Getting back to normal after a severe Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Assumption for this thread: There will be a severe impact from Y2K, where severe is anything 9 or greater. You dont have to believe this for real, just be willing to accept it to facilitate discussion of the following two related questions: One: Do you think it will be possible to get back to normal after a severe Y2K impact? If not, then have you thought about what would eventually constitute the new normal?

Two: What is your preference for post-Y2K normal  similarity to what we have today, or something substantially different?

Two cents:

I think that there will be a correlation between Y2K severity and the extent to which normalcy returns eventually. The less the severity, the greater the odds (and quicker) a return to normalcy becomes. If we are talking something off the scale, like Infomagic, then a return to normalcy becomes much less likely, if not impossible. There may exist a point of no return, perhaps at the 10 level. To some extent this may depend on our location. Someone once posted that all TEOTWAWKI will be local, an interesting remark. Also, answers may vary not only by country, but also by sector  in general, economies may take the longest to return to what we think of as normal now, for example.

When I consider the alternative, which is not getting back to todays normal, it is almost impossible to picture this new normal in a detailed and meaningful way. Also important is if it would be better or not comparatively. This leads into the second question, regarding preference. I would think that a majority would favor a return to normalcy in todays context. Human nature. People do not like change. This is not to say that what passes for normal now is perfect. It isnt. There are many things that I think would get wide support to be changed. In order to prefer something else though, you would need a clear idea of what that something else is, and understand the ramifications of it becoming the new normal. I dont, but perhaps some of you have given this a bit of thought.

What do you think regarding getting back to normal after a severe Y2K?

-- Rob Michaels (, September 09, 1999


The institution of shorter supply lines for your necessities of life, and a whole new cottage industry to facilitate these supply lines is in order.

People will have jobs that haven't been around in years. If it truly is an Infomagic scenario, the grid might never come back up, effectively putting us into the late 1700's. Farriers and groomsmen will become a "new" business, as well as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, coopers, etc... but that is if there is a total collapse.

You will not be able to go down to Wal-mart and buy your $100 Nikes from China anymore. There will have to be industries brought back to our shores that left for cheap labor countries many years ago.

I notice where everything I buy comes from anymore. Very few items say "made in USA". If Y2K hits hard, these items from foreign shores will be unobtainable.

The BITR scenario is a piece of cake. We spend the next 9 months sorting out all the bad data from our personal records, transactions, and accounts, and go back to the "Joe Sixpack" mushroom routine.

But IMHO, if 010100 is a category 5 storm, we may never get back to any semblance of normalcy...

gettin' a drink...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert, September 09, 1999.

I think we will go back to normal. The time it takes to get there is dependent upon the severity. Unless there is a massive death toll, the same knowledge base will be available as well as the stupidity and greed. So it will just be a matter of time before we rebuild. I would like to think that things would be different- strong communities, self-reliance, whirled peas:-) Not much chance though. Without getting overly philosophical, I think there is a limit as to how far we can get in this physical form. But it's a hell of a lot farther than we are now. There's always hope.

-- (, September 09, 1999.

I would imagine that if Y2K is more than a 9 but less than a 10 then our society would eventually return to a resemblence of itself but this would probably take a very long time perhaps 20-30 years.If Y2K is 10 or greater then we may see an end to democracy and the rule of law.My only soulution to a 10+ and this may be flaky: since the GI's are well-armed and well-prepared perhaps they could take over a city and re-establish democracy and the rule of law.A city of 50,000 could field an army of say 5,000 and the purpose of this army would be to kept out roving gangs and despotic elements.This city-state could also serve as a demonstration community to the rest of the world,that democracy and decency don't have to die with Y2K.

-- Stanley Lucas (, September 09, 1999.

One would hope that the "normal" we return to (assuming we need to make the trip) would leave us wiser for the journey.

Just my 2 cents.


-- FM (, September 09, 1999.

hopefully not; not a chance - not desired - some won't let it happen...

of course - 'Nirvana' [Galt's Gulch]

god, no!!!

of course - 'Nirvana'

one would hope that the human spirit is more Heroic and upward looking than to presume that the status quo is all to which the race might aspire;

we ARE worth more than the drivel the 'masters' allow us to possess, consume and experience;

Life, in its most full and complete definition, is more Precious than to either perpetuate the current mess, or to come back to it again after a collapse;

when, and only when, Man is able to achieve his Highest aspiration without being hindered in his effort by the likes of politicions, bankers, thugs, tyrannts and dictators, - only then will a system of social intercourse be worthy of the name 'Human society'.

I will do all in my power to accomplish that ideal.

I stand ready to join with those others of like mind and spirit who also can see farther than their grasp...and who know the definition of, and who desire to taste the fruits of true Freedom.

-- Perry Arnett (, September 09, 1999.

I do believe most American GIs believe that y2k will cause temporary disruptions, (perhaps severe, but temporary,) and then we will all return to our present status quo. The rich will be rich, again. They will read Dilbert over their Lattes and their children will have beanie babies.

I do not believe that these GIs are realistic about the prolonged and massive impact that y2k will have on the rest of the World and how this will bring about changes that will roll across our shores. We are not going to be able to sit in our living rooms enjoying "normalcy" while the rest of the world is suffering. The rest of the world is not going to let that happen.

-- marsh (, September 09, 1999.

The one thing Y2K will not be able to kill is the ideas birthed by our present technological revolution. If Y2K is bad, there will be massive loss of live (mine included), but there will be enough surviver geeks to patch technological pieces and scraps together and eventually get enough of the system back up here in the US to support life (farm technology, telecom, sewer, water, health system, etc).

What geek survivors remain will be of high value to help other countries piece their technology scraps together. Once a basic system is scrapped together, the survivors of the world will rebuild in ways we can not imagine.

A world with less population will put less stress on the planet. The fragility of our interdependencies will be revealed and our systems strengthed. Geeks will be regulated and supervised and highly paid. They led us into this mess. And they will lead us out of this mess.

-- Leslie (***@***.net), September 09, 1999.

Systems are funny things--human systems are ever odder. We don't know what sociological curve balls might be thrown during some kind of recovery. Anything can, and often does, happen. We only have a limited vision of what could be, but it might turn out to be something else, entirely.

-- Mara Wayne (, September 09, 1999.


