whats the deal with Y2K???

Discussion in 'World Events' started by dexter, Nov 16, 1999.

  1. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for the input, Oxygen... Well, Lori, Oxygen has presented another option! You could help people by delivering much needed medical supplies and curse at them if they piss you off without being fired! (I don't know how much it pays, though, if that's a consideration).

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    Seriously, though... Are you leaning in any particular direction?
     
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  3. Corp.Hudson Registered Senior Member

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    FYI, the date change will not make missles launch automatically. The initial fear was not over this, but incoming missle detection systems malfunctioning and showing incoming ICBM's or whatever. As a result of that malfunctioning equipment, whoever is in charge of the missles may mistakenly return fire.

    To combat this, Russia and the US have set up a joint missle detection center in Colorado Springs, CO. Hooefully this rectifies any problems

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  5. SkyeBlue Registered Senior Member

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    Bean Counters! It's the damn Bean Counters!

    Okay just kidding. I think Y2K is a bunch of hoopla. I watched the most rediculous movie last night about a nulclear plant that went buggy because of the new year. I laughed my butt off at it, it was so full of errors - I don't know much about nuclear plants and even I could see a bunch of stuff that is contrary to real Physics.

    I work for a financial institution and we have been Y2K ready since June. Our core system has been Y2K ready since 1987. I plan on partying my behiny off come midnight. The 'scarey' date in my institution was 9/9/99 - a lot of outside vendors were using 9999 as a 'null' or 'non expireing' date, but we weathered it just fine.

    I agree that the most danger is going to come from the general public. What nutso cult leader is going to decide to take a whole city with him to the 'promise land' or something? (Hey, now, nobody attack me for generalizing the nutso cult leaders, okay? It's still okay to slam them, right?

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    I have an uncle that scares the crap out of me - he's one of those "I got me more guns than the whole police force" kind of guys. He's planning on barracading himself in his house with his rifles. He actually is asking for everyone to give him ammo for Christmas this year, "'cause you never know who might want to take my supplies". Criminy. I'm going to stay the HELL away from him this year!

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    I think there might be a couple of minor power outages - nothing that's not repaired in 2 or 3 hours at most though. A couple glitches here and there, but I seriously doubt anything major is going to happen. You might find an elderly ATM machine that won't take your card, or something small like that. Of course, if you get paid by the government, they like to screw up payroll a lot, so that might be a bummer. Otherwise, unfortunately your credit card balance won't disappear (wouldn't that be nice!!!), and your savings won't disappear, your pacemaker won't try to spin out into orbit, your car won't start driving itself...

    I've actually read some pretty darn funny Y2K horror stories - I didn't make up the ones about the pacemaker & the self-driving car. People can be so stupid.

    Besides, if things were really hitting the fan, if the clocks are cranked back to 1976 we'll be just fine. The dates all line up to 2000 perfectly. It's even a leap year.
     
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  7. Lori Registered Senior Member

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    Oh man, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. That's twice today thank you. Let's just say I know when I have to be an actress. Sometimes (especially when I interviewed for my last job) I feel like a more accomplished actress than accountant. I shouldn't have even taken it but I'm a chicken shit. Afraid to let go of the stability, and have to hear my parents and friends and husband tell me I'm wasting my degree. And oh yea, I've thought about a change alright. A huge change. TS, I know what you're saying about using my skills to help others, and I would definately feel good about that. I was the treasurer for a local no-kill animal shelter for a while. That gave me a little warm-fuzzy. I still don't enjoy doing the work though. I think it's absolutely insane the way a lot of us "professionals" live our lives nowadays, I can't help it. No one should have to sit in a blankity-blank cubicle, under flourescent lighting, with no flippin' windows, practically chained to a computer terminal crunching numbers all day and putting up with people's phony crapola. At least 8 hours a day, at least 5 days a week, with a puny 2 weeks of vacation a year, til I'm so old all I have the energy to do is sit in a damn rocking chair and die. I want to do something I'm passionate about and that I enjoy doing. So I could just hop right out of bed in the morning and be anxious to get up and start my day. What a foreign concept. I'd make a good preacher if I could keep my tongue in line. Oh, now that got me laughing again. LOL!

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    God loves you and so do I!
     
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory--

    I think I have an answer to a less than elegant question:

    "So, what is the point? You have come across certain people in certain positions who you believe are stifling progress in addressing certain social issues? You feel powerless to make a difference, or what?"

    Okay ... try this.

    Walk into a bar, sit down, order a beer. Tell the barkeep, the person next to you--anyone, really--your own set of troubles. Not so much the specifics (Bob did this and Alice did this and Carol did this ....) as the broader idea of feelings and reasons behind your troubles. That person will tell you, "I know it ... everyone knows it."

