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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Seeing the Future

Aired January 1, 2000 - 8:00 a.m. ET


COLLEEN McEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at United States singer Barbra Streisand, singer, entertainer, actor, performing in Las Vegas for a millennium celebrations, where fans paid as much as $2,500 to attend that concert in Las Vegas, the U.S. state of Nevada.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Talk about some fireworks, no?

All right, coming up next hour, the spectacular sights and sounds from Times Square in New York City as millions there celebrated.

McEDWARDS: Also we'll go live to Greenwich, England, where the gigantic Millennium Dome has opened to the general public.

HARRIS: And next hour, seeing the future, from cars to contact lenses. Many innovations of the 20th century were predicted long ago, and we'll look back at predictions realized, and we'll look forward to the next millennium.

Farewell, 20th century. It is now 2000 around the globe. Samoa marked midnight just two hours ago, and that's the last point on earth to reach the new millennium, celebrations peaceful to the last.

McEDWARDS: And time does not stop technology. Computers comprehend 2000, avoiding a Y2K catastrophe. Planes and power grids not bitten by the bug.

HARRIS: Also this hour, visionaries from the past. What predictions of theirs came true? And what do futurists today forecast for the next 1,000 years?

I am Leon Harris at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

McEDWARDS: And I'm Colleen McEdwards. Welcome to our worldwide Millennium 2000 coverage.

HARRIS: We want to show you now a live picture we're getting from Detroit, Michigan. You see the sun rising there over Detroit, and everything seems to be OK. Happy New Year, Detroit.

In fact, happy New Year to the entire world, the entire world now living in the year 2000. And except for a very few minor glitches we've heard about, the dreaded Y2K bug was a no-show.

McEDWARDS: For now, at least. From one time zone to the next around the globe, the 20th century was capped off with peaceful, jubilant celebrations. Hawaii was the last of the 50 United States to mark the occasion when midnight arrived there about three hours ago.

As with everywhere else, huge fireworks lit up the night sky while throngs of revelers cheered the new year.

HARRIS: And then shortly after that, Samoa was the last place on earth to turn the corner from 1999 to the year 2000. The magic moment came some two hours ago, signaling the conclusion of the most celebrated single revolution of the earth in human history.

McEDWARDS: Only a handful of possible Y2K computer problems was reported globally, none of them serious. That is a testament to the amount of preparation that went into fixing it and the planning involved just in case things went haywire.

CNN's Kathleen Koch is at the National Y2K Emergency Center in Washington to report on a transition to the year 2000 that went just about as smoothly as anyone could have hoped for.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Colleen, and we are very happy to report for those revelers just now rolling out of bed that they do not have to fire up those generators or dine on canned goods today, because everything is Y2-OK. Those infrastructure systems that posed the greatest risk of altering life as we know it, if they had failed -- power, water, telecommunications, transportation -- all are clicking along very smoothly.

So federal government officials here at the Information Coordination Center are now looking ahead to Monday, when businesses open their doors and switch on their computers.


JOHN KOSKINEN, PRESIDENT'S Y2K COUNCIL: The problem for information processing is likely to run through certainly the next week, as we test systems. But as I say, as people go over their first billing cycles, with their first payroll cycles, with their first financial management cycles and closing of books, there may be glitches that will appear.

But at this juncture, we are pleasantly surprised at the success that these systems seems to be having.


KOCH: In fact, a technology consulting group, the consulting firm the Gartner Group, that's been helping companies ready for the new year, predicts that 90 percent of all Y2K failures will actually crop up after the first week of January.

Now, one date of particular interest is February 29. This is a leap year, something that apparently not all experts putting in Y2K fixes accounted for. So they'll be watching that date closely. As for any glitches here in the United States, they have been very minor. In Delaware, some 800 slot machines went down, as a matter of fact, at three race tracks when the computers there told them it was January 1, 1900.

Reporting live at the Information Coordination Center, I'm Kathleen Koch. Back to you.

HARRIS: All right, thanks, Kathleen.

Of course, potential Y2K computer problems were a global concern, potentially affecting every aspect of modern society the world over.

CNN's Rick Lockridge has more on that now from the International Y2K Center. We go to him now live.


RICK LOCKRIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Leon, you're looking at the International Y2K Cooperation Center Web site. I think a lot of us expected to see some yellow cautionary and red serious lights besides just the green ones you see. But green is pretty much all we see as we look at that site this morning.

There weren't any problems, really, to report, and as a result of that, they're really not going to run this center at full bore for the rest of the weekend, until we get into the beginning part of next week, when, as you've just heard, some problems might start to creep into our consciousness.

Now, Bruce McConnell is director of this center. He joins me now.

And so tell me, you've decided to go ahead and -- I guess you call it a stand-down this morning.

