Why so little discussion on Community here?

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I've been following this forum for awhile now. Lot's of valuable stuff. But I hear so little talk about community organizing, which I find odd, since there seems to be so much of it going on around the country now. I'm on the fringes of a Y2K Community Task Force in Santa Cruz, CA, and so recieve various messages from time to time. I'm pasting one here that came thru this morning because I think it's valuable. Comments?

>Richard: > > > >I was delighted to read your reguest for a community forum, as well as > >empathizing with your frustrations. What I'm hearing is that yours is > >the common experience. It mirrors ours. And, it's our choice to respond > >in old patterns or explore some new ones. > > > >We're trying to balance our inner work with outer actions. It ain't > >easy, and we need each other to keep reminding us. Y2K can turn us into > >salesfolks, marketing strategists and evangalists, sometimes driving us > >to burnout because "no one else is helping..." I often have to remind > >myself I'm not carrying a 2 x 4 in my briefcase, even when I feel like > >wanting to use one on occasion! > > > >We're choosing partnership building, sharing information and expertise, > >letting go of others responses to us, missed opportunities or > >connections. What we've learned is this has served us and Y2K education > >well. People and opportunities have had a way of circling back around. > >We trust that each of us in on our own journey, including Y2K awareness > >and choice of actions, and want to honor this diversity. > > > >Part of that trust, and now knowledge, is that most government - > >national, state and county, and large businesses (including utilities) > >are committed to fixing the problem and don't need badgering. What we've > >learned is that building alliances with others to join the educational > >effort expands our circles of influence. We're moving more organically, > >creating connections and networks, strengthening our personal and > >organizationl networks. Individuals talking to their families, civic > >groups, condo and neighborhood associations makes a big differences. > >It's about relationships! > > > >The group we've attracted has a focus on individuals, families, > >neighborhoods - building stronger communities for resilience, whether > >it's a natural, chemical or technological challenge. We all need each > >other and are, in truth, interconnected just like the metaphors > >reflected back by Y2K. > > > >While expanding education, we're exploring tools for small group > >dialogues. The Study Circles Group's new "Building Strong Neighborhoods" > >is excellent for safety, traffic and drainage issues, as well as > >potential community crises (scrc@neca.com). They connected me with the > >Harbinger Institute (harbinger@mcn.net), which is now publishing a > >specific Y2K guide. Wisdom Circles (510-272-9540) and Bohmian Dialogues > >(www.cfdc/com)are currently used in a variety of settings. > > > >Perhaps you've heard of the Resilient Communities videoconference group > >with Robert Theobald (www. resilient communities.org). The next session > >is April 8 and is focused on Y2K preparedness. The first exchange > >featured Robert and Meg Wheatley on resilient and "leaderfull" > >communities, and how Y2K is an example of other systemic challenges > >behind and ahead of us. It was excellent and offered a valuable > >framework to address Y2K as part of a process. They stessed that their > >learning in approaching others about Y2K is to build on prior > >relationships. > > > >We've had three community forums, including the videoconference. And > >what we continue to do in the interim is relate to our various circles, > >moving on when others aren't engaged. We've purchased 60 Minutes' Y2K > >coverage (800-419-6397)and researching others to share with large and > >small groups, as a starting point. These recognized names give some > >grounding and credibility. We share examples and lists of web sites for > >others to do their own learning, as they choose. > > > >Fortunately, some of our tri-county leadership is part of this, NOT > >including whole commissions, legislations, councils or individual > >cities. It's at a personal level. Recognize too that large cities, > >counties and businesses are guided by legal counsel to play this down, > >for a variety of real and speculated reasons. Our choice in response to > >this is to keep on going what we can do and let go of fixing anybody or > >group. > > > >Do what we CAN do, each of us sharing our gifts. Trust that others will > >go the same. What we've experienced is that just the right mix exists in > >every group, whether it's a hundred or six. Together we can do this! > > > >Sharon Joy Kleitsch > >Tampa Bay Y2K > >

-- cat (ccordes@scruznet.com), February 11, 1999


Because Y2K isn't about saving seals or trees or fighting AIDS or drugs, whatever.

