THOUGHT I WAS MAKING SOME HEADWAY WHEN : (WHACK !!)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Well, Here's my cast of characters (NOT NESSARILY IN ORDER OF APPERANCE).
CHARACTER #1... Myself, after being informed of the topic over 12 months ago by Character #5, I thought that there might be something to this,(being as unimformed and oblivious to the world around me as I am).
CHARACTER #2... I was working to convince my Brother that he should maybe think about at least making minimal preparations for Y2K, (thinks I'm about ready for "ROOM", (you know, the SOFT AND SAFE AND HAPPY room with all the attendants).
CHARACTER #3... Almost had my Mother convinced, (She's pretty much paralyzed with fear now).
CHARACTER #4... Almost had my Sister convinced, (Seemed much more receptive than the others).
CHARACTER #5... Last but not least, almost had a good friend at work thinking that something bad actually WILL happen. (It's taken a lot of daily disaster talk, but I thought it was finnaly sinking in).
IT'S A REALLY BAD PLOT SO WE'LL SKIP THAT (lots of website and newsgroup info, TV clips passed around).
Well as my story ends, it seems as there's been a little twist to this tale:
Character #1... (AS EXPECTED BY CHARACTER #1), has opted to bulk up on all the things he thinks will help his family survive. (It's been, well, just say it's been an experience, but the more we prepare, the less worried I become).
Character #2... (AS UNEXPECTED BY CHARCTER #1,#2,#3,#4), has recently suffed a tragic death in the family. I feel for my brothers family greatly, but I fear that any further badgering by myself on this subject will fall on deaf ears. BUT I'LL STILL TRY.
Character #3... My Mother gets pretty scared when I bring the subject up. But Christmas is coming and she's got a lot of gift giving to do. She's informed me that that's her top priority for the time being. (She's got the IDEA, she's just too sacred shitless to do anything). Character #4... My sister. really gung ho on prepardness when all of a sudden, she's separated. Thought that would be the end of that prepardness program, but I was mistaken. (Generally a good egg, I gave her a copy of Infomagic's Theory to read sounds like she's back with the program).
Character #5... Thought that I might finally have this guy nailed. Of all the people I know, I thought that this guy would give it some serious thought. Full scale preparation. More food stores than ADM!!
NO DICE No interest at all in Y2K. "NO PROBLEM". "NOT A CHANCE". "QUIT BUGGIN ME' ABOUT IT". "AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN".
Well, now he's found out his daughter's engaged. Busy thinking about wedding plans now. No time for garbage. (What's this gonna cost me?, What's that gonna cost me)?
WHAT'S HIS DISINTEREST GOING TO COST HIM ???
EPILOG --- IN MY FEEBLE EFFORT TO WARN AND HELP THE PEOPLE WHO MEAN SOMETHING TO ME, I'VE DISCOVERED A FEW THINGS--
PEOPLE HAVE LIVES TO LEAD... THEY WILL KEEP ON LEADING THEM...
TO THESE PEOPLE, SOME THINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY Y2K THREAT... THESE THINGS WILL CONTINUE TO BE MORE IMPORTANT...
It's sad but true, After all the begging, After all the pleading, After all the bitching, After all the, (In my opinion,..SUBSTANTIAL PROOF),
SOME PEOPLE GET IT......AND.......SOME PEOPLE DON'T
One quick sideslide to Paul Milne-
You're doin good Paul, you're doin good
-- dwade (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 1998
You've described my situation. Same plot, different characters.
I've decided long ago that people either get it right away, or they don't and never really "get it" fully. No matter how hard I try.
I got it right away from one article in Wired magazine. I saw the "web" in my mind's eye that Infomagic describes. I attempted to discuss it with my husband that day, and gave him a mental image of civilization being one of those 60's glass globe (lamp shades) woven from threads of glass, hanging from an electrical cord; the electrical cord is suddenly cut and the globe falls and shatters.
He told me then I was crazy and in need of psychiatric help. That was in March. I've succeeded in "brainwashing" him into active preparations since. Wasn't easy. He still doesn't lose sleep over any of it. I'm still questioning my sanity, afterall, nobody around me mentions Y2K, it's only on paper and on the internet.
-- Chris (email@example.com), December 01, 1998.
Kind of a confusing lead-in, but I know exactly what you mean. It's like people are in a trance, hopelessly hooked on this drug called "the good life".
Over the past year I have learned some things about life that aren't obvious.
Such as spending over $1000 on a lifesaving operation for my pet cat. At the time, I regretted parting with the money. Now I realize it was a "life lesson" on value of real love versus love of money .
And I used be depressed because I missed my chance to make a million in the stock market (never trusted it since the crash of 87). Now, in addition to being a crap shoot organized by international gamblers, I can see why the market is immoral (email Paul Milne firstname.lastname@example.org for his treatise on capitalism for details).
And the mystical feeling of being in the presence of a loved one who is passing away (my father), the pure feeling of unconditional love, uncolored by worries of some vast inheritance.
Life should be about love and happiness, not greed and envy.
Not trying to wax religious here (that'll come later next year I think), but I feel the coming crisis is going to be of Biblical proportions. It is going to destroy a lot of our preconceptions and shake our faith in man to the very bone.
As Robert Anton Wilson so succinctly pointed out in one of his books, the reason God allows such pain and suffering in this world is so that we will ask the important questions. I got a feeling the characters in your story are going to be asking some shortly.
-- a (email@example.com), December 01, 1998.
