Western Civilization is like the Titanic; one iceberg is all it takes. And there are so many in the water right now. We ill hit one of them, but the question is which one, and why is the "captain" steering us towards them??

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

If any of you have seen the movie titanic, you know that disaster can strike in an instant. The polly arguement seems to be that "we can't be destryed, we are invincible, not even god could destroy us, we are unbeatable, ect..." If you saw the movie, you'll remember that the claim was made that "this ship is unsinkable, not even God could sink it,..." And it struck the iceberg and went down. Same thing with western civilization, with the difference being that "Capt'n Clinton" is pushing us into the path of danger,while planing to destert the ship... I suggest that all pollys rent the movie, and watch the part where the ship is sinking a few times, andd then that part where the lifeboats are wading throgh all of the corpses... That about sums up next years worst case...Oh, and pollys are the corpses, and us doomers are the ones in the lifeboats, in case you're wondering. :) Some of the people left early, before the ship sank, and some got lucky. About half the people died though, mostly the types who refused to leave... "Those who forget the mistakes of the past are condemed to relive them."(the holocaust, WWI, WWII, collapse of other civilizations, ect...) Belive a polititans' words(ecpecially Clinton's!!), and you have earned your fate. And,finally: AN OUNCE OF PREPARATIONS IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE!! That sums up my beliefs quite well... Lets hear the polly counter-arguements for this next, and, TRY to add some common sense in as well... :)

-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), May 19, 1999


There were several decisions made that accounted for the sinking of the Titanic. If even one of these decisions had been changed, the Titanic might not have sunk. The disaster was a classic case of human nature at work and bad judgement, and Y2K looks more and more that way each day.

The compliance figures in this article are dated, but a good discussion of both the Titanic and Y2K are at this link:


"The Year 2000 Titan"

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 19, 1999.

The Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage. Western civilization has survived for many centuries. Our own modest Republic has steamed along for over 200 years.

The Titanic was just a ship. Western Civilization is a set of ideas... grand ideas like those found in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Brilliant notions like the scientific method and the "invisible hand" of markets. Thoughts that have survived the darkest of human days.

The only way to "sink" western civilization is to erase our species and all of its artifacts. You'll need a bigger iceberg than Y2K.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), May 19, 1999.

The thing you're missing Mr. Decker, is that ALL of our elected leaders are betraying us as we speak, because they HATE the constitution, and freedoms. Clinton has admited he hates the consitution, and that he wants to take away our freedoms. He is pushing uss towards the biggest iceberg of them all, the nuclear war senerieo, as well as trying to make us all NWO slaves. The world of Orwells 1984 is almost here, and almost no one cares. It's obvious that you don't care, form your attitude. They are destroying our freedoms, and making us slaves. WAKE UP, THE SHIP IS BEEN HIT SEVERAL TIMES ALREADY, AND IS TAKING ON WATER FAST!! *sigh*

-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), May 19, 1999.

Poor Mr. Decker! Believe it or not, I had a little hope and almost respect for a few of your opinions.

But "... ideas like those found in our Declaration of Independence and constitution..." ---- Do you really not notice that the constitution has been "turned on its head" by modern day government? If we did follow the constitution --- we would have been OK. We haven't for years and years including the Federal Reserve, taxes and so forth.

You make me truly sorry for you.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), May 19, 1999.

uh oh . . .

here come those black helicopters again . .

wumpa wumpa wumpa wumpa . . .

crono, you have any insights on those reptilian space aliens ?

I can hardly wait.

Got paranoid delusions ?

-- this is (getting@boring.com), May 19, 1999.

Mr. Decker

I agree.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), May 19, 1999.

Relax, gents, and pour yourselves a tall glass of history. We have survived terrible leaders before. We will again. Despite recent events, (including rabid attacks by the intelligentsia), the IDEAS of western civilization are still intact.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), May 19, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

The Titanic analogy is far from perfect but it does share certain themes with the Y2K situation.

You note that the ship sank on its maiden voyage but that our civilization has survived for much longer. That is certainly correct, but longevity is not therefore proven as immunity to collapse.

When Europeans first came to North America, they found indigenous peoples who were their moral, ethical and spiritual superiors. They lived in a culture that had survived (according to some sources) for as long as 40,000 years. That culture was destroyed in the blink of an eye (from an historical perspective) by a culture that possessed superior technology (gunpowder, basically). The point is, that longevity of a culture is no guarantee of that culture's continuation.

The ideas and notions that you speak of are indeed grand and brilliant, and they will no doubt survive as long as there is even one man left who remembers and values them. That is not the point vis a vis Y2K.

I spent time in residence on a Sioux reservation once, and I assure you that the Sioux had some very grand and brilliant ideas and notions as well. I can also report that those ideas and notions have survived to this day (through some very dark days from their perspective). The point is that their "civilization" (such as it may have been) did not.

