Nostalgia Topic: My Valentine to the Forumgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
TB2000, the Forum: Looking Back. February 11, 2000
A friend of mine wrote to ask whether I was back to normal now after the sustained trauma of watching y2k unfold and fearing for the worst. Hes not online, my friend; hes never seen a forum. He pictured TB2000 as a place where frightened doomsayers shivered together in a quaking huddle, feeding each others anxieties and dread. Had he been on the forum all this time, he would have been a akin to, say, Mr. Decker, or to give him more credit, Flint. He was, throughout it all, what we would have classified as a Polly, a DGI.
Now, while I can appreciate that the forum certainly would appear, from certain viewpoints, exactly as my friend imagined it, I wanted to explain to him how it had seemed to me. I think that my description, which follows, may reflect that of many who participated in the pre-rollover exchange on this board. Its my personal testimony, tribute, and thanks. Consider it a Valentine.
The forum was like an open classroom, the participants like fellow students. After following the course of the discussions for a while, you got to know the regular contributors pretty well. You figured out who made attempts at objectivity, whose view was shaped by a filter of preconceived agendas and beliefs, who cited facts and reputable sources, whose analysis was clean and rational, who was the clown, the wit, the bully, the troll. There was camaraderie and high-spirited debate. We got little glimpses into each others characters and families and occupations. We shared tips on self-reliant living. We learned about each others homes and farms and apartments.
Our focus, of course, was on Y2k, on trying to understand all the facets of the phenomenon. It was a complex thing and the factors at play were too numerous and intertwined to enable anyone to develop any certainty over our degree of risk or of our capacity to manage extensive damage to key facets of the infrastructure. We learned a lot about the workings of the world that we never, individually, considered before. We learned about markets and industries. We gained new appreciation for things like the division of labor, and just-in-time product flow. We learned about the power of public relations campaigns and the trends in mass media. We rubbed elbows with techno-wizards from every dimension of the industry. They took us with them to their meetings, and gave us pictures of what was going on in the back rooms in IT, and between the layers of management and the responses of the Big Cheeses to it all. We learned to follow the money and to watch the power plays. We pondered our interconnectedness. Our discussions wandered into the realms of philosophy, classic and new. We explored business theories and economics, politics, ethics, religion and spirituality. We batted around issues of child rearing and family life and community, of privacy and freedom, of nationalism and global government. We argued and cried together; we laughed and clawed, mud-wrestled and spat. We shared family illnesses and accidents, births and deaths. And, along with Ms. Diane, we sighed, and sighed, and sighed.
We encouraged each other. We reassured each other that we had not gone insane. We confessed our fears and darkest visions; we painted our dreams for a more positive, life-enhancing future. We shared the excruciating stress of relentless cognitive dissonance and our astonishment at the levels of blatant logical disconnect in the media and minds all around us. We raged at the barefaced hypocrisy we saw in our government. We shared our sense of collective shame over the disintegration of core values, of the seeming triumph of personal advantage over truth. We watched as the Powers-That-Be smothered the voices of those who spoke for personal and community self-reliance, burying them beneath blankets of ridicule and projecting grotesque distortions of their demographic reality to a world that Didnt Want to Get It anyway. We made up games and limericks, and songs and rhymes to escape from the moments of overwhelming sorrow. In terms of sheer, sparkling spirit, the Fruitcake Resistance League, off in the parlor, gathered the brightest and best.
Together we participated in a high-suspense global drama and watched it morph and shift and spin from front row seats in real time. Despite the combined contributions from top minds, from skilled and experienced tradesmen, technicians, and artisans of every stripe, the only certainty through it all was that the situation was too complex and the factors at play too intermeshed to enable anyone to arrive at any certain conclusions.
And that is the only certainty that remains. Whatever facts we are able to gather now lead only to further speculation; we may never know to what extent technological failures are coloring this segment of our history. For most of the class, the fact that we escaped immediate global catastrophe as the New Year dawned was the dismissal bell. Some remain to report evidence, both hard and circumstantial, of date-related failures. Their research and reporting will serve future historians well. Now and then a lurking old-timer will toss in a report or commentary and a handful of others will pop in with a greeting and response. But for the most part, the regulars have gone on to pursue other interests and to deal with other concerns.