Keep writing. I'll keep reading.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 10, 1999.

[My first attempt was not intelligible... may I be allowed to do this again, please?]

One: Do you think it will be possible to get back to normal after a severe Y2K impact?

hopefully not; not a chance - not desired - some won't let it happen...

If not, then have you thought about what would eventually constitute the new normal?

of course - 'Nirvana' [Galt's Gulch]

Two: What is your preference for post-Y2K normal  similarity to what we have today,

god, no!!!

or something substantially different?

of course - 'Nirvana'

one would hope that the human spirit is more Heroic and upward looking than to presume that the status quo is all to which the race might aspire;

we ARE worth more than the drivel the 'masters' allow us to possess, consume and experience;

Life, in its most full and complete definition, is more Precious than to either perpetuate the current mess, or to come back to it again after a collapse;

when, and only when, Man is able to achieve his Highest aspiration without being hindered in his effort by the likes of politicions, bankers, thugs, tyrannts and dictators, - only then will a system of social intercourse be worthy of the name 'Human society'.

I will do all in my power to accomplish that ideal.

I stand ready to join with those others of like mind and spirit who also can see farther than their grasp...and who know the definition of, and who desire to taste the fruits of true Freedom.

[Thank you!]

-- Perry Arnett (, September 10, 1999.

I think over time we will see a severe breakdown in society from which it will take decades to really recover. I would hope we think about what to keep and what to throw away. I do believe, as has been said, that it is human nature to want to return to what we already know. What scares me is that any move to create something new will take personal courage and leadership... something we have not seen much of during this debacle. Clearly we are going to have major problems when Joe sixpack finds out he has been lied to, is in shock, and now in the dark with nothing to eat. Not exactly a happy constituency. And can anyone please tell me what platform "Mr. Information Super Highway" is going to run on? The gov't policy of "Let's not tell them" may have protected big business but they sure have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to the American voters.

How do we recover from this? "We" probably don't... but I am beginning to teach my young kids things about life they shouldn't have to learn at ten years old.


-- Keith Nealy (, September 10, 1999.

One: Do you think it will be possible to get back to normal after a severe Y2K impact? If not, then have you thought about what would eventually constitute the new normal?

Given the assumption that we are looking at a9- 11, a LOT depends on HOW FAST the decline to that level is. If it is a FAST (measured in days-weeks-1-2 months) then I hold a lot of hope for a return to something resembling what we have now in terms of tecnology, with some modifications in societal structure, but in about 10 years.
If it is a SLOW (measured in months-1-2 years) decline, I don't hold quite the same hopes. A SLOW decline gives the ravening hordes a chance to develop a Neo-Luddite component which would pretty much cause the destruction of the underlying knowledge/equipment/technology infrastructure that keeps our technology running today. THIS, coupled with the prolonged loss of light and power in general would cause us to receed into the past to take a VERY LONG time to come back. If you don't like the picture here, make sure you have access to a large University in an area served by Hydro or Nuclear power. I believe THESE will be the 2000's version of Monasteries in the 11-12-13-1400's.

The NEW normal will (if the fall takes long enough) probably look VERY FEUDAL, with (Hopefully) a better handle on Noblesse Oblige than our leaders have today, and a very strong Laissez Faire tradition. (OK I'm an optimist, too). As for Question 2, do you want a book?? Chuck, a night driver, and a night reader

-- Chuck, a night driver (, September 10, 1999.

Thanks to all of you who provided thoughtful answers.

Stan: Whatever happened to you? Still awaiting an 'e' response from you per our previous conversation.

Perry: "politicions, bankers, thugs, tyrannts and dictators" - Hmmmm, seems like we humans are our own worst enemies huh!

Chuck: Speed is a critical factor, yes. Thanks. If you want to write a book for part two go ahead, just stay on topic or I will be forced to ask the sysop to delete your post :)

-- Rob Michaels (, September 10, 1999.

"regarding getting back to normal"

Good topic! one of the most interesting facets of y2k's risk management challenge.

As usual its conjecture at this point, I find myself open to a *different* normal as long as it is comfortable. Lately, as things move forward I find myself thinking about the comfortable part more and more. Anyone else?

-- (, September 10, 1999.

Comfortable? Are you being facetious?

Perhaps you are not. I put no such qualifier on a different normal. It is interesting to me that you do, and that you find yourself dwelling on that aspect more and more. Maybe this is necessary to you to some extent just to get through the rougher spots as you anticipate them.

But suppose reality dictates that "comfortable" isnt in the cards as part of the new normal? You may not be "open" to this, but do you see this as a realistic possibility of a new and different normal?

-- Rob Michaels (, September 10, 1999.

All successful revolutions have entailed a substantial death rate (my memory is hazy, but it's something like 15% of the population within 3 years). So it would seem that for the post-recovery to be very different, we'd need a LOT of deaths. And I'm not talking about recovery to anything like what we know now, I'm only referring to some reasonably stable social condition of whatever description.

Somehow, I doubt the survivors would be content.

-- Flint (, September 10, 1999.

Hi Flint. China and India have over one third of our planet's 6 billion inhabitants, and from the reports I have heard neither are very well prepared for a severe Y2K impact. As a result, do you feel that in these two countries there will be, as you wrote, a LOT of deaths, and subsequently, if you accept this premise, is it reasonable to conclude there would be global ramifications to this also which would be a definitive factor in what becomes the new normal?

-- Rob Michaels (, September 10, 1999.


My crystal ball is pretty cloudy here. I think that the populations of India and China are largely agrarian anyway, and this isn't high- tech farming either. Their governments may be unprepared for y2k (whatever that might mean in practice), but I doubt the bulk of the population would even notice one way or the other. So I doubt that the form of government would change in either country. As I've written before, I expect a few heads of state to roll, but no governments to fall per se. This of course gets hazy in banana republics, where government is itself kind of hazy outside the capital city.

I don't expect global starvation to exceed current levels by much anyway. And unlike revolutions, it makes little sense to start systematic purges of huge numbers just because computers are down. At most, if y2k is very serious in some countries, it might provide an opportunity for a strong minority population to take over. I can't predict.

-- Flint (, September 10, 1999.

Flint: All of the crystal balls are cloudy, which is what makes this kind of discussion interesting (to me, anyway). Just because something makes little sense doesn't mean it can be ruled out though, if history is any judge.

