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The OFFICIAL End of the World thread

KevinJS

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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.

Enjoy!
 

Barnipad

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What is the chance something will happen that day? I will put money on it that nothing will happen, that we will wake up the next morning and know that it was just another rumour. Unfortunately I cannot quote my favourite Book but I can still believe and know that nothing will happen.
 

Dr. Robert

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If it does happen, I won't have to worry about paying off my credit cards!
 

AdmiralAdama

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All hail the Mayans! Obviously a space faring race that came to these parts eons ago - read the writing on the wall and decided to date stamp humanity. But not before a little interspecies DNA
hocus pocus.

I've done the calculations. Assuming their jump drives are accurate and the tilum doesn't run out .... well .... let's just not lose our dignity between now and then. ;)

AA
 

Poisonivy

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well i have survived at least six world endings......pretty proud about that actually ;)
 
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KevinJS

KevinJS

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poisonivy said:
well i have survived at least six world endings......pretty proud about that actually ;)

But how do you know that, Ivy? You could be a mere figment of your own imagination.
 
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KevinJS

KevinJS

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Don't worry, Ski. It won"t happen for a long time yet; more centuries, in fact, than you (or anyone else) can understand.

Ivy made a good point when she said that she had already survived more than half a dozen "ends of the world". For some reason, most prophets of doom see the end in their own lifetime. I wonder why. Too much responsibility, perhaps? Easier to let the space-faring aliens take over and run their miserable little lives for them?

The Mayans, as has been said already lived a long time ago, and made no claim that the world would end some time in 2012. Let's face it, they couldn't even see their own end coming at the hands of a few Spaniards. What intrigues me about the whole debate is the calm assurance from a few that somehow all knowledge is ancient, everything that is worth knowing has already been divined, centuries ago, and somehow lost, leaving no trace.

But let's explore this. There is no trace of electricity, computers, atomic energy, antigravity, or indeed much else that we take for granted, to say nothing of even greater technological feats in the societies that supposedly had these great secrets. The Mayans, Egyptians, ancient Chinese etc did not leave a trace of any deep understanding. Let's face it. The ground was pretty much undisturbed prior to the Industrial Revolution, literally. Since then, however, we have come on in leaps and bounds. In the space of a couple of centuries, we came from traveling no faster than a horse could manage to visiting the Moon and beyond. Computer science has reached capability that is considered ordinary, yet would have been unimaginable even to governments only a few decades ago.

And we have only just begun. We have technology at our fingertips that would have been considered magical a couple of centuries ago. Imagine showing Gutenberg or Caxton an iPad, or Leonardo da Vinci a Dodge Viper? How would you feel if someone said they wanted to inject a load of microscopic machines into your body through a hypodermic needle, that would spread throughout your body and repair it from within? Chances are, you'd run a mile to get away from such lunacy, but one day, that will be how medicine will work.

Arthur C Clarke, who I never tire of quoting, mentioned technology indistinguishable from magic, and he also said that the Noble Savage was always a myth. I believe him. We have nothing to fear from the Mayans, or any other gang of cave-dwelling, night-fearing, superstitious savages. We have a lot of life left in us yet.
 

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