They are at it again, you know, the soothsayers, prophet profiteers, all coming out of the woodwork with doom and gloom. Why? – because an ancient civilisation, the Mayans well known for their study of astronomy and sacrificing of virgins (obviously a bunch of deep thinkers), came up with a 'long count' calendar due to end in 2012.
So now all the bar-room doomsday merchants are predicting we will perish in a variety of ways – all of which are extrapolations (= guesses) of possible outcomes.
That won't stop stop them from worrying the heck out of millions of people though. Just like the Millennium Bug.
Whether it's being burnt to a crisp from the sun's rays, colliding with another galaxy, magnetic pole reversal (compass manufacturers will make a killing), collisions with another planet/asteroid, or Arnold Schwarzenegger making another Terminator movie – we are all screwed.
You'll hear of lots of 'evidence' and lots of theories.
That's it then, stop paying your mortgage, cancel your holiday plans for 2012, sex, drugs and rock and roll for us all…..and ruin the next two years of your life on this wonderful planet of ours.
In my short lifetime alone, I've lived through numerous 'end of the world' predictions. The Jehovah Witnesses almost seem to make a career out of this bunkum.
When I was a lad back in the sixties, I remember an Ad along the lines of "Crime and Banditry will continue until Joanna Southcroft's box of sealed writings are opened" Well, eventually they were opened, and guess what? Crime and banditry continued. There's a surprise then. Who forgot to tell the cops in New York or (name any large city on the planet) to take early retirement?
So am I a relative of Nostradamus? Am I a Wise Man? Am I the fountainhead of all knowledge? Am I 100 percent sure of the future of civilisation? Nope.
But better men than I have advised that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. As human beings, we are 'wired' to look for evidence that supports our thinking, so watch out for all the garbage-spewing cranks appearing over the next 24 months.
Oh yes, and do you know how this Mayan calendar came into being? Apart from being based on shorter (52 year-length) calendars – heavily influenced by moon and planets, religious hokum, and menstrual cycles, the Mayans used the numbers 13 and 20 as the basis for their counting systems. Imagine checking your change from Sainsbury's based on that lot…
And those contributors for this piece of voodoo happenstance 'calculated' the year 2012, AND by the way, the Mayans did not predict the end of the world – just significant change…so go ahead, base the remainder of your life on the opinion of a tribe of star-gazers if you want.
Me? I'm off down the pub.