I disagree about the level of starvation and expect, given a 9 or greater, that they would increase dramatically, especially in those places heavily dependent on imports which would be threatened by breakdowns in global transportation supply lines. If the disruptions significantly outlast local food inventories and production capacity, it will not be pretty. Hunger may then become a great motivator.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 10, 1999.

The "normal" of 2009. 2019 will be something quite different than "normal" of 1999. My crystal ball keeps changing channels : largely web-based commerce, the malls have died, to Depression Redux, to Ecotopia, to widely reduced population plowing with oxen and hand scything grain : 1800 revisited, to feudalism and yet combining odd elements of all of these. Whatever scenario, a general trend sees petroleum constumption drastically reduced -- it is just not available, but the reason is unclear for the low production.

A massive sea change is coming, but I don't have a clear picture of the aftermath, just snatches and glimpes of insights, but as Cory H. says " it will be more wierd and wonderful than we can imagine".

On question two : the new normal will be as related as to the current normal as a mule is to a donkey.


-- urth (, September 11, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

We may never pass this way again -- Seals & Crofts

Ten years ago, or so, I read a profound book, The Changing Nature of Man: Introduction to a Historical Psychology, by J.H. Van den Berg. I can't seem to put my hands on it at the moment ( is down), but as I remember, the basic premise of the book was that the entire weltanschauung of a culture is always changing. People always recognize that the world around them is changing but they do not recognize that they themselves are changing, too. As a result, we are not very much like our grandparents, and much less so like the people who lived two hundred years ago.

I have also recently read Man and Society in Calamity, by P.A. Sorokin, a sociologist who examines how people historically have behaved in the face of war, famine, pestilence and disease. People are remarkably consistent in how unpleasant they become under adversity. What struck me most in this book, however, was the realization of how very common these disasters are. We've enjoyed a remarkably long streak of prosperity. The general rule has tended more toward 3-5 years of drastic population culling disaster every generation.

Things will never feel normal to us again, Y2K or no. The older we get, the more things depart from how they were when we were young, and the more things will feel out of synch. If Y2K is a show stopper, only the very young will interpret it as a usual rate of change. As much as people will be trying to return to the old ways, you can never go home again. The unborn won't know any different and everything will seem normal to them. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I believe we will get all our utilities back, but that there will be a great loss of life and general mahem. The big question is whether or not the culture will allow the internet to flourish. I certainly hope so. This is the biggest mind expanding invention ever, except for perhaps books.

I would be happy to see a world where people had more control over how they choose to live their lives. I would like to see companies have to pay more to access "the commons" of clean water, and pay more to keep the air clean. This would, of course, reduce economies of scale, and return services and manufacturing operations to local control.

I think humane population growth control could be encouraged by marginally more for incremental service use. This could be achieved with sales taxes. For example, the first four gallons of water per day per adult could be tax free. That would be enough for their minimal needs plus one child. The next four gallons could be taxed at 100% of the price, and the next four gallons taxed at 200%, and so on. Those who are reasonably conserving could purchase water rights at the low rates, and sell them to others who wished to use water for commercial agriculture or other businesses.

To be continued, tomorrow or later.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), September 11, 1999.

Urth: The 1800s + feudalism + other odd elements huh? No one will ever accuse you of not having an imagination. Who knows, you may turn out closer to the mark than anyone else. LOL.

Dancr: I really enjoyed your post. Thanks. New Normal may end up being a moving target that changes more often than we would consider likely given our present steadier-state (comparatively) normal of today.

Isnt it interesting how people relate to change? Sometimes we dont even recognize change. Most often in fact, until the beginning of the new trend has already manifested itself. One reason is that people refuse to see what they dont want to see, even if its right in front of their face. Thats why Congress passes laws to prevent the catastrophe which has already happened, for example.

You make some excellent points about what might constitute normal based on age as a key variable. I have thought some of these same things. I guess all of us parents have.

Personally, I threw out normal as I knew it well over a year ago, as I struggled to make life-style changes to become more self- reliant. There just isnt any going back. Your post also points to the difference between our own personal normals and whatever becomes the collective normal(s) for society. It is a valid distinction.

The reason that it sometimes appears that, in apparent contradiction to what we have been talking about, The more things change, the more they stay the same, is because human nature is immutable, yet the stage on which we act is forever in a state of flux.

I too would like to see us as a species make some different choices, like using solar and wind power where feasible in lieu of fossil fuels, for example. Will these types of changes actually happen? It depends on how many people get seriously screwed. Flint may get bashed a lot but he nailed that part. History teaches that true reform is never possible unless a lot of people get hurt badly and/or die. Sad, I know, yet this relates to the subject of this thread and the assumption for a 9 or greater.

ALL: The crystal balls still as clear as mud. The only constant in our lives remains change itself. Y2K of 9 or greater will usher in change Big Time. Perhaps 99% of Y2K impact will end of being peoples reactions. Given human nature and some educated guesses regarding what the disruptions will entail, can we draw any conclusions about the eventual emergence of a different new normal? For example, a general distrust by many of computers themselves has been speculated. What do you think?

-- Rob Michaels (, September 11, 1999.

Rob you said:

"But suppose reality dictates that "comfortable" isnt in the cards as part of the new normal? You may not be "open" to this, but do you see this as a realistic possibility of a new and different normal? "

Absolutely, I do see being less than comfortable a distinct possibility; probably better than 50/50. (Comfortable meaning the basics.) That is why I said I worry more and more about it.

Again, change is fine; change is as good as a rest they say. It's the comfort concern that has me prepping until my eyes water.

-- Will (, September 12, 1999.

Rob, where do you get these questions??

I've thought for some time now that if we have more than a severe depression, Infomagic's scenario makes more sense to me than most. I find it very difficult to even imagine living through that type of disaster, and I doubt that the unravelling would stop at a 1800's or 1700's type of technology (perhaps because my skills fit only a technological society). I feel that far too few people have generalist skills and far too many have skills that work only in a highly specialized and hi-tech society. If the electric goes down and stays down, the society destruction could far exceed my ability (or desire) to speculate. My prediction of a 5-7 could well derive from this simple fact.

