Losing inter...zzzzzz.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Brian McLaughlin correctly predicted the "dog days" of summer on the forum. I sense the forum slowly drifting with fewer interesting threads--at least to me. If the TB 2000 was the "war," TB2K Spinoff has become the local American Legion.

TB2K has a distinctive social flavor; familiar characters have familiar arguments. Andy Ray has become the fellow on the corner barstool who rails against "the Hun" on what seems an hourly basis. A tight knot of women (Anita, Cin, Consumer, Cherri, etc.) always seem to have something to discuss. Unk D fires off an occasional one-liner. There are a few loud boys at the bar, but no one pays much attention to them anyone.

Y2K is over. The whole online debate was a tempest in a teapot. Only a handful of us cared enough to argue furiously last year... and even few care now. Call it the "forgotten war."

From my perspective, the people who went "overboard" on preparations were simply exercising their economic freedom. Frankly, I don't care if my neighbor down the street buys beans or basketballs. It's his money. And I hope he extends me the same respect.

We can quibble for years about the adequacy of pre-rollover Y2K data. Unfortunately, it is difficult to establish reasonable benchmarks and emotion always clouds the issue. Some people are scared to fly in a plane whatever the statistical odds. Some people are comfortable jumping out of planes.... So it goes.

For me, Y2K illuminated a parts of society I don't often see... conspiracy theorists, tax protestors, Constitutionalists, Milita, New Agers, the radical right and left. Of course, the mix was made far more interesting by the average, relatively normal middle-class folks who wandered in.

What made the debate interesting was the odd mix of people combined with the passion, energy and a date certain. It was a unique combination I doubt we'll see again. Real threats like cyberterrorism or bioweapons do not run on schedules.

As we approach rollover +6, I think the "Debunkers" are pretty much irrelevant. Far more people watched "Survivor" last night than will ever read Doc Paulie's take on memetics. If the people who bought Y2K supplies (and were burned) didn't learn last year, I doubt they will learn anything from Charles Reuben or others. The Y2K profiteers and professional doomsayers have already moved into new areas.

Granted, providing objective data may help... if you have an audience and a subject of interest. On this forum, I sense both are increasingly difficult to find.

In closing, I take some solace in discovering the "lunatic fringe" during the Y2K debate. In a free society, there will always be individuals who march to the beat of a different accordian player. The State tolerates their existence and tolerated the entire Y2K debate... silly and inconsequential as it was. I suspect the reports on the "death of liberty" have been greatly exaggerated.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 08, 2000



My compliments on what is probably the best post-Y2K summary that I have ever read. Indeed, the "fringe" extremists on both sides simply continue to wallow in their delusions -- whether they be chemtrails or memetics. For the rest of us, it has been quite a show.

-- WD-40 (wd40@squeak.not), June 08, 2000.

I agree with lube-job. But are you saying that the forum has outlived itself? I hope not, we need our great-white hunters.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), June 08, 2000.


You flatter me, and overestimate me, really. I'm really just an incredibly arrogant slouch who likes to poke fun at others, but truth be told I can't think of anything to talk about either because none of the brain cells in my overly-humongous head are still functioning. But thanks anyway, you're really good at kissing my ass.

-- Ken Decker (WD-40.is@good.brown-noser), June 08, 2000.

Impostore! (chuckle)

I have more than enough social banter and conversation in real life. My participation in the Internet debate was not to meet new friends or feel a "sense of community." I came to TB 2000 to debate an issue. My interest in Y2K was intellectual, not emotional.

In recent weeks, I have not seen many threads of interest to me. This is not an indictment of the forum, but simply a personal observation. When I do find a topic of interest, I can count on a few dolts rambling about how little they think of me. They commit a sin far worse than insult... they bore me.

Y2K was an issue that trancended the normal space between mainstream and fringe. The fringe stayed online at places like EZB. The mainstream have mostly abandoned the Y2K issue and are finding other, more interesting venues. It may be a great neighborhood bar, but it's never really been my neighborhood.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 08, 2000.

