greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am new to this forum but the stupid answers that i got just proves that a handfull of people can dominate and controle.Personal attacks prove my point. There are 4 or 5 people who controle by telling everybody what to think and do. This reminds me of Washington and the spindoctors. New people are afraid to post a question for fear of attack. Censorship is the begining of information control. What next will this forum use a database to get information on each of us? Will your name be taken down and a customer profile be kept? If you ask a question that is not of normal behavior like everybody else you will be stopped. Sounds like FDIC to me. You guard dogs dont like change so you attack+attack = silence. For many people this is the only voice they have even if you disagree with them let them speak.

-- Steve Bell (JVin470924@aol.com), December 17, 1998


Webster sez:

"censor - to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable.

censorship - the institution, system or practice of censoring; censorial control excersized repressively..."

I really don't see an institution or system for this evolving on this forum. Some posters have asked Mr. Yourdon to delete the irrelevant and particularly offensive posts and he has agreed to do that. He said he won't close up the forum by passwording it, or whatever. I agree with that decision.

As far as the idea of 4 or 5 people dominating and controlling the flow of information, well, let's just say that people can be opinionated. Some people with strong opinions can present them more forcefully than others, but then we're all different, aren't we? The only thing I can find that you wrote was the "Let them all die" thread, and frankly, I thought that what you wrote was pretty dumb. And I'm not afraid to say so. I think most of the people who responded to you thought the same, but seemed to be willing to let you say it.

I don't know what your feelings are on "democracy" but that's pretty much how it works, isn't it? People expressing their opinions and attacking each other, and parrying, and trying to get their perspective across. Gotta have a pretty thick skin to play that game. Nobody is saying don't speak your mind (unless it's offensive AND off- topic) But people will respond, and often personally and forcefully. Get used to it...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 17, 1998.

Oh, and by the way, this forum is afterall a privately owned entity. The owners of anything in the marketplace should have the right to control how that thing is used. And that includes collecting and using information for whatever purpose that owner chooses. You have the right not to provide that information. The FDIC "Know Your Customer" thing is different. That's the government requiring privately owned business to collect certain information and provide it to the government. Different animal altogether...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 17, 1998.


Either you are two people, or you've changed your attitude greatly from the other post with the same name.

People here will listen and learn from anybody speaking. We will, in general, respect opinions backed up by facts or references. We will (as a group) not respond with hatred or flames those opinions only backed by "faith" and no facts - you want arguements, look at those threads addressing religion!

Any technically related opinion is treated as truth (fact) but the author needs to understand that he/she assumes responsility for people lives if he/she is wrong. Example - you claim it is safe to store a propane bottle indoors next to a wood stove. If I don't correct you, a house in Canada may blow up. If you claim bottled spring water is safe to store for 12 months. If I don't know, but agree with you, I may contribute to a baby in LA getting poisoned formula.

Any technical 'fact" therefore is open to the forum's consensus of genaeral knowledge.

Censorship of ideas or language.

This is an open field. We can't keep people out - and don't want to. We are still in a process of teaching and nuturing people new to the idea of possible calamity. These people are nervous, uncertain, and frightened. Many (almost all) newcomers are actually looking for reinforcement of society's typical views that Y2K is dominated by "kooks, "right-wing" religious zealots, survialists, and profiteers looking to make a buck from something that is a bump in the road." We who are trying to educate family (including children, mothers, and others who we respect and love) absolutely cannot tolerate hatred and outrageous foul language in something we can't edit before printing or saving to files.

Trolls (people fishing for trouble by inflaming people, and by impersonating other established readers) and people randomly spewing hatred and stupidity deserve to be censored. They have proven they have no "right" to speak on a public stage because they have walked on to that stage, taken the micrphone, and defecated in front of the audience. If that polution is as much as they can contribute, they require censorship.

Those threads or comments that require censorship are the ones whose author has poluted our drinking water. Since the writer has no self control, somebody else must establish that control. You may argue "free speech" overrides everything else. But free speach requires self discipline, and your free speach stops at my child's mind.

Each person in this forum quickly aquires a reputation based on their attitude, their technical knowledge, their background, and their responses. Your reputation, right now, isn't very good, based on what you have contributed so far. So, what will you do to either contribute something useful, or to be quiet and not polute a valuable public stage?

