People Have Always Thought The World Was Ending

Now that the 2012 phenomenon is behind us, perhaps its time to pause, take a breath, and ask the question—why were so many people so willingly duped? What is the cause of this mass hysteria? If the (relatively) educated people of 2012 can take such nonsense seriously, then has this happened before?

A quick reading of history will tell you that people have always thought, nay – hoped! The world was ending. Wikipedia has a list of more than a hundred examples. Some of the more notable ones include –

70AD – A Jewish sect sees their revolt against the Romans as the Battle of Armageddon


375-400AD – The Bishop of Tours declares that “there is no doubt the anti-christ has already been born” and that the rapture would occur by century’s end

January 1st 1000AD – Various christian leaders, including the Pope, pin their hopes on this nice round number. Riots ensue across Europe

1348 – The Black Plague is seen as a sure sign of the apocalypse

Feburary 1st 1524 – Astrologers predict the world will end from a flood starting in London. 20,000 people leave their homes for higher ground in anticipation

April 5th 1534 – An Anabaptist preacher predicts that only the city of Münster would be spared

1600 – Martin Luther has a wild stab

Martin Luther

February 1st 1624 – The London astrologers try again. Presumably, they give up after this point

May 19th 1780 – A combination of fog and forest fires panics the Connecticut General Assembly into thinking the day of judgement is occurring. Members debate whether or not there should be an adjournment

1806 – A hen in England begins laying eggs on which the phrase “Christ is Coming” is written. Eventually revealed as a hoax

December 25th 1814 – A woman claims to be pregnant with the “Christ child”. After her death, an autopsy finds she was not pregnant

October 22nd 1844 – The “Great Disappointment”. Hundreds of thousands of Americans eagerly await the second coming of Christ. Afterwards most begin rebuilding their lives. The remainder become Jehovah’s Witnesses

1850s – Some consider the Crimean War to be the Battle of Armageddon


1910 – An astronomer predicts gases from Halley’s Comet would “snuff out all life on the planet”. Peddlers start selling “comet pills”

1941 – The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own “great disappointment”

December 21st 1954 – UFOs are supposed to destroy the world

1975 – The Jehovah’s Witnesses have another crack

1988 – The book “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988” sells five million copies

1991 – Leaders of the “Nation of Islam” declare the Gulf War to be the Battle of Armageddon


December 17th 1996 – A California psychic predicts the world will end with the arrival of “sixteen million spaceships”

March 26th 1997 – 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult commit suicide upon the approach of comet Hale-Bopp

January 1st 2000 – The Y2K bug

May 21st 2011 – Evangelical radio broadcaster Harold Camping predicts the rapture will occur. Shortly afterwards, he suffers a stroke instead

December 21st 2012 – End of the Mayan Calendar


So why is this? Why are people apparently so terrified of the world ending?

I don’t think people truly do fear the world ending. In fact they fear the opposite—that it won’t end in their lifetimes.

They fear that, when all is said and done, there was nothing to really distinguish their generation. They will be just another anonymous chapter in human history, rather than host to the grand finale. They would literally prefer that the world end rather than let their children take it over and forget them.

Human beings are selfish bastards.

So are there any real threats?

Most of the conventional ways you’ve heard of the world ending are mostly or entirely bullshit.

Even the original apocalypse, nuclear weapons, falls far short of what was promised. There are simply not enough nuclear warheads to destroy every major city on Earth. Even in the 1980s, when the global arsenal reached its height, estimates were that 400-500 million might die in a first strike and perhaps double this number in total from famines, plagues, and radiation. However, the vast majority of humanity would survive.

Nuclear War

The same goes with any other method. Pandemics? We have them all the time, but not once in four billion years has a disease mutated to the point it could wipe out every living creature on Earth. Solar Flare? Perfectly possible, but even by knocking out every electrical device on the planet the worst thing you’d do is set the economy back a few decades.

Asteroid strike? We only get a dinosaur killer about every ten million years, and are probably at the point by now we could spot and deflect it far enough in advance. Supernova explosion? There are no massive stars close enough to harm us, and even the foreboding “gamma ray burst” doesn’t effect us more than once about every five million years.

Sucked into a black hole? The nearest observed one is nearly eight thousand light years away. Alien invasion? Well sure, but again, the Earth has been sitting here, apparently unmolested, for at least four billion years. The remaining possibility is if we somehow trigger it, like in 2001 or The Day the Earth Stood Still.


As far as I can figure it, there are only two possible, imminent, existential threats to humanity: runaway nanotechnology and a technological singularity. Both are related.

Runaway nanotechnology

Grey goo

While we know a naturally evolved virus wouldn’t be virulent enough to kill us, engineering such a virus may be possible. Already, someone had the brilliant idea of posting the ebola genome online, though the average person doesn’t yet own a 3-D printer capable of replicating it.

Indeed, with a well-designed virus, you could probably crash the whole ecosystem, as has often been depicted in science fiction. This threat remains until humanity has a permanent, sustainable presence in space, i.e. a self-sufficient base on Mars housing a few hundred people. While the space program has been stalled for decades, I think we will have such a backup by 2100.

Concerning nanotechnology, what we’re really talking about is the dreaded “grey goo” scenario. Nanobots have often been depicted in fiction as this unstoppable, all-consuming force against which resistance is useless. There are reasons why this may not be the case however.

Maintaining a swarm of nanobots poses enormous challenges. Where do they get their power source? How do they communicate with each other? How do they sense the world around them? How do they store the design plans to make more copies of themselves? The word “nanobot” might as well be “pixie dust” these days. In fact to correct it, we ought to rename them.

