How have you convinced a DGI?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Like everyone else I've been pretty frustrated at my lack of ability to convince anyone I know that Y2K is serious. But I've always been a poor persuader. So the question is, if you have managed to convince any DGI's, how did you do it?
Note that I'm not asking how you were convinced. Some people just have the sort of mindset that gets it right away. But how do you convince someone who doesn't?
Telling people the evidence doesn't work. Most people change the subject, or just quit talking. Some ideas I've thought of, not tried yet... most people seem to think they're experts on the matter, so maybe asking them a lot of loaded questions would be the way to go ("You're not worried? Cool, tell me why...but what about xyz?..."). Or maybe asking if someone would be willing to consider the possibility, if the evidence was there.
I sure would like to do some community-based preparation, but it ain't possible if no one in your community will go along. I know this has been discussed a lot before, so there's no need to respond with the same general frustrations we've expressed ad nauseum, but if you have had some success I'd like to hear about it.
-- Shimrod (email@example.com), January 11, 1999
The FEMA, Red Cross and N.G. announcements and the Gallup Poll helped me. By this time, you should let the DGIs move on their own; there's more than enough info out there already. Natural selection works; don't mess with it.
-- E. Coli (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 1999.
I have been lurching at this forum for a couple weeks and I would like to help out since this problem has been a big concern for me as well.
I started out by approaching everyone in my family with this issue with a great deal of alarm and research to back up my statements. Two people got it right away who I had expected would listen. It was even easier than I had expected to explain everything I knew and have them be open to it and start to prepare themselves.
However, in my own family, my son and partner still don't get it. And at first this really frustrated me and still does at times. However, I think there are many good reasons why this is happening to most of us at this time. One of them you touched upon yourself. That is, there are many differences between individuals regarding their willingness to consider changing their world view. This has been documented by previous groups such as Beyond War whose purpose was to attempt to change the minds of the whole population in order to solve a current crisis. New ideas which require a fundamental kind of shift in perspective are simply not adopted by everyone at once. There will be the pioneers, the early adapters who will follow the pioneers, the mainstream and the laggards. Once 20% of the people adopt the idea, the rest will follow, eventually. How long this process takes is variable. So we must simply accept that the mainstreamers and the laggards are not going to do anything until they see the media and their leaders tell them its ok or they experience something first hand that opens their eyes.
The people who get it right away are often the people who have less at stake in this. The more people are immersed in jobs which give them great satisfaction or money or both, who feel good about the status quo rather than secretly wishing they could get out of the rat race, the more likely they will stay in denial until they no longer are able to do so and then they may simply refuse to consider changing their lives. For them the thought of being cold, dirty and hungry is just unthinkable. This would apply to my young adult sons who grew up on Nintendo. Technology is so integral to their everyday lives, the thought of being without power is truly terrifying!
And the last thing that I see, which I believe is the greatest problem, is that we fail to appreciate the magnitude of this event ourselves. We think of it in terms of a problem similar to other disasters such as the Great Depression or a world war. However, I believe that no event in the history of our civilization will compare to this. And when people are told that the power and water are at risk, they realize this deep inside and run away as fast as they can from such thoughts. We try to inform people in the spirit of community as well as self interest in the hopes that everyone will be able to escape the terrible effects of such an event as the end of a civilization. (as we know it) Yet we fail to appreciate the power and momentum of the many centuries of human experience that led up to this day and we fail to appreciate the weight of people's expectations that it simply must continue because it always has. So far, only a very few people even of those who understand computers and live on the internet are able to see the big picture and take in the emotional realization and really get it. And all of us who do, are struggling terribly with feelings of craziness and split minds and immense stress and sometimes outright panic attacks from what we have seen. Many have pulled back from the original sight to a more comfortable place. It is very hard to do and we are asking people to do that with us.
Sometimes I feel that community organizing is pointless and other times I don't. The blank stares got me thinking, is the effort to make people get it possible and helpful as I would like to think. Or is it really impossible for most people to live in the world after y2k. If we lose our water in Southern California, no amount of organizing is going to save up enough for all of us to live. We humans have insisted upon building a house of cards in which millions of people live in places that would never support them in an attempt to fool mother nature. It isn't going to work, the house of cards is coming down. I really don't think that the normal kind of organizing is going to cut it. But I do think that small, rural, sustainable communities will make it and that humans will go on to the next civilization.
So now I am focusing on trying to convince just the 2 people in my family. I started out by giving them articles to read and from there I have attempted to convince them with facts. So far this has not worked yet. I have realized that it will take a major event and this wont take long in my opinion. So I am doing all the preparing for the family and for those I know will come from LA when it heats up.
