The difference between GI-s and DGI-s : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The difference between GI-s and DGI-s

I think the difference lies in whether we are intellectually or emotionally controlled. We all have both sides (more or less developed) but usually we let one or the other control our actions.

I am intellectually controlled (with a strong emotional counterpoint) and so I GI-ed first time I thought about the implications. Twenty-five years programming experience helped, of course. This in spite of all my emotional reactions being incredulity, disbelief, denial, horror, embarrassment, shame, anger and despair.

All my friends and acquaintances follow the pattern.

Those who GI are the ones who thought it through and decided coolly, logically, rationally that the potential for major disaster is there, therefore they have to prepare, no matter how unbelievable it is emotionally that our cozy world of uninterrupted comfort, all our lives, can suddenly end.

Those who DGI, let their emotional disbelief override their intellectual doubts (if they have any) and refuse to believe that what they feel so horribly wrong may, nevertheless, be true.

And there are those, of course, for whom the two sides (emotional and intellectual) are almost equally balanced. They have the hardest time. My brother has vacillated the whole year between panic and complacency: one day he wants to buy more stocks, the next day ha wants to buy a shotgun. Ant then back and forth again. I try to keep him on the safe side by sending him reports I read, so at least he is worried enough to keep up his modest preps, but it is quite a rollercoaster.

Anyway, let me know what you think about my theory above, I am sure I will read a lot of opinions on the subject, you guys are so creative and entertaining, I have been deriving a lot of pleasure reading this forum.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999


I can simplify your theory: DGI's "feel", GI's "Think". Nuff said...

-- Buffalo Bob (, December 14, 1999.

Alien, to put it in a nutshell, you have a developed sense of consequence.

-- Old Git (, December 14, 1999.

This has been discussed countless times before; your thoughts are probably about as good as anyone's. I do think that people who get it tend to be able to "think outside the box" more, which clearly requires a more intellectual outlook. People who tend to be emotionally driven tend to be more faith oriented, thus assuming that if the government/media assures that all is well, it must be.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 14, 1999.

In my experience, most of the people I know who GI have a significant amount of programming experience. It seems to me that the longer they have worked in the field, the more worried they are.

Go figure....

-- Stars and Stripes (, December 14, 1999.

D(W)GI and GI? Well, the only difference that I can see is that GI people don't assume that the status quo has a sort of magical inevitability to it.

I don't even think there's that much difference between pollys and doomers, other than that they subscribe to different belief systems. They both look for evidence to confirm their own assumptions. Cog-nih- tive diss-oh-nance.

There's a couple of people in the middle who do keep demanding independently verifiable evidence, but they're not very popular with either camp. ;p

-- Servant (, December 14, 1999.

I agree with Stars and Stripes, if I hadn't seen it happening in my own workplace, I wouldn't have gotten it either. I do remember losing a lot of friends in high school because I wouldn't use drugs. Amazing how some people will go along with the crowd at the risk of their own health. Now I am straining my marriage because my poor spouse doesn't get it. I guess that's just the way I am.

-- Amy Leone (, December 14, 1999.

Main difference is that DGI hope that GI are wrong; GI hope that DGI are right.

-- a (a@a.a), December 14, 1999.

I think this is a more accurate appraisal of the differences:

Three people are about to be executed.

One's a GI, one's a MOTR'er (Middle Of The Road'er), and one's a DGI.

The guard brings the GI forward and the executioner asks if he has any last requests. He says no and the executioner shouts, "Ready!...Aim!! ..."
Suddenly the GI yells, "EARTHQUAKE!!!"

Everyone is startled and looks around while he escapes.

The guard brings the MOTR'er forward and the executioner asks if he has any last requests. He say no and the executioner shouts, "Ready! ... Aim!!..."
Suddenly the MOTR'er yells, "TORNADO!!!"

Everyone is startled and looks around while he escapes.

By now the DGI has it all figured out. The guard brings him forward and the executioner asks if he has any last requests.
He says no and the executioner shouts, Ready! ... Aim!! ..."
...and the DGI yells, "FIRE!!!" :^)

-- Kitster (Its @ll_over_but_the_.crying), December 14, 1999.

The difference is that in two months, at least some of the GIs will probably still be alive.

-- (its@coming.soon), December 14, 1999.

A thread like these tempts even a libertarian to call for censorship. For the umpteenth time... the handful of mostly middle class, mostly white, mostly American TB 2000 posters do not possess markedly superior cognitive powers. The regular posters on this forum are not the leaders of the free world, the captains of industry or the "heavy hitters" of IT. If you are looking for a common thread, try a level of dissatisfaction with modern society and distrust of corporations, the government and "the media." Many regular posters feel Y2K is the tip of the iceberg. You can read about the rest of the "iceberg" in the many threads about corruption, international banking cabals, chemtrails, conspiracies, the Federal Reserve, the gold standard, over-dependence on technology, etc.

