WELCOME TO A NEW CENTURY
"Millennium this, millennium that! Thank God it's finally over. Now we know there was nothing so special about it after all." BIYI SIMOYAN Lagos
When else in the history of mankind have so many people from places large, small and obscure--around the globe--come together [2000 AROUND THE WORLD, Jan. 1] to share common goals, hopes and concerns? With truly unprecedented scope and reach, the world's citizens met in rare and unique ways on New Year's Eve. We didn't blow ourselves up; we didn't melt down; and we're not picking our way through nuclear rubble. Mankind came safely barreling through a crossroads in time. In doing so, we surprised even ourselves. DAN HOLM Burbank, Calif.
This was a millennium celebration spectacular in its lack of imagination and permanence. So we shot off some fireworks, drank some booze and dumped some confetti on our shrinking world. Whoop-de-do! Where are the articulated dreams of Utopia? Does this shallow and short-lived celebration portend the new age's dawning? BRIAN WAID West Seattle, Wash.
I am so damn proud of us. It's not often that the word we means people the world over. And it is seldom that the sentiments of peace on earth, goodwill and good cheer are actually observed by everybody. But for one night the world was truly united. Everyone marked the moment joyfully, meaningfully, safely and spectacularly. That in itself was something to celebrate. JOAN MCINTOSH Norman, Okla.
YOU CAN COME OUT NOW
After reading Joel Stein's article "Hey, You in That Bunker, You Can Come Out Now!" about the end of the world that wasn't [2000 AROUND THE WORLD, Jan. 1], I can only say that if gun-toting, food-hoarding, radio-monitoring folks were the only people who survived the New Year, I would have gladly gone up in a burst of the year 2000! JAN HATCHARD West Chester, Pa.
As a longtime software developer, I was amazed by the Y2K hype. Government, the media and the public at large were all completely convinced we programmers were too stupid to properly allow for a change of century. How insulting. But to the programmers who took advantage of people's gullibility and profited from the panic, I say congratulations. P.T. Barnum would be proud. And to all the people who stockpiled enough nonperishable and unappetizing food to last for years, I'd ask, Who's stupid now? Enjoy your Spam. DIANA GRUBER Las Vegas
Those of us who prepared for Y2K's worst disasters erred on the side of caution. We could afford to be wrong, and we were. But instead of universal rejoicing among those who were fully prepared and those who weren't, the joking has already started--"We told you so." Perhaps. But had we "doom and gloomers" been right, the panic and tears of others wouldn't have been the object of my glee. MILTON JOHN KLEIM JR. Citrus Heights, Calif.
INSIGHT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY