Critical Mass and TEOTFAWKI : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a friend who defines "Corporate Critical Mass" as that point in a company's growth at which you can no longer accomplish a single task with a single phone call. The company is never quite as good a place to work after that point as it was before.

Transactional Analysis theory (simply the analysis of human interactions), postulates that there are three basic "modes" that people operate in and use to conduct "transactions" with each other.

With two people, that means 9 possible relationships. Add a third person and the number goes to 27, a fourth and it goes to 81 and so forth. It is an exponential increase, not a linear one, and surprisingly the numbers, although large, do not overwhelm the human mind as soon as one might think.

Eventually, however, the numbers do become mind boggling and I perceive that to have become the case with this forum.

As in the "Corporate" case, "Forum Critical Mass" makes things so complicated and alien feeling that the "old timers" feel that they have lost something and indeed, things will never be the same. The simple event of having lost the contributions of PNG demonstrate that quite well.

What has also been lost is the camaraderie and security of belonging to a small group of "known" entities. That is gone, and gone for keeps.

What is now required is an assessment by each of us as to whether the "gains" from the contributions of the newcomers outweigh the "losses" that we perceive.

It would not be in keeping with the spirit of that which was, to make the newcomers feel anything but welcome and yet that will not bring back the "Old" forum. The "Old Timers" will always relate to each other in a somewhat different way. It seems unlikely that those sorts of relationships will develop with anything like the same frequency in the "New" forum, simply because of time and space constraints. The way that I read PNG's farewell was basically, "It was great while it lasted. Thanks and so long."

Chuck, The Night Driver, is correct (as he usually is) in that the percentages have remained relatively steady. That notwithstanding, we still are faced with more trolls than ever before. I have always found such beings contemptible and unappealing, but never so annoying as they might wish. As one of you "Old Timers" so accurately observed, they only want attention.

What is now incumbent on each of us, in my view, is an evaluation of our own circumstance versus the "New" forum and a change in behavior, or not, based on that evaluation. Not too earth-shattering, but we are witnessing TEOTFAWKI (The End Of The Forum As We Knew It). We cannot go back. We must go forward. The question is: Will we go forward alone or in the company of others that we have come to know and also in the company of others that we do not yet know? We are all free to do as we choose.

-- Hardliner (, December 14, 1998


Your post is a perfect example of the wasted time and space spent on this site. "I'm an Ol'timer, and I sure hate the trolls." BFD.

I was a lurker for months. (In fact, I used to read the draft chapters of Yourdon's book on-line; I even corresponded with him.) The only good advice I have received on this site was a referral to Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living." (BUY IT!)

You sir, however, have been no help.

-- citizen (, December 14, 1998.

"citizen" (of what?),

If you have indeed spent months lurking (and presumably reading the postings) and you read Ed's book and stillonly took away one valuable piece of advice, you are so incredibly thick that this forum is no place for you. Maybe gene therapy might help.

On the other hand, if the reason none of the advice was valuable was that you are already so prepared and intelligent and "educated" that it was beneath your level, then you are an incredibly selfish pig for not sharing any of that with the rest of us! (why do I not believe you to be that big a fish?)

In any event, your continued "lurking" presence (while receiving only one thing of value) belies your words. You're getting something out of your voyeuristic attendance and I don't care to know what it might be. If you don't have the brains or the courage or the social skills to speak up, the very least that you can do is to SHUT UP (which it seems, you have done until now)!

-- Hardliner (, December 14, 1998.

Thanks Hardliner, was a very well stated reflection on what things are /have become on this forum.

I wasn't from your "generation" of first timers, but came out of the woodwork later after much lurking. I felt I knew you all personally when I started posting. I have learned a lot from you Hardliner, you have a lot of wisdom and knowledge. I think that rude people like Citizen are jealous of your intelect and/or what you've been able to contribute and he not.

The forum is different now, but its past is still available in the archives.

PNG said clearly that the cost of internet access was too expensive per hour for him. It's not anyone's fault. Forums are like that, they become popular and they grow. People come and go. New people, new ideas.

-- Chris (, December 14, 1998.

Ouch don't yell so loud! ;) hehe..

Hardliner, you need some Asylum therapy to help you vent and about a limerick or two eh? whaddya say? :)

-- Chris (, December 14, 1998.

Well said Hardliner and Chuck - whilst not around as long as you guys I've also noticed that the balloon is filling - a lot of trolls out there nowadays, there weren't any when I first checked out this forum a while back. C'est la vie. Thankfully the pearls supplied by PNG and others are still on archive for those who missed them the first time around.

