The "Why?" Files

Since our first issue of ACP TPF Today back in July of 1990, I've written 51 editorials for this publication. Most have dealt with issues surrounding the industry, and some have dealt with non-technical issues when I've felt it appropriate. What I thought I would do for the next few installments of ACP TPF Today is focus on some of the non-technical things in our lives, in a series of editorials called The "Why?" Files. Not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning journalism, but hopefully you'll find them thought-provoking and entertaining.

Well folks, it's 1999. We've all managed to get by for another year and before we know it, the next century will be upon us. Notice I say the next "century", not the next millenium. Just in case you didn't know, the next millenium starts at 24:00 hours on December 31, 2000. That's right boys and girls, the Madison Avenue crew has done it to us again. It's the Millenium Bug, the Millenium Celebration, the Millenium everything... it's just not actually the millenium.

You really shouldn't feel stupid about going along for the ride on this one, since most teachers, many computer scientists, the majority of our news reporters, and absolutely every member of government has also got it wrong. I'm somewhat bothered by the teachers and scientists getting it wrong, but not at all surprised about "the press", and actually assured by government's stance. Let's be honest, if the Congress can't agree on what constitutes sexual relations, how can anyone possibly expect them to know when the millenium is? But the real question in my mind is, how could this happen? Supposedly, we're on the high end of the food chain, and we've managed to make great strides in improving the human condition. Just look at some of the things we've achieved:

How have these things happened? The answer is simple... money. If you subscribe to the fact that everything that happens in the world is motivated by profit, it's not difficult to see how lots of people can make lots of money by perpetrating 2 milleniums on us within one 365 day window. Do you know that you can't get a room anywhere in Orlando, Florida for next December 31st? Did you know that cruise lines are charging three and four times the normal rate for New Years cruises, and cabins are practically sold out? Would you pay $46,000 to fly around the world on Concorde next December 31st? Lot's of people already have! What person with an opportunity to make a buck wouldn't go along with the scam? Are any of us going to be around for the next (3001) millenium? Of course not, so why not make a killing now! (By the way, don't miss our special Millenium Issue which will be published in January 2000 and 2001.)

Once the dust settles after next New Years Eve, the pundits will go public with the revelation that the big bash is still a year away, and it's not too late to get in on the "real" celebration. Rest assured that operators will be standing by to take your credit card information for everything from Millenium Cookware to the Wonder Mop 2001. So as a word of caution, be prepared for the onslaught that is sure to come. The TV and newspaper ads are already on the drawing tables, and the media blitz is gearing up for what can only be described as "a twice in a lifetime" spectacular. As for this writer and this publication, we'll be here through it all keeping an objective eye open, and keeping you informed with our "Why? Files" reports. Have a very happy new year!

Alan Sadowsky