the new millennium has arrived…
Some six billion souls on this planet went through
the countdown. During a span of 24 hours the globe
turned into a new day, a new year, a new decade, a
new century. And a new millennium emerged.
people passed on with the old millennium, getting
close but never quite making it into the new age.
And the newborns have already arrived, oblivious
to the significance that they have ushered in a
new era. For all of us on Earth the countdown clicked
into a climax, bringing up dreams and nightmares
beyond the regular evolution of development and
progress in this global village.
were you as the New Year approached? Did you think
about it with a sense of awe? I did. When my daughter
was born just over twenty years ago, I remember
thinking that she'd be 20, with a month to spare,
before the new millennium came. Now she is at Berkeley
and when I talked with her on her birthday, it suddenly
dawned on me that we had indeed arrived at the end
of my measuring-stick.
didn't fly on New Years day - not because I feared
that the airplane would crash, but rather because
I preferred to be at home with friends and family.
I watched the new era emerge in televised ceremonies
that happened first in the Far East then Europe
and then New York - all before it finally came to
California. We were watching and waiting for the
future to arrive. And, it did.
time is measured using a seemingly artificial, man-made
clock, the reality of our dependence on technology
and its adjuncts was brought to the forefront by
fears of untold calamities resulting from the shortsightedness
of programmers some decades ago. But y2k is here
and, apart from incidents that were more the result
of scare-tactics than substance, the world continues
to function as if this was just another day and
month and year - which it is. Or is it?
will that visible mirror of business progress -
the stock market - respond to this once-in-a-thousand-year
event? Like others, I tried to read the minds of
countless capitalists, as they bought and sold in
uneasy uncertainty, unwittingly adding my hidden
hand to the fluctuating frenzies of the market.
Of course, my musings go beyond just short-term
prognostications. How will business respond to the
changes and challenges of the new millennium? Will
the Dow and Nasdaq resume their seemingly unstoppable
surge? Or, in a stock market that is linked with
electronic immediacy, will some new far-away financial-flu
trigger an inevitable disaster?
has fuelled our progress for much of the past several
decades. New and startling discoveries and developments
will change the scenario as significantly as did
the microprocessor and the Internet in the last
decade or two. Moore's Law (the doubling of computer
power every eighteen months) is predicted to come
to an end by 2017 (by then integrated circuits will
be 1 atom thick). The Human Genome Project, which
was designed to construct detailed genetic and physical
maps of the human genome, is expected to be complete
in 2003 - just 3 years away. This, and similar developments,
will soon re-write the intrinsic ground rules that
mold the human condition. Some new bionic invention
will probably provide the equivalent of today's
parallel processing and gigabit memory using biochemical
organisms to produce brainpower that will breed
synthetic intelligence exceeding the capabilities
of a relatively slow and ineffective human brain.
This may signal the start of the trans-human era,
where ordinary humans are obsolete. Or perhaps,
human spirituality will transcend mere technological
the latter part of the old century Communism collapsed,
leaving Capitalism as the shaky survivor - but one
wonders how long the old capitalistic icons will
survive the fast pace of change. Capitalism makes
the rich richer, but the world is beginning to recognize
that perhaps it is more important to make the poor
the next few decades, population in the developed
nations will begin a serious decline, while continuing
to surge ahead in underdeveloped nations. In a democratic
global village, made ever smaller by the instant
access of media and information, China and India
the most populous nations should, by the definition
of democracy, control the world. But their very
numbers - population density - will inevitably lead
to internal conflicts and splintering.
we enter an age that professes to eschew race, color
and creed, local ethnic and religious conflagrations
continue while the eclectic, multi-cultural world
watches on CNN with a half-hour refresh. How many
more Bosnias and Serbias will there be, before a
new, enlightened, global community finds a way to
eliminate hatred and prejudice? Will war become
outmoded? Or, will someone be mad enough, to push
a nuclear button?
biggest achievement of the past century, and one
that utilized all of our other achievements and
inventions, was the start of space-travel. In the
new millennium, perhaps the frontiers will go into
outer space as we meet new aliens in new worlds.
looked up words that rhyme with “millennium” and
found quite a few. So, this poetic ditty flowed
naturally, to sum up these millennium musings.
the start of the new millennium A break in the
time continuum Will the world find a new moratorium?
Or explode in a nuclear crematorium? Anticipate
the swing of the pendulum As we enter the new
© 2000 Jim
Pinto is Founder and Chairman of Action Instruments,
San Diego, CA. Jim is 62 - born in India, lived
in England for about 8 years and moved to the U.S.
in 1968 - he considers himself eclectic. He has
previously been named California Small Business
Person of the Year and is a Fellow of the Instrument
Society of America. His articles have been published
worldwide in several languages. He has also written
several whimsical and satirical poems, published
in national journals and on the web at :