Time Bomb Y2K (2023) Movie Script

If our civilization, the lights go off
and the lights never come back on,
for all intents and purposes,
it's going back to dust.
We will turn it back
into the Stone Age eventually.
Because without that power
this lifestyle stops.
And you will be back working with clay.
You will be back dealing
with one of these.
I happen to be on a year 2000 project
for the company that I work for
in making sure that their systems
are going to make it
across the Millennium.
We just can't get it all and so...
And so you're here?
Computer buffs have known about it
for years...
...but the rest of us,
well, we're just finding out
about a glitch you might say
in the way most computers are programmed.
There could be a meltdown
when we cross from the year 1999
into 2000.
And even if you don't own a computer,
this is going to affect you in a big way.
I feel like it could
be the beginning of the end of the world.
I feel like our days could be numbered.
I feel like nuclear bombs could go off,
nuclear plants could melt down,
we could suffer famine.
And I don't want to go through this alone.
How can we prepare individually?
How can we work together?
And how can we, humankind,
utilize Y2K
as an opportunity to look at ourselves,
to analyze where we've been,
and to adjust our sights for the future.
Watch your feet,
watch your feet, watch the cable.
Thank you, both.
-Thank you.
-Now, you go on up, go on up.
-That's okay. Yeah, this is good.
Today in California,
we are installing six million feet...
six million feet
of computer cables and plugs.
We are putting the future
at the fingertips of your children.
All of you know that the information
and technology explosion
will offer to you and to the young people
of the future,
more opportunities and challenges
than any generations
of Americans has ever seen.
-Good morning, Mr. President.
-You can see it on the camera there.
Good morning, Mr. Vice President.
-Morning, Ron.
-Hey, Mr. Secretary.
Oh, hold on.
So now you can say it.
Good morning, Ron.
How's it going there, Ron?
Gotta wait for them to send back audio.
Takes a few seconds here.
Come on.
It's great here.
We're at Freeport Elementary School.
We got a fully wired school,
hooked into the information
superhighway just like you, Mr. President,
the Vice President said to be.
You know, the Vice President
and I have communications like this,
at the Pentagon with all of
our military leaders around the world.
I'm really glad to see that you've got
this kind of communication for education.
If more people can communicate
directly like this
and look at each other face to face,
that will, I think, reduce the need
for military confrontation.
I think it'll bring people together
all over the world.
And it's really exciting to see
us here looking at you
and have this conversation.
I hope you all
are as excited about it as we are.
Everybody's excited here Mr. President.
Why don't we give a big cheer
and let's show him how excited we are,
all right?
I like this, does it--
-Top of the range.
-Does it? Let's see...
-Car cord.
-I can take it in the car!
Three-inch screen.
I like this one, hun.
It can do batteries too.
You mean you can take a movie
and they'll put it on the hard drive
and you can show it back.
Oh, c'mon.
Yeah, yeah.
There it is right here.
-You guys, Bill cut it all out.
-You cut it.
We humans are tool builders
and we can fashion tools that...
...amplify these inherent
abilities that we have
to spectacular magnitudes.
And so for me,
a computer has always been
a bicycle of the mind.
Something that takes us
far beyond our inherent abilities.
Microsoft will be the most
powerful company
in the 21st century.
Do you see that?
No, I really don't.
We're a company that makes tools.
But so many people are dependent
on those tools.
No, they're not dependent on us.
Once they have those things,
they can use them
and do whatever they choose.
I think a millennia from now...
...people are gonna look back and say,
"Wow, the late 20th century
was really a great time
to be alive on this planet."
Now that I've gone on the internet,
I'd rather be on my computer
than doing just about anything.
Any human being can say
whatever he or she wants...
...and nobody can shut them up.
It means that all of those
wonderful things that have been gelling
in human consciousness all this time,
that we're too far out on the fringes...
...suddenly get a chance
to be part of the mix.
And I think that's a good thing.
I think it's no accident
that the tremendous speed
that we're seeing in development
of this new cyber culture,
which is evolving right
in front of our eyes,
right around this millennium time.
Why is that?
It's not happening by accident.
It's the actual millennium itself
making this happen. It's like an energy.
It's like a magnet that the closer
you get to it the more it speeds up.
It's almost like a black hole.
So as you hit it right on the year 2000,
the culture is moving
at almost maximum speed.
I want to get online.
I need a computer.
As ironies go, add this to the list.
Computers that can handle millions
of numbers a minute may spend years
stymied by a single one,
the date of the year 2000.
It's a problem called the Millennium Bug
and it will be biting soon.
We can't see the electronic calendar
inside a computer,
but if we could,
it would look something like this.
The first two digits of the year,
the 19 are assumed by the computer,
chiseled in stone as far
as its memory is concerned.
To save precious storage space,
only the last two digits change.
So when the year 1999 ends,
virtually all computer calendars
are going to flip over to the next year,
which the computers will read as 1900.
Our systems are broken.
And they're going to fall asunder
when you start entering into them,
data from the 21st century.
There is no debate about that anymore.
Peter D. Jager calls himself
a computer age Paul Revere,
trotting all over the globe
to warn companies and governments
that "the zeros are coming,
the zeros are coming."
We won't be in a situation,
will we or will we,
where cities virtually
grind to a halt on that January 1.
If we don't fix the programs,
that's what happens.
Now you're asking me
to predict the future.
If everybody listens to us,
we'll bypass this.
If everybody starts working on it,
focuses all their energies,
we will bypass it.
What you have just communicated to me
is that half this room has no better
than a 50% chance
of delivering this project on time.
Do you understand that?
Do you realize that?
In 1977, I started as an operator
with IBM.
COMPUTER CONSULTANFirst day on the job, I noticed that
our systems were using two-digit years.