BRUCE McCONNELL, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL Y2K COOPERATION CENTER: We're going to stay vigilant over the weekend with slightly reduced staffing levels. And then on Monday, business day, which picks up, of course, Sunday our time here on the East Coast, we'll be watching how things roll over again with the start of normal business.

LOCKRIDGE: And you and I have talked about this a little bit in the past, but what kinds of small problems that could become in aggregate big problems could happen, starting when people go back to work on Monday?

McCONNELL: I think we'll see business systems making mistakes. They will date things incorrectly, and those can cause a variety of annoyances. Or depending on what other kinds of processes they depend on or trigger, there could be some delays in normal processing, normal shipping, normal repairs. Things just could go a little slower than normal.

LOCKRIDGE: There are some reports on the Web this morning that say that if there are enough of those nagging little financial problems affecting, in particular, small businesses, that there could yet be a recession caused by all of that. Do you share that kind of a view? Do you have an opinion on that?

McCONNELL: I'm pretty doubtful that there's going to be a measurable economic effect, but I think some small companies in particular will be affected negatively by those kinds of things, especially if they haven't done the work.

LOCKRIDGE: And finally quickly, some people thought it was probably a crazy idea to use the Internet, a system of computers, to monitor the computer problem, but you must feel vindicated that it all worked pretty well.

McCONNELL: We couldn't have solved it without the Internet, Rick. It really made us able to cooperate internationally in an unprecedented way. It's really a big part of our great success here.

LOCKRIDGE: Bruce, thanks for stopping by.

McCONNELL: Thanks, Rick.

LOCKRIDGE: So now we wait until Monday, Leon, and see if that millennium bug starts to creep into our lives a little bit after all.

Reporting from the International Y2K Cooperation Center in Washington, I'm Rick Lockridge. Back to you.

McEDWARDS: And we're happy to report this morning that fears about Y2K air travel were mostly groundless. In a show of confidence in the U.S. aviation system, the FAA's Jane Garvey took to the skies on the eve of the new millennium.

CNN's Carl Rochelle has that.


CARL ROCHELLE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know, only 2,500 planes were in the air being tracked by the FAA's command center in Herndon, Virginia, at 7 P.M. Eastern time. That's when the U.S. air traffic control system, which operates on Greenwich Mean Time, passed through midnight.

FAA administrator Jane Garvey was on one of those flights at 31,000 feet, passing over western Tennessee.


ROCHELLE: Garvey's flight from Washington to Dallas and on to San Francisco with reporters aboard was an effort to show the FAA's confidence in the air traffic control system. To emphasize that, Garvey called in to the command center to tell Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater that everything in the skies was going well.

RODNEY SLATER, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY (on phone): I hear that it's a happy New Year for aviation.

GARVEY (on phone): Well, it really is. We have, I am proud to say, successfully transitioned in a very uneventful way.

ROCHELLE: Through a complex series of computer-driven screens and communications links, FAA officials carefully monitored traffic not only in the U.S. but also around the world as the millennium moved westward. No serious international problems were reported either.

MONTE BELGER, FAA ACTING DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR: All of our systems came through with flying colors. We had absolutely no operational impact.

ROCHELLE: A few minor glitches were reported in what the FAA described as peripheral systems that did not affect safety or operations. It is not clear if any of the problems were Y2K-related.

(on camera): The FAA continued to check on airports as the new year rolled through each time zone. Officials say they will continue to monitor the situation well into next week just in case.

Carl Rochelle, CNN, at the FAA command center in Herndon, Virginia.


HARRIS: We're nine minutes after the hour now.

London rang in the new millennium with a dazzling show of fireworks and flames too.

CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney is live at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, just outside of London. We go to her now live.

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, thank you very much indeed, Leon.

And you're looking at pictures of the Millennium Dome some 13 hours after London welcomed in the new millennium. It's still standing, a lot of people inside it last night may not be. But the dome itself just opened over one hour ago to the public, and the organizers say they're expecting some 12,500 people here today, and they expect some 12 million people over the year.

Now, the dome can hold up to 50,000, 60,000 people at any one time. Now, although it's the first day that it's been officially open to the public, it was given a trial run about two weeks ago. And despite all the controversy and the negative publicity, it did get the thumbs up.

Now, you're looking at pictures from the dome today. That is one of the 14 themes inside the dome exhibition, the Body Zone. Lots of different things for people to see. They can actually go inside that body and explore different parts of the human body as they travel through the skin, down through the stomach, up through the brain. You name it, it's all there.

Now, it's all happening in London today. There is also a parade taking part in the center of the city, just as I say, 13 hours after London welcomed in the new millennium.


(voice-over): Big Ben strikes midnight Greenwich Mean Time, heralding the new millennium in Britain. And all along the River Thames, an estimated million and a half people were treated to the biggest and longest fireworks London has ever seen.

For more than 15 minutes, the sky above London turned gold, red, and green. And the thuds of some 40,000 fireworks could be heard miles away.

