Pocket Website: The Other Year 2000

Why 2000?

For Information Technology specialists, it's very easy to get so bound up in the technical issues that we forget why we're celebrating this particular year.

Whether you are of any faith or none, in most countries of the world you will be counting years according to the Common Era (CE). Until recently this was almost universally called Anno Domini (AD), Latin for "In the year of our Lord".

Christians may not, today, be so happy with the history of military and imperial domination which has ensured the adoption of this Christian numbering. Members of other faiths may be even less happy. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the "2000" has been counted from an ancient best estimate of the date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Probably an inaccurate estimate; and one that has been re-estimated from both historical and astronomical details given in the Gospels with varying results. But that is the origin of the Year 2000!

So what are the churches doing?

Firstly, of course, just celebrating. It's a major achievement and Christians have something to celebrate along with everyone else. It would be odd if the world was celebrating two thousand years of the Christian era, and the churches weren't. Jesus, after all, loved a party with his friends (and he had lots of friends, though many of them were not  particularly reputable) ...

But secondly, there is an idea which is much older even than Christianity. In Old Testament times, years went in cycles of seven. At the end of seven cycles of seven there was a special year - the Year of Jubilee. In this fiftieth year, debts were cancelled -- and family land which had had to be sold to meet debts was given back (in modern terms we should say that such sales as leasehold, not freehold).

Christians, and others, want to encourage a new start for many of the world's disadvantaged. The Pocket Website would like to highlight two of them: Jubilee 2000 (worldwide), and, in the UK, House our Youth 2000.

Jubilee 2000 - a worldwide campaign

The churches, and others, are calling for a Jubilee year in 2000.

The poorest people of the world are crippled with debt. Their countries pay more to Western pockets in loan interest than they receive in none-too-generous aid. And the aid often has strings attached anyway. Jubilee 2000 calls for these debts to be set aside.

Jubilee 2000 is an international campaign operating in all countries of the world -- rich and poor. The UK has its own Jubilee 2000 organisation, and Jubilee 2000 information is available from Christian Aid.

It's on the international agenda; it was discussed at the G8 Summit in the United Kingdom in May 1998. The time is right.

Are you Jubilee Aware?

The Pocket Website launched the "J2K Pledge" on 10th November 1998. Please join us in pledging at least one percent of your additional Year 2000 earnings for the world's poorest people. There are other things you can do too.

What better way to celebrate the Millennium? 

House our Youth 2000

HOY2000 is a campaign in the United Kingdom by NCH Action for Children. Its aim is to end youth homelessness in our cities by the millennium. An increasing number of young people find themselves sleeping rough in our cities, forced there by various circumstances - withdrawal of benefits, family problems, and so on.

If you are a Year 2000 practitioner - don't restrict your attention to computer software!!

Year 2000 skills command a premium. Donate some of your extra earnings to one of these campaigns, or to another similar one.

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Original material Copyright © Tony Law/Parkside Information Management 1997, 1998