How have you gotten others to become GI's? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hello. My name is Pete and I have been lurking for just a few days. I like being in your company and feel some comfort knowing there are other GI's out there. (Fortunately, I am also married to one.) I now have many white buckets and deep cycle batteries and feel more relaxed than I have in months.

It took me awhile to GI. I don't actually remember the light going off, so to speak, but I am convinced enough to prepare. I am head of household with two kids. I feel it would be irresponsible to endanger my family by doing nothing. Getting other folks to go from DGI to GI has been a challenge. This brings me to the main subject of my query: What have you done or said that has clinched it for others?

I have discovered some things that work and some that have failed repeatedly:

The embedded chip discussion has only caused confusion. I no longer mention it.

Try to impart that the consequence of preparedness is minimal and that not being prepared could be devastating.

The "I buy insurance every year for potential problems" logic is usually agreed upon and gets many folks thinking. The actual dollar cost is not that much compared to auto insurance. (food and winter prep stuff).

If I am wrong, I will eat my mistake.

Those who still think it is a hoax usually concede that there is a problem when they hear that corporations are spending collective billions to fix something. Then I tell them that many institutions are doing nothing. If there is a problem and many are still doing nothing, a likelihood of failure on some level is darn near guaranteed. Now tell me where the failures will take place---no one can, so prepare.

Generators scare people so mention lots of candles and flashlights.

I live in central California, so winters are tolerable without much concern to supplemental heating. Lots of down jackets and comforters can do the trick.

Money? I have not found a way to incorporate that aspect.

I am very interested to hear what others have discovered what works and what does not.

Best regards, Pete

-- Peter Brennan Strasser (, July 15, 1999



Although I swore I was going to stop telling people about Y2K more and more have been asking me since they know I'm a programmer. What I found works, even for the DWGI group, is a packet of recent articles from widely known and respected news services (Washington Post, NY Times, Bloomberg, Boston Herald, etc.) that detail just how bad some cities/systems are and the poor progress they are making. The Bloomberg one which talks about 'several weeks' of blackouts seems to be the most persuasive.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), July 15, 1999.


Riversider here. Have virtually given up y2k-ing. I hammer earthquake, earthquake, earthquake. Works for some. Close to Hollister are you? Any prep excuse is better than none. Try it.

-- Carlos (, July 16, 1999.

You are spinning your wheels. If they haven't picked up on the importance of computers, the possibilities of wide spread failures and how that could effect them, they are DWGI or retarded in someway. Spinning your wheels is frustrating, time consuming, and distracting. I could say much more about my talking to hundreds of people about Y2K but tonight my advice is "to hell with them".

-- 35yearswithcomputers (, July 16, 1999.


I have had absolutely no genuine conversions of DGIs to GIs. There is some weird mental block which blinds them; their common sense is not actively working. Many are spiritually blinded, not perceiving the signs of the times.

However, discussion of the inevitable stock market crash does cause several to think seriously about the possibility of losing their retirement and/or business investments. But this concept is so alarming that they switch back into denial mode. Every time.

But by mentioning Y2K to numerous people, I have found only SEVERAL who were GIs before I initiated this topic. And they're not as prepared as I am. Not good. I must live in Pollyannopolis.

-- Randolph (, July 16, 1999.

Hi Pete,

I hinted a bit last July to my loved ones & a couple of people in my area, just to sound them out a bit. They were mostly clueless, to downright balky. Then I fretted about it until February, & sent out the Red Cross brochure & the Govenor's brochure for CA. These went to about seven people or heads of family that I felt I wouldn't be able to forgive myself unless I did something concrete.

Beyond that I figure they are adults, and my conscience has left me alone. It helped to have my middle sister tell me 'Hey, you've been trying to get them to do earthquake preps for years. There's not much else you can do.'

I've spent the remaining time enjoying them. Life is too short and precious. It's hard when you're a parent, too.

They little sale signs are popping up all over the stores now. The retailers are openly putting bleach, pork & beans, batteries, & bottled water on the end caps. Pretty soon I half expect my eldest sister to figure she was the first to sniff this thing out years ago.

