We're All Gonna' Die
Lust for Megadeath

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AAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! We're all gonna' die !! Whip me!! Beat me!!

Yesterday, I watched an excellent program on the Discovery Channel about black holes at the center of galaxies. Apparently there is probably a "super" black hole at the center of just about every galaxy whose size is inversely proportional to the angular momentum of the galaxy (though they implied that it was directly proportional - mistake?). The gas in the proto-galaxy initially falls into a central location and keeps falling in until a black hole is formed and eats up everything until it becomes a quasar whose radiation pressure proceeds to blow off the remainder of the galactic material and stops "feeding". All very interesting to me ... but that is not the subject of this piece.

Our subject involves psychology ... ?!

At the end of the piece the authors saw fit to bring into the story the "power" of the black hole to engulf everything in its surroundings ... principally people ... en masse. In other words "We're all gonna' die!". This is supposed to make your dick hard I guess. After all, we lust after all forms of mass death. It grabs our attention and so must be incorporated into any scientific examination of anything whatsoever to tap into that as a means of "popularization".

Here are some more death scenarios I've seen lately ...

The "Mega-Tsunami"

In this examination, a big chunk of earth as in the side of a volcanic island slides into the ocean sending a huge wave across the Atlantic engulfing New York City ... killing everyone (it's often NYC - yikes!). I worked out the math for this event and it would be very trying for everyone on the edge of the Atlantic basin ... though it won't go 20 freakin' miles inland ... (I don't know who programs the calculations to get this particular crap).

But it's abundantly clear ... "We're all gonna' die! AAAAaaaahhhhhh !!!!"
Therefore the subject is important and warrants the focus of our attention.

The "Super-Volcano"

There's one in Yellowstone. The whole park is a volcano. It goes off every 100,000 years or so ... and ... it hasn't erupted for ... yup ... 100,000 years. That' why those geysers are shootin' off all hot & shit. She's gonna' blow. It's clear that when it does go ... it will take all of us with it in a sort of nuclear winter. The skies will darken worldwide and we'll freeze our asses off. It's conjectured that this happened to another super-volcano about 70,000 years ago and the whole human population almost went extinct as there were only about 1000 people left on the earth. (They get this figure from mutations rates in diverging populations). This probably happened. So ...

It's abundantly clear ... "We're all gonna' die! AAAAaaaahhhhhh !!!!"
Therefore the subject is important and warrants the focus of our attention.

The "Nuclear Winter"

Very popular thinks to Carl Sagan. (Decreasing the earth's albedo makes it cool down ... hmmmmm) I think I can skip this one since you all know all about it.

But one thing is abundantly clear ... "We're all gonna' die! AAAAaaaahhhhhh !!!!"
Therefore the subject is important and warrants the focus of our attention.

The "Global Warming"

Yada, yada, yada ... (Increasing the earth's albedo makes it heat up ... hmmmmm)

It's abundantly clear ... "We're all gonna' die! AAAAaaaahhhhhh !!!!"
Therefore the subject is important and warrants the focus of our attention.

There are many more ... very many ... asteroids, novas, changing ocean current patterns ...

But why is all this so riveting?

The reason that mass death gets our attention is that it usually is accompanied by a big noise and-or a lot of light. This is what gets anyone's attention first ... something very much out of the ordinary. A simple mind is easily impressed by physical sights and sounds while the more intellectual person is attracted by "ideas". Therefore, if you want to popularize a subject ... discover how it might make a big noise or a lot of light and you will get the greatest amount of attention. Stress its more cerebral aspects and you turn away the masses.

There is one other aspect here.

To the simpleton, when many people die at the same time in the same place or by the same mechanism over an unusually short span ... the event takes on a "masterbatory" significance, i.e. those who die are somehow more important (but not really). "Ooh, uh ... gak ... eough ... uff, uff ... AAAaaahhhhhhhh" ... I'm important! I survived (or was marked by) the 9-11 disaster, holocaust, bombing, volcano, earthquake ... yada, yada, yada. Now we are left with the legacy of the above (9-11) in the form of excessive security (which is a form of social masterbation) all because the event has been given more significance than is warranted ... because the government officials are "small minded people" ... but you already know that ...

In the 9-11 attack for instance, about 3000 people died. Overlooked are the other 10,000 people who died that day (and every day) in the United States. (280,000,000 divided by 70 average lifespan = 4,000,000 per annum divided by 365 = about 10,000 ascending souls per day. And 20,000 are born every day minus about 2000 per day sneakin' in over the Mexican border ... well, you get the picture).

Why do we ignore the others? We don't actually ... they just don't get the headlines ... 'cause ... their deaths simply were not accompanied by a big "BANG" and a "LOT OF LIGHT" and therefore do not merit the focus of our "primitive" attention.

Moral of this story ...

Try to be more thoughtful when confronted by apparently hugely significant events (headlines). They are often insignificant (or much less significant) when placed in the context of day to day event accumulations.

In other words "think" ... don't just "feel".



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