Back to the End

Picking Up Right
Where We Left Off

You’re probably feeling very good about yourself right now. After all, you’ve proved them all wrong, and you’re still alive and kicking, despite all dire predictions about the world coming to a final blast today. Well, our word to you would be caution; you’re not out of the woods yet.
Since you’ve probably read about what was supposed to have happened today, the Mayan calendar and what not, we’ll spare you from going over that venue again. Instead, let’s make sure you know what you haven’t yet, unfortunately, ducked, and, albeit unlikely, can still hit you.
Hey, we’re just counterbalancing the annoying cheerful wave that will undoubtedly grace today’s news. We’re, as you know, funny that way: first we tend to periodically create these completely baseless widespread fears, to which we add a steady diet of bad news, day in and day out, just to make everyone feel like dirt.
Then, when all seems to be about to burst into a planetary bummer, we conveniently stand down, invoking some kind of glitch, or blaming it all on the hyperactive imagination of some nut preaching on the desert somewhere. But we still tell you that you should consider yourself lucky, for what could’ve been.
Needless to say, fortunes are made or broken that way. All over the world, people have given up everything in exchange for the comfort of following someone else’s vision toward the impending doom. In fact, according to Isaac Asimov, an Assyrian clay tablet of circa 2800 BCE was already warning everyone ‘that the world is speedily coming to an end.’
The only reason such gloomy type of predictions have become hard currency may be that we now waste even more time paying attention to them. Or see more reasons to do so, whichever rocks the boat of your next garden-variety cult leader, seeking validation to his or her deranged delusions of grandeur.
As for us, this whole brouhaha never mattered. When the pastor came over yesterday, even though declining the invitation to head with his congregation up to the hills, we did signed up all our earthly possessions to his good cause, including our maximized credit cards. So you may say that we’re now truly free. You’d be wrong, of course.

Next to over 4,000 years of wrong predictions about the end of the world, the fact that today was, once again, not the right day for everything to go out in smoke doesn’t really do much, really, in the big scheme of things. It does, though, to those who’ve invested on the scare of the jour and, obviously, failed.
We’ve mixed feelings about these folks, even though we’re very sorry they got rid of everything a bit too prematurely. But we have no sympathy to those who claim that they know when they’re going to die, and, more importantly, exactly what happens next. No wonder they’re usually the ones leading the flock towards the cliff.
Anyone you ask, though, can recite six or seven potential scenarios of doom, and you may want to sit before you read this, they may be right. Because such possible events don’t depend on belief, or prayer, or how virtuous your life is, or whether you have the perfect counterargument against they coming to fruition.
The order may change, accordingly to who is listing them, or what day of the week it is, but they revolve more or less around the same statistical possibilities of a single fact, or a combination of events, that may bring the civilization as we know it, to a close. And good riddance, many would say, but not us, not yet anyway.
An asteroid hit, a nuclear chain reaction, a radical climate change, a biotechnological disaster, or some unpredictable cosmic event, all would top most people’s list. Many would also add a widespread volcanic eruption, too, the eventuality of machines becoming self aware, the sun going awry, gee, even a space alien invasion.

You know what’s curious, though: there’s something common to even the most catastrophic event mankind may have to face someday: almost all of them can be prevented, or at least, neutralized with the right combination of preparation and self-imposed change. That’s because we’ve created the conditions for them to arise. Nothing indicates that we can’t reverse-engineer them to a halt.
Want some questions? Why do we need so many nuclear warheads and fossil-fuel burning engines, and so much profitability in food and medicine production? Why it’s so important to dig for gold, diamonds, and so-called precious metals, if they’re mostly used as ostentatious displays of power?
We can go even further: why do we have to spend so much time and resources appeasing invisible beings, whose whims we divine at our own peril, and to whom we’re willing to sacrifice innocents, our common blood, nation, race and species? What so many of us live by the ‘my god is better than yours’ motto, and are willing to die in its defense?
Lastly, in the light of what did not happen today, we may also ask: why would anyone survive a global hecatomb, that would most likely wipe out most of your loved ones and pretty much all Earth’s natural resources? Why kind of world would you emerge to, from your bunker, knowing full well that it’d take another thousand years to even begin resembling what it once was?

It’s the same silly dream of live forever: once a full generation has passed since everyone you’ve ever cared about has departed, you may be forced to ask yourself, what am I doing here? No matter how healthy, or scarily ageless you may be: you’d be a monster of another time, living among strangers who’d justifiably fear and avoid you.
So nothing happened, great. Can we now all go back to the business of living our lives and caring for this planet, before we’re truly facing our day of reckoning? After all, today is still Friday, we’re still in 2012, and some would even dare to say, there’s at least a whole new year ahead of us. Perhaps you don’t need anything bad to happen before we shock ourselves alive again.

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