Y2K METRICS AND PSYCHOMETRICSgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Y2K Metrics vs PSYCHOmetrics
Anybody who's serious about spending his valuable time on this or any other y2k site should be concerned about Y2K Metrics: in other words, HARD y2k facts and how to evaluate them. With all the flaming going on around here & the other popular public sites, it's pretty hard to see the signal for the noise. Is there any hope for an improvement? I doubt it. But here's a view from the far edge of the Bell Curve (where I've spent most of my life.)
A Psychiatric/Sociologic evaluation of Website Discussion Group Posters
Around 50 years ago my shrink in NYC noticed I was about to leave him for greener pastures (I had finally figured out that anybody willing to pay $25/hr to someone to gain sanity was BY DEFINITION locked into insanity.) So to cool my ardor he sent me to the world-renowned psychometrist of that day (the early '60s), Fred Brown, for an evaluation. The resultant diagnosis? ---- pseudoneurotic schizophrenic. In layman's terms that meant: I acted like a plain old neurotic but actually I was crazy as a loon. So what did I do with that Dx (which should have had me cowering in a corner ever thankful to have a shrink shepherd me to safety)? Well, I quit -- and have never been happier since. So much for an anecdotal evaluation of psychometrics.
With that in mind here's my psychometric evaluation of Pollys and Gloomers who populate these sites in such profusion. First off, the standard shrink's comment of someone who's locked into a continual denigration of another's opinion on a particular issue is that the former is "projecting" -- he's doing all that flaming because: his opponent has struck a resonance in the flamer's secret self -- IOW, 'Thou protests too much!'
That translates to: if you're a Polly your BP rises to dizzying heights because subconsciously you know there's a reasonable argument for taking y2k seriously, & thus a serious danger that you'll regret not making heavy preps in the present tense.
And if you're a Doomer your field of vision turns bloodred because subconsciously you know there's a reasonable argument for scepticism about the doomers statements and predictions of TEOTWAWKI, especially in view of the fact that very little heavily documented info has yet bubbled to the surface supporting such an extreme G&D posture re Enterprise software or Embedded chips --- & thus all that money, time, focus, and upsets that y2k preps cost may all be in vain.
So much for the standard psychiatric evaluation of flamers. I think it has a lot of validity, based on my 73 years on the planet (born in 1926 on 4/22) and 30 of them as a doc, with counseling as a special interest.
But I'd like to add another explanation for the ubiquity of flamers, on both sides of the isle --- and this one has nothing to do with specific issues such as Y2K, the Yugo Crisis, the Stock Market Bubble, Columbine H.S., or whatever. It has to do with what's happened to our youth.
Now let me be clear: by youth I mean anybody younger than 73 years old. Did I catch everyone in that net? I hope so. Anyway, what I've seen happen to America since I grew up in the Depression, participated in WWII, and danced the other dances thru this Vale of Tears --- is that HARDLY ANYONE SEEMS TO KNOW HOW TO BE NICE ANYMORE. Is that merely a shift in the fashion of interpersonal relationships? No way, baby! What that signifies is that our local civilization (i.e., American society, along with its imitators in Canada, modern Europe, Australia, NZ, Japan, & other lesser copycats) is near the end of it's lifespan. ----- Hey, you GOT IT --- I'm a Gloom & Doomer right up there with Infomagic -- and have been, years before that puppy was born.
Can you trust my extremism? Of course not. So relax, buy another beer, smoke another joint, eat another pizza, buy another SUV, invest in another mutual fund -- it's never gonna end -- we've discovered Immortality. The same one discovered by the Greeks, Israelites, Atlantis, Rome, the 3d Reich, the Vikings, the ancient Chinese, and sundry others -- UNameIt. Y2K? --- Hey, no probLEMo!!!
-- William J. Schenker, MD (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 26, 1999
Please, Site Editor, get rid of this double post --- dammit, I KNEW I should never trust computers!!!
-- William J. Schenker, MD (email@example.com), April 26, 1999.
Great post Dr. Bill,
I've made the same observation, however, I concede it's not easy to hold one's water, so to speak, when wiewing some of the threads. What I find amazing is the vast differences between the pollies and the doomers. The pollies seem to think people in authority never lie and the glommers on the other hand seem to think that the Y2K Fairy will erase all knowledge at the stroke of midnight on 12/31/99 and that we will go back to living off of the land.
I think Y2K is a very serious problem that will not be fixed in time. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would call myself a 5. Where does that put me? In the middle of the road. To avoid confusion, maybe we need to identify ourselves in future posts by number so at least everyone knows in advance where we are coming from. Just something to think about.
-- Watcher5 (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 26, 1999.
Well, I'm OK -- I've got a split personality -- one dooomer, one pollyana (semi, anyway).
-- A (A@AisA.com), April 27, 1999.