Blog #7. It’s the end of the world as we know it (And I feel fine)

“That’s great! It starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane…” R.E.M., “It’s the end of the world as we know it (And I feel fine),” Document, 1987. 

During the past decade, a growing number of people have suggested that the world will perish in the year 2012. As is often the case with “fringe ideas,” this chorus of doom is composed of many different voices and streams of thought. Some of these streams flow into one another, while other streams never converge. One can find 2012 theorists on the left, on the right, and everywhere in between.

Your task is to survey this cognitive landscape from the mediated safety of your web browser. As you explore the topic, identify at least three different people or groups who are warning that apocalyptic destruction is imminent, and jot down notes about what you encounter. Dig deep with your search strategy; don’t just zero in on the first results that bubble to the top of a Google search.

After approximately 45 minutes of surfing, bookmarking, and note taking, write a 4 to 5 paragraph blog posting that elaborates your findings. Your post should touch on the following points:

  • Identify at least three different people or groups who are talking actively about 2012.
  • Why do they think the world will end? What, if anything, do they think we should do about it?
  • How are they different from one another? What differentiates them?
  • Thinking about how they present their message and construct their arguments, what elements undermine or bolster their  credibility?
  • After reading through these web pages for an hour, are you more or less concerned about 2012 than you were before you started conducting research?
  • Last but not least, if you knew that the world was definitely ending in December 2012, what — if anything — would you do differently?

Your blog posting is due no later than 1:59 a.m. on Friday, 9/30. You should not need to spend more than two hours on this assignment.

After you have finished your blog posting, make two proofreading passes. During the first pass, play devil’s advocate and ask yourself if your arguments/ideas are logically solid. Do  you need to soften your claims? Are they logically consistent? Do you need to be more specific with your phrasing? During the second pass, revise for issues of writing mechanics. Remember to include a creative title, an image with a caption, and at least one well annotated hyperlink. Connections to readings in the course packet are strongly encouraged. When you tag your post, you don’t need to tag it as “blog #3” or “blog assignment.” Just use tags that relate to the key ideas in your posting.

Have fun!

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