Category Archives: The Fuuuture

Teh Awesome

These posters/charts are all awesome and I couldn’t choose which to highlight. Go take a look.

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Obligatory US election 2008 post…with prediction updates!

Last week I discussed Sylvia Browne‘s predictions for the 2008 US presidential election and I made 2 “predictions” of my own. Let’s see how I did.

These were my predictions
1) I predict that Obama will win the election with between 55 and 60 percent of the popular vote. (Note: It’s been pointed out to me that this statement is misleading and appears to read that Obama would win the election with the popular vote alone, which is not the way the US system works. In fact, what I meant was that he would win (i.e., with the electoral votes) AND would get (“with”) 55-60 percent of the popular vote).

2) I predict that the US will not be made into a Muslim state the next day.

Here’s the results
1) Obama did win the election, but he did not get between 55 and 60 percent of the popular vote. He got 52 percent. I strategically picked 55-60 because in an approximation like this it actually allowed me a greater range in which to be “correct” (i.e., scored as a hit), because in psychic-land you can be almost right and still impress. If I had picked 50-55, I would have been limited to a range of 50-57ish to be considered correct (as Obama was unlikely to get less than approximately half of the popular vote). In picking 55-60, my “hit” range that I could reasonably get away with would have been approximately 53-63. He got 52, so if I had fewer scruples I could say “that’s approximately 55, so I was correct”. But I’ll give myself a HIT on the first part of this prediction and a FAIL on the second part because it was not specifically in the range I gave (even though if I were a psychic with legions of fans, I probably would have been given that as a HIT).

2) It’s the next day and I have heard no reports of the US becoming a Muslim state. So I get a HIT on that one.

What is my accuracy rating?
I made one two-part prediction and one single prediction. Let’s count those as three. Out of three I scored a HIT on two and, if I was dishonest, a partial HIT on one. So my accuracy rating if I’m honest is 2/3 = 66% and my accuracy rate if I’m dishonest is 100%. Pretty friggin’ good.

Here’s the thing though. Accuracy ratings are bull. I got those hits because of the extreme likelihood or unlikelihood of the events I was predicting. The only prediction where there was some measure of uncertainty was how much of the popular vote Obama would get, and that was the prediction I got wrong. I used previous knowledge to make these “predictions”, which is not psychic ability. That’s just being able to synthesize and analyse information.

It does no good to analyze an accuracy rating without taking into account the likelihood of the events that are being predicted. If I’m a psychic and only predict things that are extremely likely or unlikely, then I could have a legitimately high hit rating but it would mean nothing. So maybe Sylvia does have an accuracy rating of 80% with the people who know her, but it very well may be an accuracy in predicting the sky is blue. In the very specific and uncertain events that she has publicly predicted, her accuracy rating is much lower.

How did Sylvia do?
Sylvia Browne made a prediction that she thought McCain would win, but she picked Barack anyway because she thought America needed him. So she thought it would be McCain but picked Barack. This is essentially unscorable. If I want to be a jerk, I could say FAIL because technically she called it for McCain and went against herself and picked Obama anyway. If I wanted to be very generous I could score a HIT because even though her gut told her McCain, she picked Barack.

I’m scoring her an EPIC FAIL because if she was psychic and could predict future events she should have just plain known the answer without any of this double speak and “it’s close” qualifiers. In fact, her wording betrays her guesses. It shouldn’t matter how close the election is beforehand, if you are psychic then you should know the result regardless of previous information. The fluctuating situation before knowing the results should not affect the difficulty of the prediction unless it’s nothing more than a guess.

As to her other predictions: the president will have a heart attack, the vice president will take over and declare war on North Korea, North Korea will have WMDs, the vice president will then be assassinated, there will be an investigation which will uncover missing funds, there will be a revelation that there was a conspiracy against Americans to make them distrust their own government… That is one exciting term! She’s covered pretty much every political disaster that could possibly occur (change in leadership, a war, an assassination, an investigation, a conspiracy) in the next 4 years.

I can’t wait to see how all of this unfolds and how Sylvia’s camp will score ANY leadership change, war, assassination, investigation, or “conspiracy” as a HIT regardless of the specificity of her claims. Time will tell…

PS…The US gave Barack a chance, now it’s up to him to not fuck it up. We’ll be waiting for all that “change” everyone was promised.

