How will people react if things get bad? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I Apologize for any spelling errors in advance....

I have been spending the last week reading everything in sight about the y2k problem. I've been homless this summer (since april) and have had no acess to a computer, but now am more worried than ever (i was WAY worried last winter- the time of my preperations).

One thing I wonder about constantly is people, and how they react under stressful conditions. In some, I have seen, it brings out the best, in others the worst.

Mentally I have catagorized the possible scenerios as such...

Level 0: no disaster

Level 1 disaster: Problems, but nothing so major that they cannot be worked around. Some technologicly dependant companies and goverment entities can no longer operate. People loose jobs but find work doing manual stuff that aging computer systems cannot do due to the date change. Recession of some degree.

Level 2 disater: utilities and banking intermitant an/or are plagued by problems. A big excedrin headache for most people. Energy crisis. Serious, long term problems of variying degrees in parts of the world. Needs (heat/food/water) are still avalible, even if scarce. Depression of some degree.

Level 3 disaster: Nonfuntioning utilities, basic needs to life are scarce (heat, food, water, etc.). Everyone is basicly left to provide these things for themselves or as a comunity on the local level. TEOTEWAKI of some degree.

Now, I live near the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. As you may well know I am poor. Even with the low tempratures I still sleep outside. I understand hunger, thirst, and cold. However, I have had time to become accoustemed to these things. I understand that most people have not.

How are people going to react with a level 2 or 3 scenerio? What kind of personality types will make decisions that may lead to the harm or betterment of their fellowman? People will change when placed under extreme stress, and do things they never would have thought of doing while things were "normal".

Types of people (my theoretical possibilities; these change and develop new meaning on an ongoing basis)

Starting at the top, we have the people with the highest good in mind: the type A-B superdynamic personalities that are charismatic leaders able to weld people together to create a workable system for dealing with the changes that have taken place. We think of these people as "christ-like" or "budda-like".

Just below them, we have the folks who have kept virtues higher than their base instincts, and actively work to the betterment of themselves and others without resort to unessacary harmful measures. These people handle stress well, and help others to manage their stresss. "noble" or "Awake"

Just below them we have the caring people: those who give out of virtuous reasons when they see situations that warrant it. They are concerned primarilly with themselves, but have compulsions to "do what is right" if it helps others.

In the middle, we have the follow the crowd types, who tend to react as others do around them. They are concerned primarily with themselves and close family, and try to "get by". "sheeple"

Below them we have the selfish people, who are concerned only with themselves and close family and treat oustiders with mistrust and coldness. They are likely to keep what they have to themselves, and expect others to do the same.

Below this we have the bad folks: people because of background or other reasons seize upon troubles as an oppurtunity to futher themselves at the expense of others. Looting and murder in pursuit of needs is justified, because it is every man for themself. Rape and other crimes are rationalized.

Below this we have the monsters in human form: people who have little regard for human life and act manevolently for purely destructive ends. Very dangerous folks. Borrowing a visual I saw once in an economics treatise.....

This is the range of personality types (if the above is true)

Super good people Virtuous people Good people Moderates Selfish people Bad people Monsterous people

I feel that currently, due to our living conditions (society, way of life, etc.) that people tend to be grouped into the upper portions of the spectrum. The majority fall within the good-moderate-selfish range, with more people who are virtuous and super-good than those who are bad or monsterous. (imagine a bell curve that has a center of gravity high on the spectrum)

I feel as the levels of disaster increace, people will feel tremendous pressure in their personal lives to move towards the bottom of the spectrum. (an ever slumping bell curve to the lower personalities). This pressure will come primarially from desire for food, water, heat, first; then for comforts, sex, and validation from others. Other pressures include fear (of the future, death, fates worse than death) and gain (of wealth, things, power).

I am by no means an athority on people, I can only draw from thoughtful expierence. I hope this post will evince thoughtful discussion on what we can expect from others. So far, the prevaling attitude is that the worse it gets, the more "evil" people will become (or be capable of).

One interesting opinion (from a county prosocuter one of my freinds talked with) was that of all the people in prision, only about 15% were truely evil. The rest were there as a result of bad decisions and circumstances, but were nice enough if circumstances allowed for it.

So if we have 1,800,000 people in some kind of correctional facility, that leaves 270,000 as being "truely evil". give or take, barring those who are evil, but have done nothing to end up in prision.

I feel that I currently fit into the Good-giving person catagory. But have evinced a tendency under stress to either be Virtuous or to be Selfish, depending on the situation at hand.

If TEOTWAwKI happens, I expect about only 10-15% of the population to take any real action (migrate, move about searching for food) before they become too weak with cold/hunger/thirst to do anything about it. In the minneapolis/st. paul area of 3,000,000; this means 300,000 to 450,000 people on the move/taking actions of some kind other than huddling around the fire dying of hypothermia/asphyxiation. I live in a non-southerly direction, so people are less likely to head my way (I would hope they would try to get to a warmer climate= south). So if only 10% head my direction, this means I would have 30,000 to 45,000 people moving through my area, in the addition to the 10,000 that live locally. So if we assume that there are roughly 50,000 people in my area during a TEOTWAWKI scene, and 15% fit into the "evil" (monstrous people catagory) due to the new and added stresses in peoples lives, this would be roughly 7500 monsterous folks. If there are twice as many Bad People as monstrous (the thugs and theives), this would make 15,000 bad people.

