Let's Talk 2000

"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"

May 15, 1996, Volume 2, Issue 9, a bi-weekly bulletin

Topics covered in this issue:

The Millennium Doctor Speaks
News from the Field: Talk from the Forum: New Millennial Sites: Contact Information

The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
"Taking the pulse of 2000 A.D."

Computer nerds and Trekkies of the world unite! "For generations, human-kind has looked up at the night sky and yearned to touch the stars. Now we have set out on the long road that will ultimately carry us to galaxies far far away. Someday soon, in the cosmic scale of time, a human civilization will span the starry reaches of the Milky Way. Untold trillions of human beings will live and love and laugh on untold billions of new worlds; and each of them will reflect with wonder on our magical time, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, when it all began."

No, that's not Gene Roddenbery, but Marshall T. Savage, author of The Millennial Project. Not content to talk science fiction, Savage is calling a new generation to set humanity on the road toward space colonization. Our lead feature below reports on the First Foundation's plans to establish a proto-type space colony by 2000.

Speaking of space colonization, our conversations on the Forum these past two weeks tackled the subject of aliens and world transformation. Read a page from our archives and learn why millennial scholar Richard Landes thinks alien speculation is mere apocalyptic crowing.

News from the Field:
"Here is the latest news on year 2000 efforts".

RIFLE, CO (BP)--Step aside Biosphere 2 and EPCOT. Visionary writer Marshall T. Savage has big plans for the millennium. By New Year's Day 2000, the 41-year old western Colorado builder turned space advocate plans to open "Aquarius Rising"--a $200 million proto-type space colony on an island in the Caribbean, complete with 450-room beach-front hotel, a duty-free shopping mall, golf course and theme park to showcase space colonization in the third millennium.

Savage intends his St. Croix millennial project to be the research base from which humanity will inhabit the seas early in the 21st century and then reach out to colonize the moon, Mars and finally the galaxies by the end of the third millennium. And if we are to believe the endorsements of Arthur C. Clarke, Byte Magazine's Jerry Pornelli or the BBC, all of this could happen.

Since Savage first published his eight-step plan for space colonization in 1992, some 250 "core volunteers" from Colorado to Czechoslovakia have begun to work together via the Internet to launch their floating Caribbean habitat as the first step toward the Final Frontier. Once isolated by geography, these space advocates are now using the "First Millennial Foundation" web site [http://www.millennial.org/] to find one another, form virtual communities and shape work plans. By June the Foundation will complete three-years work on a comprehensive business prospectus for investors "that will make the entire project into reality."

Encouraging his fellow millennialists recently by e-mail, Savage wrote, "We need a movement of historic proportions to get civilization into space. You can't do it as a club, or a religion, or a company. It takes nothing less than a national movement to do that."

Despite the space nostalgia which the movie Apollo 13 evoked, Savage believes the U.S. will not revive its space program; NASA may dabble in space research, but it will not pave the way toward space colonization. "We're left with job one for the human species to create a new movement dedicated to that proposition."

Savage believes a millennial movement will arise spontaneously from the human species, as an impulse to go to the stars. "Our group is representative of that impulse. Humanity will find a way to make this happen. Either we will do it, or some group will rise up like us." Source: Bimillennial Press.

Up until recently, only the faithful heeded the call for conversion by the millennium. Now with just three years and 229 days until the year 2000, mainstream media from the Wall Street Journal to Business Wire are talking about the coming "computer" doomsday. Even the U.S. Congress has summoned the gigabyte gods to testify to the magnitude of the problem.

Techies call the computer crisis "the year 2000 problem" or "the millennium virus." The scope of the problem is huge, but the problem itself is technically simple. Most computer programs use a two-digit field for the year filed--thus, 1996 is usually stored as 96. The computer assumes there is a "19" in front of "96." Everything works just fine until the year 2000, when the two-digit date becomes "00" and the computer still assumes the first two digits are "19." Experts say that approximately 90 percent of all computer systems have date references using this model.

The result, come the millennium, could be chaos for all kinds of stored records--for example, company invoices, payrolls, inventory systems and databases. Consumers could find their credit card transactions and payments, insurance policies and loans fouled up. On a larger scale, the computer problem could confuse complex troop deployments, cause satellites to malfunction and snarl long-distance telephone connections.

According to a recent article in Information Week (2/5/96), "Never before in the history of computers has there been such a threat as the one posed by the Year 2000. Now less than four years away, the turn of the century promises to wreak havoc on the world's 'legacy' systems unless they are fixed or replaced."

Getting rid of the programming glitch in the U.S. alone could cost businesses and taxpayers some $300 billion to $600 billion, according to the Gartner Group Inc., a Stamford, Conn.-based computer consulting firm specializing in year 2000 research. Experts say each line of computer code needs to be checked, often manually.

