GARY NORTH: "Was It Worth Protecting Your Children and Warning Your Friends?"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Subject: Was It Worth Protecting Your Children and Warning Your Friends?
For those who spent money and time preparing for y2k, let me run through obvious things that you may have forgotten temporarily.
First, you made your decision based on available evidence. More evidence was needed by all concerned, or else governors would not have had the National Guard on alert. They would not have prepared command centers. As it turned out, there was no need for the U.S. government's $40 million y2k monitoring center.
Second, you had to persuade your spouse. You needed evidence and logic for this. You did your best to sift through the evidence, but you could not devote 5-7 hours a day to collecting it.
You used Web sites such as mine as resource centers. You were dependent on what these sites published and what you read in the mainstream press.
Third, you decided what to do: buy this, don't buy that. But you had to decide. There was no escape from this decision-making process. No decision would still have been a decision: fix on failure.
Most of your friends dismissed y2k. They adopted a consumer's version of fix-on-failure, which often meant, "I'll know where to come in a crisis."
Most churches did the same. "God will take care of us," was the prevailing attitude. So far, He has, but does this validate morally a "no preparations" strategy? Men are to take care of their families (I Timothy 5:8). We have had a nation-wide drill on pre-crisis pastoral leadership. The thought of a 72-hour storm paralyzed most of them. My contention is simple: shepherds must occasionally risk becoming controversial, challenging the mainstream views of their congregations. If Red Cross-level preparations were not worth mentioning from the pulpit in 1999, what will be worth mentioning in the future?
I did not expect pastors to take my hard-line view, but I did think they had an obligation to adopt the recommendations of The Joseph Project. The JP was geared to helping the poor and preparing church members to be less dependent on conventional food supplies. There was nothing apocalyptic about the JP. Yet it received virtually no support from the pastors.
You warned friends. This was risky. No one wants to look like a fool in retrospect. But no one wants to see his friends in great distress just because no one warned them. We do not know in advance who will heed a warning of a crisis to come. So, we tell people who refuse to listen.
You had to decide: appear credible to your friends -- mainstream -- or risk looking silly after the fact. What was your credibility worth? Is credibility worth sacrificing for the sake of your friends' greater safety?
What about your degree of security now? Is it greater? If it is, was the money and time wasted?
I cannot answer for all of you. I know that I put up this site to warn people, based on evidence available to me. I wanted this site to back up my newsletter, although I did not sell the newsletter on this site. The newsletter series grew out of my desire to persuade my wife.
I told my wife that I was unsure of my ability to protect here when I was totally dependent on public utilities that I believed were at risk. Yet I had promised to support her before we married. For me to be able to fulfill this promise, I asked her to leave the city. She understood my dilemma and our dependence on life-support systems that we could not control. We are no longer dependent on them, but it cost a lot of money to achieve this independence.
My wife has been gracious. She has not complained about being uprooted. She knows that I did my best to keep her personal safety and our children's safety at the forefront. That is what a good wife does. She is ready to forgive a husband his mistakes when she knows that he made them in good faith on her behalf. A man without a forgiving wife faces paralysis. It raises the cost of his decision-making. Yet he is responsible.
I think most of our friends will understand that we sought to help them, not hurt them. But every decision has a cost. We cannot help people on a cost-free, risk-free basis. We do not live in a cost-free, risk-free world.
Fix on failure seems to have paid off so far for Third World nations, local governments, and small husinesses -- contrary to the official position of the U.S. government. But was it the wise thing to do? Lucky, maybe, but not wise.
If you have excess food or supplies, keep it for a future emergency, or give it to a charitable organization. I am sure there are people experiencing a crisis right now who could use a little post-y2k help.
But I would suggest waiting. The code is still broken, though not so badly as I thought. There are still bugs in systems. There was no year of testing, yet we were assured by all concerned in mid-1998 that a year of testing would secure the repairs. If they deserved their year of testing, which they never achieved, then we deserve a couple of months of skepticism.
-- John Whitley (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2000