Such is life, indeed. Anyhow I'm still going to hang in here, checking out some other places too - this whole subject is just too fascinating for me to abandon because of some mindless idiots out there. If anything they are actually a reminder of the SOB's that I will have to deal with WTSHTF. My brother is a yellow cab driver in San Francisco, mugged twice at gunpoint, once with a knife, and deals with these scumbags every day (many wearing Guccis and Armanis natch) - he also however meets the kindest, cleverest and funniest people, from all walks of life. Same thing on this forum....... He enjoys his job (more dangerous than being a Cop for deaths on the job, six cabbies dead in the last year/18 months) despite these low-lifes. Good y2k training he says:), only semi-jokingly!

They will get theirs one day - with such a brain as they have its just a matter of time:)

-- Andy (, December 14, 1998.


read a post from you recently in which you were romaniticizing the Marine Corps, going on about how the people you knew in your 40 years of service were totally dedicated to protecting the freedoms of all Americans and defending the Constitution against any coup attempts to the last drop of patriotic blood...and we civiilians don't have to worry......

but, you know, this post answers the questions i had about your previous post: the military's first order of business is to defend its own prerogatives and protect its own privileged little niche, and the second priority is to protect the ignorant civilians from foreign enemies and themselves.

so, I guess we're just damned lucky to have an elite fellow like you and an elite group like your Marines to come to our aid, hardliner. but i wish we had a choice in the matter, frankly.

-- joseph danison (, December 14, 1998.


I only have one thing to say to you.

Thank you.

Mike =====================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, December 14, 1998.

The unique thing about this site is not necessarily the practical information- there are more efficient, straightforward ways to get that (at least, once you know where to look). It is that people share personal experiences, feelings, fears about Y2K. Sure, we all get 'off topic' on occasion, but what is really off-topic for those of us who expect y2k to really change our lives and communities? PNGs most interesting posts concerned y2k from his firsthand perspective of Japan/Asia and I, for one, will miss them. But I can't see adjusting the entire forum to accomodate Japanese internet pricing. What I enjoy about the postings of established participants is that one has a feeling for the personalities behind them. One tends to have an idea of where they stand and when they are serious, when not. New members add new ideas- it gets repetitive for lurkers to read through days of messages by essentially the same small pool of posters. Sometimes, that is the only reason we post! You're right, Chuck, we all have to evaluate-- but that is nothing new. Even we lurkers have to do that; and with home-school and six kids I, for one, don't have time to read-or post-regularly. In any case, I would be sorry to see you go as I have always appreciated your balanced, fair approach. With enough sense of humor to not take yourself so seriously that one can't help stepping on your toes (a danger I always sense with Paul Milne). Whatever your choice, thanks!

-- Maria (, December 15, 1998.

Hardliner (The Solid One),

Maybe thinking of the Forum as Fluid rather than Fixed will help.

Everything changes, daily. Our lives, our experiences, our emotions and both the natural and manmade worlds around us. Perhaps this is a test of how well we can adapt to change. We will certainly be tested on many levels next year. There is also a larger "impact" to participate in. None of us has any idea of how far this forum ripples through the internet pond.

We just might be doing more good than we have any conception of.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 15, 1998.

OK, I'm a troll, I'll take off now. Important: the article "Bankers: Preparing for a Panic" by Mr. McCullagh enabled me to get a letter published in the local paper: I found that letter on this forum. The community's waking up (starting to get phone calls), so thanks for the info, bye now.

Actually, the clique Hardliner refers to is the second generation of elite. The first group disappeared about 4 months ago.

-- Lisa (, December 15, 1998.

joseph danison,

As you seem to be a "civilian" and one without much factual knowledge of America's military, let me offer you a few of the facts that may alter your perspective.

Any, ". . .romaniticizing (sic) of the Marine Corps. . .", was in your perception, and certainly not in my intention. Such may exist in Hollywood portrayals of the Corps, but I assure you, one's first 30 seconds at Parris Island imprints a permanent, correct understanding that the only "romance" to be had is during liberty hours.

I certainly did not say, nor is it correct that, ". . .we civilians don't have to worry......" What I meant, and perhaps did not say very well, is that the idea of America's military turning into the Gestapo-like organs that the federal law enforcement establishment has become is not likely to happen, at all, in any significant degree.

To supplement your knowledge of our Constitution, let me point out that Section 8 provides for the Congress, "To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." They have done so, and the "rules" are called The Uniform Code of Military Justice. In effect, this provides members of our military with less in the way of Constitutional protections than a "civilian". It is a unique relationship that exists between the civil and military parts of America.

You comments regarding "coup attempts" strike me as belonging in the closet with fears of a bogeyman inasmuch as more than two centuries have passed without a single such act by any part of our military.

