[NY Times] Why wait for the Y2K problem?

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 08:12:38 -0800 (PST)

I agree with


that 1999 has the potential to be the most annoying year ever.

By the way, today is day number 2986 in the bull market -- shattering
the record of 2985 set in the 1920s. We are now officially living in
the longest bull market in the history of U.S. markets. As if we needed
another indicator that trouble's around the bend...

> Why Wait for the Y2K Problem?
> By ANDY BOROWITZ, New York Times, December 15, 1998
> We have been so preoccupied with the Year 2000 Problem that we have all
> but ignored the Year 1999 Problem -- at our peril, experts say.
> Simply put, the Year 1999 Problem is this: In 1999, we will experience a
> sudden, frightening surge in the number of articles printed about the
> Year 2000 Problem. Some of these articles will suggest that computers
> will fail to recognize the number 2000, putting a stranglehold on global
> communication. Other articles will assert that computers will in fact
> recognize the number 2000, since they deal with numbers all day and have
> a pretty good idea what they look like.
> All of these articles, however, will have one thing in common: they will
> be very boring. Unless we can find a way to make the Year 2000 Problem a
> much more interesting topic, the authorities fear, 1999 threatens to be
> the most annoying year ever.
> Even if that problem is somehow fixed -- and let us all hope that it
> will be -- there is ample evidence to suggest that 1999 will still be an
> unspeakable endurance test. While many have expressed concern that the
> year 2000 will bring with it a deluge of tedious millennium-themed
> books, records and calendars, experts have now moved up that timetable:
> the year 2000 is when those items will be remaindered.
> In 1999, it will be impossible to enter a Barnes & Noble without being
> assaulted by jacket copy that reads, "Four members of the Yale Class of
> 1975 -- a dreamer, a cynic, a saint and a sinner -- find their paths
> crossing once again . . . on the brink of the millennium."
> While it is possible to avoid reading -- and most Americans do --
> experts are concerned about another, more intractable problem for which
> there is no known solution: the expected upswing in use of the song
> "(Party Like It's) 1999," by the artist formerly known as Prince. The
> once catchy dance track will become unbearably ubiquitous, and will
> inevitably be co-opted by do-gooder types to lame effect. ("Come and
> party like it's 1999 -- for world literacy!")
> The resurgence of this song will bring with it another, equally serious
> problem, experts warn -- a resurgence of jokes in the form of, "the
> Something Formerly Known as Something," making late-night comedy
> monologues unsafe for the balance of the year.
> Finally, the Year 1999 Problem will manifest itself in alphanumeric
> overload: because of the endless use of Y2K as shorthand for the Year
> 2000, every other serious worldwide problem will be given a cute
> abbreviation.
> Global warming will be called 2HOT4U, Saddam Hussein will be
> TROUBLE/24-7, and asteroids plummeting toward the earth will be
> It would be tempting to stick our heads in the sand and say that the
> Year 1999 Problem will not affect us, but experts warn against such
> complacency. Here is just one of the "doomsday scenarios" these
> authorities have described to rouse us to action:
> Time: Jan. 1, 1999. Place: A local television news studio. Two anchors,
> BEN and JAN, trade quips.
> BEN: So, Jan, I heard you partied like it was 1999 last night.
> JAN: I'll say -- and I'm afraid I enjoyed myself a little more than I
> should.
> BEN: Oh, the old 2MUCH4U problem!
> JAN: Well, moving on to tomorrow's forecast, here's the Weatherman
> Formerly Known as Ryan Larsen. How's the millennium treating you, Ryan?
> RYAN: Well, this week it's going to be snowing like it's 1999. . . .
> Given such gloomy predictions, one might ask, who is looking forward to
> 1999? With the exception of Barbara Feldon, whose portrayal of Agent 99
> on "Get Smart" may, experts say, entitle her to a modest career
> resurgence, perhaps no one.
> But there may be a silver lining in all of this. True, 1999 will be a
> miserable year for magazines, newspapers, books, radio and television.
> But on Jan. 1, 2000, computers will fail to recognize the number 2000,
> putting a stranglehold on global communication. And not a moment too
> soon.
> Andy Borowitz co-produced the movie "Pleasantville."


Guys you know you better watch out.
Some girls, some girls are only about
That thing, that thing, that thing.
-- Lauren Hill, "Doo Wop"