    Now this is where I run into a problem. If everyone you tell already knows what the problem is, and if everyone knows it's a problem ... why don't they change it? You eventually run into moral paradoxes that are similar to favorite atheist targets: pro-lifers who kill, &c. It's more subtle, I admit. But there's a perfectly good reason why those fifty cents in your pocket won't help that homeless person. There's a perfectly good reason why your tax dollars won't help education. There's a perfectly good reason for everything about our society that disappoints us. And we all know that these things are fundamentally wrong. Even if we sat and argued for days, we could still draw out a list of common societal ills that general convention could accept.

    And nobody wants to go forward. Don't like crime? How to solve it? Build more prisons? Okay. Better education? Hey-hey, now there's an idea. But what galls me is that the prisons are overcrowded because pot smokers get better room reservations than pimps or armed robbers; that education dollars serve better if we give them to businesses as "investments"; that, despite the link between economic distress and crime, we still find it necessary to press our poor in order to support our rich.

    Don't like lying politicians? What to do? Actually, anything but the norm will help fix that. For as much as people seem to dislike the current political structure in the United States, I guarantee you that the most part of those people will still but their mark in the box of an established politician ... exactly what that person will claim to not want.

    Simpler? How about this: I actually know pot smokers who vote against legalization. The only theory I've ever heard is that dealers will lose too much money if pot becomes legal. But this idea just supports the notion of why people make these dumb decisions.

    It's about the "bottom line".

    And that's all it is. It's the idea that a roomful of would-be revolutionaries would rather shout down good ideas with old-school slogans--the very slogans they want to break.

    So, how to change? Should I approach the sheep, who herd around a bad idea? Or should I speak with the shepherd, who feeds them that idea, knowing that the sheep's compulsive appetite will only make the shepherd fatter?

    I've argued with individuals about bottom-line culture. The hardest thing in the world to overcome is that most believe in it because they don't know any better. Sure communism failed; sure, it probably should have. But ask a young anticommunist about the history of communism and you get two answers: that it was wrong, and that any evidence of its propriety is irrelevant. Why? I've heard all kinds of answers, but so far they boil down to humans are greedy. Furthermore, ask them about a facet of communism that does not have directly to do with the exchange of money, and they still just cover their ears and say it's evil. For instance ... do the threats of early Russian communists seem quite so frightening when you consider that the hospitable offerings of the United States at the time of the October Revolution were actually teams of insurgents intending to unseat the Bolsheviks before they could settle into their power? Sadly, I can't get a proper answer even from the Socialists (they're just as polar).

    It's like I asked about a woman being assaulted in a bar, or a preacher lying from the pulpit ... are we not in some way responsible if we leave alone what we know to be evil?

    And that's all there is.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  9. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    Hello tiassa,

    I posted a reply a few days ago but for some reason it didn't make its way on board so I'll try again.

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    Why don't people do something when they agree that a certain evil exists? There are as many countless reasons for inaction as there are ills in the world.

    Sometimes people agree with you in the hopes that you will shut up (not you, specifically, tiassa), perhaps because they went to the bar to drink and to dwell on and drown their own personal problems or perhaps because they are the type who like to avoid confrontation.

    As you know, the difference between change and stagnation is action and taking positive action is something which many people have difficutly doing. Sometimes because they are apathetic and/or lazy, sometimes because they are hung-over and too caught-up in their own personal problems to care about anyone else, sometimes because they feel powerless as an individual, sometimes because they allow themselves to be limited by the negative expectations of others, sometimes because they feel that they don't have the time, sometimes because they don't have a clue as to how to get started and sometimes because they are taking action to improve OTHER societal situations which they feel strongly about (they have picked another battle to fight).

    Like your restatement of the situation with the lying preacher and the woman being attacked in the bar, if I were in a situation where I personally witnessed this first-hand then, yes, I would take immediate action and should certainly be held responsible if I did not. However, being one person in a world where there is so much to be done in the way of improvements, I do not feel responsible as an individual for not addressing ALL the evil in the world as long as I am continuously doing something, even in a small way, to help improve our society.

    Getting involved, taking action and making a positive contribution to a cause is the key. Our complaining, discussion about the ills of the world and agreement about what is evil and what needs to be changed is a waste unless we take steps towards productive change.

    I have been involved in efforts to improve many situations during my lifetime. I played a small but effective part in helping to bring the Vietnam War to an end. I played a small but effective part in helping to get the voting age changed from 21 to 18 in this country so that those who were deemed old enough to defend this country with their lives could also have a voice in this country's government. I played a much larger role in our local community by founding, organizing and overseeing a major youth recreational program, run solely by adult volunteers, which provides supervised and wholesome activities for school-aged children, giving them an alternative to the drugs, violence and crime of the streets. I got the idea when talking with a group of parents who were complaining that there was no after-school activities for the kids other than the varsity sports offered in high school and I said, "Well, then, if that's what we really want for our kids in this community, why don't we all get together and start providing the activities ourselves?" Although this was purely a local effort, eventually, this organization became a model for similar youth recrational programs which have been springing up throughout the U.S. for the past two decades.