Ken I missed Survivor. How was it?

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), June 08, 2000.

Does this mean you're leaving, or is this a feeble attempt at ant-hill kicking?

-- Strike up the band, boys (Halleleuyah@he's.leaving), June 08, 2000.


Do we have a Survivor thread? Have we addressed how this crew here would deal with losing one poster a week? And who would it be? And who would be left? And would there be teams?

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Ken.

-- Normally (Oxsys@aol.com), June 08, 2000.

Except that you miss the point. Y2K was never just about the roll over.

The part that always fascinated me was why despite of all the evidence people believe what they believed. It is somewhat analogies to cases where a rape occurs, the woman identifies the rapist, he's put in jail. Later DNA evidence shows he couldn't possibly be the rapist and is freed. Yet the woman continues to insist that he was the rapist. It goes beyond "Urban myths" and is detrimental to all of society. Arguments about the environment abound with this type of faux reasoning. Certain types of belief, such as religious convictions, cannot be proved. One can't prove Judaism is better or worse then Catholicism. But scientific and technological debates can be shown to be true or false. Yet in this most technological of countries and times you have highly educated people like Paula and many of the others who posted choosing what they "believe" rather then what the facts show. I can see their logic in 1998. I can't see it now.

In a way it's like those people who deny that the Holocaust happened. The more proof there is the more strange their denials (and more importantly the reasoning behind them) get. The problem is that policy gets decided more often then not on this type of strange reasoning. And that leads to incredible amounts of money being wasted and people being harmed rather then helped.

But then you sound like someone who is bored and wants to be amused by the crowd.

-- The Engineer (spcengineer@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way Do not go gentle into that good night...

-- Dylan Thomas (***@__._), June 08, 2000.

Does this mean goodbye?

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), June 08, 2000.

Promises, promises. No one believes you will really stop your interminable boring monologues this time either. Prove us wrong, Decker. Please.

-- anon (anon@anon.anon), June 08, 2000.


Some people will always choose to believe silly ideas. If enough of them believe, they can make silly laws. This is one of the challenges of democracy... and why one role of the judiciary is protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

As for science, one cannot model complex systems with Newtonian mathematics. As an engineer, one can design a nifty bridge but can't accurately predict the weather in Walla Walla ten days from now.

No one could accurately model the result of Y2K. At best, we made informed guesses as to outcome based on the available evidence. In my opinion, the weight of the evidence pointed to a modest impact, but it is silly to consider the BITR prediction a "provable fact."

This is one reason a good deal of money was spent on Y2K. Public and private firms chose to hedge their bets because there was a level of uncertainty, albeit small. Without doubt, there was a great deal of code to fix. You may criticize these decisions to the extent YOUR money was wasted. In fact, you may wish to change your vote in the next election or sell your shares in Company X to express your displeasure. Sally forth.

To the extent your money is wasted or you are harmed... you have a cause for complaint. For example, if the folks denying the Holocaust injure you, seek redress. If not, they are simply exercising the rights of assembly and expression.

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are not subject to engineering approvals. You may have found Y2K fear "harmful," however, the nearly all the actions taken by individuals and organizations were voluntary. On the balance, I favor this freedom over the "most likely outcome as determined by engineering analysis."

Thanks, though, you did a great job of amusing me.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 08, 2000.


When I said I would not post on the Y2K "prep" forum, I kept my word. When I said goodbye to TB 2000, I never looked back. You won't find a single post from me after my parting. Aside from a few long threads, my rate of posting has diminished of late. I notice Flint and McLaughlin have slowed as well. If I say "adios," I won't come back.

On another note, at least "Engineer" provided some content. He/she has a bigger idea than "Decker is bad." Try it.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 08, 2000.

Mr. Decker,

You not only did you miss the point, you missed the blunt.

People can choose to believe what they wish. If you wish to believe and act as if the earth is flat or the sun revolves around the earth you may choose to do so. If you try to get people to act on those beliefs or implement them, such as in a school curriculum, that is another matter entirely.

