The End Of The World...Again and Again...
There should be more coverage...don't ya think?
CK ‘73 50th Reunion Update
Two dozen of our classmates — more Cranes than Aardvarks — signed on to share memories and to hear the latest updates about Reunion Weekend. All the participants were a "YES" for attending our 50th anniversary bash! One classmate admitted he had been ambivalent, but seeing familiar faces and catching up even briefly with old friends on the call made him realize he would enjoy being back on campus for this once-in-a-lifetime event. The schools' Director of Advancement and the Director of Alumni Relations (herself an alumna) also took to the time to say hello and offer an advance "welcome back!" to the Class of 1973.
If you missed this one, there will be a CLASS ZOOM CALL 2.0 in April. Lucy tells me it will be during the week.
CURRENT INFORMATION for REUNION WEEKEND is now online: Cranbrook Schools Reunion. The official REUNION WEEKEND PACKET (containing all RSVP info) from the school will be in the mail in April.
Consider contacting classmates you're in touch with and make sure they're on board. Please let Lucy or I know if you have questions about the weekend's activities, hotel information, who's coming, etc. Check the website for more.
PS: We would still appreciate your input on our reunion survey ... hint, hint. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JNB5SHM
One of my more peculiar hobbies that drives Ev crazy (though that’s not a long trip) is collecting apocalypses along with significant and odd events, including beer floods (17 October 1814) and the first electric streetlights (31 March 1880, in Wabash, Indiana). They just happen to end up on my calender spreadsheet…some end up in the “And Finally” section on the bottom of this newsletter. I can search for “world ends” and come up with a bunch of ‘em.
“The End is Nigh!" the man shouted.
"Is there still time for hot chocolate?" Riley asked.
The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. "Ah, maybe, I don’t know.”
There have been thousands of end of the world predictions. Here’s a sample…
27 May 482: This is the earliest calendar date the world was supposed to end, predicted by Hydatius, the bishop of Rome.
2 February 1524: London astrologers predicted another great flood; thousands of Londoners fled to higher ground.
1 February 1624: The London astrologers struck again…
28 April 1843: William Miller, leader of a Baptist sect with his name, predicted that Christ would return on this day. Thousands of his followers sold or gave away all their possessions in anticipation…
31 December 1843: Miller again…
21 March 1844: Miller again…
22 October 1844: Miller, for the last time. His Millerite sect broke up after this last Great Disappointment.
13 February 1925: Seventh-Day Adventist Margaret Rowan predicted this one
4 February 1962: Jean Dixon, the famous astrologer, predicted this one.
1 January 2000: Multiple sources predicted this one.
6 April 2000: James Harmston of the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days called this one.
5 May 2000: The Nuwaubian Nation led by Dwight York, a former black Muslim theologian who started seeing UFOs predicted a star holocaust, when all the planets align and pulled into the Sun.
21 December 2012: Probably the best known of end-of-the-world dates of recent news. This one was called by many seers, backed up by the “end” of the Mayan calender.
A common thread here is the Second Coming of Christ, followed by the Rapture and God’s judgement upon the Earth. I note that, aside from all the predictions being wrong, all of them have, or had, movements or followers to impress and, more recently, credulous audiences.
But science does it too.
In 1960, in a Science magazine article, Heinz von Foerster, famous for his work in cybernetics—best described as circular logic—predicted the end of humanity on 13 November 2026, caused by overpopulation. We’ll find out in another three years if that prognostication will come to pass, but since the world birth rate is cratering in the industrial world and has been slowing appreciably in the developing world for a century, an end caused by too many people seems unlikely. Other scientists have predicted the end by different means, from supernovas to super-volcanoes to the universe just getting tired and giving up over the course of the next billion years or so.
But the “most respected” end of the world scenarios also have a common thread.
Von Foerster predicted the end of humanity would come on what would have been his 115th birthday. Think he expected to be around to see it? Or, like the unfortunate Miller, Jean Dixon and many others, would be around to be ridiculed when they don’t see it come to pass? More important, would anyone remember it that far out? No, I didn’t think so either. Science has the decency to at least make their predictions so far away that their colleagues won’t grin into their morning lattes when it doesn’t happen.
Like almost every truly horrible thing that has ever happened in the history of our world, the end also began with a kiss.
We talked about “the right side of history” before, that Marxist/Hegelist/Leninist way of looking at events through a prism of certainty of attitude. Barack Obama believes he’s always on it, and those who agree with him are, too. But are those who predict the future, especially the end of the world/humanity/universe, lonely voices boldly looking ahead and seeing the dark, equally certain about the end of everything? Think they’re ever right? Since you’re reading this…no. At least, not yet.
Don’t wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.
This Redhead: The Dialogues
Because I Want To Sell Books…
On 1 April:
1700: The April Fool’s tradition became popularized in Britain and Scotland. The exact timing is unclear as are the motives, but it is thought that it had to do with the changeover from the Julian to the Gregorian calender. Or not…
1924: A Bavarian court sentenced Adolph Hitler was to serve five years in prison for high treason. Apparently, April Fools reached Germany by then.
And the first Saturday in April is NATIONAL LOVE OUR CHILDREN DAY. And this year it falls on April Fools…