What Is The Duty of A GI?

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

It's my theory that an *anticipation* panic is unlikely in this nation. The process of learning to fear Y2K is really more difficult than it appears to those of us on this forum. To "get it" requires imagining something totally outside the realm of one's experience in this country. In February, 1999, you've been exposed to enough Y2K information that you're either going to get it or you're not going to get it. The get it's are largely what I'll call autodidacts. They are used to assimilating ideas from various sources, sorting through those ideas, following up on the worthwile issues and forming opinions on their own. They're also used to having the responsibility for risk assessment for themselves or their family or for their livelihood. These particular autodidacts have some experience in sorting through chaotic situations and extracting from chaos some thread of logic upon which they will act. Most noticeably, every GI has a certain tendency toward eccentricity in that when their learning process reveals a thought which is not in the mainstream of public discourse, they do not shrink away from extending that thought even if each step in the process steers them further away from the mainstream. Most people fear eccentricity with a passion, some people embrace it. I think the GI's embrace it; the DGI's fear it. I also think one's bent toward eccentricity is well established by adulthood, and neither Y2K nor any other issue is going to change that. I postulate that almost everyone who is going to get it has already gotten it.

There has been no panic. Quiet preparation, some anxiety, some difficulty in finding the exact right generator, some difficult decisions about a week's worth of food and cash versus a month versus six-months, etc., some increased buying of precious metal, some thinking and decision about whether to venture into community action (since no one else in your community is doing it), etc. etc.

This preparation will go on for the rest of the year in largely the same manner with some of the more perishable food and fuel being purchased between October and December.

The DGIs will not panic or take any action unless there is an actual event that tells them their world is crashing down.

The GIs, have a fear of being cold and hungry and thirsty, but also have some curiosity about what Y2K gridlocked universe would look like. The GI's bent toward eccentricity decreases his fear of facing a different world.

None of this is to say that a GI is better or more capable than a DGI. It takes all kinds to make the world go around. But, think of this, if a DGI is a DGI because they are simply incapable of certain kinds of thinking, where does that leave the GI's.

Certainly you, as a GI would not fail to provide for your young child or your elderly grandmother, neither of whom have any opportunity to assess the Y2K risk. Consider this, the DGI is essentially a child in that he is incapable of understanding the Y2K risk. Do we GI's not have a duty to make a strong effort to help the DGI's?

It's not unusual that unique groups of people are assigned unique roles in society. Firemen, policemen, soldiers, medical researchers and the list goes on and on of groups with special talents and gifts who offer those gifts to society. Do we GI's not have a special talent that society needs right now? I know it's hard to save someone who is insisting that you go away, but when that person is a child can you take their protestations to heart or do you act in the way that you feel is best.

Certainly, there are limits of all kinds on what we can do. And I'm not advocating that we force and DGI to do anything, but it seems that we have a calling to go about our community in an effort to ensure a minimum of preparation. Even that minimum preparation advocated by the Red Cross could save lives if there is widespread disruption in January or February.

Community action is not for all GI's. But, community action will only come from GI's, so its important for you to examine the question and determine if you are one of those servants.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), February 04, 1999


Great post, though I wouldn't characterize DGIs as children. Most of them are a heck of a lot smarter and more together than I am. They just don't ... get ... it, for the reasons you've described.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 04, 1999.

Sounds like being asked "who is my neighbor?" after somebody said love thy neighbor as thyself. My own answer, for me, would be that anybody showing up at my door cold and hungry is my neighbor just as much as the guy living next door.

-- Karen Cook (browsercat@yerf.net), February 04, 1999.

>>Consider this, the DGI is essentially a child in that he is incapable of understanding the Y2K risk. Do we GI's not have a duty to make a strong effort to help the DGI's?

I disagree with this thesis - but I agree with your prescription. We all ought to get involved. I'm concerned about people discovering I have food, and targeting me, "officially" or otherwise, for theft. But they're likely to find out anyway, and using the remaining time to strengthen the position of those around me will give them less reason to envy me, and will put them in my camp if robbery occurs.

But to absolve DGIs as non-responsible because they are mentally or emotionally or morally impaired?! They are adults, making decisions about what to believe and what not to. I am not responsible for bailing them out of the mess they've made of their lives. I've suffered at the hands of these people all my life, simply for having a mind of my own. In their nasty little school of hard knocks, I've learned to conceal my thoughts. I've learned that they don't deserve to know my feelings and opinions. Pearls before swine. I won't take any pleasure in their moment of truth - it's not going to be pretty. But I won't save people from the truth about what it means to lapse into unthinking slavery to someone else's pre-packaged opinion. They've made their beds, now they must lie in them. I'll get the word out, hoping some will prepare in time to make sure I'm not the only person on my block with food; but I can't babysit them. And I have to get several people fed through a whole year - I won't be handing out food, but I might be handing out 00 buckshot if it comes to that.


