What is your definition of "TEOTWAWKI" - - -"This is really really ticking me off, Mable..."

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Actually, this is a serious question. Rant-mode ON. Apologies if I screw up the scripting...

Hmmm, TEOTWAWKI - maybe I've got it all ass-backwards? :)

People very often bandy the term TEOTWAWKI around willy-nilly, without really seeming to know what it means. Maybe they DO know what it means but it suits their purpose to either scare people or discredit people by using the term.

I think it already has got out of control, so my little alert here will not really help, the acronym has already entered (sorta) common useage in certain circles and will be completely bastardised by the media as 1999 rolls to a climax. OK, denouement (is that right Chris?) OK anti-climax :) OK, logical conclusion :) :)

This is what it means to me:-

REM song... it's "The End Of The World As We Know It."

This does not mean, literally, the end of the world as in "On The Beach", or St. Johns' Revelation, or an Extinction Level Event, or Clinton telling the truth. tell that to "The Media" and people who should know better.

This is my take:-

The last 4 words are the key.

"As we know it......."

That could mean, no cars/trucks running... (due to no oil imported because of refineries/shipping/ports/GPS/petrol tankers/banking going up the proverbial swannee big time - remember 1973???)

It could mean no electricity...

It could mean no JIT delivery of food...

It could mean anything that is *NOT* as we know it.......

Any of the above 3 examples would mean TEOTWAWKI - wouldn't they???

By that, I mean the end of OUR world as WE know it...

Andy, the pedantic boring nit-picker.

If I've got it wrong please put me out of my misery. Thanks.

Two digits. One mechanism. The smallest mistake.

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world (yes I think he means TEOTWAWKI!) will be brought about."

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922 (Sufi Prophet)

Rant-mode OFF.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 17, 1999


no spam please - help!

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 17, 1999.


You nailed my own personal definition of TEOTWAWKI and Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan did an excellent job of visualizing just what might bring it about.

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

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

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), January 17, 1999.

</i> Earlier typo was "<i/>"

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), January 17, 1999.

Yes, I agree that TEOTWAWKI is usually used interchangeably and incorrectly to mean TEOTW. I also feel that TEOTWAWKI is pretty much inevitable with Y2K; I have real problems visualizing less than a huge depression, with the economic and emotional repurcussions that that implies.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), January 17, 1999.

Big bad Depression, with civil strife and violence and no power and lots and lots of people dying. The USA remains the UNITED States of America, except for maybe a Mexican invasion and the secession of some of the Southern states and possibly something involving Fidel Castro and Cuba. Lots and lots and lots of people die of the cold, of disease, and of starvation. To a lesser extent, violence or violence induced by the desire for warmth/food/vaccines.


-- Leo (lchampion@ozemail.com.au), January 17, 1999.

TEOTWAWKI certainly means different things to different people. My kids would think their world had ended without TV, computers and stereos. I'd find a world without radio, telephones and cheap transportion decidedly strange. But my parents wouldn't be fazed until they lost lights and refrigeration. I'm sure, were my grandparents alive today that, once the sturm und drang of the crisis was over, what remained would not be the end of anything important as they knew it.


"Of course I could be wrong. It could be worse."---Ivan Mingham, aka. Infomagic

-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), January 17, 1999.


You had hit upon something when you mentioned "On the Beach"...but thats not the beach I am talking about. For some of us that can remember the day, my version of TEOTWAWKI is hitting another beach. One in Germany, many years ago. A little placed called Omaha. Thousands of Marines did in fact consider that the end of the world as they knew it and for the ones that survived, like yours truly, it might as well have been.

TEOTWAWKI? The problem with such a vauge generality is that the world is known so may different ways to so many different people. But I dio agree with you Andy, the press is sure to butcher it in whatever "Crisis of the Century of the Week" billing they give it.

-- TenBears (Apalled@WashingtonDC.com), January 17, 1999.

Andy, I think I understand your frustration. It wouldn't take much to change the world "as we know it." The loss of a job or a spouse for example. It doesn't take Y2K to cause that.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), January 17, 1999.

Ten Bears:

Plese tell us more about how when you were a Marine, you stormed Omaha beach in Germany. I am sure many of us have forgotten that part of the war.

Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), January 17, 1999.


