The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Karl Terry
Local columnist 

May human race continue to make things better in 2021


Last updated 1/2/2021 at 1:52pm

In reflection on the year we just lived through I’ve come to the conclusion that our calendar may just be off by 20 years.

We all remember how relieved we were 21 years ago when our society didn’t fall apart as the calendar turned to the year 2000.

Of course some of you might not remember that New Year’s Eve. You might have been too young if you are in your 20s now. You might have been too drunk if you really bought into the idea that things were going to come apart at the seams as we hit what became known as Y2K. Or maybe you had that nasty flu bug that my wife and I welcomed the holiday in with that year.

For those of you who fall in the first category (it’s possible I have readership in their 20s) let me explain.

Somewhere a decade or two into the computer age it was discovered that computer programmers had pulled a massive boner. They didn’t allow for computer clocks and programs to recognize more than two digits in the year date. The theory was that it could cause the world and the very young Internet to shut down, taking with it power grids, financial systems and a whole way of life. Another theory was that all the computer clocks would roll over to 1901 and we would all have to learn to drive a horse and buggy.

Fortunately, enough was done to correct the problem that disaster was averted. The year leading up to it was pretty interesting though. Companies built in local backup systems and redundancies and checked to make sure we had tape for the old desktop calculators, just in case.

Some people really believed we were in for a societal fail in the year 2000 and only the most resourceful would survive. Yeah, they were basically predicting the year we just lived through for most of 2020.

This year we looked forward to 2021 with a glee equal to the dread some greeted 2000. Both, it would seem, were equally without merit. Computers didn’t kill off our society in 2000 and COVID-19 didn’t miraculously go away when the clock hit midnight Thursday.

In both 2000 and 2020 we found out how resourceful and resilient our human race can be when push comes to shove. Folks made changes that averted a Y2K shutdown and in 2020 we learned we can turn our social lives upside down for real and still keep the wheels turning, even if they’re turning a little more slowly right now.

Happy New Year folks! May we continue to make things better and better as we move through 2021 together.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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