Friday, January 22, 2010

We're Not Going to Make it to 2012

In fact, our world has just about 15 months remaining. D-day falls in the spring of 2011, though I haven't taken the time to calculate the exact date. That will become apparent as time passes.

I can understand why you might be skeptical. There have, after all, been a lot of false alarms. And if you're inclined to believe in a doomsday prophecy, 2012 has a lot going for it. It's not just a trendy, flash-in-the-pan sort of end-of-the-world philosophy. It's been around for centuries, and has the (theoretical) backing of some pretty smart people (who aren't around to jump up onto soap boxes and take to the Internet yelling, "Wait...WAIT! That's not what we meant AT ALL!"). It even had a successful box office run.

But I have proof:


I know this probably isn't what you thought the Doomsday Clock would look like. You might have imagined it black, for instance. You probably thought it would be bigger. You may not have envisioned sticky fingerprints. And I'm almost sure you didn't expect it to be branded by a national test prep company. But be honest: haven't a lot of things in life worked out quite a bit differently than you'd expected?

Back in January of 2008, I went to work on a special project at Kaplan, a project that (I can now tell you, though it was top secret then) launched on August 7, 2008. Shortly after I started, I received the "countdown clock" you see pictured above. It was running backward, counting down the then (roughly) 200 days until our launch. And let me tell you, it ran fast. Nothing like watching the tenths-of-a-second spin backward when you're on a deadline.

I actually really enjoyed the countdown clock but, like all good things, it came to an end. August 7, 2008 arrived. All of the numbers on the clock hit zero. It flashed zeroes for a day and then, on August 8, it was a regular clock, running in the right direction.

Or so it appeared. Of course, I now know that it was simply dormant, awaiting the right moment to share its true message with the world. One morning I looked at the clock and it was running backward again, racing toward a new, unexplained date that hadn't been programmed in by some corporate project manager.

451 days.

Use them wisely.

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