What is worrisome isn't so much the tyranny of the majority but the tyranny of the minority imposing their beliefs or trying to get the majority to act on those beliefs. Courts exist to protect us from that also. One of the problems with the pseudo-technological society we have is that this isn't being done. Witness the long running fiasco about breast implants. It cost billions of dollars and one company went bankrupt. At the end of it all the "facts" were shown not to be very factual. Did it cost me anything personally? No, I neither have breast implants nor paid for anyone who does have them. But the costs of laws, regulations, and court decisions based on Junk Science and Junk Technology are paid for by all of society. You just don't get an itemized bill. Engineers don't predict the weather. Weatherman do that. And you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows, to quote another Dylan. However you do want to know enough about the weather extremes when you build a bridge to take into account expansion, contraction and the forces that the bridge will have to withstand.

Newton was one of the inventors of (The) Calculus so actually you can model some fairly complex systems with Newtonian Mathematics. For other types of complex systems there are other types of math.

I'm not to sure what you mean by "accurately model" the impact of Y2K but I think you are making the error of confusing apples and oranges. When Y2K first started so to speak the emphasis was on business systems that had to deal with dates. I don't think the money was misspent or that there weren't any problems. In my own organization as an example they found problems that dealt with the payroll software. I don't quibble with how others spent their money in this area.

The problem was with the "reasoning" that because there were problems with the business side there would automatically be problems on the technology side of the house. It was this type of "thinking" that gave rise to all of the hubbub with embedded systems. I didn't keep my files much past Y2K but I remember an article in either the NYT or the WSJ about how much money PSE&G of New Jersey was spending on remmeidiation. Many of the doomsters used this to supposedly demonstrate what a terrible time we were in for. What got lost was that the article referred to their business software; not the running of the Generating Plants or the operating of their power system.

Your idea of a modest impact of Y2K was, perhaps, justified on how successful the companies were in dealing with their business software. However the evidence was rather strikingly clear by mid to late 1999 that the infrastructure impact would be virtually nonexistent.

My thinking wasn't about Y2K specifically but rather that type of thinking that extends well beyond Y2K with cell phones causing cancer, SUVs. etc. As for the actions of all being voluntary and not costing any money, well not quite. Jim Lord's Super Secret Navy List did cause money to be spent by organizations that was not exactly voluntary.

You are obviously easily amused.

-- The Engineer (spcengineer@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.

Ken, you can thank LL for what this forum has become. It could have turned into something special as it was in the beginning 3 years ago. Though we can't control anyone's behavior on this forum, the majority of the people who participated here and before for the most part were sensible and reasonable people. It's always a couple of people that ruin it for the rest of us. I pop in here from time-to-time and haven't found anything of real value to waste my time with. Look at the participants here, many here are left overs from GNIABFI, and birds of a feather do flock together. Good luck to you.

-- goner (goner@gonerrr.xcom), June 08, 2000.

Yes, the key was the expiration date, after which we got good solid feedback. This provided an unambiguous conclusion, as it turned out. The real entertainment was those of unshakeable conviction, who shed lots of heat but almost no light on the subject. They're still around talking about conspiracies, chemtrails, the decline of nearly everything worthwhile, protesting taxes, ad nauseum. At least the intransigence of many doomers illustrates the impossibility of merely *talking* sense into those already far gone on issues without expiration dates. This makes for much thinner entertainment.

Y2k died a glorious and spectacular death, making it impossible to resurrect for the sequels. I'll miss it too.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 08, 2000.

It's quarter to three, there's no one in the place

Except you and me

So set 'em' up Joe, I got a little story

I think you should know

We're drinking my friend, to the end

Of a brief episode

Make it one for my baby...

And one more for the road

I know the routine, put another nickel

In the machine

I feel kind of bad, can't you make the music

Easy and sad

I could tell you a lot, but it's not

In a gentleman's code

Make it one for my baby...

