I read with interest everything Robert Carroll posts about the year 2000 on his Skeptic’s Dictionary web site. His November 27 article lists several countries and cultures that use different calendar systems but what I’m trying to figure out is if they also use their calendars in their computer systems. Is it hubris on our part to assume every computer in the world is on the Gregorian calendar? Or does America so thoroughly dominate the computer industry that every business in every country has to follow our lead if they hope to keep up? What I’m saying is, if I’m in Egypt and I want to book a flight so that I land in New York on December 10, 1999, will the Muslim ticket person at the Egyptian airline give me a ticket dated 1999 or 1420?
I’m trying to address the concerns that some of my co-workers seem to have that the computers of every country that has nukes aimed at us will crash on New Year’s Eve which will automatically launch all of the nukes and blast us to Kingdom Come. Which I guess raises a whole nuther question: if their computers crash, why do people assume the nukes will fire at all or, if they do, that their guidance systems will work? When my computer crashes, it doesn’t automatically do anything except freeze or maybe beep. Is it just xenophobic paranoia, or is there a real reason to be concerned?
What is the Straight Dope on the foreign Y2K situation?
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy