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The Millenium
Posted By: Sam, on host
Date: Tuesday, August 17, 1999, at 05:24:28
In Reply To: Re: M & M's posted by Paul A. on Monday, August 16, 1999, at 19:09:46:

> I've included a link.

What a moron. Of course, it IS kind of insane how many heated arguments there are over when the millenium starts, but every argument I've ever seen goes something like this:

1. Person A makes reference to 2000 being the new millenium, or some annual event of 1999 being the last in the current millenium.

2. Person B points out quite logically how the millenium runs from 1001-2000, not 1000-1999, in the same manner that your fingers are numbered 1-10, not 0-9.

3. Person A writes a tirade of a post (or column) that mentions Julian vs. Gregorian calendars, the inaccuracy of the common belief about when Christ was born, the arbitrariness of counting years in the first place, what's it matter anyway, so stick it in your ear, because I wasn't wrong at first, no I wasn't, you suck, no I wasn't, your logic cannot harm me, my ego is like a shield of steel!

And that's how it goes. When year 1 was supposed to start and when it actually did start are irrelevant; what's relevant is how we count years *now*. It doesn't matter that the Julian calendar had "bugs" we've corrected with the Gregorian calendar, because what matters is how we count years *now*. When a manufacturer ships out 1000 numbered limited edition something or others, they're numbered 1 through 1000. Deal out ten cards to each player, you count 1 through 10. Assemble years into millenia, and the first are years 1 through 1000, because that's how you count to a thousand. The next is 1001 through and including 2000. Only computer programmers start counting at zero, and only then when they're programming.

I suppose it's a mistake to devote so much time to such a trivial issue -- but actually I'm not. I'm less riled up about when the millenium actually starts as I am about the humongously widespread wave of mass refusal to admit error or accept a truth that isn't as intrinsically "cool."

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