Well, the good news is that we may not have to fear the forthcoming Robot Uprising and it may not matter if engineers are lacking in social skills, because...
Well, the good news is that we may not have to fear the forthcoming Robot Uprising (Click Here) and it may not matter if engineers are lacking in social graces (Click Here), because an increasing number of folks are saying that the EOTWAWKI (End Of The World As We Know It), or EOTW for short, is scheduled for 21 December 2012.
Should this come to pass, it would be a bit of a bummer on many levels, not the least that I was planning on washing my hair that day, but what is the basis for this latest EOTW scare?
Well, before we start, let’s remind ourselves that the predicting the EOTW party-game has not been confined to recent times. For example, many Christians thought that 1 Jan 1000 AD would be the EOTW (presumably because they were afraid of nice round numbers). In fact, quite a few gave all of their possessions to the Church in anticipation that “The End Was Nigh”.
Sad to relate, however, when nothing actually happened, the Church refused to return these “gifts”, which wasn’t very “Christian” of the little rascals. Not surprisingly, this resulted in a little light criticism of the Church (all in good fun, I’m sure), which responded by exterminating some of the “heretics” (some people just can’t take a joke).
And don’t even get me started on the Year 2000 and the Y2K “bug” (I personally know a guy in England who made an absolute fortune selling a computer “fix” that didn’t actually fix anything).
In reality, there have been so many EOTW predictions that it makes my head spin. There must have been 40 or 50 big Christian-based predictions alone, the first occurring as early as 30 AD (this one was founded on the time-frame Jesus gave for The Second Coming as per Matthew 24:34, "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." The date was based on the 30-year life-expectancy of that era).
Of course, this sort of thing is not limited to Christian “enthusiasts” (nut jobs). Muslims and Jews have their own “End of Times” predictions, as do Buddhists, Hindus, and Zoroastrians, to name but a few.
And we shouldn’t neglect the really zany predictions, such as the Nibiru Collision, which refers to a forthcoming encounter between the Earth and a large planetary-sized object. This one – which has a surprisingly large following – was first put forward in 1995 by a lady called Nancy Lieder, who describes herself as a “contactee” with the ability to receive messages from extra-terrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system by means of an implant in her brain (and I thought I had problems).
I could waffle on about this stuff for hours, but let’s return to 21 December 2012. Why is this date the one that everyone is currently talking about? Well, if you Google “2012 End of the World” you will be presented with all sorts of … let’s say “interesting” information … including stuff like the following example:
According to Mayan Prophecy, the end of the world will happen on the year 2012. The Mayan Doomsday Prophecy tells that there will be major disruption on earth. Chaos will happen all over the world which will lead to death of millions of living creatures.
The only problem with this is that there never was a Mayan Doomsday Prophecy. What there is is something called the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar
. One way to visualize this is as a series of dials, each representing a cycle (or digit), with the least-significant digit being on the right-hand-side as illustrated below:
The Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar is a non-repeating vigesimal (base-20) and base-18 calendar, which was used by several Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the Maya (or Mayan) Long Count Calendar.
The five-place notation system of ascending cycles are made up of k'ins (24 hour days), winals (20 day months), tuns (18 winals), k'atuns (20 tuns), and b'ak'tuns (20 k'atuns). A full cycle of the Long Count Calendar involves thirteen b'ak'tuns, which equates to 5126 years.
The current cycle commenced on 11 August, 3114 BC as measured by the Western / Gregorian calendar. As a simple example, the signing of the US Constitution took place on 4 July 1776, which equates to 22.214.171.124.13 in the Long Count Calendar.
The end of the current Long Count Cycle will occur on 126.96.36.199.19, which equates to 20 December 2012. This will be followed by the start of the next cycle, which commences with the first day of the 14th b'ak'tun on 188.8.131.52.0, which equates to 21 December 2012.
But the point of my rambling musings here is that the Maya did not regard the end of the current Long Count Cycle as being the EOTWAWKI; instead, they predicted a number of things happening in the next cycle. I can’t recall the details, but these were along the lines of “On the 15th day of grunge there will be one heck of a party to celebrate the ritual washing of the King’s armpits”
(well, maybe not quite along these lines, but you get my drift).
The problem, of course, is that all sorts of slime-balls will be crawling out of the woodwork instigating all sorts of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), with the ultimate aim of trying to get us to part with our hard-earned money (for example, take a look at 2012officialcountdown.com
, whose tagline is “The day that everything changes… What will happen to you?”
In the coming months we can expect to be assaulted with offers for EOTW survival kits of dubious value and all sorts of other weird and wacky things. Now, I don’t want to dissuade you from joining in the fun if you wish, but I think it would be a shame if you were to give your money to a complete stranger; instead, why not give it to me. For only $100 (Click Here
to ask me about free shipping), I would be happy to provide you with my Patent-Pending Do-It-Yourself EOTW Underground Bunker Kit
as illustrated below:
I’ll tell you what; I’ll even throw in a special guarantee – if the EOTW does indeed come to pass I will immediately send you a second kit for free (have I ever lied to you before?).
If you found this article to be amusing and/or of interest, visit Programmable Logic Designline
where – in addition to my blogs on all sorts of "stuff" (also check out my Max's Cool Beans
blog) – you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to programmable logic devices of every flavor and size (FPGAs, CPLDs, CSSPs, PSoCs...).
Also, you can obtain a highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter – just Click Here
to request this newsletter using the Manage Newsletters tab (if you aren't already a member you'll be asked to register, but it's free and painless so don't let that stop you [grin]).