A Nation of Doomsayers

With the Large Hadron Collider due to start operation next week, papers in Britain are all getting back on the “end of the world” bandwagon. The Guardian has a helpful poll in which you can choose between the products of the LHC being a Higgs boson or a black hole that swallows the planet. Currently votes for the black hole are running at between 25% and 30%.

While this is still nowhere near the percentage of Americans who believe in angels and UFOs, it is still the sort of thing that is likely to get Gordon Brown meddling with the education system. I foresee a new compulsory exam on the benefits of high tech engineering projects. It will, of course, be run as a public-private partnership in conjunction with British Energy and EdF.

I suspect that similar polls are going on all over Europe right now, and there are probably already proposals being written for academic papers that will study the comparative mental health of different European countries based on their reactions to these polls. So, will Britain turn out to be the nation in Europe with the largest population of Marvin-like depressed doomsayers? Or is it just the country with the largest number of mischievous science fiction fans who are voting for the black hole for a laugh?

2 thoughts on “A Nation of Doomsayers

  1. Maybe its less about the LHC itself than folks’ depressed wishings. Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?


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