Combating nanobots would be much like fighting any regular kind of plague. Your primary weapons are heat and isolation. By definition nanobots would be tiny. They would have a very large surface area to volume ratio. Even the most extreme heat resistant bacteria can only withstand temperatures up to 122 degrees Celsius. We might be able to increase this somewhat, but every element has a melting point.

Basically, if you heat something enough, or deprive it of energy, it will die. If you’re facing a plague of nanobots – get out the glass beakers and flamethrowers.

A technological singularity


This is the real big one. It is the only threat to our existence I would take completely seriously.

The idea of the singularity comes from the observation that computers have doubled in power roughly every 18 months since the 1950s. If this trend continues, we will eventually reach an “escape velocity” where computers grow exponentially, surpassing all human comprehension. Proponents like Ray Kurzweil say this could occur before 2050.

Even then, there are arguments for why a singularity may not occur. Moore’s law is not a “law” after all, but just an observation. Someday soon we’re going to run up against the molecular barrier, and what indication is there that our CPUs will attain “sentience” before then?

The desktop computers of today are thousands of times more powerful than they were twenty years ago and we’re still using them to type word documents and watch porn. Our machines are still so primitive there’s little risk of a “robot revolt” just yet.

You can also make a decent argument that technology is not accelerating, but in fact slowing. I’d argue the world changed more between 1900 and 1950 than 1950 and 2000. We’re still flying the same planes we were forty years ago, and we have only discovered one new type of antibiotic in the last thirty years.

Cars, ships, trains, household appliances, weapons of war…the key breakthroughs were all fifty or a hundred years ago. Aside from computers, we’ve made few real leaps since the 70s.

So don’t panic

I think if you were to jump forward in time a hundred years, you’d see a world much as it is today. Yes, incredibly advanced computers and nanotechnology may be around, but just as there are still Amish communities today, I don’t think they’ll be any shortage of regular people. We’ll still be eating and shitting and jerking off as our species has been doing for the past one hundred thousand years. The Pyramids will still be standing, and there will still be beaches and rivers and other nice things to enjoy.

So relax, take a drink, and enjoy the likelihood that there will still be a relatively normal world for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren to inhabit in a hundred years.

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158 thoughts on “People Have Always Thought The World Was Ending”

  1. Nooooooo!! If Hillary Clinton becomes President she will send us to war with Russia and the Ruskies will retaliate with…!!

      1. She takes her orders from the Council of Foreign Relations/United Nations, who work for the banking cabal. This is why the US has been subject to many unfair laws recently, as well as attacks on all the amendments and mass immigration – which is the fault of the banksters and NOT of the immigrants themselves, who are trying to get by after their own countries have been destroyed by the evil bankers and their brethren.

    1. Hitlery has been proven to have been associated with many people who have conveniently been murdered. Worse still, seeing as lobbyist with all the money hold the greatest influence, it would seem AIPAC and the pro-Zionist lobby will pick the candidates for both teams, like they always do. BUT there is no choice for the voters in the matter, only the illusion of choice.
      The candidates and rigged elections speak for themselves, and Americans will wake up one day soon to see their money made worthless by the evil banksters, who will then instigate a war – one designed to cripple America by design and in this fashion, those dwelling within her (apart from the evil ‘elite’ class) will be harmed greatly.
      But the elite will prey on their own as that is their nature, and even one day they shall be destroyed by various means.

      1. “The candidates and rigged elections speak for themselves”
        People raised hell about Diebold voting machines. When Obama was “elected” that story died almost instantly. No problem with them anymore.

      2. “One designed to cripple America by design”
        Keep writing like this and we will have to report you to the department of redundancy department.

  2. I keep laughing at these fool preachers with their bible prophecy nonsense about the end times. The actuarial tables have a vastly better record of predicting “the future” than predictions that you’ll get raptured instead of dying on schedule like everyone else.

    1. What makes me laugh are the fools who act as useful idiots or shills for the elite banking establishment, especially when they try and target Christians in their statements without mentioning other religions that hold a similar point of view. It seems like you have an agenda rather than holding any real points of view of value. I can debate with an aethist. I can’t debate with someone pretending to be an aethist so he can post his hateful and manipiulative views, trying to subvert people’s perception. Many religions hold an end times point of view. You just hate Christians like an evil racist/religionist.
      Go home troll. Or shut the f*ck up.

    2. “The actuarial tables have a vastly better record of predicting ‘the
      future’ than predictions that you’ll get raptured instead of dying on
      schedule like everyone else.”
      The Rapture is a recent Protestant thing to give people who think they are “Once Saved, Always Saved” a motivation to behave like Christians.
      As far as the world ending, there are plenty of atheists who think the world is doomed and mankind will be going extinct.

    1. Vaccines today. But it is possible that some virus can wipe out if not all then a large number of people.

        1. A third of Europe proper actually didn’t. If one third of an entire continent (and islands) die in a few years that’s major horror story shit, man.

        2. What I driving at is that those people didn’t die because of a lack of vaccines. They died because of ignorance.

        3. The black plague virus mutated to something less lethal. Because, well, if you kill your host, how are you going to survive? The less lethal versions of the virus propagated, and the mortal versions died with their hosts. Eventually the survivors developed cells strong enough to combat the plague.
          Isolate entire neighbourhoods and cities to stop the spread helped too.

        4. We are just as ignorant as they were, only about different things. They could have correctly instructed you how to keep women in line across society, yet today we die in wars to defend feminists.
          Your point is taken but let’s not pat ourselves on the back too much. Leftism has killed far more people than died during the plague, yet we ignorantly keep tolerating it and saying that it is benign.

        5. I think you’ve missed my point and you’ve also made an unmeasurable claim. Who is this “we” you’re talking about?
          Anyway my point begins and ends with the fact that people didn’t die from the Black Plague due to a lack of vaccines.