When I brought it up to management,
management said, "Don't worry about it,
it isn't going to happen
for another 23 years, so relax."
I did.
In 1989,
I saw a show,
Connections with James Burke.
And the first show was about how in 1965...
THE TRIGGER EFFEC...the entire Skyline went black
because of one single electrical switch.
It can't happen here, well it did.
And the question asked by 25 million
people living in the affected area
of 80,000 square miles
was simply how could it happen?
And no one had an immediate answer.
It was that single device failing,
causing this huge effect...
that made me realize
that the year 2000 problem,
these date calculations in every one
of these organizations,
would have a similar impact.
2 YEARS LEFSo if we all know
there's going to be this giant problem
and exactly when it's going to happen,
why on earth can't we fix it?
Here's ABC's Gina Smith.
Just how big is the problem?
Well imagine someone told you
you had to find and replace
every bolt in the Brooklyn Bridge.
That's daunting, but doable.
Now imagine you have to find
and replace every bolt in every bridge
in the world,
and you only have 21 months to do it.
Computers talk to one another...
VICE PRESIDENT ISDN-NE...information is transferred
from one system to another.
And if one computer doesn't understand
the change of date,
then other computers are affected by that.
What Y2K is about really is
the pervasiveness of computer technology,
information processing technology,
in our everyday lives.
And personal computers
are really the least of it.
It's the big fragile systems,
the brittle systems
that are most vulnerable.
Things like power,
electric communications,
air traffic control, banking.
These are the things that we don't think
about because they're invisible.
They're transparent
in our daily interactions.
But they are in fact computer systems.
It's not just the computer systems
that are interconnected.
It's the economies of the countries
and the individual businesses
that are interconnected.
You can have a company like
General Motors that has been working very,
very hard on this issue,
but they're dependent upon tiers
of suppliers.
And if you can't get the widget
that goes into the seat
that goes into the car,
their assembly line is going to stop.
It's almost like a nightmare.
Literally science fiction.
Computers which control
defense missile systems.
Computers which control
public transportation systems
are at risk of failure.
But this is much worse than we thought
because billions
of computer chips out there
have a time sequence
as part of their program.
Imagine how many things are now run
with computer chips
and are connected to so many other things
run by computer chips.
It seems unbelievable,
but it's only 535 days from now.
At the stroke of midnight,
when we will usher in a new year,
a new century, a new millennium.
It is a complex test that requires us all
to work together.
Every government agency,
every university, every hospital,
every business large and small,
with millions of hours needed to rewrite
billions of lines of code
and hundreds of thousands
of interdependent organizations.
This is clearly one of the most
complex management challenges in history.
More than anything else,
the year 2000 problem has revealed
how interconnected and interdependent
we have become.
Earlier this year, the President
established the President's Council
on the Year 2000 Conversion,
and appointed John Koskinen
to head up this effort,
having been a part of the effort
to persuade him to come back
out of retirement and take this on,
I want to really lay it on thick because
he's really-- he's done a great job.
Why don't you stand up, John,
we appreciate what you're doing.
We are at the White House.
We're here with John Koskinen.
This is the apex of our trip.
You've been known in papers and articles
as the Y2K czar.
How do you react to that?
Well, I'd say, in a way,
I suppose, of focusing on responsibility.
But as I said, it's one of the
world's great bag holding jobs.
If it all goes well, nobody will care.
And if it doesn't go well,
they'll say what was the name of that guy?
Who was that czar?
Has to be a fair amount of pressure
that you must admit
when the president says,
"Okay, you're my guy to do this."
Not only is it getting the government
itself up to speed,
it's the nation--
how to inform the people.
We're still a ways away
from the end of next year,
and we don't know how much work
is actually going to get done.
All you can say for sure
right now is that there's potential
for significant disruptions
around the world.
But also there are a lot of people
working very hard to avoid that problem.
So at this stage,
all you can do is make guesses
or very broad-based estimates
about what might happen.
But I think at this point,
it's very difficult to know for sure.
Four million gallons of raw sewage
spilled out during a failed Y2K test.
They were testing what would happen
if the plant lost power
once the calendar reads January 1, 2000.
Computer unexpectedly shut our input gate
and didn't tell us that it did that,
shut one of our input gates,
and it backed up the sewer into the park.
Regulatory reports reveal
that early last month
the Peach Bottom nuclear facility
near York, Pennsylvania
experienced a serious glitch
when operators tried to fix
a Y2K problem. When workers
advanced clocks to the year 2000,
both the primary and backup plant
monitoring system computers shut down
for seven hours,
resulting in a major loss
of emergency assessment capability,
according to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission.
I keep on hearing a lot of things
that there's gonna be mass chaos
and confusion in the year 2000.
Right now I'm just studying
all the facts and just see what--
what companies are really prepared for.
I just assumed in America,
we'll figure it out.
I can't believe
that in this present day and age,
with all the modern technology,
that everything's going to collapse.
A lot of people are going to panic
and stockpile things, not fly.
I think it's all a hoax anyway.
-You think it's a hoax?
-I do.
I think it was started
by computer programmers.
They must be working on it.
Are they?
This is the real frontline, programmers
scouring computer codes.
And to understand exactly
what they're doing,
you have to be one.
It'd be a D3M because there's hyphens.
I've got to tell you
I don't understand the word you said.
But what you pick up immediately
is that the process of fixing
a single computer program
is tedious and time consuming.
Every one is unique and you
have to go through them line by line
to find and fix
and test potential problems.
Well actually, I was gonna try to get
into something
where you can actually see me doing
something useful here.
Let's see...
This is a fairly straightforward case.
It's a field in a program
just called YR for year.
And the 99 means
it's two numeric possible values.
So these are the kinds of things that
the various tools
that we're using help us find.
Just about everything we do
depends on knowing
the date something happened,
the date someone was born,
the date they got married,
the date they died,
the date they became disabled,
we have to worry about all those things.
