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

A friend wrote me a letter a while back, and in reference to y2k said that she is a person who is energized by positive visions.....theres a problem, its a chance to change things for the better! Her husband, on the other hand, is energized by negative visions....theres a problem, lets get going and work on it to save what and who we can!

This difference in what works to motivate people is currently part of what is playing out in the big split between pollys and doomers. What is important is to prepare, to work now to change what can be changed, and not to waste a lot of time and energy namecalling people who operate the opposite of the way you do.

Everybody agrees that we want to go into y2k with a good network of friends and neighbors. Its not helping build community to bash those with different views. It is useful to step outside our own side and use the other persons language if that is what will get the job done.


-- seraphima (seraphima@aol.com), May 13, 1999


Look, until there is at least some reasonable agreement that Y2K is worth taking the measures of preparation, you can't expect this kind of cooperation. I mean, if you are a polly and honestly don't think that Y2K is anything worth worrying about, how can you be expected to be motivated for preparation? On the other hand, if you are a doomer who thinks that the only course at this late date is PERSONAL preparation, not community preparation, then likewise you will not be very motivated to advertise your personal preps.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

I'm having a rough time of it now. I've been a G.I. or at least have thought i've gotten it. The likes of Gary North does not help reaffirm my G.I. status even though he gives reasonable links. Sometime I think I'm being duped at times thinking those who are profitting from all this have friends and support to help back them up. Like for example: Every now and then (because I see these faces on this forum all the time) I think this is a staged act with Ed Yourdon with cronies he pays interest to to keep up some act from his book proceeds. I know I'm being paranoid with all due respect Ed, I have Polly family members and I have prepared fairly modestly, 900 lbs of wheat, beans, rice lentils, 10 lbs of vitamin c, 10 lbs of olive oil, 22 cases of wide mouthed quart jars with many spare lids and a pressure canner, buttloads of tuna and canned food, 5 grand in dc water well pump and solar panels....major guns and major ammo stash....etc. The Polly members I have are investors and are making loads of cash from stocks and don't want to give it up whatsoever while I wanna sell all stocks and even preferred stocks that don't fluctuate. I wanna put it all in the bank in greenbacks cuz there is no way in hell i'm gonna pack it on me. My real problem is lookin like a piece of crazed shit to everyone in my family and find that I wished like hell the shit was going to hit the fan knowing good and well I truly want the world to continue as it is without problems. I feel like I'm gonna get screwed it the shit hits the fan or if it doesn't. I'm already a recluse and this is going to cap me off into a tried and true recluse. Sometimes I wish someone could speak out for me just once to either slap some sense into me or my family.

Sincerely, Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 13, 1999.

Join the club. I believe that 90% of the posters and lurkers on this board either now or have felt this way. Since you and I seem to share the same attitude toward y2k, I believe that neither of us will 'get over it' until next year. Most of my preps are done. All I can do is fret and stew at this time with bursts of frantic activity when I realize I've forgotten something or something suddenly becomes available. Good luck. Time for a Corona.

-- Lobo (atthelair@yahoo.com), May 14, 1999.

Thanks Lobo....time for a weller 107 and ice....I think a case of Weller's (whiskey) 107 would hit the spot at a post 2000 time(s) That stuff tastes good and works well(er)/fast, I forgot to mention how important it might become. If self defense is an issue, think I'm gonna want some afterwards. Also I am getting leaves in paper 30gallon/50 lb bags double high in pick-up truck during weekends on sunday afternoons. Compost is a handy resource you can get for free on your way to and from places in the neighborhoods....when I go to town.

Booze sure will meller this feller.

Sincerely , Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 14, 1999.

Feller, Oh G-d do I know how you feel! Look, have you ever been wrong about anything? The world didn't end did it? How many times have you been right? Ahhhhh....

-- Gia (Laureltree7@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

Gia....yer killin me with kindness....and I thank YOU!


Sincerely, Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 14, 1999.

Feller, if you find anyone that CAN smack any sense into people, please send them my way. my family needs some heavy smackin'.

-- sarah (qubr@aol.com), May 14, 1999.

one also cannot build a community based on polar opposites - that is a certain recipe for destruction...


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 14, 1999.