In those cases, the DGIs and DWGIs are not (usually) a threat.

With Y2K, the DGIs and DWGIs will (very most likely) be a threat if TSHTF. They will remember -- "Oh, cat was talking about stocking up on food and water. I'm hungry and thirsty; I think I'll drop by and see what old cat is up to..."

Cat probably has barely enough for himself/herself (and family), but "machs nichts" to DGI/DWGI. 'Nuff said.

-- A (A@AisA.com), February 11, 1999.

To All, sorry about the format problems in the above question. I'm a greenhorn re copying, pasting etc.

To A,

But logic says to me that the more folks around you who are prepared, the fewer threats there will be. If 75% of the people on my street are stocked up, and if the Community has planned together and has set up things like churches, schools etc. that are stocked and equiped to handle some of the people who aren't ready, aren't we in a much better position re threats than if we didn't do this? Isn't it just a lot less scary if you know that there are other people, people you've met and worked with who will likely be there for you and you for them if TSHTF?

And if serious rebuilding is required after Y2K, isn't it much more expedient to have some kind of organization in place? We are getting to know each other and to know what specific skills and atributes each of up has to offer. If communications etc. are really screwed up, it would be nearly impossible to accomplish this kind of organizing after the fact.

And besides, what I see happening here (in Santa Cruz) is a tremendous increase in awareness locally as a result of the Y2K Community Task Force. It's no longer just 'hype' for 5 mins. on the nightly news. There are a lot of respected people involved.

It just strikes me that it (community organizing) is the ONLY REAL tool we have at our disposal to address the future. It sure ought to be plain to everybody by this point that we can NOT look to our miserable gov't to lead us through this. For the 1st part of the year that I've been closely following this I kept waiting for a Rosevelt or a Churchill to emerge, to lead us as a people thru this. It hasn't happened and it ain't gonna happen.

-- cat (ccordes@scruznet.com), February 11, 1999.

Cat, that may be because in Santa Cruz, there are people who think in those terms, whereas in much of the country people don't. There are plenty of Y2K community organizations, but the idea of community in the larger sense is something that's being lost in this consumer/media - isolation age in which we live.

(BTW - I did not read this thing you posted. I found it unreadable.)

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 11, 1999.

cat - You live in a fairly well-off, high-tech, California college town, sometimes known by more conservative folks as "The People's Republic of Santa Cruz". A "community" approach may work very well for you and yours. It will not work at all for many others whose "neighborhoods" have little or no cohesion whatsoever. There are any number of areas throughout the country (urban or otherwise) which resemble war zones even at the best of times, and any loss of services will destabilize them in a big way.

This is one reason why Ed Yourdon lists "Geography" as one of four primary areas of consideration when planning your Y2K preps.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), February 11, 1999.

pshannon and Mac,

I'm aware that Santa Cruz has the reputation you mentioned. The truth is, it's not like that anymore. (Maybe more so than some other places in the country - but - ) A lot of the area has become a 'bedroom' for workers in Silicon Valley, and it suffers from a lot of the same problems of shortsighted materialism and lack of cohesion that's going on everywhere.

I'm reading into your responses that I may be naive or not fully informed about the American people's perceptions or inclinations as a result of my current geography. I'm not originally from here - I'm from Mpls/St. Paul and have lived in Mexico, Korea, Seattle, L.A.,Palm Beach, and on an island in Lake Superior. Most of my family are still in Minn. I also travel quite a bit. I've had a lot of first-hand observation of over-population, racial tension, differences between our (U.S.) 'culture' and foreign, more homogenous cultures, the insidious, community-desolving effects of a lot of our technological 'advances', and the 'dumbing down' of our people.