UPDATE: Black people are in, but gay people can go to hell (apparently). It’s always something. Can’t we all just get along?

Sylvia Browne’s Predictions for the 2008 Election

Sylvia Browne has a history of making “predictions” for upcoming events that are (or may be) of public interest. For instance, celebrity weddings, natural disasters, and elections. Robert Lancaster has a fantastic Stop Sylvia Browne website dedicated to examining her claims, including this article about election predictions.

Unfortunately, Robert had a stroke a few months back (updates here) and is unable to continue his diligent work at the moment. Browne has recently made another prediction for this year’s election, which I will now examine. I’m a poor substitute, but I write this article in honour of Robert and I wish him a continued speedy recovery.

Here is a video link to Browne’s prediction, which she made following a live webcast. I’ll transcribe what she said:

“[Reading fan’s question:] ‘My question is who will be elected? Barack Obama or John McCain?’ [Her answer:] It’s…getting very close and, um, I – I don’t know. I – I really thought at one time…that it might be the – eh – Barack but I’m leaning a little bit towards John McCain now but that sounds like I’m doing a double thing. But I’m still going to stick with Barack Obama…Uh, because I think people need a new regime, I really do.”

Context
This prediction was made on 18 September 2008. At this time, the polls were very close between McCain and Obama, with Obama up a bit following McCain choosing Palin and Obama choosing Biden as their running mates in late August. (Note: I’m not saying these events are necessarily related, this is just a timeline to place Browne’s comments in context.)

Important Points
Note first that according to the timeline above, anybody who was closely following the election at that time could have made this statement.

Note second that she hedges her bets by saying that she thinks it will be John McCain, but she’s going to stick with Barack Obama. Either McCain wins and her instinct was correct (“I’m leaning towards John McCain”), or Obama wins and her choice was correct (“I’m still going to stick with Barak Obama”). This ensures that either candidate winning could be scored as a hit. She even jokes about hedging her bet (“sounds like I’m doing a double thing”).

Note third that the reason she makes the choice of Obama is not because she’s claiming that she thinks he will win, but because she thinks that he should win. This is a soft claim which allows her to hedge her bets once again. If Obama wins, it’s because she said he would. If McCain wins, well she didn’t exactly say he wouldn’t, just that people need Obama.

That all being said, she made this “prediction” on the spiritnow website which is linked via her Wiki page: “I predict the President elected sometime after 2008 will die in office from a heart attack. The Vice President who will finish their term will have an unpopular and mistaken intention to declare war on North Korea. By that time, North Korea will have weapons of mass destruction. In the middle of efforts to declare war, I predict the Vice President will be assassinated. There will be a worldwide investigation into the Vice President’s death with both pleasant and unpleasant surprises. A lot of attention will be paid to one of the investigative congressional committees and serious accusations will be made regarding missing funds. Finally, it will be revealed that their accusations are part of a conspiracy to damage the American people’s faith in their government, with the media manipulated to “fan the flames,” and the committee will be vindicated in the end.”

It certainly sounds like she thinks McCain will win and someone will shoot the first female president, but she doesn’t explicitly say it. Regardless, if the next president doesn’t die of a heart attack within their term, her prediction is in trouble. She also makes several other specific claims about the government in general.

Conclusions
It is important to note that Sylvia Browne has already made predictions about this year’s election that have not come true. She claimed twice that she thought that a democrat would win the election. However, she also said that Clinton would never run and that Kerry would. Given the low approval ratings for the republican party late in Bush’s reign, it is not terribly surprising that she favoured a democrat at this time.

I don’t want to seem like I’m “picking on her” by pointing out other explanations for why she (or anyone else) could make the above statement and be correct without there being anything psychic involved. I hope simply to illustrate that what she has done in the case of predicting this election is not impressive. She is a nationally known psychic with dozens of books and a multi-million dollar business. As such, she should be held to a standard above what the average psychic could predict, and so certainly above what the average person can predict.

Summary
She has made a series of incorrect statements in the past about the 2008 election and most recently she has made statements that are at best unfalsifiable (i.e., either outcome could be considered a “hit”). Ultimately she picked who she hopes will win, in the words of Robert Lancaster, “making her no better than the rest of us”. I agree. Her statement cannot be analyzed for accuracy, because she has structured it in such a way that she could be correct no matter what the outcome. However, I will update with the outcome and provide analysis the best I can.