        6. I’m not sure about your mutation hypothesis but we do know now that hygiene, nutrition, hydration and good disease management (which they did not have back then) are the keys to both avoiding and surviving infectious disease.

  3. That’s right, fall asleep whilst the Zionists kill palestinians, and cause the west to become a greater Palestine through mass immigration causing genocide by proxy.
    Fall asleep whilst they steal all the wealth and people’s futures, using usury banking and staged conflicts to inspire global hatred as they sit back and laugh at you.
    Fall asleep whilst they do all this theft and murder by manipulating others, including destroying Christianity as they continue to lie about being victims, when they are the ultimate racists and supremacists, who are so destructive they will end up destroying the human race if left to their own devices.

    1. “That’s right, fall asleep whilst the Zionists kill palestinians, and
      cause the west to become a greater Palestine through mass immigration
      causing genocide by proxy.”
      If Zionists were really running things in Israel’s interests, then all the Muslims would have been expelled from that lousy strip of land, therefore they aren’t “Zionists,” they’re Satanists, some of whom happen to be ethnically “Jews.”

      1. I will suggest that whilst you may have a point, it doesn’t help that most J’s go along with the Zio agenda, with few speaking out against it. Even those who speak out against Zio’s are ‘controlled opposition’ who are paid by Zionists to control dissent, as is a usual tactic. For example, the N. Karta group opposes Zionism, but often advocate communist principles – those principles got 100 million white Christians killed.
        Considering that the Zio’s and the J’s got kicked out of 130 countries since 240 AD, killed Jesus, were hated by Mohammed and the Founding Fathers, amongst many others, and they have shrouded origins suggesting they have no right to the land in the Middle east, and so much more – they may not all be guilty, but none of them can be trusted to be righteous. This cannot be said about any other racial or religious group.

        1. ” suggesting they have no right to the land in the Middle east, and so much more – they may not all be guilty, but none of them can be trusted to be righteous. This cannot be said about any other racial or religious group.”
          They have “no right” other than God gave it to them (the right to the Land wasn’t passed to the Church). If you don’t believe in God, then they have the right of conquest, which is the only right that Muslims had, since they’re invaders and the Christians natives are still there. They’re a blessed/cursed group doomed to exist to fulfill Biblical prophecy.

        2. (the right to the Land wasn’t passed to the Church) ~ Couldn’t it be argued that the Church IS Israel.

  4. What about the planet being sucked up into a ginormous, hairy, unclean and overused feminist slut vagina?
    Anyone though about that?……….well……….have they?

    1. Feminism was sponsored by Zionists to break up the family unit to make the white man weaker. Plus marriage was strongly related to property ownership, so killing marriage has led to weaker individiual units who are less likely to own their own dwellings – stregthening the ZIonist usury and slavery via banking, laws and manipulated socio-economics.
      The biggest and most vocal feminists are usually ZIonist females.

    2. Yes. The competing theory is the earth getting sucked into a ginormous, hair, unclean and very stretched out slutt butt.
      Hawking may have come up with this alternate black hole (aka b-hole) theory along with his other revised theories, such as his infamous black hole radiation, which in the case of the b-hole is a massless, gaseous radiation of unmentionable stench.
      You certainly don’t want to be near that even horizon — ever!

      1. At least you could smell it coming. It wouldn’t be a surprise.
        I think I may have described the genitalia of the lovely older cuckolding dyke that has aspirations for the presidency as well as the situation the world faces if she gets in.

    3. Good God, man! That’s just………..nasty!
      I’ll probably be sick the rest of the day now…

  5. The Sun could also quickly evolve into a Hypergiant and engulf the Earth, caused by a magic spell from that evil bastard Sephiroth. But don’t worry, we’ll survive and merely suffer 9,900 hit points of damage.

    1. Aliens/Iluminati/etc etc = Zionists.
      As long as they can promote these alternative targets, they can hide. But they’ll one day lockdown the west and they’ll let you know who fucked you over before they kill of sectors of the population for ‘not fitting in’.
      They are worse than the Nazi’s and even that part of history is questionable, for they killed their own to have an excuse to make the false state of Israel. They are abusers.

        1. So you don’t think the zionist are our masters? Who just gave a speech to Congress telling America we should go to war? Must have not been netanyahu because that would almost make it seem like we’re his bitch

    2. Correct,the Sun will indeed eventually expand into a red giant star and engulf the Earth and Mars. (No need to evoke supernatural causes.) This will happen in a few million years so we still have time to leave Earth and seek a new home.

      1. This is why worrying about the environment is a bit like cleaning your bedroom before your house is demolished.

        1. I”ve debated the environmentalist nuts many times. We humans cannot destroy this Earth nor all the life on it. We could however kill off ourselves be making the Earth toxic to us.
          Even if we contaminated all the Oceans with garbage, some species of life would die while other new forms would evolve that thrive in garbage.

  6. From about 2008 to 2014 I really did believe there was a good chance the world, as we know it, was going to collapse. I was not the only one. The writing seems to be on the wall. Only fools pretended it wasn’t there. It was either going to be the hundred year plague, civil unrest, collapse of the economy, martial law, or something very similar.
    Well now we are a good quarter int o 2015 and nothing. After waiting for the shoe to drop for six years I wonder if it is going to do so at all. The international bankster class seems to have averted economic collapse by now. The civil unrest has largely just decided to go home. Yeah a hundred year plague might still walk out of the jungle, but sitting here in America how much is that going to effect me? Probably just as much as ebola.
    Illegal immigration will eventually destroy this country from the inside. The banksters can’t keep a paper money international economy rolling forever. The Western World might rise up against its oligarchs still. But, I think we are another generation away from it. The Millennials are too docile and will never effect any real anti-authority change. If anything it will be the next young generation that will rebel. Too bad, by then, I will be an old man.

