Post image for 6 Minutes to Midnight

6 Minutes to Midnight

14/01/2010

The Doomsday clock, famed in geekdom for its use in The Graphic Novel (and film adaptation) Watchmen, is now at 6 minutes to midnight. This is a step back from the 5 minutes it was at previously.

For any who don’t know, the Doomsday clock is a measurement to show how close humanity is from annihilation .

“The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction–the figurative midnight–and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm.”

The symbolic clock face was conceived in 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. Much like the (ridiculous) colour coding the United Stated uses to define terror and instability, the clock is used to convey the same imagery on a global scale. Here is a graph (via Wikipedia) showing the state of the clock since its inception.

Click to Enlarge

To be honest, until I read this news today, I had no idea that the Doomsday Clock was even real. I thought it was just part of the Watchmen universe. It is a pretty cartoony way to provide information to the public, though this was in 1947, and apparently people were as dim witted as they are today.

[The Bulletin]

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