Posted by: Harold Knight | 01/08/2010

I can hardly wait until 2012. Your Mother and NOSTRADAMUS

(Please note: I invite you , of course, to read other
postings. Go to: sumnonrabidus.wordpress.com/
for the most recent, or click on “Monthly Archives”
to find titles of previous writings. Thank you.)

Back in the day, I collected temperance songs, temperance song books. My favorite of the songs was, “If you love your mother, meet her in the skies.” It’s no great mystery why I was so enamored of Temperance Songs: I was a drunk. TMI.

I don’t regret much, but I do regret giving away my collection of temperance song books when I moved from Massachusetts to Dallas. Some towns around here are still “dry.” I don’t care who drinks or isn’t allowed to drink where, but that throwback to “legislating morality” helps make sense of such Texas ideas as “pro-life,” “pro-family” [straight families, that is], and “pro-Creationism.”  Singing temperance now and then might be useful in Texas. My late ex-wife and I were in a group that used to sing them in four-part harmony, elegantly and with straight faces.  My late ex-wife spent thousands of dollars chasing Jeremiah Sitchin around the world, as did a community of which she was part. Jeremiah Sitchin’s contribution (sic) to the history of ideas is as follows:
This story began with predictions that Nibiru, supposedly a planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. Zecharia Sitchin, who writes fiction about the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, claimed in several books (e.g., The Twelfth Planet, published in 1976) that he has found and translated Sumerian documents that identify the planet Nibiru, orbiting the Sun every 3,600 years. Sitchin has sold many books about these Sumerian fables, which include stories of “ancient astronauts” called the Anunnaki who aided the Sumerians. (1)

My late ex-wife was a remarkably intelligent woman who, from time to time, was possessed of great insight. She was also hypergraphic—I have boxes and boxes and boxes of her diaries and “ideas for future writing.” She was also Bipolar. Weren’t we a fine pair? I tell all of that not to sully her reputation (she has no direct heirs, and was very open about herself) but to give some background for what I have to say.

I can’t wait for 2012.

I know what’s going to happen. I watch the History and Discovery channels. We’re doomed. Kaput. Annihilated. Finished. The World is Coming to an End: Buy Your Ticket Now!

I think it’s safe to assume you’ve heard about “The Nostradamus Effect” and/or the predictions of the end of time in the Mayan calendar. This information, these iron-clad predictions are in sync with each other and with many other end-time theories, so they must, by the sheer weight of their evidence, be true. The world will end in two years.

One of the logical fallacies indulged in most often by student writers is the“Post hoc ergo propter hoc” means, literally, “after this therefore because of this.” The post hoc fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because one thing occurred after another, it must have occurred as a result of it.

Post Hoc is one of the fallacies of reasoning indulged in by the purveyors (perfectly sane and intelligent people like Jeremiah Sitchin and my late ex-wife) of the “truths” about 2012. I have no interest in refuting these wacko theories. In fact, no one needs to refute them.

Pseudoscience never predicts what may happen under certain circumstances, but explains what happened after the fact. For example, Freudian psychoanalysis and the ‘predictions’ of Nostradamus always involve post hoc analyses of events and are not helpful in predicting future behavior or events.(2)

No one used Nostradamus to predict 9/11 before it happened. Someone found in the Quatrains something that looked as if it predicted the tragedy, and voilà, Nostradamus is a prophet (of course, the first such quatrain that was “found” was made up by someone on the internet, but that is of no consequence to me).

I’m mainly interested in the wackiness of the Nostradamus Effect and other such beliefs because of my mental connection to them. WAIT! I didn’t say I believe this wackiness for one minute. But I understand why some are so determined to know the exact time of the end of the earth.

One of the symptoms of depression (the clinical kind, not the kind you fall into because the IRS is after you and you don’t have any money and the jig is up) is a preoccupation with death. In my case, it’s a preoccupation with being dead. End-time theorists are obsessed with death. But they don’t have the guts to face it square on. So they make up doomsday accounts so they won’t have to face leaving the world the way they came into it: alone.

