On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

December 28, 1999 Permalink

Thanks to “Bad Company (johnny@shootingstar.com)”, I finally understand the Polly mentality. The key was in the following sentence, which was part of a discussion about my offer to report what I find out this coming Friday about progress of the rollover around the world:

If I adhered to your beliefs about the impending doom which is about to befall us, I’d certainly want your take on things, because it is human nature that perception basically is reality.

It is almost impossible for a person with a properly functioning cognitive apparatus to understand this point of view, but once understood, it explains all of the Pollys’ apparently incomprehensible behavior. Here are just a few of the endless questions about Pollys that can be answered now.

Q: Why are the Pollys so angry at those who try to point out the possibility of trouble as a result of Y2K?

A: Because perception is reality. Those who are trying to point out the problem are actually causing the problem by convincing people that there is a problem.

Q: Why are the Pollys still spending so much time denying the possibility of trouble as a result of Y2K, even at this extremely late date when it would seem that people’s opinions cannot change the course of events?

A: Because perception is reality. If only they can convince people that Y2K will have no bad effects, then it will have no bad effects.

Q: Why do the Pollys refuse to acknowledge all of the signs that the government and businesses are taking extraordinary precautions, indicating that the potential for serious problems is real?

A: Because perception is reality. If people refuse to see the problem, then it doesn’t exist.

Perhaps the best description of this way of looking at the world comes from Atlas Shrugged (p. 964, Signet paperback edition, 40th printing):

“Dropping below the level of a savage, who believes that the magic words he utters have the power to alter reality, they believe that reality can be altered by the power of the words they do not utter -- and their magic tool is the blank-out, the pretense that nothing can come into existence past the voodoo of their refusal to identify it.”

Of course, the entirety of John Galt’s speech, from which that is an excerpt, is also applicable to the current situation, but that one passage is really all we need to know about how the Polly mentality (if that is the correct word) operates. I wish I’d realized this sooner, as it would’ve saved all of us a lot of time and effort, but at least this is one puzzle that we won’t have to take with us into the new year.

—Steve Heller, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 12/28/99

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