2012 and all that end-of-the-world Maya stuff (yawn)
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I am an actual, professionally-trained, Mayanist, and have directed several field projects in Central America. I do not expect those who believe that the world will end in 2012 to accept my opinion, but perhaps some will accept this simple observation (from 13 years ago), regarding their vast misconceptions of the Maya calendar.
Some uninformed "experts" are claiming that the world will end in 2012, because they are under the impression that the ancient Mayan Calendar signals the end to the fourth creation of the cosmos at that time. What they do not realize, is that archeologists, and epigraphers, have thoroughly deciphered the Mayan texts, unequivocally showing that on that crucial date, the universal order will be reinforced, not destroyed.
In 1997, the late Linda Schele, a Mayanist at the University of Texas at Austin, scientifically demonstrated that the Maya calendar actually extends well into the 50th Century...(from a 1997 News brief).
Those who were hoping that they did not have to pay their credit card bills after 2012 will doubtlessly be disappointed.
Hollywood of course, will continue to pay no attention to these facts.
P.T. Barnum has been proven accurate once again.
Well, shoot!! I was hoping that Chicago Mayor Daley had outfoxed Morgan Stanley/LAZ Parking when last year he sold them a 75-year lease on the city's parking meters for $1.1 billion. I figured that when the world came to an end only four years into the lease Daley would be laughing at them. I guess we got gypped after all.
It doesn't mean a Mars sized celestial object won't crash into the Earth and knock off a piece as big as the Moon.
True Robert! There is always that possibility. But, the Maya did not foresee it, so how could it possibly happen? (insert Maya smiley face)
I love the comic! But seriously folks, the problem from the outset is that linear oriented Western perspectives cannot conceive of the self-renewing cyclical, which the Mayans (as well as the Hindus and many others) base their wordviews.
I'd be fine if the world ended in 2012. There's some credit card debt I'd REALLY like to be rid of. If only Quezalcoatl himself would come back and take a big flaming dump on the Chase building to set it all off...
I wonder if you could offer all the 2012ers $0.10 on the dollar for the titles to their houses and cars, to be transferred on 01/01/2013. They would get some ready cash to build their survival hideaways, and they would never have to pay it back after the catastrophe.
Hate to tell you this but that calendar stone is Aztec not Mayan! 8^)
By the way did any of you see '2012'?
>1 EricCGibson: Seriously, thank you Eric. I hope the Mayans are right about the reinforcement of the universal order. (Whatever that means. It sounds good on the surface. Much better than the total destruction of the world, anyway.)
5, 11> Now those are great cartoons!!
7> I gather that there are people in the United States that run a insurance programme (and I cannot recall the specific details right now) for people thinking they will be picked for the "Rapture". If the people get "raptured" the the company gains access to then property.
The aztec calendar is derived from the maya calendar which was invented roughly 1500 years earlier (when there were no aztecs). The aztecs of 500 b.C. were hunter-gatherer tribes running around in the deserts of the gran chichimeca.
Love the cartoons. The Aztecs had much in common with the Spanish who crushed them; when they came to power they destroyed all written records of those before them so they could institute their own mythologcal origins. What goes around comes around.
#12 & 14 - After you've been raptured what happens to your pets? Not to worry.
#16 - THAT is hilarious! I notice Indiana's not on the list. I wonder what my cut is if I sign up to help? I have 10 fenced-in acres, a couple of barns and can take care of any livestock that isn't a pig and doesn't have feathers. ;)
I have heard of this in Canada and all I can think of sillyness partnered with scam artists. Barnun(sp) comes to minf,:A fool is born every minute and a Fool and His money are soon parted.
>19 Barton: a Fool and His money are soon parted
Yup, and that's the point.
Apocalyptic scenarios and end-times conspiracies -- raptures, 2012, Heaven's Gate, whatever -- obviously serve a deep need for (some) people. Are there any works that address this topic as a whole, e.g. from a viewpoint of history, sociology, neurology, etc.?
"Studies of apocalyptic millennialism, demonization, and conspiracism",written by Paul Boyer, has been recommended to me, but I have not read it.
Still, the obvious psychological need, that some people have, to believe in the earth's near-term expiration date, is intriguing to say the least.
i always laugh at apocalyptic the headlines on the Weekly World News, Enquirer, etc. you know...
"The World Will End In Six Months!"
i mean, if I were the editor of one of these rags i would make damn sure that the world wouldn't end for at least a year and a day, that way more people will renew their subscriptions.
I've always thought Norman Cohn's The Pursuit of the Millenium was terrific, but it focuses on the issue in the Middle Ages.
> 22, 26 -- Thanks, both of those sound quite interesting! I will have to look for them.
If someone's interested in the 1st millenium I can recommend the Center for Milennial Studies: http://www.mille.org/index.html
A lot of the content deals with 1st millenium apocalopsism (apocalysm? is there such a word?). Richard Landes is very good though he does tend to find apocalyptic thought under just about every rock sometimes.
#18 - I tried to sign up for Virginia but they're not signing new reps at the moment.
