from GI to DGI: psychological aspects: read and reactgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
first of all: english is not my native language so please no flame mails because of misspellings,etc. I live in Europe.
I have been a daily visitor of this forum from july last year. I have been in various psychological stages concerning Y2K.
In spring last year I "got it". After reading a couple of articles I found this forum. During summer and fall last year I was really terrified about Y2K.
This fear was really negatively infuencing my life: no concentration at work (check out the latest Y2K info through the net, etc.), a negative spriral in my marriage (my wife now is a real GI after long and exhausting discussions, my friends who looked at me as some kind of negative thinker, etc. I even sold my beautiful house because of fear of a financial meltdown (I've cashed the overvalue of the home) I now rent a small home and keep my cash on the bank with hardly no interest.
Now: I've been thinking really hard about the whole issue and this is my analysis:
1. This forum consists of a specific type of people. I've noticed a few things in the last few months:
- there are only a relatively limited number of posters and those who post do it on a very regular base. In this forum they are consideres as the real GI's. People who wake up and go to bed with Y2K on their mind.
- in this forum there are a lot of off topic posts. Even when a total moron can see it's off topic, the poster says there's a relation to Y2K. (lately Kosovo, WWIII, whatever.)
- 9 out of 10 messages are extremely negative. Even when someone posts relative good news a lot of responses mention spin control, conspiracies, etc.
- I have the feeling that a lot of people on this forum are a little bit frustated about their lifes. There is often an tendency between the lines that reflect some kind of jealousy: deep in their minds some people hope Y2K will bring an end to all those self-assured, succesful people. Then they can say: I knew all along, you ignorant ***hole with your big car and your big mouth.
2. Worrying (negative thinking)damages your current life
- Positive thinking is the key to success (I'm an entrepreneur and I can't afford thinking negatively because this gets you nowhere)
- Y2k is uncertain: nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. Maybe you've got cancer next month. Thinking and worrying about it is not good. Taking precautions is good but it's not a big deal (eat well, live healthy, etc.) Same thing for Y2K: once you know there is some chance it could be serious you take some precautions. And I mean: SOME precautions which will not have a real negative impact om your CURRENT life.
I know that Y2K already has affected my life in the past year negatively. Every day I was thinking about possible disasters and I influenced other people with my negative attitude. My wife, my parents (elderly people who live in Spain, they have not slept for several nigths after I told them about Y2K), my friends, and my business (total focus is essential and Y2k was a daily distraction in my mind)
My conclusion: most people in this forum have a specific kind of character; frustrated, negative about themselves and their surroundings, self centered, afraid about a lot of things, waiting for the "big thing" to change the world, seeking for respect.
I've been negatively influenced by this forum. Y2K is real, I know. But I know also 2 other things:
1. total uncertainty concerning Y2K: it's like life itself! 2. live life now: positive thinking always wins.
Maybe I've transformed from a GI to a DGI...
-- jonathan (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 1999
I guess for the sake of seperate identity I will spell out samename to represent john. I as well find and see a transition here too in myself The wisdom of pisces has passed and the selfishness, childish ways of Aries has made it more difficult to muddle through what may seem to be edible goods at this dinner table. After a while what layeth on the table getteth thrown at the other side making what was once edible more seemedly distasteful......It is easy to take for granted our own intellegence and projected identity and loose true wisdom and honor when making a point, whether it counter of reinforcing. You don't have to be touching a bible nor a textbook to be commited to info exchange. Simply patience, a hard thing to come by when war is at our door. Mars will be in scorpio (as mars retros and redirects, extending its presence) until september or so and we will see war and be war until Mars changes to another sign. Violence begets Violence, while peace is a commodity. Love and greed are the turn-keys for violence and peace, yet it really depends which direction you want to turn.
Conscientiousness or laziness. It is really up to you. If you were born and raised fighting at the dinner table, you will continue to do so. It really depends what your purpose is here. Tolerance is the other aspect of keeping the food fresh. Is fresh food what you want to eat and digest or do we need to freeze the food so that when you throw it at each other, you will knock the other out cold so others can take those seats. I don't really want to black and white anything or react in ways that contradict the importance of the upcoming change. Think about it....does your head hurt or is your proverbial stomach enjoying fresh ideas for your quest improving mental developement. The real question is: Are you resourceful enough?
thank you for your patience, my table mates ......
-- samename (email@example.com), April 17, 1999.
John, I'm positively preparing for potentially negative impact of malfunctioning computers. Sometimes I get frustrated with the apathetic attitude of friends and family who will not even investigate, to see if their is a problem. I'm sure it has shown when I call someone a jackass (they actually deserve worse,) And I also think that a lot of people are starting to realize just how clueless our society is. And what's even more frustrating is realizing they choose to NOT to know. I don't think anyone here wants to see a catastrophy develop from Y2K, We're all just trying to get a handle on it.
