Planning For The End Of The World

ammo

I have never heard so much about the coming of the end of the world, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, and World War III as I am hearing these days…


The world seems to truly be going mad. 


And that MAD is as in CRAZY and as in Mutually Assured Destruction. 


– 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we are back in a nuclear arms race with Russia!


– Despite being our largest trading and economic partner, we are now going head-to-head confronting China over trade, Taiwan, and the South China Sea! 


– While setting some near-term constraints, we have in effect solidified Iran’s getting the nuclear bomb!


– As North Korea continues developing and testing nukes and ballistic missiles, we have no answers for how to deal with them!


Not only have we failed to contain the many threats we face, but also in many or most cases, we have made them worse.


– The Middle East has gone from the promise of an Arab Spring to instead raging in flames and becoming the modern-day killing fields


– Even as ISIS becomes more dangerous despite having less territory, they are likely eclipsed by Iran’s global terror expansion as a threat to the world order


– The refugee crisis has meant that ISIS terrorists have infiltrated our borders and are now living among us ready to strike at will. 


– There is a real documented threat of a terrorist attack using radiological, chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons of mass destruction


– The European Union is falling apart and it’s future is unknown. 


– Increasing border attacks and escalating tensions are creating a risk of a dangerous Indian-Pakistani War


Obama has alienated our allies, reduced our stature among the nations, and destabilized the world


– While people are arguing over the state of hopelessness since the election or from before it, either way, there is huge divisiveness in America. 


– Gun ownership is soaring and people are stockpiling ammo


– Videos have emerged from people in near-death experiences claiming to have vividly seen the coming World War III and the prelude to the coming of the messiah. 


– There is even widespread recognition by our space experts that we are woefully unprepared for an errant asteroid or comet hitting the Earth


Clergy is warning and encouraging us to repent and do good deeds to merit G-d saving us from the coming cataclysm, whatever it ends up being.


I am certainly not a forecaster of doom and gloom, but always try to remain hopeful and encourage everyone to do their best to improve the world.


But I also must reflect on the voices of anger, frustration, and exasperation around the world that are growing ever louder and scarier daily…the latest with Obama’s betrayal of Israel at the United Nations Security Council.  


What comes next politically may very well determine whether the end is near or the future gets bright again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Autocomplete: Do Zombies (What)?

The autocomplete feature in search engines can tell us a lot about what people are thinking and asking about.

According to the New York Times (21 November 2012) “sites like Google and Bing are showing the precise questions that are most frequently asked.”

Autocomplete suggests the rest of your search term based on the most popular things that others have asked for, so it speeds up your search selection by anticipating what you are looking for and by reducing spelling errors in your search terms.


Another advantage to seeing popular searches is to understand what the larger population is thinking about and looking for–this gives us insight into culture, norms, values, and issues of the time.

I did a simple google search of “do zombies” and as you can see the most popular searches are about whether zombies: poop, exist, sleep, “really exist,” and have brains. 

Even more disappointing than people asking whether zombies really exist is that the #1 search on zombies is about whether they poop–what does that say about our lagging educational system?

I would at least have imagined that the preppers–those infatuated with the end of the world and with preparation for survival–would at least be searching for terms like:

Do zombies…

pose a real threat to human survival?

have (certain) vulnerabilities?

ever die?

have feelings?

have children?

beat vampires (or vice versa)?

I suppose autocomplete is good at crowdsourcing search terms of what others are thinking about, but it is only as good as those doing the ultimate searching–our collection intelligence at work. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

End Of The World, Almost

Recently, I have become addicted to a number of shows on the Discovery channel. 
I know it sounds sort of boring, right?–but they actually have some fairly macho and educational shows.
From survivalist shows like Dual Survival, Man Vs. Wild, Man Woman Wild, to shows about special forces training like Surviving the Cut and even One Man Army.
I also enjoy this new show called Curiosity that “asks and answers the most fundamental questions facing the world today” such as Is There a Parallel Universe? or How Will the World End?
In “How Will The World End”, Discovery explores 5-almost end of the world scenarios, as follows:
1) Arc Storm — Similar to the flood from the bible, where it rains incessantly for a month or so, but unlike the flood that destroys the world, this one hits a specific area like California.  Anticipated dead is 380,000 and injured 1,140,000. (10% chance in the next 50 years)
2) Asteroid Strike – Like a number of movies such as Deep Impact that forewarn of the dire consequences of a direct hit to our planet, a moderate collision would kill 60,000 and injure 200,000.  (5% chance of occurrence over the lives of our children)
3) Mega-Earthquake – Hitting approximately 5 states in the midwest and killing 600,000 and injuring 2,000,000.  (10% chance in 50 years)
4) Mile-High Tsunami – Traveling at 500 mph, wiping out the eastern seaboard and killing 4,000,000.  (Probability is one in a 1000)
5) Super Volcano – Major series of volcanic eruptions in Yellowstone National Park that spews ash virtually covering the entire planet and would kill 100,000,000 people.  (Scientists estimate this happens every 600,000 years)
While the last 2 end of life scenarios are quite remote, the first three taken together yield an almost 25% chance of a doomsday-like scenario over the next 50 years and this is just those scenarios–it doesn’t account for a maniac detonating a nuclear packed suitcase bomb or spreading an infectious biological disease across the globe.  
These foreboding predictions about what could happen can easily depress and make us feel that even trying is hopeless.
But this morning, I listened on TV to Joel Osteen, who gives a pretty darn good sermon, and he said regarding faith, “Do every day what you can and then let it go!”
While we have to do everything we can to protect our world and make it safe and sustainable, some things truly are beyond human control.  
And once we’ve done our part and our best, we’ve got to step back and just have some faith, as Joel Osteen says: “Don’t put a question mark where G-d puts a period”–that really resonates.
We can ask why this or that happens, but at the end of the day, what G-d decides for us is often beyond our mere human comprehension.  
Easier said than done for sure, especially, when facing down situations scarier than any shown or imagined in the survival shows mentioned.
So Dave and Cody–And Seal Team Six–even you guys are outgunned when the hand of G-d says it’s time for history to take a major turn of events.
But as Joel Osteen would say, I’ll just put that in the “I don’t understand it” file.
(Source Photo: here)