And one more for the road

You'd never know it, but buddy I'm a kind of poet

And I've got a lot of things I'd like to say

And if I'm gloomy, please listen to me

Till it's talked away

Well that's how it goes, and Joe I know your gettin'

Anxious to close

Thanks for the cheerI hope you didn't mind

My bending your ear

But this torch that I found, It's gotta be drowned

Or it's gonna explode

Make it one for my baby....

And one more for the road

-- Uncle Deedah (wasn't@ever.much.saidthat.Frank.didn'tsay.better), June 08, 2000.

Thanks, Unk. One of Lou Reed's better efforts, out of many good ones.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 08, 2000.

Hmmmm....are we on the same page? My sources tell me writen by Johnny Mercer, sung by Frank Sinatra. My guess is arranged by Nelson Riddle because of the time period, but that is only a guess.

Did Lou sing this one too?

Sometimes my in-attentiveness shows.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.


You're right. It's a Mercer song. Lou Reed covered this with a very hard blues-boogie electric version, great stuff.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 08, 2000.

Thanks Flint. Now I must hear it for myself from the rock and roll animal, as I was un-aware that he did a version.

Ooops, we're getting chatty here, best to stop. ;-)

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.

Mr. Dicker,

I don't care what you thnk, really. Did you ever make up your mind whether you are a polly or a dommer?

Truth is, I got handed a load of crap last year on TB2K, and I'm just handing some back. Your two-faced posts don't help that much, either.

Thanks for standing by your friends.

Pissed Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (andyman666@hotmale.com), June 08, 2000.

Poor baby! Oh poor Andy! Some anon posters were rude to him and he cannot live without revenge.

Hey Einstein, the folks who you want to talk to are over at EZ board, dipshit.

-- Uncle Deedah (uinkeed@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.


Horse fritters. It's called "Free Will." Every competent adult is responsible for his or her own behavior. The "Devil" did not make anyone do it. If you make a decision based on what Gary North told you, it's your own damn fault. If the technological illiteracy of society annoys you, change it... I doubt you'll have much luck. (Stay tuned for chaos math.)

Andy Ray,

You show all the intellectual integrity of the "doomers" you so loathe. Your "quotable" quotes are horribly boring. They contain no meaningful analysis or insight. The sound I hear is a small, petty axe grinding.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 08, 2000.


The Deckster, Andy Ray, & Lou Reed all rolled up onto one lil' bitty thread...


You hit me with a flower

You do it every hour

Oh honey, you're so-


-- flora (***@__._), June 08, 2000.


Correct. Now when are you going to post something interesting. Your analysis of AR was of moderate interest. Flint has been slacking. I'm never here, but that isn't unusual. Cooke is in the Cook Islands. The problem seems to be that the country is working too well. Only the fringe elements have something to talk about. Shrubya is a lizard person and Clinton is going to take over the world:NWO. You need to come on with some interesting subjects.

Best wishes,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), June 08, 2000.

OK, Ken,

You're bored. As Anita sorta suggested on an earlier thread:


Y2K appears to be a dead issue, and many people seem to want the forum to evolve. What YOU like to talk about?

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.


It looks like we posted similar questions at the same time. Well, Ken?

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), June 08, 2000.

"TB2K has a distinctive social flavor; familiar characters have familiar arguments. Andy Ray has become the fellow on the corner barstool who rails against "the Hun" on what seems an hourly basis. A tight knot of women (Anita, Cin, Consumer, Cherri, etc.) always seem to have something to discuss. Unk D fires off an occasional one-liner. There are a few loud boys at the bar, but no one pays much attention to them anyone."

And Ken Decker repeats himself like a senile broken record...

"If the TB 2000 was the "war," TB2K Spinoff has become the local American Legion."

If you're bored with the club, why don't you move on?

-- (just@n.observation), June 08, 2000.

You and I, Spindoc, posted at same time with same idea.

Get the hint Decker?

-- (just@n.observation), June 09, 2000.

Ah, well, it's late.

Ken, read that: What would YOU like to talk about?

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), June 09, 2000.


What is the point?

