A Y2K Philosophical Moment

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

I originally posted this very near the end of the longest thread in TB200 history. In my humble opinion it bears relevance to the many stressors currently being placed upon many, if not most, of the forum members. Please note: having time to re-read and allow critical thinking about wording, etc - I have made a few corrections and edits.

Copy follows: I've been avoiding adding to this L O N G thread, waiting in hope that some true analysis would appear in its content. Alas, so far I have seen a few valiant individuals post some very worthy points, but their voices appear to be squelched in the din. So now I add to their chorus, praying that the addition will raise awareness above the ongoing cacophany.

First point - The End of the World:

This world is NOT going to end anytime in anyone's current lifetime. A simple bit of arithmetic will provide a clue. Locate an "H-R Chart" of main sequence stellar characteristics. Reference within that the mean expected lifespan of a class M-3 star. Sol, our sun is a member of that classification.

In doing so, one finds that the mean lifespan is approximately 10 to 15 Billion years. Next locate a reference that indicates the current accepted age of Sol. One will locate a value of approximately 4 to 6 Billion years.

First Point Conclusion:

Until Sol enters its expansion phase of the exit off of the main sequence, 4 to 11 Billion years from now this planet will continue to exist as a recognizable planetary body, regardless of the outcomes of what exists on its surface.

On the accepted 0-10 scale -

current situational rating: 0

expected situational rating: 0

math notes: Min time remaining = Min expected lifespan - Max accept current age

Max time remaining = Max expected lifespan - Min accepted current age

Second Point - "The End Of The World As We Know It":

Each night as we enter into our sleep, our world as we knew it ceased to be. On that day, new discoveries were made in all fields of knowledge, new inventions were created - the knowledge changed, a new chapter begun ... The End Of The World As We (collected humanity) Know It has as occured.

On an individual and personal basis - things changed as well ... children were born; loved ones died; academic, employment, marital, lifestyle, etc. conditions began, changed, or ended. Successes and Failures occur - Triumphs and Tragedies occur. Each of these brought with it ... The End Of The World As We (personally) Know It - and it happened right before our very own eyes!

Second Point Conclusion

TEOTWAWKI is a continous, ongoing event.

On the accepted 0-10 scale -

current situational rating: 2

expected situational rating: 10

Third Point - Y2K Bug:

Y2K is NOT an event, it is a process. Much as we cumulatively refer to the accumulation of all the organic and inorganic chemical processes, pertubations, and interdependencies as LIFE, the myriad of proceses, pertubations, interdependencies and effects of the date dependency errors imposed by the truncation of the 4 digit year information into a 2 digit format are cumulatively referred to as the Y2K bug.

Intrinsic to any advance is the inherent presence of errors, mistakes, foibles, and occasionally sheer folly. These are the foundation upon which further advance is predicated. No sinister influence need be imposed - they are naturally occurring.

Third Point Conclusions:

The Y2K bug is a logical outcome of a digital systems technological advance, no hidden agendas need be explored.

On the accepted 0-10 scale -

current situational rating: 2

expected situational rating: 10

Fourth Point - Conspiracies and Hidden Agendas:

Human nature being what it is, the presence of conspiracies and hidden agendas are to be expected and can not be denied. ALL living organisms seek control of its own environment. The higher the level of that organism, the wider that environment extends, and the more inclusive other organisms and structures tend to be. Humans, arguably being at the top of the organism chart, are driven to gain power and control over everything. Many have demonstrated the ability to deflect that drive into more noble actions, philosophies, and motives. Unfortunately, their number appears to be a relatively small percentage of humans.

It should thus suprise no one that these conspiracies and hidden agendas exist. Those that deny them are invariably, yet perhaps subconsciously, engaging in this process themselves. One of the most unfortunate consequences of this behavior is the creation of a self-limited paradigm, one in which their ability to act (either proactively or reactively) is severely diminished due to insufficient factual data or self-deflected awareness and/or comprehension.

There are many, including myself, on this forum who have exposed, or at least attempted to expose, to the awareness of all of the rest on this forum, a few ongoing conspiracies and/or hidden agendas which MAY have an influence on THEIR lives. This has been met with instant acceptance and agreement by some; automatic denial and derision by others; the vast majority, mute in comment, are most likely somewhere in between.

Fourth Point Conclusion

The veracity of any alleged conspiracy and/or hidden agenda SHOULD be questioned. Research is essential. Correlation and analysis is critical. But to either automatical concur or dismiss the existence of one out of hand is foolhardy at best, and potentially dangerous to life and limb at worst.

On the accepted 0-10 scale -

current situational rating: 7

expected situational rating: 10+

Final Conclusions:

Y2K IS going to be create a myriad of problems. It will NOT cause the end of the world. It is just another factor in the continuous process called TEOTWAWKI, which will be one of its indisputable outcomes. Y2K is the logical outcome of the technologies involved and the widespread implementation of that technology. Conspiracies and hidden agendas do not have to be invoked to explain it, though they abound in multitude, and many WILL play out (using Y2K as an excuse).