I include, of course, as a valuable response: any negative answer (or series of answers) that shows any valid technical facts showing that any assumptions are false. If your sole purpose is to prove we are wrong, so much the better. But we are realists, not faith healers. All of us are tired of being lied to by the government and news media and business analysts on TV.

Mere opinions won't work. "Faith" that we will get through withno problems won't work. Only facts, backed up with links to the source of your data.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), December 17, 1998.

I agree with you Steve. If you have a point of view that's different, some zealots blast you. I think these alarmists don't have their facts straight but they consider me "brainless zombies" (as Ed Yourdon did in his newletter). So it looks like we've reduced this debate to name calling. Don't worry I believe you're in the majority, that is intelligent people who understand the Y2K problem and don't think it will produce chaos. Only panic can produce collapse as it did in the great depression.


-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), December 17, 1998.

I agree with almost everything you've said here, Mr. Cook, as I respect everything you have ever contributed on this forum, whether I agree. But I must take exception to this one point.

You have said, "...your free speech stops at my child's mind." Lately, much governmentally intrusive mischief and curtailment of personal freedom has been promulgated in the cause of "saving the children." As long as I don't deliberately physically harm your child, any other influence is subject to mitigation by parental influence. In other words, your child's mind is your responsibility.

Regarding the contumely and distraction of certain recent posters: When I first began monitoring and posting to this ng, over a year ago, IIRC, it was a much fiestier, confrontational forum. I'm delighted that it has matured into "kinder, gentler" place; I feel much more comfortable at lower adrenalin levels. However, I am still mindful of good advice given by a contributor to the very boisterous and rough-and-tumble csy2k newsgroup who indelicately suggested, "This is Usenet. Wear a cup."


"If you want to connect with their conscious minds, smack them on the head with a two by four -- don't be subtle, write with a hammer." ---Richard Reese

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), December 17, 1998.

Steve - if you don't like the way Yourdon runs his soapbox - get your own. That's freedom, isn't it?

Robert - just an aside - WalMart down here in Memphis has bottled water with an expiration date of 3/1/2000 for 58 cents per gallon jug.

Maria - if you will read the current "Where are all the relocators" thread you will get a pretty complete discussion between the moderate and the extreme positions vis a vis Y2K.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 17, 1998.

Maria - Many things contributed to "The Great Crash" (as Galbraith and others call it.) Panic was only one factor, but that reaction should also be seen as simply the flip side of the 1920's version of our current "irrational exuberance" about the stock market. Encouraging investors, especially individual investors, to ignore market fundamentals eventually results in a large number of people losing important money: their savings and possibly their livelihoods.

The Great Depression was not caused by panic; it was the result of economic fundamentals and some unwise decisions by government and business leaders in the US and abroad.

Preparing for an earthquake, monsoon, or other massive infrastructure damage is not panic, it's prudence. Most expert meteorologists said early on that Hurricane Mitch would be big, but not devastating. Many people chose not to (or could not) get out of its way. Both groups were very wrong, and many in the latter group are not longer with us.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), December 17, 1998.


Since you are new to this forum, perhaps you did not see the postings which were deleted.

I saw some, and they were _not_ simply expressing unpopular opinions about Y2K -- they were _completely_ off-topic, having nothing whatsoever to do with Y2K.

>Personal attacks prove my point.

How so? Personal attacks are tolerated and not censored.

>There are 4 or 5 people who controle by telling everybody what to think and do.

I disagree. You can "tell everybody what to think and do" if you wish -- that's expressing your opinion, and it won't be censored.

>New people are afraid to post a question for fear of attack.

Personal attack is not the same as censorship. However, it does take a certain amount of courage to begin posting ones opinions in this or most other 'Net forums, because one may indeed find that some responses are not friendly. That's life on the 'Net, unfortunately.

>If you ask a question that is not of normal behavior like everybody else you will be stopped.

That is not what happened here.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 17, 1998.

Maria, if you are NOT a troll, please introduce yourself and I will use another name to keep people from getting confused. And everybody else, until 'she' does, please do not confuse us. I introduced myself (who are we thread, 2nd or 3rd incarnation) and do not post with (anonymous) in the e-mail address.

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), December 17, 1998.