Sarah and Arlin...I guess over preparation will get them on your side and if you lock it up, god know what they'll do for you. You will need little smackin to do and they'll smack others for you. I guess the recluse part will go away as well.


-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 14, 1999.

Hi Feller,

well, I don't know about over preparation, since like the mythical pink elephant I've never seen such an animal. On the other hand, I do know that true community requires a common core of values, anything else is - at best - simply a loose association of individuals.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 14, 1999.

I see your point Arlin, very straightforward and realistic. I guess to become a frank and assertive human exuding goodness is the only way to overcome an outcome that is closer to a 10 than a 1. It is like recruiting an army of friends and associates for fundamental survival. People who over prepare yet undervalue others will not do as well as the latter. Of course small towners have it more made than city and country people, especially if they have water resources. I wish I could keep my communication as simple as you, maybe someday.

Sincerely, Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 14, 1999.

This is MinnesotaSmith, author of the Y2K-preparatory website http://y2ksafeminnesota.hypermart.net. Seraphima, what you have brought up is related to one of the toughest problems we GIs face. It is not easy to continue to take overt action that is considered neurotic at best by people we know well who do not share our premises even approximately about what the future looks like. I have taken the liberty of enclosing 2 1/2 articles from my site that are relevant to the thread of this discussion, and I hope they will be helpful.

Warning The Neighbors

Here we go with another depressing discussion. I have found through repeated personal experience that the vast majority of people cannot yet be educated on this subject. They do not wish to hear about it; they effectively do not have the attention span to hear the case for Y2K being more than the phone company sending somebody a bill for $282 million. I believe that telling neighbors about Y2K directly is unlikely to convince them to prepare in a timely fashion (they won't get ready in advance of the panic). It will alert them to your presumed preparedness, and makes you much more likely to be targeted by them (or people they talk to...) for looting. To quote Dr. North: "They won't prepare, but they'll remember". I'm sorry, but directly telling your neighbors about the need to stockpile food risks your family's safety for no good reason.

One thing you can do: run off some particularly persuasive pages from the Internet (especially Dr. North's site), and maybe buy a copy of Michael Hyatt's The Millennium Bug or Ed Yourdon's TimeBomb2000, and leave it with no note on their front porch at 4:00 A.M. sometime. When they mention this incident, deny all knowledge, and give no opinion on it. Let them bring up Y2K in conversation, and be very cautious in your discussions with them on the subject. As a general rule, the physically closer to you someone you know lives, the less they should ever find out about your personal preparations for Y2K. Warning Relatives or Friends

This section assumes that the people in question are neither permanent household members (in which case they are Family) or live within several miles of you (in which case they are treated as being in the Neighbor category).

I have found little correlation between age/education/intelligence on one hand, and ability to understand the implications of Y2K/willingness to prepare for it on the other, so you should have no preconceptions about someone's willingness to listen to warnings about Y2K.

In general, if someone lives and works a long distance away from you (at least one state away), you can probably get away (safety-wise) with divulging a great deal to them. You still don't want to tell them too much about your personal preparedness; saying that you are moving away from the city, getting a dog, storing "some" food and water -- this is probably enough. You should spend whatever Y2K discussion time you get with them covering 1) the reality of Y2K, and 2) what they might want to do to prepare. Remember, most people are still incapable of taking the whole thing seriously enough to make significant preparations. Being related to you (or having gone to the same school however many years ago) does not confer immunity to this tendency. Expect to hear "I really don't want to hear about it" or "I just don't think it'll be that big of a problem" or "some government guy on TV said he's confident nothing will happen" (the way Clinton was never alone with Miss Lewinsky) from normally rational people who don't know nearly enough about Y2K to be entitled to opinions on the subject. Cajole them into copying down some book titles and web site addresses, shrug, and go back to preparing your household. That's all you can do; you did try.

Your Priorities for Y2K (included only part relevant to discussion)

The following is not exactly politically correct, but I believe it to be good advice.

You CAN (have to, really) try to keep your immediate family, those in your household, safe and healthy, and not directly injure other people by acts of commission.

You CAN come up with enough long-term storage food to feed the other family members in your household for years.

You CAN'T feed the neighbors, friends, or anyone else outside your household. We don't know how long Y2K will affect us, and your obligations to your family forbids taking any chances with their health for anyone else, which giving away any food is.

