Historians could likely determine when and where humans began to ponder on The End of The World As We Know It – when folks felt some inexorable urge to hang over the heads of humanity the demise of all existence. Today, perhaps, one could sit at a keyboard and monitor and search the Internet to explore that mystery.
Fortunately, or not, for the last 70 years, Western Civilization has had a metaphorical clock to measure the approach of extinction – the dire-named Doomsday Clock. Thursday, clock-keepers alerted us that we are now at 11:57, three minutes til midnight, aka Doomsday. It’s a two-minute leap since the last move of the clock’s hands in 2012.
I’m not sure what purpose the metaphorical timepiece serves – to insure we all accept the inevitability of our collective demise despite our actions to prolong Life? Is it to signal us, like a football game’s 2-minute warning, that the Terminal Last Call approaches so that we can … what? Hunker down? Hug loved ones close? Launch some Kal-El into the vast depths of space?
Maybe it’s akin to that school teacher warning the class that everyone will get detention unless “you straighten up and fly right, Buster?”
It is discomfiting to realize humans may actually possess both the weapons and the will to demolish humanity.
Perhaps it’s akin to those dreamy notions of Nostalgia – everything was better in Times long past, only despair and death are ahead, and the Now is merely longing and regret and dread.