Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

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La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2012 panic

I've heard that we were all going to die. Oh? So we're not immortal then? My, you really can learn something new every day...
Between you and I, it's better this way. The fact that all the imbeciles and the selfish are fleeting, is a rather good thing for Humankind. The wise man said : "The time that passes does not soften the pig's head." The more the idiots grow old, the more stubborn they become in their idiocy (it's called the Struldbrug Syndrome). If we didn't die, some people would still be ruminating a payback for the conquests of the Romans, or those of the Arabs, or the Crusades, and the world would never move forward.
This is good news for the planet, too.
What's that, you say? The Earth isn't eternal either? Yeah, I know, in 4.5 billion years from now our Sun, also turned old and stubborn, will get upset, all bloated, turn bright red, and instead of popping like a boil it will roast us, in fact it will expand as far as the orbit of Mars (the RED planet, precisely, makes sense), it's scientifically established. And way before that, in 50 to 100 million years, it'll be too damn hot for any life form to withstand it.
Excuse me? Sooner than that? In 3 years, 1 month and 3 days from this post's date? Uh... and how many hours exactly? Let's keep this precise.

So, it is being said that according to the Aztec calendar of the Mayas (which, let's not forget, have already been wiped out as a nation a good 2 or 3 centuries ago), the Y2K bug, running slightly late, will stall us our planet to a grinding stop on December 21st, 2012. Are you sure it's not rather on 12/12/2012? Because, you see, we already got ourselves all prepared for the 6/6/1998 Apocalypse, given that 1998 = 3x666, as you all know. "Third time's the charm" was the promise of Satan, who in the end looked dumb as a beast with his Numbers. Well, okay, it's no biggie, if we practice enough to panic, and to always know where we've put our towels, we'll end up being ready for the day when we need to do some galactic hitch-hiking.
But meanwhile, in 2012, I'll still leisurely make my Christmas shopping. You never know, in case it misses... Buying everything on credit. You never know, in case it doesn't miss...

Already, they say there was a "great Fear of the Year One Thousand", a year when Christians believed that Easter Day (the orthodox, or the catholic one?) would be the last one the World would witness. They had calculated, learnedly and meticulously, by the Book (the Bible), that such was all the time granted to us by God to exist since the day of the First Apple Harvest. Looks like their sophisticated abacuses (abaci? abacae? abacus's? abacus?) were already exposed to computing bugs...
My grandmother, who knew that period well, told me what this day was like :
"Those who believed in this last day thing, on the day before they gave away all their riches to the poor..." [I can imagine how touched God was by all this sudden generosity!!!]
" go to Heaven..." [if everybody did likewise, that must've been one very strange generosity competition, everybody wanting to give away/back what they were going to need no more so they would be first to enter Walhalla, wallah!]
"And those who didn't believe in it, they feasted like pigs." [They didn't believe in the christian Heaven, maybe, but if they did this it seems they believed in the End of the World!]

In fact, and in reality, it is believed that "the great Fear of the Year One Thousand" must've been limited to a few monasteries. Why? Because in these days, most people didn't know how to count, or how to read a calendar. Imbecility is bliss. It took a minimum of education to KNOW you were supposed to be afraid. Booga-booga-booga!
Fortunately, nowadays many people do have a minimum of education. No more than that, but it's sufficient to read nonsense on the internet and to believe that Paco Rabane is the successor of Muhammad, "the post-last of the Prophets".
Om Mani Pierre Cardin Houm, Hari Chanel!

Anyway, I saw the trailer : this movie creatively titled "2012" immediately BEGINS pretty strongly, with the StPeter's Basilisk crumbling. Then, when done with the warming up, the destruction gets serious.
"Serious"? PFAH! Excuse me while I laugh. HA-HA-HA! We'll see who gets the last laugh. (Uhm... I'm also laughing right now, just in case.)
Really, that bust-blocker of theirs is direly lacking in ambition.

As early as 1953, Arthur C. Clarke wrote "The Nine Billion Names of God", a story way cooler than some feathered Indians incapable of rebooting their dumb vigesimal calendar. (What a dumb choice, anyway! When even hi-tech electronic hexadecimal freezes at the slightest errorist incident...) Let me tell you that story, it's better than the movie, plus it's for free, so you'll be saving the price of a theater ticket thanks to yours truly.

[Update: I just found out that the story's full text can be found and read here. (Thanks Eolake!) Otherwise, if you're lazy, just keep reading along for the summary and my conclusion. Need I say SPOILER WARNING?...]