Do not confuse disaffection with "Vulcan-like" powers of logic. Many of the most pessimistic posters are deeply discontented with modern society. It is like the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant. Add an eight blind man... looking at the ass of the elephant. While the other men see different creatures, the eight blind man is quick to conclude the creature basically stinks. As you might imagine, the eight man is our pessimist.

On one level, he is right. On another level, every civilization has its ugly side. It would not be an elephant without a backside, nor a civilization without its flaws.

It is folly to declare the elephant composed entirely of ass. And sillier yet for a group of pessimists to sit around smugly mulling over why they are smarter than everyone else.

-- Ken Decker (, December 14, 1999.

Dear Ken Decker,

I suggest you reread my post and try to find the pararaph where I said that GI-s are smarter than DGI-s. You missed the point entirely - all I suggested was that the two groups give control to either their intellect or to their emotions. It us unfortunate that some people don't take the time to read carefully before responding.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.


I think it is ludicrous to take the handful of Y2K pessimists and theorize they are more governed by "logic" than those who are more sanguine about the Y2K. From the frothing I've seen from the pessimists on this forum, you will be hard pressed to find folks whose "logic" supercedes their emotions. If you were going to attack this problem "logically," you would have to establish a methodology, control groups, sufficient sample sizes and an appropriate instrument to measure "logic"-based thinking versus "emotion"-based thinking. After careful analysis of the data and elimination of confounding factors and peer review and a literature review... you might wish to gently approach a very limited set of conclusions... insofar as you are confident in every element of your research. As it stands, your pesonal impression of "GIs" versus "DGIs" is about as logical as a horoscope.

-- Ken Decker (, December 14, 1999.

Dear Ken Decker,

I am pleased that you realized your original misunderstanding and now you correctly state that all I was talking about is control rather than IQ. As far as treating it as a "scientifically proven" theory, it was never attempted as such. I merely suggested a possible and partial explanation based on my personal observation. Lets leave it at that. If you are offended by personal observations, I suggest you try to let your intellect, rather than your emotions be in control.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

Alien, it's nice to watch you and your brainwashed friends fall all over yourselves with self congratulations (which basically amounts to flatulence for all the rest of us to see). Let's take a look at your superior logic skills, shall we?

--the ability to call all/any news of a positive skein to be spin or cover-up

--the ability to revise history

--to ability to legitimize rumor, innuendo, personal beliefs above all else.

And for the record, try to comprehend that this board is not made up solely of the drones in either camp.

When it's all said and done, I am left to wonder if you'll ever be intellectual, retrospective and 'logical' enough to see how duped you were.

Decker is right. Your salute to your compatriots is wonderful, but is more narcissistic in its effort than anything else.

You continue to prove nothing...and you do it very well, I might add.

-- Bad Company (, December 14, 1999.

Ken is just about ready to pay off his car, thanks to his PR shill job. What will you do next year, Ken? Go back to writing cheap porn stories?

-- Msufai (, December 14, 1999.

Ken Decker, What are you so worked up about here? Getting a little emotional?

-- Mara (, December 14, 1999.

Internal verses External Locus of Control.

GI's have an Internal Locus of Control, meaning they have the maturity and confidence to accept responsibility for their situation, and are willing to take preparatory steps with the confidence they THEIR steps WILL impact THEIR security.

DGI's have an External Locus of Control, meaning they don't see their behavior as having a significant impact on their situation. They instead trust/blame authority figures gov/programmers/engineers.

-- Hokie (, December 14, 1999.

Hello Bad Company,

I suggest the same to you as to Ken Decker, reread my posting carefully and see what I really said. Ken Decker already realized his mistake, maybe you will as well.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

I know lots of intelligent people who put off going to the dentist. Avoid short-term pain and risk long-term worse pain. It's simply easier not to GI, especially with all the propaganda supporting that view.

-- ivan (, December 14, 1999.

Dear Ladylogic:

I haven't read all (or really ANY) of your posts that have made people on this forum so angry, but something on this thread makes me wonder exactly what you think. Of course the world isn't going to end, unless something completely unrelated to Y2K ends it. I don't think many here think it is.

I'm sure you must agree that Information Technology depends on correct information, and this is most likely to be what ends the World-as-We-Know-It. Pure and simple: Correct information, upon which we have all become so dependent and which, so far, only computers can provide.

There is somethimg I would like to ask all of you others here: How many GIs are left-handed? I know this seems completely unrelated, but being left-handed DOES make me think a little differently than most people, I believe. It may have something to do with that linear and lateral thinking mentioned on another thread.