    Although I believe that it would be unreasonable to assume responsibility for ALL the "evil" in the world, I believe that we are all responsible for making positive changes in this world and that we should be held responsible if we do not at least try. That is why I am constantly involved in some sort of cause or other, even if it is in a very small, unnoticable way such as typing a mailing list. Some of the efforts which I have been involved in have been successful, some have not. The important thing to me, though, is that I take that first step (action) and that I keep trying to make a positive difference. If I do not take any action other than complaining, if I do not at least try to make a positive difference in at least one area of society at a time, then I believe that I should be held responsible.

    How about you?
     
  10. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    truestory-That sound you hear is big round of applause from my camp. I do my part in my community to curb crime, even if it means hanging out in a convenience store late at night for over an hour because the fidgety guy who walked in looked like he was going to rob the place if only that group of people (me and my friends) would leave. I watch my neighbor's yard and he watches mine.

    I was inspired to take an active part in straightening things out by an old US Army recruiting poster which showed Uncle Sam and bore the caption "If Not You, Who?"
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory--

    Is there a point at which a process grows so large that it must fundamentally change? Perhaps it's easier, say, to get a landlord to act within the law than it is the US Congress.

    What I'm getting at is that when I look around at how my fellow Americans address certain problems, there's an undeclared threshold where people seem to stop using the same version of common sense.

    For instance, if one person is worth human dignity at any cost, why is, "It's too expensive" the first response to almost any attempted solution to alleviating the numbers of homeless?

    About two years ago my mother's boss sent her some gawdawful turkey thing in a box of dry ice for Thanksgiving. My mother hated this kind of turkey, apparently, but found it too expensive to throw away. Christmas rolled around, she had no idea what to do with it, so ... "In order to not throw it out," she took it down to the Union Gospel Mission. Please tell me why ... what surprises people most when I recount this story seems to be that I'm surprised at my mother. It's just that the world outside our individual spheres ought to be something other than a last resort.

    Instead of sticking the words in quotes and calling it a psychology, I'd rather ask: What motivates the people around you to their actions? Do they perform charity, justice, or common sense merely because it is the right thing to do? Or do they have to be enticed, by fear, faith, finance, or otherwise? Sadly I see a clear majority of people among my immediate associates only settle on their own ideas of virtue as a losing gambit. It's almost like that horrid sitcom gag: when you can't con a woman, be honest and sensitive. Does the idea work there?

    To illustrate the crux of it all, though, I would like to point at a snippet of your post and then offer a theoretical counterpoint: You mentioned that the organization you founded, among other things, helped point kids away from drugs. Perhaps I recall them because they were more important to me, but I remember Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads as early as the mid-80's that I knew were bogus. Consider the groups that worked to keep kids away from drugs since 1972 ... how many of them told the truth? And then, what good does it do when the kids find out you lied to them? Let me stick my own experience in here and say that there were certain drugs nobody had to lie to me about ... it was quite easy to stay away from those. Of the things my parents, teachers, and community leaders lied about, I have a vastly different perception of those things. But they tried. They really, really tried.

    If a hundred-thousand good intentions glitter in the headlights as we speed to Hell in a Chevy Malibu ... does it really mean we have no brakes? Sadly, it seems like everyone's busy fighting over the radio station.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  12. Lori Registered Senior Member

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    1,065
    Tiassa,

    Good questions. My opinion is that people usually do the right thing when they can no longer rationalize doing the wrong thing or nothing at all. Out of sight, out of mind comes to mind. Unless a homeless person lands on your front porch.....and even then there are plenty of rationalizations.

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    "ET phone home!"
    "Uh, hello Satan?"
    "Hey, your plan worked great! They all think I'm cute!"
     
  13. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    tiassa,

    Individual motivation is just that... "individual"...

    Having worked with thousands of individuals, I have seen all of the motivations which you have described and more... However, I have also found that those who make the most profound "difference" in this world are those who are motivated by "doing the right thing"... They are by far, the most passionate and prolific individuals which I have had the pleasure of working with. They inevitably put forth super-human efforts in terms of hours and hard work and could never truly be adequately compensated financially for their efforts. However, they find a true sense of accomplishment when they see things through from conceptualization to reality so, in addition to the great contributions that they make, I guess it could be considered a bit "selfish" when they continue to embark on new adventures and continue to gain that dual sense of "doing the right thing" and "feeling good about it" reward over and over again.

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  14. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa-In other words, they get turned on by the old adage: "Virtue is it's own reward."

    I get high by helping people, and I mean high. It's like a drug or something. I help someone, maybe they smile and say 'thank you', maybe they don't. It doesn't matter to me. All I know is afterward my senses get funny on me. The sky seems clearer, colors seems brighter, I feel more energized, and I feel generally euphoric. It lasts well into the following day, when I "come down" from it and realize the world isn't such a trerrible place, because I can't be alone in my endeavors. If I am alone, then I get a rush out of feeling like I'm the only star in the sky. If I am not alone, then I get a rush out of being in such good company. Either way, it's rush and I encourage everybody to try it.
     
