophy, same as the 'physical force tools' are a contributing factor in physical atrophy.

Examples: Calculator, Automobile, Remote Control, Spelling Checker (Mea Culpa, across the board)

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

Uncle D.,


When my daughter asked me for a calculator to help her with schoolwork, I told her when she could explain to me how one worked, I'd buy her one. She did and I did.

-- Hardliner (, November 07, 1998.


But part of the problem here (in education is the people doing doing the educating: Think about the "attitude" and "mindset" of the (typical) person who goes into teaching - usually an avocation because they "like" children (in the ideal sense), want to make a difference, want to enjoy seeing that "glow of interest" in a kid's face, know the rest - its fun to teach to (young) kids (or adults) who want to learn.

BUT - it is absolutely painful to punish failure, mediocrity (sp -2), and poor performance. Punishing failure - rewarding a poor or terribly performance with rewards or comfort, not pain, teachs a behaivor that "nothing counts" - I can do anything and it is good enough. There is no consequence for my actions, etc.

Not surprisingly - isn't that the nature of the first several dozen replies to this question - people are terrible becuase they have not been punished for being terrible (or discourteous) or sinful, or evil?

But it (punishing wrong behavior) has to be done, it is as essential (if not more essential) now as it was when "bad" behavior (screwing up crop planting or missing with a rock and spear) meant starvation.

But liberals and idealists (the dominant group in education) don't like doing that. Compounding this problem is that they have tried extremely hard the last thirty years (because they have a very guilty consciece ?) to erase and remove the definition of "wrong" from society. Now, it is to the point where sex in a public building on taxpayer money is excused with "everybody" does it - which may be true if everybody is as morally corrupt as the liberals, the national Democrats, and the media evidently are.

So people have beentaught that their is no consequences to their actions, that their is an axcuse every time to blame soemthing else for their actions, and people who have a conscious are visciously attacked for their "hatred" and lack of tolerance. Tolerance of what? I tolerate good behavior. Used to be, society held good behavior as a role model - not as something be dunked in urine and sold as "art".

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 07, 1998.

We had a saying when I was in high school, "If you can, do. If you can't, teach. If you can't teach, teach phys. ed." My guidance counsellor strongly encouraged me to go into education because I loved to help (tutor) my classmates and, as they kept me busy, I apparently was good at it. However, the prevailing attitude towards teaching was so negative that I refused to even consider it. We truly do get what we pay for!

-- Lois Knorr (, November 07, 1998.

Quoting: ******BUT - it is absolutely painful to punish failure, mediocrity (sp -2), and poor performance. Punishing failure - rewarding a poor or terribly performance with rewards or comfort, not pain, teachs a behaivor that "nothing counts" - I can do anything and it is good enough. There is no consequence for my actions, etc.

Not surprisingly - isn't that the nature of the first several dozen replies to this question - people are terrible becuase they have not been punished for being terrible (or discourteous) or sinful, or evil? **********

Punishment???? You've lived this long on the earth and you think Punishment is a good motivator? Come on....How do you define failure in the learning process of a child....and how would you punish it? Learning is a trial and error process. Failure is a given. You are not thinking this through very clearly,...and I am surprised because you're demonstration of critical thinking skills so far has been apparent in the Yourdon threads.....The educational psychologist Piaget spoke often of how children learned.....When asked how do children learn he more than once said: (while holding up three fingers...) "Example, example, example!" Do you have no failures in your learning? Do you learn perfectly every time you attempt?

Step out of "the box" a bit more are not far from where you could be...but not if you focus on "punishment" as a motivator.....very old mind thinking...not thought processes that will survive well........

Dang...and I usually like what you post....what have I missed? And sorry if I've gone off half cocked.....

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 07, 1998.

And I am rechecking my typing more now than before because you pointed out spelling errors ...

That is a direct result of your QA efforts, and my reluctance to accept the public attention that I goofed. The penalty? It takes longer to write these things. The reward? Its easier to read them. (I hope.) Also, they are probably more credible (if not more edible) when spelled right.