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), February 04, 1999.

I'd say your assessment is right on target, Puddintame, especially in regards to the type of person most likely to be a GI. Autodidactism is largely smothered by the current educational system, which will admit of no other course to knowledge save its own. This might well account for the relative lack of Y2K cognoscenti, and explain the general resistance among the (so-called) well-educated.

After probing my contemporaries regarding the Y2K problem over year ago, and receiving the most disheartening feedback from them, I decided that it was a losing game to attempt up-front education. Although none was ever directed at me, I've overheard more than my share of 'predator' comments from those who have no intention of moving from their comfort zone, and would instead rely upon the preparations of others should disruptions occur. The socialist mindset pervades Amerika deeply at the end of this century, it would seem. That being the case, I have absolutely no desire to become a feeding station/watering hole for these folks... even if I could reach a few individuals with the Y2K message, I would reach a multitude who "won't prepare, but will remember".

I still felt that I couldn't, with a clear conscience, simply wash my hands and walk away without having done something to wake people up. The idea I finally hit upon was this: I wrote a pamphlet, two sides of a sheet of paper, describing the problem and what steps to take to prepare for it. I printed it out, took it to a self-serve copy shop a long way from home, and had one thousand copies made. After I got back to my community of five thousand or so I started leaving them in the shopping center, supermarket, laundromat... wherever I could leave a small pile of them unnoticed. I'd go into places at odd hours and tack them up on public bulletin boards at the post office, town hall and library. I did this for a week until they were all distributed.

I have no idea if anyone's acted upon the information contained therein, but I know that it's been widely disseminated. I feel that I've done my best, and my conscience is clear.

-- Why2K? (who@knows.com), February 04, 1999.

"But, think of this, if a DGI is a DGI because they are simply incapable of certain kinds of thinking, where does that leave the GI's.

Certainly you, as a GI would not fail to provide for your young child or your elderly grandmother, neither of whom have any opportunity to assess the Y2K risk. Consider this, the DGI is essentially a child in that he is incapable of understanding the Y2K risk."


Hasn't it occurred to you that maybe a "DGI" could have the same exposure to info. as you do, but come to a different conclusion? Also, there are plenty of GI's who act like children. Don't presume to put yourself into some kind of "special" way of thinking. These are the kinds of ideas that make you so-called GI's look like a cult.


-- jellowild (dot@dash.con), February 04, 1999.

BTW, I classify as an autodidact, myself. No formal education beyond high school. Hell, I spent three years just trying to unlearn all they taught me there....

-- Why2K? (who@knows.com), February 04, 1999.

Puddintame, excellent. Thanks.

If any GIs are considering crusade work, let me tell you it's a HECK of a lot easier today than it was even 6 weeks ago. The recent media coverage (irresponsible or no) has, in my opinion, chiseled a small hole in the average DGI's plexiglass brain-box, big enough to permit the entry of consideration-provoking data. Not much time left, though.

If every household is to be prepared in time, I estimate that there can be no DGIs, DWGIs, CGIs etc past April 1. The extra demands upon manufacturing and distribution must be plainly evident to buyers and planners and logisticians by then.

This doesn't even take into account foreign demand for our stuff.

-- Lisa (lisa@kdjs.ksd), February 04, 1999.

P'tame writes: "The DGIs will not panic or take any action unless there is an actual event that tells them their world is crashing down."

Not quite true. They will panic as soon as they get wind that others are panicking. Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage in 1973 simple by joking about it on the Tonite Show. Do you realize what will happen when the first video clips of a bank run are broadcast on the 6 o'clock news? Or images of the first grocery store fist-fight when the canned food runs out? It'll be like tossing a lit match in a can of gasoline. It'll be an unbelievable critical mass.

BTW, there are still many, many people out there who genuinely have not absorbed much info about y2k. I'm amazed at how many people say to me, "Oh, that computer thing? Well, I don't own a computer, so it's no big deal for me, right?"

And these people are not morons. They've just slowly over the years slid into a self-contained cocoon of ignorance. Sleep, work, watch sit-coms...sleep, work, watch sit-coms... A sad cycle, but all too common these days.

I think we web-surfers and news junkies assume others also keep up with current events each day. Not so.

-- Q-ball (q@q.q), February 04, 1999.

