[awa] The Brain Drain of Y2K Awareness

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Sometimes, I think that while preparing to save my body, I am gradually losing my mind.

Lately, I feel as if the gov't/media "spin" on how OK everything is going to be has, despite my better sense, seeped into the corners of my skull and affected my thinking.

I haven't been stopping by the store so much to buy little things to prepare anymore. I haven't been as concerned. Has something changed? Not that I know of. Maybe I'm temporarily out of steam. I don't know.

I've often had to pull back, pull out of any thinking about it, to give myself a week or two to let my emotions simmer down, to get out of tunnel vision. This isn't quite like that though. This is different. This is like... like, no matter what I *know* in my head, somehow my brain is actually being influenced by the sheer quantity of positive media about Y2K. It is horrifying to see in myself. It reminds me of this hilariously campy TV movie called "V", where this woman who is the leader of the human freedom fighters finds herself showing all the signs of the Reptilian Aliens controlling her brain, LOL!

I know that the obsessiveness I tend to get whenever focusing on something that is a threat to me (which, fortunately, few things are) makes it hard to work (I would rather be reading about Y2K, or how to build homes and gardens for cheap, or....), hard to sleep (I would rather stay up and read books on how to prepare, or whatever), and in general, hard to live a totally "normal" life during this time.

Fortunately I am convinced that storage, minimal expenses, maximum self-reliancy, etc. are necessary for other reasons and not just Y2K, so that alone is not the only impelling force behind my desire to get it together.

But I wonder, if I am being so "accidentally" (and even against my will!) "influenced" by positive media, how many other people are, especially people who were never fully informed about it or worried about it in the first place.

Truly I'm beginning to wonder if the world WILL get a clue before it happens. I'm also worrying that if I don't get a little more emotional impetus back, if they DO, I might not be done preparing, and I could be real sorry as a result.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), May 08, 1999


I know the feeling. I'm tired of thinking about. But I just keep plugging away....thanks mostly to this site.I do get a little tired of all the bickering but there's plenty of good common sense here.

-- (rcarver@inacom.com), May 08, 1999.


your comments and astute observations have been an inspiration to me, and I'm sure for others too. Lond periods of time(months,years) are hard to deal with while trying to maintain a sense of urgency. To the extent that you have done your preparations, that urgency is allowing you to relax and ease up a bit.

consider it a deserved mental vacation. You will perk up to renewed heights, when something really bad happens due to y2k (and it will). O share your feelings. Just be like the turtle in the "Hare and th tortoise" . WE will win.

Thanks again


-- Bob Pilcher (rpilc99206@aol.com), May 08, 1999.


great post, as usual...

"Truly I'm beginning to wonder if the world WILL get a clue before it happens"

Not a chance. Not going to happen. When it hits it will be like a tsunami for JQP - you wanna see spin, wait till later this year.

There are other diversions - the markets, Yugoslavia, next may be Korea or Taiwan or the Middle East or an "incident" in the USA which will make the OK bombing look like a catherine wheel.

As Milne says, when it hits JQ Public, it will hit that much harder because of the duplicity (intentional) of "our" government.

Personally, I'm almost ready, all I can do is sit back and watch the games commence.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 08, 1999.

Check this out PJ, from you-know-who :))

"To Stand Against the Willfully Blind 99.9% Is to Survive in 2000 Comment:

Your neighbors do not take y2k seriously. When they do, it will be too late for them to do much about it.

For you to do anything effective about y2k, you must look at the environment around you and think, "This is surrealistic. It cannot survive." You must imagine a world without an electronic payments system and think, "That's reality in less than a year."

It's not easy to do this. 99.x% of the world cannot do this. It is beyond their emotional capacity.

Among those few who have tried to do this, most could not take it. They have dropped out. They have burned out. They have short- circuited. Whatever. You may be married to one of them.

This blindness, this emotional burnout, is the only reason why you can buy 50 lbs. of pinto beans and 50 lbs. of rice today for $60. It alone is why you can buy tenth-ounce American gold eagles. If as few as 1% of the households of the United States saw things the way I do, you would be shut out of the coin markets.

In a nation with water and sewers at risk, where not much information is available to verify compliance, and most of what is available testifies against compliance in 2000, the urban real estate market should be glutted with "For Sale" signs. It isn't.

For you to get out in time, you must be able to weigh evidence rationally. You must be able to discipline your emotions by a rational assessment based on evidence. Very few people can do this.

Evidence does not point one way. The phrase, "all the evidence shows," is rhetorical, not logical. But there can be a preponderance of evidence, and today it shows that most of the world's systems will not be compliant on 1/1/2000.