    1. No that won’t happen because white people (like it or not) are the only people left capable of mounting an offensive. And by the time the revolution comes, white people will be extinct.

    2. In 2008, Western governments/banksters still possessed enough money to simultaneously pay home grown donut brigades to stay docile, and via puppet regimes do ditto to most Middle Easterners. Between then and now, they reached a point where they had to make a choice, and decided to pay off those closest to home. Letting foreign cardhouses fall. Never to again be recoverable to The West.
      But make no mistake, we are closer to the end of Western hegemony now, than we were in 2008. The fact that imbeciles on TV claim the banksters somehow “saved” us, has no relation to reality whatsoever. Taking money from potentially productive people; even indirectly via “taking it in the future” from savings productive people would otherwise put aside; and handing it to banksters, lawyers, politicians and other species of progressive vermin, renders the economy weaker. No amount of mismeasurement and hyping of economic fallacies will ever change that.

      1. Don’t get me wrong. I’m hardly not saying everything is going to be all right. I am just not panicked worried about it as much anymore. I think we have hit the “slow long burn” part of the decline.
        The bankster’s saved us from free fall collapse. Now they will have start selling of the nice china and expensive rugs of the house to pay the expenses. But how long is that going to take? 10, 20, 30, 50 years? The Romans held on for a long time (granted they did not have nearly as many complicating factors as us). We have a lot of nice stuff to sell and a lot of tin pot dictators still to figure out we are nothing more then a paper tiger who is dead, dead, dead.
        The West is dead. Just how much longer until we finally pass away?

  7. I think the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted the end of the world like 5 times during the 20th century alone before finally stopped in the 1980’s after they realized retarded they were sounding.

    1. They came to my door and told me 144,000 of the elect will be chosen. I asked them have many members they had, they said over 8 million. I told them to GTFO.

      1. I know this will sound strange but i actually grew up as a JW’s up until my mom and step dad divorce right before i started high school and we stop going to Kingdom Hall’s, believe it or not. While i was in High School i look up the origins and history of JW’s. After being shocked by their history and what they never told us about, of course i stopped being one of them and completely denounce all of their believes. I am ashamed to admit it but it is true none the less.

      1. If you are talking about an economic collapse, you might want to reconsider the point. Think of the economy as a condom. If you fill it with something solid, like a dick, and use it as intended, you will generate pleasure, but only for so long. In the end, there will be some sperm in a condom nobody wants anymore. If you instead inflate it like a baloon, it will be a lot bigger, last longer and can be some childish fun, too. But in the end, you will only have a condom nobody wants anymore.

        1. I think he just really, really wanted to talk about dicks.
          I always consider the economy more like a dam. you HAVE to allow almost everything you bring in to leak through, and every once in a while you have to let the whole damned thing flush out in order to repair all the cracks, wear, tear, and basic damage caused by a high-tension structure. (recession)
          If you work too hard to prevent the shutdown, and never let the dam vent any water, you keep building pressure and never have a chance to perform any repairs. (Keynesian economics anyone?) Certainly that keeps the fishermen above the dam happier, and the settlers below the dam get to use more land for years without flooding worries, but that pressure just keeps building, no matter how hard you try to make sure the dam is invulnerable, sooner or later it WILL break.
          And the longer you wait, the harder you try to keep from bursting, the bigger, and more catastrophic, the failure will become. all the fishermen above the dam will die, as well all the farmers below it, and you may have to wait another 50 years to finally be able to rebuild the thing.

        2. Obviously, I am not good with metaphors. Still, whetever way you use a condom, it will not stay useful forever, even if you just inflate it – it will burst at some point. That’s not what it was made for, but “economy” wasn’t made for wild speculation, either.
          Brigadon’s dam may be easier to understand, though.

        3. The metaphor is not the problem nor is my level of understanding. The problem is that there is no definition of what you mean by “collapse” economic or otherwise.

        4. Would you be fine with defining “economic collapse” as some, many or all things “economic (money, production, work)” going to shit – you can pick; I am not a psychic: Hyperinflation or rapid asset devaluation, both (alternatively) resulting in a contraction of investments and production, bankruptcies, unemployment, poverty and maybe civil war.

        5. All of these things happen from time to time in every country. In my view they are merely symptomatic of the business cycle rather than some “collapse”. As long as humans strive towards purposeful activity economic activity will continue.

        6. Larry Silverstein on WTC7 on a PBS documentary : “We decided to pull it.” Free fall collapse.
          I think you’re arguing semantics or perhaps do not understand the word as it applies to nation states.
          The USSR collapsed quickly in 1991. 2 years prior nobody there imagined it could happen.
          Dmitri Orlov offers some interesting insights. As does the blogger Selco, who survived the collapse of Yugoslavia at In addition there’s an Argentinian blogger called Ferfal who is internet famous for his accounts of the currency collapse in Argentina.

        7. Yes mate obviously I’m stupid.
          Reread the article and then my first comment. I hope then the penny will drop.