  15. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    Oxygen,

    I have meant to say this many times to you... Hope you don't mind... In case I haven't got around to saying it yet, "God bless you!!!" You are sooooo cool (and warm-hearted)!

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  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory--

    Such hard-working and virtuous people I cannot doubt. Let me guess here ... they're the majority in your world, the standard. Such a place and such a people I would love to meet.

    In the end I guess it's just that I'm too stupid to understand you. I mean, there's nothing you wrote in your 12/4 post that I can disagree with, but ... so what? It doesn't change the fact that these individuals are willingly participating in social decay. Nor, for that matter, does it change the fact that you and I participate as well. So I'm left with a "so, what?" feeling.

    It's something like accusing Disney of conspiring to suppress entire nations because they pay their Latin laborers so poorly. Nobody at Disney is specifically thinking, "How can I screw those pathetic laborers," every morning. But twenty-nine cents an hour is still twenty-nine cents an hour, and it's still appalling. How can we possibly bring the world up to equal opportunity when the economic system we subscribe to demands a proportionate and predictable poverty class? After all, those twenty-nine cents an hour are why children's "Pocahontas" pajamas are affordable. Could your local video store afford to rent their tapes out at their current prices if their clerks were, say, paid enough to sustain themselves? How cheap would your pizza be?

    And it's possible to be charitable and virtuous within that system. But it's like anything else ... if we actually did our jobs well enough, we wouldn't have jobs. So people strike moral bargains with themselves. Is it easier, or perhaps less expensive to continue to offer welfare relief, or to attempt to educate society beyond the measures that hold it hostage to economic stratification?

    How about this microcosmic example? I vaguely remember the arrival of ATMs. I didn't pay attention to them until I first heard arguments over fees. When the fee was a quarter, the banks responded that they were entitled to the service charge to cover the cost of operating the machines. More recently, as various legislative bodies throughout the United States have begun looking at ATM fees, the banks argue that the three to five dollar high-end charge is "profits" that they are entitled to by the principles of free enterprise. That very simple change in how we, the people, regard things is really all I'm after. Is it miniscule? So are the cracks that bring down airplanes.

    Okay ... my company raised $800,000 for charity from the employees by bribing them: raise the sum, we give you days off work. Essentially, the employees were buying their time off with their charity. And yes, people still felt good about their five dollars a month. And I would not deny them that. But they had to be offered days off work and the right to wear jeans to work in order to feel good about their five dollars a month. And maybe I'm just not as worldly as you, but I'm pretty sure this minor aspect of the behavior of 11,000 individuals isn't entirely unusual.

    A mistake in a sequence of mathematical equations will repeat itself throughout the sequence. God will punish to the several generations the sins of the fathers. Genetic mutations carry on to descendant generations. What about our ideas? How many times do we make those simple kinds of bargains, and what is the total weight? And is it easier to balance them, or simply avoid them?

    Getting up and going to work would be much easier if it didn't seem like a wasted effort; all of my contributions to the current economy only support its growing schism and what I consider an unacceptable lack of regard for things that can't be sold for a cash value.

    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  17. SkyeBlue Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa -

    I have to agree with a lot of what you say. Do you have any solutions, though? I don't really know what we can do. This country is so damn big, it's a big lumbering beast. Special interests and big business make the laws by buying the local congress. The people of this nation don't seem to have the same kind of power these multimillion dollar enterprises do. Unless we can somehow change the whole way this country functions, there's just not going to be any huge economic reversals. I hate to say it, but that's what I see.

    My company does the same bull-crap 'buy a casual day to help charity' drives. What a coincidence that the main charity we donate to happens to be the one that our CEO is on the board of directors for. And it's a crappy special-interest charity with high administrative costs. So I know how you feel about that one.

    Anybody have any solutions that will work without a revolution??
     
  18. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    O.K., tiassa,

    Here is the "So, what" again:


    You asked:

    My response, in essence, was:

    And, here is the way you twisted my response:

    Then you conclude:

    My conclusion:

    Stupid? No... Diabolic is more like it.


    "So".... tiassa. Although I don't know much more about you except that you tend to use your great intellectual gift to dwell in negative tangents...

    "What"... some people do, rather than continuing to complain, point fingers and wallow in a "woe is me in this imperfect world" attitude is... they accept that although they cannot solve ALL of the world's problems, they do have the power to take "action" and to try and make a positive difference in this world, even if it is in a small way.