The PSF folks are better served by hardcore survivalist web pages or perhaps homesteading or small farming sites. Posts by the IOR contingent generally fall on deaf ears. Has anyone decided to ease up on preparations based on reading a post on this forum?

While I have only posted on this forum a relatively short period of time, the posts have become increasingly less interesting... at least to me. On occasion, some of the more rational folks become involved on a particular thread. Even then, one more often sees ridicule than reason. While I have seen flashes of IS expertise, the quality of thought on economic issues... abysmal.

Yes, anticipating that some readers have a grasp of the obvious, I can choose not to read the forum. I believe there are a few intelligent, reasonable people who read (and post) here. It makes it worth a mouse-click... at least for now.


-- Mr. Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), April 22, 1999


That's Decker in the spring of '99.

-- (
then@and.now), June 09, 2000.

Hmmmmmmmm. Link above returned this little gem:

Couldn't find message 000kW4What is the point? Dear Reader, The general utility of this forum seems to be in decline. Readers from the pessimist-survivalist-fatalist (PSF) camp appear near completion in their preparations. The idealist-optimist-realists (IOR) folks repeat the generally positive media reports and quibble with the radical elements over the interpretation. The paranoid posters suspect Y2K connections to every negative event. The hard core survivalists continue to worry about issues like the virtues of the Ruger M-14 .223 semi-auto rifle or how many thousands of rounds of ammo to stockpile. Conspiracy buffs contemplate the all- inclusive government-business-media. Probably it was deleted by the forum maintainer.

-- Anon (anon@anon.anon), June 09, 2000.

When I wrote the above post, the old forum was in decline. After Yourdon turned the keys over to Diane Squire and friends, the descent turned into a power dive. I remained on the forum long enough to watch the "doomers" deal with the reality of a Y2K BITR. Unlike Andy Ray, I found the real vindication the flight to a closed forum (and subsequent banning of Flint et al.) The doomer ranks were broken and a full retreat sounded.

Of course, a few remain on this forum under new handles. Otherwise, I would not have my personal Greek chorus.

The real question is not what do I want to talk about... but is this the best place to have the discussion. The endless chattering from anonymous baboons does diminish the quality of conversation. In fairness, however, I will throw two or three subjects up for discussion. Like many of you, however, I enjoy the longer, warmer days and find many other activities (away from the computer) quite satisfying.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 09, 2000.

"The endless chattering from anonymous baboons"

has always been what makes this place so special!

-- (baboon@anonymous.chatter), June 09, 2000.

Methinks the mosquitoe who keeps pestering Ken under shifting aliases is none other than (drum roll)....

Don Florence!!

Go figure!

-- Just a hunch (just@hunch.com), June 09, 2000.

Don? I don't think so. The Don Florence I remember was well-spoken and focused on economics... not personalities. No, I suspect "a," the Paul Milne worshipper. He has been caught hiding in the shadows several times. It may be "a" or another unreconstructed "doomer" posting under multiple names. Most certainly, it's someone from the old forum who has indigestion from too much rice and beans.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), June 09, 2000.


It aint Don, or Dave...& Brian's on vacation.

Maybe you could use a vacation, too.

How 'bout contributing more signal & less noise, 'kay?

Or at least make Ken work up a little sweat.

-- flora (***@__._), June 09, 2000.

Mr. Dicker,

I don't care what you thnk, really. Did you ever make up your mind whether you are a polly or a dommer?

Truth is, I got handed a load of crap last year on TB2K, and I'm just handing some back. Your two-faced posts don't help that much, either.

Thanks for standing by your friends.

Pissed Regards, Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (andyman666@hotmale.com), June 08, 2000.

Never being one to miss a chance at pointing out the obvious, I just wanted to say that this post appears to be a fake. An intentional one at that.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), June 09, 2000.


Your logic is Ill. While I may be responsible for my own actions (Ill give you the slight benefit of the doubt here and assume you dont really think Id be influenced by North) no man is an island. And what we do and have to do in the course of our jobs, lives, etc. is influenced by what other people do in theirs.