        1. Start here: the exponential function — most humans do not understand it or what it means.
          Then move on to The Crash Course, by Chris Martenson (it’s on youtube for free) he does a great job of explaining the exponential function in terms of earth’s population, the currency system, energy, and natural resources.
          Another good resource is Jared Diamond’s Collapse, How societies choose
          to fail or succeed:

          If you’re serious about wanting to understand. If you’re just pulling some sort of abstract ad-hominem, then you’re only hurting yourself.
          Also, how’s the old pound sterling doing as the world reserve currency? Does Britannia still rule the waves?
          Your empire collapsed after WWI.
          It can and will happen to the USA too. We’re on the cusp of a default or currency collapse right now. The Free Shit Army stands ready to mobilize, riot, and destroy the blue hives.
          Ignore it at your own peril, or just party on and enjoy the decline. I know my course of action.
          Also, because I care, I have a spare shovel so if you show up at my place hungry, you can work the garden for a bowl of rice or something. 🙂

        2. Can you give us some insights from Crash Course(yeah, Im too cheap to buy it). Thanks!

        3. I started 25 years ago but thank you for the link references. My empire? I never had one. Have another look at my earlier comment in the context of the article!
          Also, consider your language. A “decline” and a “collapse” are not the same thing! Poor use of language reflects a limited perspective on reality. If I blow the supporting walls out of your house will it decline or collapse?
          People keep throwing this word “collapse” around but they don’t really know what it means in the context of the social, political and economic structure of the world.
          For the record, British Empire did not collapse. It broke up over time or was otherwise absorbed by the American Empire. And I promise you, the average Brit didn’t notice. And likewise, you will not much likely notice a difference when the USA breaks up, if you are even still around. Maybe taxes will be lower, who knows.

      2. The thing is though is that every civilization that has ever existed in human history has collapse. I’m not speaking about the end of humanity but just the inevitable collapse of all systems.

        1. Search for an essay from sir John Glubb, called The Fate of Empires and the Search for Survival. He estimated that each “empire” (or dominant civilization) has a ‘life’ of something like 250 years.
          Even here in RoK this essay was analyzed.

        2. I’m not disputing the life cycle of empires. I’m questioning this peculiar notion of “collapse” people keep muttering about.

        3. I never said civilization as a whole is dead. Stop trolling already idiot. You suck at it. Unless you want to name one example of an ancient civilization/system that still exist, I’m still right.

        4. Oh fuck off you ignorant cunt. It’s not my fault you can only think in simple terms. “I’m still right” you argue like a little girl. Stop being a little bitch and read around the subject. I asked you a simple question and you couldn’t even answer it you cretinous moron. Clearly you have no confidence in your bullshit position you little dumb fuck.

        5. I did actually answer you moron. It just that your reading comprehension was too poor to understand the most basic of sentences and I’m not going to repeat myself to some child. Notice how you couldn’t even answer my challenge. Not even one example. Stop trolling, you suck at it.

        6. I don’t know exactly how the American Empire will perish, but it will, and it’s near. Maybe it will ends so slowly that we’ll not notice only some historians, decades later, will say “that’s exactly the point in History when the American Empire RIP’ed itself”.
          Maybe it will end like a “big England”, “intact” but without the same influence in the world.
          And I even can tell you who are the next candidates for Superpower, or at least regional power: China, Russia, India, Brazil.

        7. Economists have been predicting that within a generation Mexico may be the economic powerhouse of the western hemisphere. That seems far-fetched for those who get their news from Network TV, but living in Mexico myself, I can see the possibility. There are some ambitious and capable young people growing up.

  8. The cash register mags have been predicting the end of the world since at least my childhood. Haven’t been right yet. I guess it’s not coming then.*
    *This is the standard reply I give to fun-duh-mental evangelicals who tell me Jesus or the end is coming. Fries their friggin’ brains, I swear.

    1. Any advice on what to do with your money?
      According to that plot it looks like it’s time to buy gold.

      1. Well.. It’s not that simple. Gold is only used as a hedge for inflation. Inflation only occurs (allegedly) when the central bank prints (Quantitative Easing or QE). There is no QE right now (or so they say), and the word is the FED will start upping the rates actually. I don’t think they’ll be able to do it, because if they do, people’s pension funds will be devastated (market will just go home)…but who knows, there’s no where the FED can go from here..
        To answer your question, I would get out of any market as soon as this starts going downhill. I will personally try to short the s&p as much as possible when that happens.
        Here’s the scenario, OK? If I were the one commanding all these, I’ve already made a boatload on the way up on the easy money, so I would get all out in cash. Now I would sit and wait for the markets to unwind, and watch for deflation to enter the death spiral. Remember, I am sitting in cash, and today’s cash is worth LESS than tomorrow. That’s what deflation does to money… When everything hits rock bottom (gold will go down with it in this scenario) I would buy everything that’s bolted to the ground.. With money that now is worth more than they were at the top for prices that are now completely depressed (double whammy).
        That’s how I think the biggest wealth transfer in history will happen. Rinse and repeat.
        So the short answer as to what to do with the money? Move it all in cash and sit on it for now.

      2. The unwind better be done orderly. If not, then everybody will be royally fucked. That’s the only thing I am actually afraid of. The markets are very illiquid right now, and that’s not good. If we wake up one morning and we find the s&p 3K points down.. That is not a market anymore. It’s gone. And that is as bad as it can get. The whole system will collapse in a matter of hours, and I am not making this up. All the Central Banks can pitch in try to save it but there will be nothing left to save because all the trust will be gone, and panic will reign. The system will completely seize, and that’s that. Back to the stone age.

      3. No advice. But I will briefly tell you my thinking.
        Fundamentals and markets have come loose from their traditional correlations. We are six years on the latest bull run. I have been investing for 30+ years and have enjoyed a great ride.
        I’m nearly all cash now (except for real estate accumulated over the last 10 years) waiting for a cyclical entry point.

        1. I ask because I’ve been socking away cash and living like a month for almost 3 years now.
          Now that I’ve got some cash to start investing I want to put it into a safe investment so I can go on an adventure and not stress about what I’ve got in the bank.
          I’ve got it in my head that if I put my cash into index funds right now (seems like a safe long-term method to invest money from what I’ve gathered) my money will turn to nothing if there is another major market crash. But I’m only now learning about this stuff so I don’t actually know. All I’ve learned so far is how to live below my means.

