Saturday, February 16, 2008

Doomsday Cults

One of the things I roll my eyes at are those people who are worried about the end of the world--the soothsayers of doomsday. The current doom is the end of the Mayan cycle, which ends on 2012. The soothsayers, and their believers, say that the world is going to come to a sudden end in a couple of years.

This particular theory is tied to the shifting of the magnetic poles. The shifting of the poles is a real thing, but it is hardly doomsday. The geological history of the Earth indicates that it has happened before and will happen again. The shifting of the poles, reversing the magnetic field around the Earth, is a minor inconvience, but we do want it to happen.

The mathematic models show that the shifting of the poles will bring the magnetic field of the Earth back up to full strength. This is a desirable thing. Without an eventual shift in the poles, based on the mathematical models, the magnetic field will weaken and disappear completely. That would be bad--rent the movie "The Core" if you want to see how bad it would be.

Personally, I would be more worried about a global economic crisis than I would be about the magnetic shift, but each to their own.

Doomsday are always with us; Revelations is happening everyday. Each of us has our own personal doomsday happening in our lives if we just look hard enough. For me, my doom is typically the next test or term paper that I have to cope with. For me, doomsday is up close and personal.

For many, it is not. And there are groups and fads that cater to them.

Yes, doomsday is catered. I would avoid the deviled eggs. I don't think that the ham is kosher. And who invented the Freemasons to our doomsday. But I disgress.

Yes, there are groups whose purpose is to prepare its members for doomsday. And there is always a new doomsday if it turns out that the previous doomsday was a false alarm.

I have belonged to several border-line doomsday cults. The first coven I belonged to was big on being prepared for a nuclear doomsday. A box of MREs (meals ready to eat--sure to survive a nuclear disaster because no one wants to eat them) and a lot of water was highly suggested, along with knowing where all the fall-out shelters were. Ironically, being prepared for a nuclear disaster ensures that you are prepared for other acts of god.

And when I was in the EOEW, there was the one meeting that drifted into getting ready for Y2K. Do you remember Y2K--the year that the world was supposed to end as all the world's computers crashed. If you want to know what I think of your average doomsday prediction ask me how I coped with Y2K.

Yes, I had some canned food, a small camp stove, and some bottled water. Toni would not allow me to buy a crossbow; in fact, she (like so many others) was appalled to learn that I believe that defending myself with deadly force is a real option in an emergency. Question my ethics all you want; at least I know my stance on how important my life is in comparsion to other random looters. Do you know how much value you place on your skin?

Toni got interested in Y2k late. In my opinion, too late. For her, it was a last minute thing.

I have been interested in doomsday since I was a teenager. Blame it on too much science fiction. In my opinion, you should be prepared to be thrust into the Hall of Judgment at any time. Doomsday will not be announced ahead of time; either will your last trumpet. If you are really concerned about doomsday, live every minute like its your last.

So it was with some amusement that I watched her learn about Y2K. I wasn't worried about Y2k. I had my nuclear stockpile; all I needed to get was a crossbow. It was only due to a lack of money that she didn't help drive up the price of bottled water.

But Toni is also an airhead. One I know who she was listening to (a good fortune teller on a personal level, can't hit the broadside of a barn on the global level); and two, she made some last minute changes in my perfectly good plan. She decided that we were going to stay at her place, not mine. That made my preparations useless. And she still won't let me invest in a crossbow.

For the record, I was not concerned with Y2K. The closer we got to the actual day, the less concerned I became. Why? I know something about programming computers. If Y2K was going to be a problem, we would have seen indications of it long before New Year's Day. I was not worried about the power plants shutting down, or planes falling out of the sky. I, much like my bosses, knew that the real problems of Y2K if any would be monetary.

How did my bosses plan on dealing with Y2K? Simple, they handed me a pencil and a pad of paper. It was a very business approach to doomsday. If doomsday happens, we will cater it.

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