A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke. — Soren Kierkegaard (via thekaramazovsystem)
What happens to a man to whom all things seem possible and every course of action open? Nothing of course. Except war. If a man lives in the sphere of the possible and waits for something to happen, what he is waiting for is war — or the end of the world. … In war the possible becomes actual through no doing of one’s own.

Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman

Hat tip to Fred Clark at Slacktivist for bring this to my attention in this post.

In my opinion the apocolypse… must be primarily an internal, spiritual event, and only in a secondary way an external catastrophe. The gates of the Watchtowers… are mental constructions. When they are opened, they will admit Him not unto the physical world but into our subconscious minds… the apocolypse is a mental transformation that will occur, or is presently occuring, within the collective unconscious of the human race - Donald Tyson, “The Enochian Apocalypse” (via catalogosphere)
You aren’t post-apocalyptic because the apocalypse happened… You become post-apocalyptic when you learn to do something better, or at least more morbidly fun, with the apocalyptic remains of the day. — Evan Calder Williams, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse (via guydeborg)

(via ronpauldepartmentstoretragedy-d)

Whoever takes on the apocalyptic tone comes to signify to, if not tell, you something. What? The truth, of course, and to signify to you that it reveals the truth to you; the tone is the revelator of some unveiling in process. … Not only truth as the revealed truth of a secret on the end or of the secret of the end. Truth itself is the end, the destination, and that truth unveils itself as the advent of the end. Truth is the end and the instance of the Last Judgment. (84)

Jacques Derrida. “Of an Apocalyptic Tone in Recent Philosophy.” Semeia 22 (Studies in Ancient Letter Writing). John L. White, ed. Society of Biblical Literature, 1982. 63-97.

It is easy to say that every historical moment is unique and people always feel they inhabit pivotal moments. This is true in many ways, but attributing the disquiet to biology or psychology drags our moment outside of history and prevents us from seeing fundamentally new issues when they arise. We are more interconnected than at any point in the past and our tower of seven billion is propped up by a frail scaffolding of man-made and natural systems. As individuals, we are dwarfed less by God and Nature than by the immense scale and inertia of our own civilization. The stakes are high, the responsibility is ours alone and, perhaps for the first time, we’re starting to feel it. — Aengus Anderson (via dj-nemesis)

That’s an interesting take, but how are we to explain all previous apocalyptic moments?

According to what has been written on the subject, we seem only too eager to surround such a catastrophe with avenging fury, with destructive angels and the sound of trumpets, and other no less horrifying accompaniments.

Alas, we do not need such histrionics to be destroyed; we are not worth such a funereal display, and if God wishes it he can change the whole surface of the globe without such exertion on his part.

Brilliat Savarin on the end of the world, Physiology of Taste

The beginning of the 2nd sentence really rings in my head. It’s true we don’t need fanfare. Perhaps we are already subtlety in motion toward the end of all things. 

(via jenndlv)

So maybe things really are headed toward a collapse of some sort (although I tend to suspect that its more of a civilization-recession).


Renowned philosopher and critic, Slavoj Zizek, explains what he thinks is causing the downhill slide, and points to the faltering economy, global warming and deteriorating ethnic relations as evidence.

(by AlJazeeraEnglish)

(via slartibartfastibast)

That’s precisely the point: Apocalypse comes out of our hubris at thinking we’re the most important thing on the planet. Earth will be just fine. Some of its species—including us—not so much. 

Written 7.11.12

That’s precisely the point: Apocalypse comes out of our hubris at thinking we’re the most important thing on the planet. Earth will be just fine. Some of its species—including us—not so much.


Written 7.11.12

Expert: We’re underestimating the risk of human extinction

This is from The Atlantic’s website—an interview with Nick Bostrom, a philosophy prof at Oxford University. Well worth the read, but this in particular grabbed my attention:

I think the biggest existential risks relate to certain future technological capabilities that we might develop, perhaps later this century. For example, machine intelligence or advanced molecular nanotechnology could lead to the development of certain kinds of weapons systems. You could also have risks associated with certain advancements in synthetic biology.

Of course there are also existential risks that are not extinction risks. The concept of an existential risk certainly includes extinction, but it also includes risks that could permanently destroy our potential for desirable human development. One could imagine certain scenarios where there might be a permanent global totalitarian dystopia. Once again that’s related to the possibility of the development of technologies that could make it a lot easier for oppressive regimes to weed out dissidents or to perform surveillance on their populations, so that you could have a permanently stable tyranny, rather than the ones we have seen throughout history, which have eventually been overthrown.

Get that? He thinks we’ll do it to ourselves. No gods, no monsters—just our own technological hubris.