Some Buddhist monks believe that God has commissioned Men to find His Name, or rather the 9 billion possible names, the combinating rules of the involved letters being known. With such a number, it would take many centuries, for one of the rules is that all the names must be written down. "When this is done, Creation will have completed its purpose, and the Universe shall end." (Oh? But I thought THE answer was "42"? Ah well, let's move on. Let's also skip discussing the boundless ego that this implies from our revered demiurge.) So, the monks decide to make use of thechnological progress to speed up the job, and order from infidel [but business-savvy] Westerners a computer, that will be programmed to print out the whole listing in about three months' time only. Their -rather valid- theological reasoning is that, the computer being man-made, it's a perfectly kosher "writing" process. The programmers, however, prefer to take the french leave shortly before the printer's work is finished, "just in case these fanatics got nasty when they find out that the world isn't coming to an end". There too, their rationale makes sense, just look at the Solar Temple. But, while they're quietly running off in the tranquil night, they look up at the sky, and see the starts starting to switch off one after the other.
Now, THAT is a cool Ending of the World. All the Stars!
So, the StPeter's Basilisk, or even the whole Earth... frankly, it looks a bit lame in comparison, by Toutatis!
If the Sky's to fall on our heads, let's do things squarely, right? Otherwise, we're likely to say "hah! didn't hurt a bit!".
So not the drama. Booya. Meep-meep!

''You OK, doc?
-Aah, shaddup!''

''You OK, doc? -Aah, shaddup!''[Image edited & © P-04Referent]

Il paraît qu'on va tous mourir. Ah? Nous ne sommes donc pas immortels? Eh bien, on en apprend tous les jours, dites donc...
Tant mieux, entre nous. Le fait que tous les imbéciles et les égoïstes soient éphémères, c'est plutôt une bonne chose pour l'Humanité. Le sage a dit : "Le caractère du cochon ne s'améliore pas avec le temps qui passe." Plus les cons vieillissent, plus ils deviennent têtus dans leur connerie (on appelle ça le Syndrome de Struldbrug). Si on ne mourait pas, il y en a qui ressasseraient encore une revanche pour les conquêtes Romaines ou Arabes ou les Croisades, et le monde n'avancerait jamais.
Pour la planète aussi, c'est une bonne nouvelle.
Pardon? La Terre aussi, n'est pas éternelle? Oui, je sais, dans 4,5 milliards d'années le Soleil, devenu lui aussi vieux et entêté, va se fâcher, enfler, devenir tout rouge, et au lieu de crever comme un furoncle il va nous griller, d'ailleurs il va grossir jusqu'à l'orbite de Mars (la planète ROUGE, justement, c'est logique), c'est scientifiquement certifié. Et bien avant déjà, d'ici 50 à 100 millions d'années, il sera bien trop brûlant pour qu'aucune forme de vie ne puisse l'encaisser.
Plaît-il? Moins que ça? Dans 3 ans, 1 mois et 3 jours de la date de cet article? Euh... et combien d'heures exactement? Soyons précis.

Alors, il paraît que selon le calendrier Aztèque des Mayas (qui, rappelons-le, ont été exterminés en tant que nation depuis déjà deux ou trois bon siècles), le bogue de l'An 2000, un tout petit peu en retard, va nous faire caler la planète le 21 Décembre 2012. Vous êtes sûrs que c'est pas plutôt le 12/12/2012? C'est qu'on s'était déjà préparés pour l'Apocalypse du 6/6/1998, vu que comme chacun sait 1998 = 3x666. La troisième c'est la bonne, nous promettait Satan, qui finalement a eu l'air bien bête avec ses Chiffres. Bon, enfin, c'est pas grave, à force de s'entraîner à paniquer, et à toujours savoir où on a mis nos serviettes, on finira par être prêts pour le jour où on devra faire de l'auto-stop galactique.
Mais en attendant, en 2012, je ferai quand même mon shopping de Noël tranquillement. On ne sait jamais, des fois que ça rate... A crédit. On ne sait jamais, des fois que ça ne rate pas...

Déjà, il paraît qu'il y a eu une "grande Peur de l'An Mil", année à laquelle les chrétiens pensaient que le jour de Pâques (l'orthodoxe, ou la catholique?) serait le dernier du Monde. Ils avaient calculé, soigneusement et doctement, selon le manuel (la Bible), que c'était là tout le temps que Dieu nous avait imparti pour exister depuis le jour de la Première Cueillette de Pommes. On dirait que leurs bouliers sophistiqués étaient déjà sujets aux bogues de calcul...
Ma grand-mère, qui a bien connu cette époque, m'a raconté à quoi ça ressemblait ce jour-là :
"Ceux qui y croyaient, au dernier jour, celui d'avant ils ont distribué toutes leurs richesses aux pauvres..." [j'imagine comme Dieu a dû apprécier cette générosité subite!!!]
"...pour aller au Paradis..." [si tout le monde faisait pareil, ça a dû être un drôle de concours de générosité, tout le monde voulant donner/redonner ce dont il n'allait plus avoir besoin pour entrer le premier au Walhalla, wallah!]
"Et ceux qui n'y croyaient pas, ils ont ripaillé comme des cochons." [Ils ne croyaient pas au Paradis chrétien, peut-être, mais s'ils ont fait ça ils semblaient croire à la Fin du Monde!]

