Myths among the moths : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have long been puzzled by the disconnect effect and things with that have contributed to it. Did some serious reflecting on the issues.

Somewhere back about 20 yrs ago I remember reading a paper about earthhquake forecasting. The main point made was that when dealing with a predicted but uncertain event providing forewarning about the event to the public could create more widespread disruption than the actual event. The paper argued that this was because earthquake damage is usually localised to particular geographical areas whereas economic disruption, caused by voluntary migration following a warning, tends to be more widespread on both the source and the target areas.

Out of this correct argument in the case of earthquakes comes the following fallacy|

in the face of uncertainty the impact of forewarning and preparation costs more than putting up with disruption.

I suspect that this fallacy (or Myth)has been absorbed the thinking of disaster planners at all levels without serious reflection...

Translated to Y2K:

forewarning of the possible impact Y2K and getting people to prepare will cause serious economic disruption.

It is my view that all the smiley face stuff is presented as support for this myth.

The flaw in our cultural thinking, and particularly in the disaster planners/advisors thinking, is to believe that humans respond in the same way to all uncertain events. Panic! Not true.

There is as much variation in human responses to adversity as there is in humans.

The second myth is that people need to be controlled and when control is doubtful or removed society breaks down. Not true.

Some people need control but most are self controlled.

Kudos to all those of you who don't accept myths and are self controlled, independent and prepared for the unknown as best you know how.

-- Bob Barbour (, December 02, 1999


Manythanks for your kind words sir!

"think for yourself" what a revolutionary thought...

-- (, December 02, 1999.

I am in almost total concurrance with your point of view on this issue. Had the public been forwarned from the beginning, and had programs been implemented that encouraged the general public to take prudent steps towards insuring their own security several years ago, we could have made the date change and it's potential complications almost second nature by now. Instead we have created an attitude of complacentcy that will mutate rather rapidly into panic with the proper motivators. Ah well...

-- Ludi (, December 02, 1999.

Excellent point, Bob Barbour, and major psychological flaw in TPTB.
This will in no way be a "natural" disaster.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, December 02, 1999.


Most people will just sit there no matter how much information you give them.

Hindsight is always 20/20. We can look back in history and say "These people should have known and then they would have done the right thing."

How many Jews left Germany in 1935? How many Indians understood what was happening when they saw strange beings armed with deadly weapons arriving from UFO's (Unidentified Floating Objects) in 1500? All our largest West coast cities are built on major earthquake fault lines but more people move to L.A., San Fran, and Seattle every day. Ask any true-believer how much trouble he has had trying to convert someone to his religion.

How many people have died with their dying words being, "This can't be happening to me"?

-- woody (, December 03, 1999.

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