The Other Sidegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I have been thinking a bit (always dangerous) about Eds see you on the other side remark. Specifically, I thought that there might be some interest from a few of you to get a discussion going about the other side. I have not been on the forum very much, especially recently, so if this has already been discussed could someone please post the link or url. What, if anything, does the other side mean to you? How will we even know when we are there? Will it be a definable period: marked by a particular event, or series of events? Will it happen quickly, or will it be a slow and long transition period that leads us to the other side? Will the other side turn out to be not much different from what we have now? What do you think?
Two cents: I think 'the other side' has two periods or phases: The failure period, where most Y2K failures are occurring, and the period after this. I would expect that there will be some blurring or overlap between both of these phases. Perhaps a lot. The how do we know when we are there question may be related to where we are in these phases. Two keys are the severity (or lack of severity) of actual failures, as well as the corresponding duration to fix things. Mostly, I think that there will be some correlation between Y2K severity/duration and what exactly the other side turns out in reality to end up being. The less the severity/duration of Y2K impact, the less difference between what we have now and the other side. The more severe the impact, the greater the chances for significant differences to what we all know now. I dont know where (if anywhere) the Forum will go with this, but for the sake of discussion, perhaps we can assume a severe Y2K impact, regardless of if we actually feel this is realistic or not.
What are your thoughts on The Other Side?
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), August 02, 1999
I would wholeheartedly assume the "other side" meant the other side of midnight of new years eve. I'm sure he's not refering to life and death. Most people on this forum have prepared enough to sustain themselves, thus preventing death.
-- Feller (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999.
For me, at least, "The Other Side" is AFTER any undiscovered embedded devils raise their ugly little heads and are removed, replaced, tamed, etc.
(Here's hoping "The Other Side" bears a close resemblance to "This side.")
-- FM (email@example.com), August 02, 1999.
I believe that he means 'the other side of the period of turmoil', whenever that occurs.
-- dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999.
Maybe the other side to Ed means after the dust has settled, we need to start working on repairing the damage. And, perhaps we need to start thinking about how we are going to do that. If we do not know what the full impact of Y2K or the severity of damage it will cause, how could we possibly plan to repair something that isn't broke yet (which is what they are trying to do now)? One would have to base one's future plans on 1,000 different scenarios and probable possibilities. Right now, I am not worried about how am I going to fix anything next year, I am concerned about getting through the worse case scenario, and that is TEOTWAWKI. If it's a bump in the road no problem I guess I will see you all on the other side.
-- bidingmytime (email@example.com), August 02, 1999.
Can't speak for Ed, but to me, the "other side" simply means "post- Y2K," ie, after the worst has passed (at minimum).
I fully expect a major post-Y2K economic boom. The more severe the economic impact (if it is), the more powerful that boom will be.
Unless, of course, I'm wrong :)
-- Drew Parkhill (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999.
For me, 'the other side' will be when I can go out and hoe my corn without being afraid of getting shot or someone sneaking up on me. When I can lean over the fence and talk to the neighbor walking down the road. When I can look out and see kids playing in the road with their bikes and skate boards and at no risk of being run over. When I know that on Saturday we are going to the farm down the road and my husband and sons are going to help him get his hay in, while his wife and I have a good and needed visit and cook dinner and supper for them all. And know that they will all be at our farm a few days later to do the same for us. To know that my youngest can go off in the area and I don't have to worry about him being run over, or beat up and his bike stolen. Those things are the 'other side' to me.
-- Hannah (Hannah@Colonial America.com), August 02, 1999.
Thanks for the responses. Isn't it interesting how we each view this simple phrase in varying ways! Perhaps Ed himself will find this thread and post to it. Who knows, right?
Drew: Well Hello! I haven't 'talked' with you for quite a while, so I was happy to see that you are still around. Hope all is fine, Rob. p.s. I will be sending you an e-mail soon :)
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), August 02, 1999.
"On the other side" might be IMHO defined as:
1) When the last Y2K-caused corpse that is buried without a funeral in the U.S is buried.
2) When U.S. prosperity/crime rate/life expectancy/population growth rate (pick any one) are at least as good as now.
3) When the equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials for programmers and managers that are blamed for Y2K is over, including burying the last person convicted and executed for helping cause this cataclysm. (Relax, Ed).
4) When the last shelter is empty.
5) When the last roadblock is cleared, the last fenced-in city is open again, and Interstate Highways are again available for civilian travel.
6) When martial law is officially announced to be over, both by every governor and by the new President.