En fait, et en réalité, on estime que "la grande Peur de l'An Mil" a dû se cantonner à quelques monastères. Pourquoi? Parce qu'à cette époque, la plupart des gens ne savaient ni compter, ni lire un calendrier! Heureux les imbéciles. Il fallait un minimum d'éducation pour SAVOIR qu'on était censé avoir Peur. Booga-booga-booga!
Par bonheur, de nos jours, beaucoup de gens ont un minimum d'éducation. Pas davantage, mais ça suffit pour lire des âneries sur l'internet et croire que Paco Rabane est le successeur de Mahomet, "l'après-dernier des Prophètes".
Om Mani Pierre Cardin Houm, Hari Chanel!

En tout cas, j'ai vu la bande-annonce : ce film, très originalement intitulé "2012", il COMMENCE déjà très fort, avec l'effondrement de la Basilique StPierre. Et ensuite, une fois l'échauffement terminé, ça passe aux destructions sérieuses.
"Sérieuses"? PEUH! Laissez-moi rire. HA-HA-HA! Rira bien qui rira le dernier. (Euh... je ris aussi tout de suite, juste pour être sûr.)
C'est qu'il manque cruellement d'ambition, leur bloque-bustier, là.

En 1953 (déjà!), Arthur C. Clarke écrivit "Les neuf milliards de noms de Dieu", une histoire autrement plus cool que des Indiens emplumés incapables de rebooter leur stupide calendrier vicésimal. (Je vous demande un peu, a-t-on idée! Déjà que de l'hexadésimal électronique high-tech vous plante au moindre attentat erroriste...) Je vous la raconte, c'est mieux que le film et en plus c'est gratuit, je vous fais donc économiser le prix d'un ticket de ciné.

[Addendum: Je viens d'apprendre que le texte complet de cette histoire en V.O. (anglais) peut être lu ici. (Merci Eolake!) Sinon, ou si vous avez la flemme, continuez pour en lire le résumé et ma conclusion. "Ce qui suit révèle l'histoire, etc."]

Des moines bouddhistes croient que Dieu a chargé les Hommes de trouver Son Nom, ou plutôt ses 9 milliards de noms possibles, les règles de combinaison des lettres impliquées étant connues. Avec un tel nombre, ça prendrait de nombreux siècles, car une des règles est que tous les noms doivent être écrits. "Lorsque cela sera fait, la Création aura rempli son rôle, et l'Univers disparaîtra." (Ah bon? Je croyais que LA réponse était "42"? Bon, enfin, passons. Passons aussi sur l'Ego incommensurable que cela implique chez notre vénéré démiurge.) Donc, les moines décident d'utiliser le progrès technologique pour accélérer le boulot, et ils commandent à des Occidentaux infidèles [mais ayant le sens des affaires] un ordinateur, qui sera programmé pour imprimer tout le listing en l'espace de seulement trois mois environ. Leur raisonnement théologique -assez valide- est que, l'ordinateur étant fabriqué par les humains, c'est un procédé "d'écriture" parfaitement casher. Les programmeurs, eux, préfèrent filer à l'anglaise peu avant la fin du travail de l'imprimante, "des fois que ces fanatiques deviendraient méchants en voyant que le monde ne prend pas fin". Là aussi, c'est logique comme raisonnement, voyez le Temple Solaire. Seulement, alors qu'ils s'enfuient discrètement dans la nuit calme, ils regardent le ciel, et voient les étoiles qui commencent à s'éteindre les unes après les autres.
Alors ÇA, c'est une Fin du Monde cool. Toutes les Etoiles!
Alors, la Basilique StPierre, ou même toute la Terre... franchement, ça fait un peu minable en comparaison, par Toutatis!
Tant que le Ciel nous tombe sur la tête, autant y aller carrément, n'est-ce pas? Sinon, "même pas mal!", qu'on pourra dire.
Trop pas grave. Booya. Bip-bip!


Kio said...

missed your posts sir!!

juris doctor said...

It's funny what you say about the Romans. Today people want governments in the New World to apologize for what their ancestors did. I think the German Chancellor might even have apologized for the Holocaust. It's a wonder to me that the descendants of those in areas conquered by the Romans - pretty much all of Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East and Africa - don't demand the modern day government of Italy apologize for the actions of their ancestors. It would make about as much sense.