I know you wanted a success story, but I believe that when we let go off the idea that we can or should convince the world and focus on what we can do, realizing how big this thing is, maybe we can relax just a little and worry less about the world. The community organizing sites make me wish that were possible. When the first big events happen, then some local organizing might be easier. On Cassandra's I have seen many organizers who say the same thing.
Tell me if you find any of this useful, I am open to suggestions and interested in your experiences.
-- Lora Ereshan (email@example.com), January 11, 1999.
I've managed to get about 50 folks a boot in the right direction. All are at various stages of prep, several have passed me like a freight train. My approach is:
- Have to start with the power grid and you gotta start'em off slowly. Draw comparisons to recent power outages like the one in Richmond over Christmas. Introduce some printouts from Red Cross, Rick Cowles, Dick Mills, etc to establish a little credibility. Pretty soon, they see that it's not a bad idea to get ready for a few weeks just in case. Give them some web sites to get them doing their own research (not scary gary yet!). Before you know it, every time you see them, they want to talk about it and you find that they've begun progressing from a few weeks to a month, etc.
- Now here's the real secret for those of us who tend to talk to the guys. To make step #1 work, you make sure the wife or girlfriend is present. Women tend to be less dimissive of anything that could pose a threat. She'll start working on him. Lots of exceptions, but I've seen it work over and over.
I also have some friends and relatives who resist all efforts. My brother is one. He lives in Philly and works for KPMG Peat Marwick. Says everyone he's spoken to at work says that while KPMG is making a ton of cash over Y2K, that it's all nonsense. He tunes me out completely.
Hope this helps someone.
to get past the defensive wall. The power grid is the easiest place to begin. Use some real current examples of regions that were without power for an extended period opf time like the folks around Richmond at Christmas. Ask
-- David (David@BankPacman.com), January 11, 1999.
Oops, sorry for the leftover garbage at the end of my post. Thought I deleted that thing!
-- David (David@BankPacman.com), January 11, 1999.
If someone will read some of my material but say they aren't going to store any food for their family, I offer to bet them $1000 that they will need at least a months worth of food storage. No one has been willing to wager that much money. Then I remind them that they are wagering much more(their children's lives) if they don't prepare. They hem and haw but some rethink.
-- Les Weil (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 1999.
I recently saw a colored map of the preparation levels of countries around the world. I don't believe it was a coincidence that the most prepared countries are also those which have also embraced the Internet! The English-speaking countries are pretty much the leaders of both Internet presence and Y2K preparedness.
Maybe this means that for a DGI to GI, they might start by surfing around a bit on their own to see who's talking. They might be surprised by the sheer volume of the situation when they see the bu**- coverage that's going on sites that are not even directly related to computers, finance, telecom, etc.
-- Jeff Wilson (email@example.com), January 11, 1999.
David, you got it! We're twin souls with the same MO.
I was speaking at our local Rotary Club - when I polled the audience, our district Superintendent said he was a 10! Choke! What a break!
Having another GI present (that you didn't know was a GI) is the most pleasant serendipitous experience you can imagine.
-- Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 1999.
My first success was with my wife. That was easy. We support each other completely. She knew I did my homework. The intensity with which I spoke to her about Y2K convinced her I was/am very serious about this issue. That's all it took. Yes, I know I'm blessed to have such a wonderful woman in my life!
The interviews Art Bell did with Gary North & Ed Yourdon have been quite effective with DGI's. I can post the links if anyone's interested. BTW, Art has a power grid specialist by the name of Stuart H. Rodman scheduled for tonight's show. The main subject will be Y2K. I don't know the credentials of this man.
One caveat: I find it highly unlikely that "the walking dead" can be convinced about anything as serious as Y2K. One definition of "the walking dead" is "those folks whose minds are either so closed that nothing outside of their tunnel vision can get in, or so open that their brains have fallen out". We all know these people. I engage them in conversation one time. If they begin to babble, I walk away. No guilt here.
I look at the DGI/GI conversion process the same way as I see those who proselytize (with tact) on behalf of any given religion that uses this technique of recruitment. First, I broach the Y2K issue briefly. If I receive a response that denotes interest, I offer to discuss it in more detail.
If the offer is accepted I begin to put the info on the table. I find I'm most effective when I can target a particular aspect of life that the individual (potential Y2K devotee) can relate to in a very personal way.
This is not always obvious. You would think that potential power outages would hit home to everyone. Not so. If the person has not experienced an outage of a couple of days, they often can't relate to the effects of such an occurrence. It's not in their database, so to speak.
A good working knowledge of this person's life experience goes a long way towards pushing their Y2K buttons. Intuition is a tool I use effectively, also. I despise manipulation, yet because I regard Y2K as potential life-threatening situation, I use it when the person in question is near & dear to me.
-- Bingo1 (email@example.com), January 12, 1999.