To survive a breakdown in the banking system, let alone the power grid, you must take an emotional stand against your governments, your church, your friends, your in-laws, and maybe your spouse. You must think or say, "What is your evidence?" every time you hear "it's not a big problem." You must recognize that the vast majority of people always said, "no big problem," and will say it until the bank runs begin or the toilets won't flush.

You will remain alone until the people you warned show up on your doorstep, hats in hand, saying, "Now we'll listen. In the meantime, feed us." You will get agreement only when the new converts want something from you. And if you don't provide it, you will be hated. Maybe killed.

In short, prepare to be alone for a long time.

But what if I'm wrong? Then y2k was always trivial. Rest assured, it will not be fixed. It's systemic. It's everywhere. It has burrowed into the world's systems for four decades. It is impossible to fix anything that is everywhere and interconnected. There is only one way that I could be wrong about y2k's consequences: y2k is inherently trivial. It is not a threat. It never was.

Then why has American industry already spent $70 billion to $80 billion (Koskinen's estimate) to fix it? That's a lot of money, equal to Bill Gates' net worth ($79 billion).

You are alone on the y2k issue. You will remain in your solitude until no one can do anything significant to defend himself from its effects. Rejoice in your solitude. To celebrate, buy another sack of beans. Cap it off with a bottle of Tobasco."

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 08, 1999.

I can relate to your feelings PJ. Its like being a waiter at everybody's cocktail parties. Everybody seems to be having fun, but I'm taking care of business. I feel alone. I feel used. Pretty much used up at times.

Same with y2k. Since few, if any people are helping us "wait" on the y2k needs of the masses, we get burned out real easy, especially with people saying "See, told ya the stock test would be okay, and the electricity tests would be okay, and nothing would happen April 1, and my bank just sent me a flyer saying they're going to be just fiiiiiiine....." yada, yada...

With so many people beating us down, it's hard to stay up. OUr burst of energy won't really come back until gears shift toward the end of the year I'm afraid. However, if you're like me, you're prepared already. I'm just really really tired of all the brow-beating and puffery going on with the DGI's. It is sad to watch them right now....and frustrating. Karen

-- karen (karen@karen.karen), May 09, 1999.

Ah, P.J. I have just gone through the same field of doubt. Fortunately I am almost totally prepared so the do-nothing time was more a mental weariness than anything.

Perhaps the sometimes bitter tone around here combined with what appears to be a super slo-mo unwinding of events lulled me into a torpor. My acceptance of this is an ongoing process. Once I thought that understanding would result in permanent acceptance but I have found that I need to go over and over the issues. This is not because I am reading them incorrectly but rather that they are so enormous and mind-boggling that I seem unable to move through this process once.

Time spent here reading these posts help me to validate my conclusions. This is one reason I read as much here as I do.

Now, as you have said, there is much more positive media influence permeating everything. This activity influences my emotions. Sometimes I have suffered some doubt. However, I always return to the reason that brought me here. The facts have not changed. Feelings arn't facts.

I am comfortable enough inside myself to believe that what I am doing is the right thing for me.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), May 09, 1999.

It is very hard to set your personal consciousness against the gravitational pull of the collective unconscious. When we talk about herd mentality, it is literally true. The herd acts with one consciousness, obedient to the same impulse. To move in the opposite direction, to be individually awake, is wrenching - and exhausting.

For understandable - though probably misguided - reasons, there has been a heavy positive news spin. I knew last November that all we would hear for months from the powers-that-be would be good news - and legitimately so. Hopefully, we aren't spending hundreds of billions for nothing. But it was also clear it would never be enough, that there wasn't/isn't time enough, that there was just too much to do.

So I too come here daily, and to csy2k - why? to keep reminding myself that the illusion of "no big problem" is just that - an illusion. When I read the auditors' reports, SEC filings, focus in on actual failures, it reminds me of what I already know to be real. I can't talk to friends or listen to the media and get that reality check.

I think the lull will come to an end in early June - and the pace will pick up in July, with some crucial awakening event maybe as soon as August. At the same time, I expect the bombing to stop in Yugoslavia, and some accord to be reached, by early June - which will once again create a news void. We may soon look back on this time as a crucial and badly-needed breather, which allowed us to largely complete preparations in relative peace.

There is definitely something surreal about 'getting' the extent of lifechange that Y2K may be, and then looking at others going on as if there was nothing to be concerned about. It must be like having cancer, and watching the rest of the world go blithely on as if there were no such thing as death... a major disconnect. You can't help but wonder who's crazy - me or them. I hope it's me, for my sake and for everyone else's sake as well.