However, I truly believe that a universal 9+ is very unlikely. As Chuck stated earlier, centers may emerge to become the nexi of continuing knowledge. If the knowledge remains, eventually it will be used. How long an eventually? It depends on how well the knowledge is maintained. Will people die before society of any sort gets rebuilt? At a level of 9+, I have no doubt of millions or even billions of deaths and a descent of medical ability that will cause a continuing life expectancy lowering. Lots of places in the world now still have an average life expectancy that we in North America would find appalling, but still better than it would be without vaccinations/medicines which may be lost in a 9+.

Although I doubt that I could recognize the new normal, I have little doubt that in a shorter time than I'd believe possible, my comfort level would be re-established. Habits form in 3-6 weeks, I've been told.

-- T the C (, September 12, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

This is a continuation of my long post on this thread from last night.

I touched on this briefly above when I mentioned that I hope we will get to see a continuation of the internet. The main thing I have learned this year is that there is something drastically wrong with our system of detecting, reporting and disseminating important news. This is not to say that I have been naive. I wasn't born yesterday.

I've long known, for example that the media do not do a very good job in reporting on things that are important to me, such as unschooling and health freedoms.

It's been a long time since I've read A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, by Howard Zinn a book which "turns traditional textbook history on its head."

I've seen, in Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen, how lies can become universal truths, without invoking a paranoid conspiracy theory.

But even with this relatively high level of awareness, I have been dumbfounded at the lack of serious coverage that the Y2K problem has received, at how numb reporters are to a story that practically writes itself and comes up and hits them on the head.

I thought we had a theoretically good "free press" system, which would cause the truth to be come out. Obviously we do not. What is wrong? I don't know. How can we improve the situation? I have to think that the internet is a big part of the solution. But only if we keep it free.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), September 12, 1999.

Strange Attractors, Paradigm shifts and Y2k

On Christmas night in 1642 a new born child was struggling for his life. In the sky above a comet could be seen and those who contemplated the heavens wondered what manner of catastrophe was predicted. The child, who was not expected to survive, went on to live past eighty and usher into the western world a fundamental shift in how the universe was perceived. The contributions he made laid the groundwork for a scientific-technological revolution which would change the face of the planet. Some might argue that this revolution has had a catastrophic environmental effect and so in a way the comet's legacy has been fulfilled.

Isaac Newton's mother left him with his grandparents when he was three. Isaac's father had died three months before he was born and she apparently did not want to be burdened by raising him. It is widely agreed that this abandonment led to an extremely difficult life for Isaac Newton. He was secretive, suspicious of the outer world, and prone to wage long vindictive battles against those whom he perceived had wronged him. This propensity for paranoid behavior locked him into a battle with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz over who was the true originator of calculus.

In one of the great ironies of history the machine which Isaac Newton's arch rival Leibniz helped bring into the world has opened the door an a paradigm shift which is changing the face of Newtonian determinism. Leibniz not only was crucial in founding binary mathematics, the tool which has given us the modern world of computer science, but also made the first working calculating machine in the western world. He was a true godfather of computing. The battle between Newton and Leibniz filled both men's lives with much unhappiness. The battle was fought in vain because in retrospect it appears that calculus appeared nearly simultaneously to both of the men independently. It was simply in the air. Calculus, which has been called the mathematics which launched the industrial revolution, was a part of a paradigm shift which was beyond either Newton or Leibniz

To understand how the great-grandchildren of Leibniz's machine now threaten to unseat the paradigm which Newton set in motion you will need to understand why a meteorologist in the 1960's changed the way causality is perceived by a bit of inattention. Edward Lorenz had created a computer program to simulate weather change. His machine was large, unwieldy and kept breaking down, but it worked. He was able to create his own weather from a handful of mathematical formulations. Lorenz was on the cusp of taking the Newtonian dream of predictability into one of the most notoriously unpredictable realms: the weather.

One fateful day he decided to use a shortcut. He wanted to examine a particular sequence in greater detail. Instead of starting the computational run over he began the machine in mid sequence. He typed in the values from an earlier print out and then went down the hall to get a cup of coffee while the vacuum tubes and wires crunched their numbers. When he came back he discovered that the print out of the new weather was completely changed. It bore no resemblance to the old print out.

He was mystified as to what could have made such a difference. After considerable effort he discovered the problem. He had inadvertently changed one of the numbers in the equation. The old number was .506127 and he had typed in .506 because in the print out, to save space, the shorter number was given. The computer had .506127 in its memory, but the new weather run was launched on the shortened value. A thousandth of a difference in value should not have made such a difference in outcome, but it did. The result was so different that he was forced out of his familiar world and into what would later become called the strange world of Chaos theory. Because he had a strong mathematical bent he was able to track the equations to their source and in a few short years helped launched a new science.

A computer created the possibility of tracking complex phenomenon and it would be the massive power of computers which would bring the science of chaos into its current sophistication. Leibniz's machine has helped unseat Isaac Newton's cherished views of the universe. For in the world described by Chaos theory change and turbulence are constantly dancing around the edges of reality. The hard and fast determinism which Newton struggled so hard to bring to the world is now showing signs of being only a limited way of viewing the world.

And in a compound twist of irony these same machines are now poised to create havoc in the modern industrial world. The same trick of shortening which brought Lorenz to his discovery of Chaos Theory is literally creating havoc in the world's computing grid through what is known as the millennium bug. The shortened date fields won't roll over as the year 2000 comes. Without changing each and every date field in every computer on the planet which is programmed with the bug, information, energy, food, fuel and money may not move as it has. As the world comes back from its symbolic cup of coffee on Jan 1, 2000 it will be coming back to a vastly uncertain outcome. A world perhaps on the edge of chaos.

Given that we have date with the chaos it would be good to understand some of what this paradigm shift may be telling us.

Here's a few possibilities from the language of Chaos Theory and a modest translation.

As change accelerates the possible outcomes reach a point where normal cause and effect breakdown.

Translation: Old patterns of control and dominance will fail as usual patterns simply stop working.

Certainty and control become unstable in a developing field of chaos.

Translation: If we rely only on certainty we will have a very hard time when chaos looms.

Multiple realities, simultaneous points of view and different worlds all may exist within the same time and space.

Translation: There will be many solutions and many failures all of which will be generated by the same global transition.

After a certain stage of bifurcation event basins appear which are the domains of the outcome.

