Books: Millennial Megababble

MEGATRENDS 2000 by John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene

Morrow; 384 pages; $21.95

As the first millennium approached, a French monk named Markulf sounded a warning: "Mundi terminum ruinis crescentibus appropinquantem indicia certa manifestant" -- Clear signs announce the end of the world; the ruins multiply. The theologian Thietmar of Merseburg, on the other hand, viewed the chalice as half full: "The thousandth year since the salvific birth," he thought, was surely the time of "a radiant dawn . . . over the world."

The second millennium nears, and this time it is the secular prophets who disagree. Apocalyptists like Paul Ehrlich...