There is no big deal. At the turning of the last century, peoples also
argued about which year should be the first one of the 20th century. It
turned out some peoples celebrated the coming of 20th century in
1900, while other peoples celebrated in 1901.
I personally like 2000 to be the first year of 21st century because
nothing will be changed except for the definition of the first century.
However, if we consider 2001 the first year of the new century, our
intuition and habit on numbers will have to be changed. For example,
1980's will mean 1981 to 1990. I believe most people agree that number
means 1980 to 1989.
On Thu, 23 Sep 1999, Falk H. Koenemann wrote:
> dbrown schrieb:
> > "The 1999 Fall Meeting will be the Last Great Geophysical Science Meeting
> > held in this Century".
> > ...If, on
> > the other hand, it starts with the year 1, then a century lasts for only 99
> > years by the AGU reckoning. Now, the AGU is well respected society, but can
> > they really change the number of years in a century? Of course, the above
> > statement could mean that the AGU doesn't plan on having any geophysical
> > meetings next year - or anyone else for that matter, if this is to be "the
> > last great" one of the century.
> Sorry, I believe you are misinformed. AGU does not have the power to change the
> number of years in a century, of course, but deities do. So, the first century
> had only 99 years, and you were quite right, AGU responded by cancelling in
> protest all meetings in that entire millenium. After that, centuries had 100
> years as before, by common consent of Allah, God, Wotan, Manitou, Baal, Zeus,
> Seth, and Jupiter who had a conference on this in the year 709 ab urbe condita.
> They all informed their earthly representatives in due course, in the case of
> Jupiter it was Caius Iulius Caesar; he decreed that year to be the year 44 BC.
> Promptly, he was murdered. Later on, God informed his respective earthly
> representative, Pope Gregor XIII, in the year 1485 AD to drop a couple of
> fortnights (Pope Gregor was not murdered, though); so that year was a little
> short too, strictly speaking the entire 15th century was a little wanting;
> again, AGU cancelled all meetings for several centuries.
> So, please stop fiddling with the counting of years, or else AGU might again
> resort to inordinately severe measures of protest. I don't want my talk
> cancelled in the Fall meeting just because of you.
> Falk H. Koenemann Aachen, Germany [log in to unmask]