Y2K Circles and the Brass Ring

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Forum: This post is just another of my allegorical observations. If you have enjoyed these in the past then read on.

There are almost 360 days to go until the rollover. A circle has 360 degrees. The closed circle is a sign of completion. The mythological Uroborus: a dragon with its tail in its mouth - was used by the alchemists as a symbol of eternity, unity, the all-in-one. Today, programmers and others are familiar with the concept of circular logic. Then there is the circle of life. There is also the Y2K circle.

As a child, I remember going to the amusement park. Lots of circles. Whole areas devoted to just kids, with rides that went in endless circles, round and round while our parents watched fondly - waving and smiling with each pass. I remember the carousel, also called a merry-go-round. Another circle. There was a brass ring that a kid could try and grab, and if we got it, we could have a free ride. It was hard to get. The ride went round quickly, and you had to have the skill, timing, strength, and determination to get it. You only got so many chances too, before the ride was over. If you wanted to ride again, and you didn't get the brass ring, you had to pay the price. Then there was also just plain old dumb luck: both good and bad. Sometimes you seemed to do everything right and still did not get that brass ring. Other times you would do something wrong, but manage to get it anyway. Never seemed fair somehow, but fate didn't care. Luck just played its part, as always.

It was wonderful. The hand-painted horses taking us up then down, the loud brass band music playing as we went round, drowning out completely the electrical hum of the unseen and never thought of motor that made the whole ride turn. Watching the other kids on different rides making other circles while we rode round. I never wanted it to end, each turn seeing something new that was not noticed before. It stopped slowly too, not all at once, as if letting us get used to the idea that our turn would soon be over.

The circle: 360 degrees. Soon, 360 days left until century rollover, a full circle on the Y2K carousel - the ride moves quickly, and we each get our turns at that brass ring. Skill, timing, strength, determination, and luck. - All aboard.

Here is related observation which some of you may find interesting. Just for fun, look at some of the dates below that we have all talked about, and that Ed has on his Index:

3/4 circle: 270 degrees, = circle: 180 degrees, < circle: 90 degrees.

Apr 1, 1999: beginning of 1999-2000 fiscal year for Japan, Canada, and New York State, and Apr 6, 1999: beginning of U.K. government 1999-2000 fiscal year (About 270 days to 1/1/2000 - > circle)

Jul 1, 1999: beginning of 1999-2000 fiscal year for Australia and 46 U.S. states (About 180 days to 1/1/2000 - = circle)

Oct 1, 1999: beginning of U.S. federal government 1999-2000 fiscal year (About 90 days 1/1/2000 - < circle)

I know that this doesn't really mean anything, just more Y2K circles.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 30, 1998


Circles are cycles too.

Remember the Chinese ideogram for crisis? The Chinese ideogram for Crisis is Dangerous Opportunity. Another interpretation is a combination of ''opportunity'' and ''dangerous wind.'' Any crisis is an ''opportunity riding the dangerous wind.''

Y2K winds of change are circling the globe.

Also, the quite ancient Chinese I Ching, Book of Changes -- approx. 3,000 to 4,000 years old, give or take a millennium -- talks about whenever there is an ending, there is a new beginning.

A circle. A cycle. It happens daily. Will you grab the opportunity?

Diane *Create Community, Prepare 2 Share, Be Y2K Aware*

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 30, 1998.

Actually, there is a logical reason for this. The originators of the 360 degree circle cut it up that way to match the year as closely as possible - without causing a ton of problems by making the number of degrees difficult to use in their calculations. So they picked a nice round number close to 365. Just another thing we inherited from ancient Babylon.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 30, 1998.

I don't have source references handy, but there is historical evidence that the calendar year was *precisely* 360 days. Occurring circa 800 - 700 BC something changed the period of the earth's revolution to the current 365 1/4 days.

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 30, 1998.

Sorry Elbow, nothing changed the earth's orbit. Colliding with another heavenly body could bump the earth's orbit higher into a longer period orbit but I doubt that this collision occurred. The reason is much more simple: people became more accurate at telling time.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), December 30, 1998.


I have no idea what the mechanism was, but the evidence I've read is that up until a certain date during the century I mentioned, virtually all societies (with the mathematical/observational capability) used 360 day calendars, and that after that time frame those calendars were revised to account for a longer duration. In some cases, the results were societal collapse or political/religious upheaval. Check it out

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 30, 1998.

Earth orbit, planetary revolutions, revised calendars causing societal collapse/upheavals...

Really makes me wonder what RC will come up with.

Certainly more circles on the thread than I expected. This is fun.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 30, 1998.

Circle the wagons!

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), December 30, 1998.

This circle thing interests me for the following psychological/calendarological fact: tomorrow is the last day for which we can say "on this day next year" without having crossed into the terra incognita of y2k. For example, last summer we GI's could say to ourselves "by this time next year I'll have ..." in planning. Tomorrow is that last day of forward-looking anniversaries on familiar territory. I think this crossing over into the last normal year will have a huge effect on the popular psychology.


