Why The World Didn’t End Yesterday

So NASA was right, after all…


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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31 Comments on "Why The World Didn’t End Yesterday"

  1. Science is supreme and superior over “magic” and “mysticism”. DEAL WITH IT.

    • Matt Staggs | Dec 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |

      All three are ways of seeing, as is art, religion, philosophy, etc. I’m not going to look for instructions to build a latrine in the Bhagavad Gita, nor am I going to ask NASA for insight into the meaning of suffering and death, and how to deal with both. Magic, as most aptly defined by another Bob (Anton Wilson), is “a dramatized system of psychology.” Most of us are comfortable dwelling peaceably in the valley, enjoying the fruits of our harvest. A very few of us feel driven to dwell among the ice and wind of the mountains, only returning to the valley occasionally to make a great deal of noise about this or that “One True Way”. Is it cold up there, Bob?

      • Science is all there is. Magic and superstition and drugs and gods were all failed attempts for mankind to understand and control nature, all of them failed. And this is a common trope that science and rationality is cold and superstitious nonsense is somehow warm, hence your foolish analogy between the valley and the mountains. Please spare me the nonsense.

        • You are so curmudgeonly!

        • Matt Staggs | Dec 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

          No, you’ve misunderstood: I’ve only hoped to imply that you’re a zealot, and a particularly ignorant one at that. The cold and wind that I’ve referred to is the arrogance and condescension (or genuine lack of knowledge) that blinds you to the multitude of reasons why some people might choose to practice or NOT practice some form of spirituality without being unpleasant to others – something that you’ve failed to master yourself. The “warm valley” that I’ve referred to represents the rest of the bell curve, which includes the vast majority of atheists and religious believers one meets on a daily basis. You, as well as the fundamentalist Christians, exist on the very outside of belief terrified by the idea that other people might think differently than you.The desire to control nature is one aspect of religious practices, but certainly not the sole aspect. That should be apparent to anyone at all who might take a moment to study the topic, just like it’s utterly absurd to pretend that Nazi medical experiments and the atomic bomb are the sole fruits of science. This isn’t even addressing the profound absurdity of your statement that “drugs are a failed attempt to control nature”. I don’t recall attempting to invoke spirits and gods while drinking a beer, smoking or popping an Advil, but I’ll certainly think of it from now on – and laugh. For the record, I’m a skeptic who doesn’t adhere to any religious or magical practice. I just try not to be a dick about it, is all.

          • If you think adhering to the obviously physical world and laws is zealotry then I don’t know what to say to you. I take the positive and negative of everything science and religion. Religion in my eyes is exclusively negative because it rests on a falsehood. At least science can get you results and is reliable. Religion, spirituality, mysticism, magic whatever the hell you wanna call it, cannot get anyone results and the reliability of religion is akin to an 18th century musket held together by scotch tape. I think you get the picture.

          • Some people look at the Bible as literature, for example. Books such as “Moby Dick” and other classics, make allusions to it. Art and culture are influenced by religion. Opera, symphony Orchestra etc.

            If you stood up in the middle of a performance of Handel’s Messiah and said “The Bible is not true! Its all superstition!” everyone one would look at you like you were a dolt. You would be missing the point. There would no doubt be atheists and agnostics in the audience also, who would tell you to shut up.

          • Matt Staggs | Dec 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |


          • Well, at least you tried! You gave the Tao a chance and it simply failed. Try a science text book.

          • Matt Staggs | Dec 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

            Bob has good intentions, I think, but all the subtlety and humility of a wild boar.

          • Matt Staggs | Dec 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

            What kind of results are we talking about? Are you still asserting that “[religion is a] failed attempt to control nature”? You’re attacking a straw-man here, and I suspect that you know that. No one said that you’re a zealot for adhering to the obviously physical world and laws. You’re a zealot for wantonly misrepresenting the complexities of a cultural phenomena so as to belittle other people and ram your own philosophy down their throats. I’ve scanned the thread, but as of this time, you’re the only one making false comparisons to promote your beliefs and telling people to “DEAL WITH IT”. (Emphasis your own.)

          • Hadrian999 | Dec 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

            in general people who think science has all the answers don’t actually understand science

          • Seems you don’t know what zealotry means.

