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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 21-Dec-12


Friday 21-December-12

The End of the World

According to the Mayans (or perhaps according to interpreters of the Mayans), the world will end today. Or maybe the world will just change today. Or perhaps something Big will happen. So I thought I'd better hold my breath and write a quick blog. Just in case, you know.

Actually, the Mayans world ended pretty quickly as the European conquistadors strip mined the Mayan wealth, fracking their culture in the process. How the West was won is a story that was once told in stories of glory and gold, yet the reality was somewhat more tawdry. And perhaps that's the way it's going to go. Out with a whimper rather than a bang. Or maybe a bigger bang than we had expected.

History is littered with prophets who have predicted not only the end of the world but other cataclysmic events. In recent years, for example, those who predicted the economic chaos in the global banking system have gained great credibility, while those who predicted an ever climbing market lost their shirts. But how do you gain that fame? How can you predict momentous events?

The answer is simple: predict lots of them. Your failures will be forgotten, but the few accurate (or even nearly accurate) forecasts will wow the crowds and bring you great fame, and maybe fortune too. Whatever you do, don't predict more of the same. Look for tipping points, over- or under- supply, social frustrations, resource funnels and other indicators that you can later point to and say 'I saw the weak causal indicators'. Or, if you like, claim to have been told the future by aliens or your preferred deity.

So here's a few predictions myself for next year, should there be one, of course. If any of these suggestions come true, then you heard it here first. If none happens, then just forget it:

  • The sticking-plaster band-aid fixes to the Western Economy will start to unravel and we will slip into chaos again, with major firm failures, mass unemployment and collapsing governments.
  • A major new source of mass bio-engineered fuel will be proven, reshaping the global balance of power as oil countries see their power slip away.
  • War will break out between superpowers that will be won and lost in cyberspace, including threats and action to disable a whole country's computer-controlled infrastructure.
  • A cure for a major illness will be discovered.
  • There will be revolution in European countries with replacement of governments by force rather than election.
  • Proof of alien life will at last be found.
  • A little-known prophet called David Straker will gain great fortune because of one of his lucky predictions.

Addendum: 22 Dec and we're still here! Whee!

Your comments

 One quick note. The Mayan world did not end with European conquistadors stripping away their wealth, it ended with disease brought by the Europeans, you probably knew about it, just wanted to put that out there.

 -- Isaac V

Dave replies:
Fair comment, Isaac. Syphilis seems to have come back the other way, which perhaps gives new meaning to 'Montezuma's Revenge'.

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