READY: Discrete actions / severalthreads : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

From Robert Waldrop

The "inevitability factor" of Y2K is that actions have consequences, and the design flaws are not only in the computer chips and software, but also in the social and economic structures that characterize our complex societies. The world is spending a trillion dollars remediating and repairing technology, but the "bugs" in our social structures go unnoticed, unreported, undescribed, unrepaired.

What we are doing in places such as this is creating new structures and re-weaving old ones, putting wine in new bottles AND in the old ones. When I go to the Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disasters meetings, I see people who often don't talk to each other outside of this structure. Indeed, we would be surprised to see each other in heaven. This list seems likely to me to be a similar place of spontaneous order.

I am planning that the time that people "Wake up" will be several days after the power goes off.

As far as discrete actions that can be done, there are several threads, including --

1. Keep working on the awareness effort.

2. Prepare and widely distribute information likely to be useful in the event of y2k disruptions.

3. Be prepared to be servant leaders in neighborhoods and communities during the disruptions and the recoveries.

4. Prepare/cultivate media contacts, e.g., local groups could prepare scripts and outlines for broadcasters and newspapers for use during the disruptions and recoveries. There are a lot of battery powered radios out there, and some broadcasters will be on the air. If good information is made available, people will be able to make better choices from their options.

5. Prepare an alternative method of communication just in case things get really bad. Kind of a Y2K radio relay league or something. I find myself thinking a lot about ham radio, which leads to the suggestion of getting to know some ham radio operators and hook them into the link.

6. Regarding ham radio operators, this is an example of an existing structure that can be "rallied to the flag." Ham operators already provide emergency communications, and they are everywhere. Others include political committees (the subject of an earlier post of mine), Scouting, churches/temples, synagogues/mosques, relief organizations, the PTA, public school system, libraries (librarians will be heroes in the event of disruptions), and Americorps (I predict Americorps will be a major asset in the event of y2k disruptions; their funding is currently at risk, write your congresspersons). One Y2K asset is the dense and deep and interconnected network of civil society organizations. Y2K groups are simply a new part of this existing spontaneous structure.

Part of the "wide distribution" includes providing this information to existing civil society groups.

Robert Waldrop

-- Bill (, June 07, 1999

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