Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Continuing this week's End of the World theme, I have found for you a Stupid Product related to the impending Rapture. Saturday, when all your righteous friends disappear before your very eyes, you might wonder what the heck just happened. Is it War of the Worlds in real life? Are you on Candid Camera? Did that sneeze pack more of a punch than you intended?
This is where RaptureLetters.com comes into play. If your friends really care about you and think you're not a completely lost cause, they will already have thought of this, and you will receive a "Rapture Letter" in your email inbox detailing what happened, what's coming next, and what you can do to avoid an eternity in Hell.
The site says that the program overseeing this automatic Rapture email disbursement works on a "dead man switch." As long as someone is there to reset it every Friday, the letters don't get sent. Once the Rapture occurs, the righteous person who's been pushing the button won't be there, so everyone in the database will then get an email.
I see several flaws in this plan.
1. If "Lost" is any indication, there will probably be someone there to keep resetting the program even after millions have disappeared. People like to push buttons. They like to keep things going. They like things that confirm their beliefs, even in the face of contradictory evidence. If the button pusher happens to be someone who thought he was righteous but spent a little too much time at the casino for his trip to the clouds, human nature says he will attribute all the missing people to a mass production of invisibility cloaks, and he'll keep pushing the button and waiting for the "real" judgment day.
2. Technology changes. What happens when the rapture occurs and no one's using email anymore? Do all the site's users have to remake their letters every time Steve Jobs or Bill Gates have the next bright idea? Already, the site's design is obsolete. Any self respecting Christian concerned for their families, friends, and former middle school crushes would surely send his message of warning and advice via tweet or Facebook status update.
3. Email addresses are fickle things. People change them all the time. They get hacked, they get bored, they decide "firstname.lastname@example.org" is not conducive to a good relationship with the in-laws. They send the requisite "New Email Address!" email out, people forget to update their address books, and BAM! It's like this person no longer exists. Unless the saved are going to constantly be updating the addresses of the unsaved, there are going to be a lot of missed messages.
4. If millions of people are going to disappear, does it not stand to reason that a portion of them will be the people who are in charge of keeping the internet working? How about power grids? Cell phone service? Seriously, people. Millions disappear, tribulations begin, and you think broadband and wi-fi aren't going to take a hit? Really?
If you're awaiting the Rapture and you're concerned about your loved ones, the time to clue them in about their impending doom is now. Don't worry about being a downer at the family dinner or the "crazy guy" at the faculty meeting. You can't count on technology to do this for you. You have to get the word out the old fashioned way. I recommend standing on your roof and screaming at your neighbors.
It will probably give you a head start when everyone starts to float toward the sky.
Labels: Stupid Products