        2. Keep your money diversified but generally away from US equities. Cash, precious metals, commodities, emerging markets. Bitcoin is highly speculative but has potential to explode. Check out funds from Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Capital. If you really want US equities, stick to the “must have” recession proof sectors: food, guns, toiletries.

      4. I’d look into silver.
        The good ol days for the little guy are over. I remember a story about how baseball great Ty Cobb made millions off investing thousands of dollars on CocaCola. Shares would reach a certain point, then split 2 or 4 ways, then reach the former valuation, then split again…by the time he was an old man, he was a millionaire.
        Stocks dont splits much anymore. Now, corps are buying back shares to prop up the prices.

  9. I’ve thought about this a little lately and what I’ve concluded is this.
    Is it likely that all of human life is just gonna end in my lifetime? Probably not.
    Is it possible that there may be dreadful political/social/financial upheaval? Certainly not impossible.
    Don’t you think there were people talking and predicting the rise of genocide in different parts of the world before shit hit the fan? Don’t you think it’s possible that there were smart Russians who realized their country was about to go into communism? Or people in the middle-East who realized there was going to be major conflict? Or maybe people in Japan who realized that the gender roles in their country were about to fall apart? I bet there were.
    It’s not magic… it’s just thinking ahead.

  10. “So relax, take a drink, and enjoy the likelihood that there will still be a relatively normal world for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren to inhabit in a hundred years.”
    I don’t believe in likelihood. It’s just another word for ‘lazy’.
    100 years from now, the world will be far more ‘normal’ than . . . all this. But by then ‘the world’ already will have ended. Despite your fine essay! on the triteness of eschatology.
    P.S. I didn’t learn that in college. :O)

  11. All the dates and events mentioned above do in fact signify the end of one civilization at the hands of a decline in a moral system. “Worlds” aka societies do meet their eventual end. Ever notice how dillusional doofuses aleays talk of the “infinite”? Nope, everything comprehended by the human, has a beginning and an end.

  12. Nukes, fake economies, islamic expansion..the nuke problems alone make this time more realistic. The cries of the past were due to ignorance. Our ignorance is believing the false cries of the past apply to our situation. The effects of Fukushima have yet to reveal themselves.

  13. The general idea here, of live instead of hunker down waiting for the Kaboom! is a good one. But this is the Internet so quibbles over unimportant facts is part of the game…..
    The unlikely but popular scenario of a single spasm where every nuke gets popped in a day or two of fury would almost certainly have taken down a lot more than this article suggests because it would have eliminated the economic structure that permits so many of the survivors to survive. We have had far more humans living on the Earth than a pre-industrial civilization could support for a long time and WWIII would have taken out most the industrial capacity that feeds everyone. Sure a lot of tractors would still exist but all of the refineries would be radioactive wastelands so there would be no fuel, you couldn’t build more refineries because the major steel mills would be in forbidden zones and it wouldn’t matter anyway because all of the major ports and railheads would be destroyed so you couldn’t move heavy cargo if you had it.
    Same for a solar flare or EMP that took down most of the grid, even assuming most of it was repairable in a few months from a purely technical analysis it wouldn’t matter as once a few key systems were unavailable that long so many bodies would have already been buried that a return to the past civilization would no longer be possible. Remember that “Just In Time” inventory has left every metro area about ten days food supply away from the first reports of cannibalism. Humanity would survive but it would be a very different thing, much like what happened after the Black Death.
    As for Grey Goo, that disaster already hit the Earth… we call it Life. Hard to imagine any of our creations out competing the diversity of the existing inhabitants of the Earth which manage to thrive in every possible niche we have looked at so far. I’d pity the Goo, suckers would get ate up by something pretty quick.
    Leaving the Singularity… yea that one is scary. No matter how many Elder Gods of Science and Tech issue warnings we rush heedless into building AI.

  14. No no no, everybody knows that Earth will be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Doesn’t ANYBODY stay informed on local affairs?????? Geez!

    1. Right, the papers are filed over at Alpha Cetauri, for goodness sake!
      I have an electronic thumb, so I am golden.

      1. ha, just started reading that book…I needed a humorous one….I didnt realize Adams passed away so long ago…too young…

        1. Just started did you? Good for you! First read the trilogy around 1984-1985 or so. The books that came after it were brilliant too. Douglas Adams was a great talent.
          If you take nothing else from the series, at least always remember to keep your towel on you.

        2. yup, in the intergalactic scheme of things, a towel is worth more than gold or silver. You guys looking for investment ideas- go long towels

  15. Nice article. The one thing I would add is that while it’s true that the sheer number of TEOWAWKI predictions/scenarios should make anyone question doomsday predictors, that doesn’t mean that humanity isn’t perfectly capable of creating a literal hell on earth all by themselves.
    The simple truth is, short of a nearby supernova, massive asteroid strike, or gigantic nearby GRB… humans will likely keep living and evolving for a while to come. That should tell you that we’d best take care of each other, because we have to live with each other.

  16. There’s a super volcano bubbling up under the ground in wyoming that has the potential to cause a nuclear winter. What are you going to do ?

    1. Reminds me of this Jewish saying… something like: every time the end is foreseen, it is postponed. It’s interesting to me because the idea seems to be that we can only be demolished or saved if we’re genuinely bamboozled.

  17. The greatest threat to the western human being living in 2015…
    The average person will encounter no greater risk of injury and death than getting behind the wheel of a car to drive to the store for groceries or driving home after a night of drinks while spitting game. It keeps things in perspective for me — a former chicken little.

    1. Automobiles are the #1 killer in the united states. More than Heart disease, more than Cancer, more than any other factor in existence.
      When you add in the health costs associated with a sedentary, car-bound lifestyle, the auto becomes a killer that dwarfs the black plague itself. You have a higher chance of being killed by a car or through lack of exercise than you do of reaching age 50 alive.