You CAN spend innumerable hours trying to teach your spouse or partner about Y2K, since if they're not on board, the whole family unit's chances are much worse.

You CAN'T do this for anyone else (Mom, Dad, your best friend for twenty years, Great-Aunt Gertude, co-workers, or your next-door neighbors.......ESPECIALLY your neighbors).

You CAN give advice and information to interested people. Anyone important to you outside your household, give them ONE letter, face- to-face talk, or long phone call, and unless they show interest, that's the end of it.

You CAN tell people that you've looked into this Year2000 thing some, that you think it might be pretty bad, and that they might want to look into it and decide for themselves. (Give them info on Hyatt's Millennium Bug, Edward Yourdon's TimeBomb2000 and Gary North's website address.)

You CAN'T spend even one minute arguing with anyone who is certain Y2K is no big deal and doesn't want to hear about it. They are similiar to (imaginary) people who would not believe there was such a thing as fire until someone poured gasoline over one of their arms and lit it with a match (and maybe not even then). You won't succeed in warning them. You may succeed in antagonizing them, or convincing them you are crazy and probably dangerous (an especially desireable outcome if you have a business relationship with them). You will definitely waste your time.

You CAN'T tell people you think that Y2K will not be that big of a problem, even if that would be politically convenient for you. That could dissuade wavering people who respect your opinions from timely preparations, and would in my opinion have crossed the line into immorality.

-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafeminnesota@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

Agree w/ you Seraphima

BTW, MinnesotaSmith is only trying to sell something. Get some real facts Smith.

-- GI Polly (no@i.dont), May 14, 1999.

MinnesotaSmith, thanks for your excellent and quite detailed advice. Its the kind of info that this forum needs badly.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), May 14, 1999.

MinnesotaSmith's post was uplifting. It's refreshing to have your own experiences validated.

Feller's was important, too. I completely forgot about stashing some hooch! Yikes!

-- Doug (douglasjohnson@prodigy.net), May 14, 1999.

no, feller, you missed the point. Maintenance of group cohesion under stress requires common core values. The higher the degree of stress, the more stringent that requirement becomes. Groups which fail to bond - that is fail to develop an acknowledged common core of values to which all members subscribe, inevitably results over time in a breakdown into a chaotic, self-centered environment.

I suggest you do a little basic research on the psychology of groups under stress.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 14, 1999.

Regarding the original post:

I am a pessimist and I can't help it. Maybe it is a product of society, who knows?

"In pessimism you are never disappointed" - Dog bark

I will have that half-empty glass please. Realism is a bitch.

As opposed to my care-free wife who is a GI, if grudgingly.

sunnin' on the porch

The Dog

-- Dog (desertdog@sand.com), May 14, 1999.

Arlin...got it, the core values under stress. It takes a backbone, reponsibility and a willingness to compromise even to one's own demise for the sake of those who are better prepared than you. Self centeredness is a reality in an America laiden with Yuppies where arrogance pervades. Pride is cultural for some while for others, manifests in ways many of us can't imagine since we were school kids fighting over something microcosmic. None of us really know where everyone's true core values stand, even when you think the conversation with them said it all. It takes hunger to show the dark sides. I heard or have been exposed to some idea that the world post 2000 will be evil or malevalent. I can only imagine that this might be the core value to survive, where only the wolves live and if you do not show your metal, you become another by-product of the situation.

Thanks for the clarification or trying to break through my ice Arlin.

Sincerely Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 14, 1999.

no, feller, you still did not get my point. maybe if you toned down your chemical interface a little you'd have a better chance of it.

in the meantime you need to go back and study the psychology of group cohesion a bit. come back after you've done your homework, AND when you're sober, and we'll talk.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 15, 1999.

I'm quite used to being treated as a nut by my family(I'm an asian philosophy major in a family of bankers and lawers)so I just try to be compasionate and remember that our perceptions color our reality,it is inconvienient,tho,that a computer design flaw is scheduled at the same time that the REAL whackos are waiting for their god/messiah/spaceship/ du jour to show up,it just gets us lumped in with them.oh well,Irony is the TRUE all powerul force,zoob

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), May 15, 1999.

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