If you are driving down the highway at 60 miles an hour and a car in front of you suddenly cuts you off you can argue all you want about free will but you will have to react to what is done. Similarly corporations and political structures react to outside influences.

True I am complaining about the techno-illiteracy of society. But as you have so amply shown its a tuff fight.

-- The Engineer (spcengineer@yahoo.com), June 09, 2000.

Like many of you, however, I enjoy the longer, warmer days and find many other activities (away from the computer) quite satisfying.

Well, if it ever STOPS raining around here and the sun comes out I will go out doors :o(

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), June 09, 2000.


My logic may be under the weather, but yours is AWOL. Let's say I am driving and another person runs me off the road. This is clearly the other person's fault. If the guilty party claims they suffer from an anger management problem due to past abuse... they are still responsible for their behavior.

Unless you can prove that Gary North et al committed fraud, every person (and firm) that "overprepared" for Y2K cannot blame anyone else. The "no man is an island" idea underlies the theories that other people are at least partially responsible for our behavior.

Unless you can prove malice or negligence, the "influence" of others doesn't mean jack squat. Everyone is trying to influence someone else. I have engineers "selling" me on their firms on a regular basis. Caveat Emptor.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 09, 2000.


Sorry, but if I'm following this correctly, I gotta go with The Engineer on this one. *Of course* everyone is trying to influence everyone else. This notion lies at the very foundation of education. Are you really claiming that what you think your boss wants has no influence over your behavior? Similarly, do you think (for example) the safety options available to you when purchasing an automobile have no relevance to what *other* customers want? Not long ago, an airbag was simply NOT AN OPTION, despite all the free will you might have chosen to exercise if you wanted one.

As I recall, there were no credible voices willing to rule out the possibility of y2k problems. Sure, you could freely choose who to believe or however you wanted to make up your mind. But you simply *could not know* the accuracy of your decision beforehand. Nobody could. Free will is one thing, and omniscience quite another. Like it or not, we rely on others for the vast bulk of our information.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 09, 2000.

Strangely, I think Ken has attracted a following of semi-doomer groupies with his occasional, but well timed post on barrel characteristics of the Winchesters, muzzle velocities of moose guns, or how many defenseless small mammals can be reasonable exterminated in a given period of time with the various calibers of .30xx ammunition. In other words, he'll be around for awhile.

-- A 'Ken fan' (fan@club.com), June 09, 2000.


Send some of that rain down AZ way, will you? We've got more sunshine than we need. Of course that's why I moved back here, but really, a little rain would be nice. Before long I'm going to have to go see the Hopis and see if they'll do a rain dance! Maybe if you come visit the area some rain will follow!!!

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), June 09, 2000.

Flint, your point is good. Isn't a central task of responsibility to become aware of what and how you are influenced?

I never saw how this was so difficult. Certain post-Y2k conversations bog down to the point where they become predictable, e.g.,

Someone wants to talk about being influenced by e.g., Gary North, or just by the lack of hard data, or whatever was their "sore spot." Someone else cuts in with, "Stop whining! You're an adult and you're responsible for your own life!" At that point, communication breaks down, and it's the end of the story- when it should be just the beginning. (excluding the June 2000, etc. boredom factor - in that case any other set of life choices will do)

WRT Y2k, becoming aware of, e.g., in what ways I allowed Ed Yourdon, Drew Parkhill, Harlan Smith, etc. to influence me does not make me less responsible, it makes me more so.

One can take an attitude of expecting accountability from others, while at the same time taking responsibility for one's own thoughts and life choices.

It seems a responsible stance to expect the same amount of responsibility by others as you claim for yourself - no guarantee that you will get it of course. Expect less of people, and you become a cynic (a "doomer" possibly). Expect more, and you become a "whiner."

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), June 10, 2000.

Well said, Deb.

Flint, remember the "Nuremburg defense," to wit, I was just following orders. It didn't wash then and it doesn't wash now. Of course others "influence" our behavior, but we are still culpable for what we choose to do. "Free will" is not a guarantee every item will be on your menu. You are free to not purchase a car because it does not have an air bag. You are also free to not purchase a car because it does not have all the gadgets from the latest "Bond" movie. Because you can't have something you want does not obviate free will or personal responsibility.