  18. Singularity bro….
    Will we get T-800? or Johnny-5?
    The latter? hilarious and charming
    The former? sheer terror
    Let’s hope the asteroid hits first.

    1. The part ridiculing predictions wasn’t very well researched, relying mainly on wikipedia. There are hundreds of prophecies, which have come to pass, that haven’t been mentioned. No mention of the most obvious, Nostradamus. An example cited in Koyaaisquatsi: “Hopi prophecy – at the end of times, spider webs will criss-cross the sky”. How did those primitive futurists predict jet vapour trails? It’s called the ability to see into the future (precognition). Those mystics have the ability to see the universal blueprints, and can correctly call events hundreds of years prior to their occurrence. They’re as good as we can get to verifiable, but very vague and mystifying. The ones which predicted the world to end at the turn of a given century or decade, are generally fear-based, church, attention-seeking guesses. The signs point to the end of times being upon us, but they mightn’t transpire as people imagine.

  19. Who was duped by 2012? Nobody of note took this seriously.
    And when you say the “space program” has stalled, what do you mean? Are you talking about NASA? They are not the only organization with a space program. As far as I can tell, projects dedicated to exploring space are ongoing and numerous.
    We don’t need to worry about computers becoming more intelligent since the technology to make humans more intelligent already exists and is being improved every day.

  20. You left something out that did almost wipe out life and especially
    human life on earth. Volcanoes. If some freak thing happened where a few
    went off and put enough ash into the sky it would block out a lot of
    the sunlight and lower temperatures so that no crops grew. You’d have no
    food or animals dependant upon gasses to kill and eat. They say this
    happened 70k years ago and the human population was under a thousand. I
    guess there are always handfuls of people here and there around the
    world who survive due to some odd condition.
    The plague(s) did wipe
    out 1/2 of Europe and it’s only the fact that many White people have a
    harmless mutation (Delta32) that just fortuitously makes them immune to
    certain diseases. If you have 2 copies you’re immune and if 1 copy get
    the disease in a mild form which is why they survived the plague and are
    immune to smallpox and AIDS etc.If the plague had hit the Negroes or
    Mongol races it would have wiped them out :o)Today there are vaccines

  21. You all are insignificant bugs on one planet in the endless Universe. One day the earth and you will be gone and no one will even notice.

  22. You seem to have forgotten the 18 trillion in government debt, 120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, a tripling of the monetary supply through 7 years of ZIRP combined with an open border welfare state and a decadent, entitled, and morally bankrupt society.
    Currently 1/6 are on food stamps and 62-75% of the country live paycheck to paycheck. Toss in a $1.1 trillion student loan debt.
    When the next recession hits it will turn into a depression and I estimate at least half the country will be impoverished.
    Most of us are fucked, but the next generation of obscene wealth will be those who correctly predict the crash and invest accordingly.

    1. There’s a world of difference between predicting the end of the world and predicting the end of an empire.
      The former is always a hoax, the latter occurs right on schedule with amazing regularity.

      1. Good point, but we’re all spoiled products of civilization and haven’t lived in a cesspool with 50% poverty level. Even if you grew up in East St. Louis, the welfare state and public housing makes sure everyone is pretty much fed and sheltered.
        If I have to trade my first world lifestyle for digging up scraps of food every day, I’d consider it the end of the world.

        1. I was homeless for 3 years, a white kid in DC… Going to the soup kitchens or trying to get into public services, was flirting with Death big time… white homeless didn’t do it (I was too young for a job and too old for shelters)
          We lived in rock creek park, eating what we could, with tents made out of whatever we could scrounge, occasionally getting raided by the negro gangbangers for whatever scraps we could accumulate.
          Even in this country, there are people that understand intimately what the third world lifestyle is like. We are the ones that are prepared… not doomsday prepping, but prepared for the worst and ‘not worst’ that can come along…
          With a little bit of preparation, you are certainly smart enough to ensure that you never have to ‘dig scraps of food everyday’. Even when America goes belly-up, you won’t have to give up your first world lifestyle with a little forethought.

        2. I am not a salesman, or a priest, so I am not pushing anything in particular, but I have some ideas….
          Get a boy scout handbook prior to 1980.
          Arm yourself. Preferably something easy to reload. Learn to shoot, and especially to hunt. After you have capped Bambi’s mom a few times, a human being trying to kill you really isn’t that big a deal.
          I grew up reading a book by reader’s digest called
          I don’t know about the newer editions, but the old yellow hardcover was amazing.
          Make sure your man isn’t a lazy ass geek. If he cannot be bothered to go to the woods and gut a trout, he cannot be bothered to save yours, or his own, life.
          Learn to make homemade sourdough starter, and to make bread using that starter from whole grain all the way to finished loaf.
          Learn all the edible, dryable, and safe herbs in your area. Keep a ‘bug out bag’ that includes packets of modern, GMO grains and fruits… despite the hype, GMO yields are about 30 times what heritage yields are, and unless you want to eke out a scrabbling peasant existance, take advantage of 200 years of agriculture. keep a chemistry textbook, and find out what some safe alternative antibiotics are.
          Minimize your footprint. Use pop up blockers. When the shit hits the fan (and no, again, I am not talking about doomsday, I am talking about Balkanization and economic collapse.) Get ready to have someplace to go that is AWAY from the cities and potential masses of starving people. Preferably someplace you can fish or hunt… in general it doesn’t even matter if the property is a national park or something.
          Do the ‘mormon thing’ and try to keep a years supply of food, ammo, and basics for your family. If it helps, make sure you have a copy of every science/medical book you could use to kick ass if you were magically dropped into the twelfth century.
          Get fit. Healthy people are more likely to survive if the trucks stop rolling.
          I am sure there’s a lot more, but that’s what I got. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not very time consuming, and by my reckoning we still have 4 years or so left until the US is forced to default permanently.

