--- Joseph Sterlynne <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Mike <email@example.com>
> >> Ian Goddard
> >> Happy New Year 2000!!
> >> 366 more days till the New Millennium!!!
> > *warning: useless argument inevitable*
> > Some (inc. me) have argued this, but what's th
> Unfortunately, talking about this at all now only
> results in dismissive
> criticism and reactions of the sort that Mike has
> offered. Many of you may
> consider that anyone daring to challenge the idea
> that the millennium begins
> today is only dragging out a completely trivial and
> "useless" argument.
> People apparently know this. A few months ago
> people were still discussing it
> in public. But it quite disturbs me that, by
> popular demand (facilitated by
> constant repetition and assertion in every medium),
> an indisputable fact was
> changed. Now it is the third millennium.
> Mentioning the logical objection
> will do nothing to change that. In fact, saying
> otherwise invites charges of
> being a hopeless purist, nitpicker, or, worst of
> all, a party-pooper.
> This should disturb you as well. Do you really have
> no problem with the fact
> that everyone in the world, apparently,
> intentionally ignored a basic fact?
Yes, it DOES disturb me!. It is quite true that the
facts were ignored. I spent several e-mails here, and
many conversations, explaining precisely why the
popular idea is mistaken, with references.
> How many journalists and news anchors have to say
> something before you accept
> Sure, the date is a social fact, not a scientific
> one. The Gregorian calendar
> But social facts, whether we like or care about them
> or not, still affect us.
> I am not disputing the fact that expressions of
> ideas and meanings of words
> can change. Why they change, who changes them, and
> what happens as a result
> is another question entirely. You've heard it
What you say is perfectly true. Mangling meanings of
words and numbers can be dangerous. The innumeracy of
large sections of the population is terrible, and
clouds thinking. One should NEVER forget this!
But, to see some large fraction of the planet
"celebrating being alive" (Max More) is surely a good
thing. The global celebration, telecasts etc, maybe
helped in some small way to alleviate our xenophobias,
to see ourselves as a species, and to look forwards.
I would not wish to dampen this (not that I could !).
It's hard to convince enough people (even on this
So I say celebrate it being 2000 purely for it's being
a nice round number, and the symbolism, NOT beacuse
it's (strictly speaking) the turn of the century
millenium. Or, give up on worrying about the Millenium
etc, and instead seize the day!
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:01:56 MDT