Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Apocalypse not yet


File:Duerer-apocalypse.png

Matt Ridley attacks apocalyptic predictions in August's issue of Wired Magazine.

What is the correct empirical model here?
  • Either the world will end in an apocalypse, or it won't. 
  • In both of these scenarios, the first N - 1 apocalyptic predictions will be false. 
Therefore, it is not a good idea to judge the latest apocalyptic prediction by its predecessors. Each has to be evaluated on its own merits. Mayan calendar 2012: not a big worry. Methane emissions from beneath the permafrost: worth freaking out about.