Psychology of "getting it" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'm interested (in a Five-and-Dime kind of way) in the psychology of "getting it". Specifically, when we say we "got it", we acknowledge that we were asleep or unaware of (a) or (b, which ?

(a) the fact that we've become totally dependent on technology of all kinds, that we have become in effect, aliens on our own planet.

(b) the specifics of y2k computer bug (one among many)

Maybe it's a difference that makes no difference. They seem different to me. I'm a relative Polyanna on (b), but not on long term (a).

Please opine if inclined. Yeah, I know I should be splitting logs rather than these psychological hairs. Maybe today's y2k "awakened ones" will form a political party in 2001, when/if it doesn't all come down.


PS Here's some dime-store theology, said by somebody truly out of my league...

"The one and only true voice of god is silence". - Melville

-- Runway Cat (, December 13, 1998



I understood (a) in 1980. I understood (b) in May 1998.

(a) is the most important in the long run. The thing about (b), though, is that three or four days without water will kill someone. In northern latitudes (b) could kill even quicker than that by hypothermia.

But then again, people without an understanding of (a) will have major problems adjusting to life (or surviving) as 2000 drags on.

-- Kevin (, December 13, 1998.


"Runaway" was a typo. Sorry 'bout that!

-- Kevin (, December 13, 1998.

For me, the transition from being naive to being convinced was the realization of the scale and complexity. It's a mind-blower which many people just can't grasp, like looking at the stars in the sky and wondering just if and where the universe ends (infinity?). Most people don't see beyond a radius of about 30 feet - the distance from the living room to the kitchen, the distance to the car in front of them on the freeway, etc. Television is the perfect tool for mind control, disguised as entertainment. People begin to suffer from tunnel vision, trading in their brains for the thoughts which the talking heads would like us to believe. Makes me want to stand on a mountain top and yell out to the entire world - WWWAAAAAAAAKKKKKEEEE UUUUUPPPP!!!!

-- (, December 13, 1998.

I can't prove that the story of Noah's Ark really happened, nor can I prove that all the predicted events of Y2K will happen either. What is it about us who "GI" makes us want to prepare for something that we have never experienced? I guess the answer is that we are all afraid to die. The Y2K scenarios are not easy to grasp. It's complex in many ways and heart wrenching in others. The fact that there may not be any electricity is scary, and all the "what ifs" that come with it. Maybe those that have heard about Y2K and haven't prepared would much rather die than to deal with the whole enchilada. I'm preparing because for me it's an adventure and being the curious person that I am, I want to see how it all plays out in the end.

-- bardou (, December 13, 1998.

Another good question asked by the Cat...

Hey, you're just full of it, aren't ya? (good thought provoking ideas, that is...)

Here's my US$0.075 worth. I think the ability to "Get It" is the ability to form complex mental models of interconnections. There is no particular "type" of person capable of doing this. In my experience, artists and housewives seem to be a little better at it than computer programmers and venture capitalists. Don't know why that is...

For me, awareness came shortly after 01/01/90 when a friend said "Well, just ten more years 'til all the computers freak out" and awakeness came about six months ago when that mental model suddenly exploded in scope due to new information. (TB2000, the Wired article, web surfing the subject)

One must be willing to be open to new information in order for one's mental models to expand. I think, as infoman touched upon, that myopia is common and accepted and a preferred state of mind for many. Comfort and Convenience have become the King and Queen of the modern world, and for most people to venture beyond that into areas (mental or physical) outside of that least if they are beyond our control...atypical? (is that strong enough?)

I wonder what that common link is between us Y2K awake? Hmmmm...

-- pshannon (, December 13, 1998.

Douglas Carmichael has some of the best stuff around on denial and Y2K. This is the link to his draft of essay on it. Cut and paste or use the hyperlink by Right clicking on it and opening it in a new window.

Douglas Carmichael On Denial and Y2K

While we humans could not survive psychologically without our defense mechanisms, they also cause a sea of troubles when they are out of control...

-- Donna Barthuley (, December 13, 1998.

