Optimist's effect on preparation ...*Opinion*greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I still have trouble grasping a given scenario "number" even after sorting through so much banking and economic and computer good/bad news reports, opinions and spin; adding in world political and economical news must surely add a plus(+)sign to anyones well thought out predictions. I have never given much thought to these topics prior to y2k.
However, I can understand how even a "1" or "2" rating on any given scale will have the same impact on a family living from paycheck to paycheck and faced with even a temporary unemployment situation from a "minor remediation problem" or from a acceptable failure rate percentage of a given industry. Compound that with merely a governmental "delay" from a "minor glitch" in processing benefits, especially if the request for those benefits is accelerated. This would be viewed by that particular family as a "10". These people and their extended families will be the ones that will be running to the banks, not the GI's. They are not survivalists, they are not ignorant, they are good people; they are middle class America. They will need children's college funds and passbook accounts that they have so diligently stashed away $10 and $20 at a time; they will be looking to refinance and lower their mortgage payments during a troubled economic time. They are our friends, family and neighbors.
Likewise, I think the majority of the GI's posting on this forum will be able to weather a "4 to 6" with relative ease considering not only preparation level, but the personal creativity and mindset that is exhibited here daily.
Anything "7" or above, can any of the general population, (including alot of *us*) in the USA actually prepare for?? Consider what some of us are predicting. Unless we have been preparing for an above "7" event years before y2k came along or unless we have adequate finances to "buy" our saftey nets, are we not only buying time in most cases?
Please understand, I mean no disrespect for those reflecting their opinion based on a number on a scale, whether it be a 2 a 5 or an 8. Learning on this forum is an on going process for so many of us, and a beginning process for so many. The excellant and civilized debates in process here at this time are so helpful and refreashing. My greatest respect to those actually working on the problem, whether an optimist or a GI.
However, I am still abhorred daily by the optimist's view of 1's and 2's (i.e. bump in the road) and the lack of realizing or acknowledging the concept of the impact of suffering and personal loss that so many people will inevitably face if even these predictions are true. Spin, lies, misinformation or lack of information to these people who are marginally prepared for even one missed paycheck, let alone several is the greatest disservice to the general public of this issue.
Likewise, I ask GI's expecting the worse to reflect on the individuals we are discounting as "mobs". None of us "think" we would have any trouble dealing with those who intend us harm. Folks, if things are as bad as some people predict, the majority of those mobs will be women and children. They won't be holding guns, they will be holding photo albums and makeshift canteens. (I have yet to see one refugee on CNN carrying a gun, at least not openly).
Nearly all optimists, if I am interpreting correctly, agree some problems, delays or glitches will occur. They concede these will not be "bad". A given industry will only suffer X % (low) failure, bankrupcy, temperary shut downs or what have you. However, those given industries produce paychecks that feed and cloth many children after a car payment and rent or house payment has been squeezed out. Make "light" of all you wish about whether the "grid" will collapse or not...how many glitches in all of these none essential systems will it take to cause the lights to go out in how many homes from lack of payment, not NERC's unpreparedness.
None of us, in good conscious, whether pessimists or optimists, can afford NOT to prepare. Even if y2k turns out to be a "bump in the road" for the majority, it will be a "10" for so many of our neighbors.
Those of us stocking food must consider sharing this bounty with those suffering if, thankfully, it turns out we personally don't need it. Likewise, those who have not prepared with food, and have left their money safely in the banks, and it turns out to be safely in the banks, must consider donations to help the unavoidable y2k "casualties"...the working poor and the debt ladden middle class.
Thus, in my humble opinion, I don't think there are actually 10 levels to consider. I think there are only two, and each of us will label them differently, and none of us would all consider the same options personally:
Good or Bad...good meaning not effected personally or are able to wheather the unknown, depending on personal circumstances and the ability to foresee and shield from things beyond our control at least for the most part. And of course, the predictions from the optimists where correct or understated. Bad of course means we have underestimated the magnitude of the problem and its effect on our families personally. Or realized them too late or where in a situation where realization or not, we where not able to prepare. Or maybe we just paid attention to one media good news story too many, and never thought to ask our employer how all of this effected one's self personally.
