Sunday, May 22, 2011


I have survived the Apocalypse! I AM INDESTRUCTIBLE!

OK, sorry about that. I just promised those would be my first words on May 22, and you wouldn't want me to go back on my word, would you? So I wrote this and scheduled it so it'd go up an hour after midnight. It's important to record your predictions before the experiment, keeps you honest.

A few reflections before the fact:

I'm not entirely certain why this particular date for Judgement Day got all popular. Some nut predicts the end of the world a couple of times a year, but it is rare that they get much attention. I suppose this particular group of crackpots has more resources than the average doomsday prophet, so they are publicising it more. It certainly isn't that their arguments are much stronger than usual.

I mean, look at this "infallible proof". Take a moment to reflect on the word "infallible", which is not something you want to throw around lightly. From a Bayesian perspective, if you assign something probability 0 of being wrong then you cannot ever change your mind about it. That is, if you believe the proof is actually infallible then you believe Judgement Day happened regardless of what you observe. After all, it's more likely than Judgement Day actually happened and nobody realised it than something infallible being wrong. As a general rule, don't call anything infallible unless it'd break reality for it to be wrong. Mathematical theorems are the one thing that gets anywhere near that standard, and even then you have Cartesian Demon issues.

All of which I say so you get an idea of the magnitude of the idiocy of calling this shit infallible proof. It's a bunch of numbers being thrown around carelessly and shoehorned into vague significance, and that's not even going into the giant pustulating unproven assumption they so casually take for granted, that you can derive knowledge about the future from the Bible. It's not like anyone has actually done so... (but that's inductive reasoning, innit?)

I'm curious as to how they'll rationalise their failure. I doubt they'll just be consistent with their claims of infallibility and go on as if Judgement Day had actually happened. I suppose I'll find out by the time you read this.

EDIT: Well, what do you know, that's exactly what they went with. If you don't feel like clicking, Camping (the main nut) said that Jesus' return did happen but it was a spiritual event, so that's why the world looks exactly like it hadn't happened at all. He still says the world will end, physically (and presumably observably), on October 21, so who knows what he'll come up with on October 22. Wait and see.

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