Even acknowledging all of the above, I STILL believe community organizing is our only workable solution. Everyone of us has a neighbor on the right, the left, in front and behind us, people you can walk to and look in the face and say something to. I don't care if you're in a ghetto in Watts, (in fact, some neighborhoods like that may end up being in better shape than fat-cat suburbs because they have local community organizations already trying to deal with poverty, crime etc.) or in a highrise in Chicago, or on a farm in Kansas, you have neighbors. I know it's not something we've been trained to do or a way we've been trained to think ("Keep'em divided and weak" or something like that) but I think we better learn, and fast.

-- cat (ccordes@scruznet.com), February 11, 1999.

A lot "don't get it" in the sense that if TSHTF, a lot (huge percentage) of people are going to DIE. Not on 2000-01-01, but by, say, 2000-02-28 (starvation/water, if nothing else). The reason being, the planet does not have the carrying capacity to support 6 billion without high technology.

If TSHTF, those of you who can last 6 months will see a vastly reduced population.

My reasoning is, the more DGIs there are, the less competiton for survival resources between now and TSHTF. Demand will (is already) pushing prices up. You may be priced out of the survival market.

Sorry, guys, it's competition; not "can't we all just get along".

-- A (A@AisA.com), February 11, 1999.

Go for it, cat, and as a fellow feline I wish you well. Hope you aren't on your 9th life like me...
Check six anyway, for predator sightings, such as uber-yuppie:
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

I've heard that many people are hoarding cash and food just in case civilization collapses. My strategy is to hoard guns and ammo so I can take the cash and food from the people who didn't do a good job thinking through the "collapse of society" concept.

-- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), February 11, 1999.

Idont tell nobody cause I HATE PEOPLE!!!!!!!If they can't see the writing on the wall to hell with them. HEY!!! DID YOU EVER THINK THAT SOMNE OF THESE GUYS WERE MEANT TO DIE????? HUH?? HUH ???? DID YOU???? What if I tell them and they want my stuff??? then i have to feed them? I think not!

POW pow pow pow pow pow pow you'll never get me dgier

PLUS, I think some of these peoplke are out to get me, but i dont know which ones yet. What if I make friends with the ones who are out to get me ? HUH? HUH?? DId you ever think of that??? I didnt think so.

-- Dieter (questions@toask.com), February 11, 1999.

Cat/anyone, when you cut and paste, hit the space bar twice between paragraphs - this will give you a one line break on the forum itself.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), February 11, 1999.

Dieter, since you asked, I did think of that.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), February 11, 1999.

There have been several threads on community vs hide at all costs. I think that most here favour community, but recognize that we need to respect the right of others to prepare as they see fit.

Diane, Craig, Leska/Ashton, and others have written alot about how to start community action in earlier threads. Best of luck with your preps - and I hope you don't meet many MDWGI (militant don't wanna get its).

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), February 11, 1999.

The "community" thinking will come about when it's too late. Those who want to join a community are the ones that don't have a pot to p*ss in. They'll want to come join me, but they aren't invited. When you have a "community," there's also politics involved. No thanks, I don't want some nit wit barking orders at me and telling me that I have latrene duty! And Dieter, your probably right, they will be out to get you! The have nots will get what you have, even though you did all the work to get it and they did nothing!

"Anyone who lives within 5 miles of Burger King, is hamburger." Bardou

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 11, 1999.

Thanx Andy, re cut 'n paste tip. "...with a little help from my friends..."

-- cat (ccordes@scruznet.com), February 11, 1999.

IF TSHTF, I think the community question will be relevant AFTER the fact. I have community building experience (having lived in two communes for a total of 8 years) and while I am interested in what my local community is doing beforehand, it's a slippery slope, because of all the disinformation and most people's attitudes. My thinking is more along the lines of talk the talk and quietly be prepared for the worst.

As A. suggests, IF TSHTF after six months or so things will be drastically different. THAT'S when I'll crawl out of my hole and put REAL energy into building community. Sadly, I think it's too late to start now in a meaningful way.