You bring up a good point - some people will take TEOTWAWKI literally. For me the definition is that life will be disrupted in each of our own little worlds. We will have to think about the basic things in life where now most of us take them for granted. Our comfortable little world will fall apart and a new world will be built. So the end of our little world as we know it will come to an end. It is called a "reality check" by some. I am looking forward to watch some people, who have lived inside their own little protective bubble, deal with the game of survival.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), January 17, 1999.


I am NOT looking forward to watching "them" suffer. Thinking about it makes me want to cry. Some of my closest friends are "thems". I will be teaching a classroom filled with mostly little "thems" this A.M Among other things, the lesson is on "loving and caring for others as we do ourselves". I do not make a habit of "preaching" here, but I am willing to make an exception in this case.

-- Sue (conibear@gateway.net), January 17, 1999.

Come on 10 beers

Lets hear it, I'm sure both Hardliner and I will also find your story very interesting.

Hmmmm....since you are 12 now, that means that you would have been how old then?

Never bullshit a bullshitter, son.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), January 17, 1999.

Hi Sue

I really don't like to see people suffer but they are those that go into a grocery store and pick out groceries without ever looking at prices. Some will have to cancel their yearly trip abroad. Trading in for a new car each year will come to a hault. Yes - everyone's bubble will be poked and it is unfortunate for our children that theirs will also change. Change is good and change is growth. I guess I was targeting the "fat cats" more than John/Jane Doe Public. Some people will see hardly any change because they live from a "hand to mouth" existance as we speak. On a final note: If I have offended you I am truely sorry. However, it will be interesting to observe human behavior in a time of change.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), January 17, 1999.

Randy, You mention the prophet Pir-o-Murshid, and John's Revelation. My study of John indicates the end of this economy, and all that goes with it, and not the end of the world. If you studied Western Civ. then you have a fair idea of what Revelations is all about, with some still to occur such as...(Rev 18:11 KJV) "And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:". If y2k is the event which takes out the Beast then Poetic Justice is Served. If y2k is not the event that takes out the system hold on because this economy is going down.

Watched the movie Grapes of Wrath the other day, the farmer was being evicted from his family farm and he says to the banker "Tell me who is responsible for this and I'll shoot him." The banker replied that this is coming from New York City and there is no one to shoot. How can you fight it? (Rev 13:4 KJV) "...Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), January 17, 1999.


Great thread. I've thought about this too. It's another case of semantics raising its ugly head.

Some people would call a "Pollyanna" anyone who doesn't believe in a situation requiring rural relocation, guns, raising bees and solar panels. Some people would say that anyone who thinks it's necessary to provide for a few weeks of heat, water and food for themselves is someone who believes in "TEOTWAWKI".

A plausible scenario to me for 2000 is two weeks without electricity and water, followed by a month or two of MAJOR transportation disruptions and inconveniences, followed by a lengthy period of global depression, shortages and rationing. This would be the end of the world as I've known it.

Since I've been alive, the highest the unemployment rate has been was about 10% in 1982-1983. The unemployment rate was 25% in 1932 and 1933. There hasn't been any major rationing of essential goods in the U.S. since World War II. Y2K, even without the end of "Western Civilization" and without a mass exodus from cities to rural areas for food, would still be the end of the world as most know it.

I think we should quit using the words "Pollyanna" and "TEOTWAWKI" on this forum. They're easy labels with no common definition. If we have to disagree with someone, do it by describing how your probable scenario and steps to prepare for it are different from someone else's.

Why do we disagree so much anyway? None of us knows how Y2K will turn out, except that the possibility of life-threatening situations is certainly possible. I call this forum to continually revise my plausible scenario, and to see how my preparations plans would have to be changed to accomodate that scenario. I call here to see new pieces of information other people discover each day.

Different shades of disruption and preparation are ignored when we label others as being "Pollyanna" or believers in "TEOTWAWKI".

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 17, 1999.

You've described my own meaning of TEOTWAWKI very well.

It's also a case of a cliche acronym being over-used and losing it's real meaning. An acronym being over-used and twisted by the Media for propagenda and disinformation purposes. As with all cliche, we would be better off to stop using it, and start explaining in more detail what we think.