-- flora (***@__._), July 16, 1999.

If they're not receptive in the first place, you'll get nowhere. I've gotten two friends to GI by sending them enough articles to cause them to investigate for themselves. But it has to be the individual who does the investigation themselves, because it's an "oh, shit..." kind of realization.

In about two months, this question won't matter. It will be too late to do much more than prepare for a BITR.

-- Dog Gone (, July 16, 1999.

Some can make sense out of it.

Some people are too wrapped up in their own problems.

What honestly disapoints me most is that My own family hasn't added it up. I talk and gab and show them articles.

It's too sureal.

People don't want to believe that the "impossible" can happen.

Mabey it has something to do with suspending your disbelief.


Hey! Can you feed you extented family?

Naah. Can you feed yourself?

-- Thomas G. Hale (, July 16, 1999.

"Its not the odds, its the stakes." is the best argument. Research shows (don't you love that phrase) that scare tactics do not work to effect true change for most people. (For example, people might be grossed out and scared by grisly driver's ed movies, but it does not impact their choices and behavior long term.) As someone said above, the epiphanic "Aw Shit" experience is necessary. Mostly you won't convince anyone. I guess naming big names who are doing something and sending links to news articles is the best thing. Good luck.

-- (, July 16, 1999.

One or two folks have snapped to the problem when we have discussed it. Most don't. I'm not sure why.

Attendance at our Y2K "community preparedness" meetings has dwindled to only a few, all of whom are actively preparing for various levels.

Myself, I'm working toward 2 years of boring (grain and beans) food along with a couple years of seeds.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 16, 1999.

Hi Gang: One of the best explanations I have ever read for why people don't GI, is from a new novel, HOUSE OF GOLD by Bud Macfarlane Jr..... here's a snatch of conversation by several characters, pp 57-58: -------------------------------------------------------------------

"No. You're onto something here," Ellie spoke after a moment of reflection. "Here's another way of looking at the problem. Let's just suppose you were Maggie, and you heard that Sam and I were moving away out of fear (for our son's) life -- all because of a computer problem. Let's grant that from her point of view, the worst it can cause is a depression, and at best, the computer bug is probably just some hyped-up non-event. Okay?

"By our decision to move, by our actions, we are saying to them, even if we don't say it straight out: 'If you don't move, your children are probably going to starve to death, or die from some other horrible cause -- violence or disease. If you allow this to happen to your kids, you're not fulfilling your reponsibilities as a parent.'"

Buzz banged a fist on the table. "I get it. Right, Ellie. If I'm Tim Penny or Mark Johnson, well, I know I'm a good dad, and a good dad would never put his children in such danger, therefore --"

"Therefore, it HAS to be a non-event," Ellie finished for him. "It's got its own kind of circular logic."

They all turned to Sam. After all, he had convinced the three of them to move.

"And therefore," he said quietly, "Buzz and Mel, Sam and Ellie have gone crazy."

There was something in his voice, something sad.

"What is it, honey?" Ellie reached for the fidgeting hand.

"Don't you see what this means?" he contined. "It means they'll never investigate. And they'll never change their minds if they don't investigate. The more we try to convince them, the stronger they'll resist. The problem really isn't that they're in DENIAL about a computer bug. Nobody is dumb enough to deny that the computers need to be fixed. Real denial is when you reject something that you know is true -- like the widow who makes believe her husband is still alive.

The problem here is that the average person rejects THE PREMISE that a computer problem can CAUSE A COLLAPSE. If they reject that premise, then they relieve themselves of the responsibility of investigating it. And how can we blame them: who wants to face something as ugly as mass starvation, chaos and disease? Better to reject the premise and sleep soundly at night....." ------------------------------------------------------------------- (Single copy of HOUSE OF GOLD can be ordered *free* (donations accepted) from Saint Jude Media, Gold Offer, Box 26120, Fairview Park, OH 44126. It's about y2k from an expressly Catholic perspective.) Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, July 16, 1999.

I usually open with something like, "Can you believe this friend of mine? He's got something on his skin which could easily be cancer, but he will not go to the doctor!" The conversation usually leads to how stupid people are, how prevalent denial is, and how they procrastinate.