"They are used to assimilating ideas from various sources, sorting through those ideas, following up on the worthwile issues and forming opinions on their own" I don't think so. I don't think most of you have ever done any research. Have any of you actually performed any studies? You really think Gary North analyzes anything or just shouts the sky is falling? You know how I'd answer that question. Have any of you really ever examined networks? Doubtful. I have and I think the GIs are just reacting to *fear* not from any knowledge gained from assimilating real world events.

You are generalizing again. You can't group GIs and DGIs into any of these categories for there are GIs who are extremely stupid and couldn't find their way home in the dark and there are some DGIs just as stupid. You're trying to find the normal distribution with no data again, just the way you conclude TEOTWAWKI. Get off your high horse.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), February 04, 1999.

T.Marie: What's your problem, Ma'am? It was obviously a generalized discussion from the start. Hold your fire for a more appropriate situation.

-- Q-ball (q@q.q), February 04, 1999.

TM, not to be a bi*&*ch, but whenever I read one of your refutations, an image of a crow, leaning toward the ground, head cocked sideways, intently examining a bright, shiny object, first with one eye, then with the other, then a semi-airborne hop, then back to the object....

Again, with my pea-brain, I have no room to speak....

-- Lisa (monofaceted@ifthat's.possible), February 04, 1999.

Troll Maria, All,

Is Gary North merely "shouting that the sky is falling?" Is he incapable of analyzing the situation? Here's his latest newsletter. We can decide for ourselves if the DWGI's #1 whipping boy is "irrational" or not. I'll admit that he doesn't soft-peddle his analysis:

Gary North's REALITY CHECK Issue 35 February 3, 1999


To understand why the capital markets are not reacting to the threat of Y2K, we must understand Ludwig von Mises' theory of simultaneous forecasting failures. It applies to the fractional reserve banking system's expansion of credit.

In 1912, Mises's classic book appeared, THE THEORY OF MONEY AND CREDIT. In it, he argued for a theory of the business cycle -- booms and busts -- based on the effect of fiat money -- credit money or fiduciary media -- on the interest rate. He offered a short version of his trade cycle theory in 1949 in Chapter 20 of HUMAN ACTION. (You can order a reprint of this book from http://www.mises.org) His theory was presented to a wider academic audience in the 1930's by his disciple, F. A. Hayek. Almost no economist has ever believed it.

Mises asked this: How is it that, in a free market, so many businessmen make the same mistake of expanding business in a boom, which leads to a contraction (bust)? Why shouldn't the errors of groups of entrepreneurs offset each other? In short, why the simultaneous forecasting errors?

To answer this, he argued, we must look at the common element in the market: money. Fractional reserve banks increase the money supply by lending it into circulation. With a 10% reserve ratio, a $100 initial deposit becomes $900 of money.

The increased supply of money initially lowers interest rates: more money + stable demand = lower price. The price of money drops. But if the process of money expansion continues, the new money will be used by buyers to bid up prices. This will raise long-term rates, for lenders will tack on an inflation premium to their loans, to compensate them for the expected loss of purchasing power.

The boom is created by the low initial interest rates, which lead entrepreneurs to conclude that the savings rate has increased. It hasn't. Instead, it was the fiat money has lowered the price of loans. There has been no increase in thrift. So, when consumers get their hands on the new money, they will bid up prices of consumer goods, and even go into debt to buy them. Interest rates climb. The public did not want to save more. So, those businessmen who started projects find that they cannot complete them when the interest rate rises. The bust phase replaces the boom phase.


Today, investors do not recognize the threat of Y2K. Neither do consumers. Everyone is enjoying low price inflation. The FED has lowered interest rates by increasing the money supply mildly. But foreign competition keeps prices low. It's the best of worlds in 1999.

We do not see entrepreneurs selling off stocks and bonds and moving into CD's or other short-term instruments. They are expanding their businesses. They are running full steam ahead. Why? Don't they see the threat?

No, they don't. Men want to believe that good times are normal and bad times are the exception. They think the world owes them good times. They are not amazed by years of prosperity. They expect more of the same.

This computerized economy has rewarded the innovative entrepreneurs who cut costs by moving their information systems to digital form. It has led to the destruction of old ways of managing, production, and distribution. The old ways persist in some peripheral industries, but these are not significant in the economy any longer. I call them the cottage industries. They are the ones that will find it impossible to respond to large increases in demand.

The survivors of the computer wars believe in computers. After all, computers gave them their competitive edge. Those who built fortunes with computers cannot accept the fact that these computers were programmed wrong from the beginning. The computers giveth, and computers taketh away.

It is too late to revert to pen-and-paper management systems in any but the smallest production units. But if computers start spewing out inaccurate data, the existing systems will shut down, either through digital command -- a modern paper mill, for example -- or through bankruptcy.