The whole business of the Millennium Bug
is a bit odd, isn't it?
We can put a tiny little machine
on Mars to roam around
and we've got a problem
with a couple of digits.
Doesn't make much sense does it?
I mean, who were the programming geniuses
who decided that we only needed two digits
instead of four.
Programmers have been telling management
right from the start,
this will not work in the year 2000.
And management said that is outside
my six-year timeframe
for financial analysis and, you know,
reports to shareholders,
so we're not going to worry about it.
The kind of computer power
you can now get on a laptop
used to require a system
that was so large it literally
had to be housed in its own building.
So the sheer expense of computing
began to really add up.
That's when major businesses
and government institutions
began finding ways to cut corners.
And one of the most fateful cost-cutting
measures was to deliberately
leave out the first two digits
of the year date.
Using two digits rather than four
made good economic sense.
It was a choice, worldwide.
Sort of like the original sin.
If we dig still deeper,
beyond the technical explanations,
we could probably start with a name,
Grace Hopper,
coiner of the term "bug."
I was very fortunate the Navy ordered me
to the first big computer
in the United States, Mark One at Harvard.
How did you know
so much about computers then?
-I didn't.
-How did you--
-It was the first one.
We were building Mark Two
the summer of 1945.
It was a hot summer in Cambridge
and Mark Two stopped.
We finally located the failing relay.
It was one of the big signal relays.
And inside the relay,
beaten to death by the relay contacts
was a moth about this big.
So the operator got a pair of tweezers
and very carefully fished
the moth out of the relay.
Put it in the logbook,
put scotch tape over it.
And below it he wrote
"first actual bug found."
You wrote something somewhere--
you don't do anything in the Navy
without a piece of paper.
They all come out of computers.
Same thing's true with your big companies.
If those computers stopped,
this whole country
would come to a screeching halt.
People are scared of computers,
just as I can remember.
There were people who were scared to death
of telephones.
Wouldn't go near them.
There were people who thought
gas light was safe
but electric light wasn't very safe.
We've always gone through this
with every change.
Fulfilling absolute decree
in casual simplicity.
All of this is designed to free men
and women from the drudgery
and monotony of pushing paper.
Certainly not a 1984-ish vision at all.
It's just going to be very gradual
and very human and will seduce you
into learning how to use it.
In just two decades,
the speed of computers
has improved over 100 times.
At the core of our society,
a world of accelerating change,
irreversible change.
For just as the Industrial Revolution
replaced man's muscles
as an economic asset,
so the computer threatens
to make valueless the menial mentality.
By the year 2000,
computers will invade our privacy,
on a scale hardly imaginable.
They will be interconnected,
and unless prevented by new legislation,
will be able to sell information.
Everybody knows what's happening
in every part of the world within seconds.
And it's affecting
every part of our lives.
It's something--
we can't get away from it.
I think we will have to just--
I don't know,
I don't know what's gonna happen.
It is, ironically,
that we're too well-informed,
we know too much.
We've lost forever,
the opportunity to live in innocence
about how our society works,
or doesn't work.
Is it going to bring us closer together
or will it drive us further apart?
It's going to do both ironically.
It can bring the world closer together,
but you can also use it
to avoid human contact.
We have become very,
very dependent on computer technology.
We are going to be stress tested
by the year 2000 problem.
2 YEARS LEF365...363 DAYS LEFHow could the omission
of two simple digits
affect the destiny of all humankind?
What does it mean?
How will it affect you, your family,
your community,
your nation, our world?
In a very real way,
we're all responsible for Y2K.
And there's no one to blame,
morally or otherwise,
we've all benefited from the technologies
which have improved our lives.
And we have therefore encouraged
those same technologies to develop
at evermore accelerated rates.
And yes, perhaps we are now realizing
that we've taken them a bit for granted,
and have indeed become too dependent
upon the byproducts
of our collective innovations.
How fragile do we now find ourselves
before the juggernaut
of our own inventions.
However, our individual
and collective response to Y2K
is actually far more important
than Y2K itself.
We know that Y2K
is not about computers alone.
Y2K is about connection.
And it's a metaphor for us
being connected with each other.
This group started with a group
of people who got together and said,
"Well, what can we do
to promote community preparedness
for Y2K and beyond?"
"What do we do to create the kind
of community that America is known for?"
Those small communities
where you walk down the street,
you say, "Hi, how are you, Stalone?"
"How you doing Bill?"
"How you doing Suzie?
Good to see you again, Jim."
We all know that we've
got a community like that.
Mother Teresa once said that America
was the loneliest country in the world,
and it's because we don't have
community anymore.
And if, if this is what comes out of this,
and there isn't a problem,
but we've learned how to work together.
I don't think that's, you know,
I don't think that's a waste
because I know a lot of us feel
that the way we've been living
isn't totally satisfying.
So I think personally,
Y2K is more of a catalyst
of a lot of things that's been going on
for a long time.
If I have my supply of food,
but the people next to me don't have food,
it's not going to serve me well.
So everybody has to be provided for.
So that's why I think
it's a collective problem,
it's a social problem.
It's no longer a technological problem.
It's a social problem.
What do you guys think about all the myths
going around about the Y2K,
as far as like computers shutting down?
My perspective of it is that
if man made it, it can fall apart.
I mean, you know what I mean?
So I think that if we do
our responsibility of making sure
that our things are safe, making sure
that our families' things are safe,
and making sure that things
in our neighborhood are compliant.
And if everyone did that,
then we will be able to operate
and function even
if something did go wrong.
I think it's everybody's responsibility
to look out for everybody.
The whole process with, you know,
it's Y2K, I'm gonna make sure that,
you know, my neighborhood
has a power generator.
But, you know, that neighborhood
over there.
