Phew! Today we can finally stop being insensitive about Mayan culture and eschatology and focus on the year the actual apocalypse will take place: 2014. This is the year, according to a release from security firm Internet Identity, that cyberattacks stop being a problem for James Bond and start affecting actual civilians. Fatally. Can’t wait!
Sure, IID offers the usual boilerplate saying that Fortune 500 companies will get backdoored by hackers and national security systems could be breached if we’re not better prepared in the future. But that doesn’t seem to be their main concern. On the contrary: “Those threats are well understood, and being addressed today. The more interesting thing from our perspective is what’s next? And how will the industry respond?”
What’s next they say, is the use of Internet-connected devices as murder weapons: “Examples include a pacemaker that can be tuned remotely, an Internet-connected car that can have its control systems altered, or an IV drip that can be shut off with a click of a mouse.” Remote killing, huh? Pretty awesome stuff. Though as usual, someone was ahead of the curve.
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The world is not going to end on Friday. The world is not going to end on Friday. In fact, we can’t wait for Saturday because then all this “end of the world” nonsense will be over and we can all go back to pretending the world’s resources are infinite. You may be going to an “End of the World”-themed party or bar night on Friday. And any excuse for a party is a fine one, ultimately, just be sure of a couple things before you go out. First, that the party that you are attending is not a secret Doomsday cult meeting and you have no exit strategy. Second, don’t let anyone talk you into doing anything stupid because the world might end, or whatever. This isn’t a Christmas movie, where everyone makes silly declarations of love and impulsive marriage proposals because “it’s Christmas,” which is never an excuse to do anything like that in real life. And be sure to get good alcohol and dress nicely, not as a “just incase the world does end” precaution, but because you’ll have a nicer night, especially when surrounded by Fake Apocalypse revelers.
Or, if you’re from the tiny French town of Bugarach, nestled beneath the Pyrenees, with a population of just under 200, you’re going to have to ride the day out with—or try to capitalize on—all the apocalypse tourists and doomsday cultists who believe the prophecy that this little town, beneath the alien “spaceship garage” in the Pic de Bugarach mountain, is the only one that will survive the 21st. The townsfolk are selling stones from the face of the mountain, and for €15a pop, water from its spring. But the most unusual offering is that of an intimate dinner at the site of our potential doomsday, with apocalyptic pizza and ‘End of the World’ vintage wine. It’s like Doomsday Disneyland up in here. And doomsday tourism, when you think about it, is kind of gross, in the same way that the nuclear test sites in New Mexico draw tourists or the “disaster tourism” epidemic that plagued New Orleans. Capitalizing on fear is really pretty gross. And, the Mayans are kind of pissed off about all the negative attention and doomsday voyeurism and representations of their culture, so uh, maybe knock it off?
Pizza and wine sound like a good last meal and all, but why bother with the traveling? Just get a slice down the street and some booze (maybe the Fin du Monde Belgian ale?), a couple close friends, put a movie on (maybe the cute, underrated Seeking A Friend for the End of the World) and just wait it out until Saturday. That might be your best option.