15,000+7500=22,500 people I would rather not meet in a dark alley.

Almost 1/2 of the total of 50,000

If the worst happens....

Due to finances and constrictions, I will plan to remain in the area. I know what to eat that is provided by nature year-round. (this winter my diet will be cat-tail roots and pine-tea along with other similar things). I expect the deer/turkey population to last a week maximum in a worst case scenerio. I fully expect to be living outside almost the entire winter, dodging the bad people and waiting for them to kill each other off and die of starvation. I know of others preparing for the worst/hoping for the best, but they are dependant on generators/foodstufs/fireplaces. Such things I am convinced will draw people like moths to a flame if the worst arrives. One cannot escape notice if there is the population of a city moving about the landscape, going house to house in search of the Basics. I hope to show as many people as will learn how to find good things to eat/places to be warm, but I am aware that many people will be unable to adjust to the new diet/comfort level in time. My girlfreind has been unable in our excursions to eat enough calories to maintain body temprature and energy levels. This scares me, and I'm afraid she will die if things get rough.

I have found much evidence to support all three disaster scenerios; and by the lack of widespread concern, support for "bump in the road" scenerio. One thing is for sure- we will all find out soon. I feel it is more important to know truth than to be "right".

I hope this has been helpful to you. I am sorry if I rambled on and got sidetracked. I wish you the best of luck in any event.

-- Lonelyroads (, October 18, 1999


Lonelyroad, BLESS YOU! I wish you peace, health, and Love. Thanks for your well thought out words.

-- Debi (, October 18, 1999.

Do whatever you have to, but head South. Hitchhike, catch a freight train, beg for a one way bus ticket. I have always wondered why homeless people stay in northern cities? To be hungry is one thing, but why be cold?

-- Bill (, October 18, 1999.


Your courage shines brightly. Keep on keeping on. If you want to talk, email me.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, October 18, 1999.

Get to Texas before all this happens. Nice warm weather most of the winter except a few northerner that blow in but nothing like the fridget temp of the north. I hear Dallas would be a nice place to be.

-- y2k dave (, October 18, 1999.

Excuse me for my ignorance, Lonelyroads, but whose computer are you accessing? A friend? Can you stay with them? Or an Internet cafe?

-- Preparing (, October 18, 1999.

Lonleyroads, why were/are you homeless? Seems like someone with your intelligence and foresight would be gainfully employed. Obviously, you are familiar with a computer, and I see "Help Wanted," signs in fast-foods restaurants all the time. Your girlfriend and you can find enough nourishment from homeless shelters. The homeless around here are good at dumpster diving and hang out around the back of restaurants finding stuff to eat. I'm not buying your story, and I won't apologize for it either.

-- suspicious (suspicious@suspiciouss.xcom), October 18, 1999.

Another way, and the only one I can stomach any more after a year and a half of endless speculation about "people" and their reactions/responses is this:

Pointless and moot to ponder the reactions of others if as individuals we have not factored in how we-each respond/react/perform under stressors. If I consider that will not run amok, shooting and pillaging, it would be patently ridiculous, to make predictions about the mindless destruction-potential of 'others'. Look in the mirror. Either convince yourself that you are somehow far above what you perceive as a madding crowd, or you are one like many others who will attempt to remain sane during a crisis, any crisis. Look in the mirror.

Ask: How will I respond?

-- Donna (, October 18, 1999.

Ah the noble homeless savage. You subsist on cat tail roots and pine tea, you have the soul of a poet/philosopher and live in the frigid north.


And I am Euel Gibbons....

Get a job and move south. You have WAAAAAAAAAAaayyyyy too much time on your hands, buddy.

-- Ynott (, October 18, 1999.

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

To those who disbelieve this poster's story: I lived in Minneapolis for eight years before moving here. I know that there are people who live outside, there, who will not go to any shelter. They were unflatteringly known as trolls, because they sleep under bridges. There is also a sizable group who live in caves along the Mississippi river. As a frequent visitor to many of the local public libraries, I also had an opportunity to notice that there was always a steady stream of them coming into the library to get warm. Even ten years ago, most of the libraries in the Twin Cities had computers available for public use. As is true in most other places across the country, these now provide internet access to people who either have no computer of their own, or who wish to post anonymously.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 18, 1999.

Clarification about me.

I'm sorry If my posting confused or left "holes" in my story. I really didn't think people would be all that interested in my personal life.

I have enviromental Illness. I'm severly allergic to natural gas, fermaldahyde, petroleum products, many cleaning chemical compounds, and indoor molds (basements are paticularly bad). The only place I can really be and not get Feverish, Sick, and "pounding" headaches is in the outdoors. To be frank, I feel best when I'm outside. When I said "homeless" I meant I have no place to live indoors that won't make me sick. This has affected me to some degree for the past 10 years or so, ever since I had carbon monoxide poisioning when I was 14.