Punishment is not necessarily meant in the perjoritive sense because it includes all consequences for an action - positive and negative.

_But_ - my comments include several things about feedback you skipped in jumping on the notion of punishment -

One. Standards must be accepted, taught, and applied.

Standards are required - and the liberal establishment does not want there to be standards - that is the notion of pass - fail, of the latest learning theories that don't measure absolute criteria but rather "effort" or "intent". The only thing important is "did this person spell a word correctly? Was the math answer right? Did he use the right wrench in shop, or the right needle in "home ec"? Did she follow the safety procedures in chemistry? Did she explain the steps in a physics equation? Did she use the right format in the English bibliography?

If not, she failed. And the teacher failed, but that is besides the quesion.

Two - feedback and responsibility.

Failure may happen, and must never be ignored or skipped over simply because "it is not nice." Or "but she worked hard."

Nope. She failed. And the punishment for failure is either repetition or correction in a classic teaching environment. If the failures at one level are promoted, which they are, aren't the kids learning that there are no consequences to doing a bad job?

Three. Accountability.

Now, in a training environment - which school isn't - the trainer has failed, and the feedback should reflect that failure - the punishment is firing or a lower salary or no promotion. Failure to teach students in our education system means more tax money gets sent to education, and more bureacrats are hired.

So we are evidently and implicitly rewarding the failures in our education system - no wondering our schools are failing (?) Aren't they getting rewarded for doing a worse job? They aren't getting punished for doing a lousy one are they?

The Y2K disaster happened because the "immediate reward" for financial and political mangers over the past 25 years rewarded short term thinking, and ignored or penalized long-term action and strategic thought.

Your ball...

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 07, 1998.

To continue ...

Quoting above:

[ When asked how do children learn he (the referenced teaching expert) more than once said: (while holding up three fingers...) "Example, example, example!" Do you have no failures in your learning? Do you learn perfectly every time you attempt? ]

No, I do learn perfectly each time, but I have several differences that "a generic Student" in today's education environment does not.

1. Self discipline - outside of band, cheerleading, team and individual sports, or competitive academics (debate, math, science, scouts, JROTC, etc.) - there is no indication of a significant degree of self-discipline at the high or middle school in the students. Except - to make my point - "the fear of punishment if I fail" - no car, no license, no TV, no college, or whatever.

Honestly, other than those wanting a scholarship, who in the generic high school classes comes to campus "wanting to be there to learn"?

2. Motivation. If I do a bad job in marketing, sales, customer response or QA, my pay suffers. If I fail to check things correctly, the plant (or other design) may fail - and if I (generically as a professional engineer) fail at certain tasks - people die. They are dead.

3. Integrity or honesty. What is the "example, example, example" of the person most closely associated with the hypocrisy of the educational elite?

4. "Example, example, exampel" Nice words, might work teaching educational theory, - but useless if I need to teach spelling, banjo, guitar, math, physics, reading, maultiplication tables, logic, car repair, computer programming, and any thing else useful.

He forgot that aspect - repetition, repetition, repetition, repitition is essential, sometimes. Testing (oops, another punishment) is essential, sometimes. Accountability, sometimes. Loving, sometimes. Forgiveness, sometimes. Forgetfullness and humor, sometimes. Hands on work, sometimes. Theory, sometimes.

Oh, I forgat - repetition isn't "fun". Sometimes the practice hurts - oops, punishment again. It isn't popular. Tough.

Let us assume 200,000 years of human history that showed life and death are the result of our actions - that the consequences of failure (punishment ?) were death - not planting seeds, not cleaning the mold from bread, eating bad meat or rotten apples, of talking during a hunt or not cauterizing a wound, of

have been overruled by 20 years of nonsense and "ways tomake

With incompetence and generalities like that being rewarded as being considered an "expert" - no wonder we are in trouble.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 07, 1998.

Unfortunately, we're getting to the place where accuracy is not important, only effort matters. That might be OK for a 5 year old, but high school?

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 07, 1998.

As an example of feedback:

"No, I do learn perfectly each time" => becomes: "No, I don't learn perfectly each time..."