    Now, if you want to consider these individuals to be "willing participants in social decay" by virtue of the fact that they were born and exist in today's society, by virtue of the fact that their time on this earth is limited, by virtue of the fact that they have a need to work in a compensating position to earn a living BEFORE they put in the extra volunteer effort needed to make that positive "difference" in at least one area of society, then so be it... There really is nothing to "understand" except that I disagree with you on this, big time.
    As far as I am concerned, at their death, the eulogy for such individuals would be (in extreme terms, which you are sure to understand)... "They did nothing wrong. They did everything right."

    (On a side note, giving you the type of ammunition you seem to enjoy using: With so much room for "improvement" in the world and so little time, if people choose to spend their precious spare moments championing such causes as godlessness in society, abortion on demand, the legalization of drugs, homosexuality, pornography, the rights of criminals before the rights of victims, etc... then I would say that they were "actively" participating in social decay by doing the devil's work.)

    Not that it is important... A nice eulogy is not the goal... But since I am on the subject, I am wondering what you think might be said about you, if anything, when you die, tiassa?


    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 06, 1999).]
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,608
    Skyeblue:

    When the Chinese overran Tiananmen I declared a personal boycott of Chinese-made goods. This was ok, for a time, since most of my clothes were made elsewhere. But my parents, knowing of this boycott, took the opportunity to litter me with birthday gifts with big "Made in China" stickers on the boxes. When I was 18 I got mad at the Disney company for something. That lasted until Christmas, when my parents loaded me up with Mickey Mouse gifts. Apparently it's too hard to avoid Chinese goods to make a personal statement with my actions. Apparently my parents missed the point despite their efforts to understand. It amazed me, but hey, who am I to understand people (Eh, Truestory?)

    * * * *


    Truestory:

    I'm actually complimented by your calling me diabolical. The word has a mysterious ring to it, implying a sense of evil genius. But evil is where we choose to find it, isn't it?

    So, if I'm reading your post correctly ... It's better to subscribe quietly to an inadequate system than attempt to address the problems? You see, I'm challenging the fundamental "action" they take. I'll address your side note, here, as it's relevant to the point.

    You wrote:

    (On a side note, giving you the type of ammunition you seem to enjoy using: With so much room for "improvement" in the world and so little time, if people choose to spend their precious spare moments championing such causes as godlessness in society, abortion on demand, the legalization of drugs, homosexuality, pornography, the rights of criminals before the rights of victims, etc... then I would say that they were "actively" participating in social decay by doing the devil's work.)

    * Godlessness in society is the fault of the churches. Strange, since it's, oh, THEIR JOB to be godly. But this, I understand is a subjective point, and though you don't go to "mainstream" churches, you sure do seem to like them for something that's not good enough for you.

    * Abortion on demand is, I admit, a problem. I would like to see better education in general, sex education, and the removal of church-based social stigma against human sexuality. That, right there, would clean up a lot of the mess. And then we could start hammering out the economic problems that contribute to rampant reproduction as well.

    * Social turmoil surrounding homosexuality is unnecessary. It's only religious provocateurs who keep the situation complicated. When they shut up, "gay chic" becomes less annoying because it's less of a buzz-issue in the media/entertainment world.

    * Pornography's not really my issue. I defend its place when it comes up, mostly because I'm tired of the undereducated anti-sex hysteria that surrounds putting it on a page.

    * You make the assumption that I would put criminal rights before "victim" rights. I actually value every person's rights. There are two issues at stake with that, as far as the idea of putting criminals before victims goes: A) Defendant is innocent until proven guilty ... it kills me that so many people talk about "criminal" rights when referring to the accused; and B) without basic "human" rights, there's no point to prisons ... we might as well kill every person with a jailable offense (and right now that includes parking tickets). If you're going to assume my priorities, please take the time to consider that I am not working within your perceived frame of reference. In other words, I don't use the same yardstick. "Criminal" is subject to more considerations than you seem to make.

    * Drug legalization: If the anti-drug people didn't lie so darn much, drug legalization would have occurred years ago and we wouldn't have to argue the point.

    I might remind you that "championing" causes goes both ways. If the "holier-than-thou" crowd didn't pick the fights, they wouldn't have to have them. Maybe that simple paradox is one of my biggest problems with the world. That so much of the "help" we think we're giving actually causes the problems we seek to solve. The way things are, and the way things have been, is wrong. A change in the attitude at large would eliminate so much of the "championing" you find so distasteful.

    And I would hope that my friends would speak of me the way they do now. But it's a truism that you can't believe such things of someone so diabolical.

    So, I could give my money or time to a religious charity, and spread the evil seed. Or I could stand in a soup kitchen and remind myself I'm luckier than these people. Or I could develop a new idea that has the possibility of tackling the grander difficulty. But that kind of hope is just a waste of time, isn't it?

    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)

    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited December 06, 1999).]
     
  20. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, tiassa, evil and darkeness exists in this world... So does goodness and light... They are all here in this world for us to see... They are also aspects of human nature which we actively choose to participate in or not to participate in.