        3. Hey, respect. I guess I’m partially incorrect. I’m a pessimist nonetheless. I truly don’t know which occupations will be around when the US goes belly-up either, so it’s tough for me to prepare.

        4. basic survival, technician, infrastructure, and builder will all persist. As will warrior. Medical doctors, emt’s, food preparers, and hunters will always be important.
          That’s why I always suggest you learn as much as you can about those fields.

        1. Heh, the last three recessions have been moderated by Keynesian spend-to-preserve (echoes of the new deal)
          If allowed to run their course, we would be in darned good shape right now… but with all the ‘economic stimulus’ and recovery programs, when the REAL and unstoppable depression hits, it’s going to wrench this country to it’s knees overnight… we will be LUCKY if we wind up like Post-soviet Russia.

        2. The difference between a depression and a recession is politics. You have lived though countless depressions.

        1. Recessions on avg, last 12-18 months.
          The downturn started in late 2007(according to them).
          They claim it ended in the middle of 2009(convenient, roughly 18 months). This “recession” has been ongoing for over 7 yrs….you really think this isnt a depression?
          Like the saying goes: Its a recession if you stiil have a job; its a depression when you cant find a job

    2. liberalism and entitlement spending are two problems; the fact the economy has done so well in spite of Obama is a testament to the strength of the economy and the US consumer and ingenuity of the free market.

  23. I’m not so sure we could stop an asteroid. I mean, Bruce Willis is getting on a bit now I’m not sure he has It in him anymore

    1. I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Respected your opinion. But then…….you put up a REM video.
      You have failed me!

  24. Predicting the end of the world is big business. Look at the doomsday/prepper companies. They are crushing it on revenue the last few years. Look at the cult churches. They were raking it in as well until their “date” came and passed with no harm. Remember the old saying, “It’s immoral to let a sucker keep his money”

  25. I’ve always thought about this. Consider for example when world war one occurred, many religious people would have thought that the world was coming to the end. After all that’s what the Bible says, that in the last times there will always be wars disturbances across the world. However the world did not end and the people were disappointed. Then world war two, came and people would’ve thought the same. At holocaust, also people would have thought the same. Again and again they were disappointed. And now, with the conflict in middle east, people are again expecting the end of the world. Some people say that wars have always occurred and the religious people of old foresaw this and used it as an indication to whip up people in frenzy.
    However, consider this. The Bible also says that in the last days wickedness will increase. Consider the acceptance of homosexual lifestyle, in the west, and how it has widely spread to the rest of the world. Consider the widespread acceptance of abortion, and feminist lunacy which makes women revolt against their own natural instincts. I believe, all this is the wickedness that the Bible speaks about. All these things have not been accepted in the past so widely across the world and not to the point where these wickedness is not merely accepted but actually glorified. This tells me, the the end will eventually come, as the increasing wickedness points towards it. Moreover the Bible says that in the last days it will be like the days of Lot and Noah. If we read the Genesis, we find in the story the climaxing incident of Sodom and Gommorah (the cities in which he lived). The incident of the wickedness of these cities highlighted, specifically mentions that the people of Lot’s city indulged in homosexuality openly. Isn’t this the state of the world today, indicating that it is indeed like the times of Lot, and we are living in the last days? In the time of Noah, the Bible states that, human beings had become very wicked, and God told Noah to build an Ark. He kept warning people that the end will come but people thought that he was mad and made fun of him. The people then were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, as the Bible states, not accepting that the end was coming. Isn’t this the state of the world today? Everybody having a laid back kind of attitude, and saying that the end will not come, and mocking religious “nutcases” who say so.
    Moreover, Jesus said that the end will come when people are least expecting it. I believe that the evil of feminism, homosexuality, abortion and fornication will increase more and more, and people will be more distanced from religion, living like the end will never come, and then, only then the end will come, because Jesus himself said said, that no one knows the time or the hour.
    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but that’s how see this scenario.

    1. I agree with you. Also, the author forgot to mention that after 1844’s Great Disappointment, one of the main groups that emerged were the Seventh-Day Adventists.
      Wink wink..

  26. I have a note to say about the extraterrestrial invasion end of days scenario. If you have done your research, like i have, you will see that there is a mountain of evidence that supports the fact that aliens exist and have visited/visiting the earth. If aliens truly did want to invade and wipe out all of humanity, i believe they would have done so years ago. Judging from the evidence, i believe that aliens are simply watching and occasionally taking samples (cattle mutilations) from animals and, more disturbingly, humans (human mutilations, not for the light hearted).
    The reason the governments of the world dont tell the public, is because such a revelation would cause them to panic (especially those with religious beliefs). People would no longer feel safe in their little deluded bubble of reality in their daily lifes.

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    2. Good stuff dude! The Vatican Astronomer recently proclaimed “its time for us to acknowledge our brothers from the stars”.

      1. well i read the wikipedia description. Basically to keep a government in power, a threat has to be present or the pretense of one. I wouldnt rule out the evidence quite yet.

      2. But Alas, The presence of alien life visiting the earth or intruding in our airspace is but a small distraction compared to western civilisations real enemies.

  27. There are two types of people for whom the constant threat of Apocalypse is desirable: 1. the assholes selling the quack nostrums (be they either spiritual or medicinal). Crises bring in the big bucks as people look to outsiders for protection; 2. those who want to abdicate their share of responsibility for events in their lives and in the greater world (“take the wheel, Jesus/pastor/meth”).

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