This seems like an appropriate cartoon for today. Looking forward to the Tribulation!
Tag Archives | armageddon
Writer’s note: The username links do not work, but others do. Some readers may prefer to start this short story at the chronological beginning, but I recommend starting here:
less than 20 seconds ago from TweeterProbe
less than 20 seconds ago from web
less than 30 seconds from mobile web
1 minute ago from mobile web
6 minutes ago from mobile web
6 minutes ago from TweetDeck.
6 minutes ago from webHappybriefs Did anyone else in Schenectady feel that shudder? It was like an earthquake or something.
9 minutes ago from Tweetdeck
Alltop would probably side with the goats. You can follow the author at http://twitter.com/markarayner. Thanks to Bolandtor and Bete for some of the icons. Originally posted on April 23, 2009, but I wanted to post it again because I’m teaching some journalists-in-training how to use Twitter today.
How will Twitter end the world? There are six competing theories. Perhaps one day religious scholars, apocalypse researchers and other gloomy intellectuals may agree which of these theories is correct, or maybe some genius will provide a Unified End Theory of Twitter. Until that happy day, we will have to simply forearm ourselves with knowledge of these theories, and grimly soldier on.
This is a re-imagining of the popular (and much-hoped for) Christian End of Days. In this cosmological terminal point, the Son of God will return to our planet and use Twitter to inform us of who has been naughty and who has been nice. Anyone who retweets Christ will be saved, and naturally, he expects you to follow him back too. Failure to do so will prevent you from enjoying the Rapture, which means you’ll have to endure the painful Un-Twittering process. (Known in other Christian eschatology as the Tribulation.)
5: Big Twitter Is Following You
This theory posits a dystopian world-government ruled by a troika of control-freaks using Twitter to watch our every move and control our very thoughts. I don’t personally believe this end theory for one moment, but it is presented here in the interests of accuracy. These theorists may be thinking of Facebook, not Twitter.
Twitter will eventually become so overrun with bots following one another that human communication will be rendered impossible. Some even posit that these bots will consume all of the Earth’s resources so they can inform one another of viagra and cialis sales. Humans will be rendered obsolete, except as a kind of biological battery and sex drug storage device.
There can be only one! Each Twitter user has the potential to become not only immortal, but omniscient as well. The only catch? You have to cut off the heads of every other Twitter user. So clearly, the number of followers you have doesn’t really matter, and in fact, may be kind of awkward. On the plus side, “unfollowing” could be a bit more satisfying.
2: Peak Twitter
A terrifying prospect — exponentially rising populations, global warming, water shortages, and growing costs of fossil fuels will not only cause massive food shortages, but Twitter servers will not be able to handle the traffic associated with the crisis. Imagine a year of the Fail Whale. (And no cheeseburgers, or any other kind of sustenance.)
This esoteric theory suggests Twitter will bring about the end of the world in a series of battles and disasters, all set to Wagner. The celebrities with the most followers will face off in a final battle to decide who will be our champion, and try to save the world. For some reason, the danger comes in the form of a world-eating snake. Unless Stephen Fry wins, I suspect this is the end for us all.
“Now I will destroy the whole world.”
– What Bokonists say when they commit suicide, Cat’s Cradle, Chapter 106
You’d think a story about the end of the world – not just the world of one person, or human civilization, but all life on the planet – would be a grim affair, but Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle is replete with wit, wry humour, and a touching compassion for human frailty.
Vonnegut’s book is no bright dystopia, like the one portrayed in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, nor is it as unrelentingly dark as George Orwell’s 1984. It’s our world that Vonnegut so amusingly satirizes, a world in which human beings are awfully good at creating doomsday devices (atomic bombs, religions), and lying to themselves.
Many have said this is a story about the insanity of the Cold War, but I think it’s a short history of human stupidity. And it is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1963. The plot follows a narrator who is writing a book about one of the creators of the atomic bomb and in the process discovers the scientist has also made Ice-9, a substance with the potential to turn all water into solid ice. Why invent such a dangerous thing? Come on, science can’t be held back by such existential worries – it’s progress, baby.
Our world is beset with climate change caused by our technologies. As a species, we’re on the cusp of massive changes that could exceed the pace of evolution – whether from genetic engineering or through fusing our biology with information technology – and this is precisely the kind of book that everyone needs to read.
We need to think about what we are doing with our scientific power, not just proceed blindly.
Cat’s Cradle is the book that helped me find a way I could be a writer: it’s literary, but it plays with science fictional tropes; it’s funny, but there’s a point to it all. In it he invents a religion, Bokonism, that is both humane and ironic, and that puts the lie to all other human religions. He spoofs geopolitics as easily as he skewers human egocentrism. And he does it all with humour and prose that’s accessible and well crafted. It’s deceptively simple, in fact. You can’t help but be moved, and then you think, “How did he do that?”
The short chapters are perfect for today’s attention-deficit-disordered readers (at least, until we have our concentration chips implanted), so it works as a book that everyone at university could read.
Not to mention all the great ideas (foma: a harmless untruth) and kickass existential “Calypso” lyrics from the Book of Bokonon:
Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to wonder, “Why, why, why?”
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself, he understand.
From the Book of Bolt-Action Lamentations
And truly, there will come a time when the faithful women-folk of a distant land will no longer run through the Forests of the City without protection, for the men-folk will not Exercise with them and protect them with their bulk.
And lo! A Prophet shall say, “I shall protect you, though your men-folk do not!”
And the Prophet will construct devices of cunning, colored “fashion” pink, and “red-hot” red. And some devices will be covered with the Skin of a Leopard. Others will be “matte” black, and hidden in holsters of cow skin.
The Prophet shall sell these devices for a reasonable price, and they will be Weapons that Harness the Lightning. And when their Lightning is released upon the Unbelievers, the Rapists, and other Beasts of the Forest of the City, they shall say, “ung-ung-ung!” and fall twitching to the ground.
And all the while, the faithful women-folk of this distant land shall listen to the Music of the Heavens. And they shall glory in the Songs of Prince, and the Madonna, and other Holy Crooners that are good to hear when running, for the device can hold many songs.