    No, tiassa, you are not reading my post correctly... Or, perhaps I am not getting your drift... It seems that you lend more credibility to complaining and doing nothing than to taking action which can make a positive difference in this world... You originally asked why nobody does anything to address the ills of the world... My point was that a good many people DO take action.

    Again, of course, as individuals we cannot address ALL of the ills in this world... It would be "unreasonable" to think that one could... That is why it is important that we choose our battles wisely. Take a real, live, woman named "Bea" for example. For a full quarter of a century after retiring, she spent every day, seven days a week, soliciting food from the public and she personally cooked and served nutritious meals each evening for hundreds of people in a large city. That's more than twenty-five YEARS of meals for the poor and indigent of that urban community who, otherwise, would have gone hungry. But, sarcastically speaking in tiassaisms, let us not forget all the lies she told and the problems that she created with her "holier-than-thou, do-gooder attitude!" She should be smacked, huh, tiassa? Give me a break! What she created, in addition to healthy meals for the homeless and hungry each evening, was a network of people who you speak of with contempt... business people and other "do-gooders" in "Bea's" community who were able meet in the common dining area to brainstorm with each other and help with shelter, clothing, medical attention and employment for their poorer neighbors. Consequently, she helped people, she provided motivation for others to help people to help themselves. Could she have addressed the problem another way? Sure. However, she went beyond complaining and finger-pointing, chose a tough battle to fight... "hunger" in her community... and she did the "best" that she knew how for her fellow human beings. In other words, she took "action" to make a positive difference in this world.

    There are many "Beas" in this world tiassa... Unfortunately, so many people, like yourself, tend to focus on the "negative" in this world to the point of disregarding and/or overlooking the "positive".

    As far as my side note, I would like to point out that I was not assuming your views on those matters, nor was I attributing the championing of such causes to you, personally, tiassa. It was midly interesting, however, to see you jump into that subject matter like a pig jumps into sh*t, though.

    I mentioned godlessness and, once again, you brought in "mainstream churches"... Snore... Sorry if this offends you but, your continued inability to discern the difference between God and earthly churches and your obsessive need to stereotype anyone who believes in God into "defenders of the mainstream church" is quite monotonous and boring, to say the least. Not being diabolical or evil, I realize that my views bore you, also, tiassa. Let's just say that we don't share the same view of the world in terms of it being macabre.

    As far as my distaste for the championing of the rights of criminals before the rights of victims, for the record, I do not consider "the accused" to be a criminal. I hope that this statement clears up at least one misunderstanding up in your mind.

    I agree with your statement about "hope"... without action, it is a waste of time. Again, that is why we need to go the extra mile to pull ourselves up out of the "pig-stye" which you perceive the world to be.

    There is something that I am wondering about, tiassa. On the one hand, you complain bitterly that nothing is being done about all the "evil" which you supposedly perceive in this world, yet you seem to enjoy wallowing in evil.. Seems quite contradictory to say the least... Or, is that WHY you support the "do nothing" way of life? Because, in truth, you actually enjoy the wallowing?

    Which brings me to another question... What, exactly, is the "truism" that would be uttered by your "friends" at your funeral if you were to die today, tiassa?


    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 06, 1999).]
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,608
    Truestory:

    * "My point was that a good many people DO take action." What if that action is merely feelgood? Sure, people address the ills of the world. But consider, as a parallel: When I was in high school, a standard question asked of suicidal teens was, "Why do you want to abandon your family, and hurt the people who love you?" Yes, I agree ... this counselor or peer is attempting to reconcile an ill within their world. But what happens, as was usually the case in my day, when the family is the source of the aggravation that leads to the ultimate challenge of the soul? The intervening party, with all good intention, has just presented a paradox which implies to the lamenting mind that it somehow owes allegiance to the source of its pain. It's a nice attempt, but a null result. So I see a fine line between the best intentions and the worst result. What aspect we seem to not be meeting on is simply: What if that "good" is actually evil?

    * "It seems you lend more credibility to complaining and doing nothing...." You know, governments are a human institution. I offer you this idea: from the first English invasions of Ireland, the Irish complained that they were being exploited for economic and military purposes. Now, in 1100 CE, that's a tough argument to get away with. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was widely accepted around the world that the British ran Ireland and that the economic and social processes there were right. The whole time, the Irish complained. But the world saw their revolutions as undignified and inappropriate. And still they complained. And in the modern day, with little progress made, one of the chief ideas I encountered when I became aware of the Irish situation was that the Irish complaint has no merit, because all they've ever done is complain. Conservatives, in financial arguments, believe they know the most about finance merely because they, by the nature of their life and political philosophies, earn more. Gun owners think they're right because they can just shoot anyone who objects to their getting drunk and target-shooting in the backyard. And so you now stand with your idea of people doing good. Look at all their hard work ... OK, fine. But the inability of those who hold such ideas to reconcile even the simplest paradoxes of their acts describes a state of fear directed toward those paradoxes, reminiscent of any idea or person living amid its own deceptions.

