By Robert Ross 


If you’re reading this column, then you’ve undoubtedly survived the transition from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. Congratulations! The hype about planes falling from the skies and other disasters was . . . somewhat understandable, and I’m sure helpful to some agencies to double-check their systems, but it was also hype — an attempt to sell books and other products.

 Obviously, there were no massive disruptions in transportation, power, food or other necessities. The New Year’s parades and football games were on T.V. as usual, and I’m sure your thoughts, like mine, have now turned to planning for the coming year. But before you put those extra flashlights, candles and food items into some obscure corner of the garage, you might want to consider . . . (and this is just between you and me, of course), this new millennium is going to be fast and furious, requiring that you fasten your seat belts.

 So, the question is, are you ready (and prepared) for the ride?

Art Bell, popular radio talk show host, has a book out called The Quickening. I personally haven’t read it, but the title speaks volumes. Without a doubt, there has been, and will continue to be, an acceleration in all the things we do as people. The quickening . . . faster and faster. A letter sent to China that may have taken weeks to arrive a few years ago, now can be e-mailed in seconds. Medical breakthroughs that were decades in the making now happen overnight with the help of super-computers. Educational institutions offer accelerated degree programs. Information, transportation, and leisure-time activities all have a sooner rather than later approach to them. It even seems that earthquakes and weather-related phenomena are occurring at an accelerated pace. 

This quickening phenomena, or sense of an acceleration in time, is a symptom of the transition we are in as a culture. And driving this transition is the computer. In the goal to make life easier, to give us more time, the computer is allowing us to pack more events into the day, thus making life more complex, and faster. And the new millennium is going to see more of the same — but, at an accelerated pace. 

The computer has proven to be one of the greatest advances in technology since the invention of the wheel. But, like all good things, this advance has brought with it a downside. In this case, it has accelerated our daily pace and our sense of time. 

So what else can we expect in the coming months and years? If you look at some of the prophecies, (see, you’ll see that the new millennium has brought with it a host of soothsayer’s predictions — from Nostradamus’ quatrains to Edgar Cayce’s ‘sleeping predictions’. In many of these forecasts, there are reoccurring themes, themes that should be taken seriously. One theme is that of the coming great geological upheaval. The recent earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan have heightened our awareness and concern over such possibilities. And in California, it’s a pretty easy prediction to say that there will be geological rumblings. Will these rumblings be great, as Edgar Cayce believed? Nobody can say for sure. But they can say, as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, California will have earthquakes. So, hold on to your Y2K disaster supplies. They just may come in handy. 

Predicting the future is not an easy task. But by studying history, one becomes aware of patterns. These patterns are predictable — strife and resolution, expansion and contraction, good and evil, up and down. The ying and the yang of life.

As a nation, they say we’re in the good times. I say great. But I also say don’t throw out those Y2K supplies just yet. What is that scout’s motto? Be prepared? 
Be prepared.

Robert Ross is a San Diego-based writer and can be reached by e-mail at   

©Copyright 1999 by Robert Ross, all rights reserved

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