"I don't know, that's not me."
"I don't have to worry about it,
it's not my problem."
I think, you know,
it's everybody's problem.
If it's a problem at all.
I think that our governments are paranoid
probably just as much as any other person
on the street is, because nobody
knows what's going to happen.
Nobody knows what the outcome of that
is going to be.
I hope, really, I pray that people
don't panic, you know?
Because I think-- I think panic is going
to be the worst problem of the Y2K.
Scott Olmstead led us more than 100 miles
into the desert.
SECURED BY ADKEEP OUHis hideaway is a secret retreat
known only to his family.
But Scott Olmsted is not a member
of some fringe survivalist group.
He's a well-paid computer programmer
who says he's seen
the potential for disaster firsthand.
I could see a lot of crime,
I could see looting and arson,
burning, the kinds of things
that happened in the LA riots.
I could see a lot of desperate people
who don't have food,
maybe they don't have water,
maybe they don't have electricity.
Maybe they've lost all their savings,
because the banks have collapsed
or the stock market has collapsed.
All those things are possibilities.
We are making preparations for ourselves.
And for some family members.
There is no way that we can feed
or otherwise help, you know,
dozens or hundreds of people.
And it's just best if we not
be put in that position of having
to decide who comes
and who stays and who can't come.
At first I thought
he was really exaggerating,
and that it couldn't be as bad
as he was making it out to be.
And frankly,
I went through all of those stages.
I was angry.
I was in denial.
And then I realized once I started reading
all of these things
that were being printed from the internet
and mainstream articles
that there really was a problem
and it wasn't going to go away.
182,636 MATCHES
276 DAYS
Ask these Y2K Experts how much
of the problem is real
and how much is hype?
Well, I think most of what you've heard
so far is real.
Worst scenario, radiation problems make
Three Mile Island look like a picnic.
And likely to happen,
some battlefield equipment
is junked rather than fixed.
"High-tech systems
get more attacks..."
We didn't say the worst scenario.
The worst scenario
is what the consultants are saying.
Joining us from Toronto,
computer consultant Peter de Jager.
Paloma O'Reilly is a computer expert.
Some experts say airplanes may fall
from the sky,
the world financial system
could melt down.
I might pull out some money
just in case the computers go down.
I mean, you know.
A lot of people
saying there's gonna be nothing
that's gonna be wrong.
There's a lot of people saying
there's gonna be something wrong.
Well, I won't be flying anytime,
beginning of January or February.
So I'll make sure I don't.
-Because I'm afraid.
I just hope that...
all the nuclear stockpiles
are under control.
According to a TIME/CNN poll,
the level of concern about Y2K.
Somewhat/Very Concerned, 59%.
Americans willing to move to
a rural area, like you Scott, 12%.
So you're mainstream,
for once in your life, Scott.
Hey, I'm not so far out as I thought.
There's so much information clutter
on this whole topic.
And it does scare people.
In the garage you can't get your car
started because its front panel detects
that the car hasn't been serviced
in almost a century.
I mean, that's pretty specific.
Where did that come from?
Well, that came from de Jager actually.
Mr. de Jager, good evening,
welcome to Crossfire.
Can I-- can I ask you
a personal question first?
-I just have to notice this.
I mean, is this a doomsday tie
that you're wearing?
No. It's actually just a sense of humor.
And if you can't laugh at this,
then we may as well
just all slit our wrists.
Well, you're like
a walking billboard for Doomsday.
Peter, let me ask you this.
I mean, is, let's be real honest here.
I mean, I've looked at a little bit
into you and you got this book out.
I mean, you got a website where
you're selling everything from videotapes
for 75 bucks to watches,
to maybe even to ties, I don't know,
to handbooks dealing with this.
I mean, you're a one-man gloom
and doom industry. You don't want
this problem to go away
because you'd be out of a job.
On the contrary,
and I really resent that.
This has to be solved.
What we want is for it to solve.
What we want is
for people to take this thing seriously.
What we want is on January the first
for you to get me back on the show
and say Peter nothing happened
and my job will be done
and the jobs of
several hundred other people.
The reality is that the IRS, for example,
is spending a billion dollars,.
Why are they spending that money?
Because I'm a good speaker.
Come on! Give them some credit.
Well I mean I've read
that you get $7,500 for a speech
-that's more than Novak and...
-How much do you get--
Don't give me that.
Here is this page,
half a page ad that you yourself
took out promoting your own self
in the Wall Street Journal.
It's got your website here and everything.
You're selling yourself
as Dr. Doom aren't you?
Let's get the facts right.
Let's not do another sarin on air.
-This was paid for by--
This was paid for
by the Wall Street Journal.
This is not an ad I took out,
and they gave me a byline.
All your information
is up here right?
-Aren't you making a living...
...by scaring people to death?
I'm making a living
by telling them the truth.
Now if the truth scares them,
please don't shoot the messenger.
Is this your outfit for Y2K?
It sure is.
I'm Farmer Jane now.
How you doing?
Got any eggs for me today?
Let's see.
I felt like when my congressman
laughed at my inquiries,
and the mayors and the local media
wouldn't report it seriously,
that it was pretty hopeless.
Because Peter de Jager said
that if you didn't get going in '89,
it was going to be hopeless.
And so...
I put my business up for sale.
So it's not going to be easy for us
financially if Year 2K doesn't happen,
because we have sold off our assets.
But it's much more important
for us to have this cash now
and put it in our Year 2K preparations.
In a year from now, I anticipate
the home will be full of the smell
of fresh bread and the wood stove.
We'll have some sewing to be doing,
fresh eggs,
the animals to feed, and it will be time
to just really connect,
brush up on my piano skills.
Do you think of yourself as a...
Y2K survivalist or...
-What are your views on Y2K?
