Another decade

January 1, 2010

Johnson’s World by Steve Johnson

Can 10 whole years really have passed since so many of us gathered to party like it was 1999? Since much of the world was paralyzed by fear and consulting fees, panicked that the Y2K problem would mean the end of the world?

We all knew deep down inside (especially the calendar printers) that the new millennium didn't really begin until 2001. So what? We partied anyway.

I think there is something symbolic about celebrating a oncein10centuries event in the wrong year, just because it sounds cool. It fits well with an industry such as ours, whose pundits routinely extract erroneous conclusions from faulty calculations derived from flawed data.

Now even our own federal government, a pioneer in the field of lousy data collection and mangled statistics, has gotten into the act. The answer to all our nation's economic woes is, yes, printing! Printing money, that is. It didn't work very well for Louis XVI, but that doesn't mean we have to lose our heads over the economy.

But I digress.

A decade ago, the financial industry in particular, egged on by the aforementioned federal government, really was wondering if Y2K meant civilization as we knew it would come to an end.

Once again hindsight has 20/20 vision. The bankers were too early by nearly nine years. The world as they knew it would not end until the economic meltdown of 2008. As for civilization, I am quite convinced it ended long before 1999.

I've been observing the business of print for long enough that I occasionally repeat myself. I assure you I'll be repeating myself much more in the upcoming year. I'll keep on repeating myself until a lot more of you out there take some of these ideas to heart.

Until then, keep those cards and letters coming. It gets lonely sometimes here in Johnson's World.

Happy New Year, from Johnson's World.

My 2010 agenda

I've previously quoted Henry Clay's maxim, “I would rather be right than president.” I'll probably never win a Nobel Peace Prize, either.