Translation: When the predictable world begins to change there are distinct areas of possible outcomes. You will be guided into these domains by the quality of your intention. If you collapse into fear, you will land in a fearful event basin. If you increase your creative capacity then you will join a basin of possible futures.

Systems in a state of disequilibrium can become highly sensitive to new information, experiment profusely and adapt quickly.

Translation: Evolution and growth occur most at the edge of chaos.

A system on the edge of chaos is sensitively dependent on initial conditions.

Translation: This means that actions we take now, even small ones, can have huge effects down stream. This also means that small, inconsequential actions, could effect large global changes in ways which are hard to visualize. (The classic image in Chaos theory is of a butterfly shifting its wing. This small change creates a minor turbulence which escalates across scale boundaries in unpredictable ways and is part of the transformation of weather which leads to a hurricane)

In chaos diagrams no point or patterns of points ever recur in exactly the same way and yet there is an new kind of order which can be seen if the scale of observation is large enough. (think snowflake, or leaf)

Translation: What may appear as chaos in the upcoming period may in fact be evidence of a larger order, a grander sweep of history at work.

Isaac Newton, back in the 1600's, was determined to show that the orbit of celestial objects obeyed strict laws of motion and were not influenced by some mysterious heavenly force. His need to establish order in the heavens may well have been influenced by the chaos in the world about him. At a critical point in Newton's life the plague broke out in London and he fled to the countryside to escape the disorder and death. A year later the great London fire broke out gutting much of the city and making his return even more problematic. He had just finished a significant portion of his schooling and in the two years of enforced idleness he was able create order where before their had been unrest and disruption. He was able to present a coherent view of how the universe worked based on causality. His discoveries helped transform the science and technology of his world and has left a legacy of cause and effect which influenced politics, commerce, philosophy and helped propel the western world into a mechanistic model of universal functioning which offered the tantalizing hope that with enough effort an unruly world could be tamed.

Ironically that basic impulse to establish control led to the experiments of our meteorologist. He was wanting to create models of weather change which could help predict the outcome of natural events. If you are a meteorologist you have a pretty high incentive to get your models right because if you don't the public shakes its head and mutters about how the weather people are always wrong. There is large lesson to be learned in how Lorenz dealt with the change in his cherished program. Instead of throwing away the outcome as an annoying anomaly he realize that he had in his hands a clue to how small changes can exert large scale transformations, more importantly he realized that he was being given the key to understanding the patterns of Chaos.

In the face of large scale changes there is an understandable desire on the part of humanity to exert control. The other option, one exercised by the ancients numerous times, is to blame some agency beyond human understanding for the effects which are taking place. Modern Chaos theory coupled with Quantum mechanics opens the door to a third option. One which is very helpful to understand when contemplating the speed of global changes unfolding before our eyes.

This option says that we are floating, stationary islands of streaming energy, embedded in a sea of much larger change. Think of the red spot on Jupiter. This planetary phenomenon has been observed for hundreds of years and yet what it is a large hurricane which has managed to maintain its integrity in the midst of the maelstrom of a planet nearly becoming a sun. We effect and are effected, in a non-linear manner, by the global environment. Within the obvious world of cause and effect there is a stream of possibility which verges on chaos. This creative edge mediates between differing layers of reality, from atomic vibration to the movement of the heavens. Within these boundary layers of chaos small changes can bring about large scale shifts.

Y2k is a classic example of this phenomenon. A simple act of deleting two date fields from the early computers has escalated, through an amplification of scale, into a global crisis. Who would have thought that the a seemingly minor computational decision in the early days of programming would blossom in to the most expensive and potentially dangerous problem since world war II?

There is an adage in many healing disciplines which states that where the symptom lies the cure is to be found. I believe that this is compellingly true in regards to Y2k. Y2k is a classic example of small scale change leveraging itself into a position to change the destiny of a planet. And so we should gather our courage and migrate towards the edge of chaos where small acts can change possible futures.

What does this mean in practical terms?

It means that instead of denying, arguing, grandstanding, crusading and fearing the phenomenon of Y2k we should move fearlessly into the edge of chaos which is opening before our eyes.

An analogy is helpful at this point. Imagine a stream of water coming from a single source. As the flow of water begins the stream is quite happy to fall in a straight line towards the ground. As the flow increases it begins to swing back and forth in a pendulum like motion (Point attractor in Chaos terms) as the flow begins to increase the pendulum action begins to swing into a circle (Torus attractor) and finally as more and more water begins to flow the simple motions breakdown into chaos. The science of Chaos actually has mathematically mapped out what are called bifurcations which lead to more and more elaborate dynamic systems.

One more image is helpful as well. In speaking of the cascade from order to chaos the theoreticians talk about strange attractors producing domain basins. A domain basin can be thought of as the probable area in which the flow of events gather. Think of a ball bearing rolling around in large bowl. Eventually the ball bearing will stabilize at the bottom of the bowl. This is a stable domain basin formed by a strange attractor. (The strange part comes because the geometry involved is non-Euclidean). In a complex system there can many possible attractors all competing to become the final domain basin and the boundary between them is visualized as a saddle.

And before we leave this part of the discussion its worth noting that a crisis is the change in an attractor when its basin boundary is destroyed.

Our basin boundary is about to undergo a large scale shock. If the computer grid of the planet is not resilient enough then the attractor which has held our modern world experience together is about to change shape, big time. Viewed locally this can be perceived as catastrophic, but if a longer view is taken the resulting chaos actually has implicit within its movement the hint of a larger order.

The flow of ,money, industrial goods, services, medicine, politics and transportation can be thought of a stream of water. The system is stable as long as the rate of flow does not overwhelm the structure. But what happens when the structure breaks down? Then all kinds of new attractors appear as the old ones collapse, new domain basins are created and destroyed.

Anybody who has had the occasion to live through a crisis may have discovered a curious fact: in the face of large scale change the best of humanity and the worst of humanity appears. And what is comforting is that on the whole altruism and a sense of selflessness seems to be predominately the response. In the recent floods in Texas people who had lost their own homes and were staying in shelters volunteered to be out helping others.

