|The Millennium Issue||Volume 8, Number 1 • January 2000|
• INTERNET EXPRESS •
We “big heads” want very badly for nature to be regular. Often, it is. Witness the orderliness of honeycombs, for example. But the rotation of our planet is funky even while we want it neat. In spite of our desires, the Earth takes 365 and just a little bit less than one-quarter of a day to rotate around the sun. The moon takes 29 and a little more than one-half of a day to circle the Earth. If you put 12 of these lunar cycles together, they add up to 354 days — 11 days short of our solar year. So, it has always been awfully difficult for us to make a calendar that corresponds to the actual, inconveniently non-coincidental cycles of days, lunar months, and solar years.
Then, there’s the whole Jesus thing. Using the principle that God made the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh, and that 1,000 years are but a single day to God, we can see that the Earth will last 6,000 years. Then, Jesus will come back and rule the world in bliss for 1,000 years, corresponding to the seventh day of creation on which God rested. This last 1,000-year period is the original concept of the Christian millennium. After that will come the Final Judgment. Got it?
This is where the whole idea of 1,000 years, which has no correlation in the cycles of nature, comes in. Our brains love those round numbers so much that our popular culture has conflated the traditional idea of the Second Coming of Christ with the neato rollover of 1,000 years on our secular calendar.
So, we see that the end of our millennium means nothing whatsoever to the natural world. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us humans.
Richard Landes, professor of History at Boston University and co-founder of the Center for Millennial Studies, believes that the mere expectation of the end of the world foments societal change, causing the powerless and oppressed to rise up. And why not? They have nothing to lose. After all, the world is coming to an end, right?
“For those who follow the indices carefully, the approach of the year 2000, despite the emergence of a modern, scientific (hence “atheistic”) culture, promises to provide a wide range of apocalyptic activities on a scale rarely seen in the recorded history of civilization,” Landes reports. “Indeed, one might even say because of modernization which, as a result of its corrosive effects on social stability, has provoked a powerful wave of anti-modern apocalyptic fundamentalism all over the globe.”
Despite their anti-modern bias, many apocalyptic movements throughout history have spread their messages using new technologies. “Just as the development of the printing press made the Gutenberg galaxy far more susceptible to Luther’s heresies than the manuscript culture of the Middle Ages had been to those of Waldo and Wycliffe,” Landes notes, “so the presence of the Internet has given apocalyptic prophecy a new, pervasive and persuasive medium in which to find expression.”
I’ll say it has.
Check out Professor Landes’ baby, the Center for Millennial Studies, detailed
Center for Millennial
The Center for Millennial Studies proposes “to gather and archive the vast ‘harvest’ of apocalyptic literature that is appearing at the turn of the second Christian millennium.” The Center divides its Web links into two major categories: the “roosters” and the “owls.” The roosters crow and try to wake everyone up to the imminent change about to occur. The owls, usually members of the powerful establishment, try to calm everyone and tell them that it is still night time and to go back to sleep. Needless to say, the roosters are much louder and have a bigger Web presence than the owls.
Christianity is rife with fringe elements who believe “the End” is near.
Y2K + 2 Doomsgate
Understand how the end has come upon us through mystical yet clearly laid out reasoning.
and the Rapture Report Home Page
“!!!WARNING!!! In case of RAPTURE... this Web site will be unmanned!!!!!!” This site features synthesized hymns for your pre-Rapture listening pleasure.
“Eschatology WebRing is a Bible-based premillennial prophecy webring with emphasis on the end-times: the return of Jesus and rapture of the saints, the church [body of Christ] in the tribulation, the judgment and wrath of God on the world, and Christian eschatology [all that deals with death, resurrection, and judgment] in general.”
Did you know that Henry Kissinger has proclaimed that UFOs have come to usher in the Apocalypse? You do now.
This ring offers a “collection of Christian Web sites utilizing the Holy Bible for an understanding of God’s plans for mankind.” Includes the “Rapture Report” and “The Ultimate Deception,” accessorized with synthesized church music.