"Getting it," I observe, is individual and specific and may take place over time or a series of informative events.

I think someone really get's it when they begin to DO, to take action, about personally preparing for total uncertainty because they can figure out, extrapolate, the personal repercussions of NOT doing anything. Some then, take that realization beyond their immediate conditions and wonder "What if" my neighborhood and community IS prepared, and "What if" my neighborhood and community IS NOT prepared -- How will that impact me and my family. Still others take the What if scenarios and go to the state, national and international levels.

When they begin to DO, to take action, whatever that means individually, they Get It.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 13, 1998.

GI Aug 97 both points A and B. Since then have found that full acceptance is an indeed rocky road.

Milestones: First time telling another about y2k face to face.

Attempting then to create an aware community, then over the months watch how impossible that is, then coming up with ways to get people to prep without mentioning y2k, then eventually realizing that it might be an impossible task.

Wanting to create a y2k list on the internet (not so common now, because there are many lists from which to choose.)

Exploring the probability that the whole thing is a conspiracy.

Interviewing local city and county CIOs.

Tracking for hours a day to see if the new info shows things getting better. Extensive net interchanges.

Realizing that enough not only isn't going to get fixed in time, but a major national or international body or bodies is going to let most people come upon y2k in ignorance, hence in a paniced state. (G8 conference early last April was it for me).

Withdrawing as a regular active poster. Then helping create a preparation list. (didn't really work)

Deep depression.

Begin major preparation.

Acceptance. (13 months after getting it)

Minor y2k tracking, few posts - little commentary. Have quit beating my head against an immovable community - those who GI do, and those who haven't haven't. And at this point I do not want to have profile in the community as one who has been y2k aware - as the DGIs GI then remember me and think that maybe I'm preparing.

My ideal current state is one of relaxed preparedness. Track economics more than y2k. Talk with other GIs about the surreal schizophrenic psychology we are emeshed in. Forming survival cells with others who are deep into prep locally. Honing survival skills.


A lot of talk here on this forum is from newer GIs. And I will say, based upon my own journey and the journeys of others, that getting it is only the start. Then the stages of grief still must be trod. Only difference between now and a year ago is that I had a leisurely time, without pressures, to traverse the stages of grief. For those who are early on this path now, it would seem to be that their journey is going to be rougher.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, December 13, 1998.

While I admire and respect Dr. Carmicheal, I found his message much more trenchant when he was addressing environmental and community considerations, on which his opinions have become quite well-known. But, as with Tom Atlee (Co-Intelligence Institute) and "futurist" Robert Thibodeau, when he addresses Y2K, it seems somewhat ingenuous and naive. They seem to be trying to squeeze Y2K issues into their previously established paradigms. That's OK. I'm glad to have such intelligent and introspective minds mulling the issues of our day ---not to mention the intelligent and well-considered opinions of this forum.

When it comes to Y2K philosophy, I'd have to give the nod to Ed Yourdon or, perhaps, Cory Hamasaki. And because Runway Cat and Donna are on this thread, my favorite eco-philosophers are Daniel Quinn and Elisabet Sahtouris, although I adore that grand old curmudgeon, Garrett Hardin.

They say the history books are written by the victors. I wonder what History 101 in 2050 will teach about our response to Y2K.


"The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change." Fortran Manual for Xerox Computers

-- Hallyx (, December 13, 1998.

It seems to me that to be consistent, we have to take a "Northian" diagnostic on "getting it". That is, one can be said to have "gotten it" if-and-only-if one RELOCATES to a completely rural area. This, to me is the "(Gary) North diagnostic" on "getting it". To be consistent, how can we maintain any other standard ? But as North says, "the cost of this option is HIGH (my caps), therefore less of it will be demanded".

It's funny among my family and friends I'm regarded as a total fanatic, though I appear as a Pollyanna in the forum. But by the North diagnostic, I have NOT "gotten it" and I wonder how many really have.


-- runway cat (, December 13, 1998.