During World War I after the first few months of deadly trench warfare a strange event took place. On Christmas day, 1914, it dawned bright and cold, freezing the sea of mud which had been between the enemies. Spontaneously both side, allies and axis soldiers, spilled out of the trenches and gathered in the middle, exchanging gifts, playing soccer and discovering the humanity before them. The generals,reacting in horror of the implications of such a spontaneous act of generosity, forbade under the threat of death such fraternization and so the war continued. But for one moment, in the midst of all that anger, hate and violence, a new force emerged.

It is as if there is a strange attractor called love which is lurking just behind the facade of our ordered world.

A friend of mine told me a story about being a door gunner in Vietnam. In the middle of the utter carnage of the war he witnessed an incredible act of selflessness A copter had gone down and a white man was trapped in the wreckage. The copter was burning and no one was willing to risk their lives to rescue him. Suddenly from the ring of observers a black man broke through the flames and pulled the man from the flames. My friend described the moment as feeling like an angel's wing had just passed by.

A strange attractor took over.

Isaac Newton spent his life struggling to find order in the universe. One wonders what might of happened to history of science and the world if there had been a bit more kindness and compassion in his personal life. Would an open heart have helped move him beyond mere determinism?

We are having an opportunity to find out the answer to that question. The causal relationship between many aspects of our world is under threat from the dynamics of change. If we try to cling to the old order then we will be whipped about like the last person in a chain of people on the move. In this scenerio the sum total of the energy of the moving snake of people is communicated down the line and sends the final person flying.

There is an emerging sense that on many fronts, from the economy, to global weather, to pollution, to political instability, to technological weakness that complex systems are spinning out of control. We can contract in fear and try to exert control over forces we do not understand or we can hold to the philosophers stone in the middle of this change: in the heart of chaos is new possibility, unheralded opportunity and the capacity to transcend our small and petty self interest. There are domain basins of magnificence lurking just beyond our sense of global unease.

New networks of cooperation, fertile new ideas and technologies, more compassionate action, a revolution in political power, new business paradigms, medical miracles and a more livable planet may be just on the edge of chaos.

And a minor little date change may be the butterfly wing which brings it all about. Is there not some elegance yet to be found in this universe?

-- (_@_._), September 12, 1999.

What an excellent essay! I've printed it out, and it will be required reading for my two college-age kids.

It's quite impossible to rapidly follow such a well thought out and presented act, but my mind is beginning to gnaw on the bones, so perhaps I'll try to add something later.

Thanks again, whoever you are.

-- Lon Frank (, September 12, 1999.


I think that one of the toughest problems presented by your question, is the question itself. What is "normal" in our lives today? In this context, "normalcy" implies a way of life, a lifestyle, if you will, which exists, and is expected to remain essentially unchanged. Or, stretched a bit, a rate or direction of change that is expected to be more or less constant.

Just two generations ago, my grandmother lived out her entire life within fifty miles of her birthplace. She never traveled beyond the boundaries of the U.S., and died at the age of thirty-five of tuberculosis. She was certainly considered to have lived a "normal" life in "normal" times Yet, this same life would be considered quaint, eccentric, "quiet", or even tragic by today's general consensus. My own mother was brought home upon her birth in a horse-drawn wagon, witnessed the landing of the first men on the moon, has traveled the world by jet, and has surfed the internet.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is we can never return to normal, because normalcy is the cloak we gather about us. We carry it along as we go, and struggle within it for protection from the winds of chaos all around us. Perhaps for some, "normal" is now a warm dry dwelling, abundant food, societal support, and personal liberty. But for others today, that normalcy is as fantastic as any science-fiction daydream. (Perhaps, for some of us, normalcy IS the science fiction daydream. The quest for further and more rapid change.)

But in the spirit of your question, I could foresee a cataclysmic Y2K effect resulting in a definite fork in the road of history. In his novel, "One", Richard Bach explored the concept of life's pathways, their constant choices and consequences. Chaos theory applied to individual lives. The cumulative impact of daily decisions, or of monumental changes, upon the collective of individuals which make up society.

So, which pathway will we take, individually, and as a society, should Y2K present such opportunity? Shall we see the continued worship of greed which has been instilled in us, or shall we respond with new-found sense of humanity and compassion? The great Texas historian, T. R. Fehrenbach, coined the term "Homo Economicus" to describe the motivation and actions of the white man during the westward expansion of America. Will exploitation, on whatever scale, continue to be a cornerstone of our concepts of commerce? Or will the beating of the butterfly's wings upon our civilization truly result in a more compassionate, cooperative, and fertile society? Isn't change the true normalcy? After all, we each and every one are born ignorant, which may prove to be the saving grace of the species.

The one certainty is that some of us will find a return to normalcy, and some of us will not. But in either case, and whatever the effect of Y2K , it probably will not be the normalcy of today. That is to become our history.

In parting, I will leave you with an excerpt from one of my favorite poets:

We were ancient, even when young. Our wisdom was from before time. The soil then claimed our souls, even As now it claims our bones.

We lived by our sinews, Our history written on the skin Of women; our glories, On the faces of men.

----Excerpt, "Anasazi", Canyon Walls.

-- Lon Frank (, September 12, 1999.

We will still be human beings with all their best and worst inherent qualities. Thus, it's a given that we will ultimately rebuild in way that reflects our needs and longings and hopes. It is my hope that what we do and make is more reflective of our humanity, not shackling us into the roles of glorfied machine cogs.

We will have the lessons of history and abundant records from which to restore things as we see fit. We will still be infected with the meme that open exachanges of information and knowledge serve to benefit all. On the other hand, we will likely be very mistrustful of plugging ourselves into huge, impersonal systems that control our habits and frame our perceptions. I think we will favor the small, mobile, and flexible over the White Elephants of the past.

To look for precedents for the 9-10 scenario, I suggest reading _The Fourth Turning_ to get an idea of how people to respond to and grow out of crises. Also, consider what happened in the aftermath of the Bubonic Plague of the mid-1300s. Population declined for a long time, but out of the mess came young princes willing to take risks and open themselves to new ideas that their older siblings and parents once turned away. The result was the Renaissance, which began in Venice and the Netherlands in the 1400s. Out of the Renaissance came an explosion of new technology, new styles of governing, new philosophies.

I suspect that a crisis from time to time is good for progress. If there were no crises, intellectual & technoligcal progress would plateau and people would be bored and decadent, filled with the notion that they have reached the high point of civilization and can go no further. While bad things happen in a huge crisis, the chaos shakes people out of their perceptions and their cozy routines, allowing them to grow in new directions not allowed or thought possible before.

