We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities. (Pogo)
The best, most healing medicine for us now is to speak the truth to each other. (Joanna Macy)
Expanding our understanding of the "Year 2000 Problem" and how it may impact the community in which we live.
Reflecting on the choices we will
make in relation to Y2K.
"The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?," John Petersen, Margaret Wheatley, Myron Kellner-Rogers.
"Totally Buggin' ", Sam Williams, The Monthly, 1998.
"A Big Grocer's Y2K Nightmare," Anonymous.
"What if There Is a Technical Fix for Y2K?," Tom Atlee.
Once Was Blind But Now I See: The Amazing Grace of Y2K," Margaret J. Wheatley.
What exactly is theY2K problem? Can it be fixed? How serious is it, really? How might it affect your life and that of your family? What impact could it have in your neighborhood? Do we have any choice about what happens? What opportunities does this impending experience offer us? The Year 2000 Problem raises questions for which there are no certain answers and which challenge us to examine our deepest values and the behavior they lead us to. This session is intended to bring our own questions to the circle and to begin to explore how we want to respond to Y2K.
Petersen, Wheatley and Kellner-Rogers describe the year 2000 problem and the fragility of the inter-connected systems on which our present lifestyle has come to depend. They write of the scenarios which could unfold as we approach and pass 01/01/00, and recommend collaboration as a critical factor in how we weather this uncertain time.
Sam Williams warns that computer systems are vulnerable to more than the year 2000 problem. He draws on the work of computer systems engineer Daniel Kohanski, who says that we live in a society that will not function without computers, and that Y2K may be "Öthe jolt that makes us reexamine our reliance on quick-fix technology."
An anonymous supermarket manager provides a glimpse of how the Y2K glitch might affect her/ his store ñ a hint of what could occur all along the technology-dependent food chain.
There is no technical fix for this problem, we are told -- but what if there were? What if there turns out to be a technical solution? Does the vulnerability highlighted by Y2K go away? Can we sustain life on a path of isolation and dependence on technology? Tom Atlee challenges us to think about the transformational possibilities of Y2.
A second article by Margaret Wheatley
ranks Y2K as her very influential "teacher" since early
in 1998, guiding her to learn concretely of the fragile, complex
interdependencies that support the way we live. She has learned
of the difficulty we face in letting
go of our comfortable belief in the
"gods of technology, economics, and individualism."
OPENING THE CIRCLE
ENTERING THE CONVERSATION (Each person responds)
What I have read and heard about Y2K makes me feel...
QUESTIONS TO DEEPEN THE STUDY
1. How do you think the year 2000 problem
could affect your own life and that of your family?
2. Do you agree with Kohanski's conclusion (in "Totally Buggin'") that Y2K is making people wake up to the downside of technology?
3. At the present time, what preparations have you made with respect to Y2K?
4. What are your reactions to the suggestion that we are "following the wrong gods home"?
5. Why do you think people are inclined to dismiss the Y2K problem?
6. Which of the scenarios described by Petersen, et. al. do you believe is most likely?
7. What is your reaction to the suggestion of some of the authors that the year 2000 problem requires community-wide strategies rather than
8. How do you react to the opinion that there is no technical fix for Y2K?
WHAT ACTION COULD BE TAKEN?
REFLECTING ON THE CONVERSATION (Each person responds)
What closing thought would you like to share?
CLOSING THE CIRCLE OR RITUAL (See "Ritual Resources" at the beginning of this guide)
RESOURCES & LINKS
Awakening: The Upside of Y2K, ed. By Judy Laddon, Tom Atlee and Larry Shook, 1998.
Timebomb 2000, Edward & Jennifer Yourdin, Prentice-Hall, 1998.
Y2K Survival Guide, Bruce F. Webster, Prentice-Hall.
Video collection from August,1998, Y2K Conference in Boulder, CO: contact http://www.webone.net or call 303-448-8838