Just for Fun

  • I predict that Obama will win the election with between 55 and 60 percent of the popular vote.
  • I predict that the US will not be made into a Muslim state the next day.

Let’s see how I do.

The "New" Unsolved Mysteries – A Needless Analysis

So it’s come to this. We’re not only retreading old movies, but now old defunct “reality” television shows.

Remember Robert Stack? I bet you do. And I bet I know where you remember him from. You might remember him from Airplane, sure, but chances are what immediately springs to mind is Unsolved Mysteries. It only ran for frigging 15 years.

Well, last night I managed to catch a bit of the newly relaunched Unsolved Mysteries while I was studying. Brand new host, brand new stories. Really? Let’s take a look at what they covered.

1) Various unsolved disappearances, murders, etc.
2) The ever relevant and topical issue of the death of Elvis — accident or suicide?
3) An alleged UFO sighting. [Note: I’m pretty sure this is the one, based on the description in the show, but admittedly I don’t remember the name of the town so it’s possible I am wrong. But I’m 99% sure this is the sighting they were describing.]

So the best they could do in 2008 is continue the trend of sneaking pseudoscience and paranormal garbage in with perfectly reasonable “mysteries” such as a disappearance, theft, or death. And what they decided to stick in was something irrelevant about Elvis and a UFO story from 1965 as told by two eyewitnesses who were children when the event occurred and who even describe it themselves as looking like a meteor.

Well, I guess some things never change.

Comments on 2) — Is the way Elvis died really relevant anymore? I mean, does it change anything if he died on purpose or by accident given that it happened so long ago and the outcome is the same (i.e., it’s not like their searching for some unknown murderer)? So, it escapes me why they would bring it up again in 2008.

Comments on 3) — The UFO story was just pathetic. I mean, I watched this show as a kid and they had me roped right into this stuff. However, I was just a dumb kid so what did I know? But even so, watching it last night, it seemed like they weren’t even trying anymore. It was laugh-out-loud hilariously bad.

Two men describe seeing a fiery object in the sky land in the woods a bike-ride away. They go to the site later and the military tells them to get lost due to a “quarantine” [educational note: quarantine does not necessarily mean weird or diseased, just sequestered for some reason]. So obviously if the American military was involved, were secretive (imagine that), and they issued a quarantine of the area it had to be that the object was an alien spacecraft. Also because the object appeared to be moving “too slow” and seemed to turn in midair, according to eyewitnesses.

There is no other reasonable explanation and anyone who denies that it was aliens is just being a stupid shithead government tool.

Or maybe one (with faulty eyewitnesses) or multiple (thus explaining the apparent change in trajectory) high altitude meteor(s) was/were spotted that night and the military tracked it and went to investigate, thus quarantining the area to prevent contamination of the samples or having little children get injured by being near a big, hot space rock. Or it could have been a downed satellite and they didn’t want people to see it or know about it.

No, it was aliens. If it wasn’t aliens, the military would have just said so, right? Why’d they “hide” what they were doing?

Um, maybe because it’s the frigging military and they are secret about stuff that may be relevant to national security.

Oooooh, right. That totally reasonable explanation…I forgot about that… But then do the math: Military + scary word (quarantine) = obviously blatant conspiracy. So case closed.

Ok then. Obviously it’s likely that aliens built interstellar spacecraft, set off their planet, survived the ravages of ultra-long-distance space travel, discovered Earth, and just as they came to visit us they turned a few times in the atmosphere (while crashing — as the fiery acrobatics in the lower atmosphere, if true, indicate), and hit the ground. Much more likely than, say, one or more meteors (or a satellite) traveling at high altitude with few comparison objects for speed and distance being mistaken for a UFO by 2 children and several eyewitnesses who were putting facts together after the fact to make things sound, unintentionally or not, more mysterious than they were.

That’s never happened before, so that couldn’t possibly be the case now. Come on, guys. Military. Spoooooky.

