Why pollyannas can't GIgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I just had a mini-revelation about why pollyannas can't GI...technology has become their God, just like it insinuates in books like The Celestine Prophecies, and God don't fail. What do you think?
-- a (email@example.com), February 26, 1999
Add the Almighty Dollar to that god list.
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 26, 1999.
I think in this case deep answers are likely wrong answers.
People don't see the problem because there isn't any problem to see. By necessity, people are reactive to this kind of problem.
"Look around. You see any problems? I don't see no problems! I've gotta keep my bills paid, my wife and boss happy, keep the house reasonably clean and neat, do the daily chores, gotta have my play time and get away from it all. I'm taking care of my business, and I have to trust that them y2k people are taking care of theirs too. What, you expect them to go broke *on purpose*? Gimme a break. Oops, time for another beer."
Or, maybe you're talking about those who have actually looked straight into the eyes of the problem and decided it's not that bad. But face it, nothing bad has happened yet despite dire predictions about spike dates now in the past. Without question a lot of our worries were demonstrably overblown. Dire predictions remain in force, but haven't come true so far. Programmers continue to be laid off. Companies continue to underspend their y2k budgets. Remediation houses continue to suffer and die. Reports on what *has* been done continue positive. Stories about what *might not* get done are still speculation and warning, almost invariably from those looking for money (product vendors, government departments, etc.)
You don't have to be an ignoramus to make a pretty good case that not much will go wrong that affects those outside the actual firefighters. You do have to be an ignoramus to refuse to prepare.
-- Flint (email@example.com), February 26, 1999.
There was once a poll that asked members of the Christian religion and the non members their thoughts on the infalibility of technology and God. The results were in the region of 65%(+ or -) believed that God was fallible but technology was not. That is pretty impressive stuff. Two hundred years ago you would have been flogged to death for saying a thing like that.
Man has turned his back to what we cannot prove and concentrated on science. It boils down to security in what we know is possible and lack of faith in what we think is possible.
Someone once said that if God didn't exist then man would be compelled to invent one.
Well, I think it's fair to say we have.
But like any good Omnipotent being it demands loyalty and obedience. But even then it's subject to fits of fury and judgement on those who stray from the religion. It has been said of the christians that God created man in his own image. Is it now possible that man has recreated God in HIS image? If so the answer to the questionable future lies within. If it were you and you alone who created computer science how prone would it be to failure?
In my very humbled opinion I don't think man has become civilized at all. I believe that we have just become more efficient at being barberic.
-- (AES2010@aol.com), February 26, 1999.
Those who do not want to get it are still in denial. You can talk to them until you are blue in the face, but when they give you that blank gaze, then consider that they might be STUPID.
-- dinosaur (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 26, 1999.
I don't see the science/religion conflict. Science is concerned with true and false, and religion is concerned with right and wrong. There is no real overlap, and a deeply religious scientist is by no means a contradiction in terms. Science tries to explain the universe, and religion gives us meaning in life.
-- Flint (email@example.com), February 26, 1999.
They are DGI's because "the masses are incurably ignorant" Who said it? Plato........
-- Y2K Alarmist (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 26, 1999.
Flint, I certainly see an overlap. Everything that can't be proven by science is considered an act of God until someone comes along and offers an explanation on a level we can relate to and also believe in. Take for instance the Big Bang theory versus Creation. Or Darwin versus Creation. I think there was actually a cover on the front of TIME magazine that went something like "Has Science Killed God?".
Nowadays we can't tell you how many angels can dance on the head of a pin but we can tell you how many editions of the Ecyclopedia Britanica can fit on the head of a pin. Is there much of a difference there?
I know I'm straying a bit from the issue you rasied so I'll try and get back on track. Religion is very much the basis for right and wrong. And science deals with truth and fact and on that point I agree with you.
But now that family and morals have broken down in the world we have come to a different set of standards for what is right and wrong. Little by little we don't ask God what is right or wrong but instead we question each other. We *seem to be throwing out the old rulebook in favor the new "Guidebook to What We can Safely Get Away With".
And by that I mean if we can prove that somewhere our advancment of science will benefit someone (regardless of the means to attain it) then it must be okay to do. For instance we have come to the conclusion that organ doners can save lives. But strictly speaking it says in Biblical terms (I don't know off hand the passage. A Jehovah's Witness pointed this out to me one day so I imagine it is there in the bible somewhere) that our bodies are gifts from God and is not to be shared. Even our blood is to run freely onto the ground and not be collected as it is the substance of life. To "mix and match" is unholy. However science says that, no matter what the scriptures tells us, saving lives is more important that obeying God.
This is sort of a weak argument and I can easily see where your opinion lies. It's a confusing subject and the last thing I want to do is start splitting hairs. Right and wrong IS NOT THE SAME as Fact and Fiction.
However I think it's hard to deny that a majority of people are concerned about what we CAN do rather than what we SHOULD do.
-- (AES2010@aol.com), February 26, 1999.
There is no one answer. Some trust in technology like some trust in God and others trust in mankinds ability to overcome.
Most are like Flint's model...the problem isn't close enough to bother with now. Others only get what the media spoonfeeds them. Others just don't have the money so why bother with y2k. Others hate computers and hope y2k will be the end of them. Others can't conceive that anything real bad could happen in the U.S. They think they are owed comfort, and pleasure and health. They don't realize this past generation has been on the most free ride in history. Studies have shown that 95% of the people wait until the last day to prepare for a hurricane. It is simply human nature not to heed warnings.
