debunkers article part1greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The Millennium Contagion Is Your Mental Software Year 2000 Compliant? by Aaron Lynch Thought contagions are beliefs that program for their own copying in humans much as computer viruses do in computers. Their self-spreading effect explains the techno-apocalypse ideas swirling around the Y2K bug, including secular hell-doomsday ideas, logic-resistant strains of myth, and embedded rumors. [sort of like '3day winter storm' and 'a full year for testing'] Knowing this can help everyone, and prevent the panicked departure of programmers and other key personnel just when we need them most. [what panic? What departure? Gee, if we 'need them' so badly, why is departure such a bad idea? Why should geeks risk their lives? They aren't the marines you know they aren't paid for that.. it should be a personal decision, not a mandatory martyrdom]
If digital electronics had arrived 100 years earlier, then the multifarious hodgepodge of problems we call Y2K would have gone by a completely different name, perhaps Y19C, Y1900, or even C-20. As a century rollover problem, it only strikes by coincidence at the dawn of a millennium. Calling it a century bug does not in any way diminish its importance or the need to fix it: it remains a very real mess with costly consequences and an unforgiving deadline. [But YOU don't worry about it.. no no no, let the gov't deal with it, and the corporations, regular people making preps is uneccessary] Yet we also have a "bug" that reallydoes relate to the turn of 1000 years. It does not lurk amid the transistors or databases, the ROM memories or old vacuum tubes. It inhabits the minds of human beings. Not a problem with how our brains track time, it arises from a weakness in how we share information amongst each other. It is the millennium contagion--the millennium thought contagion. [same old mantra, 'it's a people problem' well, what about the lying, dissembling and procrastination that got us into this mess? When can we expect and essay on that?]
Thought contagions resemble computer viruses in one key respect: they "program" for their own transmission. Such beliefsself-propagate by inducing evangelism, abundant child raising, and dropout prevention. Beliefs harnessing these humanfunctions most effectively out-propagate the "weaker" variants. Evolving like life forms through natural selection, thoughtcontagions vie for ever stronger influence in human lives. [ok, I'll buy this]
The similarities to biological evolution even inspired Zoologist Richard Dawkins to coin the word "meme," rhyming with "dream," to denote a gene-like or virus-like unit of culture. Memes range from socially positive to outright destructive, much as microbes run the gamut from beneficial to harmful. Especially powerful in matters of religion, sexuality, reproductive issues, family life, and health, meme contagions reach deeply into our personal lives. An increasingly robust theory known as memetics can express this in mathematical and symbolic terms without biological metaphors. However, it does not take equations to see that memes exert major effects on the information health of society.
A classic example of thought contagion comes from Christianity, which has a large complex of memes motivating adherents to spread the faith. The idea that unbelievers go to hell moves believer to spread the faith to anyone they care about. Thisidea spreads faster in combination with various other beliefs. For example, the hell meme combined with a "love your neighbor" meme inspires adherents to convert more than just friends and family, indeed anyone yet unconverted. Memetic volution does not "care" if it is mixing a negative idea like hell with a socially positive, beneficial meme like neighborly love. All that matters to memetic evolution is the result: more converts won per host per year than for the competing Pagan and Jewish beliefs.
Combining with a third belief that "the end is near" spreads even faster still, by telling adherents that the time is running out to "save" friends and loved ones. [and this is a bad thing? That's why christianity has survived because people went out of their way for each other, if ideas DIDN'T spread this way we'd all live in small tribes having a life expectancy of about 25 and there would be NO y2k problem, duh!] Many evangelical sects believe that the end is near, and they rank among the fastest growing varieties of Christianity in modern times. Taking the idea very seriously, they even name the time leading up to apocalypse with a proper noun: the End Times. Ancient Christians also thought that time was very quickly running out, and this belief helped Christianity out-propagate Paganism and Judaism. Initially, the idea served a purpose to those who viewed the end of time as better than Roman rule. That got the idea started and accepted by an early audience. From there, it took on a life of its own by urging believers to hurry their efforts to "save" others.
