Paradigm Shift - Editorial

Welcome to the New Millennium... NOT
by Philip H. Farber

If I survive the anticipated hangover, this issue of Paradigm Shift will be up on the Web on January 1, 2000. We spent several months here at PS HQ debating whether or not we should do something special for the Millennium. Then we went out for pizza and dropped the whole subject for several more months. We'll do something special next year. Everybody knows this by now: IT'S NOT THE MILLENNIUM. There was no year 0 -- the calendar started at Year 1, which makes the new millennium, as any Arthur C. Clarke reader knows, 2001. Nonetheless, this is the year that all the zeroes roll over on your computer's calendar. One writer has called this "The Psychological Millennium." It's fun... It's like tooting your horn when your car's odometer rolls over. So with that in mind, I have donned my magickal robes, aimed my eyeballs at the scrying crystal, and present you with these:

Predictions for the (Psychological) Millennium

1. In 2001, Bill Clinton, retired from politics, will purchase server space and upload nudie "amateur" pics of every bimbo he ever plooked in the White House. The site won't get much traffic, although it will receive repeated, lengthy visits from one ""

2. In 2005, President Larry Flynt will offer million dollar rewards to each and every member of congress who can prove that they screwed more than three people other than their spouse (literal screwing, not the more common congressional metaphoric screwing). All but three members of congress will come forward to claim their bonus. All but the three will be re-elected.

3. In 2002, a spacecraft will land on Earth, apparently sent from the planet Mars. The craft will take soil samples, then will deploy a small wheeled vehicle that will drive to Los Angeles, where it will attempt to pawn a variety of NASA vehicles, spacecraft, and hardware.

4. In 2012, marijuana will finally be legalized in the United States for general consumption. When asked why it took so long, the President Dr. Dre will state, "We be down wit da chronic... you know what I'm saying? Uh... what was da question?."

5. In 2004, NASA will be embroiled in scandal when a secret web site called "The Hubble Voyeur Cam" is discovered on the Internet.

6. In 2001, it will be discovered that the Y2K patch offered by Microsoft to fix earlier versions of Windows was faulty. By that time, however, the only computers still using the earlier versions will be limited to the IRS. All income tax records will be destroyed. There will be dancing in the streets.

7. At midnight on December 31, 2999, due to a widespread habnitzer glitch in the global frabgrad, all of the slishka will go yowza.

8. By 2006, if not sooner, the average person, when asked if they can name a single hit tune by Kenny G, will respond with a blank stare.

9. Television will be replaced by Internet-based video. Internet-based video will be replaced by direct neural input. By 2031, no one will leave the house.

10. By 2052, the average American will weigh 326 pounds, and will be permanently attached to the electronics and plumbing of their homes.

12. By the 22nd Century, the average American, when asked if they can name a single hit tune by Lenny Kravitz, will respond by saying, "Once we were humanoid beings like you. Then we left behind our flesh and blood bodies to pursue a new kind of life. Didn't he do a cover of 'American Woman'?"

And Finally... Wealth as a Meme

There are presently a few 'net-based systems that treat the virtual economy as an information virus or self-replicating meme. These systems often take a form similar to the old, offline pyramid and ponzi schemes. There's one interesting one that's caught my attention: This is set up as a "Virtual Stock Market," a self-expanding, independent economy. I don't know how legal it is, so I can't RECOMMEND IT HIGHLY AS A WAY TO MAKE LOTS OF MONEY. I could probably explain that you get $50 WHEN YOU JOIN and you can invest it in a variety of "virtual stocks" and get a return on it far in excess of what a bank would pay in interest. Many people have already found that they can MAKE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. So, I can't tell you that you can JOIN RIGHT NOW when you SEND YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, AND PREFERRED E-MAIL ADDRESS to me by clicking on this link: JOIN STOCKGENERATION (this is a faster method than waiting for their survey page to actually function... it is down due to traffic most of the time).

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