-Well, I'm a grandma turned Year 2K-er,
and when I couldn't get
my local community to listen.
I found that there was thousands
of people on the internet
that wanted information
about rural living.
And so I set up a website
and we've had thousands
that have visited it,
and we're just trying
to encourage people here
that rural living can be fun
and you can make the adjustment.
You can use it with either hot water,
you can fix it with cold water,
or if you had to even eat it raw--
Now I don't recommend eating it raw.
I mean it'll swell up.
You can make anything solar,
any flashlights, any radio you have,
you can make it
with a solar battery charger.
You can make anything solar.
I see that...
-Why don't I go ahead with that.
There's a lot more books being written,
a lot more on the internet.
And I think that
there is a potential problem
that might occur and no one knows,
but I'd rather be prepared for my family
and if there isn't a problem
then we're set.
And that's just less shopping
I'll have to do next year.
In the past, these shows drew survivalists
who were here for political
or religious views
about their survival.
Now you're seeing a whole new group
of people come out.
That Crisco makes my chicken taste,
oh, so good.
Here would anyone like
a great big old lick?
Nobody would.
It's not so much the computer's failing
as it's I'm worried about
what the people are gonna panic
before the year.
I think we're going to be the problem.
It not only brings your knife out
in an open position,
but also you can present
your blade closed.
This is the sheet
that you need to go by very carefully
to keep from being set up
and trapped, etcetera.
So many people already
have been in America.
Please welcome the godfather
of the militia movement,
Mr. John Trochmann.
Trochmann is appearing
at what is called a preparedness expo.
It's on our videotape over there too.
Distrust of the government has increased
considerably, says Trochmann.
The bombs of Oklahoma went off.
For the next three months after that,
we doubled in size.
Good morning, Militia of Montana.
From this tiny office, John Trochmann
says he and his followers
are leading a revolution.
They are now arming themselves
against the federal government.
I don't think they leave us a choice
if they continue on like this.
They're the ones
that will bring war to us.
We will never bring war to them,
they will bring it to us.
Promoting that kind of paranoia,
conspiracy theory, vigilantism,
take things into your own hands by force.
While the leaders of it
might be very sincere
in believing
that they will never be the ones
to pull the trigger and shoot somebody,
they nonetheless fuel the fires
and create a climate
in which some of their followers
well might.
Some militia groups now worry
that the US government
aided by foreign countries
could use the computer collapse
as an excuse to grab more power.
Greetings folks.
In the spring of 1997,
we produced a video production called
America's Judgments: What Lies Ahead.
We were aware of Y2K, but at the time,
we did not take it serious enough
to put it in our video.
Not until we did our own investigation,
did we realize
how serious it actually could be.
Don't take my word for it.
Let us share with you
the documentation that we have here.
And you can make up your own minds.
On December 3, 1998.
John Koskinen, which is the Y2K guru
for President Clinton, said,
"In a crisis and emergency situation,
the free market may not
be the best way
to distribute resources.
If there is a point in time
where we have to take resources
and make a judgment on an emergency basis,
we will be prepared to do that."
So folks, now that we perceive
there may be a problem with Y2K
and their dirty little tricks,
what do you think the government
is doing about it?
Perhaps we ought to have a look.
We have increasing confidence
that the basic infrastructure
in the United States will hold.
The grid will hold.
I think major telecommunication systems
will hold.
We're increasingly confident
that the basic infrastructure will hold.
There's no evidence that we're going
to have a national catastrophe.
Mission critical systems for
the federal government are going to work.
So we're in pretty good shape.
I guess I'll start off with the criticism...
...from the Y2K community,
maybe because you represent
the government.
But the criticism has been
that you've been overly optimistic
about your assessments.
I think what you have to do is take
with a grain of salt,
those people who are concerned
about whether we're over optimistic
or under optimistic.
The ultimate rumor I would like to dispel
is that somehow we have information
in the federal government
or in the President's Council
that we're not sharing with the public.
And there is no evidence
nobody's ever been able to establish
something we know that we haven't told.
And in fact, our strategy for now,
going on to two years,
has been to share with the public
everything we have as we get it.
So I think the rumor that
there's this secret information
that we're somehow afraid to release
is just that, a rumor.
Do you think that on the other side,
that there are areas or people
that are actually contributing to panic?
Well, there are
clearly those from the start
over the last three to four years,
who have, for one reason or another,
been predicting the end of the world
as we know it.
YEAR 2000
Surf through the internet these days
and you keep coming
across a strange new word TEOTWAWKI.
The word stands for
"The End of the World As We Know It."
THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IFor a growing number of people,
the year 2000 is not a milestone
as much as it is a sign
of some sort of impending chaos.
We're reaching a climax where things
have become so evil...
...and the world has become
in such a state
that it's ushering
in the entrance of Christ.
The last time this happened
1,000 years ago, the year 1,000.
Man, there were end of the world cults
and all sorts of doomsday stuff
and people were going around
hitting themselves with whips and stuff.
Do you think
that's gonna happen this year?
I hope not.
I don't feel like the exact year 2000
is the year all hell breaks loose.
But I just feel like
in every holy scripture,
it has been predicted that this time
would be a significant time.
You know what I'm saying?
The concept of the Millennium
is a Christian concept.
People in general have a sense
that the world
isn't the way they'd want the world to be.
An event which focuses that energy
takes out a magnifying glass
and puts it above the tinderbox.
The 10 hours that my son stays
in front of the computer,
it's almost become an idol.
So it's maybe only just
that this idol comes crashing down.
The question I asked myself is this,
"Could this be God's way
to bring revival to America?"
Now all of this should come
as no surprise...
...considering a recent Newsweek poll
saying 40% of Americans
believe the world will end
as Revelation describes.
I have the feeling that something
terrible is going to happen.
"The end of the world.
A guide to Millennium madness."
How much of this is that the fear of Y2K
may now be bigger than Y2K?
It's not just that.
It's that there are now two camps.
There are the people like myself
who are saying
we have a technical problem
let's deal with it.
And then quite frankly,
there are people in the far right
on the fringe elements
of the religious area,
who are deliberately predicting
the very, very worst,
the message is getting mixed.
And that both dilutes my message
and amplifies this stuff.
This kind of thing.
And this is one of the reasons
why the far right
have seized upon year 2000,
because it is a problem.
And they can point to the newspaper
every single day and say,
-"See, I told you, I told you."
And that's what's getting people
who don't understand technology
very, very frightened.
Hello, friends,
we are going to be discussing
one of the most serious topics
that we have ever attempted
to bring to you.
Jack, in fact, you've been so burdened
about this huge problem,
that this is an emergency video
that we're making, actually.
After studying 250 to 300 major reports
from experts globally,
I can honestly say I'm shocked,
startled and stunned.
If these men are right,
this whole world is going
to rock and roll,
it's going to reel to and fro.
What am I to do about this?
Well, God says my job is to warn you.
Let's narrow it right down there, Jack.
How's the Y2K problem connected
with the Lord's return.
Satan, who's the god of this world,
2nd Corinthians 4:4,
is in control of heavens one and two.
"He is the prince of the power
of the air." Of the airwaves.
Yes, the electricity and the currents.
And certainly, Satan could take advantage
of such a situation
because he wants man's confusion
just prior to the return of the Lord.
I am literally amazed
at the accuracy of this book.
Listen to this.
"The passages are stopped
and the men of war are frightened."
The passages, the means
of communication, computers...
are stopped.
It's so near.
Are you ready?
It's the night on everyone's mind.
This could affect
half the continental United States.
Three, two...
The night, they warned us about.
Now we're starting to see some problems.
Happy New Year!
What if they're right?
My God.
We have to start the evacuation.
The survival of millions
hangs in the balance.
We've lost this puppy.
Go! Everybody out!
Just tell yourself it's only a movie.
And now... Y2K: The Movie.
Our age of anxiety
is truly the millennial age.
All the dread about AIDS,
nuclear weapons, ecological disasters,
point to a fear of an apocalyptic future.
And at the same time,
the dream of ending disease,
of genetically altering crops
to grow in the desert,
of populating other planets,
all point to a hope for a perfect future.
That's what the Millennium Myth
is all about.
That the human journey is one with a goal,
an ultimate end of some sorts, a climax.
And tonight we're going
to examine that myth
and how it's playing out
in our high-tech culture.
I think popular culture,
you know television, films,
I think it is interesting
to look at those
and see what shape they take
on at particular times.
It's never arbitrary.
The world as it was
at the end of the 20th century.
It exists now only as part
of a neural interactive simulation
that we call the Matrix.
This kind of anxiety
is not restricted to the fringes,
not restricted to Christians.
What in the hell is that?
It's everywhere.
The culture comes under the influence
of this force of expectation.
And it's now focused,
intensified by reaching this deadline.
Time's up.
Now, I got a story for you.
A few years ago,
when all was quiet throughout
the countryside,
everyone had the general knowledge
that the turn of the century was at hand,
the year 2000.
You like this, don't you?
The year 2000 would soon be upon us
who would have thought?
And who would've thought that our next
guest would come to the forefront.
We welcome Peter De Jager,
he is not going to try to scare us.
Thank you so much for coming down.
You're welcome.
Tell me this, how do you put yourself
in a situation where at first
you were one of the ones
saying watch out for Y2K.
And then if I understand you correctly,
now you're saying to everyone,
don't panic, calm down.
It's not going to be that bad.
In the beginning, when we started to speak
about this, myself and many others,
there had been very little work done...
Y2K EXPER...and very little attention
or respect paid to this problem.
So there was a huge risk
that if we didn't fix it,
there would be consequences.
Today, you know, five, six,
seven years later down the line,
the banks and the insurance companies,
governments and power companies
have all done a tremendous amount of work,
you know, hundreds of billions
of dollars have been spent
on this problem worldwide.
And we have averted many of the scenarios,
the disaster scenarios
that we first came up with,
that we use to convince people
that they should pay attention.
They have paid attention.
That's a sound that gets your attention
real quick.
Well, the end of the year is bringing
a big increase in,
of all things, gun sales,
and it's apparently being sparked
at least in part
by fear that the coming of the New Year
will bring a new wave of violence.
Y2K gun buyers say
they're afraid of everything
from terrorism to 911 failures.
I just wanted to be prepared in case,
you know, anything happens for Y2K
just to have an ounce of prevention,
you know?
Sharon is not alone.
Mandatory gun background checks this month
are up 20% from last December
and last Thursday set the record,
67,000 checks in one day.
7... 6... 5 DAYS
News organizations in this country
including this one are trying to avoid
causing any kind of panic
with reports about terrorism
and the coming New Year.
Tonight fear avoidance
is getting rather difficult.
I'm concerned about the terrorism.
I don't have any intention
to leave my house.
The principal concern, Osama bin Laden,
a flurry of activity by his followers
leads experts to believe
he is planning another attack.
The threat of homegrown terrorism
suddenly became clear
with the arrest of two men linked to anti
government militias near Sacramento.
In New York City,
officials scoffed at the idea
of canceling New Year's Eve
in Times Square.
We are literally doing everything
we possibly can
to make it as safe as we can make it.
We're coming here a little bit early
to kind of be a part of it
even though we're not coming in
on New Year's Eve.
You're not coming to Times Square?
Nah. I'm not coming to Times Square,
I'm just gonna watch it
from television at home.
I'm exhausted.
I don't want to hear
another thing about Y2K.
What are we doing on New Year's Eve?
We'll be hiding somewhere.