I'd like to know: What percentage of GIs are left-or-right-handed?

-- Connie Iversen (, December 14, 1999.

GEEZ...Double Decker just HAD to get out his big shiny RUBBER STAMP to solve the problem again. The problem as he sees it, that is.

-- snooze button (, December 14, 1999.

Geez.....Sometimes I feel like this is my only place to find people who think anything along the lines as me, and other times (like now), I feel like I don't know any of you lot. As anyone knows, I've considered myself a GI, but only due to the fact that I see the the possibility(no,the probability)of a signifigant disruption to what we take for granted in our techno-dependant world. Ken, I sometimes agree with you,and I think this is one of those times.I must be an anomaly, as I am seriously prepped,based on both emotion and logic. I really can't say that one or the other took preference.I cannot be a Polly based on the evidence, but since guns are illegal in Bermuda, I'm no true Doomer, either. I really wish this forum would just try to stop with the "US & THEM" mentality,and get on with useful information and stop the sniping. Anyway,that's my piece for today!

on de rock

-- Walter (on de, December 14, 1999.


Well said.


-- GoldReal (, December 14, 1999.

Alien, you reread your post for it says that you have concluded that DGI's "... override their intellectual doubts (if they have any)". Now what does that mean? DGI's don't have any intellect or don't have any doubts? You pompous ass. Ken gave an accurate description of your post of how the GI's think they are so intellectually superior. Funny with all that logical superiority, they can't convince their friends and relatives (such as EY).

-- Maria (, December 14, 1999.


Wonderful post! I find myself thinking the same thoughts...

-- Deb M. (, December 14, 1999.

Dear Maria,

Answering your question: "if they have any" means if they have any "intellectual doubts", naturally. Don't be so defensive, nobody is attacking your IQ! I know people with superior intellect who DGI (emotional decision) and know people with modest cranial capacity who GI. I repeat: I was talking about what controls, not how intelligent the two groups are.

One suggestion: if you ask a question, please wait until you get an answer before you assume what my answer is going to be and vent your emotional reaction accordingly. I will be more than happy to answer any further questions you may have on this or any other subject.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

The funny thing about emotion is that it can be so invisible to us in our own motivation. Ken probably thinks of himself as quite a rational fellow. Its obvious that he has emotions just like anyone else does. Also those emotions propel him to speak forcefully against many things which are posted here. Its not reason which motivates us, it is feeling. Dispassionate rationalism doesn't motivate very many people to action. Feelings, even about rational issues, are what motivate us to DO.

Pollies are motivated to do what? Basicly spend their time naysaying 'doomers'. That's what their emotions dictate and that is what they DO.

Doomers are motivated to do what? Basicly to prep and to spread the word to prep. That's what their emotions dictate and that is what THEY do.

When you find information and thinking which leads you to believe that your life, in one way or another, will be affected adversely then your emotions kick in and provide the thrust to ACT. You start to change your personal expenditures and lifestyle to accomodate your new view.

When you find information and thinking which leads you to believe that your life WILL NOT BE ADVERSELY AFFECT then your emotions kick in and provide the thrust to NOT ACT. You defend NOT ACTING. You attack those who do act (in contradiction to your not acting).

One of the reasons that people on this board in these two camps do not have a dialog is that those who have moved from the consideration of information to emotionally motivated action (or inaction) have already committed to their respective emotional phase. They will not easily backtrack and come to the opposite conclusion.

In fact it is probably not personally healthy for them to do so since this may lead to a sense of rational/emotional paralysis. Once acting based on emotion is engaged we tend to 'follow through' to the end.

We notice that most interaction between 'doomers' and 'pollies' degenerates into raw emotionalism after the first volley or so. They use 'rational' thinking emotionally. Let it be. There is no changing this. Its probably healthy for the clash to come out because it reinforces the choices of each group and provides an 'enemy' which is really the expresssion of our own doubts which we are fighting against.

Enjoy the fish bowl. They say 20 minutes watching fish swimming in a tank is better than an hour of psychiatric counselling. :-)

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), December 14, 1999.

Alien, I enjoyed your perspective as well as the many responses. Let me offer an additional one.

The ability to think is composed of two separate attributes  attributes that are as unique to each of us as are our distinct, though at times similar, appearance.

The first is what I will call the technical ability to reason itself. It consists of the ability to use logic. It involves the use of concepts such as deduction, inference, abstraction, and integration. A persons ability to utilize these skills in a process of non-contradictory identification results in the efficacy of their reason  i.e. their ability to think.

Admittedly, the previous paragraph is a gross over-simplification of the process but it will suffice. The more important issue is the second attribute of thinking. It is the single most important issue to confront each of us and our response to it largely determines the course of our lives. It is the willingness to think.

