Let's Talk 2000

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

March 1, 1998, Volume 4, Issue 3, a monthly 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."

It's been a busy month of preparations for the third millennium. Here are few stories which have come across the wire:
--Turkey entered the millennial tourism market,
--Russia established its own millennium commission,
--Canada appointed Herb Gray to head up its efforts, and
--the U.S. held its first "Millennium Evening" in the White House.

On other fronts, U.K.'s Tony Blair came out swinging in defense of the Millennium Dome, and one enterprising group put a 24-hour live cam to keep watch on the Dome's construction at Greenwich: http://www.independent.co.uk/cgi/dome.pl

Then there is "Yes!: The Journal of Positive Futures" http://www.futurenet.org. They turned their Spring issue to a "Millennium Survival Guide." Order a copy for $8.00 by calling 1-800-937-4451 and get one of the best collection of features and directories on 2000 out yet.

This issue of "Let's Talk 2000" highlights an innovative New York company who has produced "the world's first Millennium desktop countdown clock." We also break the story of how a brain trust is being assembled for a U.S. "President Jane/2000" campaign. Our "Talk from the Forum" section contains a piece contributed by Australian Y2K specialist Geoff Hawkes. And our Web section features the "Long Now Foundation" which is building a millennium clock to chime once every 1,000 years.

Speaking of time, the New York Times ran a story on Feb 21st, entitled "In deep freeze, a little air and DNA for the future." It detailed how scientists plan to bury a biological and environmental specimen time capsule in Antarctica in 2001, not to be opened for one thousand years. What a curious species we are to get so worked up over those magical Three Zeros.

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

The arrival of the millennium has captivated the imagination of people everywhere. Up until now millennium clocks have been quite scarse, reserved for the Eiffel Tower or Y2k web sites. Now Countdown Clocks Int'l http://www.countdownclock.com of New York is changing that with the "world's first Millennium desktop countdown timer" that "reflects the excitement that's building every day."

Released nine months ago to the corporate premium market, the "Millennium 2000 Countdown Clock" is now available for direct order. This attractive desktop timer features a changing LCD display, which continously shows the exact number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until midnight December 31, 1999. For those who prefer, the clock can be set for the arrival of 2001 or for any of the world's 24 time zones. With the touch of a button, it also displays the date and month in traditional format.

The face of the millennium clock sports a five by two inch blue galactic billboard outlining a LCD display which reads, "Time remaining... Year 2000... the next millennium." Corporate buyers can customize the clock face with their own unique message, such as "Investing for the next millennium," "Y2K: Are you ready?" to "Join us aboard our millennium cruise." Company executives state that the clock is being used as "reminders to customers, for VIP events, or as motivational tools to promote teamwork" toward any future special event, grand opening or product launch.

As interest builds over the next 670 days until the millennium is celebrated, curiosity to know how much time is "really left" will gain momentum. The Countdown Clock hasn't hit retail stores yet, but you can order one for $29.90, shipping and handling included. Call (516) 739-7800 or send a check to Countdown Clocks Int'l, 734 Franklin Ave., Garden City, NY 11530.

Like Forest Gump received a feather in the wind, the idea for a "President Jane/2000" Campaign recently floated over the hills of Texas, only to land on the brain of David Bryson, M.D. davidbry@ktc.com.

In between his job at a state-psychiatric hospital in Kerrville, 59-year old Bryson is assembling a "female dominated brain trust" to search for a woman presidential candidate for 2000, preferably not a professional politician.

Bryson, a Yale '63 graduate and grassroots political activist since 1980, says its time for "women to step forward." He believes a woman can be elected because they are "more nuturing, international and non-violent."

He claims the inspiration to elect a woman the first president of the new millennium came from reading The Message and the Kingdom (Grosset/Putnam, 1997). The author, Richard Horsley, describes tells how Jesus and Paul ignited a social revolution twenty centuries ago, at the onset of the first millennium.

In view of present-day millennial chaos and contingency, Bryson thinks it can happen again. "The engine for this political movement will be the Internet, and we will rerun a 'virtual Jesus', who puts the poor and persecuted first."

Bryson has invited New York actress Kathryn Walker to front the "President Jane/2000" search. Walker has just completed her own "Millennium Project"--which documents on film what ordinary people think about 2000. http://www.wells.edu/whatsnew/wnspch1.htm

The idea of a woman winning the U.S. presidential election in 2000 was suggested by former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm in his 1986 novel, Mega-traumas: America at the Year 2000. During the summer of 1996, Lamm, entered the presidential race briefly in conjunction with Ross Perot's Reform party. Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

It's a far-out fantasy that some people would like to see happen. In Linda Grover's new adventure novel, Tree Island, (due out in April) the world is transformed by a "human family reunion" that links thousands of millennial celebrations across the globe. The resulting zeitgeist motivates millions to work together during the year 2000 to create a future worth celebrating.

Inspired by the Tree Island scenario, a group in Oregon has been formed to link millennium festivities together. The 22nd Century Group (Making Sure We Get There) plans to invite public personalities mentioned in the novel (ranging from the Dalai Lama to Whoopi Goldberg) to help them. "We hope they'll say yes," says spokesperson Corrin Housley treeisle@kfalls.net, "that they'll understand this is not an idea to promote a book, but a book written to promote an idea."

A number of quasi-spiritual novels in recent years have built their utopian or disutopian stories around celebrations staged for 2000; including Robert Muller's First Lady of the World (1991) or Ed Stewart's Millennium's Eve(1993). The 22nd Century Group is looking for volunteer networkers in all time zones to turn the dream into a reality. For information, contact http://www.treeisland.com

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

by Geoff Hawkes, Year 2000 Project Manager, University of Sydney, Australia, G.Hawkes@isu.usyd.edu.au or http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/y2k/

How interesting that Dereck Daschke (Let's Talk 2000, Feb 1st, '98) should write, "The diffuse anecdotal evidence of the coming year's significance only increases the sense that there is much to do about nothing..."

