NASA will totally warn us if an asteroid apocalypse is coming

You heard it ladies and gents, if NASA scientists start buying large amounts of wine, panic!

While extremely rare, there is always a chance that we can detect an asteroid large enough to cause global catastrophe at any time. Against this impending doom we have no defense at all. I wonder if it’s better to tell the public at all…

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I’ve once read a book about something like that. Asteroid coming towards earth, two years left, government keeping it a secret, some stupid reporter decides to tell the public.

What happens next? The world stops, nobody goes to work, no electricity, no cars, and, most importantly, no food. So, people start dying, gangs are formed, they start fighting for food until, they finally just start eating each other (yes, even the protagonists). War, disease, famine and death, a true Apocalypse.

My opinion? Better to shot a guy in the back than let him see it coming.

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If we all knew we had only two years left, what WOULD we do differently?
I submit we’d all pay better attention to any cogent explanations on the prospects of an afterlife, while simultaneously trying to load up as many SpaceX-Type spacecraft as we can manufacture with programmed detonable nuclear devices! Might even stop putting anymore effort into wars with each other.
What’s your favored scenario?
“The Greatest Generation” came together to stop a world war; why not for an impending apocalypse?

Cute scenario. But the one in the book is, I believe, a more likely one.

Ahh! A true pessimist! That’s certainly your right. Hope the day goes unexpectedly well for you!

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Not a pessimist, merely a realist.

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Yes, that would follow in a certain line of thinking. But that kind of worldwide response wouldn’t be an example of being “realistic.”
Just giving up in the face of the odds is resignation, not realism.

Yes, but I’m not talking about me, personally, resigning. I’m talking about how most of humanity would react if they knew they only had two more years to live with nothing being able to stop their imminent destruction.

Even in the face of the example of “the Greatest Generation?” How do you know that your scenario is an assured one, and that mine is unrealistic?
Of course you can’t, and neither can I.
Not sure I’m helping you towards that “unexpectedly good day,” but the sentiment still applies!
I do operate on the premise of what we expect of or from others does, indeed, signal something to us about ourselves. But those signals can be hard to read.

When did I say ‘assured’? I said ‘more likely’. As for why I think it’s more likely: history, current societal norms, mental health. Details might vary, but overall, it’s probably gonna be bad.

Mind you, I’m talking about European and American civilization. Eastern civilization might live to see the asteroid, what with their iron-fisted rule and everything.

As for “the greatest generation”, well, not everyone is a part of it.

Each new generation has the chance to respond better to their life circumstances than the last. My own assessment is not so pessimistic about the upcoming generation(s), and they certainly may be able to change some of our cultural values and norms for the better. For example, Third World poverty is rapidly being effectively addressed, in regions where the levels of political stability allow for it.

Oh, and for those interested in reading books like these, I’m sorry, I just spoiled you an entire genre. :laughing:

This thread was a little too morbid (through absolutely no fault of my own) for my tastes.