So I give this new retread of Unsolved Mysteries 1.5 evil sock puppets out of a possible 5. Obviously the main source of my disappointment was the craptacularity of their UFO story. If you’re going to try to convince people that a UFO story is just as legitimate to deserve investigation as the disappearance and/or murder of someone, shouldn’t it be a little better than “something that looked like a meteor/satellite, behaved like a meteor/satellite, and crashed like a meteor/satellite was obviously an alien spacecraft”? I at least expected Photoshopped pictures alleged to be real pictures of the UFO, but the best they had was artist renderings and reenactment props. And I mean, Elvis? Really?

Totally lame, Unsolved Mysteries. Totally lame. The Stack would be ashamed.

John Freaking Hogue and his pal Nostradamus

Taken less and less seriously with each passing year, John Hogue seems to have been a part of every single show about Nostradamus that I have ever seen. You may remember Nostradamus from documentaries that are shown on such channels as Discovery, History, and The Learning Channel – thus solidifying each in the science hall of shame. (To Discovery’s credit, they did once air a show entitled Nostradamus: A Skeptical Inquiry which incensed Hogue enough to write an open letter to the director.)

Recently my waning tolerance of Hogue finally came to a head. I can’t say for sure what set it off. Perhaps it was his promotion that Nostradamus had predicted 9/11 (more on this later). Perhaps it’s the way he refers to himself as a “rogue scholar”. Suffice it to say I’d had enough. I suppose I shouldn’t be worried about someone who’s so culturally irrelevant he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but the sheer volume of books and television programs featuring Hogue warrants a discussion of him and Nostradamus.

If you believe the shows you see on TV, Hogue is the only person in the world who knows anything about Nostradamus. When a show about Nostradamus starts, it’s a fun game to guess how long it will take for Hogue’s funny hat and long beard to appear. Now, IMDb has Hogue listed in only 3 documentaries, so I’m not sure if it’s that he’s had bit parts in several documentaries and news programs that weren’t credited in his IMDb listing or if they simply keep airing the same 3 documentaries on TV over and over and over and over again. Either way, I find whenever Nostradamus comes up, it’s only a matter of time before Hogue peeks around the corner to pipe in about some quatrain or other. According to Hogue’s website, he appears on the radio frequently, as well.

James Randi, personal hero, seems to like Hogue just about as much as I do. He discusses Hogue briefly in his online glossary entry for Nostradamus and has referred to Hogue as a “Nostradamian”. Penn & Teller (forever represented as a pair with an ampersand instead of “and”) also featured Hogue in a non-too-flattering light on their Bullshit! episode entitled “End of the World” where they discussed some of Nostradamus’ predictions. The reason for the open hostility and ridicule towards Hogue, I think, comes from the fact that he’s not a simple everyday Nostradamian – he presents the prophecies not as an interesting historical sidebar, but as fact.

Another reason to be annoyed with Hogue is his tendency to present the quatrains of Nostradamus as if his interpretation is the standard accepted version. This combined with the sheer volume of literature that he has promoted on the subject leads to a general acceptance of his voice as the voice of Nostradamus himself. This is a problem considering the heavy revisions that he has made to his books over the years when predictions that he has made turned out not to come true. As Randi discusses on Bullshit! with books in hand, Hogue had decided in Nostradamus and the Millennium that Nostradamus indicated the anti-christ as Ayatollah Khomeini, but when AM died he reprinted his book and updated the anti-christ to be Saddam Hussein. Now that he’s dead too, I wonder what the next edition will say… My vote is on Osama bin Laden, but he might already be too old school and I’m thinking Hogue’s publishers might want to avoid a 4th reprint.

Ok enough ad hominem arguments about Hogue. Let’s get to how he’s making these little “predictions” and interpretations of Nostradamus’ poems…ahem, sorry, prophecies. First, we have to remember that Nostradamus wrote poems. The insistence on using the word “quatrain” instead of “stanza” gives the air of elegance and mystery to something that’s just a freaking poem. Quatrain means “4-lined stanza”. It doesn’t mean “accurate prediction.”

These poems are interpreted in several ways:
– First, they were written in French, so they are often translated into English. Anyone who is bilingual will realize there can often be certain subtle meanings lost in this step alone. Moving on.
– Second, the vague metaphors have to he interpreted into literal events.
– Third, the details have to be matched up to real-life world events. Note that these events are matched up after they have already occurred, so the prophecies serve no useful purpose in stopping any major atrocities and don’t serve to enrich our lives. For example: “Wow, we could totally have stopped that horrible thing from happening if only we had interpreted Nostradamus correctly beforehand.” Yeah, that feels awesome.

