It's been said that wikipedia is the foremost supplier of 'infonography'. This is where you start by looking up something and then end up with 25 tabs open, and learning the most useless of facts. As an example of this, here's what I learned yesterday:
"The Long Now Foundation is attempting to foster the custom of writing years with five digits, so that the year 2000 would be written as "02000". This would preempt the Year 10,000 problem, but would in turn be susceptible to a "Year 100,000 problem"."
HOW did I learn this? I heard somewhere that high-level nuclear waste takes 10,000 years to become safe, but the metal containers we store it in last only 5000. Therefore we cannot safely store it in yucca mountain, or something like that (even through the facility would be fine for 10,000 years, just not the individual containers). And I thought "5000 years?!? We're really worried about what goes on inside a vault 5000 years from now?" And thought I would look back at what was happening 5000 years ago.
So I googled 3000 BC. And found wikipedia.
In case you were wondering, not much by way of civilization was going on 5000 years ago. But of interest was the fact that there were several links on the bottom of the page. 10 were of the millenia BCE 1-10 and then of 11 BCE and before. Makes sense. But then there was 1-10 and then 11 and beyond.... We're only in the 2nd millennium! Barely! What could the 5th millennium wiki page possibly contain?!? Well.. predicted astronomical events and fictional events. So I click on 10th millennium fully expecting "Frank Herbert's 'Dune' takes place in the year 10191" (Note: I soon realized the year 10191 was in the 11th millennium, but it doesn't appear on that page either). This is where I found the 'Year 10,000 problem" and wanted to weep for those who seriously believe we'll be using windows in the year 9999 and have to freak out about a digit being added to the year.
As a religious person, I believe the world will end LONG before the year 10000. (or even 7000 when the nuclear waste breaks through it's metal prison). But even if I was an atheist, mankind is sure to destroy itself long before then. Seriously.
I mean, if it's not nuclear war it's gotta be Global Warming, right?