December 21, 2012

What time is the world supposed to end?

It is 12/21/12 at long last, I just noticed, after paying some some attention to the real, albeit mini, apocalypse that is Draco the Blizzard. I was going to note that the world hasn't ended, but there's the question of what time the Mayans pinpointed on this Day of Days:
I know the world isn't really going to end today, and I think it's absolutely ridiculous that anyone would believe it is. But my 11-year-old brother thinks it's going to end, and I want to be able to go scream "I told you so!" in his face as soon as possible.

ABC is checking midnight in each of the world's time zones. Weather prediction noted:

I like NASA's reassuring web page. Excerpt:
Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?

A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.
Wikipedia has a huge article on the somewhat larger topic "2012 phenomenon." Excerpt:
Many assertions about the year 2012 form part of Mayanism, a non-codified collection of New Age beliefs about ancient Maya wisdom and spirituality.... Archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni says that while the idea of "balancing the cosmos" was prominent in ancient Maya literature, the 2012 phenomenon does not draw from those traditions. Instead, it is bound up with American concepts such as the New Age movement, millenarianism, and the belief in secret knowledge from distant times and places. Established themes found in 2012 literature include "suspicion towards mainstream Western culture", the idea of spiritual evolution, and the possibility of leading the world into the New Age by individual example or by a group's joined consciousness. 
Is there a bigger crock than secret knowledge from distant times and places?


edutcher said...

When the shadow of Kukulcan is completely laid out by the rising sun at Chichen Itza, I'm willing to bet.

IOW, it's come and gone.

Either that or when the ball game's over and the winner has been sacrificed.

Pogo said...

It was Nov. 6, 2102.

Well, the civilized world.

Unknown said...

Just wondering, how come you added the [sic] after 'millenarianism'? The [sic] is usually used after misspellings or other obvious errors, to indicate that the error was in the quoted text. But I don’t see the error here, unless you are disputing that millenarianism is one of the concepts with with Mayanism “is bound up.”

Pogo said...

Isn't millenarianism the religion based on awesome hats?

Sean Gleeson said...

Yes, the milliners believed anyone not wearing a hat was a hairetic.

Craig said...

Millenialism might be more appropriate if there's no actual Arianism involved or any sewing for that matter. Going on 10 pm here in Manila and still no sign of Godzilla.

Craig said...

If Cromwell shows up with a petition I'll let you know.

rhhardin said...

Look for a rise in tweets at the end. That's what happens in the Bible.

gerry said...

Is there a bigger crock than secret knowledge from distant times and places?


Isn't millenarianism the religion based on awesome hats?

What a hoot!

Yes, the milliners believed anyone not wearing a hat was a hairetic.

Another hoot!

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal said...

That's a surprisingly non-PC wiki article. Tying in suspicion of western culture?

Aridog said...

Best Answer

Bob said...

Today's proposed lunch: ham on rye, hold the Mayannaise.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We're going to ask millenarians to start paying their fair share.

John Burgess said...

Like Unknown, I was trying to figure out what the problem with "millenarianism" was about.

The best I can figure is that since it isn't occurring in a year ending with 000, the writer isn't catching the "millenial" part.

As a word, it's perfectly fine.

Anga2010 said...

The world has no end, it is a sphere.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just wondering, how come you added the [sic] after 'millenarianism'? The [sic] is usually used after misspellings or other obvious errors, to indicate that the error was in the quoted text. But I don’t see the error here, unless you are disputing that millenarianism is one of the concepts with with Mayanism “is bound up.”"

I viewed it as a spelling error because my spellcheck flagged it as an error and when I doubled the "n," the error went away, causing me to assume the correct spelling corresponded to the word "millennium," which is often misspelled, omitting the double "n."

Looking it up now, I see the single "n" is more standard than the double "n," so I've removed the "sic."

traditionalguy said...

The crock of all crocks is the pagan murderous high priestly cult narratives are being suddenly accepted as a "Science" in the Universities and the media.

It has been a stunning development since the late 1980s. Until then we were amused by "Science Fiction" and kept reality apart from that hogwash, but since then we are expected to reason from it as if it is truth.

The scriptures which are the antidote to such trash cults have been rejected in favor of sci-fi for so long that many people end up as L. Ron Hubbard dupes. That guy just started his own fictional occult religion for money and to prove that he could do it.

The late 1980s saw the Climate Warming Scam Cult created as a sci-fi joke that quickly enthralled most of the dullards in the our universities and media who saw its cash potential.

We need to read the first 8 chapters of the Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah for a good description of willingness to reject truth for other gods.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is there a bigger crock than secret knowledge from distant times and places?


P.S. I'm glad we're back to using question marks.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Obligatory soundtrack

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Pogo said...

It was Nov. 6, 2102.

Well, the civilized world.

So we've still got another 90 years?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I would assume it was supposed to be at 6:12am EST, since I would assume the date was chosen for the solstice.

From the link:

Most people consider the first day of winter to be the Winter Solstice, which occurs this year on Friday, December 21, at 6:12 a.m. EST. This, by the way, will be before sunrise on the U.S. East Coast.

Winter begins then because, astronomically-speaking, the sun will be directly overhead of the Tropics of Capricorn - the southern-most point the sun will be directly overhead during any particular year.

GK said...

I wonder how many people woke today disappointed. Disappointed that they still had to go to work, go home, go be themselves.

It's happened before. Coming soon - The End of the World - the End of Days on May 21, 2011

No doubt women and minorities will be hardest hit.

Pettifogger said...