What are consequences to the education hierarchy of its failure to learn from the lessons of 200,000 years of living?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 07, 1998.

Punishment for failure, reward for success, OK to a point. I once read about dolphin trainers and the methods that they used to train those wonderful creatures. Question, how in the world do you punish a dolphin, they are not an easy target, you cannot swim up next to them and administer a whooping, they are too fast. In the words of George Bush: "Not gonna do it".

The only way possible is through positive reinforcement. A fish for good, no fish for bad.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

And the consequence is ...... no fish = not a punishment, but a consequence. Your point exactly.

If my job is to teach you catch flies - and I fail, what is the consequence? If that is my job, and you release the bees or spill the honey, what is the consequence of your actions? If I provided a safe envirnment to catch flies with honey, and you violated the rules and broke open the hive, are you not responsible?

I you burned your hand in chemistry lab by grabbing a hot bunsen burner, who caused the pain? There is a warning in the lab safety card you signed at the begining of the year. Should you have to sign a safety card at all? You are a senior in high school, don't you know burning things get hot?

Who cleans the honey off the floor? Can you honestly say you should not clean up the mess? If you are stung catching the bees, is that a punishment? Or a result of ..... what? Can you blame the bee?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 07, 1998.

I see that I did not express myself as well as I might have. That is, of course, my fault. I always have, and always will, believe that a person is responsible for their actions, and the consequences of those actions. My vague point was that punishment only works to a point, then loses its effectiveness.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 08, 1998.

Let me suggest that all of the failings of our educational system that you've collectively pointed out here (and I disagree with none of them) would cease to be failings and become irrelevant if the actual purpose of the public educational system (the one we all pay for with our tax money), as opposed to the assumed and generally accepted one of training our young people in some useful field, etc., was to teach and create obediance, conformity and (Oh! How I hate this word!) compliance.

I submit that our educational system, as it stands, is an excellent initiation into our society, as it stands.

-- Hardliner (, November 08, 1998.

While we're on the subject, for those of you who may not have read it, let me recommend the short story, The Marching Morons, by C.M.Kornbluth. It apppears to me to be another excellent example of SF writers accurately predicting the future.

My personal problem with this particular prediction is that it is coming true as we speak and is so obvious to me that I can not ignore it.

-- Hardliner (, November 08, 1998.

Dear Uncle Deedah,

you said: >My vague point was that punishment only works to a point, then loses its effectiveness.<

Since I'm very much qualified to speak on this subject; I have to disagree with you.

As children we were spanked by our parents and our teachers. Willow switches across naked fannies, etc. For example, my aunt spanked a neigbor kid with a heavy piece of 240 V electrical chord until he went home bawling. No complaints from his parents, for they figured he earned his instant justice.

The result was that we studied hard and there was no crime in our town. Even starvation was not an acceptable excuse for stealing. There was not even a police. A cop on a bicycle from a neighboring town visited only about once a week.

Attention Deficit Disorder hadn't been invented yet because we gathered our food from farmers's manure piles, ate organically grown moldy bread or shrivelled carrots. This was more nutritious than the present-day chemical-enhanced, sugar-loaded, bleached, refined crap that is the common fare today.

-- trying to forget (, November 08, 1998.

Come on. Uncle Deedah, let's have it.

-- trying to forget (, November 08, 1998.

My first two children I raised as I had been raised -- "Spare the rod and spoil the child." If my son hit my daughter, I hit him as punishment. If they disobeyed my rules, I hit them. What did they learn? that greater force is right. Yes, I showed them physical affection. I thought that as long as they were shown love, I could beat them "for their own good".

Ten years after the first two were born, we had a second set. These I raised with the concept of "choice" and "consequences". I worked at using non-physical means of reinforcing rules. IMHO the "experiment" in parenting has proven (to this point -- the younger ones are still 13 and 15) that the latter form of upbringing results in young people with better self-esteem, better self-control and more able to survive in this or any other society.

-- Lois Knorr (, November 08, 1998.