(Denouement was a bit of a hyperbole, but yes it fits ;-))

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 17, 1999.

Road Warrior... Omega Man.... Zardoz..... The Stand..... On the Beach.... A Boy & His Dog (bet none of you have seen that one)..... My life is littered with futuristic, post-apocalyptic films & books. Picturing life after the bottom drops out isn't hard for me -- there are so many nasty scenarios to choose from.

Unfortunately, I can't imagine myself surviving in any of them. I'd just be one of the corpses that the heroes have to push aside....

-- the time is short (wontbecaught@aol.com), January 17, 1999.

"A Boy and His Dog" with a young Don Johnson in it...yes, I have seen it before!

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 17, 1999.

Duane, I mostly lurk on the boards....but.. I am one of those people who buys groceries and seldom checks the price. I also buy new cars frequently...nice ones too. And I don't apologize for it. I used to live from one pay check to the next. Payed my bills okay, but not a lot left over.(Kinda like you, I guess. You DO work, don't you?) Anyway, I grew weary of it...it was a dead-end. But instead of looking down my nose at the folks who had made something of themselves, (reverse snobbism) or whining and complaining because they had more than I did, I got off my butt and did something about it. I've worked hard (physical labor) for 11 years. Twelve hour days....common. I've worked every holiday you can name at least once. Most people who run a business understand about applying yourself...to whatever your endeavor. We're resouceful, imaginative, hard-working, plan ahead and we never give up. We've got guts, and we've got stamina. Y2k? TEOTWAWKI? I CAN HANDLE IT!! You see, I'm a survivor, and I plan ahead. I'll do what's necessary to take care of my family. We won't want for anything. I've taken care of it. We can tend a garden, (been there...done that) can the food, (been there, done that too) cook on a wood stove, see with the oil lamps, etc. Now, I can tell you who will NOT survive TEOTWAWKI. Those who are capable of working, but depend on social programs. What will they do without the government to hold their hand and put the food on their tables? I see them everyday. They ask me for a job...but want payed in cash because they don't want to lose that disability check, or the welfare payment. They're always lookin' for an angle; a way to beat the system. These are the ones who won't survive. Sorry I had to flame your butt a little...but yours isn't the first post, over the last several months, that's contained this attitude. So don't sit there and cloak your envy in sarcasm. And don't assume that everyone who leads a comfortable life is "soft" or unable to adapt. It's quite the opposite.

-- Alie in 2001 (Outthere@somewhere.com), January 17, 1999.

A Boy and His Dog was a good SF flick. As I remember his dog was a better friend than his girlfriend (who was a tasty dish). The tale of Bagga had a similiar moment.

-- red (okie-redneck@webtv.net), January 17, 1999.

Yo, Ten Bears: We're still waiting with bated (baited?) breath for you to expound on your vast knowledge of the D-Day invasion -- by Marines, in Germany, no less. Perhaps you can explain why it is that on those extremely rare instances when my father -- who WAS there, BTW -- talks about it, he mentions all those people speaking French and all those bodies in Army fatigues rolling in the surf? If you're gonna play the poseur, dips**t, at least have some vague idea what you're talking about.

-- Cash (cash@andcarry.com), January 17, 1999.

TenBears (Apalled@WashingtonDC.com),

As previously noted by Bill in South Carolina and Uncle Deedah, you are not only wrong, you have publicly exposed yourself as a Troll ("One who submits an electronic mail message, Usenet posting or other (electronic) communication which is intentionally incorrect, but not overtly controversial (compare flame bait), or who commits the act of sending such a message.")

You are deserving only of the scorn, contempt and disgust of the members of this forum. Your attempt to acquire "cyber-status" has succeded. You have the status of a LIAR. You are also viewed by this writer as undeserving, by virtue of your lies, any courtesy or consideration as might be offered someone who was merely ignorant or stupid (although you may well fit those catagories as well).

Your lies are an affront to the many brave men who served and especially to those who died at Normandy. Although it is unlikely that you will be called to account anywhere other than this forum for your deception and your attempted assumption of the status of men that you are not fit to sit at the feet of, chickens have a way of coming home to roost and I would not care to be in your shoes when and/or if these particular birds do so.