I agree that relocating to a sparsely populated, peaceful country knoll is the only logical conclusion after "getting it" thoroughly. However, some of us do not have the money or wherewithal to do that!

What it finally comes down to after getting it is:

"How much do I want to live?"
"Do I want to live in the post-Y2K world?"

Personally, Ashton & I do not. We have moved so many times, we're exhausted. We have consciously geared our entire lives to a spiritual focus, have gained incomparable satisfaction therein, and now accept the consequences of that lifestyle: Not enough money to bug out. Not enough physical drive to survive at any cost.

Reading the Vanity Fair article last night was a turning point for me. Gary North caught my interest, Infomagic depressed me, but it all was still surreal with the world swirling in frenetic bizziness as usual and the news buzz still touting the lastest greatest vaporware. The Vanity Fair chronology, although actually downplaying the consequences and doomsday scenario post-Y2K, *did* show the idiotic blunders, apathy, greed, denial, and stupendous deliberate short-sightedness leading up to this. The government? Paul Milne can better describe them!

As the built-in relay-bomb started and proceeded, and was cocooned in life-support civilization systems, so has it ticked toward its explosion. No Indiana Jones emerged to stop it. No revolutionary leader has stepped up to the plate to turn *humans* back on the clock and prepare us for back-to-the-earth living. There's not enough time left to save our system. The history of the dastardly mis-calculation proves this.

For me, reading this, then dealing with yet another "get it" Y2K shock, was liberating. I know my Death Sentence. I have a little over a year to live. I'm in the prime of life, with no disease. I can enjoy this year and do all the things my wildest ideals dictate. I have one more year to "get it right" so I don't ever have to come back to this planet! a la Groundhog Day :) I have one year to demonstrate to God that I've learned my lessons well and deserve to graduate, with His mercy and blessings.

Along with preparing for 3 months' survival just in case it isn't TEOTWAWKI, the only big decision left is, how do I choose to die, what is morally/ethically/spiritually OK, how far will God let me determine the time, place, and method of my own death? Being in hospice care, that question of course has come up in many contexts. Now I have to seriously grapple with wanting to control my own demise.

So I think I "get it," but don't meet Gary North's definition by relocating. What would he call a GI who accepts their Y2K death?

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, who feel suddenly liberated from the world

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xx

-- Leska (, December 13, 1998.

Leska, Your analogy to this question raised my eyebrows. I also have these same thoughts quite oftin. When I have this feeling of suddenly feeling liberated from the world as you just spoke of, I step back and try to understand that feeling and why I'm having it. The first thing that comes to my head is this (mindset) is where God wants me to be every moment in life until death. It must be the mindset of every heaven bound person at the moment of death. I think serenity requires this mindset. My false pride does not allow me to maintain this mindset. I think, to oftin,I beleive I have to expose the evil around me in order to justify my own idiosyncrasies of inadequacies. By trying to do my will and not Gods will I maintain a mindset of paranoia instead of liberation from it all. I know I must get to where I think you seem to be in order to find true bliss in this life and after. Thank you so much for that last statement. That feeling is a genuine feeling.

-- flierdude (, December 13, 1998.

"Lord, change not my circumstances, but change me."
It is not so much what happens to us, but rather what we become through what happens to us.

To "get it" means to me: live life with attunement to God, so that one overcomes the upheaval that Y2K introduces to the consciousness upon comprehension. Life continuously exposes us to problems. By positive thought and action, we must conquer our own susceptibility to negative emotions. Cultivating evenness of mind amidst conflict, we can better retain our link to our Creator: that is the intelligent course of action that I believe worthwhile securing.

Having one's thoughts and actions aligned to the inner compass is what counts. I have seen too many deaths to give primary value to anything other than tight enwrapment with God. I want to live with a clear conscience, because life can end at any moment and I want to be 100% ready. All else is merely accumulating prep work for that final moment. The astral blueprint we are creating is going to out-last this dream life wherein we are students.

