Y2K Trianglegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread
The Y2K Triangle
By Carroll Rodgers
January 1, 2000, this date means a lot of things to a lot of people. It is on this date that the world as we know it can and, for all practical purposes, will cease to exist as we know it, unless more action is taken. Gone, will be the halcyon days of our youth and we will be forced to face the grim reality of our forefathers: Life is a bitch and then you die. This sounds harsh, and maybe it is, but life, can and will revert to the days of the barter system, complete with those who have and those who have not. This may not be so bad you say. Well, the problem is, some of the ones aware of the impending doom, have been stockpiling mass quantities of goods and looking out for only number one while passing on their narrow band of knowledge as if everyone should fear for their very lives. Sure, stocking up on goods in moderation and a little fear can be a good thing. Being aware and being prepared is what being the little scouts that we are is all about. And while others may have told friends, that sometimes listened and other times turned a deaf ear to their ranting lunatic buddy. We did not act as a community. Acting as a community is not to be confused with the First Ladys It Takes a Village philosophy. Let me explain.
When the clock strikes midnight, and the Big Apple has dropped and Dick Clark actually looks a year younger, people are still going to be partying in the streets of New York and elsewhere without a hitch. On this point I think can safely say not a beer tap in the world will fail because a Y2K error during the pour. The party for The New Millennium (which technically is not until 2001) will continue on in earnest well into the wee hours of the morning. Life will be good.
When the hangovers begin to appear sometime on Saturday afternoon, will be the time that everyone will begin to notice any problems that have began to creep into societys mainstream. Over Saturday and Sunday most of the problems that will occur will begin to be escalated by the fact that we will have been segregated into three distinct classes of society at that point: The Survivalists, The Apathetic, and The Profiteers. These three classes of the Y2K society will make up the three sides of the Y2K Triangle. You are already determining which of these three you will be by your actions today.
The Survivalists are not the people that are spreading the words of doom and gloom and stock-piling 2-tons of toilet paper to wipe where the sun dont shine. The Survivalists are the ones who are now joining their local community Y2K action groups. They are the ones that are making sure that contingency plans are in place for any- and everything that could occur. They are the ones have stepped to the forefront and, at the risk of sounding like a complete lunatic to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers, are trying to enlighten everyone to the potential problem. They call their local utilities and press them on how prepared they truly are. They have contacted their local, state and federal politicians to let them know that they need to be concerned about the Y2K Bug. The Y2K Bug cannot be thought of as something that can and will be cured after it occurs. This is the message that they are spreading to everyone that they come into contact with.
The Survivalists is the class that every person with any hint of computer training and skills needs to be a part of. Why? Good question. No one, and I repeat, No One, knows what is going to happen on January 1, 2000. With a little determination and the proper skills applied to the right places, we can make it a lot less of the catastrophic event predicted, than it needs to be. We all should know by now that not everything will be fixed by New Years. Impossible task, so save your breath. We can however insure that the systems that are the key to society; utilities, government, and health care facilities, are at the very least operational to a degree that the normal everyday workflow and practices are not hampered by technology related failures.
Can we make money from this as we provide real time help to these sectors of our lives? Yes, and make no bones about it. You will be providing real and tangible services and should be compensated in real and tangible ways. Should the Survivalists be stocking up in moderation for any Y2K problems that will occur? Sure, remember no one knows what will occur.
The Apathetic is a group of people that consist of the people who dont have a clue. Its not that this group of people doesnt care, because all of them will care very deeply at some point. The problem is that this class is made up of several groups of people. The people who knew of the problem but did not think it applied to them. The people thought it would be fixed because everyone else was working on it. The conspiracy people, who think nothing is going to happen its just a ploy by the computer industry to make more money. The last group that I place in this class, are the people who just have not even heard of the Y2K Bug. There is, still to this day, a large section of the worlds populace that doesnt even know there is a Y2K problem.