If we’re all going together when we go, then you and I won’t have to face the ultimate reality of being human alone. We can all hold hands, sing “Kumbaya”  and float off into the nothingness together. Or, better yet, if we know the exact time and date, we can ward off disaster somehow and cheat death (too bad, I’m so looking forward to another chorus of “Kumbaya”). Of course, these doomsayers deny one of the basic premises of the American Religion, “christianity,” which holds, in the purported language of Jesus, that we should, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherin the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:23).

In either case, hoping to get out of life in some kind of togetherness, or hoping not to leave this planet at all, these people have one thing in common: they are control freaks. If only they can figure things out exactly, they can prepare for any eventuality, all mystery (and thus terror) is removed from life, and they will fade happily into the sunset.

Just like conspiracy theorists of every stripe. If we can just prove that Dick Cheney planned 9/11, then we can take control of the government and usher in the day when the lion will lie down with the lamb. And then those who have saved us from the annihilation of 2012 (or led us in “Kumbaya”) will strew their garments and wave palms as David Griffith rides into Washington, not on a donkey, but in a Prius to save on carbon emissions, and Griffith and those who have proved beyond a doubt that Dick Cheney was also the mastermind of the assassination of John F. Kennedy will reign forever (surely if we cheat death on one day in 2012 we will live forever). The word of Nostradamus has spoken it.

And we can now, with great certainty sing, rather than “Kumbaya,” “If you love your mother, meet her in the sky.”
________________
( 1 )Morrison, David. “Update on the Nibiru 2012 doomsday.” Skeptical Inquirer 33.6 (2009): 57+.

Note:  David Morrison is the senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, where, among other things, he answers questions from the public submitted to the Web-based “Ask an Astrobiologist. ” A fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Morrison is a recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal of the American Astronomical Society for his contributions to public understanding of science. [Further note: Astrobiology is not some kooky science like Parapsychology. It is “…the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.” It is a relatively new and burgeoning branch of science. See NASA’s astrobiology website: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/]

( 2 ) Eddington, David. “Linguistics and the scientific method.” Southwest Journal of Linguistics 27.2 (2008): 1+.

FOR FURTHER INTELLIGENT READING ABOUT NOSTRADAMUS AND OTHER THEORIES:

*  Corfield, Penelope J. “‘The end is nigh’: at a moment when ‘end-timers’ are said to hold sway in Washington, Penelope J. Corfield considers how catastrophic visions of the end of the world have recurred-throughout history, in all societies and religions.” History Today 57.3 (2007): 37+.
*  Harwood, William. “Required reading.” Skeptic [Altadena, CA] 11.4 (2005): 70+. Review of: The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions and Dangerous Delusions (Book) Robert Todd Carroll Amazon Kindle, 2003.
*  Lefcowitz, Barbara F. “To know or not to know: mysteries, the Hypogeum, Cheeze-Its.” Southwest Review 88.4 (2003): 491+.
*  Montgomery, John D. “Next thousand years.” Queen’s Quarterly 106.3 (1999): 328-41.
*  Shaban, Fuad. “11 September and the millennialist discourse: an order of words?” Arab Studies Quarterly [ASQ] 25.1-2 (2003): 13+.
*  Yafeh, Maziar, and Chip Heath. “Nostradamus’s clever ‘clairvoyance’: the power of ambiguous specificity; how did a French astrologer, dead for over 400 years, become a premier commentator on world events in 2001? The authors’ research shows that Nostradamus’s dark prophecies are ambiguous enough to ‘work’ for events selected at random and even when they are scrambled.” Skeptical Inquirer 27.5 (2003): 36+.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Me too. There is nothing to live for anymore. Capitalism has ruined the world and the world is not ready for the only solution, Marxist Socialism like in Cuba but we can’t all live in Cuba so let’s enjoy the end of the world with a good riddance!

    Like


Categories

%d bloggers like this: