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Somewhere near Geneva, approximately three hours from now, scientists are planning to test their machine that will collide particles together and replicate the Big Bang. No one really knows what the consequences of this experiment will be — if they did, after all, it wouldn’t be necessary to conduct the experiment in the first place — and certain fearful people believe the consequence will be a black hole engulfing the earth, killing everyone on it. At my school, the year 11s and 12s decided that today was the day they were finally going to read the newspaper. They read that it was potentially the end of the world, and have gone absolutely ballistic.

Today, I’ve had to reassure so many people that they’re not about to die. People are really freaking out about it, and it’s quite disconcerting. A certain subset of the year 12s are not helping at all — they’re continually approaching international students and reminding them of their impending doom. Furthermore, they are dropping distinctly unsubtle “hints” about how they can escape certain death — things such as, “Have sex with me!” The international students know not to believe that, but are bewildered as to what they should believe instead.

So, I spent part of my lunch today answering questions about this scientific experiment which could potentially take everyone’s lives. I’ve been reassuring people that they’re not under imminent threat, that the experiment won’t be conducted for another two weeks anyway, that the collision of two subatomic particles is unlikely to create an enormous black hole, and so on. Some of these people were convinced, but others were still worried. Am I sure it’s not the end of the world? What do they do if I’m wrong?

To which the answer is, of course: if I’m wrong, you won’t ever realise it, because you’ll be dead. On the other hand, if you prepare yourself for an end of the world that never comes, you’ll look like an idiot — just like those who prepared for all those other ends of the world. Live your life assuming you’re not about to die!

So this is an extremely long-winded and badly-structured way of saying: isn’t it strange the impact a doomsday prediction has on people?

  1. Articles on this experiment can be found at the Age and at the BBC, if you’re interested.

One Comment

  1. I am scared…..
    the world is gonna eradicate
    we will be history
    i haven’t written my will yet!!!!
    i am confused who is gonna inherit my $17.50

    sunny(friend) sayz: i dont think we are gonna die
    a 9 year is more mature than ME
    and i
    am 16
    say hi to cassy
    and mel and gaby

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