Re: 1 Year Till New Millennium

From: Ian Goddard (
Date: Mon Jan 03 2000 - 16:27:30 MST

At 02:07 PM 01/03/2000 -0800, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>> 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.
>...And they would be right. Definitions aren't knowledge,
>and arguments about definitions are intellectual masturbation.
>Feynmann makes a point of this eloquently when he talks about
>people who can walk down a wooded trail and tell you the name
>of every bird and every plant but don't actually know anything
>about those birds or plants. Now if you knew, for example,
>that this certain bird likes to eat this certain plant, but
>you don't know the name of either one, you know more than the
>person who can name both because you actually know a
>substantive fact about nature, while ey knows nothing but
>arbitrary names. "The Millennium" isn't a thing, it's just
>the name of a thing. An arbitrary human convention utterly
>without real substance, and beneath the dignity of rational

  IAN: True, "The Millennium" is "just the name of a thing,"
  but knowing when it begin and ends in a set of numbers is
  an item of knowledge. I also don't see why arguing that
  1 * 2000 (two millennia) = 2000 against those who argue
  that 1 * 2000 = 1999 is beneath the dignity of rational
  argument. Far from it, it is argument for the rational!
  If dates are important enough to celebrate, then surely
  they are important enough to understand and get right.



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