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18 April 2012

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2012\04A: An Urgent Report

Noting the nuttiness of people's fears, the extent to which they are convinced that the world, as usual, is just about to end, I have been noting the nature of those who seem to love the sort of hysteria surrounding the prospect of an asteroid doing us all in.

It's a metaphor, you dopes. A metaphor for whatever fashionable piffle children are being taught to wet their beds over - by which I mean the idea that man can alter the world's temperature through self-flaggelation and feelings of sever contrition, and that a giant human-caused-weather-related wave is coming to wipe us out. Even the landlocked.

I thought I was beavering away in lonely isolation. Now, even storied philosophical figure and popular writer Pascal Bruckner is starting to get worried about our worries (and distracting preoccupations with something that only matters to a haldful of detached activists).
Around the turn of the twenty-first century, a paradigm shift in our thinking took place: we decided that the era of revolutions was over and that the era of catastrophes had begun. The former had involved expectation, the hope that the human race would proceed toward some goal. But once the end of history was announced, the Communist enemy vanquished, and, more recently, the War on Terror all but won, the idea of progress lay moribund. What replaced the world’s human future was the future of the world as a material entity. The long list of emblematic victims—Jews, blacks, slaves, proletarians, colonized peoples—was likewise replaced, little by little, with the Planet, the new paragon of all misery. No longer were we summoned to participate in a particular community; rather, we were invited to identify ourselves with the spatial vessel that carried us, groaning.
And so forth, undsoweiter: the fear of wrong simply becomes fear, and redemption, well - if you don't beileve in anything, you won't find any of that either.
The Christian apocalypse saw itself as a hopeful revelation of the coming of God’s kingdom. Today’s has nothing to offer. There is no promise of redemption; the only hope is that those human beings who repent of their errors may escape the chaos, as in Cormac McCarthy’s fine novel The Road. How can we be surprised, then, that so many bright minds have become delirious and that so many strange predictions flourish?
As far as I'm concerned, if you're preoccupied by human extinction, and have a "love-hate" relationship with the idea, make a good example of yourself and go first. After all, if the life of all of us is a cheap tool to make yourself heard, then your life is unserious and cheap to begin with.

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