Its seems odd that a mere six weeks after rollover this once so boisterous and vital community has largely dissipated. It seems odd that already I feel a sense of nostalgia as I look back on it in its heyday. Its a nostalgia similar to the one I feel when I look back on accidentally spending the Summer of Love in San Francisco. Both experiences were profoundly life altering. Both were powered by a synergistic blend of clear, strong minds possessed by passionate, caring, truth-seeking souls. After-the-fact words will never tell the story; either you were there, or you werent. As for me, I count myself lucky, and give thanks, for having been a participant in, and witness to, it all. You who contributed to the forums rich vitality will be a part of me forever. Thanks, from my heart.
-- Faith Weaver (email@example.com), February 14, 2000
Faith, that was beautifully said.
-- Wilferd (WilferdW@aol.com), February 14, 2000.
You're welcome...It's good to cya, Faith!!! Love your posts...eloquent as usual :-)
Remember that forum meeting we had in Ann Arbor last autumn? That hat you wore was AWESOME!!!
-- Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 2000.
Faith, your beautiful clear lucid Valentine has shot a cupid arrow of heart resonance straight into the beating drum of our passionate TB2K memories.
Your diamond posts have always elevated the Forum to the garlanded stars of a Higher Realm. Fragrant petals of appreciation wafting on the magic carpet of divine thankfulness from us to you ...
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), February 14, 2000.
I remember you responding kindly to something I wrote about my son here, almost two years ago.
It's people like you, and posting like this, that keep me here.
BTW, I left a little something for you over at the FRL thread (look for the heart-shaped box, tied with a red bow of cyber-ribbon.)
-- Lon Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 2000.
Now that Y2K has been a bust, from a doomer's perspective, what is that Pollies didn't get?
And as far as, "...we may never know to what extent technological failures are coloring this segment of our history", aren't we allowed to look outside? To go to work and see if the organization is down? To see if we can still get on the Net? To turn on a light switch? To go to the bank? L
Lovely prose, but without the beef, I still DGI.
Happy Valentine's Day, though Faith, and may I say your name is the most beautiful one there is, along with Grace and Hope.
-- Imso (email@example.com), February 14, 2000.
-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), February 14, 2000.
A very beautiful and moving valentine. And it makes me wish I had been here to share all this with you guys from day one. It must have been a truly wonderful experience.
And a Happy Valentine's Day right back atcha, Faith.
-- eve (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 2000.
Superb as usual Faith!
Our shared Y2K road may have meandered over peaks and through valleys, but wherever it took us, the cyber-people met here along the way (for the most part) were often the shimmering flowers joining us in ever greater numbers along an extremely convoluted pathway. What an experience with many, many lessons to learn that all was!
Will miss many of the very human "fruitcakes" to be found here.
Shift still Happens... and the unexpected can always be found around the next bend in life's road.
Happy Valentine's Day.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), February 14, 2000.
Thank you for this valentine message. I was in Costco just this weekend, and felt a twinge of nostalgia as I walked past the beans and rice :)
Imso, what the Pollies "didn't get" is that we live in an uncertain world, full of threats real (and sometimes imagined), and it is wise and prudent to be prepared. Y2K was about POSSIBILITIES, not CERTAINTIES.
Again, Faith, thank you for the stroll down memory lane...
-- No Polly (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 2000.
that was a lovely post, tinfoil hat lady.
And, um, valentine's day....hmmmmph! Who needs it. ;)
-- number six (!#@!#.com), February 14, 2000.
Thanks, No Polly, for the reply.
I agree with you completely that the world is full of threats and dangers for which we should be prepared.
All I have ever asked for is to put Y2K ITSELF pretty far down on the list, plus a little groveling from those who ridiculed me (pre-Y2K) for putting Y2K in what turned out to be the PROPER perspective--some glitches in a much larger sea of glitches, spread out across time.
Anybody wants to prepare for the unknown catastrophe--I'm good with that.
-- Imso (email@example.com), February 14, 2000.
Faith, my feelings, exactly! Only, you alone could put them together so eloquently. Thank you for sharing with us....I hope you will stay with the forum.
-- Jo Ann (MaJo@Michiana.com), February 14, 2000.
Thank you Faith, for putting my thoughts into words. It was heart warming. Happy Valentine's Day.
-- Connie (DCBROWN100@AOL.COM), February 14, 2000.