Many are predicting the end of the world (as we've come to know it) by sometime in 2012. The Mayans, Nostradamus, The Book Of Revelations and a host of religious leaders, cult founders and self-proclaimed prophets [even the geniuses at Martin Weiss' Weiss Research are in agreement -- but then again, they talk about a catastrophe of one sort or another every single week -- it probably helps grow their subscriber base and increase sales of investment advisory materials] all seem to be in general consensus with this sad inevitability.
Apparently, this whole "coming apart party" [the late Issac Asimov would have called it "much adieu about nothing" is supposed to be pre-ordained, or fated - so there's nothing we can do to prevent it...we can only prepare for it. I just don't actually know what to do exactly to prepare for the end of the world -- you cannot just pack a sandwich and a soda -- there's nothing that you'll be allowed to take with you.
In lieu of preparation, we merely worry, and begin attaching significance to every event that we either witness of hear about as "another sign."
Yet, if we truly believed this, how come we keep meticulously paying our bills, and thinking about foreclosures, bankruptcies, spoiling cottage cheese in the refrigerator, acne outbreaks before a big date, long-term health insurance, the value of the Euro or if the black van parked down the street for the past three days is really from the cable company...
Human Beings are motivated much more by the fear or pain or loss than by the opportunity for improvement; perhaps this our default setting. We feel worried if we are not actively worried about something.
The BigThink Newsletter, an extract from which appears below, gives us dozens of exciting ways in which we might see (if only for a moment) the final chapter of Human Civilization. Please enjoy them, and click the "BACK" button in your browser to bring you back to this article. As always, we'll be patiently waiting for you, coffee mug in hand.
|January 1, 2012 |
Far more dreadful than the physical hangover, writes Kingsley Amis in his practical and entertaining guide to Everyday Drinking (Bloomsbury, 2008, Introduction by the late, lamented Christopher Hitchens) is the Metaphysical Hangover... Watch »
How Will the World Really End?
From asteroids to nuclear terrorism to worldwide hydrogen sulfide poisoning, a diverse menu of scenarios for humanity’s demise.
The Seas Could Turn to Sulfur
A Supernova Could Nuke Us
Climate Catastrophe and "Chaos Wars"
An Astroid Could Smash Us All
A Quick Painless Black Hole
Escape to the Parallel Universe
The Milky Way Will Be It
The Nuclear Threat to Our Cities
We're Headed For a Hothouse World
The Sun Will Swallow Us
Check Out the Entire Series!
Welcome back. Now that we've gotten past the pleasantries, let's add some more gasoline to fire of worry. What about these incredible (but not unthinkable) possibilities -- to which I assign no probabilities:
1) Any of the current presidential candidates in the US actually gets voted (notice that "voted" and "vetoed" are ironically close in spelling) into office?
2) What if a major private sector international security firm (with no genuine sovereign allegiance) builds up sufficient ordnance, manpower and motive to take over the world?
3) What if the European Union finally declares war on itself, falls apart, and the Euro instantly plummets in value? Hmmm...
4) What if someone (probably on his deathbed) in a position of great power and authority publicly divulges that there is absolutely no gold in Ft. Knox [it's all been an elaborate and expensive psy-ops ruse since the 1970s], and the value of the US Dollar plummets?
5) What if your spouse, during an idle moment, does a calculation of the discounted present value of your probable life's earnings (an annuity) versus the lump sum payout on your life insurance policy, and finds the latter far greater than the former? There's motive. There's opportunity...
Here's to making it to 2013!
Douglas E Castle for InfoSphere Business Alerts