And at Greenwich, the home of prime meridian longitude, the specially built multimillion-dollar Millennium Dome was making its debut in style.

Queen Elizabeth II sailed down the Thames to officially open the dome. As midnight struck, she and her husband, Prince Philip, linked arms with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cheri, to sing "Auld Lang Syne" with more than 10,000 guests.

Back in central London, tens of thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square to dance and sing in the New Year. Along the Thames, 28 searchlights swept the sky, and the London Eye, more commonly known as the Ferris wheel, loomed behind the majestical Houses of Parliament.

The wheel, however, was without passengers after it failed a safety test earlier in the weeks. That didn't stop Londoners and tourists alike from celebrating into the wee small hours.

Like most good parties, there's usually some cleaning up to be done. And as first light dawned over the city, most Londoners were catching up on some much-needed sleep.


Now, just speaking about that garbage collection you saw there, city authorities say this morning that some 150 tons of rubbish were collected. That's about four times the normal amount. And apparently 15 percent of that rubbish was empty champagne bottles.

I'm Fionnuala Sweeney in London. Back to you.

McEDWARDS: That's the kind of rubbish you want.

HARRIS: You got that right.

McEDWARDS: Back in the United States, the West Coast welcomed the New Year with style. The world-famous Hollywood sign was set ablaze with moving lights that glittered and sparkled in the sky.

In Seattle, Washington, the Space Needle was the centerpiece, with a dizzying display of pyrotechnics. The big fireworks show went on as planned despite the city's decision to scale back party plans because of fears of possible Y2K terrorism. Not to be outdone, Las Vegas threw a millennium bash that included setting off sparks in a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Vegas high rollers paused long enough to mark the arrival of the new century twice at the Times Square replica, once in Eastern time along with New York, via a giant video screen, and then three hours later at noon York -- New York resort.

HARRIS: Thing about Las Vegas is, though, it's like that in Vegas every night. See some kind of fireworks somewhere.

McEDWARDS: How would you know the difference?

HARRIS: All right, when CNN's Millennium 2000 coverage continues, celebration and reflection. As midnight passes in the United States capital, a look at the party in Washington, D.C.

McEDWARDS: And millions cheered in Times Square as the crystal ball made its New Year's journey, destination 2000.

Stay with us.


HARRIS: Coming up on 16 minutes after the hour now.

Fears about terrorist threats and Y2K meltdowns failed to keep people at home to mark the New Year. While some 2 million people jammed Manhattan, revelers in Washington, D.C., stood shoulder to shoulder on the Mall for a concert and massive fireworks display.

President Clinton and his family were among the many people who warmly welcomed in the year 2000, despite the chilly air.


WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we marvel at the changes of the last hundred years, we dream of what changes the next hundred and the next thousand will bring. And as powerful as our memories are, our dreams must be even stronger, for when our memories outweigh our dreams, we become old. And it is the eternal destiny of America to remain forever young.


HARRIS: President Clinton will hold his weekly Saturday radio address in less than two hours, and he won't be alone doing it. The first lady will also join him. CNN will bring that to you live. The remarks are set to begin at 10:06 a.m. Eastern.

McEDWARDS: Crews are busy cleaning up New York City after the all-night party that filled Manhattan streets from Times Square to Central Park. Mayor Rudy Giuliani said it was easily the largest New Year's celebration he has ever witnessed.

CNN's Fred Hickman was there, along with a couple million other people. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED HICKMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's what they all came for.

CROWD: ... five, four, three, two, one!

HICKMAN: The new millennium was ushered in by the dropping of a 1,070-pound Waterford crystal ball specially made for this year's millennium celebration. Four tons of confetti filled the air, as fireworks lit up the sky. It was the biggest bash in the 95-year history of New Year's celebrations in Times Square. Some 2 million people from all over the world came to the party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Russia. Hello!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming from France.


HICKMAN: Although the climax came at midnight, the celebration started much earlier. By 7 A.M., Sun Fan (ph) performers were on stage to welcome the new millennium in the South Pacific. And every hour, a region entering midnight was celebrated.

When the midnight hour approached here in Times Square, all the performers and puppets rejoined the crowd to greet the year 2000. The crowd, many who came early, loved every minute, welcoming the New Year.

Fred Hickman, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: Well, that's -- looks like they had a lot of fun out there, too.

McEDWARDS: You bet.

HARRIS: Probably froze themselves stiff, but...

McEDWARDS: It was a little chilly.

HARRIS: ... they had a good time.

Let's get a check of the weather now. Jill Brown's in the weather center, but she's looking all over the place this morning. Jill?

JILL BROWN, METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Leon and Colleen.

A Y2K bug is a nonevent, and the weather's pretty noneventful as well. That's good news going into the new year.

