Perhaps I should change careers…

…and become an apocalyptic doomsayer. They’re all the rage right now, and, according to this article apparently now we’re in the highest state of “End Times Alert!” than ever before. Higher even than:

  • 1945, when World War II engulfed pretty much the entire globe, atomic bombs were being set off, half the world was in poverty, even the rich nations;
  • 1918 when Spanish influenze swept the world, Europe was engulfed in the worst war in its history, famine was rampant, and people everwhere were starting to come to terms with the Russian Revolution.
  • 1844, when apocalyptic thinking seems to have washed over the entire planet and people everywhere were selling all their belongings and moving to mountain tops;
  • 1450, when a third of Europe was dying of the Black Death, unusual weather patterns brought strange storms (the world was in the grip of a “mini ice age” at the time), wars were a constant of daily life for the elite and hunger and starvation were a constant of daily life for the poor; or, heck, even
  • ca. AD 30, when Christ was crucified, and his apostles were expecting His return at any minute.

I’ve railed against our apocalyptic culture before, and why it bugs me so much. I’ve discovered that there are, in fact, branches of Christianity — sadly, growing more popular — which believe that the worsening state of the world is God’s plan and that to try to make things better is against God’s plan; the sooner we can bring about universal poverty, hunger, war, and so on, the sooner the Rapture will come. This flies in the face of all of the commandments given to us by Christ.

And this sort of apocalyptic thinking is opposed to what we learn from the Bible about what Christ even said about the Second Coming; in short, he said that we simply won’t know, and we’ll all be taken by surprise. To try to set a specific date and claim that it is predicted in Scripture is just, well, wrong.

It just bugs me.

So, let’s all repeat it together, shall we?

  • 2005 is not the worst storm year on record (though, because of global warming, we’re likely to experience increasingly worse storms in years to come)
  • Far fewer people are dying in war this year than in WWI or WWII
  • The war in Iraq is not the worst conflict that region has seen (anyone remember the Ottoman Empire?)
  • All talk about a pandemic of H5N1 “Avian Flu” is hypothetical at best.

Of course, some people are making money off of current apocalyptic ramblings. That’s their own problem.

Microsoft Liberation Continues

Today, the project has released 2.0 for Linux, Windows, and other platforms. I’ve been using the Beta version of OOo 2 for several months now, and I can say that it’s stable, reliable, and a worthy competitor to Microsoft Office. Some of the more advanced functions of the MS Office suite may not transfer perfectly, but I’ve never used such advanced features, and every MS Document I’ve opened in OOo has transferred perfectly. Plus, at $0.00, the price is much lower than what MS charges for their Office suite.