Your comments about, ". . .the last drop of patriotic blood...", are out of order and come close to treasonous slander as it might apply to the millions of America's sons and daughters who have given that last drop so that such as yourself might speak in this forum.

Your "questions" about a previous posting were unasked, until you answered them yourself. When one engages in such a procedure sexually, we have a word for it: in this case, other readers will have to decide for themselves what to call it and how to evaluate it.

As for your setting priorities for our military, you are quite simply incorrect. The first priority of the military is to make war and win. That has always been the case as it must be for any society's military. Any other concept is contrary to the existence of a military at all.

I have not met anyone in the military who has said that being a civilian makes one ignorant. I have not met anyone who acted as if they thought that. Ignorance is a freely distributed commodity, and civilians have no corner on the market.

Your, ". . .privileged little niche. . .", is a myth, and belongs in a class with the one that holds that prisoners in our society are coddled (Unless you have been caged by your fellow man, don't even bother to argue that one). As the UCMJ makes clear, military folks have nothing like the freedom that civilians do, and it would seem unlikely that military pay could be seen as an attraction.

I do not consider myself, "an elite fellow", but I know that the Marine Corps is an elite organization and that I am a member of it. We have not bestowed the designation on ourselves, but rather those civilians that you suppose we look down on have done so. I shall also tell you this, Joseph: in spite of the anger, pain and sadness that your words have caused within me, I would still come to your aid should it fall my lot to do so. I would not do so because you are worthy or not worthy, but because I am a Marine. It is the same reason that Marines guard Clinton. Do you suppose that the sentiments of Marines regarding him are unknown to the White House? If a person like "Slick" is not worried about getting on a helo with a crew of Marines, I submit that you have nothing to worry about.

And finally you, "wish we had a choice in the matter. . ." I'm not really sure what you had in mind when you wrote that, but it is apparent to me that there are always choices.

-- Hardliner (, December 15, 1998.


Per your last post to Mr. Danison, I would only hope that our Military leadership still has the caliber and integrity of servicemen like yourself. Well spoken, well said. You sir, deserve the honor and gratitude of a grateful nation that has enjoyed peace and prosperity through the service of men like yourself.

My only concern sir, is that there are social engineers that are being placed into leadership roles within our elite forces, and corrupting the pure purpose for which they were devised by our founders. The high stature and instant readiness of our forces has been diminished by a bunch of civillian socialist radicals that loathe the military and are in the process of remaking it into their own image.

I do not wish to demean yourself or corps sir. Some of us are simply afraid that the pure intent of our military may be turned on us to serve political purposes in a time of chaos. Case-in-point sir is the breachment of posse comitattus statutes with respect to using military forces in civillian law enforcement. I understand Marines are exempt from that statute, as the Navy is not bound by it. The military exists as you so adequately put it; to make war and win.

I fear that recently, that role has been demeaned to; deploy and keep peace, or to be a worldwide meals-on-wheels. Peace through strength is no longer our nation's doctrine.

Such a misuse of our military makes it plausible for us civies to envision fears of our elite forces being misused. The success of our military is based on following orders without question as you yourself stated. Up to this time, honorable leaders have commandeered our military, but now that is in question as we have a commander-in-chief that may have misused our forces for political cover.

These are not the ravings of a paranoid extremist that belong in a closet with the bogeyman. But, your assesment that the idea of the military becoming a gestapo-like arm of the government is "not likely to happen" ignores the strides this Administration has taken to politicize every independant agency in the government. The blatant misuse of force in Sudan and Afghanistan by this President is what drives our mistrust, not you or the fine men in service.

A tool for righteousness can easily be manipulated into a weapon for tyranny.

Only if we civillians allow it to happen.

But thank you Hardliner for your proper definition of the purpose of the military, and your service to protect folks like myself to continue speaking freely.

-- INVAR (, December 15, 1998.

Well Hardliner, (feel like saying sir here) I'm speachless :) *salute*

-- Chris (, December 15, 1998.

I salute, as well. (and I'm not actually a troll, never have been.)

-- Lisa (, December 15, 1998.


You have put your finger on the pulse of the matter.

If the legally defined mission of the Marine Corps was to, "Detect and remove from office those unfit to hold it", I suspect that there would have been a pair of Jarheads at the White House in 1992 to settle the matter and we wouldn't now be in the midst of this congressional fracas.

The dilemma here is that the military is "damned if they do and damned if they don't".

The military has, for over 200 years, abided by the dictum that civilian authority would define the duties and mission, within the framework of the Constitution. To do otherwise would be to justify and give reality to your fears. If we fail to honor our oath to the Constitution (not to the President) we will have failed America. And, although it is clearly not the mission of the military, if any of us allow the "alphabet soup" of federal law enforcement to destroy our Republic, then we have also failed America.