-- KoFE (Your@town.USA), April 17, 1999.
there,damnit BTW, Flint linking Andy to "so-called hate groups was a cheap shot; jackass
-- KoFE (Your@town.USA), April 17, 1999.
Sorry, I should'nt post when I'm in a hurry. That last one should have read: BTW Flint; You linkng Andy to so-called "hate groups" was a cheap shot. You're a jackass.
-- KoFE (Your@town.USA), April 17, 1999.
John, your message was simple and to the point. Many of us read this forum very selectively, and do not get involved in the verbal fisticuffs because we think it a waste of our valuable time.
I feel more fortunate than those who live in or near big cities, beacuse I live in a rural area, have a well, and a wood-burning stove. I feel optimistic about life, whatever happens. I am not looking forward to giving up all the "toys" of late-20th century life, but I never felt "entitled" to them anyway. So, the message I have taken from this forum is how to become a more sensible human being.
I want to work harder to be realistically self-reliant, but believe that no one can exist without the help and support of others, or without giving help and support to others when needed. The need to change from a materialistic life can be very upsetting to some people, and I suppose that is why they appear to be so negative about facing the loss of "things"...
My best wishes to you and your family in your preparations, and my hope that it will not be as bad in Europe as some of the reports given to our Senate suggest it m
-- housemouse (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 1999.
Your post was very interesting. Particularly this part,
"My conclusion: most people in this forum have a specific kind of character; frustrated, negative about themselves and their surroundings, self centered, afraid about a lot of things, waiting for the "big thing" to change the world, seeking for respect."
I guess it would be just as valid to characterize pollyannas by using a personality profile that would be suitable for of THAT group.
Let me ask you this question: If we could do a personality profile of Columbus and his crew, what percentage of them would be deemed rational by the standards of THAT time period? Obviously, history shows that those "nuts" we indeed correct, but they were probably in tiny minority.
I think the best we can do is gather all available information and then make a judgement based on our personal proclivities and views of reality. After all, a broken clock it right twice a day, and even the "nutzos"s will be right on the money from time to time. Could Y2k be one of those times?
Personally, I feel a helluva lot better preparing my family, and ranting about it to anyone who will listen (I get about 10 minutes before they stop responding, and try to change the subject, and my "success" rate is lousy), than if I did nothing.
-- Dr. Roger Altman (email@example.com), April 18, 1999.
Dear John- interesting post.There is, IMO, some truth in what you have to say. First- re: those going for "frequent poster miles", some of those have major issues which they are using this forum to vent. Some, such as Y2K Pro and Norm, have their own "Y2K is a joke" agenda to push. Others, have other issues. this forum is a slice of humanity and humans are a varied lot. Some, you'll like, some you'll loathe and others, you could care less.
Re: off-topic issues- I think that the posters of these do indeed know they're off-topic. they do seem to be very distressed regarding some of them such as Kosovo, and I think find a safe place here on the forum to vent and others to discuss it with that they feel some sort of connection to. I think that although wars are somewhat off-topic, there is a bit of truth to the rationale that they are related as there is concern that attention paid to Kosovo means less paid to Y2k. Also- those concerned with Y2k impacts on society are distressed at the refugee situation abroad.
The fact that the folks on the forum are here in the first place tends to mean that they are very aware of Y2k and the potential ramifications. this alone means that they are focussed on it more than most. If you have any sort of imagination, it doesn't take much to imagine the worst....
I agree that there is no point in getting depressed and obsessed over it. Prep and awareness is appropriate but we still need to live our lives and wait and see.
There are some who would like to see TEOTWAWKI- others who pray that it won't be the case. And others in between. I would guess that the majority of visitors to this site are not very vocal at all. Most probably don't even post- just read. So- don't give up on this stuff- just winnow out the chaff and use what you can.
Why don't you give those of us who don't live in Europe some insight as to what is happening there Y2K BTW?? I am most curious.
-- anita (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 1999.
John, you're both right and wrong about posters here.
You're right that Y2K does tend to be an obsession - for a time. Most of us who've been here for a while go through an obsessive phase where we tell everyone the worst scenarios and that they must prepare. Then we start preparing ourselves, our focus shifts to preparation - what to do, what to have, how to do it. When we start getting to a comfortable level of preparation (varies from person to person), some leave (like it sounds like you want to do), some take a break and return - usually on a less frequent basis (like Gayla, Donna, Unc D), and some just like to have fun with our friends (guilty!).
You may find that you'll want to return now and then. I know that Y2K often seems surreal to me, and I want to be focused enough to prepare my family to survive a 7-8. I don't think we have the resourses to survive a 9-Infomagic, and if I tried to access every resourse to attempt to prepare for that, my family would not likely survive intact anyway. Prepare as much as you can for your family to survive; if your preparations start to interfere with familial survival, set your priorities and prepare to live with the results.
Thanks for a thoughtful post.
-- Tricia the Canuck (email@example.com), April 18, 1999.