Temperary set back or start over again...considering one's finances and ability to continue to generate a minimal necessary income or ones's ability to liquidate assets, the value of those assets, whether they are cash, stocks or real property, and one's access to those assets
TEOTWAWKI. A "2" or "3" on any given scale WILL be the end of some people's world as THEY know it...unemployment, delays, reccession. If ONLY ONE insurance company goes under in the whole country, and it is your insurance company and you need to fill your prescriptions and find your prescription card is no good while standing in line at the druggist? If you are on a limited income...and my goodness, some of these medications are so expensive, our seniors can not possibaly afford them without insurance; well a choice will have to be made. Do without the medicine, do with out food or delay your telephone payment, or go to the bank and take money out of your savings (GI's causing bank runs?). Even if that person faced with that choice had been made aware of the possibility months before, and squirreled away an extra couple of weeks of medication, and that where the ONLY glitch that effected them personally, then truely can they say "y2k had no effect on me". If they didn't prepare, it makes them no difference to them whether the entire insurance industry collapsed from y2k because it only took one company's downfall to cause their suffering.
Personal guess on a number??? No idea, none at all...bad, things will be really bad. What are my preparations based on??? Solid 10+. If I don't need my beans and rice, I KNOW someone else will because they could use it now, let alone a year from now.
Optimists, I can appreciate your position and opinions, really I can. But please also give some thought to the personal ramifications on unnamed persons who may neglect preparations beyond the "winter storm" level of preparation.
You all acknowledge understanding of science and technology and business and such. I can't do that myself. However, can you also see that there are just to many variables and disagreements here to predict a sure outcome? Just by reason alone you cannot be 100% right and GI's 100% wrong, and vice-versa. That is the only input I can give the world about "logic". And finally (yea the crowd says!)... unfortunately, whether you want to admit it or not, those wild card variables DO effect food, water, shelter, medicine, and at the very least, peace of mind for so many, and that in turn, effects all of us.
-- Lilly (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 14, 1999
A well thought out post. Unless you live in a very small town you can't feed everyone. But we can all feed one or two other people. Once the expensive equipment is purchased to process those bulk goods and staples, the actual goods and staples themselves aren't that expensive. How many pounds of wheat or rice or beans does it take to feed just two more people for six months? You do need some thought on how salvagable is your community. How independent are your neighbors? How resourceful? What is the ratio of contributer to consumer? If you have one in five that can take care of themselves, the community may well survive a worst case. If we get a depression or severe recession, well, guess what, I wouldn't want to see all this food go to waste anyway. I'm helping out the less fortunate. And maybe, just maybe, if I really try, I can teach some of these welfare larva to stand up on thier own two feet.
Ok. So. I'm a starry eyed dreamer. But I'm still gonig to try.
-- eyes_open (email@example.com), April 14, 1999.
Very Eloquent, very correct. We humans seem to lose our humanity very quickly,even at the thought of hard times. Thank you for sharing your humanity with us.
-- Paladin (HaveGun@Will.Travel), April 14, 1999.
Yes, I agree,...thoughtful post. I wonder though, if it is not rather, that many people are schooled to 'believe',(propagandized, programmed,...pick your own word), that individual human beings give up their humanity easily, quickly, etc. My life experience is not that, I have not led a sheltered existence for the last almost 47 years....my experience tells me that there is a great deal of heart and humanity in individuals, despite what the news-speak, and religio-speak says.
She upon the hill,...thinking of the ripples in a pond after the throwing of pebbles, and of a much younger David Carradine, as Kane being counseled: "Patience, Grasshopper."
-- Donna Barthuley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 14, 1999.
You echo what I've hinted at on several postings. I am planning for an overall "8-10", but I'm in a very recession sensitive industry. Even a 1972 recession will send me looking for a new line of work.....