We are dealing with religious faith. Men do not abandon the religions that they held when they became successful. The religion of just-in-time production rests on digital coordination. To lose faith in computers is to lose faith in men's ability to structure complex systems through digital simulations and record-keeping.

Our production systems are too complex for mere mortals to manage apart from computers. Yet we must learn how to manage them. So, there must be a great simplification of production and distribution in 2000. This is what I mean when I speak of the collapse of the division of labor. Men who have achieved success in niche markets will find that these markets no longer have any demand in 2000. They will see their lifestyles fall as never before in recent memory -- and possibly in recorded history.

Think of those beggars' signs: "Will Work for Food." Think of the businessmen in the 1930's who sold apples on sidewalk stands. That's what is coming. But almost no one sees this. They all admit that ours is a knowledge economy, but they do not admit that Alzheimer's threatens the world's electronic brains.

This is why we do not see entrepreneurs selling off assets that depend on computers. The stock market has not collapsed. We do not see urban streets filled with For Sale signs. We see commercial construction. We are still adding to our stock of capital, which means capital that is dependent on future consumer demand. But future consumer demand rests on future productivity by consumers. That is what y2k calls into question.


The production revolution created by computers is a revolution in inventories. They have been cut to the bone. Just-in-time production and distribution have reduced them, thereby cutting carrying costs for sellers. But this has been accomplished at a tremendous cost: capital costs of these new systems of production. Free market entrepreneurs have invested trillions of dollars in these new systems of production. If these systems go blind, these investments will fall to close to zero value. The stock markets of the world will collapse.

To cut the size of inventories, entrepreneurs have place us all in great peril: the possibility of a break in the supply chain. If the supply chain breaks, then we as individuals are without reserves. A break in the means of payment is one such break. So is a break in electrical circuits. If the grid goes down, this civilization goes down.

It is not possible to add to an inventory of electricity. You can buy a battery, but not to run a chemical plant. The inventory of power stored in fuels must be transported and converted into electricity. If that supply chain breaks, we're dead. Millions of us will die. Hundreds of millions of us if the grid stays down.

Why? Because we have no inventories. We are not farmers who refused to sell their crops until they had a year's supply in storage. They saved food and simple tools, not money. They let the city slickers save money.

We save electronic digits. If the computers that give these digits value -- i.e., a future stream of real income -- should die, then all our paper print-outs will mean nothing. They will mean less than a bank passbook meant to a depositors in an uninsured rural bank in 1932.

Digits are promises. They are electronic testaments to our faith in unbroken supply lines. They may become last words and testaments in 2000.

People refuse to admit to themselves that this threat exists. It exists nonetheless. The code is objectively broken.

Inventories of basic goods are not that expensive to assemble. They may not be cheap to store. If you don't have a basement or underground storage area, it will cost you a lot of money to store a year's supply of food, liquid soap, detergent, toilet paper, etc. Here is my point: you have only a few months to assemble the inventories you need for basic survival. The entrepreneurs have substituted sophisticated supply lines for inventories.

Last weekend, I was involved in a church project. Ten men came to a warehouse and poured sacks of pinto beans and rice into buckets. It took some coordination. What made it possible was one member of the congregation who had a lot of spare space in a warehouse.

On each pallet, there are 36 buckets of grain, each weighing 35 lbs. The average adult will consume a bucket of grain a month, plus some vegetables, which he had better get planted. Each pallet can feed three adults for a year. I think there were five pallets. That will not feed many people.

You don't know how much you eat until you see it in pallets. That's what going to the supermarket week after week adds up to.

To store enough food to feed a family for a year takes a lot of space. It cannot be stored in warehouses. Only families can afford to devote the space, such as in a hot garage. But few families will do this. So, we are at great risk. If the supply line for food breaks, millions of people will starve. They will not starve quietly and peacefully. If you are known to have food, you will be a target. Count on it. Prepare for it.

Can your local church store enough food to feed its members for a year? Obviously not. The deacons wouldn't if there were enough space. Their priorities are affected by their faith in the supply lines. They babble on and on about how God will protect them, but they really mean that the computerized distribution systems will protect them.

I met a pastor at a community meeting called by a local mayor. I spoke at the meeting. He came up afterward and told me that his deacons had forbidden him to preach on y2k. They would not hear it. I told him I would preach on nothing else, morning and evening, until (1) they fired me; (2) they changed their minds; or (3) they quit.

His deacons believe in God the buttercup. They believe in computers. They will tolerate no other god.

In a year, they will probably be dead. At least, they will be unemployed, bankrupt, and living in terror. They will not know where their next meal is coming from. They will have a lesson on practical theology that they will not soon forget.


If the banks close their doors, how will you eat? How will you pay for what you need to sustain you?