We're about midway through the first day of the new year here in Europe, and we have a big storm that a few days ago was back here in France causing a lot of problems, kind of dying out as it heads east, moving into colder air. So now we may get a little bit of snow, and there's even a slight possibility that overnight tonight, early tomorrow, we could see some flakes of snow in Istanbul, more likely rain, by afternoon.

Some snow showers up in Moscow by the -- later this afternoon. Latest report out of London and down toward Paris shows a little bit of drizzle. But the latest storm is kind of heading to the north.

So if you take a look at our forecast map, you can see that those spots that were plagued with such stormy weather in the last week or more now high pressure in control, should be pretty quiet. Again, the worst of it, a little bit of drizzle.

So through Sunday morning, windy conditions up around Scotland and Ireland, some snow in Stockholm and Oslo, the temperature's going to hover right around the freezing mark, so there may be some rain and some snow. Little bit of both.

To the south in Paris, 12 degrees, forecast high for Vienna is 4, and Moscow's the cold spot on this map, 8 below, and a chance of some snow, at least for today.

In the U.S., it's a different story, actually above average temperatures in the forecast here. You'll notice high pressure in control, southerly winds will start pumping that moisture in, set us up for a big rain event late Sunday into Monday. But for the rest of today, things are looking pretty good, actually. Warm temperatures ahead of this storm system, maybe a little bit of frozen precipitation, but mainly rain as this one heads across the Great Lakes.

Chicago forecast high is 46 degrees, Dallas -- can you believe it is January 1? -- 74 is the forecast high. We're probably going to start to see a few record highs today, tomorrow, and into Monday. By Tuesday, we're kind of getting things back on track, it looks like.

So a quick look at the radar across the U.S. shows a little bit of rain in the Southeast, most of this will disappear pretty quickly, and a little bit of light snow. Things don't start picking up in the U.S. until probably late in the weekend.

So a couple of days of pretty decent weather shaping up for our first few days of the new year.

Back to you, Colleen.

McEDWARDS: All right, thanks, Jill.

And continuing now with our look at the day's news, Vladimir Putin wasted no time in the waning hours of 1999, assuming his official duties as Russia's new leader. He visited the troops and handed out awards today in a brief ceremony in Chechnya, where Russia has launched a major drive to take the capital, Grozny.

Boris Yeltsin's surprise resignation on Friday propelled the prime minister into the new role as acting president. Putin immediately signed a decree offering Mr. Yeltsin immunity from prosecution, a lifetime pension, and a country home paid for by the government. The decree also provides for bodyguards and medical care for the former president and his family.

HARRIS: Well, the end of the year brought with it a peaceful end to a siege that lasted eight days in Afghanistan. There was jubilation yesterday when the 155 hostages from that hijacked Indian Airlines flight arrived in New Delhi. They were freed after the Indian government struck a deal with their captors.

The hijackers had demanded the release of 26 people from -- 36 people, rather, from Indian jails. India's government agreed to release three of them in exchange for the hostages. But the external affairs minister told reporters that India is not giving up on bringing the hijackers to justice.

Two people in Olathe, Kansas, won't have any trouble remembering where they spent New Year's 2000. They did it as hostages in a bank. That's right, 11 people were in a branch of the Bank of America when an alleged robbery attempt went awry. All but two people managed to escape or were released. The eight-hour standoff ended peacefully with both hostages released about 1 A.M. local time. The would-be robber surrendered to police.

McEDWARDS: Coming up, greeting the new millennium with life. The first babies of the 21st century.

HARRIS: That's right. Also this morning, a prayer for peace, the New Year's Day message from Pope John Paul I just ahead.


McEDWARDS: The Catholic Church marks today as the World Day of Peace. The pope focused on that topic earlier today as he greeted the year 2000 with a sermon early this morning at the Vatican.


POPE JOHN PAUL II (through translator): From every part of the earth, there is lifted a heartfelt prayer for peace. We pray that this will not go unheard. In this moment, my thoughts go to those who are the victims of violence, to those who feel alone and abandoned. Christ, Incarnate Son of God, enlighten the hearts of men with the gift of peace.


McEDWARDS: And at midnight in Rome, the pope briefly addressed more than 100,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for a pop and gospel concert.

HARRIS: You know, the first baby of the new year always holds a special place of honor as we ring out the old and ring in the new.

McEDWARDS: Yes, and this was a special New Year, though, and the whole world really was watching and waiting for the arrival of that first baby.

CNN's Tom Mintier has the story from New Zealand.


TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They say timing is everything. As the first fireworks illuminated the skies over Auckland, New Zealand, doctors at a downtown hospital were making history.

RACHEL HAGGERTY, MATERNITY MANAGER: Well, certainly, what's recorded on the baby's birth record that it was 12:01, and that is the time that's reported on our clocks. Whether they've been (inaudible) time would be up to someone else to find out, really. But we're quite confident that our child was born at 12:01.

