The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Predictions

There are many scenarios in which statements are made about the future. In some cases, predictions may actually be valid. Certain polls have accurately predicted election results. Meteorologists may accurately predict the weather. And any valid scientific theory makes testable predictions. It is not these valid predictions with which I take issue. Those visions that claim to be inspired by some supernatural forces are another story entirely.

Looking back through recorded history, there have always been those that claim to be prophets. They may use other names for themselves, but whether they wish to be called soothsayers, fortune tellers, or psychics, they are really all the same thing: bullshit artists. In truth, I don't actually have a bone to pick with these people (with the exception of those that actually believe in their so-called powers). My real issue lies with the stupidity of so many that believe in this hokum.

We have come a long way since the days when natural phenomena were still unexplained. Science has progressed to the point where we should no longer turn to psychics for answers. Yet we still have many that wish to believe in all sorts of made-up nonsense. Fortune telling, omens, water divining, and numerology are all fake. Not to mention the obscene amount of people that still believe in astrology.

The fact that people still believe in such things is bad enough, but the problem becomes worse. Television stations such as the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic are supposed to educate others with documentaries on valid information. Yet all of these channels have had shows on the paranormal, and the documentaries take the stance that this stuff is for real. Shame on all of them!

One of the biggest topics on these shows seems to be Nostradamus. For those that don't know, Nostradamus was a moron that claimed to be a soothsayer. He wrote his predictions in cryptic four line poems that he called quatrains. He organized these into groups of one hundred and called those centuries. Out of the thousand approximate predictions, a handful of them can be applied to events that have happened. I believe anyone can make a thousand cryptic short poems and have a few things, kind of sort of, apply to events after they happen. His supporters claim that the prediction is crystal clear and that there can be no ambiguity. But if this were truly the case, why do none of his supporters ever know about the event until after if happens. If the event was really as detailed in the prediction as is claimed, one would know about it beforehand.

Many other people do not believe that they are psychic, but still believe that they have had a prophetic dream. This is where a dream predicts something that will take place in the near future. Such dreams are actually not at all shocking. They mostly seem to involve death. If one knows of a person that is dying, that person may dream of the death before it happens. This does not mean that the dream was in any way psychic once the person does pass. It is simply the sad, but obvious, outcome of the situation. No supernatural forces are needed for an explanation.

At the present time, there are many that are freaking out about the year 2012. There are supposedly a number of prophecies that show that the world will end in this year. Haven't we done this routine enough in our history to know by now that the world is not going to end with each apocalyptic prediction? The world will still be here in the year 2013. Trust me.

In conclusion, please stop being so feeble-minded. Psychics, prophecies, and other such things are all balderdash. Educational channels that perpetuate the belief in such nonsense should be ashamed. Not that this rant will change anyone's mind on the topic. For I too have a prediction. I predict that no matter how advanced our society may become in the future, the majority of people will always be morons.


At 1:45 AM , Blogger Ed said...

I knew you were gonna say that!

seriously though, sometimes a premonition does occur without a valid hypothesis and turns out to be applicable. I believe these may be the subconscious taking a more accurate reading of data than the conscious mind can assimilate, and giving the observer (the diviner) an idea about the future. An idea which cannot be explained through usual methods.

that being said, I have, for a very long time now, made a point of standing outside of every pyschic reading place i pass (and I live near nostrand junction now so it happens often) thinking the thought "$20 if you just come down and ask for it". I won't say I still have the same $20, but I haven't paid out yet.


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