7) When masses of people stop dying of cholera, plague, yellow fever, typhus, smallpox, and/or malaria within the boundaries of the U.S.
8) When selling computer software or microprocessors with an internal time bomb routinely results in felony convictions for everyone involved.
9) When more motorized vehicles are being built in the U.S. than are rusting away, and more houses are being built than are decaying or burning down.
10) When computers are no longer worshiped but seen as we do fire: a useful servant, but a terrible master.
my website: www.y2ksafeminnesota.com
-- MinnesotaSmith (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999.
I fully expect a major post-Y2K economic boom. The more severe the economic impact (if it is), the more powerful that boom will be.
Might that be like the post-1929-stock-market-crash boom? :-)
-- Lane Core Jr. (email@example.com), August 02, 1999.
It will be the return of the CCC camps to rebuild the infrastructure. Hopefully all the brillant computer programmers, doctors, engineers, farmers, etc., will have enough sense to get out of the city and find refuge. If the educated and skilled infrastructure people can see what's ahead and how important they will be on the other side, they will be doing mankind a great service. In the mean time, I will be shoring up my library on how to fix it, grow it, etc.
-- entering the twilight zone (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999.
It means when we can finally get back online and debate what happened on this Forum :-) Even as events transpire and infrastructure components expire, the media will NOT report truthfully.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), August 02, 1999.
I'll be looking forward to it.
My, a bit pessimistic, aren't we? :)
-- Drew Parkhill (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 1999.
To prepare for the worst and hope for the best, portends of a visit to a side of reality that we rarely, if ever imagine, outside the movies, or books. We do this vicarious W. Mitty bit with impunity. But this is REAL LIFE. Real possibilities force our hand to plan for the unthinkable, spend real time and resources to hedge against fate. We cannot pretend that it will not happen. We are no longer imbued with the innocence of ignorance..We can no longer get up in the summer morn' and lay claim to the privileges of the incognizant.
Wisdom comes with a price. Just ask Solomon.
The other side for me is just a fluid as the possible effects. This may well be my greatest test of faith, and I have had more than a few in my life. I would like to believe that it will be when I can LOL without the semblance of an ulterior motive, when I won't have to preoccupy each and every day with the ventures of fantasy waiting to become real. When I can just lay down and sleep the sleep of a kitten by fireside during a hard winter storm.
Whom ever said adversity builds character may well have been a bit shortsighted.
Peace be with you.
-- Michael (email@example.com), August 03, 1999.
Unless we experience minor bump, I expect 'the other side' to be very different.
A turning point. A fork in the road.
Whether it's different better, or different worse, is going to depend upon so many things. Predicting what it will look like is indeed a challenge.
Things happen in our nation/world that change us in an instant. Where were you when President Kennedy was assinated? (okay I wasn't born, but still....)
It is going to depend upon our leaders & we the people.
Rob, I'm glad you brought this up because this is really important for us to think about.
Will people realize they were deliberately misled? Will people believe that problems were caused by terrorists, hoarders, etc.?
I believe that perception (there's that oh so popular word again) is going to be a key to unlocking the changes made in us as a society.
Will people live in a new America where we fear terrorist attack at any given time (perception)? Will we toss out leaders we blame for our problems, possibly creating a new Party or even different looking gov.? Perception again.
In my opinion, the best thing that could possibly happen (besides a non-event of course) is that people realize just how thouroughly they were lied to. I think they will finally be pissed off enough to make the necessary changes.
What will we possibly be able to do about gov. if we are struggling to survive??
Will people be so desperate for strong leadership that they will willingly abandon what are left of our Constitutional Rights in exchange for a percieved savior?
That is scarier to me than hunger. This USA belongs to us now, we are the keepers of Freedom. Will it be lost on our watch?
I know how overly dramatic all of this sounds but our generation has a rendezvous with destiny.
What to do? Submit, survive, wait.... reclaim what is ours? Never give up, never give in. Hope, pray.
I only have questions.
The only thing I know for certain is that things will never be the same.
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 1999.
Deborah- I think you've brought up some excellent points. Crisis can lead to opportunity. The question is will people play the learning game or the blame game? If they choose the latter, "the other side" may be the stuff of which nightmares are made.
-- Gia (email@example.com), August 03, 1999.
The "other side" -- a "Postman" (novel/movie) scenario?
What kind of society do you want on the other side?
One where we still have government isssued and controlled funny money -- or honest money.
