Month: September 2012
Is it that time again?
It’s a bit like an asteroid on a long orbit. Every few years it visits the Earth to create some great concern, and then disappears from view. Yes, it’s Nostrodamus time again.
In fact I would say this has happened every decade or so of my life. Someone mentions Nostrodamus or makes a documentary of writes a book, and all of a sudden it’s on.
All of sudden, every logical fallacy in the book permeates the conversation in news and TV circles, and no doubt the internet will be pumped up with them as well.
Firstly, we will have the Nostrodamus scholars, waxing lyrical about the great vision of the man, when all they are doing is retro-fitting vague statements to recent events. It’s kind of reverse paradolia; instead of looking at noise and making out a previously unseen pattern, a current event is taken and superimposed on some general statements, looking for a good fit. Obviously, 9/11 is a good candidate.
This will then happen ad nauseam, with every recent event – reactor melt-downs, global warming, tsunamis, tornados, oil rig failures – you name it, Nostro will have predicted it.
And then will come the conspiracy nutters, claiming that these predictions have been suppressed by governments, and use this for the excuse that the discussion only surfaces every decade or so. Yes, Nostro has been suppressed because governments know they can’t change any of his ‘predictions’.
It’s just that his so-called ‘predictions’ have no predictive power at all. Zilch. It’s not a lot different to your daily horoscope. The statements sound vague, but when you do find the dollar on the ground, you suddenly remember that prophetic statement in Woman’s Day – ‘You will come into money unexpectedly’.
Do I need to lecture you on confirmation bias again? No? Excellent.
I’m not going to quote Nostro – it’s pointless. Just think of any variation of: “A thing will happen to the person at the place when some other thing happens“. I bet that happens, seriously. You can quote me.
Anyhow, brace yourselves for the onslaught of Nostro-accolytes, whose tiny minds will be blown by the unerring accuracy of our most famous fortune teller, and will want to share their insight with everyone.
This is my prediction.
To those curious or concerned about the silence on rationalbrain – thanks, but all is well.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and our priorities change a bit, but I intend to get back into the swing of rationalbrain duties in due course.
In the meantime, here’s another from my ‘dumb churches’ collection. Other than they simply inverted the sense of each word, I don’t really get what point they were trying to make with this one. Another of god’s mysteries I suppose.