Let's Talk 2000

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

August 15, 1996, Volume 2, Issue 14, 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."

New proposals to celebrate the millennium keep on springing up around the world. Our lead feature highlights one art project in Canada which is preparing an ambitious 1998 to 2000 traveling installation of sculpture, enriched with performance art. Its creators claim to be following Goethe's advise: "Whatever you can do, or dream, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

Meanwhile, the daily Talk 2000 Forum is hitting new strides these days with several good threads running continuously. If you are not subscribed, but would like to know more, write talk2000@rmii.com and request "invitation" for Talk 2000.

If you know people who you think might enjoy this bulletin, forward them a copy. We are always looking for new friends. Our readers remain our best source of information on how society is preparing for the "celebration of centuries."

Next issue will mark the first birthday of Talk 2000. In view of our growth these past 12 months, we will be starting a spin-off forum on September 1st, based out of England. It will be called "Tribute 2000" and will focus on the bimillennial of Christ. Look for details in the next "Let's Talk 2000."

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

Canadian visual artist, Wallis Kendall and sculptor, Sandra Bromley of Edmonton, Alberta have begun work on a projected $5 million production, called "i human 2000," a two touring show of celebrating "our rich and eventful human passage over the last 1,000 years."

Incorporating live performing art into installations of sculpture, the i human 2000 exhibit, if fully funded, will be offered to art galleries and museums in 12 major world-class cities from January 1998 to December 2000.

Up until now, the i human 2000 project has focused on theme development by asking distinguished leaders from various fields two questions: 1) What have been the most important events or influences to affect humankind in the last 1000 years? and 2) What will be the most important events or influences to affect humankind in the next 100 years? For more information about i human 2000, contact Sandra Bromley, (403) 426-7964. Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

Space macro-thinker Marshall Savage, announced two weeks ago that his First Millennial Foundation (http://www.millennial.org) had lost the option to purchase a prime parcel of land on the Virgin Island of St. Croix. It was there that Savage's 280 person network planned to build "Aquarius Rising," an EPCOT-like sea/space colony, complete with a beach front hotel, casino, shopping mall and convention center.

"We lost at least a year or more of hard work," Savage conceded. He still believes his space network can establish and open a prototype colony by the year 2001. Instead of a $400 million site-specific business plan, Savage says the Foundation will retool their approach to build just the prototype sea/space colony for 100 persons engaged in marine and space research. The Foundation is presently looking at prospectus sites in the Grand Cayman Islands, south of Cuba.

Since 1992, Savage's book, The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps has excited space advocates and "Trekkies" across the U.S. with its mind-stretching proposals for the next ten centuries. Savage called his second step, "Aquarius," where millennialist would grow floating cities at sea to feed the world and learn the lessons of space colonization. Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

Always with an eye toward millennial opportunities, Gregory Wright (greg@newciv.org), a L.A. self proclaimed "writer/journalist/social inventor" has just unveiled a new proposal for a Millennium Fine-Art Calendar. Wright's wall hanger would countdown the final 1,000 days of the second millennium, from April 7, 1998 to December 31, 2000. He hopes a calendar company will pick up his plan in time for the Christmas '97 gift season.

In a nutshell, Wright proposes that a Millennium Calendar "could consist of 1,000 details and fragments of blue sky and white clouds lifted from paintings, photographs, tapestries, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass windows created in or depicting each of the 1,000 years of the dying Second Millennium."

Besides a fine-art calendar, Wright also envisions "a 1,000-day "Eco-Millennium Calendar" of 1,000 species of plants and animals in danger of becoming extinct in the final 1,000 days of the old millennium, by the year 2000." Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

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

These past two-weeks have witnessed a flurry of activity on Talk 2000, ranging from discussions of outer space to inner space. This first excerpt is about how millennial views often help people cope with hardship.

University of Wales doctoral candidate Peter Smith (prs@aber.ac.uk) asked Talk 2000 for comments on Primo Levi's millenarian observations in The Drowned and The Saved. Apparently, Levi observed that those with a chiliastic or millenarian view (e.g Jehovah Witnesses, Marxists) often survived the camps better than those with a present-oriented view. Levi, linked this to the idea of a belief in an already won victory over evil, which would be met with by true believers.

Michael Grosso (mgrosso@warwick.net), author of The Millennium Myth (Quest, 1995), responded: "I recall in Victor Frankl's account of his tenure in the death camps the statement that it was his mental picture of his wife, his love for her, and his hope and expectation of seeing her in the future that gave him strength to survive. (Frank survived and became the founder of logotherapy.)