It sounds logical to escape density while the opportunity allows, and it is wise to individually do the right thing as each person's role indicates. That is something unique within each one of us. So it seems good to first get one's own inner priorities in order. Then, if because of unavoidable circumstances in the limited time remaining, one cannot 'bug out,' one still has God secured on the throne of the mind and heart, and can act with peace come what may.

A person who is in attunement with soul forces has unseen aid and harmony that they may not have by just following the maddening crowds -- even the materially fortunate ones bugging hie to the hills.

Ashton, who knows God too is stuck wherever he is

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Ashton (, December 13, 1998.

recently at a Home Depot I inquired about generators because there were none in the store. the clerk said it was probably a "parts problem" the manufacturer was having, or it was owing to huge demand from FL and Central America, which is true to an extent. I said, well, maybe it's y2k? this clerk came back very fast on that one: "we're Americans and nothing like that is going to happen here!"

he was an ex-Marine, maybe, or maybe he was just an average American sharing the common faith. "getting it" is unpatriotic. when you get it, you cross a threshhold, both "a" and "b", and you break the faith. when you start preparing, you are casting a vote. you wander away from the herd, which is tough on social creatures like us. but you get a privileged view that only an outsider can have, you become aware for the first time maybe of the common faith that you once shared.

HD Thoreau observed the townsmen gathered in their little clique down at the post office, as usual. He said: ( paraphrase )" they stood about leaning one upon the other and altogether upon nothing."

This was true in America in the 19th Century and truer in the 20th, and y2k is just one more symptom that may or may not bring Americans to consider what "self-reliance" means.

-- joseph danison (, December 13, 1998.

Ex-marine, yes! I've just spent the past 2 days with an ex-special forces, Ranger, and Green Beret, a guy who has a TOTAL understanding of weapons including explosives, firearms, unarmed, breeching and entry team tactics, anti-kidnap driving, you name it. I've seen this guy with a shotgun, well, let me just say he's the real thing. Was involved in all the Reagan/Bush military actions, with plenty of live firefights.

But: not any awareness of y2k as a total collapse coming up! Zero ! Not making any special defensive plans, economic or otherwise, and apparently life will go on as usual.

Whether fizzle or flame-out, y2k is already the most interesting intersection of technology with personal psychology ever.


-- Runway Cat (, December 13, 1998.


I think there is another axis on the GI/DGI matrix, to the extent that one must also be open to the idea that the physical world as-it- is, isn't the only possibility out there. Now granted there are a number of VERY disparate views among the GI community as to what the follow on version should be, but none the less, one thing which seems to be a common thread in this forum is that people are carrying uncommon visions of what the future should be and can become for them. Everything from the 'revisioning' of the newagers, to the radical libertarians' desire for absolute freedom, to the conservative family values vision of some of us on the Christian end of the spectrum, we *all*, each and every one of us are capable of seeing things as they are now, and hypothesizing the future differently.

As far as the northian diagnostic goes - well, to a certain extent I have to agree. I am, in fact, getting ready to relocate next summer myself. On the other hand, the only way we'll know for certain who made the right choices will be after the fact - being in the middle of nowhere doesn't preclude some off course *whoops*-we-didn't-mean- to-launch-it ICBM from making a complete mess out of your catfish pond. survival is the only true test of survival methods, after all...

Arlin Adams

non-dimestore theology: Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you... - James 4:7-8a

-- Arlin H. Adams (, December 13, 1998.

To Ashton and Leska:

Anytime I come upon a tidbit of information on Y2K worth sharing with my wife and do so, her response is usually the same. "You don't need to convince me anymore. I just hope the end is quick. I don't won't to see anyone suffer."

The question I ask myself is, 'Why DO I keep looking?'. Am I looking for more confirmation to justify the preparations or to help be convince a friend or family member. Am I looking for the single event which should step up my efforts. Finish the well, get the plywood to board the windows, etc. OR, am I looking for some hint of good news which might indicate that things aren't as bad as I know they are.

Having experienced several life altering events over the last few years, my philosophy and advice to my wife and others can best be summed up by a quote from Charles Dickens:

"The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose."