I previously posted an article earlier this year on this forum in which I described a personal friend that I once knew. In the article I described a what if situation to this friend and then asked that he respond to it. Without going into the details, he found the premise I had erected to be so emotionally distressing he was unwilling to consider the implications. He simply refused to think about the issue.

The refusal to think about an issue representing deeply held emotional knowledge is a potential attribute that resides in each of us. It is subject to surface at any time on any issue for which we hold strongly believed knowledge. To remain rational, we each must be ever vigilant when emotions arise that warn us not to go there. For if we fail to be willing to question the premise(s) upon which an elegant or eloquent chain of logic is based, then the potential for that logical chain to be fallacious at its root (its premise) is all too possible.

In summary, I would suggest you question your premise that the issue of thinking versus feeling is an attribute that identifies the majority of either pollies or doomers. The case could easily be made for one or the other, in either camp.

The hallmark of the thinker is his willingness to first question whatever reality indicates he/she should, and then the willingness to go wherever the discoveries provided by the answers leads. In my judgment, this practice, begun at an early age, produces someone of impressive skill  regardless of which camp they may reside with respect to Y2K.

With respect,

-- Dave Walden (, December 14, 1999.


Finally an answer that responds to what I said!!!

You are right of course: at the bottom line all decisions are emotionally motivated. Emotions can be looked at as our gut reaction to our intellectual conviction: conscious or unconscious.

What I was talking about is that in the Y2K context, according to my personal observation, there are a lot of people who tend to ACT in spite of their feelings of denial and they tend to be GI-s. Many of my GI friends tell me the same: "In my guts I don't feel it is possible but in my mind I know it is, so I prepare".

I find this conflict quite interesting, that is why I posted my comment. I am no psychologist, so it is only a personal observation which may appear to be true only in my circle of friends. That is why I asked for feedback from you guys to see if anyone else observed something similar.

Too bad so many people got personally offended and responded to what they thought I said instad of what I did say.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.


You raised a very important question: "the willingness to think". It is a very good point and you are absolutely right: you meet many people who refuse to question their basic emotional conviction. Even those who do, quite often discard their logical conclusions because the result is too scary or action on it would be too inconvenient, too upsetting, so they throw out their results either by burying them somewhere or by rationalizing them 'away'.

All of the above has to do with what I call "intellectual integrity". I remember very clearly when I made this decision for myself decades ago: "I will never lie to myself!"

So I still think that there can be conflict between emotions and intellect and it is a telling personal character attribute how different people resolve this conflict. Wheather it has anything to do with pollies and doomers in general, I couldn't say, that is why I asked for feedback about my personal observation. Maybe I have peculiar friends who fall in this pattern.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

For the umpteenth time... the handful of mostly middle class, mostly white, mostly American TB 2000 posters do not possess markedly superior cognitive powers.

Sorry, Decker, but I, for one, do happen to have "markedly superior cognitive powers". I graduated from the small liberal arts college that has the highest percentage of graduates going on to doctoral degrees of any liberal arts college. My IQ is in the top 1/10 of one percent of the population. Of course, I'm sure you're right about your own cognitive powers, which are quite unimpressive.

-- Steve Heller (, December 14, 1999.

mr. d. still waiting to hear if i owe you an apology. Since you did not answer the question about the state of your own preparations, I take it you are advising others not to do what you yourself have done. Was your excitement at this thread the result of supressed guilt.???

-- noone (, December 14, 1999.

So far out of thirtytwo postings, there have been two that responded to the post by adding additional perspective to it (plus one really funny joke). Come on you guys, the question has to do with basic human nature and how we react to our environment. It should be a fascinating subject. I am still waiting for feedback on my observation: has anyone else recognized similar patterns?

Personal insults may be relief to some, but they are a sad proof of the authors' insecurity and this forum is generally above such silliness, although I have followed some firy exchanges before.

I am looking forward to some enlightning analysis (is there a professional psychologist out there?), however I will ignore further comments from people who do not bother to read carefully, respond to what has not been said or are just simply obnoxious for whatever (I am sure emotional) reasons they have.

Greetings to all

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.


I am not offended by your personal observations... and give them the same weight as other personal opinions by other anonymous posters on this forum who do not provide any supporting data. Maria does make a salient point, by the way.

There are many variables in the final outcome of Y2K... and no one has acess to all the information (thus my reference to the "Seven Blind" men.) The data we have (and our own professional expertise) influences our analysis. I am not a programmer... you are not an economist. If we are intellectually honest, we must acknowledge that both of our profession afford an incomplete grasp of the Y2K problem.

Given the different perspectives, the complexity of the problem and the incomplete data... divergent conclusions are rather inevitable. To ascribe the variance to personal characteristics demonstrates a limited grasp of the problem itself.

Mara... actually, I'm not upset at all. Just tired of having to post the same response to the same arrogant "We get it and you don't" post. It's the gross generalizations by people like Hokie that become tiresome rather quickly.

This is becoming a new post... By the way, Steve, you've carefully disguised your superior cognitive abilities... but your limited social graces are certainly evident.

Hi, Dave...

-- Ken Decker (, December 14, 1999.

Sorry, Decker, but I, for one, do happen to have "markedly superior cognitive powers". I graduated from the small liberal arts college that has the highest percentage of graduates going on to doctoral degrees of any liberal arts college. My IQ is in the top 1/10 of one percent of the population.

And yet you still couldn't remember making "specific predictions" about Y2K even though you published them.


-- (LOL@LOL.LOL), December 14, 1999.


you are still missing the point I was trying to make.

Fact: I have observed the pattern among my personal friends and acquaintances

Fact: I never mentioned or implied any "superiority" for either doomers or pollies

Fact: I have never suggested I have proof or data (other than my personal observation)

Question: Why can you not let go the emotional reaction to the perceived insult and react intellectually to what has been said, like two of the posts did above? If you read them carefully, you will see that it is possible to address the question and offer other perspective without becoming so involved with the poster's motivation or state of mind. It is really not necessary and just downgrades the level of this Forum.

Advice: respond to the message, not the messanger. Something like: "I agree with your observation because ..." or "I disagree with your observation because..." or I agree with the following because ... and disagree with the following because..." ot "your post reminded me of an interesting phenomenon that I want to explain here..." - you get the idea.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

By the way, Steve, you've carefully disguised your superior cognitive abilities... but your limited social graces are certainly evident.

-- Ken Decker (, December 14, 1999.

I think any unbiased observer can make his own determination as to my cognitive abilities. Just in case it's needed, here is a link to my resume again.

Now let's talk about you. You haven't disguised your moderate cognitive abilities, or at least your unwillingness to look at the evidence impartially. As for "social graces", I consider those secondary at best. But to the extent that you consider them important, you haven't behaved very gracefully by insulting the intelligence of posters on this forum.

-- Steve Heller (, December 14, 1999.

Since we are all persons with both emotional and intellectual components and, from my understanding, fall on some sort of statistical curve over which none of us has any control, to condemn each other for innate realities is a waste of time.

Also, I know that my question about the differences between GIs and DGIs might fit on this thread, but no one has addressed it.

Of course, we can't know for sure, but we could just say whether we are left or right handed and our stand on Y2K. (It seems idiotic to ask, but the SYSOPS said no question is too stupid.)

And something that the particularly adamant-for-one-position person should be prepared for is:

Be prepared to be wrong with your position.

Admit to yourself that you might be wrong.

Even though Ed has made incorrect guesses, he has admitted that he could be wrong (before he was.)

I think part of his main thesis is that each person has to gauge FOR HIMSELF the risks he is willing to accept for the odds of lots of things going the way Ed thinks they will. (I am one of the least technologically aware people here, but still THINK I 'get it'.) And Ed isn't the only expert - - as he certainly is - - who thinks lots of things will go wrong.

Also, his motivation for writing 'TimeBomb2000' was to help people who might not be at all prepared for all of these things, to decide if they wanted to prepare. He had no real advantage to his career in doing this; he was already highly respected. He has put his career on the line to help vulnersble people understand what it is all about.

Thanks, Ed!

And thank all of you who are willing to answer my ridiculous question!

-- Connie Iversen (, December 14, 1999.


And you seem to be missing my point completely. Y2K is a profoundly complex issue where no single individual or entity has complete information. As might be expected, the variance in access to date leads to different conclusions. I think your initial observation misses a critical question... why not ask:

On what data have you based your conclusion about Y2K?

With this answer, you will have some insight into the "building blocks" of an individual's Y2K decision.

In addition, you should be aware your friends and associates are probably a biased sample... unless you select these persons at random.

And a "cognitive" decision making process does suggest intellectual superiority over an "emotive" process. At the very least, it suggest a lack of the mental discipline required to control one's emotions. And living in a world where the scientific method has displaced most other nonrational decision-making processes (in terms of general validity), I think you can understand my point.

Ah, Steve, your beloved resume. I still think it needs a good re- write before you venture into the professional world. I did enjoy your meeting of the minds with "Hoffmeister."

-- Ken Decker (, December 14, 1999.

