Sunday 27 March 2011

We're All Going To Die

The end is nigh, dear reader.

If you believe the hype, then the world will end on December 21st, 2012. I will have just turned 50 so at least I will have made it to the half century.

Personally I think it is a load of old codswallop.

Nobody can predict the future, even when there is evidence that may support a claim that the world is about to end in a painfully horrible fashion.

Let’s take the millennium as an example. As we entered 1999, we were about to fall foul of two potential global catastrophes as well as many other miraculous occurrences.

One of the driving forces was the supposed second coming of Jesus, which would signal the end for all of us. Many thought that there would a war of Armageddon, started by the Antichrist, and we all suffer horrible and extremely painful deaths with born again Christians rising to heaven.

What was the evidence for this nonsense? There was none; none whatsoever. It was utter, utter bunkum. The only good thing that came from predictions of Satan rising to claim the Earth was the movie End of Days where Arnie took on the Devil himself and saved the world – a cracking but flawed movie.

Did the world end? Of course it didn’t. I wouldn’t be typing this if it had – and you wouldn’t be reading it.

And the other catastrophe predicted for the millennium was none other than The Millennium Bug.

I’ve worked in IT since 1984 and even then I, like a few other programmers, were aware that perhaps we ought to take account of the turn of the century and we started to do it. What’s more as the millennium approached this awareness spread and most if not all software producers modified their software, a few years in advance. To cap it all, almost everybody involved in IT performed stringent tests, probably from 1998 onwards to make sure that the Millennium Bug was not present.

Yet the media, doom mongers and large numbers of people who know little or nothing about computers, software and technology, decided that the Millennium Bug would wipe out civilisation.

We were warned of aircraft dropping out of the sky, people being eaten alive by their own toasters and washing machines rising up and murdering entire families.

Some idiots were so convinced that Hell would be unleashed on Earth that they actually packed up, left the cities and moved into the wilderness where they dug a big hole and buried themselves underground to avoid the nuclear war that would be unleashed when the Millennium Bug hit the world’s nuclear arsenal.

In their view, the war of Armageddon would be triggered by the Millennium bug and we would all be wiped out. What’s worse is that they were absolutely convinced that they were right.

The Millennium Bug was arguably the biggest anti-climax ever. I laughed so much because I knew it would be several years beforehand.

Now we are approaching another Armageddon moment, with the evidence coming from the fact that the Mayan calendar ends on 21st December 2012. What doom mongers fail to notice is that the Mayan calendar is cyclic – one ends and a new one begins.

The doomsday hoax is the result of pessimism from a bunch of idiots, just like the Millennium Bug and the predicted war of Armageddon in the year 2000. These people see things that just aren’t there. They interpret flimsy evidence as fact and end up in a flap about it, forcing their opinions on people. Even when proved wrong they refuse to accept how ridiculous their arguments were.

Before I stop, I would like to just mention Nostradamus. He apparently has predicted everything from the Great Fire of London to World War 2. And of course, he has predicted the end of the world.

Nonsense – of course he hasn’t.

Nostradamus wrote a bunch of cryptic quatrains, which could be interpreted as anything. Here’s one that is supposed to predict the attack on New York City on September 11th 2001:

Volcanic fire from the center of the earth
will cause trembling around the new city:
Two great rocks will make war for a long time.
Then Arethusa will redden a new river.

Those who chose to believe that Nostradamus had a gift have actually translated the original French line:

au tour de cité neufue

as “around New York” rather than “around the new city”.

All of this means, to me at least, that the quatrains of Nostradamus are open to interpretation by those who believe that he could actually see the future.

I suggest to you, dear reader, that he could not and that he either had a vivid imagination or sold himself as some kind of seer for personal reasons.

I mean I could write some utterly ridiculous cryptic crap and state that I can predict future events and I could state that I know for a fact that such events will occur within the next thousand years because I have seen them in my dreams or somehow interpreted current events and projected their meaning into the future using a combination of my prophetic gift, astrology, my horoscope and imaginative elucidation of the global trends.

In short – it would be a load of old codswallop written with one hundred per cent horseshit.

I could write something like this:

When the colon of Ura meets the turn of Sa
And the line of force penetrates the centre of Terra and Sol
Then the four horses of the Armageddon will rise
And bestow words of fire on the kingdom of unity.