After Christianity spread across Europe, the apocalypse belief lost much of its contagion. The preaching it inspired would mostly reach those already converted and those who had heard but rejected the message. With persuadable adults scarce, the main avenue to spreading the faith became child raising. So memetic evolution tilted further toward the big family doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, which where already spreading in Roman times. Because the hell idea still moved people to pass the faith to their children, it never faded. And as generations grew up with no experience of early evangelism or failed doomsaying, fresh waves of doomsday fervor could again sweep the continent. Major outbreaks happened before the year 1000 [gee what with the vikings destroying europe and all, those crazy christians!] and the year 1033, as documented by scholars at the Center for Millennial Studies. Lesser outbreaks focused on dates all the way up to the present. [so? Those dates didn't have to do with say all millstones, wagon wheels, ships etc. having a flaw which must be fixed by a certain date] But the more memorable the apocalypse date, the longer people retained it and the more easily they spread it. This favored ideas of apocalypse on the century and on the millennium. The Biblical book of Revelation played a big part, by prophesying an End Times era of a thousand years. Just one little detail held beliefs in check: the world refused to end on schedule. So the apocalypse memes hardy enough to pass down over the generations asserted an imminent end, but without a definite date. This keeps some sense of urgency while preventing the dropouts that happen whenever aprecisely scheduled doomsday does not happen. [again, so? This has little to do with y2k. y2k has never happened before, so the only comparison that can be drawn here is between states of mind of various peoples across time, a dubious undertaking. I can see it now 'hey hans, it's 3 minutes till 1000 AD, here let me record your thoughts for posterity']
As the year 2000 approaches, a secular hell-doomsday vision spreads the same way. This is the infectious panic swirling around Y2K. As with religious belief, ideas of "hell on earth" spur the most urgent evangelism. Many, for instance, have come to believe that electricity, water, fuel, and food supplies will collapse irreversibly. Airplanes will plunge from the skies. Nuclear weapons will launch at the stroke of midnight. And if the weapons don't fly, then financial chaos will still cause mass starvation and food riots. And so on. [oh great every y2k clichi, notice how he uses WILL instead of MAY, you sound kookier that way!]]
Those accepting the direst predictions have a strong sense that time is running out, since they expect the catastrophe to start immediately after 1999. [wonder why that is?] Survival thus depends upon evacuating urban centers, stockpiling food, drilling water wells, and so forth. [well, it' attitude mostly but those things help] But one must first believe in the Y2K cataclysm to be saved. [not really, I'm a nice guy, I might save a few uninformed folks if I can] As with the religious End Times memes, the secular strains naturally move believers to save friends and loved ones. So doomsday believers urgently spread the dire news of "what lies ahead" in January of 2000. [so?] Their extreme predictions spread well when combined with American survivalist memes, which give detailed instructions for how one can be saved. [unlike those predictions which used 'media memes' and can be spread via TV, movies films, newspapers koskinen etc etc] Like an evangelical religion, the meme package effectively says, "Convert, and you will live." Meanwhile, those who know that prosaic life will continue are generally unmoved to go forth and tell everyone about it. [and you KNOW this how? (see Koskinen for marching orders I guess)]
A particular expression helps secular and quasi-secular doomsayers distinguish their message from pure religion. That is TEOTWAWKI, "the end of the world as we know it." In some, the meme arouses fantasies of joining the few survivors toinherit the world. [that's what survivors do rigth?] Such a selfish appeal that helps it spread. [as opposed to the selfish 'nutin's gonna happen gimme another porno and cheeseburger meme. Now I know I'm getting personal here but sheesh! He calls US selfish!?!] The TEOTWAWKI idea also differs enough from earlierreligious thought that adherents try to persuade people ranging from atheists to Pentecostals. The wider base of "eligible"recipients helps the meme spread faster. [wow! Y2k preparation has spread like wildfire hasn't it?]
