Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Rationalizations of a Y2K party pooper

Author:Phil Wolff
Posted:1/3/2000; 9:45:39 PM
Topic:Rationalizations of a Y2K party pooper
Msg #:14032
Prev/Next:14031 / 14033

This event didn't mean much of anything to me.

I didn't feel strongly when I shifted from Daylight Savings Time. Was this a simple odometer adjustment?

I don't know if it was my lurking on the IETF calendaring and scheduling working group for two years, struggling through date arithmetic and calendaring syndication protocols. Inured from overexposure?

It might have been hanging out with chasidim in my 20s that did it. ("The year is 5760 so what's with this year-two-thousand mishegass? Y2K happened 3760 years ago!") Context is everything.

Or surviving the US Bicentennial in 1976. Where the year-long event had some relevance to my political awareness. When it evoked some real unity of purpose among a nation still reeling from Watergate. There were fireworks on that 4th of July, only in the US, but they had meaning for me.

Perhaps reading science fiction set in distant futures? Or the early science fiction writers of the 1930s that wrote about living on Mars and travelling beyond the stars by 1960. The landmarks of our future are so arbitrary and seemingly unpredictable.

I was a little kid when I asked my grandparents how old they were, and figured out that if I lived that long, I'd be living until 2030 or 2040. 2000 is just a pitstop along the way. Try the DeathClock for your "personal date of death."

Fireworks aside, it was extraordinary seeing people take 15 minutes to reflect on the past and future of humanity, of the world. Like the charity, peace, goodwill and hopefulness that constitute a Christmas Spirit, this reflective long view is brief and annual when it should be everpresent.

Happy New Year!

Phil's Dijest

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