Btw, I am no scientist but I think the sun will last a bit longer than 50 million years*, but we will of course be long gone by the time it finally blows up 5 billion years from now. Better get working on that warp drive. I guess it's probably too small a star to go supernova.

I guess we can't really complain. What if we had been given one of those stars that burns out after a quarter billion years? We wouldn't even have evolved then.

I can see why some people in this world reject science, as the more we learn about the universe shows us how much of a farce life really is.

Anonymous said...

Btw, I wonder, did Swift realize the consequences if Struldbrugs really existed? Eventually the world would be overrun by them, unless a way were found to kill them. I suspect that if they really existed, a nuclear bomb would kill them. Or you'd have to pack them into a spaceship aimed for the sun. But, I mean, by the age of only 30 they become dejected?

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Ah, yes, I was a bit unfocused. Corrected it now.
The Sun will in fact pop in 4.5 billion years (give or take a few cows). It's already halfway through its life cycle (or will be, in about 3 years, 1 month and 3 days ;-). 50 million is when its ever increasing intensity will make all life on Earth impossible to sustain. An anecdotic difference...

"did Swift realize the consequences if Struldbrugs really existed? Eventually the world would be overrun by them"
A statistically very rare event requires a very long time for such a situation to happen.
Plus, to overrun the world, the'd need to at least be able to walk unassisted! Not much of a tyrant zombie invasion panic threat...

joe dick said...

As Asimov said, it would take a very, very long time...but eventually it would happen. And not that they'd be a Zombie threat, but you'd cover the world with urbmon-like nursing homes.

I guess we have 50 million years to discover warp drive.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

What's "urbmon"? I don't recall seeing that word in Swift. The Urban Monads?
Alternately, we could process them as cattle food. Those beasties have already eaten worse!

We have 50 million years... or maybe only 50 years. At the ever accelerating rate our environment is degrading by our own fault...

It would probably be a blessing for the rest of the Universe if we failed to export our crooked ways to other still-unplundered intact planets.
'Cause we've already perfected warped driving!

And we haven't even considered the very efficient possibility of global war "Third Time's The Charm"! Even speedier than the Greenhouse Effect through a moth-eaten ozone strainer.
It's already been miraculously averted a couple of times, did you know that? False alarms that nearly led to Defcon1. (Good thing all those National Security eggheads on both sides are renowned for ther ineptitude to efficiently apply procedures, and not only in airports.)

Gradually, sunlight intensity will increase, eradicating the most UV-vulnerable life forms, while the others resist or adapt. But ultimately, in 50 (or 100?) million years, no known organic molecule will be able to survive and ensure life as we know it (or as the dinosaurs knew it, since today's urban life is so different! ;-).
All gone, except maybe some butt-ugly abyss critters.

Of course, by then, if we've been geniuses enough to remain in existence and keep the world in better shape than Mad Max's, we'll probably be able to easily tone down the sunlight. Either by pushing our planet a bit further away (a giant solar sail over a few millenia should do the trick), or more mundanely by using our warheads (war-butts?) to create the miniature equivalent of a nuclear winter. A few gigatons in the oil-devoid Sahara every few years would likely do the trick with minimal overall complaints.

"Radioactivity"? WHAT "radioactivity"? Who cares? Can't you see we're frying, down here? Watch, even the scorpions are tap-dancing during the day, like the friggin' Lord Of The Dance troup!

Why panic? Panic is for when you've got some hope of escaping the inevitable.
Oh, right. I forgot : it's also nifty for those who just love to scream their watermelons off. Pass the earplugs, Ma, I haven't finished my nap...
An' ah shore as heck wun't haf time ter finish it after'n ah'm dead, roite?
Carpe diem, baby.

joe dick said...

urbmon is from Robert Silverberg's The World Inside.

joe dick said...

Looking it up on Wikipedia, the Urban Monad might eventually became reality, see Sky City 1000.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Yes. I've read it in French: Les Monades Urbaines.

"see Sky City 1000"

Puh-leeze! I've already seen Sim City 2000!
I was even its mayor, for a while.
With the amicable citizen help of those Powerpuff Girls. Such nice kids! Couldn't have managed without them.

Sarah Bellom said...

You didn't rely on all three of the girls, put together, HALF as much as you relied on MY constant help every time you were in a PICKLE.

I never had time to go to the hairdresser's, thanks to you.
That job almost drove me flippo. Good thing I moved into Urbmon Gotham, life's far more relaxed there.

JD said...

I don't recall seeing that word in Swift. The Urban Monads?

Didn't notice you'd already mentioned the Urban Monad, a clue that you already knew where it was from. Duh!


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