& Antichrist: The Angelic Conspiracy & End Times Deception
Did you ever notice the eerie resemblance of the Sphinx to the face on Mars? Mere coincidence? I don’t think so, boys and girls. UFOs=aliens=angels of Satan. Now you know.
And speaking of aliens, there are plenty of secular disaffected folk predicting doom on the Web.
This site considers itself a repository for information on, sources regarding, and personal revelations about the times just ahead. “We seek a greater understanding regarding the changes taking place in ourselves and on the Earth.”
Art Bell: Coast
to Coast AM
Do you like conspiracy theories? You’ll find them all here, discussed real-time. Every nuance in the news is taken as a sign that the world is quickly going to hell in a hand-basket. Mr. Bell also includes photos of UFOs and ghosts, sent in from listeners.
UFO Secrets Finally Revealed!
Still have doubts? See actual pictures of alien abductees, interspersed with articles about how nuclear war might destroy the world. Indulge all your irrational fears here!
the New Age, Prophecies of the Future, Economic Predictions, Comets, Plane
T. Chase goes into great detail on his (or her) theories about everything, including the idea that many countries are shaped like things from their history. “For example, Egypt looks somewhat like a pyramid, but with only one sloping side. Egypt, of course, is where the pyramids are located.”
Richard Fleetwood maintains this Web ring, not to save the world, but to help individuals prepare for unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and, of course, such world-ending events as massive nuclear war.
I told you there weren’t many.
“A sustainable future is one that provides for the needs of all.” Learn what you can do to help your community in the years 1999 to 2001. Hey, wait a minute. Where’s the fun in that?
Completely Secular Fun
Two-thousand, zero, zero: Party over, out of time.
So, tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1999
—The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
Most of us are neither Owls nor Roosters. But we understand that the End of the Millennium is a great time to party! Use these sites to find out where the fun is.
News about party preparations around the world appear here. This site also follows the progress of the “Millennium Babies.” Some women did their best to conceive on or about April 9, 1999, with the aim of delivering the first baby of the year 2000. Click here to follow their progress!
Envision the Future
The future? What are the folks at The New York Times Regional Newspapers thinking? They apparently assume that the world will last into January, because they are offering a new iMac computer as a first prize in their “Celebrate 2000” trivia contest. Optimists — fah!
“A very warm welcome to Greenwich, England, where East meets West, World Time is set, and The Millennium officially begins.” Greenwich is the home of the Royal Observatory, where the learned elite have always asserted that “The millennium officially starts on 1 January 2001 (there was no year 0).” Yeah. Tell that to the millions massing in Times Square this December 31st.
Curt van den Heuvel has compiled this complete and creepy list of all the prophets who have predicted the end of the world lately. Visit his links — if you dare.
I have to admit that many of these millennial sites make me uncomfortable. When I look at them, I get the distinct impression that I am staring into the face of insanity. Perhaps it is true, as W.B. Yeats wrote, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity.”
Yes, as the naturalist Stephen Jay Gould writes in his 1997 book, Questioning the Millennium, “Our urge to know is so great, but our common errors cut so deep.” Still, he insists, “You just gotta love us — and you gotta view misguided millennial passion as a primary example of our uniqueness and our absurdity — in other words, of our humanity.” We big-brained hominoids are just a bunch of wild and crazy guys.
So when does the next millennium begin, anyway? The monk who made our modern calendar in the 6th century was not familiar with the use of 0, so he began his calendar with the year 1. That either means that the next millennium begins in 2001, or the first decade in our time scheme only had 9 years in it. Then, it turns out that the Emperor Herod, a contemporary to Jesus, died 4 years before the first year of our calendar. So Jesus had to be at least 4 years old by the time his official birth date rolled around. Figure in the missing year of the first decade, this means that the second millennium of Christ’s birth has already come and gone — in the auspicious year of 1997.