I have always contended that people that were not on the internet could get it on y2k. But many who show up at our y2k meeting are not on the net. Go figure. What boggles my mind are the ones on this forum who read all the literature on y2k and still rate y2k as a 5 or less. Those are the ones 'a' seems to refer to, as trusting in technology/man.
-- b (email@example.com), February 26, 1999.
I know this is off topic, but you raise disturbing points. I wish I had answers.
To me there's a big difference between angels and encyclopedias. The angels question wasn't at all a matter of microminiaturization. It was a question of whether angels actually occupied space, or were purely spiritual. And to me, the entire issue of angels, whether corporeal or spiritual, is just part of dogmatic superstructure, not really a religious question at all.
About morals breaking down, this is a tough question. I know that at least as far back as Pliny the Elder (300 AD?) there have been complaints about the next generation abandoning morals. I believe religion should guide value systems, not imprison them. New religions historically have had a tendency to ossify value systems instead, as though values had some ideal specification revealed uniquely to each different religion. And value systems imply some meaning in life found by those who share those values. The question of how religion should determine which values are right and why, is the core issue.
I don't think the question of whether my organs should be burned or buried with me, or should instead be used to save another life, is entirely a religious question. To me, this is mostly an economic question. I say mostly because although there is a market for organs and we have the technology to do transplants, there remains the question of the value of life and the importance of saving it. And this is a question of values. I personally believe in saving lives any way I can. You may disagree about which lifesaving techniques are appropriate. To me, the question is whether saving others' lives is right or wrong. How I do it doesn't matter at all.
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
I guess the possible prize of an advanced society can sometimes outweight the possible harm that can occur to reach that goal.
I think the idea of losing what we already have is so unappealing to, like "b" mentioned (the generation that has taken a free ride), these people they can't admit to the failure and eventual breakdown of the machines that have put us where we are today.
A collection of CEO's and CFO's polled says the the #1 reason for such good economic growth these past ten years if the automated production lines.
It's no wonder people don't want to admit the ship is sinking. The argument they use is that it has taken them this far so why turn back now? These DGI's will ride it until the bitter end. Whether the end is 1/1/2000 or 1/1/3000 isn't relevant (well... it is actually). The point is the attitude has to change, not the date of the deadline.
I don't trust technology but I do expect people to act like people. That is why my predictions for disruptions are low. Because I trust in the sneakiness and selfishness of humankind to do *whatever is necessary* to maintain the current standard of living. Even though in the end it might be the thing that kills us. I could see people giving up "non mission critical" systems in favor of the things the think are important. You know... to hell with the Whales, I'm going shopping!!
I know it's a terribly pessimistic attitude about people. However people are addicted to this comfy way of living. Addicts will literally sell their souls for another day in a synthetically induced paradise.
-- (AES2010@aol.com), February 27, 1999.
I posted my last thing before I read your last post. I'm not disagreeing with you by any means. I personally also believe that saving lives is more important than saving grace.
Maybe I'm getting my opinions about religion/science mixed up with church/state. I think in the history of the world religion is always a good way to temper the attitudes of people. It's when people lose faith that they turn to alternate sources of enlightenment.
I don't think Y2K is going to be the final word in either of these two subjects. But it's different in these days because 2000 years ago the comunities were local and now everything we do is global. When one part of the world changes the other side will hear about it the next day.
So maybe the song remains the same, but now it's that much louder.
-- (AES2010@aol.com), February 27, 1999.
The DGI's I know are of the Homer Simpson variety.
The burden of proof is on those who say that the status quo will not continue - that's us.
The DGI's aren't capable of rational argument. They retort to everything: I have a friend who is an expert, and he says nothing is going to happen - it's all fixed already.
Since they don't have the burden of proof, they think they are intelligently winning a debate.
You cannot exchange intelligent ideas with an idiot like Homer Simpson.
-- GA Russell (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
-- Homer Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
I'll go with Flint's first response. Pollyannas do get it but they don't believe that it will be as bad as an 8 on the scale. They see the positive things happening. DGIs like Homer will never get anything; it's not in them to think.
-- Maria (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
Most of the polyannas I've met are too involved with their lives to really get it. When they shirk off the subject, I ask:
"How much time have you spent researching the topic?"
Based on my experiences to date, the answer has been "what I've seen in the papers/TV", or "not much...I should do more, but I have so much going on in my life right now..."
Until events fall into play to affect these people firsthand, it won't be a priority issue.
Will it take just one event, or a seriess of events to trigger the effect? And what could those be? It will vary amongst certain demographics, IMO. It will be very interesting to see what the trigger(s) will be to create awareness amongst large #'s...views regarding this are welcome :-)
-- Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
Yes, those who don't GI really, truly, honestly, sincerely (add more synonyms here) can't imagine any horrendous disaster befalling America such as which are occurring in African nations or Russia. However, all the signs are ripe for BIG TIME TROUBLE to hit America. The stock market can NOT sustain its wild climb forever. Sure, it may top 10,000, but sooner or later when TSHTF, then the mass panic begins. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you! Parental guidance is advised. Some scenes may not be fit for juveniles. :(
I want these people to awaken, but when they continually scoff, then I consider their reactions and starting thinking about other Y2K preparations I should be starting. :)
-- dinosaur (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.