In case the world ends or something.
You know, we're very optimistic.
In case everything just goes...
These computer programmers have been hired
to double check
line after line of computer code.
Clients are still sending us code
to be inspected for Y2K
and we are definitely still
finding errors.
Tonight by one estimate, 70% of Americans
buying emergency supplies
to welcome the New Year.
Basically, they don't know what to expect.
Planes will fall out of the sky
and all the world's nuclear weapons
will explode,
annihilating the entire planet.
We're more concerned with people problems
as opposed to technology failures
on New Year's Eve.
They're hiring more police officers
because they think there might be
some riots.
Well, I hope those police officers
don't, you know, encourage the violence.
Oh, my, yes!
You bastard! That's better.
First thing that's gonna happen
when the electric goes off,
people are going to panic,
because fear is going to set in.
First the lights will go out in Asia.
And as the time slips by here
in the Midwest,
we'll see the lights go out
in New York City.
At the end of every major piece of time,
it's a paranoid
and pathological time.
Lots of weird stuff happens
all over the world.
We're turning over another 1,000 years,
it's not like we're turning over
a year, 10 years, 100 years,
we're talking another 1,000.
We're talking the 21st century.
So it's, I mean...
I think more than anything,
you got to celebrate it.
And as long as you have a lot of people
out there,
you can expect anything
and everything to happen.
-Where are you going?
Did you have any idea about this?
-No. What is it?
-What is it?
It's a concert for the Millennium,
a group called Fish.
Oh, jeez.
23 HOURS LEFGood morning, and welcome
to the very edge of the 21st century.
Good morning, you hearty souls,
I should say.
It's a little before 5:00 am
here in Times Square.
And for the next 24 hours,
we're going to try to share
this extraordinary occasion
with much of the rest of the world.
So let us now go and have a look
at Kiribati in the Pacific,
the closest island, this morning,
to the International Date Line,
the first celebration of the Millennium.
We're covering breaking news this morning.
We're getting word out of Russia,
out of Moscow,
that there is a big change in store
for the Russian leadership.
We go now to CNN's Eileen O'Connor
who is standing by in Moscow
with the very latest on this. Eileen.
Well, right now, Boris Yeltsin has just
announced that he is going to cede
the reins of power to the presidency
to his prime minister, Vladimir Putin,
effective, he says, immediately.
Now, this does come as a surprise,
but Vladimir Putin is a very popular
prime minister,
he is known as a person
who wants a strong Russia.
He took great pains by the way,
Leon, to say that that does not mean
an overbearing, imperial Russia.
It means a stable Russia.
CNN's Eileen O'Connor reporting live
from Moscow. Colleen.
It is 18 hours before the New Year
in New York City.
Carol, what's going on
in the heart of the Big Apple right now?
Colleen, what is about to happen is that
they're going to light up
the new crystal ball
and it will begin its ascension
up a 77-foot flagpole
at the top
of the One Times Square building.
There it goes this magnificent
Waterford Crystal Ball.
They've pulled the switch.
They've lighted it up.
An elaborate hardware and software system
descending into this square
which is in itself
all about electronic hardware,
now selling products all over the world.
You're looking at a live picture
of Auckland, New Zealand,
where the year 2000
is just about a minute away.
Now, New Zealand
is one of the first big tests
of the possible effects
of the Y2K computer bug,
officials in the US
are watching New Zealand very closely.
Let there be light.
And there is light behind us.
The electricity is A-okay.
Inside the government's command center,
computer experts report
a stable situation so far,
with no Y2K glitches,
starting with the US territory of Guam.
A plane landed and a baby was born,
so that business continues as normal.
Across Japan, a million office workers
sat at their desks
and nervously watched their computers...
...as midnight came and went.
There were minor problems
at two nuclear power plants.
Officials are probing for any Y2K bugs.
Neither plant's operation was affected.
NATIONAL CORRESPONDENI am standing at ground zero,
in case of any accidental nuclear
missile launch.
And just a few miles from here,
Russian military officers
are sitting side by side
with American military officers,
working to fight a common enemy,
the Y2K menace.
While we are encouraged
by the positive reports thus far,
we should all remember that we have
many miles to go before we sleep.
For the time being no news is good news.
So far so good.
So far, so good on the Y2K Watch.
Good news all around so far
in terms of that Y2K bug.
So far, so good.
You're looking live, once again,
as the crowds who gathered in Times Square
could reach two million people
before midnight tonight.
Obviously, they're not worried about
terrorism or Y2K computer bugs.
Excitement among the crowd is palpable.
This crowd has been shouting,
"Three, two, one,"
it seems every hour
as the Millennium has been breaking
all across the planet.
You'd think that by now
these people would be tuckered out,
but, in fact,
it seems the excitement is growing.
A lot of very happy people right now.
Amazingly, a very small percentage
of these people are New Yorkers.
These people are from all over the world.
These folks, California, Washington,
what other states?
Florida, Oklahoma. Unbelievable turnout.
You having a good time?
Oh, I'm lovin' it. I am lovin' it.
The big moment is just a few hours
away from us here in the United States.
And while the rest
of New York is partying,
maybe all-- they're all tourists out
in Times Square tonight,
the rest of Silicon Alley
and Wall Street, whatever,
the computer experts will all be there
at their terminals.
Liz in Escondido, California.
-Hi, Liz.
I just like to observe that initially,
Y2K kind of started off this global fear,
maybe subconscious fear, of technology,
kind of like, you know, Frankenstein had
at the rise of industrialism.
But what I see it turning into
is a kind of just an awareness
of how connected everyone is globally.
And if you're tuned into the TVs at all,
I mean...
...we're watching the celebration,
you know, roll over each time zone
and it's really more of a kind of...
a global love-in or something.
You think this is a unifying experience?
-Rather than a divisive one?
