Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Meaningless predictions

Published:Monday | January 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

A new year never is exactly like the one before it and only occasionally is all that similar, but around this time of so many recent years, owing primarily to the calendar I suppose, many of us like to make reflections upon the previous one or ones, predictions of what will or may happen in the coming one, and perhaps resolutions as to what we want to do in it.

We would all agree, as well, that there is obviously at least some small good to all these efforts. But looking back over a longer period of time, we more often than not realise that our reflections have been largely forgotten, our predictions seldom come true and likewise, as to our resolutions, we almost always discover we weren't nearly as resolute as we wanted to be.

Year after year, this seems to be the traditional pattern and, for that matter, sooner or later at least some of us are left asking if it wouldn't be nice to take a break from all this fuss and bother and whether we realise it or not, there are at least a few of us who routinely attempt to do so.

Predicting the end

As such, some discovered that one way to take this break, that is, to attempt to end this vicious circle of looking back, forward and then making resolutions, is to try to forget the past, make no resolutions, and predict something outlandish or at least highly unlikely.

Is this not, in fact, exactly what the 'end of days and second coming' Christians believe in? Or, for that matter, the followers of Nostradamus, Hopi Indians legends, and believers in the prophecies interpreted from deciphering the Mayan calendar, just to mention a few of the many such popular notions? Indeed, it would almost appear that ever since written history began, along with all the rest of it, people have been predicting the end of it all.

My favourite is the fairly-recent prediction that sometime in the near future, perhaps this year in fact, extraterrestrials will do something so "publicly spectacular" and undeniable, that the entire world, largely because of its new era of mass communication, cellular phones and the Internet, will be forced into accepting a new, greater reality: the one that suggests in fact that we are not by any means alone in the universe that our God or gods created.

Why I like this idea so much in particular is that it actually might resolve most all of the problems that the other 'predictions of the end' or of 'great change' ideas attempt to resolve. In one sense, the world as we know it would end and a new beginning would be, literally forced or imposed upon us by our own now greater awareness of it.

It seems as well that it would be best if these aliens kept us largely in the dark as to their history of involvement with us, their current activities and, at the same time, their future plans. That way, we couldn't spend all that much time arguing about the details, which we do with most things.

I am, etc.,