Yes indeed, spanking, whipping, caning all of them teach...they teach that might makes right...and teach fear of pain...

As Deedah said from a behavioral psychology perspective "negative reinforcement", or corporal punishment...shows diminishing returns in all learning theories. Only type of reinforcement that is wore is intermittant negative reinforcement.....

Robert,...thank you for the clarification. I have a hot button about the word "punishment". It is bandied about so much in the US these days, mostly by people who show little signs that they have any understanding of how the human mind works,....I'm sorry I jumped on you...

I did not spank my children. They are now 21 and 26. They are bright, loving, responsible human beings....Something worked,...I am not sure what. Responsibility....the ability to respond. I think they developed a repertoire of responses to life situations by what was most directly modelled to them. Modelling ,...example, example, example. Not what I say...what I do. Works for adults too...just takes a bit longer.

I will never understand the mental gymnastics anyone has to go through to justify in to themselves that the inflicting of fear, pain, and shame are good teaching tools. Call me silly or stupid...I just can't make that fit in my brain.

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 08, 1998.

Choices - I believe there is a very significant (absolute) difference that must be understood - without emotional overburden - about the terms here: all spoken _from_ a feeling of loving care, not abuse"

Disciplining is NOT spanking is NOT beating is NOT child abuse. It is easy to get a "pushbutton" emotional response about this, but there are clear, functional differences between them. And it is not just a "word" game either - the difference is crucial.

Spanking is not always appropriate - but is the correct method sometimes - for example, is one swat to a padded bottom with a bare hand child abuse? No, sometimes. The decision to spank or not must be left up the parent - it is a natural instinct bread into us by 200,000 of "its works" pracritcal knowledge. Arbitrary studies about abused children are not relevent - because this is not the example (the example common to hundreds of millions of infants around the world over thousands of centuries.

It is only after Dr. Spock and his idealistic crew changed the "rules" that things got demonstrably worse.

Spnking is emphatically not beating with something (stick, belt, switch, or whatever), or to a bare bottom, or too many times, or without due and appropriate cause, or arbitrarily, or unjusticely, or to the "innocent defendent" if there are several children involved.

Does this mean: "might makes right"? Or that "the proper answer is beating somebody? No. That's not what is taught - if disciplining (if needed) is done right. The others know that violating certain rules means certain consequences - and some of those consequences may be painful. (But the discipliner also has a stinging hand. Notice that the emotional release - which is required too - of the parent as well as the child - carries its consequences too.)

But, spanking, done right, at the right times, does not have to be repeated. Is it worse that shaking a creaming tantrum-filled kid, pulling him or her by the arm out the room, or killing him? Those happen - but not to properly disciplined children from loving parents.

Now, what happens if a seemingly minor violation gets ignored, or the violator feels "well that wasn't so bad (having to go to "time out" is may make the mother feel better, but if it is not a punishment (oops, that word again) it is meaningless. So the youngster continually pushes the envelope - and we get to our present situation - where there is no limits, and youngsters murder in school. Why not? They have never been faced with the consequences of their previous actions.

Increased self-esteem is meaningless without the self-discipline to control it. Increasingly, those with supposedly the highest self-esteem have no esteem (respect) for anyone else. So the others (the weaker, the smaller, the un-armed) are seen as targts to feed on.

Now, I can say, with some degree of accuracy, that modern educational theory has proven itself uniformly wrong - that is there is no recent educational theory that has been shown - in the real world - to be correct over the past few decades. each study I have seen (obviously not all, but those studies I've read) - have uniformly been prejudiced in the tone and content, and written by prejudged people. This does not make their opinions wrong, but I have not seen any educational theory or practice recently proposed that is an improvement over self-discipline and internal drive, guided by a pair of loving parents.

And I can truly say, as no one I've read about in the education hierarchy can, that I base my conclusions on what works, what are the actual results, and not what I'd like to see. Not on what results make me "feel" best.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 08, 1998.