I have held sporatic jobs over the years, each one however managed to bring me in contact with substances that weakened my health. The last two years have been very difficult, as my Illness is worse than ever. I continually search for work that will not negatively impact my health, and am receiving help in the endevor from a state vocational counselor.

I read widely and as much as I can. The whole world Intrests me. Some of my favorite subjects are Military Theroy, History, Gardening, Political Thought, Current World Affairs: Generally most non-fiction. I also write a great deal, draw (poorly in my opinion :) ), and design things.

I have been living outside either at my girlfreinds farm, at a nearby state park (in the wildlife refuge area), or on my parents screen porch since last april. Last winter I was forced to stay inside my parents house and from october to april, I had a temprature of 100 or more for the duration. It spiked to 104 several times. I was borderline pshycotic from the constant pain. (advil makes the pain worse....)

My brother has let me use his computer these last 2 weeks, I have it on a roll-around cart so I can push it oustide to use it or roll it in when it starts to rain. I'm inside right now (and last night to compose that letter) because I'm afaid to damage the computer with the cold. It makes me feel sick to be here, but I'm very interested in this. It's supposed to snow tonight i'm told. I often wake up from the cold if my blankets shift off me during the night.

I feel terrible about being a burden to people, and extra mouth to feed, which I why I use natural sorces of food. I still eat the same as everyone else most of the time (due to the charity of my parents and my girlfreind), but have gone for periods (1-3 days at a time) eating only Wild Plants. When I tell you that it is literally Impossible to starve to death in this climate, I'm not kidding. I've been learing about foraging for almost 5 years, and only during the past 2 years or so have I learned pretty much all there is to know about sources of food (locally) and how to prepare it. During the warmer months, I have yet to go into a forest or meadow, sit down, and not find an edible wild plant within reach. Winter is naturally harder, simply because there are only about 6 main sources of foods, but they are soooo prevailent in my area.

One of the things on my list of preperations is to make several (5-10) shelters of sticks, leaves, and snow along with stacks of firewood. These shelters will be scattered around in about a 20 mile radius of my girlfreinds house. In addition to the 2.5 year supply of food for one person buried in 2 week/sized containers all about this same area. The food (rice/beans/pasta) is a backup, as it does not have the nutrients needed to stay healthy, but is readily avalible with a minimum of effort. I also have Non-hybrid seeds set aside. My total bill for preperations so far is 600$ (of my own money if that matters).

I have a feeling I'm going to regret sending this response. I really don't like to talk about myself this way. It may come across as an attempt to gain sympathy or something of the kind. I just want people to know that I am for real, and I do really care about what they think. Living the life of a "noble savage" is exeedingly hard work- and average of 8 to 12 hours a day must be spent on some sort of survival task. I like the comforts of civililization (books, showers, light, people), and yet I cannot fully take part in it they way I would like. I have been praticing to be homeless (since I became Ill) like the people who inhabit the alleys of each great city, but if I were to go there, the car exaust would likely kill me over time. There is never a need to eat garbage.

I have a loving family, a caring girlfreind, many freinds and aquaintences. I call myself lonelyroads because that is where I find myself walking/riding my bike. One of my favorite things to do is to try and get lost and then find my way again.

Well, I'm going to have to cut myself off.

Please Ignore this post if it brings up feelings of cynicism and disbeleif. My original intent was to get people's imput on the psycology of humans when they undergo drastic stressful events. I did not intend to cause discord of any kind on this BBS. I have tried to be as truthful as possible in the intrest of helping people to uderstand where I'm coming from.

Thanks for your time

-- lonelyroads (, October 18, 1999.

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

You know... I had a feeling you were for real... from one sickie to another... you might like to check out this thread on Environmental Illness at Humpty Dumpty.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 18, 1999.

Below them we have the selfish people, who are concerned only with themselves and close family and treat oustiders with mistrust and coldness. They are likely to keep what they have to themselves, and expect others to do the same.

Below this we have the monsters in human form: people who have little regard for human life and act manevolently for purely destructive ends. Very dangerous folks.

It wOUld aPPeaR THaT YoU HavE BeeN SpyING On diETeR!!!!! hOW ELsE COuLD YoUR AnaLIsIS Be sO DEadLY REcoNED??????

-- Dieter (, October 18, 1999.

I cant understand why your all bothered about this you should all read Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield that will put all your heads right, after all we are all souls trapped in a body,born to die which means we can finally leave the physical world & go home, so to whom ever reads my message stop THINK about who you are, look around you what do you smell, what does it remind you of, what do you see & hear. LONLEY ROADS u might be homeless u might not but at least u have opened up peoples minds & thats what matters. The planet should be working together not mindless fighting like in Iraq, we people of only existence in the universe we know of & look at the state of us, we can achieve more togehter as all being friends, living for mutual understanding thats all I have to say bye for now.

-- N/A (, April 05, 2003.

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