No nothing I've said here is all that original, so I'll shut up now. But my prediction is that we'll ultimately positive changes BECAUSE of y2k unfolding in 10, 20, 30 years. Ultimately we'll be inventing all kinds of new things once suppressed by the the intellectual/corporate elites. Petroleum, for example, will be replaced by solar or new hydrogen energy. The distribution/production of energy will finally be in the hands of the everyday citizen, not vast oil/power conglomerates. This change in power will make things vastly more efficient, propel economic growth at a massive rate, and allow space travel and colonization to open up for all of us.

-- coprolith (, September 12, 1999.


I like your vision. Is is quite interesting to think of the Renaissance as being spawned by the Plague. I guess most cultures have had beliefs in, and evidences of, a Phoenix arising from the ashes.

I too, think that history provides clues to the future, but in the case of Y2k, I believe that historical reliance may prove to be misplaced. For instance, the Black Death was a societal crisis, but with most of society's resources remaining intact. There were still forests for shelter and fuel. The land and water still provided food. The cattle and wild beasts gave skin and wool for clothing and textiles.

But today, much of our society's resources are informational in nature. It is, after all, the information age; information technology, information systems, information highways. This resource of knowledge and the free flow and flux of it, basically provides for those of us who do not build our own dwellings, who don't grow our own food, who own niether fuel nor cattle.

How will we cope if this resource is truly lost to us? As I mentioned above, we are all born ignorant. Surely, the accumulation of knowledge and technology could not simply be reinstated in one or two generations. Yet the loss of this resource, or the crippling of it's mechanisms is precisely what Y2K is about.

Will we, like the Phoenix, arise from technological ashes? Will our nature allow for the even distribution of power, either political or solar? Or will prosperity only once again begat greed; will community again begat intolerance?

I am sorry if I am sqawking like a storm crow. I too, wish to see our own renaissance begin, and hopefully we can rise above the tyranny of dogma, the corruption of power, and the desolation of our souls when nourished only by selfishness.

-- Lon Frank (, September 12, 1999.

Wow! Thanks gang. Lots to go over here, but right now isn't the time. I plan to respond tomorrow. Looking forward to reading these posts and continuing the discussion then.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 12, 1999.

Will: Thanks for the clarification.

Tricia: I just post what comes to mind... dont know where the thoughts come from. I also find it difficult to even imagine, which is one reason I decided to post the question in the first place. Many times, I post a question in the hopes of trying, with discussion, to clarify things in my mind.

Dancr: Glad to see that you continued your post. Have you heard of the book called And Thats the Way it Isnt by Brent Bozell? Based on your post, I think you may find it worth a look. It has been my opinion that the mainstream media, which irrefutably has been consolidated into the hands of less than two dozen individuals (ownership), basically sings the same tune in the same key at the same time. A good resource (though somewhat dated by now) to check regarding this is the book Who will tell the People by William Greider. It is hard to believe that so much media is owned by so few. The ramifications of this should be obvious to all but the most obtuse reader. Y2K isnt pleasant. It is not sound byte friendly. Senators and other government officials have made it plain, consistently, (even in last weeks national press conference), that perception management is job #1. Koskinen himself stated this. Avoiding panic is seen by TPTB as the first priority, not preparing a nation for uncertainty. So in partial answer to your what is wrong question, I would suggest that much of the mainstream press is actually rewarded for not making waves and keeping to the script, which continues to be Dont Panic whatever the costs.

And now, to our unknown poster, I write the following:

I dont know who you are, but I would like to tell you that your post was one of the most thought provoking and wonderful responses I have ever encountered on this or any other forum. Deep and Heartfelt thanks. Please do not be a stranger. (In some ways, you remind me of someone who used to post here that I and others had a great deal of admiration and respect for. Anyway... )

Regarding Strange Attractors, Paradigm shifts and Y2k: A fascinating story with which I was not familiar. Thanks again. I also find it ironic (or is it poetic justice?) that The same trick of shortening which brought Lorenz to his discovery of Chaos Theory is literally creating havoc in the world's computing grid through what is known as the millennium bug. Actually, I believe that our world lives on the edge of chaos by default, covered by the thin and psychologically accepted veneer of what passes for civilization and order. As I have posted so often, we go from uncertainty to uncertainty. Chaos is the reality underneath the fagade. That is one reason why people are always surprised - no, even more than surprised - AMAZED, at certain things that happen around them or to them. They are only on the surface of very deep and turbulent waters.

Your examples from Chaos Theory are elucidating. We cannot rely on certainty. To a large extent certainty doesnt exist in reality, and if it did, it would be subject to change. Very few things are immutable. I particularly liked that part about a What may appear as chaos in the upcoming period may in fact be evidence of a larger order, a grander sweep of history at work.

Maintaining control is the requisite fallacy that enables us psychologically to accept the fagade as total conceptual reality and dismiss the underlying reality of Chaos. This is part of human nature. It is exacerbated and promulgated with cultural underpinnings that are based on our perceived place in the world. In other words, the world is perceived by our species as existing for mankind, rather than mankind existing as part>/b> of this world. Maintaining control, which is I think illusory, comes at the expense of living in balance with the world as part of it and not its ultimate master. Unchanged, this irrationally arrogant path has a price. It is called near-extinction.

The third option where you describe the stream of possibility verging on Chaos mediating between the different layers of reality (perception based) is very interesting to consider. While your proposed solution of migrating towards the edge of chaos to enable the butterfly to flap its wings is idealistic, I find it compelling. IMHO, if it happens it will not be by choice; rather it will be forced upon people, as most true change is  especially a paradigm shift of the magnitude you articulated. Whatever new domain basins come into existence will result from this, probably dynamically, and not be planned in the ordinary context that we use the word. The aggregate of these new domain basins may determine the overall shape of the larger order but it may take quite a while for this to coalesce. Change remains the only constant.

You are also right I think to bring up the permeating force of indelible attractors such as love. This can be a factor that may play a much larger role than one would expect, along with other real but intangible imponderables. And as you surmise, we have an opportunity to answer some questions. Just as important, I think we have an opportunity to ask some important questions. We should remember that the Chinese anagram for the word crisis is two words: Danger and Opportunity

Lon and Corprolith: Ill be back after work to respond to your posts as well. (I just ran out of time for now) So see you later, Rob.