If you have no answer, buy what you think you will need in 2000 in the way of reserves. Buy the things you will need in 2000 to rebuild in 2001.

The free market assigns the task of making these estimates to entrepreneurs. They look at large markets and decide what the mass of consumers will buy. Consumers defer to these specialists. Consumers trust these forecasters with their lives.

The problem is, these entrepreneurs are blind to y2k. They will not consider it in their forecasts except as a blip: a reduction of 0.1 or 0.2 in economic growth. "We're an information society," they love to say, but they refuse to consider what universally erroneous information will do to this information society.

There is no institution that has reserves sufficient to sustain a society for several months. In the past, one institution did this: the family. But families have deferred their decisions to entrepreneurs, who have in turn deferred their decisions to digital idiot savants that have been programmed incorrectly.

This is why we are at risk as a society. Surely, we are at risk of a huge economic setback. The capital markets do not discount this risk because this risk calls into question the wisdom of the free market, which voluntarily paid for the computerization of the supply lines. So, those to whom we have deferred the responsibility of planning for the future are blind to the risk of blind computers.

Their blindness is what gives you a bit more time to maneuver. But you have dawdled. Already, you have missed the chance to buy U.S. silver coins at anything like bullion value. The premium is 50%, and there are almost no coins to buy. Coin companies are rationing them to their best customers, one or two bags per client. Too many of my readers failed to listen to me when I told them that time is running out. But they will listen when it has run out. I have just told you that you can no longer buy bags of silver coins. You're interested now, aren't you?

That's human nature. You must learn to deal with it. You don't have much time to learn.

-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), February 04, 1999.

E., one of the reasons I respect you and so many others on this NG is that, counter to the mocking of some, most stand on their heads to be objective (even Troll Maria rises to this at times, seriously). Point being I know you have no truck whatsoever with Christian Reconstructionism (nor do I), but you're grown-up enough to recognize the value of an argument in its own right. Thanks for the North post ......

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 04, 1999.

Lisa, thank you!

To my honorable colleagues:

I proffer for your consideration YR 101 (Yourdonite Resolution)- Henceforth, all posts perpetrated by one Troll Maria be followed IMMEDIATELY by one which contains sufficient LOL humor as to quench (read: extinguish fire) any & all anger, frustration, & the deepest of slow burns.

All those in favor...

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), February 04, 1999.

Was trying to talk to a preacher a few years back. Told him what I knew regarding some things that were pertinent to his position as preacher. This young twerps response to me was..."You presume to teach me.? I was educated in a [cemetary] seminary!" Can't teach the all knowing, or the people who don't want their boat rocked.

-- freeman (freeman@cali.com), February 04, 1999.

FWIW, I'm not exactly enamoured of Troll Maria's postings here, but it seems to me that aside from a little name calling (Hey! If the shoe fits, wear it! Otherwise, forget it.) she's made a number of contributions here. She does know her onions about various and sundry things (IMO, Y2K is not yet one of them) and unless she's simply a liar (which I do not believe) she has paid her dues and probably a few other folks' as well in service to our society. She is entitled to no more or no less than the rest of us. Lisa's characterization is comical and no doubt represents an honest report from Lisa, but let's not turn this forum into a place of intolerance. I think we can stand whatever TM can hand out, don't you?

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 04, 1999.

Wow hardliner, why the change?


-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), February 04, 1999.

Thank you folks for your pursuit of reason.

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), February 04, 1999.

"We are dealing with religious faith. Men do not abandon the religions that they held when they became successful. The religion of just-in-time production rests on digital coordination. To lose faith in computers is to lose faith in men's ability to structure complex systems through digital simulations and record-keeping. "


This is where North's logic fails. It is pure speculation to presume to know how people view technology. He makes the transition from a half-baked argument to questioning people's faiths very well. This is what I think he is wrong about.

-- troll but serious (moretrolls@are.good), February 04, 1999.

No change, TM, I'll still nail you to the wall if you try to "spin" my remarks and I think it's obvious that your surprise is clear evidence that you really don't know much about either pitbulls or Jarheads (wrong breed of bulldog, BTW).

I think you're wrong about a lot of things. I think you've developed a way of pissing people off (for lack of a more precise and genteel term) and I think you've got some emotional baggage (as we all do) acquired during the unique experience that has been your life that you protect with that way you've developed.

That seems to have gotten in the way of a learning discourse but I don't think that it's sufficient or equitable cause to "pile on" everytime you post something. I suspect that you have a lot more to contribute than has been possible so far, largely due to those factors and likely others that maybe even you are not aware of.

