This anecdote is way off topic but there has been some talk here about if only we could go to the future. It made me realize that that once happened to me. It was only about seven hours into the future but what I reported back greatly reassured my friends.
It was at the end of 1999, and I was in Europe. We stayed up for the New Year (2000) when all the computers were supposed to collapse, civilization was supposed to collapse as well, and the paranoid people were stocking up on canned goods and firearms and buying isolated well-defendable cabins in the country. Those of you who are old enough will remember. At a half-hour after midnight we called some friends in the US Central time zone to wish them a Happy New Year before going to bed. It was only 5:30 PM there. To our friends, we were in the future, seven hours in the future! They anxiously asked us over and over again whether everything was working, the electricity? the phone? etc? etc? We reassured them. They were SO happy and relieved! And that was our experience of being in the future.
While off-topic, pretty sure I get what you’re going with by posting this, and it reminds me of the post I made yesterday that probably got a bit lost in the shuffle. http://discussion.fool.com/early-4-week-summary-for-the-faint-he…
Speaking of (the) future(s), looks like the market will be opening up this morning. Where it goes from there…
Now if TD Ameritrade will get their system working this morning, I will feel a bit better about things.
I decided it would be safer not to be sailing because some instruments might stop working so I kept my boat moored. I took no other precautions.
I had a similar experience of life being better in the future.
My family was driving West along the beautiful, clean, and smooth highways of the beautiful forest-lined and scenic I-94 highway in the great state of Michigan, hugging the waters of the mighty Lake of the same name.
Then we hit Indiana…ugh…it was akin to that smell your garbage can gets if you forgot to take it out to the curb one week and it sat longer in your garage than it normally would.
By the time we hit Illinois and the Central time zone, we found ourselves immersed in the “wet sock smell” phase of I-94: hopelessly ensnared in dead-still traffic with multiple lane closures caused, apparently, by construction, yet our eyes searched to the edge of the horizon and not a single worker or piece of equipment was stirring.
The future is, indeed, always better. Always forward my friend…always forward!
I remember Y2K vividly. I was in IT at the time working for a major aerospace firm. There was a lot of effort devoted to updating databases and applications to accommodate a 4 digit year. Meanwhile, there was a lot of fear instilled in people (via the press) about what might happen and very little examination given to what the actual impact might be if some limited number of shops didn’t get it right. The notion that every IT shop on the planet would be asleep at the wheel, which is what it would take for the anticipated catastrophe to occur was ludicrous.
My take at the time was mostly amusement. I kept telling people that any single IT shop goes through all kinds of gyrations to deal with a technical issue with broad implications and there was absolutely no way possible for this single issue regarding how dates are stored and processed to strike the entire world simultaneously. There was no way that this not very technical problem was going to destroy civilization. It would take in incomprehensible, world-wide level of incompetence for the predicted outcome to take place.
And of course, it came and went with almost no impact. Just a few minor, inconsequential hiccups here and there.