All: More thoughts welcome!

-- Rob Michaels (, September 13, 1999.

bold off I hope

-- (, September 13, 1999.

Lon: Certainly, normal is subjective and multifaceted. Both individually and culturally. Most folks who have traveled outside of their home country get a dose of this. And you are right in that normal changes as a function of time. Everything does. What I was specifically referring to in the original post are the collective things that we have grown accustomed to in our way of life, day in and day out, as a society. The fork in the road you mentioned was where I was hoping to take the thread, and where it ended up. Perhaps coprolith is correct, and one of the paths will lead to what will someday be construed as a Renaissance.

coprolith : There have been some interesting previous discussions that revolved around favoring small, mobile, and flexible over the White Elephants of the past. Thanks for the suggested reading. I will pick it up. One very popular book, written from an investment point of view, is the landmark classic Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. You may find it interesting.

I often-times really wonder what progress actually is. Perhaps I will start a thread about it. It seems to me that this word is both misused and also used way too often. When I see someone weaving dangerously in the car in front of me because they are talking on their cell phone (and it is not an emergency) it makes me shake my head. Yet that same technology used by someone pulled off on the side on the road calling for help does I think represent progress.

Your point about crisis and necessity is a good one. In a somewhat different context, I believe that it was Thomas Jefferson who said something like A revolution every 30 or 40 years would be of great benefit. Y2K has the potential to do the shaking you mentioned.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 13, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Here's some more about keeping the internet free at OT: Government Censoring the Internet

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), September 14, 1999.

Dancr: Your link above is to this thread! I think you wanted to point Here

Anyone up for more discussion?

-- Rob Michaels (, September 14, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Yep, you're right. Specifically, to here :)

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), September 15, 1999.


I just had a quick chance to scan this intersting thread, and admit to ahead full of cobwebs this morning - so bear with me.

Your vision of places under local control is a bit naive, or it depends on your definitions of 'local' and 'control'. You live near the only port on the left coast which is easily approached in any type of weather. You also live near huge agricultural resources, supplying a vast amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts, milk and other commodities worldwide.

Because of valuable resources and tactical placement, your area has not been under local control for over 200 years. It was nearly under Asian control, it has been under European control, as well as Mexican, and the US. { I can hear all you grammarticians howling in pain! }

I'm not trying to flame you, I just think your premise deserves a bit more of a historical perspective.

-- flora (***@__._), September 15, 1999.

Hi Flora. Have you ever read the old thread called TBOTWAWBI

The concept of 'local control' was one part of that discussion... which if you haven't seen you may find worth a look.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 15, 1999.

Good Mornin' Rob,

Yeah, I enjoyed watching that thread develop. In my life the only thing I really count on is that things will change, usually in ways an oracle wouldn't have seen coming. Fortunately, I'm disposed to look for silver linings and mixed blessings.

My daily life leaves me feeling a bit like the guy on the Ed Sullivan show who has all those plates spinning on top of long thin poles. I look forward to getting back to this thread when I can digest the whole thing, in fact I really came back to see how many dog gone pages I'd have to print out if I wanted to take it with me... gotta go , one of those dang plates is getting pretty wobbly!

Thanks for starting another gem, Rob.

-- flora (***@__._), September 15, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Fora said: Dancr..., Your vision of places under local control is a bit naive, or it depends on your definitions of 'local' and 'control'.

I'm sorry, I'm having trouble figuring out what you're talking about. Looking over my three posts on this thread and the other thread I linked to this one, I'm trying to figure what "vision" you're talking about. Did I discuss "local control" or even "local"? This is not meant to be a confrontative question. I don't know, I'm asking. Maybe this converstation is happening at a level that is over my head? Brain fart or something... maybe you have me confused with someone else?

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), September 15, 1999.


I'd quickly scanned your post of 9/11, where you said:

"I would be happy to see a world where people had more control over how they choose to live their lives. I would like to see companies have to pay more to access "the commons" of clean water, and pay more to keep the air clean. This would, of course, reduce economies of scale, and return services and manufacturing operations to local control."

If the future 'locals' are going to be the future 'controllers' of the resources, some of the folks will no longer be able to afford to build the kind of houses they'd like to live in on the most productive or desirable land.

-- flora (***@__._), September 15, 1999.

I'm glad to find this thread, Rob,...even more pleased with what I've read so far of the thoughtful replies. I need to return to it and finish, but wanted to post first gut reaction to the question of "getting back to normal". So, from the gut....

A year and a half ago my sister's youngest child (Billy, age 12) was struck by a car while crossing the road on his way to school in the morning. He did not survive his injuries. My sister, her daughter, and the rest of the family have had to look at the concept of "normal" up close and personal as we never have had to before.

Now, I've never been fond of the whole idea of normal mind you (tongue in my cheek),...cos I never "felt" normal as external referents described it. Be that as it may, what I rediscovered as our family did personal and family grief work was that "normal" cannot come back, but a "new normal" can be found, created, identified, etc.

This is how I'm looking at what we humans individually and collectively build should worst case scenarios manifest as predicted. I think we will each have to create "new normals". It will be difficult, as we will all have to grieve the loss of the good stuff from the "Old normal"....but it is possible, just as possible as my sister creating a normal life without her son.

So hope and sadness fills me, and 'nuff for now. I must go back and read everyone's thoughts more thoroughly now.

Thanks for the great thread.

--She in the sheet upon the hilltop, feeling the breezes upon her face.

-- Donna B. (, September 16, 1999.

First a quotation:

It seems to me that the most powerful thing we can do to deal with the social issues and opportunities we each care about is to join together to increase our society's ability to fruitfully deal with ALL the social issues and opportunities we face. If we do that, then our favorite issues will likely be handled better. If we don't do that, then the issues we care about will likely continue to be mishandled. And we will all continue to drift towards unparalleled catastrophes.

Tom Atlee, April 1999

This from the close of Tom's essay at

Thoughts from Tom Atlee

-- Donna (, September 17, 1999.

Donna: Thanks for the posts and the link to Tom Atlee's essay. "Co- stupidity". Never heard that term, but yes, some interesting points were made which fit right in here.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 17, 1999.

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