And those are the most acceptable of the steps of interpretation. Some much less acceptable steps include:
– The practice of using either French or English words in the prediction depending on which suits the situation better.
– You can apparently replace letters with other letters if need be or reverse words. For example, with the anti-christ business, MABUS was reversed to make SUBAM. He then “replaced” the U to be SABAM, which of course equals SADDAM. There you go. Anti-christ. ??? He also makes MABUS into WABUS by upturning the M and pronounces the S as SH to make W. BUSH. I guess the “George” not being there isn’t an issue. So in Hogues own interpretation he has demonstrated that anyone can make anything out of a single word. Let me try one. MABUS = PARUS which obviously refers to PARIS. OMG, Paris Hilton is the anti-christ!!! Ridiculous.
Making shit up entirely (and it’s not even really that noticeable).
– Mixing up several different quatrains to fit an event.

Now one of Nostradamus’ most famous predictions: 9/11. (Note that Hogue himself cannot entirely shoulder the blame for this disgusting and manipulative piece of shit, as many Nostradamus enthusiasts participated in this one, but he has presented this on TV as if it were fact and for that I can’t let him slide.) The poem goes like this:

Cinq & quarante degrés ciel bruslera,
Feu approucher de la grand cité neufve,
Instant grand flamme esparse saultera,
Quant on voudra des Normans faire preuve:

Which is translated as:

Five and forty degrees, the sky shall burn:
To great ‘New City’ shall the fire draw nigh.
With vehemence the flames shall spread and churn
When with the Normans they conclusions try.

I guess if he were talking about New York he should have written it this way:

Zero point five and forty degrees, the buildings shall burn:
To great ‘New York City’ shall the planes draw nigh.
The flames shall weaken and collapse the buildings
It was Muslim extremists, go arrest them.

Well it doesn’t rhyme, but at least it’s accurate. Hogue says about the 5 and 40 business “He’s a little off there.” Um, ya think? I live around 45 degrees latitude and it’s nowhere near New York City, which is at 40.5. It should be noted that many Nostradamus interpreters say that “New City” is Villeneuve-sur-Lot in France (ville = city, neuve = new) which is located near 45 degrees latitude. Naples also means “new city”, but is also located around 40 degrees latitude. The latitude discussion is important to note as it demonstrates again how one phrase can be interpreted several ways depending on the motivations of the reader and their knowledge of basic geography.

There are various real-life events that the Nostradamus crowd has claimed that he predicted, with as many being debunked by those who bother to look into it. Many of these predictions have been promoted by Hogue on various documentaries and in various books. Hogue seems to be using Nostradamus to promote his own ideas and predictions in a public forum. It makes sense. It takes the marketing powers of Sylvia Browne to get enough street cred so that your own name is enough to sell books. So Hogue uses Nostradamus’ familiar handle to avoid that little snag.

Frankly I find the practice of misinterpreting, manipulating, and promoting the garbled results of Nostradamus’ work just as disingenuous and destructive as what the likes of John Edward, Silvia Browne, and James van Praagh do on a regular basis. Predicting the future has inherent philosophical implications including ideas like fate and free will. The obvious conclusion is that the 3000 or so people that died on 9/11 were fated to die and Nostradamus predicted it but didn’t think well enough about the event to write clearly and succinctly such that we’d be adequately warned and could take appropriate steps to avoid as many casualties as possible. I mean, even if you say the event was fated to happen because he described it, he didn’t say how many died so what if we had simply been able to evacuate the buildings, for example?

Well, I suppose it’s ok that Nostradamus was vague and French because we have the tireless John Hogue to tell us what he meant, and surely Hogue wouldn’t be victim to the same biases, ambitions, and translational errors as the rest of humanity…. Right? Riiiiiight. [The internet seriously needs an international sign for sarcasm.] If Hogue can simply change letters, reverse words, and mix quatrains enough to make them read the way he wants them to, what’s the use of referencing the original Nostradamian text as the source? If I ever for some reason want to learn about Nostradamus’ poems, I’ll go read the original French poems for myself; not a bastardized English translation that could have been written by any nut job that wants them to read a certain way. I’m not that into poetry though, so it’s unlikely. And I don’t need them to know that vague arrangements of metaphors that can be interpreted in any way I want are ultimately useless. I just wish assholes like Hogue would keep that shit to themselves and stop promoting paranoid poems as factual prophecies.