-- Paul Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 1999.
Paul Davis is a Big Fat Idiot
-- (email@example.com), April 19, 1999.
I have spent some hundreds of hours on Yourdon's forum trying to prevent them from infecting the lurkers with the 'doom' virus. The regular posters over there have become totally polarized - either you fully believe in TEOTWAWKI or you think nothing will happen. Nothing in between. The few of us who give reasons why a computer glitch will NOT end civilization as we know it are often reviled, more often ignored.
-- paul needs some rest (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 1999.
Contracting the 'doomer' virus will result in, at most, a slightly red face(if glitch=bump). Contracting the 'polly' virus is potentially fatal(if glitch=teotwawki). If a newbie has to pick one inoculation, which virus would you recommend they protect themselves against?
-- c (email@example.com), April 19, 1999.
John, I have gone through a similar set of stages, fortunately without alienating many people. But I prefer to think of it as GBI (Getting Beyond It) rather than DGI.
I've been fortunate enough to have friends in the mainframe field, who have seen the problem first-hand. They saw it, they got to work, they've (mostly) fixed it. That, plus all the failed doomer predictions, plus my God-given ability to keep an open mind, have convinced me that Y2K will not be nearly the problem that I once thought it would be.
Preparations? Heck yes! There are so many things that can happen without dragging Y2K into it. Where I part company with the doomers these days is in the level of preparation necessary. For my situation, two weeks should be plenty to ride out anything that comes our way. Your situation may be different.
-- Dirt Road (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 1999.
I have a question for you.
If I the possibility exists that I could cut my hand, which is the more prudent course of action?
(1) know how to apply pressure to stop the bleeding, and how to clean the wound; keep a supply of antiseptic and appropriate bandages on hand; know where to go to get a tetanus shot if the cut might occur as a result of contact with a known and/or probably contaminated surface; know where to have a medical professional apply stitches if the cut should be large enough to warrant such treatment.
(2) check into the hospital now for an extended stay; get every possible inoculation known to man, no matter how expensive or inconvenient (rabies, malaria, polio, smallpox, bubonic plague, etc.); live in a plastic bubble for months; and try to convince everyone you know that they should do the same thing, because the possibility exists that they could cut their hand also.
Parallels to Y2k? ummm....yeah.
-- Chicken Little (email@example.com), April 19, 1999.
What I don't get is why so many people so casually assume they know what every other person believes. What makes you think every person who posts/reads here is one extreme or the other? I post here a lot.
I am preparing my family just in case things get really bad with the supply lines. I do not think the world is ending. I don't even think the world "as we know it" is ending. I do think "convenience" as we know it is certainly going to be challenged, as the understatement of the century (and there's a pun!). And I do think that I may end up unemployed, and supply lines for food and sundries may be backlogged, and economical issues may suck.
Of course we may have WWIII or martial law or something else but I can't predict that and I just have to hope for the best. But when it comes to the life of my child for example, I try to prepare for something close to the worst.
And on this board I talk about preparation. Most of my talk relates to prep other than personal opinion/sharing discussion. Has this caused you guys to relegate me, along with everybody else, into the all-or-nothing, black-or-white category?
Your perception may be more a matter of your perception than reality.
PJ in TX
-- PJ Gaenir (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 1999.
Paul Davis said, "I have spent some hundreds of hours on Yourdon's forum trying to prevent them from infecting the lurkers with the 'doom' virus. The regular posters over there have become totally polarized - either you fully believe in TEOTWAWKI or you think nothing will happen. Nothing in between. The few of us who give reasons why a computer glitch will NOT end civilization as we know it are often reviled, more often ignored."
This is Paul Davis' fantasy.
It's actually not that surprising when people come in tilting at some supposed ideology and act like their mission is to rescue lurkers, and then vanish, and forget to relate to the people here, that they don't get a great reception. It wouldn't matter what was being talked about.
"Nothing in between." Where is this coming from?? It just AIN'T SO.
What PJ said. "Your perception may be more a matter of your perception than reality."
-- Debbie (email@example.com), April 19, 1999.
In fairness to Paul, I would hope he would retract the "nothing in between" which he probably wrote casually. That group is the majority by far on this forum. Otherwise, he's a bigger idiot than those of us he scorns here.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), April 19, 1999.
Hey Chicken - now let's try your little scenario with incipient appendicitis, instead of a "cut on the hand"...
I don't know, you don't know, Paul doesn't know, no one knows what's coming, if anything, or to what degree.
This quote is not specifically about Y2K, but I wonder what you all think of it ... ?
"The obvious first question - how seriously we should take this threat - isn't worth wasting time on. Even if it's a false alarm, or a misunderstanding, it's potentially so grave that we must assume it's real, until we have absolute proof to the contrary. Agreed?"
Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey
-- Grrr (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 1999.
-- Grrr (email@example.com), April 19, 1999.
John, nice to see you get your life back.
-- Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 20, 1999.