It's December 1999 and many are wracked with fear over the turning over of another new year. The year not only stands out because it is the end of a millennium and comes replete with some fancy new front digits in the form of "2000", but also has decades of baggage and propaganda that had filtered through to the public over the years. And at least one of the most infamous of doomsday scenarios that circled around the year 2000 was based on some fact.
Remember the infamous Y2K bug? This one was actually created by IBM! The computer giant had the long seeing vision to know that personal computers would become all the rage by the 1990s but they didn't have the same capacity to think that they would need to program all of their computers to recognize all four digits of the year. As it was, the computers were only set up to understand the last two digits, which worked great from '65 to '99, but under this limited programming directive, it was the potential recipe for disaster when "99" suddenly was read as "00" on January 1, 2000!
Many had all kinds of fears and anxieties and declared that the computers would think we went backwards in time all the way to 1900! But before we had to start pulling out all of the ragtime classics, we were fortunate to have IBM solve the problem for us. So it turns out that this was just a matter of tweaking the system a bit they were able to reprogram doomsday!
As time wears on people tend to worry about the future and as the anxiety builds, we tend to focus on one particular date or year to focus all of this nervous energy on. This was the case in the year 2000, just as it was in 2012; there is a deliberate need in us to focus energy on a certain date, as we ponder if it would be our last. I know that we can all remember pretty clearly the hubbub that was created around 2012.