Reading this thread brought to mind a song sung by Harry Chapin called 'Roses Are Red', about a boy who is taught conformity in school. I also recall reading in my gynecologist's office a poster which quoted an Aussie study that found people who suffered physical abuse as a child were not as damaged in adulthood as people who suffered mental abuse. Of course, most of the time, physical abuse is accompanied by mental abuse, and neither is likely to lead to great mental/emotional health. Still, the writers of the article speculated that pure physical abuse causes less harm because; A) physical abuse is now decried throughout society, so the abusee (?) is less likely to blame themselves and B) in mental abuse it is the 'personhood' of the abusee that is attacked. There are other and more effective ways to enforce consequences than any kind of abuse, IMNSHO.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, November 08, 1998.

Two of my favorite quotes--

"I used to be indicisive, but now I'm not sure anymore"

"If you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don't need advice"

-- Kevin (, November 09, 1998.

This statement you are reading is false.

-- Kevin (, November 09, 1998.


Lest you think that I am ignoring you. I speak from some experience, as well as you do. I was a radical hell raiser in my 'yout', and I hung with a very tough crowd. The ones among us that initiated the most evil works were, conversely, the most heavily disciplined, while I, though always up for laughs and exitement, was a voice of reason, even though I was not subject to corporal punishment. (I out weighed my mom by 100 pounds, it was tough to do the rubber hose act on me)

Calmer and nicer now (even charming, when the mood strikes), I touch base with those who I knew then, from time to time. The ones who moved on, and are leading good lives now, are NOT the ones who were beaten for their sins. Those boys are imprisoned or unheard from.

Good manners does not come at the end of a beating, only the need for revenge lives there.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 10, 1998.

D, do you think you've finally grown-up then. Or are the spots still lurking waiting to break out again. You sound as if you're getting there, with the occasional relapse. Maturing seems to take much longer nowadays, its called YOOF culture over here. I suppose the US invented teenagers and exported them (thanks, just what we needed). Someone has to drink all that cola.

-- Richard Dale (, November 10, 1998.

Reward and Punishment works. First I must define what reward and what punishment is. Punishment must not be physical, neither must reward, except for hugs and the like.

Punish the child by removing them from human contact for small periods of time (5 to 15 minutes); send them to thier room, close the door, hold it shut if you must while remaining completely silent. That works until age 10. After that age, grounding from social outings is very powerful. Being ignored and removed from social situation is the worse punishment one can get, at any age. Lack of anticipated reward is another form of punishment. You anticipate praise for a job well done, you got lazy and butched up your job, you failed. You get punished by silence with looks of disapointment on you from the most revered people on earth, your parents. Kids live to please adults and learn. As adults, we live to impress and please others. Unless we're sociopath.

Rewards are emotional in nature. Lots of verbal praises and hugs for kids. Motivates them to do even better, they want more of those praises. Addicting to be loved. As adults, we tingle inside at any praise still. Anyone responding to my post with "I agree with Chris" would be a reward for my contribution in this thread and send me tingling...motivates me to share even more ;) We're all like that. Even you Robert, admit it ;) Those kinds of rewards are what builds self-esteem in a person. And self-confidence. Self-esteem and self-confidence is what leads to a person reaching their potential in creativity, knowledge and experience, hence their potential in being valuable contributors to society.

I've only talked about reward and punishement, but ofcourse there's much more involved into raising kids. Like showing the example by actions, living the way we want our children to act and live. Saying "do as I say, not what I do" can't work because children are program to imitate at birth, it's in all mammal's genes.

It worked with my kids, I'm proud of them and love 'em to pieces.

-- Chris (, November 14, 1998.

Oh, and all 3 have ADHD, with energy and creativity to sell to power companies. Toughest kids to raise if you're on the "spare the rod, spoil the child" camp. They develop ODD in those camps (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). Many of those kids with ODD turn sociopath and end up in prison.

-- Chris (, November 14, 1998.

Observed that some nations as a whole are dummer (more intectual- stimulus deprived, brainwashed?) than others. The US is close to the bottom of the Western world. One simple clue: No other nation uses duct tape as profusely as the US. Duct tape sticks best to dirt and to itself. No other people in the world spend most of Sundays rushing around to buy sealent to fix a leaky roof, sink, ...

