The Original Millennium Problem -- Y0K Roman Stylegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
An e-mail sent by a friend, posted, with her permission. Chuckles. -- Diane
The Original Millennium Problem
While browsing through some dust-covered archival material in the recesses of the Roman Section of the British Museum a researcher recently came across a tattered bit of parchment. After some effort he translated it and found it was a letter from a man called Plutonius with the title of "magister factorium", or keeper of the calendar, to one Cassius. It was dated, strangely enough, 2 BC, December 3, or 2,000 years ago today. The text of the message follows:
Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? The change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left.
I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at the last minute.
I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus had turned nasty. We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won't work. As usual the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful.
As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hour glass flowing upwards. We have heard that there are three wise men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive until it's all over. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition.
We're continuing to work on the Y zero K problem and I'll send you a parchment if anything develops.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 1999
Let's hope we get the same prize they were rewarded with two years later. Hey, what's that I see in the eastern sky?
-- Bill Byars (email@example.com), January 17, 1999.
No, there was no Y0K problem. But a thousand years later, they did, actually, have a Y1K problem. It was of religious nature. All over Europe stories were in circulation about God coming down and finishing us all off for excessive wickedness, and so forth. But to everybody's relief, nothing happened.
-- Obin (Obin@fla.net), January 17, 1999.
Do you have any hard information on millennium panic in 1000? I've read in a few places that there was NOT major panic in 1000.
So many people repeat this tidbit about the year 1000, but never refer to any study done on it. Are you sure it's true?
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 1999.
uh, it would depend on your definition of wickedness...
-- a (email@example.com), January 17, 1999.
No, Obin, they did not. Around 1000AD, the church had yet to define the millennion in mathematical terms, and the common populace knew nor cared nothing about it. The '999 mania' was a much later fabrication in the conceptual battle between science and theology. I wonder why this old chesnut never dies?
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 1999.
Quite frankly, I wasn't there when it happened. I only go by tidbits, I have seen mentioned. There did not seem to have been any panic at 1000. It was just a nagging worry, that God was up to something. The little people may not have known what year they were in, but the Kings and Dukes and all the lawyers did.
-- Obin. (Obin@fla.net), January 17, 1999.