What I'm getting around to here is that a "civilization" is not exactly the same as a "culture" in that a civilization encompasses much more than ideas and notions and values. Your "invisible hand" would not function very well, globally, without global trade. Scientific method would be nothing more than a quaint idea in a society where everyone spent most of their time and effort gathering the necessities of life. All the grand ideas of our Founding Fathers would be no more than abstractions without a central and state governments to work upon.

Those ideas and notions must operate within a framework that includes a functioning infrastructure and are, of necessity, limited by the capabilities of that framework. Should Y2K result in a change, of any noticeable degree, in that framework, our civilization must of necessity adapt to that change. Since it seems highly unlikely that such a change would result in an increase in capability, the logical expectation is that things will either get worse or stay the same. I haven't heard much in the way of convincing argument that things will stay the same, and there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence that things will get worse.

The question of the moment is, of course, "How much worse?

Contrary to your statement, there are any number of "things" that could "sink" Western Civilization. You've demonstrated knowledge of small unit infantry tactics, so I'm sure you'll recognize the advice, "Spread out! One grenade will get you all!" In a very similar way, our civilization is all "bunched up" in massive concentrations of people who are susceptible to "one grenade", such as power failure, water failure, 'phone failure, etc. Y2K represents the potential for many common points of failure to converge on a short period of time and the consequences of such are simply not predictable by anyone that I know. If enough "small catastrophes" happen close enough together in time, we will (as a civilization) cross a "point of no return" and find ourselves unable to restore everything to function fast enough to keep the civilization going.

Another facet of the framework is our system of governments. You have previously indicated a concern for the public sector and I have baldly stated that I expect no government above the county level to be functioning eighteen months from now. I expect it's reasonable to assume that no one thinks government will improve, so the question again is, "How much worse?"

I began by saying that the analogy to the Titanic was imperfect. Let me suggest that while the ship faced an iceberg, our civilization faces an ice-age.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), May 19, 1999.

Why stop with the Indians?

Last time I checked, Rome was not the center of political and economic importance that it was prior to the 4th century A.D.

The ideas which originated with the Greeks are still there, and a few of them are even still in practice in the U.S. However, during the "Dark Ages" these ideas were of little use to the average person living in cow manure under the yoke of Feudalism. Anyone for a return to monarchy? It happened to the Romans...it could happen to us.

-- nothere nothere (nothere@nothere.com), May 19, 1999.

an old timey perspective on the larger implications of the Titanic:

from: Homesteading, A Montana Family Album

by: Percy Wollaston (b. 1904, d. 1983)

"I don't even remember when the tragedy occurred, but it has always seemed to me that the sinking of the Titanic marked some sort of turning point in the attitude of people all over the country. There was a lot of speculation and talk about the whole affair, of course, and it seems to have brought a lot of doubts and questions or trends into focus. Here was a magnificent example of the best in engineering and workmanship, and the very crest of the shipbuilding art, built to be unsinkable and the bottom was ripped out of it like a toy balloon. Here were some of the most legendary figures of our society and the political world swept away like the figures of a shadow play. Here was trusted and supposedly competent authority failing to heed timely warning or to act according to the dictates of common sense. As I remember the discussions now, that lack of common sense seemed to rankle most with ordinary people. The people of our own little community had been learning the hard way that common sense and timely precaution were a lot safer than setting up some record for speed."

"There was another ship, the Sussex, that must have been sunk in something like the same period, possibly the start of the First World War, as I remember playing with two boats I had made and called the Titanic and the Sussex."

"The awareness of the outside world and the questioning of foreign events that was developing in my own mind must have been in some way paralleled in our whole society and the changes came so rapidly as to be only a confused jumble to me now. The great and the humble, the dolt and the wise, all seem to have been living in some sort of play world where everything would turn out for the best. Although some of the people had come from foreign countries, I think that even they felt that they were beyond reach of the tides of world events which would soon sweep over as all."

Percy Wollaston, sometime in 1972

-- Beth (bethkl19@idt.net), May 19, 1999.

Crono - you might like going to this link and looking around.

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=The%20Government% 20of%20the%20United%20States

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), May 19, 1999.

"I think it would be a good idea."

-- Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization.

-- Anon (Anon@emouse.com), May 20, 1999.

The Titanic analogy is far from perfect but it does share certain themes with the Y2K situation.

No it doesn't; it's completely inapplicable. You're comparing a single apple with a truckload of different types of fruit.

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), May 20, 1999.

Well done, Hardliner, well done!!!

scratchin' an itch...

The Dog

-- The Dog (cmpennell@juno.com), May 20, 1999.

Mr. Poole,

It would be a good idea if you'd count your cards again. You appear to be missing the three of clubs and someone has slipped an extra joker in on you.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), May 21, 1999.

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