Sunday, February 22, 2009

The End of the World

I have often thought, as have many others, about how the world is going to end. A famous quote from Albert Einstein plays in my head as I write this:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Of course, this brings to mind images of mushroom clouds and advancing soldiers, technology ridden, pilotless drones dropping carpet bombs on cities of tactical importance, raining death on innocent civilians and hiding guerrillas.

Is this how the world is going to end? Is it an end at all? It surely is the end as we know it – money and belongings will have no relevance anymore. I certainly would not mind an end to all the materialism and squabbles about land ownership and religion, I could easily see myself living out an existence centred on family and survival. However, is that existence the merry situation we would find ourselves in?

The end of civilization is going to be the end of law keeping, the end of policing and certainly the end of a judicial system. Crime will run rampant – the strong and immoral taking advantage of the week. Will there be happy days planting crops and veggies, fishing in a peaceful lake, and not worrying about a mortgage? No, there will not. We will fight over land, we will fight over what food remains, we will fight over anything there is to fight about, because that is what makes us human.

We, who love the luxury of the internet, air travel, wonderfully cooked food, well made clothes, excellent movies and awesome songs, and the odd good book – we shall not live an ideal existence. I shall certainly not look forward to the end of the world, that is for sure. Let us hope it does not end in war, and that it ends with a grand explosion after a collision with a giant, fiery ball of outer space rock. It will, after all, solve all our problems.

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