So, losing my job or my house or whatever is certainly "the end of the world as "I" know it".
-- Jon Williamson (email@example.com), April 14, 1999.
I suspect, globally, we'll experience the rainbow of Y2K "numbers," on an individual case-by-case basis. Just like we do now.
It's called life. It happens, daily.
People can only change or help where they are. Here's hoping many choose to "help" those around them.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 15, 1999.
here's a quote from above: "They are not survivalists, they are not ignorant, they are good people; they are middle class America." --well, this is where I come in. I'm not a y2k pro, I'm not an IT professional, my speciality as it where is that I'm a "Survival" expert(well, I'll ask politely to be given a "gimme" on that one, anyway). And the quote above is a prime example of why y2k or any other problems we might face are such a catastrophically huge problem. First, I agree with the quote. The first part-"They are not survivalists"- entirely correct, they are not, they are NON-SURVIVALISTS. They have embraced non-survivalism as a lifestyle, on purpose, with fore thought, actions, deeds, and sins of ommissions. They have voted for non- survivalists politicians. They have supported non-survivalist companies. They "invest"(Ha-what a joke) in a non-survivalist stockmarket, for their retirement in a lot of cases, even when the population demographics have been against any baby boomer retirement for decades. They have vilified, ridiculed, ignored and demonized "Survivalism" and it's adherents for a long time, in spite of natural disasters, "downsizing", governmental boondoggles and waste, foreign entanglements, overwhelming lies from corporations and governments and the controlled media--all while the good, prudent and positive aspects of a "Survival Mindset" have been there to see. But they are "good people". Sorry, that's where I strongly disagree. Now, because of this "Y2K" issue mostly, all of a sudden there's this big awakening or something, but it's an awakening that has to be tempered(in their minds) with continuing dgi-politically correct thought. "Well, my family is going to prepare, we FEEL like it will be for xyz type of situation, and for xyz time frame, etc., etc., etc." My thoughts are- well-tough beans! While YOU(Mr. and Mrs. Middle Amnerica) were going on vacations, enjoying professional sports, buying designer clothes, driving ridiculously expensive and un needed yuppie mobiles, and IGNORING the REAL issues, other people have been trying to talk rationally for decades about what you can do, and NOW all of a sudden you need all this "help". "Conspiracy" freaks, "Alarmists", "Dooms sayers", "Whackos"--can't tell you all the vile names I've been called, all the arguments I've been forced into, all the abuse I've had to take. And because of YOUR(again, Mr. and Mrs. completely out to lunch Middle America), now you want someone to clean up the mess that might happen, with a token little last minute preparations on your side, because all of a sudden you "Get It", or at least a small part of "Getting It". Well, my advice is go ask your stock broker how to "prepare", or maybe your favorite Hollywood actor, or maybe that bozo politician you helped elect, maybe they can help you. For decades you supported that lifestyle, let that be your guide then, get your "news" from peterbrokawrather, and quick get ready to "go out" to your favorite restaurant or "starbucks" or where ever you have been going to. Don't come in late to the game and then all of a sudden try to change the rules to fit a pre-conceived notion of "Survival". You can't just take a lifetime of non awareness and hope to be able to help all sorts of other people, when you don't have the resources or more importantly the knowledge or mindset to help yourselves yet. Accumulate those things first, you'll see it's a lot harder than you think. Just because someone has been labeled a "success" in one form by the accumulation of electronic blips or various toys in society doesn't mean that they can be a "success" in something entirely different. I applaud anyone trying, and I wish anyone well, but don't try to tell others that your last minute theories have much basis in reality, because you will hurt yourself, maybe badly. It's like buying a lamp and taking it home. Sure you can "plug it in", but does that make you an electrician? You can operate a motor vehicle, but does that make you a nascar mechanic? The point I'm trying to make is that BOY, YOU GONNA HAVE YOUR HANDSFULL STAYING ALIVE, SO QUIT THINKING ABOUT ALL THOSE OTHER FOLKS-THE MAYBE'S. Yes, the potential for it being REAL bad is there, and yes, you may have to (gosh gee whillikers) make a decision if you want to sacrafice you and your families lives for someone elses. "Feel good" crap is "feel good" CRAP. It hasn't worked in the inner cities, it hasn't worked in rural appalachia, it hasn't worked in africa, it hasn't worked in the indian sub continent, it just HASN'T WORKED. There is no reason to suggest it will work HERE. The best you can hope to do, at least initially, is to protect yourself, your immediate family, IF they are at least in a GI frame of mind NOW Anyone wants to put some aside for others, well and good-it's a noble and decent thing to think about and attempt. But please don't make it any sort of priority, please! Take in anyone at the last minute who's a DGI, and you'll be arguing constantly, they'll compromise your preparations or stash, and maybe even conk you over the head or turn you in. And any big mobs, will be big mobs, the root word there is MOBS. Unless you've ever been in the middle of a big mob, you really don't have a frame of reference.