-- Traveller (, November 14, 1998.


Your observations, while accurate, simply do not support your premise.

I have seen Phantoms' bullet holes patched with "Hundred Mile An Hour Tape" (duct tape) because the Metal Shop couldn't get to them in time for the next sortie (or because the metalsmith was dead) and watched those aircraft achieve mach flight and return with the tape intact.

I have seen the leading edge of heliocopter rotor blades erode from sandblasting in the desert and then watched young Lance Corporals apply duct tape over that surface and thus solve a problem that United Aircraft would undoubtedly have charged the taxpayers millions of dollars (if not billions) to solve.

I would think that profuse use of such a versatile product indicates mental flexibility and acceptance of a viable solution considering time, place, circumstance, etc.

I'll tell you this, my Y2K "supplies" include a great deal of sealant and duct tape. If TEOTWAWKI comes about, those items will make the transition to a simpler life far less abrupt and if it doesn't, I surely will use it all eventually.

-- Hardliner (, November 15, 1998.

(Smiling and winking)So let me get this straight. The use of duct tape and intelligence are highly correlated?



-- Donna Barthuley (, November 15, 1998.


All my examples show is that if the shoe fits and you wear it, you've got common sense.

My point was that the use of duct tape did not prove Traveller's point.

-- Hardliner (, November 15, 1998.


That man is a duct tape professional.

I also think that the heavy gauge aluminum foil metal tape is handy, sometimes even more so. Duct tape, the secret of USA's world domination.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 15, 1998.

You got it Uncle D!

BTW, the fabric flavor tape makes an excellent impromptu strait jacket!

Speaking of such, why don't you do us a rhyme about tape and your undoubtedly interesting take on some of its more valuable uses? It's been a while since you've conducted a poetry reading at the asylum. . .

-- Hardliner (, November 15, 1998.

Hi all,

Have been lurking here for quite a while and have great regard for the knowledge, advice, insight, etc. that you contribute. I've been impressed by your high level of intelligence, literacy and civility.

About duct tape. I don't think I'm able to explain the symbology it represent for me. It should only be used only for temporary fixes and not be part of permanent construction.

-- Traveller (, November 15, 1998.

Yo to the Traveler, Donna, and Hardliner:

Ref: Duct tape, (Silver, cloth-backed, and "regular" grey)

The tape bites both ways here: it clearly shows the inventiveness and creativity of the average American, Indian, Canadianian and other assorted two-footed earth dwellers in solving a problem once unfettered by the average bureacrat or oppossum - whichever is less intelligent.

However, it also shows both the extreme measures people will go to avoid finding the correct solution to a problem, and the extreme efforts these same people will go to avoid extra work or expense, if a cheaper solution is available. And the only reason America uses more duct tape than anybody else is that we (collectively) are richer than everybody else ans so can afford it.

If anybody else could afford the stuff, you'd see it swathing the globe.

But I prefer the Al-backed heavy stuff for duct, HVAC, and reflective foil jobs. The rest - nornally I'd rather use an adjustable bungee cord to keep that !@#% tape residue off of the thing I'm taping.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 15, 1998.

There once was a man from Nantucket

Whos tape was so long when he stuck it

That he said with a grin

As he taped it agin

There, that oughta seal this damn bucket!

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 15, 1998.


* And the only reason America uses more duct tape than anybody else is that we (collectively) are richer than everybody else ans so can afford it. *

I'm sorry but I must strongly disagree with you because of what I have learned in my travels. Our middle class is much poorer than that of Europe. And getting more so very rapidly. They don't use duct tape because they don't have to. It is very difficult to find "home improvement centers" in Europe because homes are built to last for centuries.

How often have you seen copper gutters and downspout on a house? Over there, they are standard. I looked at hundreds of homes to find some made of plastic, aluminum or tin. When I thought I finally found one, I got out of my auto to inspect it. It was made of stainless steel.

How long will the roofing last on your roof? 200 years?

