Nostradamus is a good 500 years old by now, and his works have become increasingly popular in the last two centuries. Although he would of known that, because he was a self proclaimed ‘Seer’, or ‘Oracle’. Someone who sees into the future. Or to put it more simply, a ‘Billy Bullshitter’.
He is proclaimed to have predicted 11/09 (or 9/11, for our American readers), as well as the death of Princess Diana and the rise of Hitler. Basically any major event in the last 500 years was predicted by Nostradamus – fact*. Although, further research shows that his predictions were as precise as a play boy when put on the spot about where this is going. Not to mention big Nos made thousands of predictions. So now you’ve got; Vague for a base, thousands of predictions, ye olde French translation, 500 years of time and that leaves you with? You guessed it, total utter nonsense.
A man who knows more about this though is PT Barnum, a man who famously said ‘Theres a sucker born every minute’. He was both very similar and very different to Nostradamus*. You see PT Barnum knew we could be manipulated into believing anything and used that power to make himself a lot of money, just like Nostradamus. If you have ever read a horoscope for instance; firstly, what are you doing? Secondly, they are entirely made up of ‘Barnum Statements’. Vague statements which cover both positive and negative aspects of a subject whilst appearing specific.
What has this got to do with the price of cheese Mindfump?
Well Barnum proved that predictions all come down to two things. Word play and man’s desire for meaning – they provide the words, you apply the meaning. Voilá!
I made a prediction this morning. In hindsight it was a foolish action to even attempt given the circumstances. I woke up via my alarm with a big headache and approximately 3% battery left on my internal power supply. It was at that moment I predicted I would be completely fine to go to work. ‘Yes!’ I say, ‘Of course I will work for you later’.
Turns, out I was wrong.
Throughout the day I felt like my body had been hijacked by a guerrilla group who wanted to practice mild, and ultimately safe torture techniques, in the form of influenza. OK, its only the flu. But I still have it and, I admit, I got my prediction wrong. But then again Nostradamus made thousands of wrong predictions and he turned out alright. Although I’d rather not wait 300 years for people to start getting interested in my work.
*Not a fact.
*Actually a good joke.