For the benefit of those forum participants who may not be cognizant of the relevant facts:

Omaha is indeed a place--it is a city in Nebraska. "Omaha Beach" was the code name given by the Allied forces to one of the beaches near Normandy, France for the "D-Day" invasion of Europe. The last time I looked, Germany was not a part of France.

There were indeed Marines at Normandy, but they were ships company (part of the crew) aboard some few of the US Navy vessels that supported the invasion fleet! They did not go ashore as combatants (and probably not at all. If such occurred, it was as an Admiral's aide or bodyguard.) In total, there were most likely less than 500 Marines aboard all the ships combined (Marines are assigned as ship's company to warships of the cruiser class and larger). I'm not familiar enough with the invasion details to say with any accuracy just how many such ships supported the landings, but the Marines aboard such ships are basically the Captain's private police force, and traditionally serve as boarding parties to other vessels, sharpshooters aloft (in the days of sailing ships), and gun crews when the ship is in combat.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 17, 1999.

Aww, you guys ruined it. I was hoping that Mr. Ten Bears would tell us how he wished we had bombed Hiroshima and Nakasaki instead of Berlin and Bremmen the way we did. And how angry he still is because the Japanese exterminated so many Jews.

Now to confuse the little fu--ker a little more. We did send combat Marine troops to Europe in a world war and Mr. Hardliner is still correct in what he said in his post. Maybe you were there for that one too.

Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), January 17, 1999.


You mean "Black Jack" told??!?

Donner wetter! Ja! Ich bin noch ein teufel hund!

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 17, 1999.

"Troll ("One who submits an electronic mail message, Usenet posting or other (electronic) communication which is intentionally incorrect, but not overtly controversial (compare flame bait), or who commits the act of sending such a message.") " "You have the status of a LIAR".

Hardliner, with due respect sir, you are confusing lurkers (and me) with this definition. Is there a thread where we agreed on this definition? If not, should we start one so we all agree on terminology on this forum? I'm now recieving e-mails asking what a Troll is.

Clearly here, you've described what a FAKE is. A liar. A Troll sends a bait, to get EMOTIONAL reactions. Not for the mere fact of gaining cyber-status. At least that's what I've been saying.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 17, 1999.


I am sorry that may comment to your question has redirected a few individuals to respond to my comment and not your question. I was only addressing my thoughts to you on what my personal definition of TEOTWAWKI is along with a little narritive. It appears that your board has been contaminated with objections to my response.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), January 17, 1999.

I don't know hardly anything about world war two, but if france was occupied by germans at the time of the invasion, wouldn't it then be considered Germany? Just wondering

-- mathew (confused@home.com), January 17, 1999.


Here's the source Leska cited when she posted the definition on this forum . This is the link to the thread where I proposed the definition to the forum, S.O.B. responded by accepting it for his part, and was immediately followed by a post from you in which you said, ". . .in 8 years of being on the net I don't remember anything so right. . ."

So, to answer your question, yes we agreed on this definition (at least it appears that you, I, S.O.B., Leska and Diane did) but no, the entire forum has not.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 17, 1999.


I have no doubt that Hitler considered occupied France to be a part of the Third Reich, but I doubt that even Herr Hitler ever considered France to be any part of Deutschland.

"Owned by" yes, part of, probably not.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 17, 1999.


Duane makes an excellent point and I offer my apology for "shooting trolls" before responding to your question.

It seems to me first off, that there are three forms of TEOTWAWKI. First, as I know it, second, as you know it, and third, as we know it. As the first and second can easily mean different things, there can only be a commonly accepted meaning to the third if we agree on one.

Hallyx, Gayla, Duane and Kevin all pointed this out in various ways.

Furthermore, it seems apparent to me that The World As We Know It is constantly changing. It ends with each instant of time that passes and is again reborn in a different form. Most of the time, the difference is small and expected; some of the time it is large but still expected and in either case, we go about our business with little ado. It seems to me that what everyone is apprehensive about vis a vis Y2K is that the change will be extremely large over a very short period of time and in strange and unknown ways.

Unfortunately, none of this seems to help in coming up with a definition of TEOTWAWKI. Perhaps we could come up with another acronym that's just as catchy but leaves less room for question.

FWIW, the term frustrates me as much as it seems to everyone else.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 17, 1999.