In any case you've earned the right, at least in my book, to wield that flamethrower that you carry around. I'd suggest though, that you might brush up on your target recognition skills and develop some more precise and effective weapons to achieve your objectives, whatever they might be.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 04, 1999.

Puddintame: Best analysis yet. I think that situation will be to our advantage over the short run (until 01/01/0000). I have always watched which way most people are going and then I go the other way. This strategy has always worked for me.

-- curtis schalek (schale1@ibm.net), February 04, 1999.

NO DUTY! If it's TEOTWAWKI, everyone can not and will not survive. There is not the ecological carrying capacity to continue to support six billion "useless eaters." Better it's GIs than DGIs who survive. Too many mentally incapacitated (and I don't mean "unintelligent" in an IQ sense) running around the world today. Time for a culling. And it will happen within a generation even if Y2K itself is only a "speed bump." The autodidacts are obviously a minority in today's world, and that is what is dragging it down, from population to religion to politics. Time to increase the relative percent on autodidacts vs. non.

-- A (A@AisA.com), February 04, 1999.

I don't wish to set my home up as a future target, yet I do feel some responsibility to warn others. My husband and I have discussed Y2K with our (adult) children and a few friends. I write an informal newsletter every couple of months and email or snail mail it to about 20 people (all of whom live too far away to show up on my doorstep when there is no more gasoline). That's it. I have discharged my responsibilities. I wish my neighbors were preparing, but I'm sure they aren't. The last thing I want to do is let them know that I am.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), February 04, 1999.

Pearlie: You let people FAR AWAY from you in on what's going on, yet you don't tell your neighbors a damn thing! Everytime you see your neighbors you should feel guilty because you may need them just as badly as you will need them. Now be a sweetcake and go tell it on the mountain!

-- Ricola (Ricola@alps.com), February 04, 1999.

"Everytime you see your neighbors you should feel guilty because you may need them just as badly as you will need them"

Ricola -- If you're not being sarcastic here, you're certainly being presumptuous. You may know your own neighborhood, and you will deal with it as you see fit. But you know nothing whatsoever about Pearlie's neighborhood. Which disqualifies you from telling her how to behave there.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 05, 1999.

I find the idea that us GI's should help the DWGI/DGI's desireable at first glance, but after a bit of reflection, the following occurs to me.

If they think you've prepared, you should expect to be either ratted out, or raided once they are good and hungry.

It's not your fault that they didn't get it, and you can't possibly feed everyone who comes to your door looking for food.

Having your neighbors semi-prepared would be very useful, in that it helps keep the situation less serious. Both hunger-wise, and security-wise.

All that being said, here's what I've done. I've made up some materials to be anonymously distributed to all the neighbors in a 1 mile radius (the best I can really do). It's a significant cost and hassle to me, yet I did it. I can rest easy knowing that I tried to let them know what is coming, without anyone being the wiser as to who I am, and where I live.

It's a difficult situation, and one that I've not made up my mind on what I'll do.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), February 05, 1999.


My intent was not to trigger a barrage of ill will towards Troll Maria via the YR 101 (Yourdonite Resolution).

Yes, Troll Maria seemingly brings a lot to the table. It is obvious she is bright. Nonetheless, her posts sometimes push my buttons - a rare event, indeed. The content is not the cause of my reaction. Rather, it is the vitriolic tone. Lisa relieved the burning in my gut with her tremendously funny caricature of TM.

My apologies to TM. I vented in a less-than-classy manor.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), February 05, 1999.

Hey, fellow ad's (audodidacts). Use the gray stuff we're, uh, bragging about possessing. Every neighborhood is different, not only city, suburb, rural but the specific configuration and history of each. Not to mention your own history with your neighbors and locality.

Our area has a century-long tradition, still continuing, of farmers helping farmers. People look in on each other to help. Everyone has guns but few are macho about it.

If you're lucky (we may be), you can lean somewhat on others, but even we are excruciatingly watchful of what we say and how we cache. GI?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 05, 1999.

I guess I'm a different breed than most DGIs. I've had many hard times in my life, gone to bed without food in my tummy. How many of you did that? I won't venture a guess. I've been on two week camping trips, not the kind with TVs and microwaves but the kind where you pack all you need on your back and hike for ten miles a day. So I know for a fact how much food and toilet paper I need for a two week period, and it ain't much. I know some survival techniques from the military. I already have everything I could possibly need in my house, the most important thing my memory of all that I learned. Maybe that's why I have no fear, learned enough in my life the hard way, not from books and certainly not from the web.

But I've come to rely on me. For when I did otherwise I was always disappointed. Most people don't follow through on support. Being on the other end of that, I will always be there for someone when I said I would. I will always follow through on my promises. So if people come around looking for food, they can have whatever I have. I could never turn anyone away. Just the way I am.


