I've added a paragraph to "The Importance of Current Events is Amplified by our Egos" by Vexen Crabtree (2005):
End-of-the-world-mania is dependent upon certain properties of human ego. We want to witness important historical times, and we want to be at the fore and center of tumultuous and attention-grabbing events. There have been thousands of end-of-the-world predictions. They have been the products of many great minds, many devoted believers in various religions and cults, with a lot of time and effort put in to each and every theory, building up supporting evidence from religious texts, historical trends and numerology. What do all these predictions have in common about the end of the world? They have all been wrong. Those promoting these fears, and those subject to them, are all in the grips of their own ego!
This is based on my new page "The End of the World is Nigh! The Dangers of Apocalyptism and End-Times Beliefs" by Vexen Crabtree (2011), which includes stuff on the Harold Camping, the Mayan calendar, suicide cults and the Christian Bible.