In your second paragraph you begin to write in the style of the classic doomer. I cannot find a credible voice ruling out the possibility of nuclear war next week. Are you asking Alan Greenspan and friends to prove the negative?

Life is full of uncertainties. Your lovely wife may choose to run off with a shoe salesman. Your prize peony may wither. We make decisions on the "best available" information and generally hope for the best. Having imperfect information does not excuse behavior or actions. If it did, I'd ask for money back on every stock decline.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), June 10, 2000.

His Highness, Mr. Ken Decker

-- (a legend @ in. his own mind), June 10, 2000.


Then we're talking about different things. Without any doubt, other people's actions have a profound, subtle and often untraceable influence over what you think and do. If you disagree, you are just kidding yourself -- and *also* sounding like a doomer in that you'd be carefully tuning out what you don't choose to believe.

This isn't to say we're following orders or being led around by the nose. But if I slowly turn up the thermostat in the room, eventually you remove your jacket. My actions altered your "most reasonable" behavior, changed your path of least resistance. Sure, you *could* have sweated in your jacket if you chose, so your free will remains intact. But normally you wouldn't do this. If my motive were to separate you from your jacket, you wouldn't even realize there was a motivation (or even another person) involved.

Another example -- you drive on the road, rather than off-road, nearly all the time for many good reasons. If I decided where to put the roads, I'm indirectly deciding where you go and where you do not. I'm sure you can extrapolate from here. Other people's actions exert an amazing amount of control over your behavior in these and an infinity of other ways. You choose to wear clothes similar to mine because this is what we can buy. We speak the same language because this is what we grew up with. You are employed at a job someone else created. Free will is real, but the practical scope of its exercise is narrow. Like it or not.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 10, 2000.

From: Preparations, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Debbie says: Certain post-Y2k conversations bog down to the point where they become predictable, e.g., Someone wants to talk about being influenced by e.g., Gary North, or just by the lack of hard data, or whatever was their "sore spot." Someone else cuts in with, "Stop whining!

Most of the post rollover convos I've witnessed go more like this: Someone wants to talk about when people are going to admit that they were wrong. Some one else cuts in with how there was no way to have known and that preparation only made sense. The first guy carries on about how since nothing happened that that in itself is adequate proof that nothing ever was going to have happened, and how we should just admit to being wrong again, already that not having had good information is no excuse. They just don't get it. Some of us don't give a flying crap what they think and aren't looking to be excused.

Decker, check out #7 on 50 Ways to Leave a Forum. That one describes you to a tee.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), June 11, 2000.


Sorry, hoss, but you sound like an expert witness for the defense. "The young man was influenced by his environment, your Honor. It's really society's fault he bsshed the old woman for her SS check.


It would really matter if you left the forum... it's not like you have contributed anything.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), June 11, 2000.

From: Preparations, ` la Carte (pic), near Monterey, California

Granted, I can't match you for shear volume of hot air, but at least what I did contribute isn't as repetitive as a broken record.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), June 11, 2000.


Sorry, but your approach has a strong aroma of 'a'. I'm addressing the scope, extent and nature of influence, and you're cherry picking cases clearly at one end of this spectrum, in an apparent attempt to imply that such a spectrum doesn't exist at all. This is a misinformation technique known as synecdoche. And you know better than that.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 11, 2000.


Don't you dare put down synecdoche, you meme-infecteded piece of shit. Don't you know that's the only way to argue?

-- Doc Paulie (king@ofthe.boobs), June 11, 2000.

(Flint, I already wrote most of this before seeing your very succinct response to Ken, but I'll post it anyway.)


Sorry, hoss, but you sound like an expert witness for the defense. "The young man was influenced by his environment, your Honor. It's really society's fault he bsshed the old woman for her SS check.