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 11, 1999.

cat, you are right, of course. Normally you'd have more support on a thread re community building. Diane will be a great contact for you. She's in California and has been doing intensive community-building research. Diane is dealing with a nasty ole cold right now, but you can find her addy on most threads. Go back a few weeks, especially, before she began traveling. Also, several groups have excellent eMail lists, to share ideas, support, and related news. But frequently come to this Forum to share your concerns and progress. Welcome!

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx x

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 11, 1999.

pshannon: You are right that it is too late to start building a Y2K community. The planning and implementation is a monumental undertaking. If you look into the Amish life style, it works because they have been practicing the principles for several generations. They all believe the same beliefs, and put those beliefs into practice and live what they believe. It would be hard to build a community at this stage of the game and survive all the political turmoil that would come into play. Even if Y2K awareness communities would have prepared 5 years ago, they would be labeled as a cult or kooks. Here we are just a few months away from reality and those of us posting on this BB are being called just that. It's too late my friends, so hunker down, lock and load, we're in for a wild ride. Being the curious person that I am, I want to see it to the end.

"Anyone living within 5 miles of a Burger King will be hamburger."

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 11, 1999.

I would submit that, with the exception of some rural areas, true communities (groups of likeminded individuals who band together for mutual support)here in the United States are rarely geographic anymore. That's gonna be part of the problem - since there isn't time to attempt to build new functional communities (check the soc. and psych. research on stress effects on artificial groups...it can get rather messy) the first thing one has to do is find at least one of which one is already a member, where individuals are preparing as a community.

I know of a few blue collar Christian groups that are doing this sort of thing, but not much of anyone else.

Anybody else out there have a different experience?

Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), February 12, 1999.

I have friends who are involved in the Santa Cruz community group. This is a situation that saddens me. A small community in a remote location may be able to pull it off, but Santa Cruz is not a small community, and the heavily-populated Silicon Valley is just over the hill.

-- David Hammer (davidone@worldnet.att.net), February 12, 1999.

See "A strange thing happened to me at the local bookstore today," above.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 12, 1999.


-- Jerry (dooby@whacker.com), February 12, 1999.

I'm glad you brought this up, cat. I've grown concerned about the "mood" of the comments on this BB lately. Seems like we get sidetracked into "what .gov is REALLY up to" threads anytime federal preparations are mentioned. Admittedly, awareness of the Big Picture is important as long as we are looking for facts instead of trying to justify a pre-existing distrust of .gov . And the bunker mentality of some strikes me as foolish. How long can you live in a bunker?

I agree that building communities is the preparation angle with the best chance of success. Division of labor is how society developed, and isolationist practices may put you on the outside of whatever community develops post-rollover. (And it will. we are social critters.) But I submit that the word "neighborhood" describes the operative concept. Organizing an entire community, (eg Santa Cruz), is a Big Deal, and frankly, our local emergency services people have a lot more expertise in that field than most of us. If everyone starts from the other end (How can I help prepare my neighborhood), the aggregate effect is more progress faster. And if the S*** only grazes the Fan, you wind up with a better neighborhood to live in. IMHO, organizing a Community of pre-organized neighborhoods has the best chance of success.

Many Y2K commentators are saying that this is going to be long, nasty couple of years, not a one time event. Love Thy Neighbor, and maybe nobody will get shot.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), February 12, 1999.

Diane mentioned that Koskinen would be mailing some sort of Y2K letter to the 87K mayors in the country. I wonder if she can sweettalk us a copy...I have big plans for that document If I can get my hands on it. May be the best DGI conversion tack yet.

Guess I'll email her..............................

-- Lisa (lisa@work.today), February 12, 1999.

Over the last months (about 10 months since I've begun posting here) we've had numerous discussions about community preparedness. If you search through the archived threads you will find them, I bet.