    If I were to point to the murder of Dr. David Gunn ... okay, I withdraw the extremity of the killers, and do not consider the quantity of dead fetuses in his garage typical of his kind of person. But you never know; after all, I'm such an extreme and terrible judge of character. But the killer worked at a Christian halfway house for pregnant teens. My problem with this was that, in exchange for this "charity", the girls were expected to perform cleaning and maintenance chores that any good doctor would tell you is bad for pregnancy. They were required to attend anti-abortion protests and to picket. They were required to participate in the Christian faith. Some charity, eh? Now, I reiterate: I am aware that Dr Gunn's killers were not typical among Christians--they are not specifically the point. But how extreme am I being? Is this the only operation of its sort in the country? I'm quite sure it isn't. What wolves we disguise as charitable lambs in this culture is beyond simply disturbing. And, because it's important to me ... do you see the "logical device" at work in the halfway house? That set of justifications, that allows a political labor camp to be called charity ... you really don't think that's common among the people?

    Some general considerations here:

    I am very, very aware that you aren't part of the churches. However, you are the one who brought up ideas like homosexuality and abortion. And it remains clear to me that the American Christian institutions are presenting some of the biggest obstacles to making this "cause" go away. So, I'm sorry if it offends you, but the situation is much bigger than your distaste for the churches.

    Please do not resort to such ideas as "All you do is complain." Hey, if the people whose logic sounds a lot like yours could have answered the questions then instead of now, the ideas wouldn't have become complaints. Such accusations are the last resort of the crumbling wicked.

    In order for a pig to jump into sh*t, you have to leave sh*t to jump into. Given the amount you're spewing, you can expect at least some people to jump right in with shovels and try to clear the way for those less inclined to defecate on new ideas.

    As to your last paragraph ... If it turns out that I support a "do-nothing" way of life, it would be because I can no longer participate in the grand failure that is the present condition. And someone who is as thoughtful, apparently intelligent, and non-extreme as you like to think of yourself ought to know one thing about "evil": It's all in what you call important. If God tells you to worry about who's screwing who, or smoking what, who is going to feed the hungry?

    Consider this idea: A disease is wiping out your population. It sprang up in a section of society you only know as bad because of your bigotries. Let's be specific, in fact. Gays and AIDS. President Reagan had the best intentions, I'm sure. His solution to the AIDS problem:

    * Call it the "gay measles"
    * Do nothing to stop it because it is the result of homosexual sinfulness.
    * Advocate the less practical preventative measures based on the fact that you don't like what other people do with their own time. (Abstinence v. condom?)
    * Never use the term "Human Immunodeficiency Virus"
    * Wait until the sixth year of the presidency to use the term "AIDS".

    But Ronald Reagan assured us he was concerned about AIDS, and wanted to control or stop it. I put the questions, then, to you:

    * Did Reagan have good intentions? (Speculate if you like, I'm aware we can't know.)
    * Did his actions reflect someone with good intentions?

    Regardless of what he intended, his result was evil by my figuring. After all, his strategy worked about as well as the Drug War, which is to say Made Things Worse.

    So tell me ... what about Reagan's idea was NOT "do-nothing"? Oh, that's right, his goodness and rightness proactively complicated the situation. That, I suppose, isn't "nothing".

    In fact, you're right. AIDS is such a problem that I want to fix it. Tomorrow I'm going to go out and beat up a gay person and tell him he's wrong. Then, in the name of God, I'm going to work to make sure EVERY intravenous needle exchange is shut down. THAT oughta make AIDS go away. Right? I mean, I would hate to sit by and do nothing, eh?

    Hey, it's your idea of progress. Feel good while doing nothing to solve the problem, at best.

    Or, we could get off the gays' backs. We could provide addicts with clean needles and the opportunity to stop before they do die. We could tell children the real truth about drugs so they don't assume it's ALL a lie.

    One other distinction ... is it charity to give a quarter to a guy who asks for it on the street? Hell, I call it decency. Certainly, it's better to teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. But you either run out of fish or end up making it too complicated to get a license. So in the meantime, comfort and smiles make better sense than patronizing and moralism.

    Keep on filling the wallow ... maybe next time I'll try a jacknife or a gainer. But I will always have my trusty shovel when wandering through such a rhetorical sty.

    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  22. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    tiassa,

    Hah! I now see the need for the rhetorical shovel!

    Like you said, you can see evil anytime you choose.

    Did you ever think of the possibility that posing the question would open the child up to confessing to the counselor their belief that their family did "not" love them based on their experiences at home? That perhaps this would open a door to prevent future "abuse" if that were the case? That your perceived paradox could actually have a different result than the "only one," the null, that you speak of?

    In reality, I have seen and heard of similar situations where such probing questions have actually set the final stage for a suicidal person to open up, to be heard, for their fellings to finally be validated enabling them to move on and make positive changes in thier life, despite the raw deal that they got at home.