Ken Decker,Well I'll be damned,Good ole Ken Decker,I can still remember all the fun we had in school, I haven't seen or heard from you since we were both students at the Phillips School for developementally challenged children,I'f I remember your main problem was a lack of ability to interprit data and retain information. I can still remember the long arguements you had with teacher regarding wether or not one and one ALWAYS made two.Boy I remember how pissed she got when you would never accept that two was the correct answer! the last I heard you had enlisted in the Army under the McNamara 80,000 plan to allow those with low IQ's to honorably serve,How is the head wound doing? I guess your honorable discharge got you your good job with the the Government.I hope you are successful in discouraging those fanatical GI's in their preparations.We bankers,yes I am now a banker, are thankful for your good work. Let's get together soon and talk about our school days and have a few laughs,As you can see I too have overcome my disabilities and have a Great job as A Council of Foreign spokesman. It just goes to show we learning disabled can rise to the highest levels of government service. Sincerely Your Friend "Fats"

-- H fats Kissinger (, December 14, 1999.


I congratulate you for your last answer. It is precise, to the point and without the 'personal' stuff. So I will respond in detail.

Here it comes...

>And you seem to be missing my point completely. Y2K is a profoundly >complex issue where no single individual or entity has complete >information. As might be expected, the variance in access to date >leads to different conclusions.

You are absolutely right, I never disputed this, however that was not my point. See my previous note addressed to you.

>I think your initial observation misses a critical question... why >not ask: On what data have you based your conclusion about Y2K?

My post has said nothing about my personel conclusion about Y2K other than intellectually I found the potential for disruptions quite real. The point was that while intellectually convinced, emotionally I wasn't and I had to choose which of the two to base my decisions on. >With this answer, you will have some insight into the "building >blocks" of an individual's Y2K decision.

I wasn't particularly interested in a scientific answer to the question of "building blocks", even though a professional psychologist could probably say fascinating things on the subject. I was more interested to get feedback from people regarding their experience and observations of similar or contradictory nature.

>In addition, you should be aware your friends and associates are >probably a biased sample... unless you select these persons at >random.

And I freely admitted it several times today in answer to others.

>And a "cognitive" decision making process does suggest intellectual >superiority over an "emotive" process. At the very least, it suggest >a lack of the mental discipline required to control one's emotions. >And living in a world where the scientific method has displaced most >other nonrational decision-making processes (in terms of general >validity), I think you can understand my point.

Maybe in the popular culture it is "implied" however only I am in the position to tell weather I implied it or not. I have no reason to lie about it: I have not. If I did, I would have said so, like Steve bragging about his superior intellect.

In closing, let me congratulate you once more for the reasoned and impartial note. Like mature adult beings, we are free to agree or disagree about anything, no hostility is required.

-- Alien (, December 14, 1999.

Alien Tell your brother to go ahead and buy the shotgun. If the answers to your original question by what I consider to be some very "intellectual" minds causes such strong "emotional" responses. He will probably need it if things get out of hand next year.

Anyway, I have to agree with The King of Spains answer on this one. Seems logical to me.

-- ~***~ (~***~@earth.ebe), December 14, 1999.

All I know is that the more stuff I get, the better I feel. No matter how much I try to figure things out, I can't seem to get past that.

-- Bubba Smith (duck&, December 14, 1999.

Ah, Steve, your beloved resume. I still think it needs a good re- write before you venture into the professional world.

Okay, Ken, if you don't like my resume, let's see yours so everyone can make the comparison individually. As for "venturing" into the professional world, I have a little news for you: I've been there for many years.

As to my "bragging" about my intellect, that was in response to Decker's denigration of forum participants, which includes me. If you insult me, don't be surprised if I provide evidence to prove you wrong.

One more thing: Isn't Decker a forum participant too? Does his insult include himself? I guess we'd have to see his resume to determine whether he is a "captain of industry" or other "important" person. As for me, the review of Who's Afraid of C++? reads as follows: This is an extraordinary book on C++ written as a dialogue between a world-class expert and a complete novice. Probably the very best book for programming novices first tackling C++, and arguably one of the best technical books ever written.

Now let's see some evidence of Decker's abilities other than running his keyboard on this forum, or let him get off his high horse.

-- Steve Heller (, December 14, 1999.

I'm amazed.

I don't post here very often, and I usually try to stick to technical areas in which I have some grounding, but I just can't let this pass.

This "Alien" person puts forward his theory of "GI/DGI" stating:

"Those who GI are the ones who thought it through and decided coolly, logically, rationally that the potential for major disaster is there, therefore they have to prepare, no matter how unbelievable it is emotionally that our cozy world of uninterrupted comfort, all our lives, can suddenly end.

Those who DGI, let their emotional disbelief override their intellectual doubts (if they have any) and refuse to believe that what they feel so horribly wrong may, nevertheless, be true."

But of course, he's not implying that doomers are "superior" or anything (despite saying it's a matter of "intellectual integrity"), and if you feel insulted by this theory, your emotionality merely proves his point. Way to load that argument, pal.

