A foreshadowing of y2k

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Anyone here read The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, sci-fi classic from the sixties? Prefiguring Infomagic's "devolutionary spiral". One small event snowballs into total social collapse...

-- StanTheMan (heidrich@presys.com), November 17, 1999


just like in jurassic park

-- RZN (robinsun@netscape.net), November 18, 1999.

I believe that scenario is based on the old Sufi saying:

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world will be brought about."--Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922

...kinda gives a chills, eh?

-- Boydroid (change@gonnacome.com), November 18, 1999.

The sheep look up

and are not fed.

My favorite scene in the book is when one of the characters confronts a spaced out looter and tells his secretary, "Call the pigs!" When man learns the police aren't available he tells his secretary, "Get my gun!" Then he shoots the looter to death.

-- Ocotillo (peeling@out.===), November 18, 1999.

Read it, loved it, quote it all the time. :)

But science fiction is still fiction. Far better to remind people of the shit that they can see happening to ordinary, decent people all over the world at the hands of other ordinary, decent people, if they'd just take the trouble to look.

We are NOT a nice species. And we've got opposable thumbs.

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999.

Yeah, why sci-fi? Look at East Timor, Rwanda, the Sudan, Bosnia, Revolutionary France, Hitler's Deutschland, Trail of Tears, Andersonville, etc etc etc

-- Jorn (Ohio@Sik.aorn), November 18, 1999.


True. But, in the final extreme, is "nice" a survival characteristic? I have my doubts.

We are ALL alive today because, over the history of our species, many of our ancestors chose to "shoot first (or the equivelent) and ask questions later".

It hasn't bred pacifists.

-- mushroom (mushroom_bs_too_long@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999.

Another one was "The Eccentric Orbit" - I liked all of Brunner's work out of the late 60's & early 70's.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), November 18, 1999.

There are a couple of old sci fi shorts that crack me up in relating them to Y2K. One is America so congested with cars stopping all movement rolling roads were built. And one day the rolling roads come to a halt in a malfunction.

Another is a planet that experiences nightfall once every two thousand years, and every single time it is the collapse of all civilization because the people set the towns on fire in terror of a night time experience.

At audiobookclub. com one can order Dimension X which is a 1950's radio program that tells some of these surreal and strange society collapse sci fi stories. It's really wonderful and they did a fantastic job with the special effect noises.

I was listening to it with another Y2Ker and she noted how much Americans love the end of their civilization as they know it. I think we were listening at that time to the aftermath and ongoing nuclear war, in which the people worldwide over all had to build societies under ground and continue the war below the surface, coming at one another in tunnel digging type tank ships.

-- Paula (chowbabe@pacbell.net), November 18, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