Apocalypse Next?

Well, if you’re reading this, it looks like all the people who thought that Mayans were predicting the end of the world (rather than just the end of the calendar) were wrong.

How sad it is, to think that in a little over a decade, we’ve used up two really great dates to focus all our panic and dread of the future on. But we have, and short of restarting the calendar, we’ll never see 2000 or 2012 again. So now what date can we project our formless fears onto?

2048: A little geek humour here, folks – but who’s to say that the real Y2K might be more destructive than the one we had? Aside from, y’know, anyone with a basic understanding of how date fields work.

2240: According to some Talmudic scholars, this is the date that the Messiah will finally arrive, instituting a thousand years of ‘desolation’. Technically, I suppose that would put the date of the apocalypse at 3240…

3000: Even assuming that Christianity has died out completely by then, that won’t stop our pattern matching species from attaching undue importance to what is, after all, basically an arbitrary number.

10,000: Could there be a Y10K problem? It sounds laughable at first, but think about just how cheap your managers are, and it becomes distantly, horribly possible that someone will still be using shitty COBOL systems after more than 8000 years.

10^100: Approximate date of the Heat Death of the Universe. Or possibly the Big Crunch, Big Freeze or Big Rip (apparently, the end of the universe, whatever form it takes, will sound like an Australian tourist attraction). I find it comforting that even the brightest minds in cosmology can’t agree on what will finally put them out of a job…

Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel fine…

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