2021: Wow!

2021: Wow! January 1, 2021

2021. WOW! If you’re reading this, welcome to the future.

Happy New Year! / Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Just a few decades ago, many thought the world was going to end with Y2K. This was basically a conspiracy theory that misspoke about computers not being able to handle the stress test of flipping over to a new day from 1999 to 2000.

The consequences? Total chaos. Not in reality mind you, just in people’s minds. (Conspiracy theories have this effect of causing wide-spread panic.)

Not too long ago, in 1982 C.E., I didn’t think I was going to graduate before I could become a preacher, because I thought Jesus was going to come before I could toss my graduation cap. (There’s some irony in there somewhere.)

As I type, quite a few people are looking forward to January 6 this coming week. – Or not. I suspect what Trump and his supporters have planned will amount to nothing more than reality TV fodder. I’m hoping no one gets hurt during all the shenanigans they have planned.

Personally, I’m looking forward to January 20, 2021. Call me old-fashioned. I miss my democracy of yesteryear. Granted, things in congress still didn’t get done too efficiently, but we could at least expect our representatives to have a certain level of respect for the Constitution and each other to pay attention to the needs of the people.

At the moment, the future in America is looking rather murky; what with Covid-19 killing thousands a day and a political coup happening in real time. But at the end of the day (or the beginning of this new year) I’m still putting my faith in the American people. Overall, thanks to human ingenuity, life is getting better for most people around the world.

Now, if we could just figure out a way to get along …

About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister and now writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of several books, as well as the previous owner of several hospice agencies. You can read more about the author here.

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10 responses to “2021: Wow!”

  1. I was one of those programmers in 1999, stress-testing our computers to make sure nothing happened. Y2K “broke” one of our co-workers who was very, very fundamentalist. He started in January 1999 by buying a meat dehydrator and several empty barrels because his pastor told him to, and began putting away water and meat for the collapse of the world. Then he got wackier and wackier until he was arrested for trying to murder his son–he claimed God told him to do it. To be clear, I believe he thought that (ie that he was that mentally ill). His religious delusions exploited (to use a computer term) the weakness in his mind.

    As for January 21…can’t get here quickly enough IMO. As you say, we’ve been watching a coup happening in real time for four years now.

  2. That is a sad story about you coworker. I’m sure that was hard to watch him go through all of that. It seems entirely possible that had he not be “under the influence” of religion, none of this would have happened.

  3. Hi, Scott, I think my co-worker’s religion gave him permission to get crazier and crazier. After all, he was being religious, which is A Good Thing, amirite?

    He was a difficult co-worker for many reasons, starting with his fundy beliefs informing him that women were not suited to the workplace despite being better educated and more experienced than he was. He voiced that quite a bit, and as team lead, it was my job to go deal with him when he refused to share information with female teammates. He also believed that it was his right to proselytize in the office over the objections of his co-workers…and management backed him up because after, all, he was a Christian and therefore what he had to say was good.

  4. I’m guessing he didn’t like you telling him what to do. Sometimes it’s hard to work through those “office politics,” especially when the politics involve religion. Guess it depends on management, how religious they are, as to how much they will tolerate or let slide.

  5. He didn’t like anyone telling him what to do, but he was particularly hostile to the idea of a woman having any value in the office. I’m sure had a non-Christian (like, say, Muslim or Pagan or Jewish) person been proselytizing in the office, it would have been stopped immediately, but the leadership’s “vision” was that Christianity was good and therefore anything done in the name of it was perfectly fine.

    Regarding the present, I’m astounded that the party that once lost its collective minds in outrage over the previous president wearing a tan suit in the summertime (as had the previous presidents going back through the last century), is now shrugging and saying “no big deal” that a president tried to intimidate a secretary of state into corrupting the voting results.

  6. I was a programmer in 1999 and I fixed the bug in several places. It’s very annoying to work hard to fix something, and then be told that your good work is proof that the problem never existed.

  7. As I recall, Y2K was a lot about nothing.I’m sure a lot of folks like you were sent scrambling to try and fix the problems, but did most of the computer systems just work themselves trip through the glitch?

  8. I spent a few years living in Utah. While I was there my wife managed a local medical company. In one situation, the staff are wanting to hand out the book of Mormon to clients. She had to put a stop to that, and it all went downhill from there. Much of the friction that she was getting we’re for male employees.

    Politics has gotten very surreal in America. This is going to be an interesting week with the Georgia runoff and whatever shenanigans are going to take place tomorrow. I am stunned by the obvious: at so many of our elected officials have no value for democracy or our constitution. That and a profound lack of respect for their own reputations.

    I can understand how Biden and the Democrats may want to Be conciliatory and to just move on, but there needs to be some consequences for any laws that have been broken by anybody that has been trying to subvert our elections.

  9. I am a programmer (now mostly retired), and I assure you Y2K was a real problem, and a pain in the butt. It caused a lot of extra work and expense. It should should have been fixed years earlier, in updates to the date-handling routines. Or avoided altogether. I could see it coming in the mid-1980s. People who worked on things like long-term mortgage accounting programs were already dealing with it.

    It was never a threat to end civilization. But it was an expensive mess that could have been avoided with a little forethought.

    I fully agree with Shelia Crosby above. Professionals do not get the credit when they do their job right and everything works the way it is supposed to, but they get blamed when something goes wrong!

    Computers never “work themselves.” They always screw up. That’s why rockets crash into Mars instead of landing gently. They are gradually becoming more robust, but my Windows 10 still crashes on regular basis with a Blue Screen of Death.

    Old 20th century date-routines still cause problems. I had to replace a bunch of programs last year from the 1990s because the dates stopped working on January 1. I had no idea that would happen. It was obsolete stuff, and the new version is much improved, but it took me a couple of weeks.

  10. I’m surprised that computers are still having glitches in them this late in the game. 20 years after Y2K.

    I wasn’t much into computers shortly before Y2K. I do remember I had some friends across the street and they were LDS. They were preparing like there was no tomorrow for Y2K.

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