-- Traveller (, November 15, 1998.

SURRENDER NOW! We haf the means to make all duct tape immediately unadhere. Unless you want your society to unstick at the seams, come under Canada's protection...

-- Tricia the Canuck (, November 16, 1998.

Dear Traveller, reference to homes, not so UK, jerry building is rife, even more so with modern building regs, there are many DIY centres here, since we cannot afford to get a proper job done professionally. My house was jerry built in 1820 then messed about with over the next 178 years, but its still standing. It was made with discarded ships timbers which were second hand in 1820. Never seen any stainless steel anything on british houses, all plastic guttering. Oh yes and plastic double glazing has ruined the appearance of many a home. Double glazing is the ultimate scam I believe like aluminum cladding over there. In the UK older houses of interest (like mine) are "listed" Grade I or II, any alterations have to be checked first with the local council and english heritage. They must be in keeping with the architectural style of the building. There are about 400,000 listed properties from small cottages to large country houses.

-- Richard Dale (, November 16, 1998.

PS we NEVER use duct tape for some reason. Usually we just bang a nail in, over here all DIY work is botched, so many houses have been ruined that way. Most houses have brick or stone elevations in the UK (except mine which has ELM cladding over a timber frame to the first floor). The houses in Friday Street are built in a variety of styles from 13C to the 1950s, including many old cottages of interest, the Warnham historical society has many old photos, records and maps of bygone days. I'm trying to find out what my house originally looked like in 1820, it may have been tile hung, but 100 years ago I've seen a photo, looked the same except for white rendering added to the end wall (over brick). . I have had a garage custom built like a mini Sussex barn to mimic the shape of the pub nearby (a 13C building), to replace a shocking concrete structure. I plan next to put an octagonal gazebo in the back garden and perhaps a well-head, all the cottages have got wells somewhere as it used to be the only source of water. Not sure what it will be like if/when I open it up. There is a hot spot over a huge slab of "Horsham Stone" paving weighing about a ton in the back garden, haven't been able to shift it.

-- Richard Dale (, November 16, 1998.

Breaking News:

AP, IP, and Reuters have reported a panicked run on all retail outlets that sell the product called "duct tape". Instances of trampled store clerk are now being reported from around the globe in all countries, including those in the developing world.

Analysts in Washington, London and Berlin and Japan are hard at work putting the appropriate spin on this strange phenomenon.

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 16, 1998.

Damn! I was planning on another case or two before TSHTF!

-- Hardliner (searcher, November 16, 1998.

The only good use I've found for my husband's roll of duct tape is to seal the mouth of my kids, who should have been born with an on/off switch.

-- Chris (, November 16, 1998.

Sir Richard of the Dale,

It actually took a few seconds to realize that "13C" might mean 13th century.

...And in this immediate area the oldest house is 1968 - a few blocks over the original scattered farmhouses are perhaps only a max. of 60 years old. Almost nothing left here that predates the Civil War - and it appears your place was built before then!

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 16, 1998.

Hello Robert (still haven't found that title for you yet). Yes I meant 13C the "Greets Inn" nearby within staggering distance but not too near, was originally a old Lord of the Manor house complete with fire in the middle of the room, there are architectural drawings inside showing its development over the years. There are a number of typical Victorian semis in Friday Street (C 1860/70), some Georgian C 1810, 1910-15 1920s cottages in older style, 16C & 17C houses and a 1950s terrace, all built in different positions relative to the road, so it forms a pleasing aspect.No-one overlooks anyone else, there are no straight lines or modern uniformity. Everyone's garden is different , the area recently won the "South East in bloom" competition for the second year running, I even got a commendation and a small prize from the "Warnham Society". The Warnham village private gardens were open to the public for one day (for charity), its was amazing to see the variety of garden creations/design in a small village, each reflecting the personality and effort of the owners. The gardens vary from large woodland gardens (complete with honey fungus) to small cottage gardens with wells and statues etc, also large walled gardens, orchards etc.

-- Richard Dale (, November 17, 1998.