Doomsday 2012

We’re all gonna die!!!!!! Don’t even bother to head for the hills because they will be gone and/or on fire in 2012.

This is according to the most recent End-of-the-World (EotW) scenario to make the rounds since the year 2000 and the pyramid nonsense. What is this ironclad prediction that has doomed us to oblivion? A calendar that didn’t go on forever. Seriously.

So the Mayans were all like…

Mayan #1: “I’m sick of this shit, I don’t even know if it’s Tuesday, let’s make us a calendar.”
Mayan Scribe: “Sure, we can do that. How far do you want us to go with it?”
Mayan #1: “Well just count upward until some arbitrary date that’s waaaay in the future so that we’re good for a while. I mean, it’s not like you can count forever.”
Mayan Scribe: “Surely not! Haha. Ok I’ll do one cycle and then call it a day. Does that work for you?”
Mayan #1: “Sounds like a plan. Peace out, bro.”
Mayan Scribe: “Holla.”

So any reasonable person would realize that when you make a calendar, you’re probably going to have to stop counting eventually. Particularly if you don’t have a computer. Right? For example, we typically sell calendars for 1-year periods so that we’re not hanging phonebook-sized almanacs of future dates of a tiny wall nail. But instead of realizing that, a group of crazy fucknuts (note that “wiki” does not equal “true”) has interpreted the Mayan calendar ending as “Doomsday” [insert scary music and wavy text indicating that you should be afraid, veeeeeery afraid]. There is even a low-budget straight-to-video movie about it from a Christian point-of-view.

So basically the end of the Mayan arbitrary calendar that miraculously did not go on forever coincides with our arbitrary calendar at the year 2012, on December 21 to be exact. Too bad they couldn’t go with the obvious numerology and make it December 12 (12/12/12)…oh well. The way they count is that they go through a cycle from 0-13 (for a total of 14). There’s a lot of unpronounceable Mayan names for the various components of the dates and the calculations are very complicated so I’ll trust the reader to go find out on their own if they really want to. Suffice it to say, that the Mayans started counting a cycle at around our calendar date of 3114 BCE (so on their calendar 0.0.0.0.0) and the cycle ends at 2012 CE (their calendar 13.0.0.0.0). That’s it. There is no indication that the end of the calendar in 2012 is anything more than a simple mathematical foible. By the logic that there will be nothing after the calendar ends, there is nothing before the calendar started too. Because if they had another “0-13” cycle before that surely the world would have ended after that one, right?

Here’s my favorite part. So when Nostradamus was all popular and “predicting” events everyone jumped on that. Well the days came and went and we sort of forgot about Nostradamus because the so-called predictions were useless until an event happened and the quatrains were subsequently reinterpreted by John Hogue to fit the recent event. Then the year 2000 brought Y2K and the pyramid “calendars” and when nothing happened we forgot about that too. Now we have the rapture being predicted every year, but because that’s a bunch of American evangelicals, we can ignore them pretty easily as “religious nuts”.

The Mayans however have the paranormal trifecta of 1) ancient, 2) mysterious, and 3) intelligent. Because their society is old and we’re such egotistical bastards, it’s totally adorable and amazing that they were at all intelligent. So if they do anything at all, like write calendars, it must have some hidden meaning and be even more intelligent and anciently wise than we can possibly interpret. I’m not sure how that makes sense, but that seems to be the vibe from these people. Hello, the Mayans lived only a few thousand years ago, that’s nothing in evolutionary terms. We still have essentially the same brains. Sigh. Moving on.

The Mayan Doomsday crowd makes no verifiable predictions of the end of the world so there’s no signs to look for that can be falsified and no weird religious beliefs that can be ridiculed. The Mayan calendar just ends. Beautiful. It’s the perfect scenario for the local doomsayer. And after 2012 has gone by with no ill effects, we’ll have some other “prediction” to look forward to. And if something bad ever does happen in a year that the people who guess every year happened to have guessed again, we’ll get the “aha!” of triumph and glee that they were proven right.