I mentioned this a long time ago, but it seems to me that the ability to (visualize, conceptualize, realize) the web of interconnected life, as illustrated by Y2K, is either present or not. Perhaps its some genetic factor, perhaps it has a spiritual dimension, I don't know. But the phenomenom you have observed has been experienced by all of us. It seems to have nothing to do with relationship, intelligence, age, gender or occupation. Trying to "convince" someone about Y2K is like trying to convince a congentially blind person that Monet is "better" than Picasso. Hang in there. Trust your vision.
-- RD. ->H (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 02, 1998.
My sister-in-law is close to "getting it", but needs to see a tangible sign of severe problems (she may not get it--after all, the power grid won't go down in '99).
My mother just read "Time Bomb 2000" and is scared to death. Says she "can't do anything about it", though.
Most of the rest of my family and friends think it's overblown, and will be a minor nuisance at worst.
Welcome to the club, dwade. Prepare for the worst to the best of your ability, and hope for the best (because noone can truly prepare for the worst).
-- Steve Hartsman (email@example.com), December 02, 1998.
To a@a, Paul Milne is one of the most provocative of CS2000 newsgroup posters (certainly the loudest!) and has hopefully spurred some people to actively prepare. It is quite possible that he may have saved some lives. However, you might want to do a little more thinking and reading about his economic policies. He is of the opinion that noone should charge more for a product or service than the value they added to it. I believe the example used was someone buying leather and making shoes. They buy the leather for say $10 and then sell the shoes for say $20. But, according to Paul, that would be wrong if they only added $5 worth of value to the raw material. The other $5 is their greedy, immoral profit. Paul, apparently, wishes to override the free market and set the price at $15. How does he, or anyone else other than the buyer and seller, determine what the fair price is? Teams of experts? Studies? Gut instinct? Playing cards? Dice? What? Then, of course, there is the problem of enforcement. Penalties, taxes, etc. In summary, capitalism is how people freely transact with each other WHEN THE GOVERNMENT LEAVES THEM ALONE. Nobody is pointing a gun at John and Jane 401(k) and forcing them to put their life savings in the most overvalued market in history. They do it because everyone else is doing it. That is the extent of their research and analysis. They will probably lose it all to those who sold them the stocks. Tough beans. Naivete and greed are a very bad mix. I know from personal experience! P.S. That is one lucky cat! Good for you. I adopted a stray from a shelter years ago and he's been a riot! Always into something. At least, when he's awake. Good bug hunter, too. Fortunately Paul was not able to intercede and prevent the greedy vet from saving your pet's life.
-- nope (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 03, 1998.
nope: Can't speak for Paul, but I think essentially what he is talking about is like barter, except using money. The problem understanding this concept comes about because everything we know about commerce is colored by our preconceptions about capitalism. In my book, capitalism is definitely the lesser of two evils (ie. communism), but it's not perfect, and according to Paul's analysis, it's immoral (so is oral sex to him, so *I'm* not nominating him for president just yet). But his insight is useful because it could someday form the basis of a simpler more equitable economic system. One without lawyers and politicians, where the only two laws are "harm no one" and "abide by your agreements". And hard and smart work gets rewarded, not corrupt and shrewd business practices. Sounds like some kind of Utopian pipedream, but anything is possible if logic and human will can ever overcome greed and human nature. Paul's view is that the post Y2K world may provide this opportunity.
The world appears headed for economic ruin. The international gamblers we call "bankers" can no longer prop the illusion up with smoke and mirrors. The US is $5,500,000,000,000.00 in debt. The hedge fund market is coming down as we speak. Japan now has *negative* interest rates. Social Security is broke and now the only option is to put the FICA dollars into stocks. It's an enormous Ponzi scheme coming to its inevitable end. Capitalism built quite an empire, but it could be getting ready to fail, and fail hard.
The weird thing about this situation is that we *should* have had a depression around 1990; all the conditions were right. Paul thought so, and so did I. My belief was based on Dr. Ravi Batra'a "The Great Depression of 1990" that came out in 1988. Batra's theory made sense, but the gamblers had learned a lot of new tricks since the 30's and they turned it into the biggest bull market ever seen, and subsequently led us directly into our current predicament. Ironically, had we experienced the natural swing in the business cycle that seemed imminent back then, we would be in a recovery period and Y2K would not be nearly as severe as it now promises to be.
-- a (email@example.com), December 03, 1998.
Life lesson: You cannot run around under all the trees and catch everything that falls out of every nest. The 'big bad puddy tat' will get some baby birds no matter what you do.
But, you gotta try. Sounds like you've made a good effort- keep it up. I would like to add another category to the 'GI' list- NWGI, for those who Never Will Get It no matter what- best efforts from GI's notwithstanding.
-- nemo... (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 1998.
A, capitalism doesn't really exist. Many things have been socialized like healthcare, welfare, etc. The current fractional reserve banking system is not capitalism at all. It's just a group of very powerful institutions creating money literally out of thin air and speculating in the world markets. When they gamble badly, governments bail them out with more "money". In the process economies are destroyed and millions of lives disrupted. Your two rules sound like a pretty good basis for capitalism to me. My disagreement with Milne was simply that the actual buyer and seller of something are the only ones who should be setting prices, not some outside entity. Otherwise you end up with socialism, not capitalism. And I think we all know the rather dismal track record of centrally planned economies. Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union (they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work) etc. There have been a few centrally planned economies that have not slipped into totalitarianism, but not too many. I don't see much chance for a free market utopia springing up out of all this, though. Dictatorships are a lot more likely to happen. The conditions will be perfect for all the would be Hitlers to grab power once any sort of economy is up and running again. Join the party and get electricity and medical care. Otherwise, we'll kill you. And your family. In a "work camp". Well, I see my usual sunny outlook is in rare form tonight. ;-)
-- nope (email@example.com), December 05, 1998.