Your example is a legal distinction, as is your example of the Nuremburg defense ("I'm not responsible because I was just following orders"). In a court decision, it must go black or white, but in life it's shades of gray as to who or what is influencing who; it's just that there is a conscious individual at the apex sorting it all out and making decisions. There are so many thousands of these decisions daily, that we can't possibly be conscious of the basis of all of them. The most we can say is I CHOOSE TO ACT (in this possible way, among a range of possibilities) or REACT TO (whatever) (to the extent we're conscious of it). The legal distinction forces us to reduce reality to black and white, even when it barely fits (an example is the insanity plea), while reality is more complex.

I jumped into the middle of this thread on the topic of personal responsibility (not addressing some of the other points raised, by the Engineer). Outside the legal arena, responsibility has got to do with conduct of life. Part of being responsible is becoming aware of how you are influenced, looking for things which you react to in the outside world (or in your own mind) - with the emphasis on YOU REACTED, YOU made the decisions. What I keep coming back to is that the biggest freedom (i.e. responsibility) we have is in how conscious we choose to be, or not. Assuming responsibility is done inside a person's head. This process, invisible from the outside, then governs what that person will say and do; that's where it becomes tangible. An example of this process in action is- the difference between someone who learns about the Y2k outcome vs. one who is STILL saying "It was prudent to prepare since I didn't have good information," leaves it at that and walks away.

I also wanted to emphasize that while the results of personal responsibility are tangible, x happens, I do y, with z consequences; I agree with Flint that the process is still a subtle one, involving self; introspection; suspension of assumptions; listening, making inductive leaps and testing them, etc. Ken, am I correct that you are uncomfortable with the idea that there are subtle influences all the time to which we are reacting?


I'm torn about responding to this or not. Part of me goes, jeez, why do I care?, give it up already. But I will. You brought it up, so I'm not responsible... [very lame humor]

I'll agree that the "Admit you were wrong!" conversations degenerate into a kind of pointlessness and can get farcical. ("Admit you were wrong!".... "To YOU??? Over my dead body!") But they are not pointless.

Read the above that I wrote to Ken. The quibble is NOW (post-2000) not with "it was prudent to prepare" but with not examining it afterwards. I know....why should I care what someone else (i.e. you) does, or not? I don't, and I'll agree that some people would hardly feel like doing this with someone else standing over them demanding it. (And who am I to assume that you/they are NEVER examining it? I just go on bits of what I am hearing people say.)

I daresay you evaluate a lot of your life experiences as to how you could do better, not to browbeat yourself but in self-education. Y2k would seem to be the same type of thing. I was all over the map in my thoughts about Y2k, becoming much more optimistic towards the end, but found the whole thing tremendously confusing. No one knows, so prepare, etc. You are heavy into preps, I like preps too and always "intended" to do them but never did. So that is good. Still, if I didn't look at this now, then I wasted three years of my life. I do feel there was much better information out there than I saw. Why didn't I see it? Because I'm not omniscient, not a specialist, spent too much time on the internet, became tired and worn out, didn't think of some questions to ask, don't move in circles where better info was, am easily led in certain ways, was uncertain, meanwhile wanted to cover all my bases preparing, while I figured it out (who wouldn't?); deliberately screened stuff out that I didn't want to see.. I KNOW I did this. In other words a mish mosh.

Preps aside, it wasted my time and energy.. How could I have done better? This is not browbeating myself, this is wanting to KNOW. (I'm just trying to put this into a perspective for you, of why someone might want to dwell on this, outside of the tired shtick of wanting that feeling of BEING RIGHT. It doesn't do wonders for my ego to realize I became a polly in mid-1999 after two years of angst. Even then, by DH's standards, I was still a doomer. Except that on New Year's Eve, HE was the one running around filling 100 more gallons of water bags. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. :-)

Decker, check out #7 on 50 Ways to Leave a Forum. That one describes you to a tee.

Ken gets a ribbing from me. I capsulized a "tone" that Ken sometimes adopts, and caricatured it. I don't take this for ALL of Ken, not by a long shot.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), June 11, 2000.

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