Monday, December 17, 2012

The Maya Say It's Forty Seven Thousand-y O' Clock, Pt. I

Relax - it's happening all over the world:
BEIJING (AP) -- Officials say a man who went into a school in central China and stabbed 23 children last week was "psychologically affected" by doomsday predictions.

John Carlson, director of the Centre for Archaeoastronomy at the University of Maryland, is one of only a dozen or so active researchers on the Mayan calendrical system. "I often get asked what's going to happen on the day. I say lots of things are going to happen. Some people will be born. Some people will die. A car headlight will burn out. There will be earthquakes, like there are every day. And none of this will have anything to do with the ancient Mayan calendar," he says. 
Lest there be any doubt, he speaks the next lines loudly and slowly: "There are no ancient Maya prophecies for anything to happen on this date. There. Are. None."

So the response will always the same:
For every person who takes the fantasy seriously – to call it a prophecy is an overstatement – scores more find it harmless fun. For others, the end of the world is a business opportunity.

Because the source is always the same, too:
In 1966, the US archaeologist Michael Coe wrote The Maya and, in a section about the calendar, mentioned the word Armageddon. Carlson says that was a key moment. "It was Michael Coe who planted this meme in modern culture," he says. From then on, the idea was embraced by New Agers, and spread farther through the internet.

Good ol' NewAgers, claiming "peace, harmony, and blah blah blah," but, instead - just like with their anti-vaccine jihad - leading directly to the unnecessary deaths of (at least) scores of children.

Great belief system they've got there.

Yes Siree Bob, I think it's safe to say they've got some "magic" in the air now.

To be cont'd,…


  1. 1027 deaths since 2007 -- which breaks down to what? a little over 170 a year?

    I've been on a "anti-vaccine people are careless, murdering assholes" jihad this last week.

    And sorry about the outburst earlier, I just don't like the way some people's narrow, fear drenched little minds are starting to turn -- one guy was real big on gun control and rounding up the mentally "deficient" once, very popular too, ran on a ticket of keeping people safe and the nation strong. I think we know which law I'd break if I mentioned his name.

    This scared sheep act by people is going to be the death of us all. Arrgggh! (sorry, have been fighting with people today, and it's made me testy and overly reactive).


  2. And yeah, even if the Maya did say something about doomsday (which they didn't from what little we have of their writing) it seems a little stupid to go betting on eternity with a bunch of people who poisoned their own drinking water by tossing human sacrifices into it; I don't care how astronomically skillful they were.

    And even if they were correct about said doomsday -- then there really wouldn't be any way any of us could change why the freak out? I mean, it would suck (I have some things I'd really like to do that just couldn't be fit into the schedule), but no sense getting bent out of shape over something one has no control whatsoever over -- like eventually this planet will be uninhabitable by all presently known forms of life...a long time away in the future, we have no control over whatsoever, why are we collectively freaking out and making life suck right now because of it?


  3. Why should I believe the predictions of a bunch of cannibals who couldn't figure out the wheel?