“If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, then we should need no other apocalypse” – G. K. Chesterton
I caught a headline this morning that NASA had just released a video for 22 December 2012 indicating that the world did not end “yesterday” on 21 December 2012 – the “end” (or “roll over”) of the Mayan calendar. I checked out the headline and, sure enough, the video is out:
The video makes some widely-known, widely-ignored, and useful statements about the Mayan calendar. Mainly, that the calendar doesn’t really “end” on 21 December 2012, but just “rolls over” (like an odometer – as shown in the video). Further, there is no Mayan “prophecy” about the world ending on that date.
Don’t get me wrong, even if the Mayans did predict the end of the world, I doubt I’d believe them. But they didn’t, making the hysteria a bit silly. Of course, the “hysteria” isn’t exactly broad-based, but there are more than a few apocalpytics out there who are fleeing the destruction – most notably in Bugarach, France, and Sirince, Turkey. I’m not fleeing anywhere these days – but France sounds a lot better than Turkey if you have to run … there’s no telling what will happen in Syria and how far it will spill over … into Turkey.
Now, one might respond here with “NASA released the video early, they don’t know that the world won’t end on 21 December [or before then, for that matter]!” I’m not saying I expect a lot of such responses, but the scientist/mathematician could respond in such a way. So, yes, if the Mayan “prophecy” crowd turns out right then NASA will look really silly … for about 30 nanoseconds as the world ends.
If that doesn’t happen though, one suspects I’ll be right here on the couch watching Boise State versus Washington in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl … and then doing some last minute Christmas shopping.