As an aside of not much importance, I spent months trying to get some community plans started in my city. To my knowledge there has only been one or two city council meetings directly addressing Y2K, and neither of them addressed any community education or planning. My emails to mayor, city manager and council members go unanswered,...heck I was willing to work for free....go figure. Could be DTMI in action (Don't Threaten My Illusions). Lately my energy goes to preparing my family and me. I still think prepared people will be people less likely to panic and cause disruption. I'm always glad to hear about other communities getting ready. Thanks for revisiting the community question.


-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 12, 1999.


I'm just over the hill from you and spent the last couple weeks looking at the "creating community" issues. I'm highly encouraged, it IS happening around the country, big time, it is doable in the amount of time left and I promise to get all my notes together and post 'em. Also plan to get over the hill and see many people of your area who came to the recent Oakland Y2K gathering -- probably next week.

Lewis, hang around. There is a lot happening.

Lisa, Douglass Carmichael would be the one to e-mail. I'll bet he has a copy of the Mayor's letter. E him at: doug@tmn.com, or go to his web-site:



(Just not quite getting over a whopper of a flu and feeling like something the cat didn't drag in! Back to bed now with a cough, hack and sniffle -- totally exhausted).

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 12, 1999.

Gosh Folks, (especially Diane, Lisa, Lewis, Ashton & Lesha) Thanks for contributing more on this thread. I have to admit that after the first several responses I had nearly decided to not visit this sight anymore since it started to feel so nihilistic, so pointless. I began to wonder, why even talk about any of it to any of the folks here if the only possible outcome they can visualize is isolation, distruction, a primitive dog-eat-dog existence?

Even if I acknowledge that the potential for that scenerio exists, I must continue to affirm (to myself and anyone who will listen)that it's only one of any number of potential scenerios. We have never done this before, collectively or individualy. We CAN'T KNOW the outcome. That's what drives most of us nuts, I think. We HAVE to live with that for the next however-many days. (We don't even know the number of days for sure.) I believe that most of us are not very good at living with that much uncertainty and will do almost anything to combat it - including visualizing the VERY WORST scenerios in order to give the wily mind something, anything to focus on besides the not-knowing.

One of the things I've been trying hard to work on is just sitting with the uncertainty, trying to be okay with it. Yes, I am preparing also. ( I now own more rice than the average Asian family of 10) But I'm also trying to prepare my physche, and for me that means also trying to visualize something besides darkness, danger, lonliness and hunger.

I'm also trying very hard to "think outside the box", having always been reluctant to just adopt or except someone else's version of how things ought to look or be. In doing this, I've seen (kind of out of little cracks in the corners of my mind) that this thing is likely to play our differently than anybody has imagined yet. And that gives me an interesting, curious feeling, and helps me feel more compassion and care for all of us.

I'm not particularly naive and don't expect that everybody everywhere is suddenly going to get involved in community planning. But there's enough evidence already to suggest that it's a major trend around y2k and it's a trend that I choose to participate in and one that I find to be mainly hopeful. It says to me that maybe many people are ready to try visualizing something besides the negative. Besides, one can only spend so much time putting up supplies and reading bummer stuff on the net. And I care about the quality of these days here and now and it feels good to be with others, making plans.

Donna, I've noticed that the focus of the Santa Cruz Y2K Task Force has changed subtley since it's beginning. Initially many of us were most concerned about finding out exactly how remidiation was proceeding, (or if it had even BEGUN) in the local infrastructure. But, as all of us who follow Y2K closely know, it's not easy to get that information, nor is it always an acurate picture or indication of overall outcome. It seems almost as tho the group went through a maturation period together and the point where it finds itself now is one where raising awareness locally within the general population and organizing people within neighborhoods has become the dominant focus. (Try to read that badly formated e-mail at the beginning of this thread.) So, the point I'm making is - don't give up on the idea. Just get together with people and let the process unfold. Like it says in that letter, we can't fix it all, in fact we probably can't fix anything. But we can be together.

-- cat (ccordes@scruznet.com), February 13, 1999.

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