I'm not really trying to be such a gloomer or anything, I just honestly don't want folks to be pollyanna in their preps, once they have decided to do them. There are tons of little details, but the main premises should be grasped before you decide to proceed. Nor do I anyway want to get involved with various passages saying do this or do that, religion is a private matter for me. It is my OPINION that if you think you'll be able to "share" or appease the mobs, no matter how small or innocent appearing, that most likely you'll be toast. That's just my OPINION. Anyone can ask a professional programmer or hardware tech, or their plumber, or their hairdresser, or a reporter--doesn't matter to me. I'm not those guys, and don't purport to be. It really gets my goat though, when the reverse is true. And in advance, I apologize in general, I honestly don't want to appear to be putting anyone down, it's just that , coming from a committed GI background, I hate to see folks hurt by getting their awareness from "instant experts".
-- zog (email@example.com), April 15, 1999.
You have made some good points. And perhaps I set some people up for real failure when I advised to try to watch out for some others. I should have elaborated. You can't take in just anybody. People who belong to the "Entitlement Culture", who believe it's societies duty to provide for them with little or no effort from themselves, are to be avoided. Because these are the sorts of people who will most likly compromise your preperations. Anyone who who thinks that it's unfair for some people to have advantages without taking in to account the investment in time, money and effort that those people might have put in earlier to get those advantages will not have the mind set to work with you or contribute. On the other hand, people who are too busy to read between the lines but have a strong work ethic and sound values are people you might want to include. Someone who is a contributor in society now will be a contributor in society after the rules change radically. And the fact that we have developed such a large 'entitlement culture" means contributors should be valued even more so. But don't forget the important points that Zog bought out. Adding people to your list of wards isn't at all without risk.
-- eyes_open (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 15, 1999.
No apology necessary on my part. You have given me new things to think about. I do hope I wasn't coming across as an "instant expert". So many at this forum have given me so much to think about and apply, I was just hoping to do the same. Let me explain the reason I wrote this post first.
First and foremost I wrote to hopefully get some of the optimists, to consider how their "bump in the road" opinion may have very serious consequences on those within their speare of influence. I am not debating their expertise in technological or financial areas, I only ask them to consider when someone of less knowledge of the y2k situation asks them off hand at work or a family gathering or over the back yard fence, "What should I do to prepare?" I wish they would think twice before they rattle off, "Nothing to prepare for!" As I tried to explain above, it would take alot less than a major global depression to cause most of middle class America to experience their personal "10". (Optimists are you here???)
Another point I hoped to make was that based STRICTLY on percentages, the likelihood of a "2" or "3" event happening, has a much higher possibility of a "10" scenerio. I am not ruling out a "10", I am not ruling out anything at this point. I think my "personal" scale doesn't even include a "0 or a 1". I think "2" is as low as any scale need go..."2" or "3" is best case scenerio...all only in my opinion.
I don't consider myself a doomer or a polly. I AM a realist and I am doing all I can to prepare for the worst case that I can. We are making sacrifices in our family in terms of the use of our money now; we are eating a survival diet, for example, because, point one, it is alot cheaper and better for you (but I am going to break down one day REAL soon and buy a very thick steak!) and point two, by doing so, I have taught more people by example about y2k then I ever could have by words alone.