-- Runway Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 31, 1998.


The Uroborus reminds me of the way panic works--it feeds upon itself. And I haven't been able to get a good grasp on the analogy yet, but the moment panic starts is like entering the event horizon of a black hole. I suppose that would make January 1, 2000 the singularity.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 31, 1998.

"Tomorrow is that last day of forward-looking anniversaries on familiar territory. I think this crossing over into the last normal year will have a huge effect on the popular psychology. "

Ah, Cat, you didn't let me down. Good insight. Reminds me of that Star Trek movie where they are taken across the Great Barrier.

It will definately have an impact on popular psychology if for no other reason then it becomes closer and closer, close enough to see, not so far away anymore, and due to this, it will be of interest. I expect Y2K to become one of The top conversations for the "average person" as the year goes on. Water cooler stuff.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 31, 1998.

This thread reminds me of....uh...what was the name of that Harry Chapin song?!? Hmmmm...it's been so long since I listened to it.

-- pixmo (pixmo@pixelquest.com), December 31, 1998.

There's a theory that we're actually a binary solar system, our other sun being smaller and on.... the period just completely slipped my mind...at any rate, when this star approaches our system, it disturbs the Oort debris cloud and sends asteroids out of THEIR orbit, sometimes towards the Earth, precipitating a massive die-off. The fossil strata support this and suggest a 22,000 period? of mass extinctions.

Regarding circular, rather than elliptical orbits, I have noticed that in my yearly calendar orbit, as I approach the holidays some not- as-yet identified object's gravitational field nails me with the slingshot effect and causes time to somehow dilate between November and January. I seem to weigh more, and shopping is harder.

The upcoming Y2K mass-awareness object's slingshot effect will dilate time from June thru December to feel like six weeks instead of six months, I fear.

Long story short: I don't think 1999 is the last normal year, 1998 was.

"Rise and fall, turn the wheel 'cause all life is, is really just a Circle............" Todd Park Mohr, aka Big Head Todd.

Rob, you are so cool. Happy New Year, y'all.

-- Lisa (nomail@work.com), December 31, 1998.

More food for thought on circles being cycles. The symbol for infinity, the "8" laying on its side. Self-referential statements such as "I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not sure anymore." The title song from Steely Dan's album "Pretzel Logic".

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 31, 1998.

The following is a circle for all time, but each phrase seems to have specific application to Y2K as well.

Ecclesiastes 3:1- 8

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Happy New Year

We are indeed living in interesting times.

-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 31, 1998.

Lisa: FWIW, your post, for some reason, reminded me of something that used to be popular called "biorhythmic cycles", which I haven't seen or heard anything about in many years. If I remember correctly, and this is a real stretch, each of us have cycles that correspond to our exact birth date/time. I used to get a print out of the 3 (I think) major cycles for my birth date: Mental energy level, Physical energy level, and I forget the other cycle. The idea (or one of the uses) was to check your cycle for when you would be weakest or strongest, indicated when all three were up or down at the same time.

"I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not sure anymore"

Kevin: Uh, in other words: when you know you don't know you know, then you know you don't know. You know? LOL.

Elbow Grease: How appropriate - Turn, Turn, Turn.

2000: three little zeroes - circles. The Brass Ring: another circle.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 31, 1998.

Cycles and Circles do abound, As our planet spins around, Take a moment and you'll see, The carousel, a child's glee, Meaning and truth can be found.

As we chase that big brass ring, Habits: always do we cling, Who can know, Where we'll go, Take some time to laugh and sing.

Determination, strength and skill, Daily doses like a pill, Keep us all going, Help us in knowing, What we can do with a strong will.

Happy New Year to one and all, To those of us who hear the call, There comes a time, When we will rhyme, Clever limericks roll like a ball.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 31, 1998.

pixmo,...my thought, exactly,...great song,...Harry Chapin, one of my all-time favorite balladeers.

"All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown
The moon rolls through the nighttime, til the daybreak comes around
All my life's a circle, but I can't tell you why.
Just seasons spinning round again,
The years keep rolling by.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), December 31, 1998.

Thanks Donna, I did not know which one pixmo meant. Very appropriate.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), January 01, 1999.

a < circle  90 days to go.

Circling the wagons, Rob

-- (sonofdust@quarter.circle), October 02, 1999.

90 days to go. Won't be around much for a while. Time for a Y2K break. Perhaps the last. Keep well FRLians.

S.O.B. #73

Long Live the FRL!!!!

BFN, Rob

-- (sonofdust@y2k.break), October 02, 1999.

And Harry sings:"All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown
The moon rolls through the nighttime, til the daybreak comes around
All my life's a circle, but I can't tell you why.
Just seasons spinning round again,
The years keep rolling by.

It seems like I've been here before, but I can't remember when.
And I've got this funny feeling that we'll all be together again.
There's no straight lines make up my life,
and all my roads have bends.
There's no clear-cut beginnings,
and so far nothing ends.

You be well too, Rob!

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), October 02, 1999.

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