A government that specifies how many gallons of water your toilet can use, or you buy a toilet that suits YOUR needs?
A government that assumes your money and property and life belong to it (the collective) or does it belong to you?
A government that supports (subsidizes) one recrational drug (tobacco) , permits another (alchol), and on the other hand puts people in jail for selling or using "unapproved" drugs -- or one that butts out.
A government that -- with the blessings of all the a*hole religionists and busybodies prohibits and regulates sex transactions, night club hours (and gets graft for selling liquor "licenses") -- or one that minds its own f*ing business. .....
-- A (A@AisA.com), August 03, 1999.
The first post I ever submitted to a Y2K forum (here? csy2K?) nearly two years ago was my response to the question, "When will things get back to normal?" I recall my exact words: "Things probably WILL get back to 'normal.' And that's the problem."
I had not yet taken delivery of my kevlar underwear and the ensuing flames drove me back to the safety of my environment-oriented cronies. They didn't---and still don't "believe" in Y2K disaster effects. Many of them feel that only a global-warming (or resultant ice-age) or energy-shortage or water or soil crisis will serve to teach mankind the lessons necessary for him to progress in a different, saner, less self-destructive direction.
I tend to agree with them this far: If Y2K is merely a bump, we recover, our current worldview intact, retain momentum and crash full-speed into the wall of environmental limits. Should it go Infomagical, the resulting damage to our technology and population will assure that we never get back to this level of civilization. (I have neither the typing nor compositional skills to distill 5 years of research into a simple explanation of why this is so.) Some consider this a good thing, I remain unconvinced.
The right level of devastation must leave an optimum level of technology intact, while frightening us into subscribing to a sufficiently Earth-oriented worldview so that we can stabilize our culture. This is the level of impact that is most likely to result in the kind of world to which dear Hannah has alluded above. It is also, imho, the least likely to occur.
Much bandwidth has been filled with short-eyed discussions of political systems (liberal/libertarian/conservative), economic alternatives and ethical (including religious) considerations. A majority here seem convinced that the current milieu is undesirable for many and diverse reasons, usually contingent upon their personal beliefs and values. That these beliefs and values are still within the same "box" is not readilly apparent to many posters.
This 200 year anomaly, known as the industrial revolution or Enlightenment, is so atypical of human organization and progress as to be without precedent and, therefore, is inadequate and misleading as a guide. Even a discussion of civilization refers to a paradigm with which we've had only 6000 years experience, less than 5% of the term of existence of modern man. We have only been sedentary agriculturalists less than 8% of our time as Homo Saps. And we've been leaning hard on our life-support systems ever since.
A major difference occuring within the last 100 years or so is our having attained enough scientific knowledge to understand the limitations of this life-support system. The question remains whether we will have the intelligence, insight, moral flexibility, courage and simple wisdom to effect a paradigm shift which will enhance our longevity.
Many "long-viewers" think it will require an event of sufficient magnitude to wake us up to the danger in which we've placed our species and our planet. Will Y2K be serious enough to bring about a change of attitude of this order? Short of a near ELE (extinction level event), I don't think so.
TEOTWAWKI is not sufficient in itself to change to a more sustaining outlook. What it will take is The End Of Our Current Worldview And Praxis. And we shouldn't need a catastrophe for that.
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --- Aldo Leopold (Sand County Almanac)
-- (Hallyx@aol.com), August 03, 1999.
Thanks gang for some really thought provoking responses. Now that I have finished the "Y2K for Newcomers" stuff, my own thoughts are increasingly turning to the types of questions and ideas expressed so eloquently by some of you. It isn't often that a thread develops exactly as hoped, but this one has. We started with the pre-requisite attempts at defining what we think "the other side" means, and then left that narrow context to look at the period after, which I sometimes refer to as "The Beginning of the World as we Build it" (TBOTWAWBI). A world in which we have many more questions than answers.
MissesotaSmith provides for some specific events to use as a delineator given a TEOTWAWKI type of scenario. The Martial Law one struck a chord with me.
Entering the twilight zone (some handle, huh?) makes an important point about the relationship between the "other side" and those folks with the skills necessary to rebuild, and just as important, increasing our own skill sets to be able to contribute. This reminds me of a book I read early last year called Lucifer's Hammer in which one of the characters preserves the "knowledge of mankind" in various books like The Way Things Work, and subsequently uses some of the knowledge in a dramatic way that enables TBOTWAWBI.