With all of the groups combined into the Apathetic class you can see how it is easily the largest of the three classes. We need to reduce the numbers of this group and bring more of them over to the Survivalists camp by informing and enlightening. The people who think it does not apply to them need to be shown how even though they may not own a computer or feel that their computer worked when they rolled the date, it will affect them. They use the ATM, they shop at the local grocery store, they get snail mail daily, they need gas for their car, their children go to school, and on and on. All of these things rely to a degree on computer systems and if one fails it puts a drag on everything else. To the group that says someone else will fix the problem, ask, "Who will fix it?" Have they been calling around to find out? Have they been keeping tabs on all of their account holders? If not you, then who? The conspiracy theorists are always a tough nut to crack, no matter what is said or the outcome is, they were right. But if they only feel that the computer companies are doing this to make more money, then its a bit risky to shell out billions of dollars of their own money to fix their own Y2K problems. You and I may see some sort of logic in that but they wont, and while I hate to give up, sometimes it is better to just move on. The uninformed can also be just as tough to reach. To understand them look at it this way, the Y2K Bug has been on the covers of every major magazine, headlined in just about every newspaper worldwide, the subject of various TV shows and documentaries as well as news programs, and the topic of more than one bar room conversation. Yet these people have never heard of it. For them ignorance is truly bliss. You can reach them, but be prepared; they will probably become members of one of the other Apathetic groups, rather than a Survivalist. With all of the groups combined into this class you can see how it is easily the largest of the three classes. But, we can decrease its numbers if we work at it.
The last group is the one that the media has dubbed as the Y2K Survivalists. Yes, they do want to survive, and who can blame them for that. However, these same people are propagating something that could very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are telling everyone to run to the hills. Get out now while you can. Stockpile mass quantities of canned-goods and toilet paper. Enough to last for a year possibly. Take all you money out of the banks and convert it to gold or just hold on to it, but dont leave it in the bank. Buy a generator. Buy some type of firearm. Buy a safe to store all your valuables. With all of this buying and moving and coming and going, where do you think you can get all of these goods, the Profiteers. Now wait, you say well not everyone who is saying this has a business or is making money off this they just want everyone to be prepared. OK, I can go along with that. But Ill put it this way; they want every-ONE to be prepared, as in every-ONE for themselves. Do you think that if you moved in to the ranch up the road from one of them and all the doom and gloom they are predicting comes true, they will let you borrow a roll toilet paper or a cup of sugar. The answer is NO! They may barter, which is fine, but they will make sure they get the better end of the bargain. Of course, that is assuming you can get close to their encampment without being shot first as a potential threat to their survival.
Everyone belongs to one of these classes and will belong to one of these classes in after the Mid-Night Meltdown. There are other groups that over-lay these classes and can in fact belong to each of them. The opportunist can be apathetic to the Y2K problem and never even know what caused the problems but see it as an opportunity of self-advancement. The opportunist can also preach awareness and be active in his local community, only to use it to gain favor at a later time. A Profiteer is an opportunist by nature, but an opportunist need not be a complete Profiteer. There are countless other groups as well that can belong to any or all of the classes. And, should the Jo Anne Effect prove to be right, there will be a lot less of the Survivalists class and a lot more of the media glorified Y2K Survivalists.
Right now everyone is of these three classes. Hopefully at strike of mid-night Dick Clark will turn gray and the need for these three classes will have evaporated like so much hot air. Once again proving the conspiracy theorists correct, all of our fears were unfounded and the computer companies just wanted to make more money.
-- Carroll Rodgers (MrY2K2U@AOL.COM), January 06, 1999
I am truely becomming a middle of the road thinker about the wide variety of information on the NET regarding the Y2k situation. It appears the world triangle of human beings goes from the far left to the far right. The scenario that you describe in your disertation is one of a higher than average mental ability.
I am taking the seat of survivalist, and would love to involve my community in prior planning for the best to the worst case scenario. I do have feelings of concern for actually standing up in a small community and voicing an opioion based upon the wide array of information that I have researched.
What position have you taken in the sea of life? It almost seems topseetervey. Are the bottom feeders going to remain healthy? Will the top feeders die due to exposure? Or perhaps we should look at this situation from the Salmons point of view? There are the deep sea dwellers and the retention pond survivors to think of? Needless to say, I believe whats left of humanity will survive without electricity. Maybe, the whole system needs overhauling? I pray the the dark side will not prevail! May happiness and health prevail!
-- Gabrielle Milch (FMilch@AOL.com), January 18, 1999.
Project Manager: "How long will it take you to make that Y2K change?" Programmer: "How long does it take to catch a fish?"
Manager:"It's impolite to speak with your mouth full!" Programmer:"It should be impolite to speak with you brain empty..."
-- Christy Turlington (email@example.com), March 06, 1999.