You want additional perspective? I'm a computer programmer. I work in a building full of computer programmers, 250 plus of 'em. People who are PAID to be logical, analytical and "intellectually controlled" (some are better at it than others, of course). I've talked at least briefly with 50-60 of them regarding their thoughts on Y2K, and only one of them would pass your muster to be considered "GI".

From my perspective, the "Y2K's gonna be bad" feeling is an emotional response. And difficult though this may be for you to believe, it's possible for someone to examine all the evidence, think it through carefully without being overcome by emotion, and reach the opinion that Y2K is unlikely to have any serious effects.

Between, "Alien" and Mr. Heller, the ego strokin' in this thread is starting to turn my stomach.

-- RC (, December 14, 1999.

Hey Steve, someone forgot to tell you. Your 15 minutes of fame has just about ended. For all the corporate employers out there, Steve is wonderful. And if you don't believe it, just ask him.

-- Bad Company (, December 14, 1999.

To Mr. Steve ("I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me") Heller...

We have all seen you referencing, providing a link and/or actually copying your resume to this forum time after time after time. Now it appears you are on a new crusade to "convince" us of your [qoute] "markedly superior cognitive powers". My guess is we will now have the "pleasure" of also seeing *that* written in every other post you submit. I'm curious Steve. Do you have any idea how conceited you appear when trying to feed that bloated ego of yours?

(I'm with you RC... All this ego-strokin' is about to turn my stomach too.)

-- CD (, December 14, 1999.

Of course, those who agree with me seem to be superior people, on the whole. What makes them superior I haven't quite figured out yet. They just have a special insight ordinary people lack.

-- Flint (, December 14, 1999.

The difference? I'm starting to think that something Darwinian is going on here and that the difference might show up in genetic testing. Before anyone gets too excited, I don't see any inferior/superior implications to this and given the spectrum of "intelligence" on both sides of this issue, it's unlikely that *that* figures in either.

To oversimplify it, doomers seem to have a predisposition to anxiety about the fragility of important systems whilst pollies seem to have a myopia to such systems. There are extreme variants to both of these models. Given differing circumstances, either one of these models might be a preferred one, i.e. in safe times it would be healthier to be an unstressed polly, in dangerous times the over-alertness of a doomer could mean the difference between survival or.... discontinuation. I think that any moderate of either side should be able to agree that we're facing an unusual potential of danger at this odd point in history, so I'm grateful (for the moment) that my Darwinian makeup is doomer.

On the other hand, if I had an ounce of brains I would've been able to articulate what I was thinking. Oh well. ;-)

-- Choirboy (, December 14, 1999.

Blah, blah, blah, chest pounding between Ken and Steve, blah, blah, blah....(hey guys, not to be vulgar, but why don't ya'll just lay 'em out on the table, get a tape measure, and let's get this over with. Length AND circumference, OK?) BTW, Flint, that was a good one! I liked your comment. (Seriously, you have a good point!)

Ok, I am a GI. Husband GI'd at the same time. We heard some mention in passing of Y2K on a radio station in early 1998. Wondered what it meant. I got on the internet did a search. Was startled at the amount of information available. Researched till my eyeballs bled. Went through three printer cartridges. Read and read and read and read till the wee hours of the morning for WEEKS on end. Every single day. Didn't accept friend of friend or "I'm a programmer so I know" stories. Looked around me and BAM!!!! In that moment, I could see the INCREDIBLE fragility of our tough looking system. Had NO idea how much of my life was controlled by computers until then. The article about Y2K in the black cover edition of "Wired" startled me. (Was it this past summer? Maybe spring?)

Remembered how, in 1996, when I was working for Total System Services, Inc. as a technical writer, I had to write a bulletin for a MAJOR hard code change to their proprietary mainframe system. Total System does bankcard (credit card) processing for banks--lots of them, and some BIGGIES too (to include B of A and Citibank). They were already hand-wringing at that point about the expiration date on the cards that were coming up in 2000 and later. The programmers TRIED to find all the date fields. They TRIED to figure out everywhere it would be affected and everywhere it wouldn't. They TRIED to use a program that could find all the date fields. Worked, but was extremely limited. Not everything that involves the date LOOKS like a date. The code was not just this nice, neat package, but layers and layers and layers of code. New on top of old on top of older. Patches here, patches there. Changes and additions not well documented and done by programmers LONG gone. My God it was a MESS. One of my closest friends was the lead programmer for his part of the system (the Accounting system--the one most affected, obviously, by the expiration date) The accounting system could be broken up into 23 other sub-systems. We had meeting after meeting after damn meeting trying to figure out what the hell to do (if I was to document this--both for the techies and the customer service ops at the bank centers, I had to be in on what was happening, b/c I had to understand the change, no make that CHANGES, from all angles). I counted 37 meetings in three months in which they brainstormed, stared at diagrams, ran their hands through their hair until they were nearly bald.