Your posts always sound grounded, sane, intelligent and compassionate. If you're wacko, then so am I... and in good company!

-- (thankgodfor@the.internet), May 09, 1999.



-- Arthur Washington (ARTWASH@webtv.net), May 09, 1999.

PJ -

That's why the % of concerned was 31% in Jan and is now 20%. The media campaign has worked in blunting the acceleration, but it has left a hard core remnant. The next wave of 'concern' will be much bigger. Count on it.

As for me what has helped is to totally unplug from listeaning to anything which does not inform me better on 1) how to prepare and 2) more detail/ more current status reports to help me fine tune my understanding of the problem (see the future play out on this).

I do not at all care about having an 'open mind' at this point. The pollys and spin meisters only want to stop you and I from doing something for ourselves. There is ZERO downside to preps. They display the same degree of closed mindedness but condemn it in those who are concerned. Blow them off totally.

Set your course and plug away at it dau by day. Take a break every now and then. Don't look back. And if you and I are wrong then we can live with that. But if they are wrong ..?

-- David (C.D@I.N), May 09, 1999.

Another factor up north has been...SPRING! Who can dwell on bleak uncertainties when everywhere the earth roars back into life? The flowering trees scream out hope eternal! Look at us! We were dead, and now we flower! Wow! (Spidey, who grew up in FLA, and hates NY winters)

-- Spidey (in@jam.com), May 09, 1999.

PJ: Taking breaks is a healthy thing. Unfortunately, it is a luxury that, should things turn out to be anything more than a bump in the road, those who come after us will not be able to afford.

I could be wrong and I hesitate to make predictions but I don't think we will see any 'pro-active' panic beyond what we've already seen. At this point, it would take a large, real, significant event to cause any further preparation of the masses. But by that time, it would be a 'reactive panic' and not at all helpful.

With regard to preps, one test that Mrs. Rimmer and I try to apply to most things we do is: "Does doing this hurt us severely if Y2K turns out to have no effect on us at all (i.e. personally)?". The question does not always have a black and white answer but it provides a framework for evaluating the risks of most of our actions/inactions. We feel that we are working to become prepared for a wide range of possibilities, including no impact at all.

Mrs. Rimmer and I are now almost one year into our preps. We are significantly more self-reliant than we were a year ago. We are becoming prepared for mild to moderate disruptions. But we are not prepared for extreme social disorder or other TEOTWAWKI scenarios. We are also not prepared for long-term lack of medical care - this is one issue that does concern us greatly especially given the current status of the health industry with regard to Y2K.

But we have addressed the basic issues of water, food, shelter, heat, lighting, sanitation and fuel. Except for our house, we've managed to erase all other outstanding debt and are not taking out credit for anything. We were fortunate in that we already lived in a semi-rural location and after looking at the options, decided to stay in our current house. (We are working with a friend in a much more rural location as a worst-case contingency.)

It's been one heck of a lot of work and yes, a significant amount of money. Most folks who haven't done it do not have a clue as to how much effort is involved in just covering the basics. I know that we sure didn't. Only the test of time will show how well we have or haven't done. We feel that we got a late start and wish that we would have started 5 years ago.

While I do not personally believe that 'nothing' is the most likely outcome, we are prepared for that as well. Indeed, that would be the best possible and most desired of all outcomes.

But I agree that, Y2K aside, there are many reasons in today's world to lead a more self-reliant lifestyle and like many others here, we do not intend to go back to a less self-reliant lifestyle later next year.

Hang in there.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), May 09, 1999.

PJ- it takes a shot of adrenaline on a regular basis to keeplugging away with the same intensity. Maybe you can read some Gary manifestos for regular inspiration?? Seriously- it's hard to do Y2K 24 hrs a day- and you'd be living in a vacuum if you did. Just figure out what the most important stuff is and get it done- no way to know what will be anyway....

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), May 09, 1999.

Thanks all for putting into words what I too have been struggling with. I am also frustrated because I came into Y2k awareness late and broke.

So I have mixed feelings about the current somnambulance of the sheeple. I want them to wake up but I also want them to keep sleeping so I will still be able to get enough cheap beans and rice to feed my kids if I manage to get a job before TSHTF.

It is the isolation that is truly crushing though. There are so many people I can't talk to about this stuff and so many people I expect to lose contact with. Meanwhile, trying to meet a cool guy while all of this is going on is impossible. If I don't bring up Y2k at some point within the first few weeks of the relationship then I feel like a superficial wench. If I do bring it up I run the risk of A.) Coming up against a wad of Y2k denial or B.) Actually informing him about Y2k enough to get him to research it himself in which case he connects Y2k awareness with me - which is a more than any budding relationship can expect to handle.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), May 10, 1999.

