mammalian nervous systems since 1988"
to get an "End of the World" nut to curb his Dogma
A few days
ago, I got an e-mail from a Japanese friend of mine who is a
journalist. He mentioned that the French seer Nostradamus had
gotten quite popular in his country, and wanted me to provide
more info and my opinions on this. Someone had interpreted his
writings to say that the world will end this month. This is being
taken very seriously by a number of people there. Some have actually
taken extended leaves of absence from high-paying jobs to hide
out in fallout centers this month!
I had heard mention of this in the news earlier, but did not
believe it to be more than tabloid journalism. When my Japanese
friend mentioned such hysteria, I was sort of surprised. Sure,
Japan has a rich cultural background which includes some superstition,
but I still thought it was a very realistic, high-tech culture
that would not have such crazed occurrences. Also, if you saw
the film "The Man who saw Tomorrow", hosted by the
late Orson Wells, you know that Nostradamus seemed to think that
the world will end thousands of years from now, not this month.
I think that because the Japanese are probably 100% Y2K-ready,
they need some sort of outlet for general millennial mass-hysteria.
that this just says that "End of the World" nuts are
global. I've been unfortunate enough to meet quite a share of
them. I am sure that almost all of us have met these characters
at one time or another. Most are pretty set in strict religious
beliefs and use this to justify any action that they take. When
they are walking down the street, carrying an "The End is
Nigh" sign, you can simply ignore them. When they are a
classmate, co-worker, or close friend of a friend, they are not
as easy to dismiss.
developed a four-step, sure-fire way to get these nuts to "Curb
their Dogma," at least in public.
- Talk with
them and define EXACTLY how and when the world will end, according
to them. (An angel trashing Las Vegas, for example) If they try
to give you a vague answer, say that you doubt the strength of
their beliefs and they will research an exact definition.
- Bet ANY
amount of money that it will NOT end on that date, nor in that
particular way. Do this, be it $5, $10, $100, or your car versus
their car. They might not believe in gambling, but if they are
certain of this date, is it truly gambling?
- The world
will NOT end on that date. How can I be sure of this? Well, it
has been estimated that in America alone, a group of at least
1000 people or more has predicted the end of the world on every
other year for this last century. As we can see, they have been
- Once world
does not end, they will avoid you and be less vocal. This is
not out of fear of having to pay you a large amount of money.
What has happened is that they have accidentally given you a
piece of proof that their "Perfect" system of belief
is in error. This is what they fear far more than the "End
of the World."
the world just might end. Of course the money you bet would then
be a moot point.
portfolio / archives
1999, bOING bOING