    The worst result could certainly be considered a failure, however, I certainly would not consider the question which is described above as "evil," regardless of the outcome. So, yes, we don't meet in that respect.

    By the way... Aside from the fact that there might have been a better-worded question for the counsellor to ask, what else would you suggest? Do nothing?

    If not, you seem to be going around in circles here?

    I'd rather not discuss Reagan in much detail if you don't mind. Suffice it to say that I perceive his presidency to have been a farce.

    tiassa,

    Our intellectual relationship is beginning to remind me of that between my brother and I when we were teenagers. We were very close, best of friends, until the time he went camping and was introduced to some mind-altering drugs. When he came back from that trip, in body, his mind was no longer the same. Although we lived in the same household, had the same parents, sat at the same kitchen table for dinner every night... his perception of every imperfection that my parents had, every word that they said and everything that they did was "evil"... in his eyes, they did not love him... Why were they like "this" when they could have just as easily been like "that"?... Why did they say "this" when they could have said "that"?... Why did they react "this way" when they could have reacted "that way"?... He concluded that they must be "bad people"... Living in the same household, I concluded that they were the same human beings, albeit imperfect, as they were before his camping trip and I loved and accepted them for who they were, faults and all... The change in my brother was the saddest, most sickening, heart-wrenching thing that I have ever witnessed.

    It is a fact that his perception was altered by a chemical imbalance in his brain... He was a suicidal teen whose perception of his family had been altered by drugs... the probing questions gave counselors and doctors better insight into what the cause of his pain was... It took many years of therapy for him to get to a healthy mental state... approximately half of his life was wasted in a mental hell... all because of the LSD which was put in the wine and passed around the campfire.


    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 06, 1999).]
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,608
    Truestory:

    Two comments for starters.

    * I am aware of the psychological device you're referring to when your brother became evil. And I think it's valid of a sort, but there's something consider here: Many people hold fundamental questions within them, and when something frees up their inhibitions, there is often difficulty translating deeply felt ideas to words; the inability of a family to be patient with those developing questions, the need for the family to draw firm lines around such ideas can reinforce a sense of paranoia that I must admit requires some personal adjustment to accommodate.

    * I think in this case you're looking to your prejudices to support your statements about drugs. I'm curious what your exposure is here, because your perspective reminds me of someone whose drug knowledge centers around one or two reckless people who bombed themselves into the Earth with their drug of choice, as well as a lifetime of nefarious propaganda. So what I would ask here is twofold: What dosage was in how much wine? 250 micrograms of clean LSD would hold me pleasantly for several hours. 500 would push my ability to enjoy the ride. 750 would keep me up for eight to ten hours, begging for the buzz to stop. A milligram would keep me rolling for a day, at least. After all, it's almost the same idea as getting drunk: 1 beer pleasant, 2 jovial, 3 intoxicated, 4 still doing well, 5 hangover, 6 bad hangover, 7-12 ... I'm entering the power-vomit zone. It's all a balance of what you want to get from it. Oh, second fold ... if you're going to say that your brother didn't know the LSD was in the wine, well ... then it becomes an issue of people and not drugs.

    Otherwise: I'm glad you see the Reagan presidency as a farce. But please don't dismiss the example ... after all, I would be more interested if you felt his administration's good intentions were well-played ... that would be a chance to understand a version of logic that seems to show the worst in people (Reagan's logic, not yours ....)

    And I'll do better than speculate what would be a better quesiton for a counselor to ask. I'll tell you exactly how I handled that specific situation: When school and private counselors had failed, what seemed most needed was easy to provide: Shut up, sit back to back in the middle of the room and wait for the Demons to either come springing from the shadows or not. Listen as she rants. Hold close when she needs. And when the morning comes, remind her to smile at the sunrise because as far as anyone can prove, it's all for her. And you know what? It worked ... it bought us time for the professional counselors to come in and screw it up again with all their good intentions. So we did it again, with only a little variation (we sat on a sofa all night). After a while, it was easy. I went on to college, she went on to college, and we had bought off enough time for her to get things straight in her head before she tried to explain them to other people. My parents seemed to dislike the strategy at the time because I was only 17 when I jumped into the deep end, and it took nearly two years before I could step out of the frame and let the scene play for itself. Even today the folks'll insist that certain things are more important than human life. If it helps your frame of reference, though, the clear majority of those more-important-than-life ideas have to do with money and the self, and how to make the two harmonious. I didn't pretend to get it.

    Of course, we could just go on quoting textbooks and statistics. It's worked well enough so far.

    My father once told me that the fundamental change in society I seek will come about when necessary because the people are literally starving to death in the streets. Gee, wouldn't it be nice to try to get it right without that kind of revolution? Wouldn't it be nice to try not because it's the endgame, but because it's a chance at progress?

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)


    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited December 07, 1999).]
     

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