Archive for May 10th, 2009

Is the End of the world near ?

In fact, in the hundreds of millennial predictions, sects, and beliefs that have surfaced since the death of Christ, and before, not a single one has come to pass. The world may seem close to the abyss, but it never quite makes that last step needed to cross the edge. In fact, it often seems in hindsight that it was never on that last step at all, but more than a day’s walk away.

Now we approach the next round of dire predictions. From the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012, to the last Pope prophesized by St. Malachi to come after the current one, to religious-based predictions that the end must be near as the current state of affairs in the world must be omens signaling the end, we unfortunately will never have the answer until the world actually decides to take the last baby step off the cliff.

Expected Casualty percentage

Expected Casualty percentage

Oddly, Nostradamus seems the odd man out in this orgy of prediction that seems to be gripping the world of those who study things paranormal. He doesn’t predict the end of the world until thousands of years from now, if ever.

I can’t help but wonder why the end of the world preoccupies us so much. For all the predictions and doomsday talk, Chances are, we’ll never see it coming. It could come in the form of an asteroid impact, or even a supernova silently bombarding us with lethal doses of radiation. Or it could be one of the religious predictions that comes true, but in this case, it might not be such a good idea to try to read the mind of God and blow the big secret before the almighty has a chance to finish his plan. You might just invite his judgment for such a thing.

I think the reason is psychological. Some need an order to dismiss the chaos of world affairs. It becomes comforting, perhaps, to see a great earthquake with a horrendous loss of life and see it in the context that it means something. We watch the economic troubles of today, and maybe it makes more sense for them to be part of the divine plan for the earth’s end, rather than mistakes stemming from greed and poor financial infrastructure. The problem is though, we’ve seen all of this before, and the first time around none of them turned out to be indicative of the end. In fact, the world has been in almost constant calamity for two thousand years, leading many to believe that the time in which they lived were the end times. For most of these people, it wasn’t.

I can’t say for certain, nor can I say that I hope I’m wrong, but I think it would be prudent for all of us to take all the talk of the end being near with a grain of salt, especially as 2012 approaches, and those on the crazier end of the spectrum start thinking of making up a batch of koolaid. Chances are, these are not the end times, rather they are the times in which we live. When the end does truly come, whether its tomorrow or a thousand years from now, it will likely be inevitable and unchangeable by the time we know about it, and if it is divine in nature, we will be the last beings in the universe that can stop it. So why do we worry so?

Future Tense …

Previously I did write about the Paleo future, a future which we thought the world would be like in the past. But definitely that future is a little deferred but still in line with what is today. You can check out the Paleo future post here. Lot of things have changed, even the internet that we so admire has changed or simply put, our interaction with the Internet has definitely changed. One of the main domains that has altered our world present, past and definitely in the future is information access.

In the 1800’s we were a clan of people that were meeting at the town center, or at the weekly market to exchange information about each other and the local surroundings, then the big revolution happened, Newspapers. Newspapers provided us with information about what was happening around the world without having to leave the comfort of the homes. It fascinated people that they could go and see pictures from places as well as news from people that are completely not in your circle of friends, village or even continent. The natural succession to the newspaper was the radio, the humble radio as it is called today was nothing short of a revolution at that moment, you could now listen to people live talking about events that happened as you spoke. Unbelievably, the information hunger that people had just kept increasing and now they wanted to also see what was happening, a few years later came the Idiot box, the one tool that ruled the homes, hearts and lives of millions of people around the world. New stars were born, created and then the term “15 seconds of fame” was put together.

Lurking in the background at the same time was a very geeky invention, the Computer and the Internet. It did not seem much until, the efforts of Microsoft along with a whole host of manufacturers put the computer in the homes of people. I know a lot of people will disagree with me about using Microsoft here, but let’s all face it, they were the first to move in to the home with interfaces that maybe the masses could understand and use. Now a majority of city dwellers have a very strong online presence. A presence that is almost like living on the internet where you choose what information you want to see, rather than the earlier medium of newspaper, radio and TV. The information highway got its 2 way route. So, whats next ? well there are theories and then there are theories. With technologies like augmented reality, virtual worlds and social news we are on the brink of yet another shift in our way of life … I have some videos here that shows different people’s opinion of the future. Please do have a look at these You tube videos.

World Builder – Its like Sketchup on steroids

Augmented Reality to the extreme ..  Microsoft concept videos

Microsoft Office

Oh well cannot embed MSN video so, here is the link to the site.