Friday, 23 September 2011

The End of the World Propaganda...Getting Really Lame.

Hello everyone, I go by the name of Kaiser. I'm a 21 year old in his final year of Clinical Psychology. I'm also Vice President to my University's Astronomy Club.  You can say I've always had a love to know how things work. With Psychology, the way the human mind thinks and behave is really the most interesting thing to me. I hope to do my master's thesis on Phobia. Why? Well, I've always thought the world became a better place every single time I see my professor help overcome someone's phobia at the clinic. Fighting fear makes you a modern day superhero. When it came to Astronomy, I was shocked to find out how 'tiny' we are in this Universe. I then proceeded a journey to find out how the Universe works. I found myself with the more I knew, the more questions came. 

Now as the Astronomy Club enjoyed its events, I couldn't help but notice how much of our mailboX had so many letters talking about 'Doomsday' predictions. I got all kinds of crazy stuff that I had to check if I hadn't confused the Astronomy Department's mail with the Psychology Department. Anyways, most of the people told me to check Youtube so that's what I did. I couldn't believe how much of Youtube was 'infested' with these videos of Nibiru, Planet X, Elenin etc But I still decided to watch them anyways and I just couldn't handle the bad physics involved. I mean literally, we have a better chance of being attacked by Barney the Dinosaur. At first I thought it was funny when people would say there's a hidden planet behind our sun just waiting to pop out and go SURPRISE! 

But then I realized if this grows big, it's going to spread because what I can tell you about Fear is that - it spreads. And so during 2009 and 2010, it got to the point where 1 in every 3 people has heard that the world is ending in 2012. In fact, during my Social Psychology class, a classmate brought up several suicide cases where people were too afraid to face the so called end when it comes. Rather than being sad, I was angry. Angry that when the joke has gone too far, one would eXpect it to stop but what happens instead? They make a blockbuster movie called 2012 with the tagline: We Were Warned. That's marketing and that's the quickest way to feed on your fears. 

I decided to play it smart so here's what I did to help all those people who sent those Doomsday mails: I invited all of them (Roughly around 50 people) to the Astronomy Club's ideal Observing spot. I just stood there in the middle of them listening to what each had to say. Some pointing here and there: That's Nibiru! etc Then I shouted out and called for their attention. I proceeded by giving them a tour of the Universe. I spent at least 3 hours talking about the Universe from the Big Bang to our present day discoveries adding a few jokes here and there to let people know I'm easy going (Some thought I was a secret agent from NASA hiding 'the truth' :P) So anyways after they got a basic understanding, I gave them this eXample to think about: For a beautiful healthy tree to grow, it requires two things: Sunlight and Water. The leaves accomplish this by stretching towards the sunlight above while the roots go deep to the water below. And just like that, that's how the  Universe works. Everything is in harmony. Everything is 'stable'. 

But just like I spoke about how fear is contagious, so is knowledge. When everyone got an idea of the basic physics involved, everyone started to get an idea of the reality of things. Someone told me to point the telescope towards the Virgo constellation citing that google skymap and Nasa have 'blocked' that patch and so I did - guess what? Nothing. The remainder of the night I gave everyone the observation of their lives seeing everything from Planet Jupiter to the far ends of our Milky Way, even observing our neighbor Andromeda. 

So what are you people scared about? The Earth has been here for quite a few billion years - does it make sense that now suddenly all this disasters just want to pop up and happen? Someone told me that there will be a polar shift ALL IN ONE DAY.  Can you imagine that? North and South switching places all in one day. I told him as much as I wish that was true so we can all use some weather change and be attacked by angry Penguins who aren't happy with the results, it's just not possible. We live in the year 2011 and counting, what are the threats we have? Let me be frank with you. The real threat is nothing celestial in nature but actually us. We worry so much about things that can't harm us we forget the real threats that can harm us AND our Planet like diseases, pollution, that whole stuff you read about daily. 

You guys remember the May 21st Rapture Prediction? So many people sold their homes and belongings only to be disappointed by a nice sunny day and an even better night sky! Looking at the interview of Harold Camping - the man responsible for the prediction in the first place, It hit me straight. I showed my head professor and we were dealing with a Paraphrinic - This person is in need of Psychological attention. So people followed predictions of a person who should be in an Asylum and I'll say that anytime of the day. That's quite embarrassing. I mean some of us are worried about Alien invasions when we should be worried that any delusional person who walks up to say something, so many people follow him. Is that the kind of person you want to be? And in the end it all came to pass. And speaking of Aliens, why are people so worried about this? So many people believe that Aliens will come and conquer and enslave mankind - a classic Steven Spielberg right there! But don't you think (Saying they eXist) if they wanted to do that, they would have done that far a long time ago? I mean if you could travel through space, you'd only be interested in tourism and observing.

I'm not going to advise anyone here to deal with their fears by turning their backs to it and doing something they like such as music, dancing etc No, my method is far different. Just like what I did with the crew, I advise you to tackle fear right in its face. If you ever have a question you're not sure about then ask your professors - these people spend their lives being good at what they do. If they weren't, then we really wouldn't be able to accomplish anything. The same goes for Physicists - if you got a question then feel free to ask they'll help out. If you're still anywhere from the 5th to 9th grade then I advise you to take Astronomy as a hobby. With it, you'll know that there's more to living than you anticipated and you can certainly tell those Doomsday wackos they're wrong. You can also pursue Astrophotography as a hobby since there's nothing as beautiful as our very own night sky. If you ever have a question, feel free to contact me and see for all your 'true' answers. Clear Skies Everyone!

Special thanks to the admins of for help spreading awareness.

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