"Also coming to mind are the sundry reports I have read in the literature of psychosomatics that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness correlate with low levels of survival capacity in cancer victims. In general, people who have something to live for in the future seem to be able to handle stress better. I've read on more than one occasion loving your work one is best predictor of longevity.

"Surely our vision of the future is a crucial variable in the art of living and the art of survival. Isn't the potency of the Millennium Myth itself due to its futuristic orientation, its empowering effect on the imagination of those suffering from present ills? People sometimes bemoan the otherworldliness of Christianity and say, as Nietzsche did, 'be true to the earth,' etc. But this is to miss an important point; no matter what we have or may accomplish in the present, we still have an appetite for more, indeed, as Augustine, Ficino, and Unamuno (in this century) said, we have a "hunger for immortality"--which is the hunger for the future.

"On the other hand, as I try to show (others have made the case, too) in my book, The Millennium Myth, there are millenarian motifs that pervaded the psychology of National Socialism and the Russian Revolution. An empowering sense of the future may serve to justify the most shameless barbarities inflicted on those unlucky enough to be stuck in the mere present.

"It seems to me that we might state our present predicament in the following terms: as a culture, postmodern, postcommunist, postreligionist, etc, we seem to need a myth of the future, a myth of meaning to mobilize our will to live and to live creatively and more humanly....

"Of course, we need new visions of the future that avoid crude moral dualism, fanaticism, and inhumanism."

Continuing the theme of searching for a shared story at the dawn of the third millennium, UCLA's Charles Cameron <hipbone@earthlink.net> posted a well written account of how both individuals and societies craft "myths" which explain their future:

"A plausible argument can be made--and therapists of one sort of another are often the ones who make it--that humans understand themselves by the 'story' they tell about themselves: that we carry a sort of account of ourselves with us, in which past episodes as we recall them illustrate 'who we are' in a way which gives meaning to the present and limits and focuses our hopes for the future.

"The phrase 'as we recall them' is important here, because (a) some parts of the story only emerge into our awareness when we are met with particular kinds of situation, and (b) there is often some fictionalization going on, or more kindly put, we seem to 'work' our stories in the same way that we may 'work' our dreams while remembering them -- and from a psychological point of view, that working is as important as the dream or past event itself. Furthermore, psychological 'growth' seems to involve retelling parts of our story in ways that liberate the protagonist (ourself) by opening new perspective and thus new so to speak plot lines...

"Societies, too, seem to have accounts of the human predicament which take the form of stories, and which characteristically include the known and the unknown, the visible and the invisible, the rational and the irrational, the stuff philosophy knows and the more things in heaven and earth than it dreams of....

"When we say we need a new myth, then, we are not IM hopefully HO saying that we need a new excuse for going about business as usual ('let's colonize the moon') but that we need a story which *sings* to us, containing minimally:

--a cosmology which encompasses both what is 'in our philosophy' and the 'more things in heaven and earth,' the dream as well as sensible 'reality',

--expressed in such a way that it neither strains our credulity nor deprives our imagination,

--modular (like the Navaho myth) so that we can approach it equally well from atheistic, scientific, Balinese, Navaho, poetic, Catholic or agnostic backgrounds,

--capable of ritualized representation or expression, and above all, expressed in a language (or languages: words, but perhaps also visual images, music, etc.) of surpassing genius, whether deriving from the individual (Shakespeare, Wagner) or the folk (Homer, the Navaho).

"It may take the form of a corpus of stories, an epic poem or poems, a film or films -- even a game perhaps? ....It will come either by overwhelming genial inspiration, or by the long and fruitful work over time of many within our community. And it will speak to us deeper than we know or would be capable of knowing."

New Millennial Sites:

"Here are new sites in cyberspace"

24 HOURS IN CYBERSPACE: "A Digital Time Capsule of a Single Day"
San Francisco based NetObjects showcases a millennial rehearsal of 2,000 photographs, captured by 1,000 amateur photographers. All images were taken over the course of one day, around the world, to documenting the harmonies and paradoxes of life in cyberspace. Organized in eight areas, here is a virtual painting on the walls of a digital cave, memorialized at the dawn of the new millennium.


Contact Information:

"Your link to the third millennium"

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

Subscribe to daily Talk 2000 E-mail Forum: listproc@usc.edu
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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

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LET''S TALK 2000 © 1996 Bimillennial Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
LET''S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press, Inc.