THEIR FINAL DECISION? DISABLE THE FIELD!!!!!! Yep, the field itself was easily found. It was necessary to operations on a total of 372 different screens in the accounting system. That was just in the system known as TS1. There was also TS2 to deal with. The newer better faster greater system that I specialized in writing on--the expiration date field was located in 484 screens in TS2. They went through and disabled the thing. Which meant that field no longer had meaning. If you swiped a card from one of our customer banks through a POS terminal and you had to key in the expiration date you could put in anything--didn't matter.

Now to write the bulletin. More hand-wringing. And this is where it got me. As if it wasn't bad enough that I witnessed them just disabling a whole field like that ("it's just temporary, ya know, until we can get this figured out"--they never did, btw.) NOW we had to WORD the bulletin just right. The one for the techies wasn't quite as important. In fact, we HAD to be very honest in the bulletin to them, as they needed to know exactly what had happened. But the one for the customer service reps at the banks? 18--- count 'em 18 friggin meetings on how to WORD the sucker. I didn't let that bulletin go to the print shop for 10 weeks. The normal time we had one betw assignment of it and printing was about 3 weeks. I was told I had to word it so that I DID tell them about the change, but not in plain language. THAT was the biggest writing challenge of my life. How could I tell them but not tell them? That was a nightmare.

Now you wanna know why I got it? I looked around later and thought, hell if that was going on there, what kinda half-ass patches are going on elsewhere? Yes, I extrapolated, but it seemed pretty rational in this case.

And Ken, just FYI, I DO have a level of dissatisfation with modern society, and I proudly have a healthy distrust of corporations, the government and "the media". Historically, though, hey I'm in pretty good company.

-- preparing (, December 14, 1999.


That is an amazing story. Just last week I purchased something on my card, the clerk manually entered the expiration date into the machine and I noticed she entered "123199" even though my card expires in '01. Your story goes a long way towards explaining that.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet in the difference between GI's and DGI's is the possible effect of life experience. I grew up in the country on a ranch. My dad always talked about how if things got bad, we could still grow a garden, and live off of our property. Self-sufficiency was something I lived and breathed as a youngster, and the idea that "bad times" were always possible was a concept that I accepted from early on.

Later, as I studied history, I came to the realization that the prosperity of the past 50 years is truly a historical anomaly, when compared to the span of history before. It may be that the world has entered a "paradigm shift" and that prosperity is the new norm for the rest of history, but I kind of doubt it. At least there is the distinct possibility that the world could become a harder place to live in, like it was 60, 150, or 300 years ago.

Interestingly, my wife was born in the city and grew up in Suburbia. The country was some place she visited on weekends, not a place where one actually "lived." She grew up with the idea that electricity is reliable, water comes from the tap, and food comes from the store. She has had a much tougher time coming to grips with y2k and thinks I'm going overboard with it. Thankfully she trusts me and doesn't try to hinder my preps. I think that if it were up to her alone, however, she wouldn't be doing much of it herself.

My point? Life experience may have as much to do with the difference between Pollies and Doomers as any physiological and/or psychological differences.

-- rob minor (, December 15, 1999.

Flint: I agree with you totally. My wife of 42 years has agreed that I agree with her point of view. I have found that it makes for a harmonious relationship(and much more pleasent meals!).

-- Neil G.Lewis (, December 15, 1999.

I write, sew and use scissors with my right hand. I throw, bat and serve tennis balls with my left hand. This is really a question on "Are we right-brained or left-brained?", with the implication that we are right-brained. Right-brained people tend to be athletic and artistic, if that helps anyone decide.

-- Amy Leone (, December 15, 1999.

Ah, Flint with the ever pithy comment. I had to scroll back aways, before Steve Heller started his ascent to the right hand of God.... My comment was not intended to insult the cognitive ability of any particular poster. Based on my reading of this forum for the past nine or ten months, the quality of posts varies widely. This might be due to any number of factors, including cognitive ability, education, late night fatigue, etc. Quite frankly, I don't know. I also see little evidence that the "pessimists," as a group, have markedly superior cognitive abilities. For that matter, neither do the optimists as frequently evidenced by Y2KPro and others.

While distinctly unscientific, my general impression is that serious pessimists are uniformly disappointed in modern society. For lack of a better phrase... they see the glass half empty. Of interest would be a survey on their attitudes about modern culture, politics, etc. My hypothesis would be a high level of dissatisfaction. With the right random sampling, we could also test participants IQ using an instrument like the Stanford-Binet and see if there were statistically significant differences. An interesting experiment, to say the least...

-- Ken Decker (, December 15, 1999.

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