-- MVI (, December 13, 1998.

MVI, I also wonder why I keep looking! I think it is because my stunned, skeptical brain is craving validation of "the end of present civilization." The self-preservation instinct cannot blithely accept this blot-out which hurtles at all of us yet is not acknowledged by the people!

It is a case of continual disbelief broken by spells of dread, then bursts of renewed purpose, good cheer, and that soaring liberating laughing rejoicing feeling, that soon we're outa here!

So I let my computer sit on "Recent Answers" and dip into the Asylum whenever possible, looking for fellow schizoid sufferers who share their insights, seekings, and tidbits of confirmation poking thru the outside world.

One way this has permanently changed me: if Y2K turns out not to be an "Extinction Level Event" for me personally, I will most definitely spend the rest of my life securing a little hill bug-out where we can be self-sufficient. It's always been my ideal, and is the practical path recommended by my Guru-Preceptor, Paramahansa Yogananda. Y2K has blazed in my permanent consciousness the drive to establish a natural dwelling removed from the majority of men.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, December 13, 1998.

"laughing, rejoicing feeling". I hafta recycle my favorite quote here:

"We watch the rising flood waters, secretly hoping to drown." - Andrei Codrescu

Where is thy sting, indeed.

But my main problem with death is:

its embarassing to leave your corpse lying around. It also makes you feel like a chump, to be a corpse lying around.


-- runway cat (, December 13, 1998.

I've seen so many people become corpses, and not one has minded about the worn-out used shell left behind! They're *still* themselves, lighter, more powerful, more keenly aware.

Anyway, the worry is that one will end up a body because of torture or other nasty wanna avoid endings -- still has to be disposed of then too. And if I die, a whole lotta DGIs will die first. By the time my x-bod hasta be dealt with, corpses will be dime-a-dozen, or penny-a-scores. The last thing I'm worried about is the leftovers. Even if the cannibals get the remains, who cares? as long as *I'm* gone before they arrive ;)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (, December 13, 1998.

Runway Cat quoted Melville-- "The one and only true voice of god is silence". That true silence is internal -- when achieved the noisy chatter our minds present to us disappears and for the second time in our lives we can hear what is really being spoken. (We've all heard it once -- we all recognize it when we hear it again.)

There may be newcomers to this forum who aren't aware that Gary North has a very clear view of the future he want to live in, and that he is working toward that end with all his strength. A vivid sense of that future can be gained by reading through Gary North & Y2K by Paul Thibodeau.

Thibodeau also provides an extensive set of quotations taken from the writings of North and others in the Christian Reconstruction movement. See Anthology of Quotations

Thibodeau himself is no impartial observer. He is trying to differentiate the "back-to-basics" Christianity he favors from the extreme rigor of the Christian Reconstruction movement advocated by North, and in refuting its principles.

All that aside, North has done a great deal toward developing public awareness of Y2K.

-- Tom Carey (, December 14, 1998.

Its the consequences of possible wholescale and simultaneous failure of much of our computerised infrastructure that is obviously causing doomsday speculation.

No-one knows:

How many systems won't be working in year 2000

Whether embedded systems are REALLY a problem

The ability or otherwise to "muck" through

The length of time it will take to fix y2k failures as they occur

Whether organisations will be drowned in y2k failures

Whether or not alternatives to failed systems can be put into place quickly enough

-- Richard Dale (, December 14, 1998.

MVI, I think its a case of walking forward, flowing if youre comfortable with that term, within awareness. Y2K appears to be like walking on constantly shift sands. My current strategy, uh vision, is to do what I can to prepare others and self, see if that is happing, and have back-up plans if the big sleep continues into next June.

To me it feels like Y2K is a souls growth test, too.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 14, 1998.

It is all explained in the simple words of Calvin (of "Calvin & Hobbes" fame)...."I'm not in denial - I'm just selective of which reality I accept."

-- Laurane (, December 14, 1998.

LOL! Thanks Laurane, I needed that.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, December 14, 1998.

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