Cheat Sheet

Name That Era

The Roaring Twenties, the Psychedelic Sixties, the Go-Go Eighties, and the ultimate It Decade, the ’90s. Each decade has a catchy name. Then we arrive at the . . . next decade. The ’00s? You’d think that the dawn of a new millennium would have spawned an apt nickname. Not yet!

But now self-styled “cognitive dissident,” retired cattle rancher, former Grateful Dead lyricist, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and roaming apostle of cyberspace John Perry Barlow has summoned up the creativity to name it and claim it.

His entry is compact, catchy, and dead-on: “The Uh-Ohs.” He proposed the name in the dying days of the ’90s, when there were Uh-Ohs lurking on the threshold: “Total loss of privacy. Uh-oh. Black market plutonium. Uh-oh. Absolutely everyone packing a cell phone. Uh-oh. And constantly talking to everyone else. Uh-oh.” Says Barlow: “As it turns out, I didn’t even know from Uh-Oh back then. I was kind of like the Grateful Dead thinking that it had already been a long strange trip in 1969.” Try it out: Welcome to the Uh-Ohs. Makes sense, right?

For more information, visit the Web (, or contact John Perry Barlow by email (