Once someone acquires the Y2K "hell on earth" belief, the meme serves itself by deterring dropouts. [sort of like the 'we'll all laugh at you' threat] Like the religious threat of fire and brimstone for those who renounce faith, the secular belief threatens terrible things for those who "erroneously" change their minds. These include visions of starvation, violence, and death to oneself and loved ones. Such dropout prevention helps the belief not only persist, but also spread. Persistent belief enjoys more copying than momentary belief.
When new listeners hear the "hell on earth" warnings, the meme can manipulate their thinking toward accepting it. [only kooks prepare for y2k only kooks prepare for y2k only kooks..] Like religious hell memes, the Y2K hell memes imply vast suffering for misplaced skepticism but little penalty for misplaced credulity. [well, that's the nature of y2k isn't it? Risks and stakes right?] So the memes of doomsday with hell on earth achieve the three ingredients of major thought contagion: high transmission rates, receptivity in potential converts, and persistent belief in existing converts. [well, I've yet to see it, maybe you live someplace special, or maybe you just derailed that vicious little meme all by yourself, you brilliant son of gun you!]
The doomsday belief is also more vivid and emotionally gripping than the prosaic belief. When infected by a vivid, emotionally gripping meme, people have a hard time setting the thought aside. They keep thinking about what it means to them. And people tend to talk about what they are thinking about, if it's not too private. So the vivid, gripping meme provokes more re-tellings per week than does the prosaic, boring meme. If meme A compels 60 minutes of thought per week, and meme B compels just 6 minutes' thought per week, then this alone could cause up to ten times more tellings per week for meme A. The growth advantage is compounded weekly for a very fast contagion. Like the effect that powers those vivid, gripping stories called urban legends, it adds to the contagiousness already caused by thinking that "time is running out." [ok true enough, but people, believers or no, haven't done anything, so you win right?]
Further dissemination comes from the fact that news writers, reporters, book authors, and movie producers usually prefer vivid, gripping stories. Most of us already like telling exciting stories instead of dull ones, because we crave the extra attention it brings. The only difference with media professionals is that they earn cash for the attention they generate. Those who receive boring news tips or discover bland realities usually know better than to do a story on it. Rather, when they find alarming or sensational ideas, they know they have marketable material. As writers and reporters catch news memes from each other, the effect feeds on itself to produce escalating intensity in everything from royalty scandals to urban legends. Serious topics like Y2K are often distorted by the process. [you bet they are! They are reeeeaaaalll boring now!! But just wait!! That is unless of course you keep churning stuff like this out! Better get your carpal tunnel insurance paid up bud!! We need you!!]
Even those of us who conscientiously refrain from sensational coverage can unwittingly impart extreme ideas about Y2K. It simply takes less time and effort to explain the worst case Y2K situation than it does to explain why the worst case often does not apply. So we can accidentally mislead readers and listeners to think that everything digital will fail at the stroke of midnight. In digital methods of measuring how fast a substation voltage is rising, for instance, most embedded systems do not need to use dates at all. Programmers can often just create a digital table of the last 1000 readings and the number of microsecond clock ticks between readings. The time difference between any two voltage readings is then the total of intervening clock ticks. [good, come up with a dozen or so examples of technical brilliance from each sector and we can all go home right?] Yet such technical details are harder to explain in today's quick news stories. Power companies do need to perform extensive checks and corrections of date sensitive software. But ideas suggesting that the whole power grid will automatically collapse are easier to spread than the more complicated truth. [which is? I'm willing to sift through your bombshell 'truth' document 'the power grid is fine and here's 10,000 reasons why' at any time no? well, then I'll consider those systems y2k guilty until it's proven otherwise, thank you very much] As parts of worldly hell-doomsday scenarios, these easily voiced catastrophe memes spread more vigorously still.