By the way, if I really believed what is posted under my name on this and other threads today, why would I be here? I have plenty to do without wasting time on a problem I consider exagerrated or hype. I am here because I do, indeed, see a real problem and appreciate any information that illuminates a corner or helps round out the picture, especially from those of you who have more time to track down links and news stories than I or personal experience in affected fields. The problem with trolls is that they make this whole discussion more anonymous and impersonal than it need be- we can only respond to 'what' without the context of 'who'.

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), December 17, 1998.

Ask a stupid question, expect stupid answers.

-- Have some (common@sense.please), December 17, 1998.

Steve, you may be able to get an idea where you'd be more at home (IF you don't like this forum) from my lonely forum review posting: LonelyReviewOfForumsByRC


-- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 17, 1998.

I am also new to this forum. I have in the past written articles against censorship, and like Mr. Yourdon, I'm ordinarily against it. But the posts that were removed were not relevant to this forum in any way. The people on here are decent and intelligent. I was on a forum once and was attacked by all but one, and it made me feel awful. I've never had that feeling here.

-- gilda jessie (jess@listbot.com), December 17, 1998.

This is an interesting troll concept!

A new guy comes in and flames everyone, yada, yada, yada. And then a second troll comes in (anti-troll troll) assumes the flamers identity, acts like a nice guy, the accepts the responsibility, and expresses hurt due to his immense sensitivity.

This is like the scenario of a person taking responsibility for a crime that he did not commit, just for the attention.

Of course I could be wrong. (OCICBW to coin an acronym)


-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), December 17, 1998.

Infinity loops are exceedingly easy to create in cyber-space. They have some of the characteristics of black holes. Ten cuidado!

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), December 17, 1998.

Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com) -

I didn't believe that Maria (anon@ymous.com) was you, or that "her" post was necessarily meant as an imposter...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 17, 1998.

Thanks, Shannon!- I don't want to assume anything either, but have found my name signed to several messages on several threads today and the tone of some of them...in any case, if I'm wrong, I would just like to get it cleared up. There is room for two people of the name, as long as everyone knows who is who.

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), December 18, 1998.

I think Steve you should be heartened by the wisdom and tolerance shown by the regular posters (not me though) to your puerile rants.

You will gain people's respect by what you are. You haven't got mine yet, but why should that bother you.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), December 18, 1998.

It's sad to see how much disruption can be caused by a few rude, immature, self-centered children. Some of you have tried to talk to them politely and intelligently, to persuade them to engage the topic and to stop the trashing. They don't understand and they refuse to try. If you ever needed an example of "pearls before swine", well, that's it. Look at the threads generated today. Words fail me.

Several days ago, I made the mistake of recommending to a reporter at National Public Radio, that if he needed some intelligent and diverse opinions on Y2K and it's impact, he couldn't find a better place than this forum. Now what do you think he's going to say if he checks in today?

And what of that bank that someone earler said has been monitoring the forum for ideas and information?

It's a matter of credibility.

There's more at stake here than the integrity of a simple internet discussion forum. The topic is far too important to allow a few trolls to completely undermine. I can't imagine why they're even here except they've found a large audience for their antics.

It's becoming a waste of time to even read the threads that are posted anymore. I guess PNG saw this coming.

he check out the discussions on this forum for some intelligent

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), December 18, 1998.

Oops. Sorry about the trailing fragment at the last post. Thought I deleted that thing.

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), December 18, 1998.

As shown above.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), December 18, 1998.

David - you and I must have crossed postings. My reference to "above" was to the polution inserted above your letter, not to your comments themselves. Good observation.

Hope there was no confusion about my intent there.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), December 18, 1998.

The majority of posts on this thread seem to show exactly why a moderator and censorship aren't really required.

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

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), December 18, 1998.

Robert, you continue to demonstrate why we respect you. Thanks for the clarification, but not really necessary. I saw what the thread looked like before the garbage comments were purged. In fact, I was tempted to insert a similar "Thanks for demonstrating the point" type comment. Now that the offending stuff is gone, it reads a little different. I guess that's an unfortunate consequence of censorship.

Regardless . . . to whomever cleaned this place up, a sincere "Thank you". I fear your work is just beginning.

Any idea the identify of our mysterious benefactor? Mr. Yourdon? Webmaster? Perhaps we should invent a name? Suggestions?

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), December 18, 1998.

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