But let’s not let
facts stand in our way, shall we? Happy Third Millennium to all of us wacky
Y2K effects not only corporate computers but workstations and home computers. It can also effect what are known as “embedded systems” — those computer chips “embedded” in just about every electronic gadget currently on the market — VCRs, microwave ovens, digital watches, as well as traffic lights and utility plants. The U.S. government and the corporate world are frantically working against a fixed deadline to ensure that the nation’s banking, utility, transportation, and healthcare systems are Y2K-compliant. Come 12:00:01, January 1, 2000, we will find out just how ready we are.
In the meantime,
what can we do to prepare for the Y2K problem? The magnitude of this problem
has spawned a cottage industry in Y2K sites that offer news, advice, updates,
solutions, and practical tips on protecting your valuable data and information
systems. After combing the net for information on the Y2K problem, I have
put together a collection of authoritative links that should answer most
questions, provide news and updates, and offer solutions and fixes that
can make your systems compliant.
Portal sites offer gateways, clearinghouses, and directories to comprehensive coverage of the Y2K problem. Here you will find links to news, Y2K FAQs, definitions, solutions, vendors’ compliance databases, publications, government reports, and related Y2K Web sites. Portals provide one-stop shopping for anyone interested in finding information and tools relating to Y2K.
Technology Association of America Year 2000 Website
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has created an excellent portal to answer almost any question you might have about Y2K. The Association has compiled an impressive collection of links, resources, news, and solutions to assist vendors, consumers, and IT professionals tackling the challenge. The resources section provides a wealth of helpful information and sites. Need to find information about a particular company and its Y2K activities and solutions? Check out the Vendor Directory — a list of more than 100 software vendors. Need to find solutions and “work-arounds” for specific software programs? Take a look at the buyer’s guide in the section Y2K Publications. Need a list of useful links for government, industry, and international sources? Look no further than the Y2K Clearinghouse. Want to find out what Congress is doing (or not doing) about the Y2K problem? Take a look at the section on Congressional Hearings and Y2K Legislation. ITAA also has a useful Y2K News section. Here you will find a weekly e-newsletter with news and information on Y2K events and challenges around the world. An authoritative source — begin here if you don’t know where to start.
The Year 2000
Peter de Jager, the moving force behind the Year 2000 Information, has sought to bring Y2K awareness to anyone who uses computers — software vendors, business and industry executives, governments, and consumers. He wrote the “Doomsday 2000” article in 1993 describing the date problem. He has created an authoritative site on many aspects of Y2K.
The site’s real strength lies in its impressive collection of resources. Subscribe to the Year 2000 Announcement list to keep on top of new technical articles and new vendors joining the Year 2000 Information Center. The Year2000.com Law Center provides a link collection to articles covering all the legal, accounting, and insurance aspects of the Year 2000 problem. The collection of articles dates back to November 1996. If that is not enough, the site also has an extensive Year 2000 Archive with hundreds of articles on the Y2K problem. Y2K Press Clippings provide current awareness through daily articles. The Year 2000 Promises Kept section identifies Y2K compliant companies. The Year 2000 Information Center has an extensive list of user groups from around the world — complete with links, locations, and contacts. Lastly, de Jager has included an interesting and useful collection of links, resources, and organizations. Overall, the Year 2000 Information Center is a content-rich portal offering valuable information about the Y2K problem.
Westergaard Year 2000, a subsidiary of Westgaard Online Systems, Inc., has created a helpful collection of news and featured columns on the Y2K problem. The mission of this site is to provide its readers “with a critical analysis of the economic, political, and social issues surrounding the Year 2000 Computer Problem.” This site provides timely articles on how the Y2K problem has impacted key industries, government response (federal, state, local, and international) to Y2K, and investment insights and strategies on how Y2K will affect Wall Street and the stock market. If you need useful articles, strategies, and commentary on the Y2K problem, check out Westergaard’s Year 2000 site.
Dr. Ed Yardeni’s
Economics Network Y2K Center
Dr. Ed Yardeni is the chief economist, global investment strategist, and a managing director of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Yardeni has organized this comprehensive site into 28 categories, including research, compliance, disaster recovery, news, litigation and liabilities, policy and politics, energy, transportation, and healthcare industries, U.S. government agencies, U.S. government — congressional hearings and bills, and other Y2K links. The well-organized collection of links makes this a portal not to miss.