-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), February 05, 1999.

I've been trying to follow this latest discourse but I'm still left with the same question- What is my duty? If I tell everyone I know about the need to prepare, then they will correctly assume that I am preparing. If they choose to not prepare- which is likely- then I've opened myself up to potential predators. If I don't tell them anything, then when the need arises I'm left with the decision to help them and deplete my own supplies or turn them away and feel like crap. I can't supply everyone. Where does one draw the line?

-- (dull@witted.com), February 05, 1999.


Excellent insight.

Because of my background and severe lessons in survival I believe that there are so many DGIs because of three 'original' causes. Over years these blossomed into many other causes as well.

The three original factors:

The educational system largely destroyed 'imagination and creativitity.' Accidentally or on purpose?

Hollywood instilled fantasy and false expectations. Accidentally or on purpose?

Greed. Largely the result of the first two.


E. coli, you requested more info so I emailed you the first two chapters of my memoir but it was "undeliverable"

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 05, 1999.

I apologize.

I'm upset. This month is my first GI birthday. I'm so freakin' weary of Y2K, but unless I give up, I have another 11 months of yapping about it.

I WANT off this "high horse", TM. Today.

Ok, gotta go, gotta spend 1/4 million dollars today building a no- fail redundancy system for our mainframe. With the same idiotic cerebellic stump I'm planning to spend $50 on preparation this weekend, as today is payday. Boy, I'm tempted to spend that $250,000.00 on something else.

TM, sorry. Just quit being mean. This is hard enough as it is.

-- lisa (lisa@here.now), February 05, 1999.


The value of your (or anyone's) unique experiences in life is the capability that they allow you, to deal with the present. I would not hazard a guess either, as to how many here have gone to bed hungry, but after participating here for a while, I do know that many have reached at least one of the same conclusions that you have.

You said, "But I've come to rely on me. For when I did otherwise I was always disappointed. Most people don't follow through on support."


That is precisely why most of us are such skeptics about the published reports concerning Y2K. Bad news more often turns out to be the reality in our experience than good news. We are largely in the dark regarding Y2K and what little "news" we do find is presented by people that we don't trust in the best of times--lawyers, PR shills, media reporters and, yes, managers. I won't even get into the government other than to say that virtually no one trusted them before Y2K became so highly visible and they have given no one any reason to start trusting them. When men like Paul Davis speak here, I see some glimmer of hope. I usually disagree with Paul, but I trust him to tell me the truth as he sees it, and I have no concern that he has some ulterior corporate motive behind his words. Men like Paul, however, are few and far between.

I have led men in the Corps. I have "managed" men in industry. One gave me a great sense of accomplishment and the other made me feel dirty. The Corps not only never asked or required me to lie on its behalf, it punished those who did. Capitalistic industry and commerce not only required me to lie on its behalf, it expected me to accept a system (capitalism) where the only value that prevailed was profit. If you read the corporate charter (doesn't matter which corporation) you find that the purpose of the organization is to produce a profit for those who hold equity in it. There is never a provision to sacrifice that profit to any moral consideration and nowhere is honesty mentioned. Moreover, the military is the closest thing this nation has ever produced to a color blind society. Commerce is a worse violator in this respect than even government. People like "Deano" support and defend this system and hold it to be morally acceptable. They talk about things like "issues" and "proactivity" and "paradigms" without a hint of the fact that they would step over your bleeding body and ignore you to make another fraction of a point in the corporate "numbers". I am not making this up, TM.

I was a manager at a fortune 500 corporation. I was a corporate officer (one of those who the law holds accountable for the actions of the corporation) and I didn't get there by not understanding the system. The bottom line is that capitalism has a fatal flaw. That flaw is the lack of an associated moral or ethical system.

These are things that the people on this forum understand and apply as they try to make a coherent picture out of the pitiful few glimpses we are allowed into the reality ot Y2K. A lot of these folks are earning their daily bread by writing code. That may not give them the "big picture", but it estopps any effort at telling them that, "everything is OK. Don't worry. It'll be alright." Things will most assuredly NOT be alright. Just how much so is yet to be determined. Not just seen, but determined. Most here recognize this.

I think that if you leave that chip that you seem to have taken off of your shoulder out of things, you will find a group of highly intelligent and, more importantly, highly ethical people who will go "all over the lot" with you in a spirit of cooperation to the end of trying to get at the truth of Y2K.