MINTIER: Seven minutes later, New Zealand's second child of the new millennium entered the world, weighing a hefty nine pounds, 10 ounces, another boy. Not the first to arrive, but proud parents just the same.

In all, there were six babies born in the first 20 minutes of the new year. The fireworks over the city lasted just 12 minutes. A local radio station last April held a contest in hopes of promoting the first millennium baby here. More than 100 couples received a free night in a hotel.

Seven pregnancies were the result. Four arrived around Christmas, one just before New Year's, and two others are still waiting. None of the first six babies born were part of the radio station promotion.

(on camera): Just how much publicity the new millennium baby will receive is unknown. So far, his parents are unwilling to talk to the media. Some have estimated that it could be worth millions of dollars in promotions if they do indeed decide to go public.

Tom Mintier, CNN, Auckland, New Zealand.


HARRIS: And our congratulations to that family and the baby.

McEDWARDS: You bet.

HARRIS: Coming up next, our special report this morning, seeing the future.

McEDWARDS: Predictions for the century that hit the mark, and peering into the next thousand years, how science may one day allow us to control our destiny.


MCEDWARDS: Five hundred years ago he drew helicopters, but you won't catch a space plane in 2001. Forecasting the future: Who saw clearly? Who missed the mark? And some predictions for the new millennium.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People will live beyond 120 years, and do so in a healthy and productive manner.


MCEDWARDS: We have got a view of what is not yet, but will be.

Well, predictions about the future are mostly notable for being wildly wrong. With that caveat in mind, it is natural all the same to want to look forward to the next millennium and wonder what exactly is in store. And joining us from the Hamptons on New York's Long Island is famed trend-spotter Faith Popcorn. And from our studio in New York City, futurist Watts Wacker. Welcome to you both.

I am going to ask you both to get off on the right foot here with a prediction. Faith I will start with you, what are out lives going to be like in the 21st century.

FAITH POPCORN, FUTURIST: Well, we see a future really dominated by a couple of trends, one is e-volution, which is a lot of women running their own businesses, a lot on the Internet, a lot at home; and another called Future-tense (ph), which says we are very, very nervous about the new biotechnology and technology existing today, and how it is going to effect our future. So we are a little bit off- balance as we enter this new millennium.


WATTS WACKER, FUTURIST: Well, Colleen, I'll give you a couple that I will try to stretch out a ways too. I think one of the first things we will see to mark the future will be the United States Post Office giving everybody in this country an e-mail address. I think that actually will happen pretty quickly.

As we move further into time, if we went like 10 years out, or let's say 500 weeks, I think we actually will see this influence that Faith refereed to of the more bio-centric, kind of the fusion of the world of the made and the world of the born, embedded technology within people.

If we went 50 years out, I think we will actually see the language formerly known as English.

And if we went 500 years out, I actually think there will be fewer people in the world but that we will have someone who lives to be 800 years old.

MCEDWARDS: Embedded technology, that phrase is making me a little uncomfortable here. Do you want to expand on that? Go ahead Faith.

POPCORN: You might feel more comfortable if you look at it as a teeny tiny brain chip that is inserted at will, and what it does is it will give you language or knowledge, and it will be very non-invasive, just like you see people with their cell phones up on their ear, it will be much smaller than that and it gives us an expanded ability to do what we want to do. We won't have to learn French, we will know French. It will extend out health, it will monitor our pulse and our blood. And I think it is going to be a lot sooner than a couple of hundred years. I think we are going to see that chip in the next 30 years.

MCEDWARDS: Watts Wacker, is that realistic?

WACKER: I do think so, Colleen, and if you really want to think about, you had Ester Dyson on earlier talking about fat pipe band width. When you have the collision of virtual reality and fat pipe, or ubiquitous band width, you are actually going to see the ability for us to make a three-dimensional world that we can spend as much time in as we choose. And I wouldn't be surprised if status became how few virtual lives you have to have to learn the lessons to live your life the right way in the real world.

MCEDWARDS: All right, hold your thoughts right there, if you would. We are going to get back to this, but we want to just look a little bit more at the nature of making these kinds of predictions. We may have become a little more sophisticated about anticipating the future, but maybe not as well.

As CNN's Garrick Utley explains, some of the greatest minds of the past have dared to go where no one had yet been. Let's watch.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the Oracle Delphi in ancient Greece, to the predictions of Nostradamus, there has been an eternal human desire to see the future.

"I wish to work miracles," said Leonardo da Vinci, the renaissance artist, engineer and thinker. His visionary mind saw a helicopter in the future, he saw artillery, and this tank with wheels and armored siding. He even envisaged cars and the contact lens. His goal, Leonardo said, was to know how to see.

Five hundred years later, Jules Verne captivated readers with his vision, traveling 20,000 leagues under the sea in a submarine. Of traveling around the world in 80 days, of traveling from the Earth to the Moon, science fiction, you say; perhaps. But Verne, who wrote in 1873, place the site of his moon launch near Tampa, Florida, not far from where the Apollo astronauts lifted off to the moon.