On the accepted 0-10 scale -

current situational rating: 5

expected situational rating: 10+

All this having been said ... the reasonable and prudent course is to assume anything MAY occur, dismiss nothing, and prepare accordingly. As promulgated by the Boy Scouts - BE PREPARED!

Human society is inherently a VERY unstable environment. Continous change is the only constant. To those that are prepared, a 1000 on the 'y2k scale' will be a BITR, a mere anoyance. To those who are unprepared, anything more significant than what is ongoing in their current daily lives shall be catastrophic..

BTW: Just so there is no misunderstanding. Based upon almost 20 years of my own personal experience, first-hand knowledge, and in-depth, detailed research (both professional and personal) - and accumulating all of the data I have on hand regarding all probable events with a high degree of likelihood of occurrance over the next 24 months - my personal prognosis is:

praying for ONLY a 10 .... expecting a 100 .... prepping for a 1000.

(my thanks to the originator for the format ... :-)

To which I add a disclaimer - as they say - Your mileage may vary!

Please take this post in the spirit it was offered. An attempt to bring clarity and balance to a murky and teetering situation.

As always, I am humbly ...

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 12, 1999


Thank you for this extremely thoughtful analysis of the issue at hand. Speaking of Y2K, "murky and teetering" is probably an understatement!

-- Irving (irvingf@myremarq.com), December 13, 1999.

A friend, who shall remain nameless, sent me this gem:

Lack of preperation causes panic.

Panic causes confusion.

Confusion causes chaos.

Chaos causes anarchy!

Anarchy is the justification for MARTIAL LAW.


Be prepared. Stay calm.


-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 13, 1999.

well said. I guess it is time to pull up that incredibly long thread and see if there are other gems on it like this one.

I expect we will muddle through. As in the example of hurricane Floyd, some people got wet, some lost everything, a lot of us watched in sympathy. The phenomena of Y2K and all its myriad of issues and "synchronosity" in terms of timing of good things and bad will affect some people a lot and others little.

Call it "camping at home" (thanks, Diane) or reasonable preparations for emergencies, or "oh My God. It's coming and I have to go buy bread and milk on the 30th", we have all made private and sometimes public decisions and argued, fought, & shared advice on this and other forums.

Who is right is becoming increasingly irrelevant. We will all know soon. The "winning" faction if there is such a thing can crow later, maybe in about 2005.

Have sure learned one hell of a lot about petroleum, embedded systems, and gold tho. Not to mention chilling things about outrunning dog packs.

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), December 13, 1999.

My Christmas present: getting to be a Polly for one day.

-- (ladybuckeye_59@yahoo.com), December 13, 1999.

Uh, just to set the record straight, the longest thread is the first Fruitcake Resistance League thread. That other thread has to go a ways to get into the ballpark, but I wouldn't put it past it.....

Just for grins.... Lady Logic's thread now sits at 260 posts.
The original fruitcake thread had 587 posts. (although it was over a much longer time period of course.)

this was as of Sat evening.
The trivia collecting Sysop # 3

-- # 3 (IAM@Number.sysop), December 13, 1999.

Lady Buckeye: Do you like to mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 13, 1999.

Although it is debatable, evolution tends to be gradual, but evolution is also embedded with significant shifts, like rings in a tree or layers in the earth's geology. One obvious example is the K-T shift. The Age of the Reptiles was a gradual process, which ended with a catastrophic shift into the Age of the Mammals. Within each of these gradual eras, a certain order is established: reptiles ruled, mammals ruled, etc. Most would agree that the Age of Man has dominated our post-Pleistocene world, which could also be considered the Age of Technology as technology co-evolved with us. Eventually, whether it appears next year or next century, another significant shift will occur, and I believe, away from technology. There are traces of that new order here today, just like the tiny shrew-like mammals that sat in the shadows of the reptiles over 70 million years ago. What are those traces and how will the blossom after the next shift? Personally, I believe it will be a spiritual shift of some sort. The question is what that new order will be?

-- hmmm (shifting@home.net), December 13, 1999.

For a very plausible scenario of post technology, try http://www.peterussell.com/WUIT/Contents.html

-- Michael (mhgentry@prodigy.net), December 13, 1999.

hmm ... you might consider doing some research on punctuated equilibrium. Seems to be a much more efficient theory than Darwinian Evolution. Several really good online references that not only look at the very long term variation in lifeforms on Earth, but also at human behavior, technological and economic change, etc...

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 13, 1999.


What I was describing is punctuated evolution. My argument is that one of those punctuated events is up and coming. My question is what the "new" shift will be toward.

-- hmmmm (shift@is.coming?), December 13, 1999.


From first glance, this Peter Russel article has great insight. He included one of my favorites from Chardin:

"The day will come when, after harnessing the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of Love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." - Teilhard de Chardin

-- hmmm? (shift@omega.point), December 13, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