Along with the general apocalypse meme, there live many little supporting Y2K thought contagions. Think of them as "embedded" thought contagions--with more of them out there than you can shake a chip at. [oh very cute, tweak the yuppies superior sense of humor, very cool, were you on the high school debate team?] Suppose that three people contemplate the Russian nuclear missiles, for instance. [now picturing empty shells hammered out of old garbage cans being hauled across red square while old, now dead Russians salute gravely] driven One of them concludes that the date problem will paralyze the ballistic missile fleet, leaving all missiles incapable of launch. Another concludes that things will continue as usual, and that computer glitches could not launch the missiles without humans pushing red buttons anyway--explaining why we have survived as long as we have. A third speculates that the computers will divide by a date equal to zero, leading to an error condition. And instead of a HALT instruction or program crash, the third person envisions the program still running and performing its most complicated task: targeting and launching the missiles. The first two people have more sophisticated understandings of how missile systems work, while the third person has serious misconceptions. [oh so major problems with russian military systems is supposed to make me feel BETTER?!?!] Yet the third person has a much more gripping, vivid idea. He spends far more time thinking about it than the other two people, and therefore expresses his thoughts far more than the others do. Eventually, he concludes that he must warn people to get out of the cities and escape an imminent nuclear hell. Each person he persuades then feels motivated to warn still more in turn, in a self-amplifying cycle. After a while, nearly anyone attempting to independently research the subject encounters erroneous articles and postings. [like this one]
Another "embedded" thought contagion is the idea that civilization will end if the power grid goes down--an electric apocalypse. [well the phrase 'electric apocalypse DOES sort of imply bad stuff right?] It gains some of its credibility from the fact that no one person knows in detail why our complex society will function tomorrow, let alone on January 1, 2000. [so for you it's an article of FAITH that it will? If so, then why deride OUR FAITH that it won't? what an arrogant SOB] Looting did break out during the New York City blackout of 1977. And the word "infrastructure" tacitly implies that society would cave in without the power grid. [we're talking about extended periods here bud, not 3 days, more like 3 months, if we were saying 'it's all over if the light go out!!' we wouldn't have BITR scenario now would we? Everything would be TEOTWAWKI right?] But military history shows just how difficult it is to make a civilization collapse by bombing all kinds of infrastructure at once: electricity, telephone, railroads, roads, bridges, airports, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, sea ports, etc. Iraqi civilization, for instance, did not collapse despite the terrible bombing campaign it suffered in 1991, combined with embargoes and disastrous losses in Kuwait. So civilizations prove far more robust than their public utilities. [living 'iraqi fabulous' doesn't appeal to me either] Still, those who think "the end" will come from a power blackout feel more compelled to spread their ideas than those who know that societies can weather much worse adversities. [ah, so bring on the eithiopians to calm us down and tell us how starvation isn't that bad, and then maybe we'll get that can do spirit back!] Furthermore, most of today's citizens have no direct memory of how people survived the civilian hardships of a war in their home countries. In America, most of our parents and grandparents do not even have such memories. This leaves today's population more susceptible to fantastic claims about what would happen in a major power blackout--especially in America. [and more susceptible to not being able to handle life in a dangerous situation either, you can't have it both ways buddy boy] With wide susceptibility and high communication rates, belief in the electric apocalypse spreads lightning fast. [yawn] Even the embedded thought contagions have layers of more deeply embedded thought contagions. One of these is the notion that gasoline cannot be pumped in a power failure. A mechanic could easily re-route the plumbing at the pump stand and re-power the station's air compressor with a small gasoline motor. This would get the gas flowing quickly in an emergency. [at what cost? For how long? When will the gas tanker show up? Excuse me but I'm gonna keep prepping thank you] But the idea that the gas won't pump without electricity is simpler to express and provokes more urge to warn others. Most listeners do not have enough mechanical know how to reject it, too. So the doubly embedded thought contagion spreads widely in the world of Y2K lore.