A&L: The media may continue to "not report truthfully", yet I do think it possible that in a severe impact people will demand answers and want to blame someone - anyone but themselves. One thing that is of interest is the question: To what extent will we be able to even distinguish between Y2K-related failures and other failures resulting from hackers, terrorists, etc., (you know the list better than I). In other words, we may never know the truth. How much different would that be from now?
Drew: I sent it last night to you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael: I read your post several times, it was so enjoyable. The "visit to a side of reality that we rarely, if ever, imagine" is what this thread is all about. In fact, it is what is behind most of the "vexing questions" that I have a reputation for raising ever since I began posting! Thought is never premature - only actions which are based on those thoughts run that risk.
Deborah: Great post. You mention how "it is going to depend on our leaders & we the people" - There is no leadership from the top. We are the leaders. What leadership does exist is at the grass roots level. Portent of the future? Perhaps. If enough people lead, leaders may follow. Someone once posted that 99% of Y2K will be "reaction" and the related "perception" which causes the reaction. I tend to agree. That is why the banks are in a sweat and Koskinen is on record as saying "perception management is job #1".
Regarding people realizing they have been lied to, and some of your other comments, see my response to A&L. I have come to the conclusion that the best thing (or at least one of the best things) to happen will be a much greater awareness and appreciation by J.Q. Public of just how dependent most of us are, on such a fragile infrastructure for example - resulting in more individuals seeking and working towards increasing self-reliance.
You ask "What will we possibly be able to do about gov if we are struggling to survive"? This can be a whole topic in and of itself. Remember that the government is comprised of people too, who will have their own set of consequences to deal with. History teaches us that true reform is only possible after a lot of people get fed up and hurt badly. As far as abandoning what Constitutional Rights we haven't already had usurped or abrogated, it seems to me there is a choice: Rather than abandoning, we may choose to re-discover.
You are right to think that things will never be the same. I tossed "normal" out the window over a year ago, and regardless of what does or does not happen, I now have a whole different way of looking at things: I no longer take everything for granted, and am working to be as self-reliant as I can. Changes that will last as long as I do.
Gia: The Chinese anagram for "crisis" is danger and opportunity.
A@AisA: I think you will find the following worth a look:
Y2K could be the greatest blow for freedom since the Declaration of Independence
Hallyx, old friend, good to hear from you. Hope all has been well. To some degree (a matter of differing opinions), we are already running up against limits for life-sustaining things such as food and fossil fuels. I understand your points about the need for a major attitude shift due to our "leaning hard" and the continuation of this and where that will lead us. I do not understand your comment about the level of impact which is most desired being the least likely though. Could you clarify this? Do you feel this way because of the expected continuation of leaning hard exacerbated by the lack of a requisite paradigm shift?
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), August 03, 1999.
Hallyx: Good points. This past several hundred years in the "western" world has been an anomoly. And the U.S. has been an anomoly within an anomoly.
My prediction is that NOTHING will be learned by the mass of people (and the leaders that emerge from that mass). Regardless of the Y2K outcome -- bump or TEOTWAWKI -- the race will continue to be sheeple, they will breed without regard to consequence (just like cats , dogs, and rats).
The problem is that the race is just intelligent enough to be dangerous, but not intelligent enough to be wise.
The human race has been around only a blink of time in the billions of years of history of earth. (Screw biblical literalists opinions with their 6000 year magic number -- those wackos area major problem right there.) Billions. The human race has been around only a fraction of the time that the dinosaurs were around. It is yet to be demonstrated that our type of "intelligence" is a long-term viable evolutionary trait.
-- A (A@AisA.com), August 03, 1999.
Always a pleasure for me to respond to one of your threads, my friend, notwithstanding the difficult and oblique thinking involved.
I guess I've made this point somewhat more clearly in the past: that it would require a rather explicit set of circumstances to cause an abrupt salubrious change in worldview. As with 'A,' I really don't think ANY Y2K effect would contribute significantly to that change, short of a major social collapse -- a result I don't (or can't) consider likely. I'm just playing with it as a way to give myself some intellectual breathing room.
We have created a world society. Minor differences in language, economics, insignificant customs or skin tone cannot belie that observation. We can no longer afford the collapse of "one" civilization---Rome, Aztec, Egypt, Greece---while other civilizations continue to flourish. We ARE one civilization, for all intents and purposes. Now, if it goes down, we all go down. Similar to the dangers of diminishing biodiversity, such is the price of limiting social diversity.