Visions of the future require a vivid imagination and a sense of the possible. The mind of Arthur C. Clarke provided both in "2001, A Space Odyssey." Some of his predictions were close to the mark. The computer Hal, who seemed almost human.


"HAL": I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.


UTLEY: Others missed, the original Pan Am isn't flying anywhere anymore, least of all into space. Clarke's lasting vision, though, was based not on fantasy but hard fact. In 1945, he calculated that a satellite, put into orbit 23 miles above the Earth, would remain in a fixed position over the Earth. He predicted that only three of these satellites could connect the entire world with sound and pictures.

Since that prediction, more than 7000 satellites of all kinds have been launched, and this program is bouncing off several of them.

(on camera): What these great minds had in common, of course, is that they were exceptional minds filled with imagination and open to fantasy, based on fact. What they could not predict, though, was that the mind itself, the brain, could be altered, changed for the better. In the 21st century, that will happen.

(voice-over): A man who already sees how that world will look is Fred Gauge (ph), a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute in Lahoya, California. In 1998, he and his colleagues discovered what science had long rejected, that the brain can create new brain cells.

DR. FRED GAUGE: The big surprise was that there were some of these cells that could continue to give rise to neurons in the brain.

UTLEY: Which means neurons needed for basic human functioning can be regenerated.

GAUGE: How much capacity does the brain have for repairing itself or being repaired after damage? So that's the major focus of what we've been involved with.

UTLEY: Dr. Gauge's inspiration and insight, like scientific visionaries before him, came in his laboratory. Working with mice, he found the more they exercised, even older mice, the more their healthy brain cells divided to create new cells and neurons for learning and memory.

(on camera): For example, right now there's a mouse running on that wheel over there.


UTLEY: He's using up a lot of energy.

GAUGE: Right.

UTLEY: So what is happening in his brain?

GAUGE: I think we can say that the animals that run in the running wheel have more cells dividing in their brain.

UTLEY (voice-over): New brain cells that can be seen. GAUGE: And these are the controls. These are the animals that had a running experience from which you can see quite clearly is that the animals that have a running experience have more new cells in their brain.

UTLEY: What this shows is not only how important exercise is for the brain, but also that new brain cells can be used to replace old, dead ones.

GAUGE: I think that these results can potentially have important implications for individuals because it means that if all of this unfolds as we think it's going to unfold we actually have more control over our own mental destiny than we previously thought, even most mature individuals.

UTLEY: A first step in that control over our mental destiny is expected in the next five to 10 years with a memory pill to halt normal memory loss. And predictions for the 21st century are even more breathtaking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be able to correct and prevent many of the diseases of man. I predict in the future people will live beyond 120 years and do so in a healthy and productive manner.

UTLEY: Through the centuries and the millennia, the most compelling question has been the future of us. If Leonardo da Vinci illustrated the fascination with the body and how it works, Jules Verne described the power of the mind and imagination. "Whatever one is capable of conceiving," he wrote, "others will be able to achieve."

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: And this morning we are hearing some incredible conceptions.

PHILLIPS: I want the memory pill.

HARRIS: And I want it...

PHILLIPS: I want it.

HARRIS: And you want it now.

PHILLIPS: I'll go in the clinical trial.

HARRIS: All right, we'll continue our look into the next century and beyond.

PHILLIPS: More with Faith Popcorn and Watts Wacker when we come back. Stay with us.


PHILLIPS: Well, we are speaking this morning about the future with trend maven Faith Popcorn and futurist Watts Wacker.

I want to pick up on this notion of brain chips and Watts, your suggestion about the language formerly known as English. If this were to come about, quite seriously, what would that do to learning, which is a basic human function that some people think is what makes us human, that we learn?

POPCORN: Well, I...

WACKER: Well, I think...

POPCORN: Go ahead, Watts.

WACKER: I think we'll see, Colleen, that learning and the desire for knowledge, it's not just learning but the pushing into true knowledge is, you know, we can think of information technology as the Guttenburg (ph) press on steroids. One of the key things is that you're going to be able to acquire so much yourself personally and 100 years from now, and even 50 years from now, the equivalent of a Stephen Hawkings could probably be teaching your children physics.

POPCORN: You know, I...

WACKER: And so how learning takes place will be different.

POPCORN: I was going to say that I think that all the knowledge will be in place, really, and I think there's going to be a really strong turn towards spirituality, which is the thing that you can't learn but you kind of have to get. And you're already seeing that here with our obsession with the Dali Lama and what we're calling the spiritual cocktail which says that even the Fortune 500, we're learning it in our consulting company, Brain Reserve, even the Fortune 500 is seeing a real need to incorporate a spiritual message in their products, to give back, they care how they make something, care how it's distributed.

