Friday, December 21, 2012
END OF THE WORLD POST
Well, this is it, folks. The world's supposed to end today. We all know it, now we just need to sit back and wait for it to happen.
Actually hold on. How do we all know the world is supposed to end on December 21st, 2012?
Some Mayan calendar thing, right?
Right. The Mayan's. An ancient civilization that knew everything about the universe and always got the answers right. Like that heart-cutting-out business. That was right on the money.
And actually...wait. Has anyone actually looked into the whole Mayan calendar thing? Are we sure they predicted the end of the world to be today? Like, really sure? Because while it is kind of rainy and windy out there, it's all in all not that bad of a day so far.
Huh. Turns out, if you take even thirty seconds to do any proper research, you'll find out that the Mayan's didn't say anything about the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. In fact, they have calendar systems that continue on for millions of years past today.
What ends today is one cycle of their b'ak'tun time measurement. This is kind of like our "century". A b'ak'tun is 394 years long, and we've gone through many of them already. Thirteen, actually, according to the Mayans. And all the past ones never gave us trouble. Is this one special for some reason?
No. Once again, the Mayans did not think the world would end at the end of this cycle. Who knows what they did think would happen, but they wouldn't have charted stuff past this date if they thought it was the end of the world. Duh. I like Phil Plait's idea that for all we know, today could've been like a Mayan New Year celebration, with parties and drinking.
So why do people think the world is ending today? Hype, mostly. Greedy television channels looking to make money (I'm looking at you, History Channel). Silly blockbuster movies. People ALWAYS want to think the time they're living in is "special" somehow, and hey, the end of all time would be a pretty special occasion.
All this day proves is that people also don't always think rationally or do their own research. This is why science education is so ridiculously, hugely important. We need to train our youth to think reasonably. To research before coming to conclusions. To test things. Our country is a laughing stock because of our general ignorance and inability to use logic.
So if this really is the start of a new cycle, like the Mayan's did predict, let's hope it's one of reason and sensibility. I'd be more than happy to see the end of the world of stupidity our culture just loves to embrace. Let's start a new era of rational thinking, please.
Also, Happy Solstice to all!