Everything 2000, founded by John Locher, helps businesses, executives, and consumers stay informed and make helpful decisions concerning Y2K. Like many of the other sites, Everything 2000 has a content-rich list of links. Arranged in 11 different categories, including news, resources, events, shopping, humor, politics, and life, the site also offers links to organizations that provide information on compliance and solutions issues [http://www.everything2000.com/computer/organizations.asp].
The U.S. government has created several important Y2K sites to help manufacturers, businesses (both large and small), consumers, and citizens understand and deal with the Y2K problem. Each federal agency has also created its own Y2K information center tailored to its specific needs. If you do business with a specific agency, check out their site. The government sites listed below include both government portals on the Y2K issue and government agencies that work with a specific industry.
The SEC and
the Year 2000
The Securities and Exchange Commission has developed an information center for the securities industry and public companies. Here you can find reports issued by the SEC on the affect of Y2K on the readiness of the securities industry, market regulation, investment management, SEC disclosure and EDGAR reports, and investor information. In addition, the SEC has developed a searchable database on the securities industry’s Y2K readiness [http://www.sec.gov/news/y2k/picky2kr.htm]. If you need to find out the Y2K status of broker-dealers, transfer agents, investment advisers, and mutual funds, this is the place to look. One word of caution: The SEC does not verify the information in the database. Some records might be incomplete, e.g., missing attachments and explanations, or not having a current update.
NIST Y2K Web
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a Year 2000 Web site designed to “promote awareness of the issues and provide information to users on standards and testing with an emphasis on technology appropriate to small and medium sized enterprises and manufacturers.” NIST has created two organizations — the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) [http://www.itl.nist.gov/] and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) [http://www.mep.nist.gov/] to assist both companies and manufacturers in dealing with the problem. ITL informs citizens about information technology standards and testing. MEP comprises a nationwide network of technology centers that provide technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers. MEP also makes available the “Conversion 2000: Y2K Jumpstart Kit [http://y2khelp.nist.gov/tool.nsf/frmEF?ReadForm], which comes with a Year 2000 Compliance Self-Assessment Checklist. The site also provides a list of useful Web links, Y2K compliance and testing, and product information.
Administration Y2K Home Page
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has created a Y2K home page with a wealth of information relevant to small-business needs. Want to learn more about the problem from the small business perspective? Check out the FAQ on the problem. The site also provides helpful articles and reports on right steps, as well as a series of self-assessment and small-business checklists. SBA also provides a list of corporations offering information about their Y2K status. No site would be complete without links to government Y2K sites, and SBA has provided access to the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, the Federal Y2K Gateway, and the U.S. Government Year 2000 Gateway for Information Technology Government-Wide Y2K Search, U.S. Business Advisor, and the GovBot database. Lastly, SBA supplies links to news, conferences, sponsorships, and training events for small businesses with Y2K concerns and questions.
CIO Council Committee on Year 2000 Information Directory
This excellent clearinghouse center for information on the Year 2000 computer problem, maintained by the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Governmentwide Policy, offers a wealth of information on Y2K for project teams, small businesses, industries, consumers, and vendors. Y2K project teams will find links and information to testing and certification, business continuity and contingency planning, a best practices Federal Guide, conferences, and links to Y2K general forums. Small businesses will find Y2K information guides for small and medium-sized business, tools, and services. The site also links to organizations that offer guidance, suggestions, and specific resources for companies in the accounting, banking and finance, healthcare, information technology, telecommunications, and utilities industries. The strongest area of this site is the excellent collection of links to federal and state Y2K sites. The site links to federal government agencies, congressional sites, the General Accounting Office, the White House and the President’s Council on Y2K Conversion, and the Office of Management and Budget. A nicely organized list of articles, arranged by subject and compiled from news and association sources, is also available. This is a great site that can answer many Y2K issues and concerns.
Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Policy
The Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Policy, chaired by Bob Bennett and vice-chairman Chris Dodd, has created a nifty site that provides information on the Senate’s interest and concerns regarding the Y2K problem. The site provides access to news, hearings for the 105th and 106th Congress, legislation introduced and signed by the president, speeches, FAQs, and special reports. The Special Committee has also singled out nine important areas for special attention, including the utilities, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, financial services industries and government services, general business, litigation, and international industrial concerns. Each industry has a list of links to hearings, committee reports, and more information relevant to that industry. If you want to track what Congress is doing about the Y2K problem, start with the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Policy site.
Government Gateway for Year 2000 Information Directories
The U.S. Federal Government Gateway for Year 2000 Information Directories is a clearinghouse for Y2K information. The site links to the Chief Information Officers Council Committee on Year 2000 mentioned above. But it also has extensive links to Y2K conferences, a Community Guide, an international directory, consumer information, the Federal Y2K COTS Products Database, Y2K for Kids, and the President’s Council on Y2K Conversion reports. The Community Guide to Y2K can help individuals evaluate their community’s Year 2000 readiness. The site provides information on such topics as power, water, food, telephone, emergency services, transportation, money accounts, prescription drugs, government benefits, and state Y2K information. Each topic area lists Y2K questions that consumers can ask companies.
Need a specific article on the Y2K problem? These sites can provide the news you seek.
Y2K News Magazine,
Internet, Radio, Media Service
Y2K News Network is a collection of current domestic and foreign news articles and reports from magazines, Internet news sources, radio, and other media outlets. Organized by date, each link on the site carries a brief summary of the article, along with the name of the publication. A free e-mail update list can help users keep up to date. If you are a newshound for Y2K news, this is a good place to start.
Westergaard’s Year 2000 has a “Media” section on its Web site that is designed to “critically track the print and television media’s coverage of the year 2000 Problem.” Here you can find Y2K television news, articles in the media, Progress Reports, and selected reports and articles from Internet magazines. Westergaard Media also carries material from guest commentators and columnists who pontificate on Y2K readiness and its impact on society. If you want commentary and discussion on the Y2K problem, start here.
The Year 2000
Information Center — Year 2000 Press Clippings
This site offers comprehensive news coverage of Y2K-related issues and events. The site is organized by date and includes, roughly, the last 3 weeks of recently published articles. If you need articles from earlier dates, it has an archive of past articles dating back to November-December 1996. A very interesting section called BugBytes [http://www.year2000.com/y2kbugbytes.html] links to online news stories reporting expected and unexpected failures around the world. There is nothing fancy about this site, but if you need Y2K news, head here.
Y2K Links and Forums
There is nothing fancy about Gary North’s Y2K Links and Forums Web site either. What it lacks in cutting-edge Web design is compensated by links to thousands of articles on the Year 2000 problem. Warning! Gary North is a gloom-and-doom millennium guy, a guy skating close to the deep end when it comes to Y2K. He warns that the Y2K problem is a global problem that could bring about disastrous economic, political, and social upheaval. Whether or not you agree with his assessments, North has organized a useful collection of articles into 25 categories, including government, banking, testing issues, and the power grid and Y2K. North includes the date of the article, the article itself, a link to the news source, and a comment. If you can stomach his pessimistic fanaticism, the site does provide a useful collection of historical and current articles on the Y2K problem. It updates daily.
The $64,000 question when it comes to dealing with the looming January 1, 2000 is, “Will it work?” Many companies have made their compliance statements available as well as patches and solutions to known problems. This collection of sites will help you determine if the software you use is, in fact, Y2K compliant. If you have any doubts, check out these sites. It can’t hurt to be prepared.
Will It Work?
Looking for information on solutions, compliance statements, fixes, and patches? Will It Work is a searchable database that contains the contact information for hardware and software vendors providing Y2K-compliance statements for their products and equipment. The database contains contact information for vendors as well as links to company Y2K compliance statements. If you have any compliance questions on any software or hardware you or your company has purchased, look to this site. Many vendors will provide solutions, work arounds, and patches to help your systems stay safe and operational.
