Illustration by Bob AulI don't know whether you noticed, but the dreaded Y2K came and went without a hitch, despite many and myriad predictions of doom. When midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, rolled around and computers worldwide failed to explode, said doomsayers suddenly got very, very quiet. Lead pessimist Gary North (www.garynorth.com) still has his site up, with its laughable predictions of global chaos, but even his Glitch Report—his last-ditch effort to prolong Y2K hysteria—hasn't been updated since early February. Ed Yardeni, an economist who predicted a worldwide economic meltdown, has dropped Y2K entirely from his repertoire. And the other Ed, Ed Yourdon, has a postmortem dissection on the Crisis That Never Was on his site (www.yourdon.com).
But here's the thing: we may not be out of the woods yet. As humorless fans of Arthur C. Clarke know, the year 2000, despite the media hype and worldwide celebrations, is not actually the beginning of the new millennium. That actually starts on Jan. 1, 2001; this is because there is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar. And at least one guy is convinced that the Y2K bug, which is apparently a purist, is waiting patiently for the advent of the actual millennium before it pounces.
Jeff Lindsay, a chemical engineer from Appleton, Wisconsin, has posted the terrifying truth on his website, The Minus Y2K Bug: Learning From the Collapse of Ancient Egypt (www.jefflindsay.com/index).
"Don't be fooled by the massive cover-up of the Y2K problem," Lindsay warns on his site. "The government says that they solved any problems with the millennium bug and that nothing serious happened. Fools! The new millennium doesn't even begin until 2001—so we haven't had a chance to get the full impact. Jan. 1, 2000, was just Phase One of the Y2K disaster."
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More frighteningly, Lindsay asserts, this isn't the first time computers have crashed civilization: during the reign of Pharaoh Hunk-Amen-Ra, in ancient Egypt's great Silicon Age (c. 1450 B.C.), a similar bug set Egyptian civilization back thousands of years. With a complex series of calculations and textual evidence gathered from various tomb paintings, Lindsay proves that the Minus Y2K bug first took place in the year 1378 B.C. The horrifying consequences included the notorious Seven Plagues of Egypt and the loss of valuable slave labor when Moses, on behalf of his people, demanded promotions, stock options and increased vacation time.
Do similar horrors await us as we once again approach midnight on New Year's Eve? Will we, too, be faced with frogs, lice, beetles and the wholesale destruction of our dairy industry? Lindsay says yes.
"Can we really believe the government and its controlled media when they say there were no Y2K disasters this year?" he asks. "Just ask the many terrorized citizens whose cars were destroyed by thousands of gallons of foam when they tried to get automatic car washes just moments after the new year began! Or ask the people whose clothes were shredded in violent rinse cycles at out-of-control laundromats.
"The lessons of ancient Egypt are all the more relevant as we approach the real new millennium," Lindsay concludes. "There's still plenty of time to get hysterical! Don't relax—begin hyperventilating today."