Then I often follow with something akin to my suggestion at:

Another line you might try is, "I'm still not convinced that it will be all that bad, but I have always believed that it is better to err on the side of caution than to risk the well-being of my family." I've had a few converts repeat that line back to me almost vebatim after they began making preparations.

If you have someone who is thinking, yet borderline, simply suggest they rent "Titanic". It's all there: the arrogance, the denial, the procrastination, the disaster.

-- Zach Anderson (, July 16, 1999.

I think the original poster has about the best line of reasoning but I've mostly abandoned trying to get anyone to switch teams. I just don't see much of it happening and it seems like they'd all prefer to panic in December (or later).

One of my brother's got it right away and he and his wife arepreparing quite well. One brother, one sister and my Dad are completely inert on the subject of Y2K. They quote rosy press predictions. I hate these rosy, false press predictions and those that foist them on the unaware.

A few people that came to ask for advise, seemed to get it a little. They then moved into apathy and denial within a short time. They don't talk to me often anymore. Makes me sad.

My wife and I are completeing substantial parts of our preparations and that feels a little better, but I worry about friends and family with small children that will not begin to get ready. I think sad times are ahead.

Thanks to all the sincere GI's that are contributing here. For those that say they get it but are "Pollys", I say you don't get it.

-- TM (, July 16, 1999.

I'm in a similar situation. I started talking about Y2k in late 1997 and my parents seem to sort-of get it, but I can't be sure. I live with them, since it's the safest place for me if/when TSHTF.

However, I am the only one who is buying food. I now have about 2+ months of food (calculated by raw caloric values ~1500 cal/day) and don't feel we're making much progress. It's like they know something might happen, but they maybe don't REALLY believe.

When I bring up the concept of buying more food now, they say they want to wait until Nov/Dec. That will be too late, possibly.

-- Tim the Y2K nut (, July 16, 1999.

The only genuine GI I personally know is one of my brothers who lives two thousand miles away with his family which includes a two year old and a baby now just a few weeks old. He's way further down on the 10-point scale than I am; convinced that any disruption will definitely not extend beyond a few months at most. The way he was influenced was by being present just as I was "getting it." We were on a family vacation together and I was surfing the issue, and then sharing my shocking findings as I found them.

Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), July 16, 1999.

Anita quoted from House of Gold: "By our decision to move, by our actions, we are saying to them, even if we don't say it straight out: 'If you don't move, your children are probably going to starve to death, or die from some other horrible cause -- violence or disease...'"

I have tried quite a bit to influence my friends on Internet Relay Chat [IRC], without any discernable success. This environment was ideal, because none of them actually knows my real name or address, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to impose their hunger on my family down the road. The operators I would take in, but we get thousands of visitors a day, so of course that wouldn't really work for everybody.

I was quite open about my opinion, going by handles such as Y2K_Dancr, and such. I didn't feel as though I had any success at all. Finally, once I had talked to all of the most important ones and knew that they all had the URL for my webpage, I figured the most eloquent thing I could do was to quit IRC, while very clearly giving Y2K as my reason.

I was a 24-hour per day presence as an operator on my channel and also physically present at the keyboard for an hour or more each day, for almost four years. I really miss having my entire emotional support network gone in a flash. I got to feeling guilty, though, that by staying online with them I was sending a message that things probably weren't going to be all that bad.

Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

-- (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), July 16, 1999.

I haven't gotten anyone to "convert" and I don't think trying is important. As many others have said they don't want to get it.

But i think it is worthwhile to remind them of recent close by or better direct hit natural disasters. Remind people of how silly people have acted in snow storms or such. People hate to look silly. That usually gets a thoughtful look rather then the he's nuts look.

To me the more people that have even a few extra days of food and water will panic less then those who don't. THAT may make a big difference.

most of these conversations occur in grocery stores.

-- ThunderTech (, July 16, 1999.

They get it now or they never will. I think many are afraid of looking like fools now, among the dgi's, and just don't see that food bought now is still good months from now. Some folks need to go to the store every day. Too bad for them. Preparer

-- preparer (, July 23, 1999.

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