Planes will fall out of the sky! Banks will lose track of your money! There won't be any food and all the pipes will freeze! Plenty of people predict the worst for January 1, 2000. But is it all just a bad case of apocalyptic fever? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the year 2000 problem. Also, why the Millennium is such a big deal.
Richard Landes is director of Boston University's Center for Millenial Studies. He tells Judith Strasser that people respond to the Millenium as owls (let's sleep through it!) or roosters (hey, it's a new dawn!) He thinks the Y2K computer problem is consistent with the tradition of apocalyptic prophesies, but worries that human beings have taken on God's role in determining the end of the world.SEGMENT 2:
Jim Fleming offers a few Y2K horror stories of computers run amok; Also, Judith Golub (who with her partner Nicholas Zvegintzov runs a consulting firm specializing in software maintainance issues) tells Judith Strasser that the Y2K problem is the result of a necessary computer design choice; that the problem can be solved if enough people correct enough lines of computer code; and that things will be worse if people panic. Also, Rick Smolan is the creator of the "Day in the Life" books. His latest is "One Digital Day: How the Microchip is Changing Our World." He tells Jim Fleming that microchips are everywhere and that he filled a book without resorting to pictures of people staring at monitors.SEGMENT 3:
Sir Henry Chadwick, emeritus professor of divinity at Cambridge University, talks with Steve Paulson about the history of millenialism. He says it comes from people's belief that this world would end a thousand years after the birth of Christ; that the date was frequently re- calculated and that one prediction was that the end would come in 1492!Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-08-16-A.
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