So I think that as knowledge becomes easier to get, spirituality becomes a lot more important as the 100 years rolls out.

HARRIS: Well, Faith, let me ask you about -- Leon here in Atlanta. Let me ask you about that because it seems like you're talking about two competing ideas actually existing in somebody's head or life at the same time, spirituality and technology.

POPCORN: Absolutely and that's people, fitness and fatness. You go out, you run a half a mile and you come home and eat a quart of Ben & Jerry's. So we're capable of doing two things at the same time, especially women. Women are very, very good at this. They do something that we call Web thinking, you know? Helen Fisher described it as Web thinking, that wonderful anthropologist. And that says that women can encompass an enormous amount of tracks. At one time you see them raising the kids, going to work, teaching spirituality, feeling it themselves, everything at once.

So I think that that's going to be more the direction of the way we go is going to be more evolutionary the way women think. WACKER: Leon, I want to stay on this concept you brought up earlier, the paradox of life that Faith put so well relative to food. But it comes across in so many more ways and I think much of the future may be driven by the organization of the absorption of paradox.

We have the World Trade Organization, we have 100 wars of nationalism. We have gays in the military, we have sexual harassment in the military. I mean literally the woman who created Mothers Against Drunk Drivers is now a lobbyist for the spirit beverage business and the ability to live with consistent uncertainty, children don't go to school certain they'll be safe. People don't go to work certain they'll have a job. People say till death do me part with no certainty that you'll be there in two years. And we're ushering in what I would call the epic of uncertainty as we move forth into how we look at what will happen in the next 1,000 years.

POPCORN: I was going to say, though, we're very, very capable of that because in every room and every home in America there'll be a small room, something like 9 by 12, and that will be our virtual reality space. And we'll be able to go in there and travel into the future, look at our forecasters, the people that will come ahead of us, look at our ancestors, learn whatever we need to learn, go to the supermarket, travel globally, get all the information and guidance we need.

And if we want to have a nice chat with Albert Einstein we'll be able to do that, too.


PHILLIPS: Global travel from your den. But what about touching it, feeling it, experiencing it?

POPCORN: Well, you know, that...

WACKER: Well, you know...

POPCORN: ... that's already been interpreted in virtual space. You will be able to smell it, touch it, feel it. You'll have your friendly hologram that can accompany you anywhere. So I think what we're looking at is current very unsophisticated technology and trying to project the future. It's hard to imagine but the tech, it will be so advanced that we will not really know the difference. We'll say what's virtual and what's real?

WACKER: And Colleen, we're already seeing in the world that people who are so predisposed to an online existence or who embrace this culture of the ether, as I think we could call it, that they have a desire for more physical connection with the people that they build online relationships with and how those relationships happen is what will be different. And you can think of it this way.

The four of us, Leon, you and Faith and I and Colleen, we were taught that you had very few very deep relations that lasted your whole life. And my children, who are 16 and nine, have already come to realize that they're going to have a great many very deep relations that last a very short period of time. And that's just a fundamental difference. And to Faith's comment about evolution, it's kind of like the Japanese call it kakume (ph), which inappropriately translated is about revolution, but appropriately translated is about renewal of rules and order.

And we're looking to renew the definition of what we want from the institutions, whether it's the pope or whether it's technology or whether it's governance, education or business.

HARRIS: That's why you guys make the big bucks. That's a great point.

POPCORN: Thank you.

HARRIS: Great point.

PHILLIPS: Stay with us, though.

HARRIS: Yeah, we'll have some more coming up in just a couple of minutes. We'll take a quick break right now. But coming up next we'll look at seeing the future from a child's eyes.


OLIVIA JAMGOTCHIAN, STUDENT: We wouldn't go to school because we could just say put this microchip in our head and ta-da, we learned everything we want to know.



HARRIS: The nation's children are greeting the new millennium with wide-eyed wonder and lots of anticipation.

PHILLIPS: And as CNN's Anne McDermott reports, it is easy for them to be open to what lies ahead because much of the past is a mystery to them.


ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Raise your hand if you can tell me what an L.P. is.


MCDERMOTT (voice-over): Nope, they've never seen a needle on a record or a TV that only got a couple of channels or a world without computers. And they don't really remember Ronald Reagan. They've never seen the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." And the Vietnam War, ancient history.

(on camera): Raise your hand if you can tell me when the Vietnam War was.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: In the 19 something. ALMESHA SMITH, STUDENT: 1993, something like that.

MCDERMOTT (voice-over): Of course they haven't studied it in school yet. But beyond that, their world is different from ours. The eyes of these children are fixed firmly on the future.

(on camera): So you all are looking forward to this new millennium, am I right?

JAMGOTCHIAN: The best part about the new millennium...

MCDERMOTT (voice-over): They believe it will all be wondrous.

JAMGOTCHIAN: We wouldn't go to school because we could just say put this microchip in our head and ta-da, we learned everything we want to know.