I'm sure you are aware of a generized movement towards more environmental, social and spiritual awareness. An increasing trend of holistic and systems-oriented apperception of reality as espoused by Quinn, Chopra, Sahtouris, Meadows, Theobald, and hundreds more, plus their intellectual supporters. I still feel we're only up to the 36th monkey. As much as they and I would like to hold out hope for a relatively gentle transition to a new paradigm, I fear that only a catastophic series of events will effect such a change. And Y2K ain't it.
Before I started waffling on this, my original contention was, regardless of impact, Y2K will not teach us the lesson we need to learn. I'm trying to envision the right combination of events which might change our gestalt attitude to life the universe and everything. As you can see, as far as Y2K is concerned, I'm failing miserably.
I see 'A' is on my wavelength; I've known this since we met here nearly a year ago. I found it quite uncanny when he said, "It is yet to be demonstrated that our type of "intelligence" is a long-term viable evolutionary trait." I have expressed this exact thought in almost precisely those words more than once -- but never on this forum. Recently I learned that Stephen Hawkings says it this way: "It is not clear that intelligence has much survival value. Bacteria do well without it."
I'm so glad that we can still entertain this level of discourse on this board, Rob. Feels like old times.
May I share this longish sigline with you? Something I wrote about 4 years ago.
So the old ones gaze at the young ones in their place,
Watch the fireshine twinkle in their eyes.
And they sing the songs of their longing for their race,
Those who came of yore as from the skies.
And the woodsmoke rises to the edge of outer space.-------------------
And the wise one speaks of travail upon the race
As the horror tingles in their spines.
Of the fear, and the hunger and the suffering that they face
In the full unfolding of the times.
And the methane cloud glows on the edge of outer space.---------------
Now the warrior boasts, "We will never leave our place
Where my father's father, in his time,
Lived his life of love. It must never be displaced.
It was once, and must again be mine."
And the Aurora blazes from the edge of outer space.-------------------
And the woman tells of a green and gentle place,
Of the waters cold and clear and fine,
Where they might sojourn to continue of their race,
Of the air suffused with sage and pine.
And the moonlight gleams from the edge of outer space.----------------
Now the shaman's song, like an ember, like a trace
Of the bright light coursing through their minds,
Sings of healing, hope and the love all will embrace
As he offers bliss and cherry wine.
And the electrons beam to the edge of outer space.--------------------
But the young are gone. The fire shines not on their face
They're no longer yours, no longer mine.
They've become transformed by the spirit of the place,
Have become the song, become the rhyme,
And the stars shine down, as forever, from all space.
-- (Hallyx@aol.com), August 04, 1999.
Punctuates the points you were making earlier in the thread. Thanks for sharing that piece of your heart with us.
-- Bingo1 (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 1999.
Hallyx: Tremendous post. I asked for an explanation, and you gave that and so much more. Thank you. It does feel like 'old times' doesn't it! LOL.
Caution: The rest of this post is completely speculative as well as depressing.
It is quite a challenge for me to envision what event or confluence of events would actually result in bringing the worldview shift about. Unless we are talking InfoMagic, even a severe Y2K impact would be but one part in the picture and need to occur in the same narrow timeframe as other extreme events to have a chance at bringing this to fruition. Even then I guess, whatever happens would probably have to kill off most of the 6 billion current planetary inhabitants. Unfortunately, most truly significant change actually happens not because people modify their thoughts and behaviors, but because they die and are replaced by others who go in a new direction, since they are not confined to the same box.
It is thought that there are now more people alive than ever before. It has also been said that 'nature hates a crowd', and we can perhaps stretch a bit (quite a bit) and try to apply the old 'regression to the mean' rule to population. Add this up with the 'carrying capacity' of our planet's ability to sustain this high and increasing volume of life, and something is going to have to give. I know this is disturbing, but it is only my 'thinking out loud' on the subject, so don't take it too seriously. This is also not to say that a gentler shift (comparatively) is impossible, but it is highly improbable I would think, for it would have to absolutely be forced upon all of us, as we resignedly accept it dragging, kicking, and screaming all the way.
It is in this kind of discussion where precedent may offer some valuable clues. It is possible given what we are discussing that there have been precedents before recorded history - if it is true that there were entire previous civilizations that came and went which we have no (or only anecdotal) evidence about. Naturally, those clues are gone as well. So we are left only with precedents from recorded history (The Flood?) and our imaginations. Lots of food for thought, and as usual, more questions than answers :)
It's discussions like this where I really miss RC.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), August 04, 1999.