11 January 2024

It Is the Worst of Times...

For those of us who troll around in the darker sides of the blogosphere, it's easy to see that there are a lot of people who firmly believe that these are the worst of times, violent and savage, and there is no hope. That our country and our cities are ridden lawless violence, marauding barbarians, and a general collapse of civilization. 

And, of course, they all agree that we're just one step away from the Apocalypse. To which I reply, "Same as it ever was..." That or, "Sure, I figure in ten years we'll all be busy battling the mutant insects out of our caves..."  In certain circles, I am taken as someone who is seriously unserious, and they are so right. Except when they're wrong.  

Many years ago, yours truly posted a blogpost (Apocalypso) in which I wrote at great length about old predictions about the end of the world.  So far, there's been a 100% inaccuracy rate.  But predictions continue!  You never know!  This could be it!  

And so Nostradamus is hot again:

According to British author and Nostradamus commentator Mario Reading, 2024 will bring about the abdication of King Charles III due to 'persistent attacks on both himself and his second wife', and Harry replace him, rather than William or any of his children, as the man who has 'no mark of a king'.

And Pope Francis will die and a much younger Pontiff will be elected: 'Through the death of a very old Pontiff, A Roman of good age will be elected, Of him it will be said that he weakens his see, But long will he sit and in biting activity.'  (Daily Mail

Quatrain 5/23 reads: “The two contenders will unite together / When most others unite with Mars / The African leader is fearful and trembles / The dual alliance is separated by the fleet.” Reading's son, Laurie, says this is all about Elon Musk and his colonization of Mars.  (Sadly, Laurie's decided it means he won't go to Mars.  And here I had $5 to chip in on the paperwork.)  (Guardian)  

As is Isaac Newton:  

Newton, in a couple of his unpublished "occult" works, mathematically predicted the end times as coming in 2060:  

Prop. 1. The 2300 prophetick days did not commence before the rise of the little horn of the He Goat.
2 Those day [sic] did not commence a[f]ter the destruction of Jerusalem & ye Temple by the Romans A.[D.] 70.
3 The time times & half a time did not commence before the year 800 in wch the Popes supremacy commenced
4 They did not commence after the re[ig]ne of Gregory the 7th. 1084
5 The 1290 days did not commence b[e]fore the year 842.
6 They did not commence after the reign of Pope Greg. 7th. 1084
7 The diffence [sic] between the 1290 & 1335 days are a parts of the seven weeks.
Therefore the 2300 years do not end before ye year 2132 nor after 2370. The time times & half time do n[o]t end before 2060 nor after [2344] The 1290 days do not begin [this should read: end] before 2090 nor after 1374 [sic; Newton probably means 2374][26]
(If this makes sense to you, consult a psychiatrist immediately.) 

And check out this old PBS Nova Episode, "Newton's Dark Secrets".  

Of course, it's important to remember that both Nostradamus (1503-1556) and Isaac Newton (1642-1727) were both alchemists and occultists, which was fairly common among scientists, doctors, and astronomers [remember Elizabeth I's court astronomer/astrologer John Dee (1527-1609)].  And alchemy / occultism (much less astrology) has never gone away.  Half the crackpot theories that are currently being promoted on various websites as "the real truth" about everything from vaccines to a flat earth go back to the alchemical theories and practice.  "I've done the research!" says the person who has just been poring over various websites and given you a remedy that's as weird as Newton's cure for the plague:  

"a toad suspended by the legs in a chimney for three days, which at last vomited up earth with various insects in it, on to a dish of yellow wax, and shortly after died. Combining powdered toad with the excretions and serum made into lozenges and worn about the affected area drove away the contagion and drew out the poison"  (The Guardian)  

I'd almost rather drink bleach. 

Why are we so fascinated by this stuff?  Well, I think there's multiple reasons.

We like to think we're "in the know".  The minute you tell somebody something's secret, their ears perk up.

We like to think that there really is a plan.  

It's a nice distraction from one's ACTUAL problems.  "Well, this won't matter when the end times come..."  

It lets people off the hook.  "Don't worry about recycling, honey, the end times are coming!"  "Go ahead and buy that ____.  Don't worry about it, the end times are coming!"  OR

"Let's get ready!  The End Times are coming, and we want to have our bomb shelter fully stocked, so we can keep all the riff-raff / mutant insects / invaders at bay!"

We like to feel we're important:  it's like a hypochondria of society.  We can't just be going through a bad patch, this has to be the worst of times! And don't try to tell me it isn't!  

100% inaccuracy rate.  And, if that bothers you, we all get to experience the end times when we die.  That should cheer people up.  


  1. All of those predictions may come true, but on the sunnier side of things, we'll always have cat videos. And better yet, videos of baby goats.

  2. I cast the I-ching on my Incan calendar and I'm confident the world will end in 1958 with WW-III, as predicted by Jeane Dixon. Or something.

    Some have created spreadsheets of Sylvia Browne's predictions and found her accuracy rate to be 2-11%. An average Fox viewer could have outperformed Browne by simply guessing.

    Newton’s prediction is interesting in another way. 2060 is within the projected time frame when the world’s population ceases its mad growth and begins to decline. I suppose some could consider that the end of the world as we know it.

    Last week we saw the estimated death toll from Covid anti-vaxxers self-prescribing hydroxychloroquine is 17,000†. Who could have predicted?

    † Actually 16,990 across just six countries.

  3. Leight, Hydroxychloriquine and ivermectin are actually the distilled essences of the philosopher's stone.


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