"It's a problem the likes of which we've never seen before," says Peter de Jager (pronounced YAW-ger), a Canadian computer consultant who created an Internet homepage (http://year2000.com) and e-mail list to educate businesses about the problem. "Compared to the possible disastrous consequences, fixing the problem is nothing," says de Jager, former systems manager for Canadian retailer Dylex. De Jager's Year 2000 homepage lists 30 companies that offer year 2000 consulting services and remedies.

Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap of recent conversations"

Here are uncut archives from the Talk 2000 Forum. Richard Landes is writing in response to a May 4 th post which Jennifer L Cerron wrote. She writes:
> my curiosity is a bit piqued now as i read the current offerings of
> both alien speculation, and that of the world transformation
> possibility/expectation at century's end.
> while our technology is evolving at a rate comparable to the changes
> in our biological environment..not to mention the race [rate?] of dna
> code breaking...it is not hard to fathom that the fascination and
> skepticism concerning aliens may actually be fueled by something
> within us..or outside of us.
> There are people in my age group that attempt to view the bible as an
> objective piece of work that may address any given context.

Landes responds: i don't think you mean objective here. do you mean trans-temporal, a kind of template that will serve as a guide to any period, any situation?

> who is to say that Jesus was not as "alien"? bad science fiction has
> long given the possibility of life existing outside of this lone planet

one might turn that around on you. why see Jesus as an alien? human people are incapable of inspired teachings? or is the alien element a way of preserving the validity of his teachings so that they remain relevant now. and might those teachings be, not the ethical/ philosophical ones (turn the other cheek, forgive, etc.), but precisely those which are the most suspicious for having been wrong... apocalyptic prophecies of a coming kgdm, esp Revelation (there wd not have been a xnty if his followers had known that the next 2000 (and more!) wd be full of wars and sufferings).

> i find it utterly impossible to believe that life can only exist on
> one planet with the argument that only earth has the necessary
> components to sustain life. to that argument i suggest that life takes
> many forms..as any computer virus will show..

???? do not mistake a term coined by analogy for a real phenomenon. you're thinking like a rooster -semiotically aroused.

> and that any planet has the possibility to
> sustain life in forms that we may not be able to recognize as such
> because our sensory faculties are not comparable.

agreed. but you seem to be making these statements as a way of clearing the decks of any objections to your furiously projecting onto this now blank (or teeming) cognitive void your ownfantasies of apocalyptic redemption.

> while we have the capabilities of only seeing the here and now, and
> the retrospective past, there may exist those more highly evolved
> whose sight is of a quantum capacity, and may already be aware of
> occurrence on earth that for us have not taken place, but has for those
> on the "outside".

in biblical terms this is prophecy. i presume you are suggesting that it is explained as the work of highly evolved aliens.

> if some natural occurrence, transformation, enlightenment could take
> place in 2000 for the good, i do fear that some ironic measures will be
> taken that would shift that paradigm..ie media/marketing free-for-all,
> further inhibiting our "spiritual" capacities, if something of that
> nature does in fact exist ( and for every human that has ever done
> anything inspired and "artistic" in his/her life, i'm sure that he/she
> would acknowledge such a capacity).

the real problem, and the source of those owls who reluctantly abandon their rooster tendencies (me), is that these transformations more often lead to the kinds of excesses we have seen in our own century... genocide against another people demonized as antichrist (fuhrer = messiah), genocide against those in one's own people demonized as antichrist (communist revolution = messiah). when you arouse the forces of apocalyptic hope and terror, you play sorcerer's apprentice. will someone be there to save your and all our behinds when groups like the militias and the jihadists and the omshinrikyists start crowing and clawing in concert?

> while i intended to write a reply pertaining to the subject of the
> roosters and owls, i hope i did not get too far off track. perhaps
> that is the intention..and roosters are definitely loud..

you did not stray. you crowed eloquently and attractively. excuse me if i do not jump up and down in excitement. --richard "turkey-owl" landes

New Millennial Sites:
"Here are new sites in cyberspace"

FIRST NIGHT: "America's largest New Years Eve celebration"
First Night, Inc. is a privately funded cultural service organization which sponsors alcohol free New Years Eve celebrations. First night attracted more than 1.5 million people from around the world to their community centered New Year's events.

EDWARD BELLAMY: "A Year 2000 Visionary"
The Center for Utopian/Dystopian Studies has added a web page devoted to Edward Bellamy, the author of the most celebrated utopiannovel of the past century, Looking Backwards: 2000-1887.

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://humnet.humberc.on.ca/talk2000.htm
Talk 2000 Newsgroup: bit.listserv.2000ad-l

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Submissions of newsworthy items: 2000ad-l@usc.edu
Publisher & editor: talk2000@rmii.com
Jay Gary, aka The Millennium Doctor
author, The Star of 2000
(719) 636-2000 Phone
Publication keywords: groups, events, society, millennium
LET''S TALK 2000 © 1996 Bimillennial Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
LET''S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press, Inc.