MCDERMOTT: What does she wish?

SMITH: It's like have you ever watched "Back To the Future?" The flying car? I've dreamed of that.

MCDERMOTT: He dreams of machines.

SONNY ONORATI, STUDENT: You would press this one button and that means you could like talk to animals and like maybe like you could talk to babies or something.

MCDERMOTT: They are certain that the future will be fun, that there will still be a Disneyland but with rides to the moon and roller coasters that really roar.

KELLY SANDERS, STUDENT: You'd get in it and it like took off and it went around like the whole entire world.

MCDERMOTT: Movies? They will be amazing.

ONORATI: We will like have 3D movies and...


ONORATI: ... like real explosions would like go right into your face.

MCDERMOTT: But they won't hurt. These kids never want to see anyone get hurt. And they seem to think the world of the future will be a world without war. Sure, there'll be bad guys. But thanks to new technology, they'll get good again.

BRIAN SHIN, STUDENT: They can make criminals like better. They can delete their minds.

MCDERMOTT: What about aliens? Well, what kind of millennium would it be without men from Mars?

JAMGOTCHIAN: We could make friends with aliens and maybe the aliens could suggest better techniques.

MCDERMOTT: And we could show them special chewing gum.

ONORATI: Like let's say you're an alien and you like get a human gum, you turn into like a human, maybe.

MCDERMOTT: A dazzling vision. But will it come true? They think so. They sure hope so.

ALLISON GREEN: The only thing I wish is for this world to be a better place for us and all creatures and almost plants and all living things.

MCDERMOTT: We shall see.

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.


HARRIS: Out of the mouths of babes, as they say.

PHILLIPS: Well said.

HARRIS: As they say.


HARRIS: All right, now, back to our conversation this morning with Watts Wacker and Faith Popcorn, who now has her own little guest with her.


HARRIS: Your 19 month old daughter, I understand.


HARRIS: I'm glad you brought her out, Faith, because, you know, considering all the different predictions that the two of you have talked about this morning about new technologies and new paradigms and how we deal with each other, how in her lifetime, what is going to happen to her and what kind of person is she going to be different from the kind of person you are today at this stage in your life?

POPCORN: Well, first of all, she's going to live to be 150 years and she's going to be enormously secure because everything that she needs will be really provided for her. I think one interesting thing with these Chinese children is that soon they'll be a genetic analysis of their gene set. We'll understand what to expect later in life in terms of things she may need treatment for, genetic counseling, whatever it might be. So that's a kind of wonderful thing that science brings little Gigi (ph).

WACKER: You know, Leon, I'd add three things for Gigi and for all kids today. First, I think it's important to remember that if there's six billion people in the world now that two billion of the six billion people on the planet are teenagers. I don't know if that one scares you but that one scares me a little bit.

HARRIS: It scares me.

WACKER: And that 70 percent of the knowledge, 70 percent of all the learning in your whole lifetime happens before you're five years old. I think that's an interesting thing if you think about how different the next five years will be versus someone who may have had their first five years of life 100 years ago.

And the last that I think will be the most interesting is there's a good chance that Gigi will actually retire at 29 before she goes to college and that we're actually, for the very first time in history, children have knowledge that their parents wish they had.

HARRIS: Interesting.

PHILLIPS: I remember when I was young...

HARRIS: Nineteen months?

PHILLIPS: Not that far back, but remember the predictions about the year 2000, the year 2001, very futuristic. Everyone would have space cars. There were these great space cities that were elevated on three levels with the dirty city down below and the clean city up on top. I mean these were our visions. They were wrong.

POPCORN: Well, you know, I think the difference with Gigi and the future of little ones now is they may be able to retire at 29 but they're not going to really want to because work and play is going to be much more blended in their lives and they're going to really enjoy learning and doing and I think there's going to be a tremendous need with little ones today, especially these Chinese little ones, to really give back, bring society up, do the right thing because I think the basic needs of these kids will be taken care of so they'll be able to think on a higher level.

PHILLIPS: All right, we're out of time. It's a shame.

POPCORN: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: But thank you both very, very much.

POPCORN: A pleasure.

PHILLIPS: It was a great conversation.

WACKER: Thank you very, very much.

POPCORN: Happy new year.

HARRIS: Happy new year to both of you.

WACKER: Happy millennium.

HARRIS: Hey, same to you. It's been fantastic talking to both of you. PHILLIPS: Indeed. Watts Wacker and Faith Popcorn.

HARRIS: Good luck.


HARRIS: Thanks very much.

WACKER: Bye-bye.

PHILLIPS: And you're just a mouse click away, actually, from more on seeing the future. You can go to our Web site, Also, if you would like to hear more from Faith Popcorn, she'll be conducting an online chat with us. That's Monday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern at

HARRIS: Don't go to the computer yet. We've got much more coming up. Don't go away.


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