"…."Many people don’t have training in science, and so they may very well misunderstand the science. But because they don’t have the knowledge to evaluate it, they don’t realize how off their evaluations might be."
"There is no obvious remedy for the one-two punch of widespread misinformation and a lack of mental tools for evaluating it…"
Um, yes, yes there is: education. It’s yet another argument for more education for more people, most especially science education. The US has been doing a terrible job of getting enough people into science, technology, engineering, & math careers; we could do much, much better . ..
This pretty much sums up so much gold-bug philosophy for me:
"…The dicey thing here is that it could take many, many years for the mining to get under way, by which point the U.S. economy may have rebounded and the price of gold may have tanked again, thus turning a gold mine into another heap of unviable dirt. A few days later, I mention this to an exploration guy at a hard-rock firm. "Yeah," he says. "I guess we’re just all hoping that things in America stay bad."…"
The hucksterism over gold is so reminiscent of tulip salesmen in 17th century Holland & the inundation of barely coherent sales pitches during the most recent US housing bubble. A coupla choice quotes:
"…"Until governments use gold as a basis for their currencies we are going to have higher gold prices … if you are investing in gold you have to look at the long term and that means 3-5 years."…"
"…"The fourth quarter of 2011 has shaken out a lot of hot money that came in over the summer but longer term, people who are buying gold don’t look for a short term return."…"
"…"With gold you own physical property," says Ash, "you are not a creditor anymore with gold."…"
I love the longing for a return to the gold standard by all those gold-owners & sellers who always leave out of their sales pitches how a widespread return to the gold standard would radically increase gold prices. (It’s part of the whole point of returning to ‘hard money’ that ‘holds its value’, to make money so valuable that life’s ‘worthless losers’ won’t be able to hold any of it.) Of course gold-owners & sellers want their otherwise largely useless (but pretty!) metal to greatly increase in value & their monetary wealth to effortlessly increase — who doesn’t?!
…real events that we might be able to do something about are having disastrous effects, and people focus their attention on an event that isn’t going to happen.
& remember your towel.
[Part of a recurring series.]
Before the Rapturists start twitchin’ & moanin’ & speakin’ in tongues about how this is a sign of the end times, I’d prefer to reference that we live on a ‘geologically active’ planet. Earthquakes happen all over the place, not just the Ring of Fire or other exotic places. See, for examples, this list of big quakes in the Eastern, Southern, & Midwestern parts of the US:
"…[The New Madrid] earthquakes remain the most powerful earthquakes ever to hit the eastern United States in recorded history. These events, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within Missouri.
"There are estimates that the earthquakes were felt strongly over roughly 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 square miles), and moderately across nearly 3 million square kilometers (1 million square miles). The historic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, by comparison, was felt moderately over roughly 16,000 square kilometers (6,000 square miles)….”
[Manhattan, Kansas, that is.]1
Harold Camping, you got some ‘splainin’ to do. At least to those who believed you … . . ;)
"…Camping, who made a special appearance before the press at the Oakland headquarters of the media empire Monday evening, apologized for not having the dates "worked out as accurately as I could have." Through chatting with a friend over what he acknowledged was a very difficult weekend, the light dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a "spiritual" Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ’s judgment, he said…."
"…"We’re not in the business of financial advice," he said. "We’re in the business of telling people there’s someone who you can maybe talk to, maybe pray to, and that’s God."
"But he said he wouldn’t give away all his possessions ahead of Oct 21.
""I still have to live in a house, I still have to drive a car," he said. "What would be the value of that? If it is Judgment Day why would I give it away?"…"
So, we still have October 21st to look forward to, more tears of disappointed fundies to feast on …. . :D
There were atheists blowing up balloons in human form, which were released into the sky just after 6 p.m. in a mockery of the rapture.
Just like disasters & war are good for selling news broadcasts, apocalypse is good for selling that old time religion … . .
"…Family Radio has 66 stations that broadcast around the world and they’ve raised over $100 million, much of it from donations. Part of that money was spent on flashy trucks and signs…."
"…Family Radio will not be giving away any of its money before Saturday, they’ll be paying their bills right up until the end…."
It’s the end of the world as we know it … . . ;)
I keep hearing that refrain, year after year, decade after decade . .. . But since I love change & can’t wait for the future to get here now now now, I think I come at this stuff from a different angle than the assorted apocalyptomaniacs . …
Apocalypticism & Suicidal Ideation
There are doom-seekers in plenitude. This post is intended to help the reader notice the connection between doom-mongering & depression.
I have struggled with massive depression & suicidal feelings for over 30 years. It was only in the last couple of decades that I noticed the suicidal ideation buried in the apocalyptic fantasies of supposedly non-suicidal & ostensibly ‘happy’ people around me.
The next time someone starts predicting the crumbling of modern society, the destruction of everything around us, the end of it all, I want to encourage you to hear the excitement that can be found in the doomcriers voice, to hear the hope for catastrophic extinction that fuels these dreams of endtimes. This is the suppressed voice of depression seeking the catharsis of suicide so enormous, they’d take all the world along. Thru projective displacement the repressed depressed seek to throw out their bad feelings, their fears & anxieties & stresses, onto the world around them. Blameless for their suicidal feelings, guilt free, without the taint of mental illness, the doomcrier projects out their own desire to kill themselves onto the evil world. Ritual emotional purification of the wrong of intense self-harm.
Let me sketch out my thinking on this a little more.
I’ve observed that there are emotions which are considered (by society &/or individuals) to be ‘bad emotions’, negative, undesirable. Some people are comfortable with owning & appropriately wallowing about in all of their feelings, & some are not. Some are structurally prohibited from admitting to feeling this or that emotion.
For example, I frequently make use of the notion of ‘properly masculine men’ having a fairly limited set of ‘acceptable’ emotions. It’s usually mostly okay if ‘masculine men’ evidence stoicism, some form of pleasure (happiness or some such), & anger (preferably righteous anger). & they are most especially supposed to squash any of the fear spectra of feelings. Jocularity in the face of death, tough upper lips, thick skins, & all that … . .
But I also know that most humans most of the time should experience the full range of emotions being generated in their brains. Feelings are chemical reactions in the brain to perceptions of stimuli, basically.
This presents a structural quandary. Many men, I would expect, will experience emotions that they’re ‘not supposed to’. What happens to those squirts of chemicals across synapses when they’re denied / suppressed / avoided, especially in a systemic way? All kinds of things, of course. Projective displacement is a big one, in my view.
Another example of ‘disowned emotion’ is that, across genders, ‘depression’, angst, & suicidal feelings are perceived as evidence of ‘wrongness’, ‘brokenness’, ‘mental illness’ & so on & so forth. Socially it is problematic to share those feelings, even if individually it might be the healthier choice. Again, what happens to all that bleakness if its not allowed to see the light of day?
& what I think happens some of the time for some people is that their assorted repressed fears & despairs & agonies get projected out in a disowned manner, detached away from the individual feeler & out onto the broader world. The world is depressing, not I am depressed. The world is gonna die, not I will die someday or that I might feel like dying today … . . That kinda thing . … .
As per so much that I have to say, not the most popular opinion. & yet, there it is . .… .