"This is the link to the thread where I proposed the definition to the forum, S.O.B. responded by accepting it for his part, and was immediately followed by a post from you in which you said, ". . .in 8 years of being on the net I don't remember anything so right. . ."

Hardliner, my apology. What I meant by this was of the rightness of the way you and S.O.B. settled the arguement about Diane. I had skipped over, or rather I omitted to give my opinion about the definition of Troll.

I herewith accept this definition in the name of facilitating communication.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 17, 1999.

Duane- no harm done. I just get riled up from time to time. I basically agree with the idea that most people are spoiled and do not appreciate what they have. They do not know how good they have it. Most have never lived through a war, depression, etc. I spent a few hours talking to some people who are old enough to remember the depression and WWII. They have a better appreciation of what suffering is possible if Y2K disrupts things. They are preparing, big time.

Andy-- My version of worse-case disruptions by Y2K is very grim. Power grid & the means of obtaining large quantities of fossil fuels suffers major disruption and take too long to return. Riots. Hunger. Thirst. Disease. Depression. However, I also believe that the worse case = "Teotwawki" is not the most likely outcome of Y2K.

-- Sue (conibear@gateway.net), January 17, 1999.


TEOTWAWKI "The End Of The World As We Know It"I believe I offered the opinion, a few months back, that Y2K WILL be TEOTWAWKI by the literal definition. Just as the Asassination of JFK, the Berlin Wall going up or down, the resignation of RMN, Challenger, etc.

In each of these cases, the world changed. Something fundamental happened to everyone's world view. TEOTWAWKI by the literal def'n.

Now, can we agree on a working conotative def'n for this forum??? (Irwin Corry's play on "Why" comes to mind but I guess I ought to use a serious answer) I suspect we could come to an agreed upon conotative def'n. I suspect it might end up, after several iterations at the following:

Initially 1-3 months without power. Unrest which requires extreme measures to establish the peace and keep it. A probable devolution to (at best) the late to mid- 1800's. Likely a society which in general works on manual labor for everything, ands very little electronic or other assistance.

Power restored, in certain islands of "hope".

20 plus or minus years until the islands have spread out to fill in the rest of the country, wherein there live about 60% as many as in Dec. 1999.

A very different civilization taking hold by 2020.


PS Here are a few extra s's (sssss) for asasasassination. I'd give my right ***** for a spell check function here!

-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 17, 1999.

Chuck -- "Initially 1-3 months without power. Unrest which requires extreme measures to establish the peace and keep it. A probable devolution to (at best) the late to mid- 1800's. Likely a society which in general works on manual labor for everything, ands very little electronic or other assistance."

"Initially 1-3 months without power" implies some restoration of power. How then to account for a "devolution to (at best) the late to mid- 1800's", where the only power available was muscle (mule, horse, man, ox), coal-fired steam, and the odd mill wheel?

If power is restored, "in certain islands of 'hope'", we can build again. What to build, what to avoid, will be a question. But otherwise-- without electricity --

We'll need draft animals and harness makers and blacksmiths. And large numbers of horses and mules. For both transportation and farming. And farmers to work the fields. Until these are brought up to speed, it won't even be as good as the early 1800's.

River and canal traffic was important then. The canals are gone now, but the rivers remain. How will that world cope with the inoperable locks in all the dams in navigable rivers?

If electric power isn't restored, the transition to the old ways (or to new ways of living without it) will be extraordinarily traumatic. If it is even possible.

But everyone knows this. That's why so many people don't want to hear it.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 20, 1999.

the end of the wackos and wierd kooky ignoramuses

-- haha (haha@teotwawki..), January 20, 1999.

Pretty good haha. It could appliy both sides, so which one do you mean?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 20, 1999.

My wife (who is a DWGI, but has agreed to let me prepare) and I have made a bargain. "If this Y2K thing doesn't happen..." I have to take her on a cruise.

The definition that we're using is Dow 5000 or lower for 1+ week. This isn't so much because that would cause TEOTW, but as an objective measure of the consequences of Y2K. At that point, 401K's would be wiped out, real estate would tank, massive unemployment, personal and corporate bankruptcies. An unimportant -- but accurate and objective -- measure.

-- Jim Smith (JDSmith1@Hotmail.com), January 20, 1999.

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