#10 About "the reinforcement of the universal order". As I understand it, The Maya are referring to a golden age of peace and prosperity. I hope it's true!
Before spending too much time on the question of what the prediction means, I would like to know how accurate the Mayans' other predictions have been :) What is their track record?
It all fades faster than we expect:
When we used the new data on the number and size of super-massive black holes, we found that the entropy of the observable universe is about 30 times larger than previous calculations
Mr Durick, very interesting link. Thanks for posting it.
What I have read is that cosmological entropy is evaluated with the baryon-photon ratio. (I can type it but that is as far as I can go.)
Maybe someone can comment further here or perhaps we can get a discussion in the Physics group on this research into the entropy revision based on the number of black holes.
I just know that if we don't clean the livingroom frequently entropy takes over 30 times faster than I can clean
Not sure that is precisely the scientific definition of entropy - but my experience is similar.
I love the phrase "maximum entropy". It has a nice ring to it. I'm going to use it in a conversation sometime today.
> 40 As Dave Barry would say, "Maximum Entropy" sounds like a great name for a band. :D
#1 "What they do not realize, is that archeologists, and epigraphers, have thoroughly deciphered the Mayan texts, unequivocally showing that on that crucial date, the universal order will be reinforced, not destroyed."
Eric, one man's yin is another man's yang. To most life forms on the planet, the extinction of civilization as we know it would be reinforcing the universal order. Instead of ending, maybe we will witness a recycle.
>42 quicksiva: from the perspective of the contemporary Maya today, almost anything would be an upgrade.
I like this thread. So many idiots keep asking me about 2012, it is gratifying to see that I am not alone.
We had a Mayanist lecture at my school today about the fallacies of this 2012 apocalypse scenario. Dr. Matthew Looper, if anyone follows names in this field. :)
Most of what he said was already summarized in early posts, but it was really interesting to listen to the presentation.
I'd never have guessed it from the heading, but, in terms of bursts of loud laughter surprised out of me, this is one of the funniest threads I can remember reading. I laughed so hard at that 'earthbound pets' thing that it quite upset my parrot.
#45 - Prob'ly 'cause he realized from your reaction that you weren't signing up ...
In 18 days it just begins. We'll be hearing about it all year.
I'm counting on the U.S. Presidential election to settle the matter.
>51 Amtep: Indeed. If government can solve nothing else, let's at least put it to work on this!
One side will say it's not a problem, the other will say Jesus will fix it.
#51 If any of the Republican nominees wins the election, it might as well be the end of the world
I personally can't wait for February first, so I can blast this all day:
Less than one month to go to Dec 21, 2012. Any of you guys stocked up on paper bags to pull over your heads? ;-)
Have you noticed the closer it gets to the date, the less attention it's getting?
I've heard it opined that Hurricane Sandy was part of the beginning.
Yeah, I know. So what.
I wonder if the Maya's also predicted the end of Twinkies, the only food designed to survive the Apocalype?
And the guy who died after eating dozens of cockroaches in a contest, these creatures being the other predicted survivor:
One of my all-time favorite scientists, Neil deGrasse Tyson, takes on the apocalypse fantasists in a brief video:
Tyson skewers this nonsense so effectively that I shall say no more on this subject-except JUST WATCH THE VIDEO! 8^)
Well, he didn't see the movie 2012 that I saw; we might wonder whether he saw any of them. He debunked one way that the world might end, but he certainly hasn't demonstrated that the world won't end on December 21. The reports I've seen of the end of the Mayan calendar don't show the mode of destruction.
I am already keeping a calendar well into next year. But if the world does end on December 21 and it is noticeable I will think it interesting.
There have been similar dire warnings about the world coming to an end from various cultures, including Native Americans, the Chinese, Egyptians and even the Irish — the supposed Mayan prophecy seems to have held the most sway with believers.
The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. Advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy flourished, creating what many have called the most accurate calendar in the world.
We’re few weeks away from Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era that would reset the date to zero and signal the end of humanity. The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. Advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy flourished, creating what many have called the most accurate calendar in the world.
“The Maya are viewed by many westerners as exotic folks that were supposed to have had some special, secret knowledge,” said Mayan scholar Sven Gronemeyer. “What happens is that our expectations and fears get projected on the Maya calendar.”
“Human beings seem to be attracted by apocalyptic ideas and always assume the worst,” Gronemeyer said.
Why there are still people who want to believe in in this kind of superstition in this 21st century is beyond me.
My late husband (a professional occultist) used to say that expecting the world to end when the calendar ends is a lot like expecting the car to disintegrate when the odometer rolls over to all zeros. Our brains like patterns, and want the patterns to be important and to mean something. Back to zero is brain sexy!
I have never actually met someone who believes in this Mayan end of world business. While many (sometimes myself included) are of a long-term apocalyptic bent, I wonder how many are really out there worrying about it. I'm sure one can find isolated extreme examples, but maybe the magnitude of the concern is overblown and really just (to use an outmoded form of expression) "sells newspapers".
This reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke's short story, The Nine Billion Names of God. In the story, Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka believe that the world will end when all the 9 billion names of God are calculated. They've been working on the calculations for centuries. Then two computer programmers set up a computer system to finish the calculations in a few minutes. As the programmers are walking back to their car, and having a good laugh at the gullible monks, they realize that the calculations should just about be finished. They glance up and "one by one, above them, the stars winked out..."
Well, there were a lot of people who thought the world would end at the Millennium-like the earth knew from a human construct such as the calender & at the stroke of midnight-POOF! we'd all be dead & the earth would no longer exist.
Yeah! ...Right. 8^)
I used to love watching Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World ..!
Remember when everybody thought the computers would fail and airplanes would fall from the sky on January 1st, 2000?
I suppose all those people who planned for that still have their stuff...they'll be the ones laughing when the Zombie Apocalypse starts...
>74 groovykinda: I know--wouldn't it be ironic if zombies were attracted by canned peas or something?
And today's the big day!
I liked this story about a cult where all the members were told to withdraw their money from banks: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/cult-members-busted-warning-people-mayan-a...
Because, apparently, you CAN take it with you.
Here's a survival guide: http://www.examiner.com/article/mayan-apocalypse-surviving-the-end-of-the-world Evidently, even if the world ends, you may not. Not sure how that works.
Me? I have to go to work. On the Friday before Christmas. Truly apocalyptic.
So all of the apocalypse nuts can come out of the caves now. Next up: biblical end times. How can we be such an advanced country with so many wingnuts running around?
I thought we already went through that? http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Biblical-scholar-s-date-for-rapture-May-21... I didn't notice it myself - guess I wasn't invited.
There've always been people unhappy enough with their existence to want it all to end, and always will be. And there will always be folks who want to take advantage of that, either for their 20 seconds of fame, or money. One of the whacky constants of Human existence.
>78 Garp83: Let's not be hasty. There 37 minutes to go yet...
#79 I was horrifed the other day to learn that one third of Americans believe that extreme weather is a sign of biblical end times. Somehow overwhelming scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming merits nothing more than a skeptical gaze, but biblical end times seems to make perfect sense . . . wtf?
And, as usual, the BBC puts it all in perspective: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20712815
Norman Cohn's The Pursuit of the Millenium is wonderful on the end-of-world cults that preceded the year 1000 CE.
Le plus ca change....
From an Associated Press news release:
Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History even suggested that historical calculations to synchronize the Mayan and Western calendars might be off a few days. It said the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle might not really end until Sunday.Robert
I held off writing and addressing my holiday cards, hoping for the apocalypse. Still here. Darn! Maybe folks will get Valentine's Day cards instead.
Come one #94,
I really was looking forth to the (real) next...
Although. I do turn 66 in Jan. Surely that is the
"End of the World"?
ETA. Yes, I do know that the alternatives are worst.
Good to know. I know this is a response that is close (or after) the advertised event, but I was not worried. I am not an expert like you are, but I had heard on National Geographic that there was a different interpretation than the 2012 information and that is was more current. Glad to hear what that newer projection was. And just let me say that you explained it so I could understand it. I find sometimes that, while panning away from the narrator to the ancient Mayan ruins, said narrator talks on and on about what the ruins say from the stones and I change the channel. Good to have someone coherent explain it.
I am 61 and I visited New York when I was 18. One of the things that I noticed at the time (because I was looking at everything I was so excited to be there) was there were a couple of gentleman walking around with signs that said "Repent: the end of the world is near." Or, just plain "The end of the world is near." I guess 43 years is just a drop in the bucket as far as time is concerned, but it seems someone is always crying about the end of the world.
What I think is that the human race will destroy "the world" long before any of these predicted events. I don't imply that I am failing to do my part.
Yeah, remember the big deal with the conversion from 1999 to 2000? Our IT people managed to get quadruple overtime in order to save the world!!!! Well, at least someone benefited!!!
Even though I was one of the 'first' people (in Australia) to recognize the Y2K bug, back in 1989 I didn't get a penny from it.
My Boss, to whom I had pointed out the problem - really only a minor problem in DB design - went on to get a name as a Y2K specialist later on. And I am NOT disparaging him!
It's just that I would have liked to cash in on some of the "big bucks" at that time.
PS. I was working on a "forward planning" control
program which looked 15+ years ahead.
#95 There's a calendar on my wall and it ends next Tuesday. Seriously, after December 31, it has no days on it at all. What's more, it's from an insurance company and they have all those actuarial charts.
Just sayin' ...
C'mon, #100, if your insurance company knew the world was ending next week, your rates would've tripled.
Nah, quite the contrary, knowing they wouldn't have been around to pay out they would have offered "insurances" for next to nothing.
No one will have the endurance
To collect on his insurance
Lloyd's of London will be loaded when they go.
OK, That 'has to have be' a song from the 60's.
Please Utube it (if possibe)
Yes, the talented Tom Lehrer:
Thanks 'stellar...'. I do own 2 CD's by Tom and unfortunatey your link didn't seen to work.
Is this the one?
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