There are "allotments" nearby, a relic of the post WW I era when people had to grow their own veg. They're used now to grow "prize" veggies for the local annual "Flower Show", 3 foot leeks, etc. May come in useful in y2k, many of the houses still have open (log/coal) fires. A cottage here could easily revert to growing your own veg, warming yourself by a log fire and drawing water from your own well.

-- Richard Dale (, November 17, 1998.


See! Canadianians are just as proficient with it as Americans! Even nurse-type moms!


Yes, but then Sherman never visited England, as far as I know. I've heard that the Georgia National Guard has a saying, to wit: The only thing more dangerous than a Lieutenant with a pencil is a Yankee with a match. . .


What a delightful picture you've painted in my mind! Thank you. England is the only place I've ever lived that looked just as I expected it to look. Straight out of a story book. Different stories, of course, but the pictures were spot on.

-- Hardliner (, November 17, 1998.

Yes Hardliner, where did you live, sadly England is changing for the worse, I'm trying to do my best to improve what I can, my house garden, preserve whats good, improve what I can, set an example in a small way. Its really down to people (not governments) to "put their own house in order" both literally and metaphorically, then the combined collective effect will follow. You can create your own little piece of "heaven" if you try. Needless to say you're still surrounded by the great unwashed. Still I do what I can by selling soap.

-- Richard Dale (, November 17, 1998.


I shared a semi-detached in Maidenhead with the Admin Manager of a company I was contracted to in Heathrow. Then he bought a flat in Sudbury-on-Thames which we subsequently moved into. I was away in Scandanavia and on the continent most of the time, but Roy still managed to show me a lot of "Merrie Old England". Teacher's, I recall, was the abominable stuff he actually thought was whiskey. . . But then, what would a, "Bleedin' Colonial" know? That was over 30 years ago, and I'm sure I wouldn't recognize anything now. As Diane points out frequently, the only constant in life is change.

Speaking of change, have they changed the silly law that closes all the pubs in the middle of the day? I'm sorry old man, but the Spanish speakers have it right. They close up shop and go to siesta then, and they don't close the bars either!

-- Hardliner (, November 17, 1998.

Thought this would be an appropriate place to talk about Clinton. Apart from his politics and personality, just why is there all this fuss about him having sex with one of the Whitehouse floosies. Surely he hasn't had relations with his wife for years, why does this issue affect his political standing. Yes presumably he had to lie since many Americans are not broad-minded. I'm not saying I agree with his policies or record, I'm just referring to the sex issue. Didn't Kennedy (and his brother) have it off with every actress they could. It never bothered anyone in those days, perhaps no-one knew.

-- Richard Dale (, November 18, 1998.

Hardliner, yes they have finally changed the licensing laws, pubs can open when they like, all day if they want. Many traditional pubs have closed down now and you'll find the buildings boarded up. Others have been taken over by "Bernie Inns", sort of Mcdonaldised, others have been hit by drink driving clamp downs. Fortunately the "Greets Inn" is still as it was, though the "Sussex Oak" has been turned into a formula restaurant. The standard of food in Britain hasn't noticeably improved either, it never will I suppose.

-- Richard Dale (, November 18, 1998.

Richard: does seem such a non-issue, doesn't it? Funny thing is, that most people think the same, despite what you hear in the media. People have their feelings on the morality of it, but basically couldn't care less- as evidenced by the fact that even though they don't particularly like him, his ratings don't change much, and all polls say that the public feels that this needs to stop ASAP. The media was a bit different in the early 60's, especially regarding presidents, and the like. The president's private life was not considered fodder than, and mostly was protected from the media. I think that this was the reason, more than that people didn't care back then. After the combination of the vietnam war being fed to the public on television, and the debacle of Nixon creating a feeling of distrust in the public mind, the media realized that this sort of thing sells, and it just sort of went from there. I don't imagine that the british public really enjoys all that is fed to it on the television, and you can bet that the american public doesn't much like it either. (course, doesn't stop the average citizen from watching it, but that's another story i suppose...)

-- Damian Solorzano (, November 19, 1998.

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