What does that mean? Absolutely nothing!!!

I’ll tell you what Nostradamus means to me, dear reader - this

Enjoy and come to Manchester for a party on 22nd December, 2012.


Elephant's Child said...

You are right of course - we all are going to die. In the fullness of time. The thing that tickles me about the doomsayers is their confidence that they will be 'raptured' up to heaven when the dread day happens. And I suspect that if they are right I would neither be welcome nor happy in said heaven.
Like the idea of a party - I will raise a glass here in Oz.

River said...

I laughed at the Millenium bug thing too. And I'm sure the earth will still be here in 2013, I'll die long before the earth will.

Kath Lockett said...

Ah yes, good old Nostradamus always gets dragged out for a trot, doesn't he?

It's a bit like reading your horoscope in the newspaper; more like advice than a prediction. "Watch your spending this week and your health could be an issue." Um, isn't it ALWAYS?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I don't think I'll be welcome when the rapture occurs. Knowing my luck, Nostradamus will be sitting there sayong "Don't let HIM in - he wrote a blog post about me last year and I don't like having the mickey taken out of me."




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Me too. 21/12/12 will be another anti-climax.




Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

It's worse than that - people have actually started inventing new Nostradamus quatrains - there was another hoax about 9/11 that mentioned two towers.

I stopped reading horoscopes a long time ago.




Mind Of Mine said...

We had this debate in work, regarding the Y2K and Mayan calender and I was surprised to find that many people believe in the whole 2012 issue.

Smart people...

Or at least people I thought were smart....

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi MoM,

I would only believe in the 2012 catastrophe if there was absolute proof. And so far there is nothing.

What we sceptics should do is ask all believers for proof and the reason why they think it is going to happen.

BTW The Mayan Calendar and Nostradamus doesn't count as proof in my book.




drb said...

1) Any regrets if 21 Dec 2012 did turn out to be the end of the world?

2) If there were concrete proof (e.g. discovery of a astroid hurling through space towards earth) that 21 Dec 2012 would be the end of the world, what would you do?

The 2nd question ended my prvious relationship after watching Armageddon. My answer was,"If we were the only handful of people to know that the end is near, I'll have a huge wedding bash, paid on credit cards, and invite everyone we know and their family."

The next morning, I was dumped, which was lucky as my current hubby is infinite-times better.

So, that should be a date-test question.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

(1) No regrets - just egg on my face.

(2) I don't know to be honest. I would probably want to mask the inevitable pain by having an end of the world party.

What happened to you was most unpleasant - though it looks like everything worked out better for you.




Anonymous said...

The "end of times" is not the end actually. It is restoration or a new beginning of a new earth as revealed in the Book of Revelations. In the modern times, a lot of people including those theologists added false doctrines like Rapture, Armageddon, and Millenialism to predict the "end of the world." But because the Book of Revelations uses a lot of symbols, a lot of Christians even misunderstand the message.
But all in all, it sums up that Jesus is coming back and we don't know when ---to judge the living and defeat Satan.
Jesus had forewarned people that we must be on "watch" ----meaning to be prepared for his coming and judgment.
This is the time, that the present world will be destroyed and a new one will be created.
It takes more than "intelligence" to understand this book.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

I have read bits of the Book of Revelation and you are right about the symobolism involved.

One of the reasons I am sceptical is that people attempt to interpret such things and do so incorrectly and then do not admit their mistakes, instead choosing to make another mistake and pick another date (seemingly at random).

The end will come when it comes and I am pretty sure that it won't be in my lifetime.




Unknown said...

We are not sure that the end of times won't come in our lifetime. Nobody knows and no one can predict or estimate the "date." That's why Jesus keep repeating that we must be watchful because he is coming without any warning. Who knows that the end of times will come next week? next month? next 6 months? next year?, within the next 5 years or 10 years or 30 one knows.It is better to be prepared and be watchful.
It says in Mark 13: "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come."
In Mark 24: "But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

You know that NOT everything in this world we will know the answers. There is always a mystery that happens in our universe that is best left on faith.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Fair enough Bingkee,

You are right in a sense because something could happen in a year's time, say (or perhaps even ON 21st December 2012).

But I will proceed as if it won't. I don't want to worry about unknown things and I shall just take each day as it comes - unless somebody proves it absolutely of course - in which case I shall panic after I have washed egg off my face,