Embedded in many Y2K stories is a scary idea that glitches will bring the end of neighborly cooperation as we know it. Scenarios now circulating suggest that we should expect our neighbors to turn into thirsty, hungry monsters who will kill for food and water. [maybe not on day one, try day 10, then again there WAS comraderie in Dachau, so we shouldn't be worried] This idea may seem more plausible in an era when most people don't know their neighbors. [name your neighbors, all of them within walking distance hurry hurry] Yet in reality, people tend to cooperate during disasters. [umm this one ain't and 'act of god' there will be plenty of blame to go around, nesides describing it as a 'disaster' or even a potential 'disaster' doesn't cal me down any] For instance, if a disaster really does close food markets, then people would cooperate to truck in tons of surplus grain, bartering if necessary. [lol!! Ok, sure.. how many trucks for NYC!!?!?! LOL LOL LOL] Still, the more vivid idea of "everyone for himself" motivates believers to warn others. Along with the warnings of social anarchy come urgent exhortations to buy guns, drill wells, and stockpile food. These ideas spread particularly well on the Internet. After all, most believers would hesitate to tell neighborhood acquaintances, in effect, "I will soon start defending my household against you with guns." But the Internet allows one to talk about defending against neighbors in a forum of non-neighbors. There, distorted views of how communities behave in a crisis can spread in synergy with other TEOTWAWKI memes. [yup thank god for the internet]
Some embedded thought contagions start in the financial markets. Investors with the most extreme views of the Y2K threat may show more interest in technology firms that test and fix the potentially affected systems--at least until late 1999. As with all stocks, these investors become financially motivated to express their high estimations of the stocks' value to other potential investors. This helps spread extreme Y2K memes in financial circles, but may also contribute to misconceptions of Y2K as nothing but hype. Moreover, people investing in high technology stocks use the Internet more than investors in low tech companies: knowing technology enough to invest in it correlates with knowing technology enough to use it. So Y2K investors may have more skill in spreading their ideas electronically than do investors in low tech companies. Joining themare some executives of Y2K companies who also let financial interests affect their Y2K forecasts. Opposing them are the online investors who short sell Y2K stocks, and who also know how to spread their ideas electronically. They, too, have financial reasons for spreading their ideas through online investor forums and conventional publications. Some even claim that Y2K is just a "lucrative fraud." Such conflicting financial memes spread for other non-Y2K stocks as well. But with Y2K, the severest warnings sounded by executives, shareholders, and underwriters provoke evangelism even from private citizens outside the high tech investor community. Those who have already announced the end of the world cite financial articles selectively to boost credibility. Others spread the messages mainly in hope of saving people. [still not making me feel good bub, it seems the 'hype' crowd has won, and you were angling for a 'balanced approach, no panic, just fix it, well hate to be the one to dip my fly in your ointment, but is hasn't happened so shall I save a spot for you in the bunker?]