Response from industry and government (certainly in Australia) to the looming threat of the Millennium Bug, until quite recently had a similar tone. But one now begins to sense a growing awareness that the Y2K Problem is a pretty serious affair.

The last thing we need is panic, even alarm. However for what seems ages (actually it is ages -- more than 30 years), because of the enormity of the task -- not to mention the tedium -- our leaders have either turned a blind eye to the problem or pooh-poohed it!

It has taken stalwarts like Peter de Jager (http://www.year2000.com/pdejager/) or alarmists such as Gary North (http://www.garynorth.com) continuing to bang upon the corporate door that has brought about this change.

In his article, "Doomsday 2000", September 6th, 1993, Canadian expert de Jager writes, "The problem is twofold: the date issue itself and, more importantly, our reluctance to address the problem." http://www.year2000.com/archive/cw-article.html

And whilst one could argue that North's predictions are overly pessimistic in the extreme and potentially panic-provoking, nonetheless there are more than just grains of truth in what he has to say. His free e-mail report, "Blind Man's Bluff in the Year 2000" hits hard and low at industry's refusal to take the problem seriously. http://www.garynorth.com/y2k/registry/entryform.cfm

Yet it is a serious problem, and it seems unlikely it can be fixed everywhere and in all places in time. That doesn't mean the world will come to an end.... unless Jesus Christ comes again - and then who'd care if the world's computers fall in a heap?

The Millennium Bug is as serious as AIDS, or Saddam Hussein's threats, but like both these problems, even though they can't be fixed, they each can be contained. That's what is being done about AIDS, that's what's being done about Iraq, that's what's been done about Mad Cow disease...that's what can be done about the Millennium Bug.

It's the message we're preaching to the University of Sydney in Australia. That each individual has a responsibility to do what he/she can to avert the disaster by ensuring that his/her patch is "clean."

It takes no more than 30 minutes with the right kind of tools to thoroughly analyse a computer's hard drive for software which could fail and for data sets which contain dubious information. It takes 5 minutes to check out the hardware, if it's a PC - you don't need to check Macs, Unix workstations or X-terminal hardware.

It takes longer to verify network servers, and longer again for mainframe systems - but they're both containable items for the majority of small-to-medium organisations, even many large ones.

The key is in identifying the high risk areas and isolating them -- sounds simple, doesn't it? And it is--but it takes recognition that there is a problem, that the problem is firstly within rather than without, that our first commitment is to fix the internal problem and then to isolate our systems from the rest of the world's.

On February 11th, Darryl Barber djbarber@cadvision.com, Chairman of Calgary 2000 wrote to the daily Talk 2000 forum:

I have enjoyed following the dialogue on Talk 2000 throughout the past year mostly as a listener and observor rather than as an active participant. I have found Talk 2000 to be an excellent vehicle to stay informed on and become linked to the many exciting projects/activities being planned and implemented world wide to celebrate the millennium....

My own personal interest in the Millennium is far more concrete and immediate. I view the approach of the Year 2000 and the new Millennium as a wonderfully unique opportunity to serve as a focus to engage people's imagination and enthusiasm to undertake or participate in something special which reflects a positive and hopefully lasting contribution to one's community (we all define community differently- it may be just a personal self improvement, a project with one's family or neighbourhood, your city, country, charity, company etc.).

I am more interested in what people will think of the Year 2000 from the other side say in the Year 2005. Will they remember it as a significant time or at least distinguishable from every other year? Will there be something to remind us as an enduring, living legacy which was an outgrowth of moving through the passage of a Millennium that made a difference or continues to make a difference (if even just a little bit) in our lives in the new Millennium? I hope so.

It is that goal to which we in Calgary are striving. As the founder and chairman of Calgary 2000 I invite you to check out our web site at http://www.intervisual.com/calgary2000 and take a glimpse of how we are seeking to find a real and meaningful expression for the Year 2000 in our City.

We are the leading municipally based organization in Canada planning millennium projects and activities and have provided a model and start up assistance to numerous other similar organizations. We would love to hear from any other organizations and individuals seeking to develop and promote similar millennium projects and organizations in their communities.

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

THE LONG NOW FOUNDATION: "Fostering long term responsibility"
This group is working to establish a millennium Clock which will ring once every 1,000 years, starting in 2001. The Clock with a corresponding Library will seek to correct our civilization's pathologically short attention span connected to market-driven economies, next-election perspectives or personal multi-tasking. Site contains proposals, long-time articles and sponsoring information to encourage responsibility over the long-term (where long term is measured in centuries).

EARTH SITE: "From the Founder of Earth Day"
John McConnell makes a proposal for the year 2001, including an Earth Trustee campaign and Earth Day '98 celebrations on the spring equinox.

JOHN REILLY'S HOMEPAGE: "Eschatology Reviews"
A fine collection of personal writings in the area of eschatology, history, cosmology, alternative history, religion and literature. Reilly's eschatology section contains articles reviewing books on topics ranging from the End-time books, the Racist Right, Gnosticism and World Government.

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://www.talk2000.org

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Editor: talk2000@rmii.com
Jay Gary, aka The Millennium Doctor
author, The Star of 2000
(719) 636-2000 Phone
Publication keywords: time, groups, books, usenet
This issue of "Let's Talk 2000" is copyright © 1998 by Bimillennial Press, Inc.
All rights reserved. LET'S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press.

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