I think it's time we put Y2K in the proper perspective. After the first rush of activity, do what feels comfortable, don't live on Y2K websites, hoe your garden, wear your sunscreen, rotate your food, and get on with the rest of your daily life and quit living in fear, or anticipation of a future "possible" event or non-event.. I forget all about Y2K at times. People survived before and with much less stuff. We are very resourceful when we have to be. If "they" announce tomorrow that Y2K has been cancelled from lack of interest, I'm not going to do a thing different. If "they" announce that Y2K will be a 10, I'm going to hoe my garden, and eat more chocolate. Que sera, sera.

One of the brother's in a monastery, who was hoeing beans, was asked what he would do if he knew he was going to die that day. He said, "I would continue hoeing my beans."

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), May 10, 1999.


i always enjoy reading your posts. more often than not, i have to check the signature to see if it was something i wrote and then forgot i did, it always sounds so much like what i'm thinking.

quoting another poster from this forum, this is indeed 'the year of living schizophrenically'. to me, this is what's especially difficult. on one hand, for (most) family and friends and work, i have to pretend that next year will be pretty much the same as this year, just the usual differences. on the other hand, i feel compelled to prepare as if this will be the last year of civilization for a long, long time. imho, these are going to be difficult for the first six months of 2000, actually starting late 1999. the biggest problem is that we'll be starting down a slippery slope, and if we can't get our feet under us in the first six months, we may hit bottom before we stop.

living schizophrenically is finally draining me. day to day stuff seems futile, and the long-term prep stuff seems overwhelming sometimes. i can't remember the last time i picked something up in the store and *didn't* check the expiration date. pre-y2k, the *only* thing i *ever* checked expiration dates on was milk.

oh, well, we do what we can. hang in there. do just a little bit every day, you won't regret it.

-- Cowardly Lion (cl0001@hotmail.com), May 10, 1999.

PJ, if you ever get complacent about your own Y2K preparations, think about your loved-ones or extended family and how prepared or unprepared they may or may not be. If they show up at your door, or rural retreat, will you feed and shelter them or turn them away?

My mother's day present to my mother was a canner. It will enable her to survive food distribution problems for a good two weeks or even a month. Beyond that, I can't help her much without completely freaking her out over the whole problem.

And yes, we are all crazy.

-- GEC (childsge@msx.upmc.edu), May 10, 1999.

PJ -- know what you mean. Many are struggling through similar quicksands, including me. It's a little like trying to go up a down escalator.

IMO the strongest opposition in every case is internal. Everyone has so many agreements and understanding and familiarities, under construction from birth, continually reinforced by parents, friends, experience-- almost all now in question. Intellectual understanding is necessary but not sufficient.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), May 10, 1999.

Thanks you guys, for all the great responses. Guess I was feeling somewhat "isolated" at the time of writing.

Today I got agreement from the owner of a little 5-acre plot out in the middle of nowhere to buy it from him on a payment plan. It's pretty near a fishing-quality river, a small area of hunting-quality wilderness and some farms, a high water table for wells, and a power line is real nearby. Combined with massive work on my old pickup truck, this will take the money that I will make for the rest of this year (sure hope my job holds out), with a few small exceptions for food and seeds I plan to buy and store. So you can definitely say that my behavior this year is different than usual, I doubt I would have committed to something like this a year ago.

But it seems worth it: in a worst-case scenario, I have somewhere to go that I could survive, even if it means I'm camping. Best case scenario, I will have a couple of years to work on it weekends and save money and build something nice to live in. Of course, that changes ALL my plans and planned expenditures related to Y2K, with the exception of food/seed... but that's okay, this is better. Even if Y2K is no big deal, I think the world is going a direction that makes me want to be as independent, self-reliant and in the middle of nowhere as possible.

And I realized this afternoon that I wasn't just buying land, I was buying peace of mind. Considering the effect that worrying about Y2K (supply/utility issues), China and Russia (war in general), Nuclear War (in specific), American Civil Riots (for Y2K) and so forth, has had on me, I think "peace of mind" is probably the most valuable thing I can do for myself at this moment.

Gilda, you had a good point about keeping on keeping on, living life regardless of thoughts about the future. If I were still single and childless, I could do that. Not with a kid. I guess she warps my brain. Everytime I think, "Relax!" part of my mind goes, "Really. And if you're wrong, now let's imagine ourselves having no food or safety and my 2 year old daughter is crying. Will you say 'it was worth the risk?'" And it immediately provokes such mama-bear issues that again, I'm wired and obsessive, researching instead of working and reading instead of sleeping.


PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), May 10, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