Yeah, because we're all now more aware
of how connected we are.
This crowd size, as we can see
from the tenth floor
of the Marriott Marquis hotel here,
is big.
Interestingly enough, you at home
probably are in the majority this year
because they ran a poll recently
and Americans staying home this year
are 72%.
DEC 31 1999
Freaking New Year, dude!
-Freaking New Year!
Are you taking a photograph or a video?
It does both.
Is that digital?
Uh-huh, yeah.
It takes a picture. I can send it to you.
It's a video!
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
I feel like part of the global village.
I feel connected to the rest of humanity.
I'm ready for the aliens to land.
What is your New Year's resolution?
I don't know!
My New Year's resolution
is to collect all 100 Pokmon,
all the Pokmon cards
that they ever came out with.
My New Year's resolution would be
to study more
and be a better example
for the people that are around me.
I'm doing everything right,
don't need to change anything,
just even keel.
Yeah, live life to its fullest, of course,
and to just take life for what it's worth,
a wonderful gift.
2000 is gonna be wonderful,
I'm looking forward to it.
There's nothing I want more right now
than for the entire world to explode.
Well, here it comes.
-Here it is.
-Digital bug.
-Here it is.
11:55:54 PM
DEC 31 1999
-Hey, Happy Millennium!
Especially at the end of a century,
it's always good to take stock.
We split the atom,
invented jazz and rock,
launched airplanes
and landed on the moon,
concocted a general theory of relativity,
devised the transistor
and figured out how to etch
millions of them on tiny microchips.
We discovered penicillin
and the structure of DNA,
defeated fascism and communism,
developed cinema and television,
built fantastic highways
and wired the world.
We ponder these things in joy,
but also in prayerful humility.
As we now move into the challenge
and the danger of a new unknown.
The dawn of the 21st century.
Okay, now everyone sit like this...
and wait for the lights to go out.
I know.
What if everything
just went out right now?
Here we go.
You were wise to stay at home.
In one minute, the ball will drop
and you will see pandemonium.
The ball is beginning to move.
They can feel it.
Happy New Year!
Come on, you gotta watch the show.
I think they're gonna do something.
It's close. Ten seconds.
If the lights are gonna go off,
everyone's gonna go crazy.
Behind the clock.
In ten, nine, eight seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one.
Happy 2000!
This is the biggest thrill of my life
and I made so many new friends
to carry on the next millennium.
It's awesome!
-In this crowd?
-Oh, yeah!
The people are so nice.
There's such good energy about this crowd.
Nothing bad at all.
We didn't fall asleep.
They're a good crowd, best crowd yet.
This is disgusting.
-Happy New Year!
-Happy New Year!
The lights are on, Bill.
I know, everything's still working.
Everything's still working!
JAN 1 2000
All right, is that enough pictures
of the cake, you guys?
B-roll of the cake, right?
What do you hope for the New Year?
Peace in the world.
Peace. Yeah, that's all.
Wave to the camera.
Wave! Happy New Year.
Wave, Carol.
They're tired. Thank you.
Happy New Years to everybody.
This is a very new time for us.
We were confronted
by these interdependent systems
we had created and realized
that we are dependent on people
we don't even know.
And that's the great lesson
from Y2K.
That no one can go through any
of the current dilemmas facing us alone.
The news.
Nothing happens.
Well, we made it.
The dire predictions
of the last several months
dissolved in a potent mix of joy
and celebration
all around the globe last night,
and that dreaded bug didn't bite.
We feel that we have
come to a new planet,
to a new planet
where there's peace,
and there's no confusion.
I'M A 01-01-00
Some people are questioning now
whether all of this was overkill.
What do you have to say about that?
I say that no one
who worked on this problem thinks that.
They all understand,
after several years of work
and spending hundreds
of millions of dollars,
that we averted a major disaster
by successfully attacking the problem.
You said today that this may be
your last briefing.
-Are things going that well?
-Things are actually going very well.
And we're delighted
with the progress that's been made.
It now appears very clear
that the United States,
and most of the world, in fact,
all of world at this time
have made a successful transition
into the 21st century.
So now that Y2K
and other anxieties have subsided,
the time has come when at least
some Americans
will actually start to sit up
and take notice of the fact
that there's
a presidential campaign going on
and the first big contest
is coming up fast.
The man who warned us about Y2K
says it's a lesson
about how much we depend on technology,
and how it's not as infallible
as we'd like to think.
I don't believe that we as a human race,
learn from our mistakes.
We don't learn from history.
Every 100 years, we'll have
exactly the same type of situation.
And it will be someone else
raising the alarm.
That people all over the planet
could experience the same events
at the same time,
would have been impossible
for anyone to imagine 1000 years ago,
even 100.
Yet the growing interconnectedness
of the world today,
thanks to a global economy
and technologies like the internet,
is more than just a mark
of how far we've come,
it's the key to understanding
where we're going.
When you talk about the Millennium,
you sure mean something
different than most of us.
Well, a millennium
is such a small slice of time
in the spectrum of the universe.
We've got the big bang
happening 13 billion years ago,
you know, what's 1000 years
between friends?
The timeline that we create
is about the length of a football field.
The thickness of hair,
on the sheet that you're holding up,
represents all of cultural history
of human beings on Earth.
Instead of the world ending,
it's going to kind of begin
all over again, but not literally.
Not like another big bang or whatever
caused the universe.
But like...
I think it's going to be
like a fresh start for everybody
to try and get along.
We're going to start to dive into the--
to dive into the world of technology
and try to survive there.
If we keep digging and using all this oil,
plastic, etc., etc., I mean,
how far are these supplies gonna go?
You can't assure
that they'll be here forever.
Think of us as a midpoint
between no tolerance
and between very...
loving everyone.
This hasn't been a great century.
Fix the world, don't screw it up.
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