Software companies and their underwriters have little interest in forecasting an inevitable end of civilization. Like most corporations, they plan to stay around in the next century. In contrast, survivalist merchants clearly do stand to gain by foretelling the end of normal society. These include outfits selling non-perishable food, remote real estate, survival books, generators, water wells, guns, etc. Some may masquerade as "concerned citizens" setting up alarmist web pages, while others support such web sites through advertising. Some now promote their products on radio and television, too. Still, most apocalyptic belief comes from non-commercial persuasion. People usually regard mass media sales pitches of new products with some skepticism, while most of us give more credibility to the opinions of friends and loved ones. So commercials might help spread the TEOTWAWKI belief to some people. For others, commercialization can have the opposite effect: it gives them a chance to dismiss the dire warnings as a sales gimmick. This can preempt them from catching non-commercial persuasion from their friends. Either way, survivalist merchants will continue to capitalize on demand created by grass roots thought contagion. [ok so, again we have no agreement and y2k fixes get drowned in the noise.. remember programmers are people too and are susceptible to 'thought contagion' both ways, it seems to me that the 'balanced' approach was abandoned in 97 and now we are left with panic-survivalism and utter denial, not a good combo folks] Conventional institutions that have already fixed their Y2K problems [name one] still have a memetic problem. If a large bank, for instance, says it has brought its information systems into compliance, cynical listeners will still doubt it. They'll say the bank is in denial, attempting a cover up, or engaging in conspiracy. Others will sound the alarm unless they see foolishly overpriced "proofs" of compliance. These ideas are more frightening and mentally gripping than bland expectations of normal banking in 2000. [expectations are not reality, so why are expectations of normalcy any more valid than expectations of chaos? Shouldn't we be going over the evidence here/ 'just the facts ma'am'] So the cynical memes about the bank spread quickly on open media like the Internet. The conspiratorial variants also resist logic. The information equivalent of multi-drug resistant bacteria, there are few kinds of facts that could possibly "kill" such memes. After all, trying to refute a conspiracy theory can get you dismissed as either avictim or participant. So multi-refutation resistant strains keep the banking apocalypse meme going strong, especially in those who already like conspiracy thinking. Logic resistant strains emerge for the overall apocalypse meme as well, creating public challenges to more than just banks. [logic resistant polly memes are also a problem for emergency planners and those who tried to get funding for y2k work in 1995-1998 remember?]
Refutation resistance also comes from regarding the non-doomsayer as a "Pollyanna." Those who learn to apply this word to anyone doubting the apocalypse can easily reject challenges to their beliefs. So they retain belief and the sense of urgency longer. That helps doomsday movements using the term spread faster. This makes the word "Pollyanna" unusually common in Y2K discussions. [hope so, a sense of urgency is what we needed in 95, our lack of said urgency may result in panic in 99 not good again. But I see his point, you should never call somebody a pollyanna just because they don't believe y2k will cause any problems. Listen to their arguments.. then call them a pollyanna]
The more psychological term "denial" also works this way. Used ever since Freud's four defense mechanisms, the term describes how real people often do react to threatening thoughts. Yet doomsayers can allege "denial" far easier than non-doomsayers can ever disprove it. The non-doomsayers presumably have to explain all the details of why society will function just to clear that single term "denial" from the discussion. Besides, denying denial is still denial, making it perhaps the perfect source of refutation resistance. "Denial" thus becomes central to Y2K meme complexes that people have not dropped, and helps those meme sets survive and spread. [so now you've turned another one over on us? 'it's all been fixed and you are in doomer denial'? gee, I hope so, lay it all on me, I hate stress]
Thought contagions permeate our online technology forums too. If an engineer knows a solution to a critical problem, she mayjust work diligently to solve it, perhaps marketing the fix to corporations through a new consulting business. But if someone else hastily decides that the problem has no solution, [or that there is no problem] he may feel compelled to warn people in multiple forums. Others feel compelled to publicize problems that don't exist. They might, for instance, think that today's cars incorporate date information in the engine timing computers, and announce that such cars will suddenly stop at midnight. Since public Internet forums areopen to postings by non-experts, the misbeliefs that inspire re-transmission are well represented. So even the "high tech" forums act as reservoirs of infection for information viruses. [ in short don't believe everything you read] Not surprisingly, some of those proclaiming the end of the world are also experts in such high technology fields as computer programming. People in many professions regard their line of work as the most important, or nearly the most important in society. Conversely, we more readily choose a profession if we already see it as very important. Programmers and electrical engineers are no exception. [ah here's goes the 'computers aren't that important anyway' maneuver] This can make them emotionally receptive to ideas that society will collapse if malfunctions hit whole categories of their products. Normally sharp thinkers can therefore become uncritical of extraordinary claims swirling around Y2K. [and normally dull thinkers will accept industry clams as fact too] Once they accept such claims, the same professional pride can lead them to spread those thoughts. Saying the world will end from a crashed product line is a roundabout, unconscious way of declaring, "My profession is crucial!" The thought contagion reinforces itself, too: once some technologists express the TEOTWAWKI meme, it becomes more credible to other technologists. Though still a minority among their colleagues, they help spread the meme to those lay
-- jeremiah (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 17, 1999
The writer of this essay has some interesting ideas, but some are completely erroneous. The author makes several statements about Christianity that illustrate his ignorance and blind bias. For instance, he makes the assumption that Christian beliefs such as "hell" and "love your neighbor" are vague ideologies that were dreamt up by someone to propogate the spread of Christian religion. If one looks closely, however, these beliefs are the basis of Christianity.In reality, the concept of hell was around long before Jesus walked the earth, and that of course is when Christianity took root. The fact is, Judaism and Christianity are linked by the Old Testament, which clearly perpetrates a "love your neighbor" theme (see 10 Commandments, etc.) This too was before Jesus uttered the aforementioned phrase. The author of this essay ignores another important fact regarding this issue: Jesus, along with nearly all of his disciples, died willingly for the cause of Christianity. Now, if Jesus (or whoever the author believes created these ideoligies) was simply teaching these beliefs so he could win converts to his religion, why would he sacrifice his life for them and why would his followers, as well as countless martyrs in the following centuries, do the same? So, he must not have been a deceptive liar, he must have really believed in these concepts. Which leads one to believe he was either a lunatic, or he was the real deal--the Messiah. If he truly was a lunatic, doesn't it seems odd that he was able to come up with profound teachings that inspired large multitudes to follow after him? And that none of his enemies ever even dared accuse him of insanity, because there was no evidence for it? The only logical conclusion to come to is that Jesus truly was who he claimed to be, and Christianity is a lot more than a self-propogating, doomsday religion. But the author had one thing right: it takes faith to believe in this, just as it takes faith to believe in Y2K. And some people just refuse to believe, no matter what facts stare them in the face.
-- Darren Tompkins (email@example.com), November 17, 1999.
yeah....what HE said!!!
-- iman (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 17, 1999.
Darren, your comments reveal your education in history.
In the 1st century BC and CE Levant, there was no such thing as "insanity". If a person exhibited signs of what we identify as a "mental disorder", that person was obviously "demon posessed". And, according to the Gospels, on several occasions the "scribes and Pharisees" accused Jesus of having a demon or devil.
Research, then go public....
-- Hillbilly (Hillbilly@possum.creek), November 17, 1999.
it takes faith to believe in this, just as it takes faith to believe in Y2K. And some people just refuse to believe, no matter what facts stare them in the face.
I agree whole-heartedly that the Lynch article is unfortunate in its comparisons....Christianity and "meme's". But it does make some very compelling arguments for
whyy2k hysteria got out of hand.
The question for me now is, why aren't more people moderating with the latest data? There is no longer any need to tell people to sell their homes and quit their jobs....If people want to lay up in store for percieved supply problems, they should....this is a free country, isn't it?
Why is old data continually dregded up and rehashed? Is there a point to continued fear mongering?
My beef is with the Christian community.....why are they acting so fearful? If they truly know God (better yet....are known by Him) they have absolutely nothing to fear....get a saw, cut a hole in the roof and wait for the ravens! (:
-- Bible Thumper (Jesus@is.God), November 17, 1999.
But the author had one thing right: it takes faith to believe in this, just as it takes faith to believe in Y2K. And some people just refuse to believe, no matter what facts stare them in the face.
Are you claiming that people who do not espouse the belief that Y2K is "the end of the world" or a "judgement from God" are not people of faith?
Though I make no claims to faith in this forum, I do read what some people of faith have to say regarding Y2K. There is an interesting article from the Christian perspective at Chri stian Computing Magazine about Y2K and the christian faith.
-- Andy Ray (email@example.com), November 17, 1999.
Bad computer code does not care.
-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), November 17, 1999.