"Is there a bigger crock than secret knowledge from distant times and places?"

Nothing bigger comes to mind.

Robert Cook said...

Who says the world didn't end? I'm floating in a black, silent void...isn't everyone else?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Nice that you still have internet access.

Craig Landon said...

I'm going with a friends speculation that the Mayan dude chiseling out that stone had been working on it for 12 hours, ran out of space, it was late, he looked down at the fresh stone for the next increment, said "fuck it", chiseled "The End", and went home to spend more time with his family.

Michael McNeil said...

Yesterday was Long Count date in the Mayan modified base-20 calendrical and numbering system. (The last two dot-separated “digits” indicate the month and day in the Mayan system; the digits to the left of that constitute their year in base-20.)

In style, therefore, yesterday in the Long Count was very much analogous to December 31, 1999 (some years back) in our own calendar.

Following yesterday, the next day, — which is to say, today — the foregoing Long Count date rolled over (modified base-20 wise) to (just as 1999-12-31 in our calendar [in “big-endian” or ISO 8601 format] rolled over to 2000-01-01 a little over a dozen years back [the day and month difference resulting from there being no zero in our calendar's month and day representation]).

Thus, contrary to popular New Agey myth, just now quietly betrayed, yesterday/today's calendrical rollover in the Mayan system is not the “end” of the Mayan calendar. Indeed, not only does the Long Count not “end” today, but it isn't even a particularly significant transition involving the rollover to a new digit column (in the modified base-20 Mayan numbering system), such as took place in our calendar between the years 999 AD and 1000.

No, as noted before, what occurred today in the Mayan system is very much like our recent 1999 to year 2000 rollover, where one simply advances to the next digit in the highest-order positional column — marking off a time interval more or less equivalent to a new century (though really four of them) from a Classic Maya point of view.

Beyond that, folks will recall another considerable calendrical transition that we passed just a few days ago, but in our calendar rather than the Mayan — the great milestone of 12-12-12 (even though it was really 20-12-12-12, not a “pure” 12-12-12 ;-) ). After that, we ought now to have “13-13-13” to look forward to, right? But, since there is no month 13 in the Julian/Gregorian calendar, how is this possible? By turning once again to the Mayan (Long Count) calendar.

Following the present day's transition to — subsequent days, and [Mayan 20-day] months, and tuns [Long Count 360-day “years”], and katuns [20's of tuns] will roll by — until the Long Count date advances to…

This considerable event (no doubt especially to the Maya, 13 being an especial number to them) will occur 13 days + 13 (20-day) “months” + 13 (360-day) “years” + 13 (360-day x 20) “decades” = a total of 99,553 days, or a bit shy of 270 years, following today, December 21, 2012 — which is to say, sometime in our year 2282 AD. Something to look forward to! (Perhaps there will be a whole 'nother “Mayan end of the world” whoopala at that time…. Whoopee!)

A numerically more significant Mayan date event, where the calendar rolls over to a wholly new, sixth digit-column — that is, to the Long Count date — will occur 1,008,000 days following Dec. 21, 2012 — which as it happens is in our year 4772 AD.

Interestingly, the Mayans (specifically, the celebrated Classic Mayan city of Palenque) in an inscription commemorated a date eight days after the foregoing momentous rollover date — to wit,, which is also a major anniversary of the accession of Palenque's great king Pacal — just as if they actually expected there still to be descendants of theirs around on that far future date to celebrate it. So much for the Mayans themselves actually believing that the world will end on — which is to say, today.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

Detroit December 21, 2012 at 11:58:36 AM

Tokyo December 22, 2012 at 1:58:36 AM

OMG! Teh World has ended in Tokyo!

The Langoliers are coming!

creeley23 said...

The first place I read of 2012 was in Robert Anton Wilson's wild and wacky, Cosmic Trigger, a half-memoir, half-ominibus of speculation based on Wilson's psychedelic, occult, and paranormal experiences plus references to the farther-out thinking in science, conspiracy theories, Timothy Leary, and Terence McKenna.

It's a better book than my thumbnail description might lead one to believe. Although Wilson was happy to entertain any number of bizarre ideas -- and the reader as well -- he never "believed" any of them. Much of his writing was about how malleable beliefs are and how easily they are mistaken for reality.

Anyway, Wilson wrote about Terence McKenna in one of the last chapters as part of Wilson's meditation on the acceleration of history as humans learn more and more at an exponential rate.

McKenna had been part of a hippie expedition which traveled to the Amazon basin to study exotic psychedelic plant drugs under the tutelage of local shamans. McKenna and his brother had very deep, odd trips which led them to believe that humanity was involved in a frantic unconscious effort to build spaceships to escape the earth and the human history would climax when several "time waves," based somehow on the I Ching, were scheduled to sync up and go bang in 2012.

McKenna is ground zero for the 2012 myth. Later Jose Arguelles came up with the Mayan calendar connection and McKenna fudged his time wave calculations to match December 21, 2012.

Then the rest of the New Age piled on. 2012 became the conventional wisdom which reached a zenith with Obama's triumph in 2008. But since then, with Obama's failures of transcendent leadership, the sickening lurches in the world economy, and the business-as-usual approach of the date, New Agers mostly stopped talking about 2012 as more than a metaphor.

McTriumph said...

Some things never change, if you were a Mayan back then and call this all bullshit, the left would have called you anti-science.

Sam L. said...

It's already ended where I

Robert Cook said...

I loves me some Robert Anton Wilson!

Robert Cook said...

"Nice that you still have internet access."

It'll help pass the time as I float for eternity in the great, black void.