Eschatology

Obviously, we should be blogging furiously in the remaining day.  On the other hand, there’s other stuff I really want to do while I can, like learn Arabic and change the oil in my car, so I will have to be brief. Here are some useful updates of the sort for which you naturally turn to the RBC.

(1) It’s at noon.  God’s time, of course, rolling around the earth starting at the date line; don’t get mixed up with daylight savings time, you’ll waste an hour waiting.

(2) Camping was on TV today explaining that we should expect an earthquake that would open all the graves so everyone could get out and be dealt with.  He didn’t say anything about people who were cremated, and will obviously need their bodies back somehow, so an especially interesting place to watch might be a columbarium full of urns. Look out for flying shards.

(3) Be aware that everyone not raised to heaven will go through the days of awe and tumult, indeed the rest of what would be their natural lives,  under the illusion that life is going on as before and nothing has happened.  Something like the flashy thing in Men in Black, I expect.  So if it’s Sunday and you think the prophecy was not fulfilled, be advised that it indeed was, and everything from that point is imaginary, a perfect but unreal replication of what we have come to know as real life.   Including ersatz instances of the people you know who were raptured. All the exciting stuff in Revelation will be going on in the real world, but you will be missing it.  Or not realize it’s happening to the real you…it’s complicated…if you want to know how it works, I think you take the first, second, third, fifth words in a Fibonacci sequence, from Isaiah and Revelation 4-7, and then divide by something.  If you can get to a turntable, play the Tuba Mirum from Mozart’s requiem backwards.

Or just shine your shoes and put on a clean shirt Saturday, and don’t worry about it.

(4) Yes, your illusionary self will have to pay the mortgage and wash the dishes.  This is the end of days, not some kind of holiday. Be serious.

(5) It will be a good time to spend with friends and associates.  I hope you enjoy it as much as these folks.

[update 20/V] I was mistaken about noon time; apparently it’s 6PM local standard time, which is 7PM EDT. This  actually sheds serious theological doubt on the whole prediction: a just God would not bring the world to an end right before the first pitch at Fenway when we will be only a half-game behind New York.  We have been misled by a false prophet.  You are now free to move about the internet, and you can put off doing the laundry until Sunday.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

5 thoughts on “Eschatology”

  1. It’s the end of the world as we know it and I have to walk the dogs before I go shopping.
    But seriously (as serious as I can get with this stuff) I was wondering how these guys are going to act when the day comes and goes and nothing happens outside of our usual array of disasters. Now you have shown me the light. They can just claim it’s not REALLY them ’cause they are in Heaven with the angels and God sent their aparition to punish our evil selves by screwing up the economy, raping the world, stealing all the money they can and forcing us all to watch 700 Club reruns until we scream.

  2. Reminds me of Jon Stewart’s riff on Armageddon’s arrival simultaneous with hitting the debt ceiling, and yet … life goes on. I lived a year and a half as the wife of a Methodist minister serving a parish in a town of 100 people in northern Indiana where I learned from the Sunday school teacher how to tell when the rapture has begun: you open your freezer and if your ice cube trays are filled with what you at first think is tomato juice but in fact turns out to be blood, you know it’s really happening.

  3. Hey, I love this website but can’t help thinking you’re being a bit snarky. Harmless religious fanatics deserve some decency.

  4. I would question the harmlessness, but I agree that making fun of them is too easy a target.

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