As we are approaching the 21st, December 2012, when calamitous events are going to overtake us, I thought it was about time we had a thread to count down the last days. The Mayan calendar is coming to the end of the 13th Long Count, and we are all going with it, apparently. Should make Christmas somewhat cheaper this year, at any rate.
The Mayans were an ancient people that lived thousands of years ago, in what is now Central America. They are noted for having the only fully-developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas – as well as its art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems. As part of their culture, the Mayans used a Long Count calendar.
This identified a particular date by counting the number of days from a starting date, which is calculated to have been 11th August 3114 BCE in the Gregorian calendar. A b'ak'tun was the longest unit of measurement in this system and was equivalent to 144,000 days, or 394 years. When correlated with the modern Western calendar it can be shown that the 13th b'ak'tun ends on 21st December, 2012.
This date has generated enormous publicity, with many predicting the end of the world, or a transformative event of some kind. This is despite no record of the Mayans themselves believing that any such event would occur.
The media plays a huge role here, whipping up a frenzy of speculation. Though mostly tongue-in-cheek, it is enough to influence many gullible and/or vulnerable people. Various threats are debated: from a polar reversal of the Earth, to a global computer crash, runaway climate disaster or other cataclysm. There are numerous hoaxes on the Internet and elsewhere, creating further confusion and paranoia during this time. Some people engage in panic buying of food, or build shutters and barricades around their homes. Others spend their entire life savings to enjoy one "last day" before the end of the world.
Credit: 2012 Timeline of Events | 2012 End of the World | 2012 Technology Predictions Trends | 2012 Olympics | Future Timeline | 21st Century
But seriously, folks, I hope this thread fizzles out and dies the death it deserves, but if anyone does want to speculate on the possibilities and probabilities surrounding this date, please keep the subject confined to this thread, and this thread only. The mods will not enjoy reading over and over that it doesn't matter what Apple are doing next year, cos we won't be here anyway. That kind of stuff gets old very quickly. Usual forum rules apply; no religion, no politics and no flaming any poor sap that actually believes there is 2 cents worth of truth in this.