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They’d use stardates if they could

Long Now\'s date notation style
The Long Now Foundation, and increasingly lots of others with an eye to the future, humanity’s prospects, and so on, use 5-digit dates, e.g. May 26, 02008. The Long Now website, notes: “The Long Now Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.”

That’s a bit tongue in cheek. In my view, they very much want to think about the deeper future, and to “leave room” in date notation, for humanity to exist beyond the year 9999.

You might also look for who uses this form of date notation to get a sense of their attitudes and ideas about the future. Anyone can choose to write the date that way, but so far, it probably identifies people as part of a loose affinity group.

I make note of this newish phenomenon first, because you might see it and wonder, and second, because I admire the positive sense it gives, but also the way it conveys so much in such a small way, about thinking about the future. You can have a deep and fruitful conversation about something as basic as how we write a date. Try it with a friend, you’ll see what it brings forth.

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