I don't remember who it was that said, "Pessimism is far more often reality than optimism," but I agree with the statement. Speaking for myself, and I suspect, but do not know for sure, for most here, I have a lot to lose materially if and or when Y2K causes a major negative change in society. I don't know of any who would willingly sacrifice their present circumstances in order to enter a world such as is commonly described, debated and discussed on this forum. I don't know of any who would welcome such a world. And I don't know of any who would not delight in credible and believable evidence that we need not concern ourselves with it.

You began your last post here with the words, "I guess I'm a different breed than most DGIs." I agree. Please consider this an invitation, from me if from no one else, but I suspect from most here, to join in the forum with a heightened attention to the ways that you have in common with us rather than the differences. I think that we'll all benefit from such an association.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 05, 1999.

Q-Ball, quoting you: " I'm amazed at how many people say to me, "Oh, that computer thing? Well, I don't own a computer, so it's no big deal for me, right?" And these people are not morons...."

No. At least some of them are probably busily preparing themselves, just like you are, & LYING about it to protect their stash.

I've pointed this out before but it's worth repeating. As long as we are willing to LIE to protect our preparations, we have to expect other people to be LYING also. Brave new world, full of bullshitters with guns.

-- no one tells (the@truth.anymore), February 05, 1999.


Your definition of autodidactism fits me to T. That's a good observation.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 05, 1999.


Do us both a favor and leave me out of your conversations. You don't know shit about me. You THINK you do, but you ain't even close bud! I do my job and I do it well. I do what this corporation asks me to do. That's what they pay me for. I have obligations, I have family and I have a responsibility to both. How can you say I would step over a bleeding body and do nothing?? Hell Hardliner, as much as you disgust me, I would even help you in that situation.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), February 05, 1999.

"I do what this corporation asks me to do. That's what they pay me for."

- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), February 05, 1999.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 05, 1999.

And that is supposed to mean what?? Come on Pantyliner, enlighten me ol' boy!


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), February 05, 1999.

One of the above posters said I should feel guilty for not warning my neighbors. I didn't wish to get into this, but now I will describe my neighborhood for you. I live in the "historic district" of a town with 25K population. In other words, I live almost downtown, in a big old house on one and three-quarter acres. Several aspects of our location are very good. Some aren't, but we are not willing to move to the country and learn to farm. I know none of my neighbors (except the guy across the street whose mail we sometimes get by mistake), but most of them appear to be lower middle class, young families and old people who've lived here a long time. Unfortunately, the local politicians and businessmen have also caused the area to be filled with transients living in rundown sleeping rooms. Area church groups use a building in sight of my house to hand out free food each day to whoever decides to show up, no questions asked. About 200 freeloaders eat there each noon, many arriving in cars while on their lunch break from work. A large percentage of my neighbors are people who have become used to letting others provide for them, even during these boom times. What are the odds any of these people would prepare? What are the odds they would rob me when times get tough and they remember I have prepared?

I have considered mailing an anonymous Y2K warning letter to a number of random addressess, even though it would be rather expensive and time consuming. It isn't the expense that stops me, though. It is the near certainty that absolutely none of them would take it seriously. So we bought more bullets.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), February 05, 1999.


What WOULDN'T you do for money?


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), February 05, 1999.

courtesy of Roleigh Martin

A Y2k Handout You Can Use with Your Neighbors (anonymously)

-- Debbie Spence (dbspence@usa.net), February 05, 1999.

oh SURE, Hardliner, get on me for scrapping with TM, but impromptu brawls with Deano are OK, anytime, on any thread!!!!

-- lisa (lisa@grandma's.now), February 05, 1999.

Why as a GI do I have a "duty".

Aside from a lot of civilized folks getting together on this thread (ocassinally striking a few sparks) and discussing duty, no one has show why being a GI implies any duty at all.

I assert that any duty I have extends from that set of morals and ethics I hold completely detached from being a GI and is no more or less.

Maybe I'm just too thick to catch this one.

-- Greybear

- Or maybe I'm just to inherently selfish and self centered to understand otherwise. ?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), February 05, 1999.


You misunderstand me. I recognized your "scrap" with TM as "comical" and "honest" and (it seems not clearly enough), fair enough in that it was one on one. What I was attempting to take issue with when I said, ". . .but let's not turn this forum into a place of intolerance", was the idea of singling out all postings by TM and responding to them in a particular way simply because they were from her (or from anyone). I have no problem whatsoever with one on one scraps and in fact I see them as inherent in a free speech forum. I appreciated your post every bit as much as "bingo1". He, too was simply expressing what many of us felt. I was (and am) simply trying to suggest a way to allow us all to extract maximum benefit from this forum and still retain a semblance of fair play.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 05, 1999.

Greybear said, "I assert that any duty I have extends from that set of morals and ethics I hold completely detached from being a GI and is no more or less."

That works for me.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), February 05, 1999.

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