Well that said, Zog, for yourself a "5" is a bump in the road, you are apparently very well prepared mentally and physically and I commend you on that. You also then would probably agree with my point that if a person has not been preparing for "total" self-sufficency for a great many years, all I or others are gaining is time if we are faced shortly with a true "10" event (will not go into nukes at this time). However, if Jon will allow me to use himself for the sake of example, a "3" may devestate his personal situation. BUT because Jon has the mindset of survival, not possibably in the true military sense of the word, but from past experiences and adaptability, he would suffer financial loss possibly and be faced with a temporary period of need for support a part of his creature comforts (i.e. food, water and shelter)due to unemployment. But he would embrace recovery and determination and survive. On the same token, since his preparation level (which is none of my business)he may be able to weather a "3" with ease, and have alot of encouragement and resources to share with those around him whom he cares about, family or stranger.
Now your evaluation of the "Me First" culture is excellant. Consumers of the highest order. Eliminating me and my family to get my beans and rice would mean NOTHING to them. However, I wasn't trying to open that can of worms when I wrote this. I was only trying to make the two points I mentioned above. I do get wordy...and I did mention for the GI's to consider the "mobs at the door". Again, I was thinking more along the lines of the neighbors and geographic areas in trouble during a very predictiable period of (at least) a reccession, as opposed to the Yuppies flooding my very rural setting...my lack of clarity there.
I should have stated my thoughts more clearly in first post, well here it is: In this sense of the definition, the "mobs" would come to us one by one by one, day in and day out. Not literally to our door, but through first hand stories of our families, friends and communities facing financial failure from the impending economic hardships ahead. Faced with this, and seeing a light at the end of the y2k tunnel...I will feed all I can. I personally can do no less.
Now, very briefly, on the "true mobs at the door"...I can not predict, well, yes I can, I know what I will do, but I don't believe I care to speak of it beyond saying I can live with justifiable homocide, but never with murder. If that makes me a (dead) non-survivalist, well, I guess that is what I am. In a world such as that, only killers would survive anyways and only till a more skilled/lucky killer came along.
Is y2k the event that will cause basically sensible and compassionate people to actually live this life? I don't know. Almost anyone from a Christion background believes that many generations have been saying, "sooner or later, some generation will have to deal with these issues." But by the same token, many generations before of us have been just as sure (civil war, depression, WW's). Well, we may find out sooner than any of us care to believe that we are indeed the ones.
-- Lilly (email@example.com), April 15, 1999.
--well, I'll clarify some, too. In all my advice going on almost two years now exactly on the web, I've been telling people to quit thinking "Little house on the prarie" and more like bosnia-or currently kosovo. It's extrememly difficult for anyone to see that's the level of preps you MIGHT have to be at. And I personally think that "thinking about" nukes or major chemical accidents or domestic terr attacks--or our own governmental terr attacks-is still in the cards. I'm a full scale cascading failure dude on y2k, so with that as a gimmee, just as an exercise, I propose anyone to think about this--even though the government is incredibly boneheaded sometimes, lets give them a little credit for knowing what's coming. Now, if you were Joe Government, and knew that there was NO WAY to feed, water, shelter, etc. a huge percentage of the population-on or about a given date-well, what would you do? Seems like two choices to me--if you were a smart, benevolent government, you'd calmly and rationally announce years in advance that this could be a really nasty problem, just maybe, so we're gonna decentralize and get the whole society up to speed on emergency preps now, rather than wait to the last minute. Now, I guess I haven't seen that happen, maybe I missed something--dunno. Now, the same government, if it doesn't take option 1, and if it wants to stay in power, needs to do something else. What's option 2?
Not sure about anyone else, but option 2 looks on the surface pretty scary, and scratch the surface it looks patently demonic or something. Any other opinions?
-- zog (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 15, 1999.