            A big misconception of your ilk is that the motivation for beliefs and acts, whatever they may be, can come from many places and many directions beyond your prime conception of “truth”(little t in your case). To deny this is naive and hypocritical.

            When you mentally constrain religion, spirituality, mysticism, and magick into a single squashed category, you create a chaotic conflicting mess that is impossible to understand and with that your only option is to reject the mess. You fail to understand that that particular mess was your own creation. But to be fair none of this will reach you, because you’re too much stuck in the “us vs them” reality (see: zealotry), and naturally since I oppose your viewpoint I am clearly part of “them”.

          • SoruhFrake | Dec 22, 2012 at 11:05 am |

            What frustrates me is due the the fact that this date was a normal day, this to some skeptics seems again the be another absolute proof that everything spiritual and metaphysical is non-sense…..And that these things cannot get anyone results, I tell you wrong. I know they can get ME results cause they have, I don’t know whether others have results since I have never been in someone elses minds, all I now is that they seem to. But it doesn’t matter magic is subjective, it is called magic with big secrecy but in fact it is unlocking the potential of imagination. Imagination is the unrefined skill known to many as magic. Yes in a sense I’m imagining things at times, but the results I get be them on personal psychological level to playing with external reality are real to me. Refine your imagination and shape your own beliefs, and slowly life becomes better than any fantasy tale there is 😉

        • Excuse me but you really don’t know what you are talking about. Some of the pioneers and great authors of the art & science of Magic were and still are scientists. In the dark ages and reinnaisance they had to practice and experiment in secret to avoid the eye and violent hand of the church and today they do it to avoid the bigots like yourself who help support a similar worldview, a worldview that would deny them of their jobs within the science and technology industry should they come out of the closet. Say what you will but that fact remains.

    • I don’t think this has to do with ‘magic’ and ‘mysticism’. This has to do with the profound sense of uncertainty many members of our species have for the future–namely the impending and inevitable economic tsunami, the disastrous effects of climate change, and the fragility of our social and physical infrastructure.

      If there is one lesson that the Mayans, and the 23 other civilizations throughout recorded history that have collapsed (read Joseph Tainter here), can teach us, it’s that our notion of safety in the anonymous herd of an overstretched, centralized civilization alway succumbs to the relentless push of entropy. The ‘world’ may not end the week after next, but our civilization is in accelerating decline down the drain.

      12-21-12 may mark a turning point for when all things having to do with the old way of thinking about what it means to be a human (in the First World anyways)–i.e. a ‘citizen’ in a ‘modern’ and coherent nation-state with electricity and reliable access to food (all provided by strangers, remember)–could start to be unrooted for multiple reasons.

      Here’s one particular reason that ought to spur thought: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2012-12-10/extirpation-nation-how-much-of-the-us-will-be-habitable-in-50-years

  2. been looking forward to this date for a while…
    It might be an ad, but i’m pretty proud of it

  3. BuzzCoastin | Dec 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    I predict Mayan calender book sales will decline after the 22nd
    but Sasquatch will be announced as world leader
    instead of the usual catastrophe
    but nonetheless
    a rare astronomical event
    when the sun intersects the dark void in the Milky Way
    and primitive people saw this coming
    thousands of years before us modern types noticed

  4. Yes, that’s all fine and good; but why DIDN’T the world end yesterday? NASA is such a tease.

  5. Little presumptuous don’t you think?

  6. Luposapien | Dec 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

    If they were really sure about it, they wouldn’t have released the video until the 22nd. Gotta hedge those bets.

  7. Here’s what science has done for me (aside from things such as GMO’s Hiroshima, Aspartame,
    the Tuskeegee experiments etc)

    Science tells me that all I see is reflected light, that is not the *actual* color or representation of the object reflecting that light. It tells me that the cells in my body are completely replaced, repeatedly, over a period

    of given time. Science also tell me that there is more space than atoms in any physical object (myself included) and that the act of observation changes what I’m observing.

    From this I conclude life is a clever hoax and I’m a figment of my imagination.

    • For an encore, go on to prove that black is white but watch out for zebra crossings.

      Or, to *directly* quote Mr. Adams, “It is known that there are an infinte number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.”

    • You shut up. As soon as you realize that and pop out of your dream we’re all dead. You eat sedatives right now!

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