Percentages and Perspectivesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Hi gang. Well, here we are on the day of the Y2K Movie finally. My thoughts go back to last Thanksgiving and the interest and excitement we all felt anticipating the first 60 minutes Y2K special. Not to be forgotten was the immediate reactions and all-night flame wars that followed on the forum, accompanied by the big yawn of J.Q. Public - a yawn that has continued. Will this movie change that and wake people up? There are a number of possibilities.
From folks that I have spoken with, including family, friends, and co-workers, it seems that expectations are polarized: it will either scare the crap out of folks and a panic will ensue Monday morning, or it will be just another Hollywood disaster movie with absolutely no consequences. I disagree with both. Just as there is a polarization of expected Y2K severity (BITR vs. TEOTWAWKI) among people familiar with Y2K, there also seems to be a similar polarization in anticipating the impact of the movie on the 'average viewer'. May I suggest that there is a middle ground here. Is the middle ground just as hard to find with anticipating the movie as it has been with Y2K anticipated severity? From what I have seen and heard, the answer seems to be yes.
It is important to understand that most people would rather be entertained than forced to think, especially about something unpleasant like Y2K. It is also good to realize that people turn on the tube primarily for entertainment. Entertainment is the perspective many will be viewing it from. What makes this interesting is that there will be some percentage who are already Y2K aware, like this forum, who watch it with a different perspective right from the start. Perspective is important. Most folks do not want to see or hear things that disagree or challenge their perspectives. I think there will be some percentage of folks who see it and start ROTFL, and others will take it more seriously, perhaps very seriously. I think a realistic outcome is that for some of the people watching who are not quite sure where they stand, this will be a triggering event that will motivate them to make at least some level of preparation against uncertainty. The 'just in case' crowd. People always have their own best interest at heart. Human Nature. The question is: what percentage? Even if the majority of viewers watch it and take it seriously, ask yourself how many of this subset of the audience will actually get off their butt and do something. What percentage will get past month after month after month of carefully orchestrated 'perception management' and start thinking for themselves? Is it realistic to think that a two-hour movie will accomplish this?
OTOH, there is also a percentage of folks that will not believe the disclaimers and follow-up reporting (spin) and think the movie represents absolute reality. These are the same folks that have never gone swimming in the ocean since seeing Jaws. What percentage will have this perspective? If it is a relatively larger percent, then there is another question to ask: Even if there is some level of panic is there enough supply to meet demand, thus mitigating the panic. Remember that people always want what they cannot have, and as soon as you convince them they can have something, then they no longer feel the irrational, exigent, compulsion for getting it.
Back to perspectives. Certainly there will be a wide audience. It is 'sweeps week' is it not? Realize this is not about 'truth, justice, and the American Way' - it is about Ratings. Percentages - again. The networks will be using the Ratings as their barometer of the movies 'success' - that is their perspective. Many here on the forum will be thinking about the percentage of folks that may start preparing as a result of watching the movie and it's overall impact - another perspective and barometer. If you were the President of a bank you would probably have yet a different perspective and as you watch and contemplate this movie and its potential aftermaths. Perspective has a lot to do with how we each will view the movie. Each of us will see the same movie, but each of us may not see the same things. Ever see a police report of a car accident? Ten witnesses have Eleven opinions as to what happened (one changes their mind).
Much of this comes down to percentages and perspectives. How many will dismiss it completely, how many will panic, how many will thoughtfully consider the potentialities, and importantly, what percentage of viewers will subsequently modify their behavior? My opinion is that it isn't likely to be black and white. Not much in life is. There will be a wide range of reactions. Will there be another big yawn, as there was last Thanksgiving? Will there be national panic? Or will what happens be somewhere in the middle?
Percentages and perspectives. Time will tell.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 21, 1999
The tv movie "Sarah Plain and Tall" will draw a lot of families away from the y2k movie.
-- Carol (email@example.com), November 21, 1999.
If we don't get the oil from Iraq, it does not matter how many movies they show about Y2K, it will be a wake up call regardless.
-- bardou (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 21, 1999.
Rob, how wonderful to see another thread of yours, new. Time warp back to the Forum's Golden Age.
We're looking forward to watching the movie. Gotta have some entertainment!
How others ppl will react is beyond us -- ppl have been behaving so oddly for some time now ... we never imagined at the beginning that Y2K would become this dirty secret word, burdened with all kinds of "memes" and spin, PC, accusations, gatekeepers, turf wars, catch-phrases, swirling cover-ups, etc.
To us, it's still another disaster, likes earthquakes, which happen, and for which one can try to prepare. Only this one is simultaneously globally systemic and We Know When. And the biggest factor: Man-Made.
The reaction has been incredible so far. What a zoo.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), November 21, 1999.
I can't remember where I read this, but in some review of the movie they were interviewing Ken Olin (the thirty something star of the Y2K movie) and asked him if he was going to prepare for Y2k now and he said "no" , he "wasn't much of an alarmist" To me this was so incredible how someone could be so close to the psychology of the beast and yet not be moved. I guess it makes sense when looked at in the light of the past year and a half. Either all of us on this forum have gone insane or the denial is so deep that there is no penetrating it, no matter what evidence is presented. I continue to be stunned and confused. Thank you all for your interesting perspectives.
-- a mom (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 21, 1999.
Carol: Yes, that plus the first cable airing of the restored Wizard of Oz, plus sports. Plenty of distractions, uh, I mean entertainment.
Bardou: Glad you mentioned the developing oil situation I would probably have missed it otherwise.
A&L: LOL. Thanks. It feels good to be back and actually have more than 10 minutes. I expect this to last for a week and then it is back to the grind for a few weeks.
A mom: I can see your point about Ken Olin. One thing that I believe is that people refuse to seriously consider what they do not agree with, unless and until what they do not agree with can no longer be denied. By then its usually too late.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), November 21, 1999.
A mom: Consider this: maybe Ken Olin was just SAYING he isn't preparing. Would you tell the whole world?
-- preparing (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 21, 1999.
Exec. producer, David Israel said "If it inspires people to prepare a little bit for a potential emergency,thats a good thing,not a bad thing".
Ken Olin said he "may take some precautionary measures". I taped the news and that was part of his comments.
-- Maggie (email@example.com), November 22, 1999.
Wilkommen Herzlich, Rob, I've missed seeing your addy--"son of dust." Always liked that. Individuation in an age of rampant monoculture is always welcome. The movie? Total Yawnsville, intended to keep everyone asleep. Only a committee could create something so abject, so dim-witted. Emblem of the Age. Disconnected, "like a patient etherized upon a table," unable to confront the evidence arrayed before it, We the People are in for a rather rude Awakening. "And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more, Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied, The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor." (Yeats)
-- Spidey (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 22, 1999.
Hi Spidey. Its nice to be back, for however long this break lasts.
FWIW, I have spoken to 5 people so far this am about the movie. Three didn't see it and two did. Of the two, one said she thought it was "very interesting but scary since it really could happen", the other just shook her head in agreement and started talking about how the grid went south.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), November 22, 1999.