No I was wrong that’s my favorite part. The fact that these people are so determined to believe that the world is doomed. How do these people go about their days believing this? Why even bother if you know the world is going to end? Also, as in this case, if this doom is inevitable and caused by the ending of a calendar and not the sum of our sins or something, why even bother to warn people? Do they want to cause needless panic? Do they want the satisfaction of being right? I find such satisfaction highly ironic, as if the world is ended they won’t be around to gloat to anyone anyway.

Anyway, there is no reason to believe that the 2012 doomsday is any more sensible than the other doomsdays that have come and gone with no ill-effects. Also, if something happens to occur in 2012 (as happens in every other calendar year) such as earthquakes, floods, disease, etc., it is not necessarily related to an ancient Mayan prediction. It could be a coincidence owing to the fact that, like I said, natural disasters and the like happen all the time. Basically for this prediction to be verified, the world will have to end. Done. Gone. So the only way to verify the 2012 doomsday is if there is no one around to verify it.

Unless there are degrees to the world ending. Maybe an Adam and Eve type are supposed to survive and repopulate? Is a temporary internet outage in North America enough to be considered the world ending? They’ve set this up so that pretty much anything can happen that year and it will confirm at least part of their belief that the world has “ended”. Maybe they just mean the world as we know it. Well, what the hell does that mean?

This year we had a prediction that the world was going to end on June 12th, 2008. [Looks around.] Well unless I’m in some weird limbo where I still have my computer and access to a blog, I’d say that one is out the window. This was on the heels of a previous prediction that the world was going to end in 2007 on June 12th. When that didn’t happen, the people promoting this were like “whoops, our bad it’s next year”. Even more interesting is that the exact same thing happened for June 12th, 2006.

One thing I noticed when getting links and information for this post was that the pages that talked about the world ending next year or something were likely to link to pages about other doomsday predictions such as 2012. These people just want the frigging Earth to explode. I mean, if you seriously believe that the world is going to end this year (or whenever), why would you even entertain the idea that the end of the world is on another day long enough to link to it?

Ok so I think I’ve ridiculed this enough for today – well no, this can’t possibly be ridiculed enough, but I have to stop typing eventually. By the way, I don’t want my inevitable cessation of typing to be interpreted such that the world will end if you get to the bottom of the page. I simply got tired of hearing myself complain. I’ll end with some bullet points:

  • Doomsday scenarios are ridiculous because they tell us nothing helpful and they are said to be inevitable in most cases anyway.
  • Every prediction of doomsday thus far has been wrong (obviously).
  • Any event ever that coincides with a “predicted” date can later be postdicted to match and interpreted as correct even if the event does not match the criteria of the original prediction. For example, after 9/11/2001 Nostradamus was all of a sudden predicting fire and brimstone with buildings in the “new” city (nonsense – and I’m DEFINITELY getting to John Hoag in a future post).
  • The practice of doomsaying is depressing and useless.

This is one of those things that’s not a matter of opinion so I don’t feel the need to be nice. Doomsaying is RIDICULOUS. It’s failed time and again. Even if it does predict something real, we’re all doomed so who cares? There’s nothing I can do about it, so why worry? Just be happy, accept your existence, and shut up.

Montel Williams’ Show CANCELLED

OMG! I just had a skeptic-gasm.

No more free hour-long infomercial for Sylvia Browne’s bullsh*t. No more yearly “predictions” (and by that I mean post-dictions and guesses) aired to millions of unsuspecting people. No more flagrant promotion of garbage on broadcast television. No more of SV’s ugly mug and 30-year-in-the-making smoker’s voice with her nasty, rude, and completely insulting comments to those who are desperate enough to seek her help when they have found no solace elsewhere (as if they’d get it from her – people like her don’t give a sh*t about anybody, except how much they are willing to pay for something they’re selling). And do you know why? ‘Cause that enabling bastard, Montel Williams, is GONE!

Wheeeeee!!!!

Just let me enjoy this for a while without reminding me that she can still write her stupid books and milk people out of 700$/phonecall for a “reading”.

But I’m sure Sylvia saw this coming a mile away… Right? Am I right? [crickets]

PS…Funny how I had the immediate urge to email Robert Lancaster (Stop Sylvia) like I was telling him he’d won a million dollars. But, alas, people who aren’t in school all day got to it before me. :(