So far, the orders we have been given have been lawful, although sometimes only technically so. Somalia, Haiti, the Mexican Border and various other duty assignments have been universally despised by the military that I know, yet they were not "wrong" in such a clear cut manner that we would be justified in refusing to obey. Unfortunately, it really is a matter of, "what 'is' means."

We in the military have many of the same fears for our Republic that you voice here. We are, however, restrained for the most part from even voicing them publicly. Just as the civilian populace must depend on us to perform the actual war-making, the military must depend on the civilian populace to keep the government in order. Our allegiance is to the Constitution and must remain so in all eventualities and at all costs.

The "Social Engineers" that you refer to are marked well by the military and widely despised as "political officers". I suggest that you recall the one aboard "Red October" for a likely prediction as to their eventual fate. Hollywood doesn't always get it wrong. And you will recall that a young Marine corporal shot and killed a Mexican boy that was tending his goats along the Rio Bravo. Every Marine that I know has condemned his act and his character and expressed the sentiment that he should be expelled from the Corps. Unfortunately, the government that awarded Lon Horiuchi (the man who shot and killed Vicki Weaver, while unarmed and holding her child) the nation's highest civilian medal of honor would most likely reward that corporal with a "choice" federal law enforcement position.

As a general proposition, your statement that, "A tool for righteousness can easily be manipulated into a weapon for tyranny", is quite well taken. In the instance of our military establishment being the "tool" however, I am certain in my own heart and mind that the current government would find it akin to the staff that turned into a serpent in front of Moses, but this snake would not likely be amenable to handling by the likes of "Slick" and his ilk. (I really don't much like that analogy because Moses and "Slick" have about as much in common as ice-cream and dog shit)

The exquisite pearl of wisdom here though, is your statement, "Only if we civillians (sic) allow it to happen."

-- Hardliner (, December 15, 1998.

Bravo again Hardliner!

However, the fear I feel as to your last quote of mine "only if we civillians allow it to happen", manifests itself in the recent apathy of the American people. It's true politically as well as with Y2K. Americans today are generally ignorant of our history and the danger we face as a nation. They are willfully so.

The fact the bozo in office was elected TWICE, and now everyone is apologizing for him and demonizing those following their Constitutional duties, proves to me that the people want a king, and our Constitution is as worthless as used shit paper.

If the people get what they want because they have been TOLD what they want by the socialist media, the fears I spelled out in reference to our military may be realised.

The people want a king.

When Y2K hits, they will want a savior.

This is where I fear the tool of the military will become the weapon of tyranny.

Your quote "...Moses and Slick have as much in common as ice cream and dogshit" had me holding my sides in pain.

This is true. However, the devil appears as an angel of light, deceiving many. In Clintonspeak ice cream is dogshit, or perhaps it all depends on what the definition of dogshit is.

-- INVAR (, December 15, 1998.

I'm a newbie on this forum, but have posted on other forums a good deal. It seems that once a forum of originals is established, they long for the early days just as "old times" from the war days long for their old war days. I don't post much, and lurked a long time before I posted. But some forums make newcomers feel very unwelcome, unless you are a religious, groveling type; y2k magazine food and survival for instance.

-- gilda jessie (, December 16, 1998.


I read your account on another thread of being accused of "trollhood" and your subsequent departure from that "congregation". I think you made a wise choice. "Saints" seldom wish to share, only to preach.

Here, if someone calls you a troll and the shoe fits, you must wear it. If it doesn't fit, they only reveal their own ignorance to everyone else.

Although I have no brief to do so, Jarheads are not often bashful so I'd like to welcome you to our collective insanity. As for shoes and whether they fit or not, I'll bet that you fit a glass slipper anyway, so let me suggest that you forget "mark-of-the-beast-land" and make your on-line home with us. We're all insane, and a thick skin is always a blessing, but we're usually pretty civil to each other.

I would like to set you straight about one thing though. "Old Timers" who have been to war never long to go back. The simple truth is that war is the most evil thing that humans do and no one in their right mind would willingly attend one twice. I speak with some experience on this, and I assure you it is true.

As for the forum and wishing for the "Good Old Times", I suspect that what's really got everyone's knickers in a twist is the "Server Busy" nonsense. As Paul Davis quite correctly pointed out, the trouble is not often with the forum hardware (or software) but is usually down the line. In any case, it's a tempest in a teapot compared to what we're looking at just down the road a ways.

I think I can safely speak for most of us here when I say that we're looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

-- Hardliner (, December 16, 1998.

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