Don't panic

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The Independent Online

Doom. There's a lot of it about at the moment; everywhere, people are worried. Perhaps it's a millennial thing. In London, they talk of little else than a global economic recession, when they are not desperately trying to pick the bad news out of rising house prices. In Norwich, doom displacement activity and general feelings of unease have prompted to a ban on window boxes, just in case they fall on someone.

Doom. There's a lot of it about at the moment; everywhere, people are worried. Perhaps it's a millennial thing. In London, they talk of little else than a global economic recession, when they are not desperately trying to pick the bad news out of rising house prices. In Norwich, doom displacement activity and general feelings of unease have prompted to a ban on window boxes, just in case they fall on someone.

Apocalypse-mongering, though, seems to achieve its acme out there in cyberspace, the legendary home of conspiracy and chaos. Those of you with long memories may recall the millennium bug, that fearful glitch that was going to produce smoke and popping noises from all the computers on the planet and take the world back to fingering the abacus. And now there is the red worm, the fearful virus that has had internet engineers waiting as anxiously as an operations room in the Second World War for the next big wave. And waiting.

Time, we say, for everyone to get a grip; to heed the advice that is regularly proffered by Lance Corporal Jones, late of the Home Guard, Walmington-on-Sea. A little less alarmism, please. Carry on, as you were, absolutely nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, you can't read this.

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