The Co-Intelligence Institute // CII home // Y2K home

Responses to Y2K

Responses to Y2K might be broken down into "the 4 Bs" (below) or into psychological stages. For an idea of how life will be affected by the choices we make now, see Ready for Chaos or Community? by Sharif Abdullah. Three very plausible scanarios of what could transpire on Jan. 1, 2000. The third is very inspiring.

B1 - Business as usual

a) The Year 2000 Problem? What's that?
b) Y2K is not a problem for us. Just carry on.
c) Rest assured that we'll fix our Y2K problems in plenty of time.*
d) There may be some problems here and there, but we'll get back on track fast enough.
e) I can't think about it. I've got other things I need to attend to.

B2 - Big Trouble

a) There will be significant problems, bankruptcies, unemployment....
b) Things will be pretty bad, but if we work together, we should make it ok.
c) Call out the lawyers!
d) Throw out whoever's responsible for this mess!
e) If you are strong and the smart, you, too, can gain from the Y2K failures of others.
f) I'll move out to my country house until things settle down.

B3 - Breakdown

a) If we don't gear up, use triage and prepare contingency plans,
things are going to really come apart.
b) This is going to be horrible! What will happen to me?!
c) I'm moving to the woods with my canned goods and guns.
d) We can't fix Y2K. Society is going to collapse!
e) [someone -- the military? the Mafia?] is preparing to stamp out chaos.

B4 - Breakthrough

a) Whatever we're doing now to change the world, Y2K offers us
opportunities to make more rapid progress.
b) Things falling apart will wipe out old ways of thinking and doing, leaving
room for people to try new and better approaches, individually and collectively.
c) We can use the prospect of things falling apart to change our consciousness
and our culture -- whether or not things actually fall apart.
d) If we allow our breakthrough perspective to inform whatever we do with Y2K,
we'll end up further along towards the world we want. For example, if we
gear up, use triage and prepare contingency plans as a community, we can be
closer to the world we want right now!

These diverse responses mix and match in various ways, and there are tons of nuances and probably better and other categories of responses, but at least this gives a sense of the spectrum of responses. There are ample websites and publications dealing with B1 - B3. This site is concerned with B4 Breakthrough (with some attention on B2b and B3a).

If you have friends or associates in B1 who you would like to move into the next levels, you might try showing them Is this Y2K problem for real?. If they (or you) believe a technical fix will be found, check out The Dream of a Technical Fix for Y2K.

Psychological stages

When confronted by this problem, most people go through a sequence of responses in an effort to come to grips with an overwhelming threat riddled with uncertainties. While more can be done to map and understand these, a good start has been made by Scott Olmstead.