Y2kR.com — The
Internet’s Y2K Compliance Search Engine
Billed as the “Internet’s Oldest & Largest Y2K-Euro Readiness/Compliance Search Engine & Portal,” Y2KR.com provides access to a free database of Y2K and Euro compliance information for over 12,000 Y2K/Euro companies, including all S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies. You can search by keyword, industry, and specific focus from a drop-down menu of choices. The site also provides links and critical evaluation of 24 other Y2K disclosure and compliance databases.
Vendor 2000, maintained by Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation, is a searchable and browsable database of software vendor products. The information includes vendor contact information, a list of products, and whether the product is Y2K compliant. The site is for information purposes only but can be a handy tool to find out if the software you are using is Y2K compliant.
MITRE/ESC Year 2000 Website carries information on potential Y2K problem dates, steps to take now, Y2K certification, briefings and articles, Y2K compliance and solutions, testing and evaluation, contingency plans, cost estimations, FAQs, and links to other Y2K sites. The sections on compliance and solutions are especially helpful. Y2K Solutions explains the various problems associated with Y2K (clock problems, rollovers, PCs, and data formats) and provides links to vendor solution patches and fixes [http://www.mitre.org/research/cots/PATCH.html]. The compliance section includes a Year 2000 exit criteria checklist, questions to ask vendors about product compliance, Y2K compliance verification language, and the final rule for the Federal Acquisition Regulation on the Year 2000. This is a worthy site to check if you need compliance information.
— Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Product Database
The Federal Y2K — Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) product database, sponsored by the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, provides federal agencies assurance that software vendors’ products are Y2K compliant. The database is a centralized repository of information for all federal agencies. You can search by vendor, product, or federal agency. The database includes vendor contact information, the Y2K compliance status, which agencies use specific software products, and links to vendor Web sites.
Y2KBase — The
Y2K Compliance Database for Consumers
Y2KBase.com bills itself as the “Web’s only comprehensive independent database of Y2K compliance information for consumers.” The database is designed to answer specific Y2K questions: What products and/or services will fail because of Y2K problems? What does a company mean when it says it is Y2K-compliant? These are important questions for consumers who do not have a tech department frantically working to correct Y2K problems. The site provides access to news and resources as well as links to a wide selection of consumer products — automobiles, financial services, home appliances, home electronics, office products, and utilities. Here you can check to see whether your home appliances (heaters, refrigerators, and ovens) are Y2K compliant. The database provides a list of companies and links to company compliance statements. Caveat emptor, but this site can help allay some Y2K concerns.
Central Y2K Guide
Microsoft is probably the world’s largest provider of business office software. Its Y2K Guide provides some handy tools and resources to help deal with the Y2K problem, with one of the most useful being the Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer. This free download will help determine if the Microsoft software you use is Y2K compliant. The Product Analyzer scans your computer’s hard drive and issues a report if it identifies any problems with Microsoft products. Microsoft defines compliant in five different ways: Compliant, Compliant*, Compliant#, Compliant+, and Not Compliant [http://www.microsoft.com/technet/year2k/product/product.asp]. Compliant means that it should work without you having to do anything to the software. Compliant* means that you will have to take some action, which could mean loading a software update or reading a document describing the problem. Compliant# means that the product should work, but you might encounter glitches that Microsoft considers minor — in other words the problem should not “affect the core functionality, data integrity, stability, or reliability of the product.” Compliant+ means that the software should work if you install an update that Microsoft is still developing. Check back often for updates. Not Compliant is — well — not compliant. The site also has a collection of downloads that can fix Y2K problems.
Year 2000 Resource Center
PC Magazine’s Year 2000 Resource Center also provides a handy tool to see if your system is Y2K compliant. It will test your PC’s BIOS and clock online at [http://www.zdnet.com/vlabs/y2k/testy2k.html] and determine your compliance status. The site also provides work-arounds and software programs that you can purchase or download to solve Y2K problems. It links to Y2K utilities that you can download for free. Handy.
If you have Y2K
concerns, these quality sites should answer most questions. Happy computing!