Posts Tagged “maya”

'Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.' / Friedrich Schiller / PsiCop original graphicUpdate: It’s now the morning of December 22 where I live, the day after I wrote this post, and clearly the Maya Apocalypse never occurred. I’m waiting to hear the apologies of those who were proclaiming a devastating doom for our planet … but my guess is, there won’t be any. Cranks and frauds never admit error … ever. I’ve changed the title of this post accordingly.

As I type this, it’s December 21, 2012, around noon where I am (Eastern Standard Time). I don’t see any sign of an apocalypse. Granted, the day isn’t over yet, but it’s about 6:00 am on December 22, 2012 in New Zealand, meaning that part of the planet has already moved on to the day after doomsday with nothing to show for it.

NBC News’ Cosmic Log has an entry about the apocalypse that isn’t materializing (WebCite cached article):

After years of claptrap about the Maya apocalypse on 12/21/12, the Big Day has dawned in many parts of the world. It’s daytime in China, one of the world’s hot spots for doomsday angst. So far, no solar flares have fried the earth, and no mountains have fallen into the sea. The sun will soon rise on Mexico’s ancient Maya monuments, where thousands are gathering to greet a new era.

Then what?

“I don’t think there’s going to be a herd of jaguars descending from the heavens,” said John Henderson, an anthropologist at Cornell University who specializes in the Maya world.

Archaeologists and astronomers have thoroughly debunked everything about the doomsday myth: The Maya never expected that the world would end when their Long Count calendar rolled over to the next 144,000-day cycle in 2012. Earth’s magnetic field is not going haywire. There’s no threat from the Large Hadron Collider, or the sun, or unseen planets, or the galactic plane.

That doesn’t mean promoters of, or believers in, the Maya Doomsday 2012 aren’t creatively reinterpreting their previous predictions of destruction and annihilation in the wake of the giant fizzle:

Not everything about the Big Day is doom and gloom: Tourists and New Age types have flocked to the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza to greet Friday’s dawn and the start of a new age with rituals old and new. “There is an explosion of consciousness through this,” a gray-haired Californian musician named Shambala Songstar told Reuters. “We are becoming billionaires of energy. Opening to receive more light and more joy.”

So, it seems a putative “prophecy” that a rogue planet would smash the earth to pieces … or a magnetic pole-shift would wipe out all life on the planet … or that a “galactic alignment” would cause the world to go magically insane … never came true, however, it’s still valid, because humanity has now become “billionaires of energy.”

Uh, right … whatever you say … I guess … somehow, some way, somewhere.

I suppose it would be asking too much of this assortment of nutballs, lunatics, cranks, frauds, wingnuts, ignoramuses, and con artists to apologize for having lied to people about this so-called “Armageddon.” My guess is, they will all do what so many other failed prophets have done in the past, which is to creatively re-engineer their failed predictions so as to make it appear they hadn’t failed, after all.

But in the end, their irrational games, twisted reasoning, and mangled semantics can’t change the fact that the whole “Maya prophecy” is 100% pure grade-A bullshit. A colossal steaming load heaved straight out of the back of the barn.

Photo credit: PsiCop original, quoting Friedrich Schiller.

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Ancient Mayan BookIt’s the morning of December 20, 2012 as I type this. That means the end of the world is tomorrow. Just 24 hours away! … If, that is, you believe the assortment of con artists, cranks, liars, “New Agey” buffoons, suicidal lunatics and other ignorant clowns who’ve been propagating the so-called “Maya Apocalypse” garbage for the past few years. As you should know by now, I don’t buy into it; the modern Maya don’t buy into it; and neither should you.

That doesn’t mean people aren’t getting alarmed about it. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the panic is really starting to set in (locally-cached article):

If there’s one government agency really looking forward to Dec. 22, it’s NASA.

The space agency said it has been flooded with calls and emails from people asking about the purported end of the world — which, as the doomsday myth goes, is apparently set to take place on Dec. 21, 2012.

The myth might have originated with the Mayan calendar, but in the age of the Internet and social media, it proliferated online, raising questions and concerns among hundreds of people around the world who have turned to NASA for answers.

Dwayne Brown, an agency spokesman, said NASA typically receives about 90 calls or emails per week containing questions from people. In recent weeks, he said, that number has skyrocketed — from 200 to 300 people are contacting NASA per day to ask about the end of the world.

Sadly, it seems NASA’s efforts to educate the public about the fraud that is the “Maya Doomsday 2012″ just aren’t working very well — even though they’ve been trying for quite some time now.

People are still under the impression that the Maya long-count calendar will “end” tomorrow, on December 21, 2012 … despite the fact that no calendar ever “ends.” All calendars are cyclical and perpetual. The Maya calendar cannot “end,” any more than our own can. Just as our own year 2012 will end this coming December 31 and 2013 will begin the next day on January 1, what will happen tomorrow is that the Maya 13th baktun will end, and the 14th will begin.

Moreover, the idea that the Maya “prophesied” the end of the world, is ludicrous on its face. They did no such thing. But even if they had, the accuracy and credibility of their predictions are in question, when one remembers that the classic Maya had not managed to foresee the decline of their own civilization and the upheavals that accompanied it.

Oh, and to add to the confusion, it’s entirely possible the presumed date of the turn of baktun may be wrong, and it might have already occurred! But that seems beside the point.

Photo credit: Jan Vrsinsky, via Flickr.

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Practical: The bunkers have escape tunnels with one sided hatches which can only open from the inside, as well as sealed contamination rooms between the entrance and living areas / Atlassurvivalshelters.Com, via (UK) Daily Mail.Here in Connecticut, a lot of folks aren’t likely to notice the passing of “the Maya Doomsday,” for obvious reasons. But elsewhere, there’s still a lot of interest. To the point where there are companies making living off this delusional non-event. The (UK) Daily Mail reports on folks who bought bomb shelters they think will help them ride out this coming worldwide catastrophe (WebCite cached article):

If you’re seriously concerned about the world ending on Friday, then this could be just the ticket.

Ron Hubbard has built a luxurious underground bomb-proof shelter in Montebello, California, with a leather sofa, plasma TV and wooden flooring — just in case the Mayans’ predictions come true.

The civilisation’s Long Count calendar which began 5,125 years ago in 3113 B.C. ends on December 21, 2012 — sparking fears among a small group of people that a major catastrophe could happen.

That “the Maya” never actually “predicted” any such thing, doesn’t seem to matter to folks willing to plunk down thousands of dollars on underground shelters.

Mr Hubbard manufactures hi-tech underground ‘recreational bomb shelters’ — and has seen his business boom from selling one a month to one a day in the past year.

The luxurious bomb, nuclear and chemical weapon-proof bunkers are kitted out with beds, kitchens, flushing toilets and even fireplaces — and sell for an average price of £46,000.

Just goes to show a lot of people in this world have more money than brains. I particularly love the fact that these people don’t seem to want to live after the Maya Apocalypse without their precious HD TVs.

As always I will point out that there will be no “doomsday” on December 21, 2012 … not a Mayan one, nor any other kind. The Maya long-count calendar will not “end” on that date, because calendars are by definition cyclical and perpetual, and they never “end.” See 2012 Hoax and this page at NASA if you really wish to understand the fraud behind the so-called “Maya Doomsday.”

Photo credit: Atlassurvivalshelters.Com, via the Daily Mail.

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2008-08-29_a_Imhoff-Schokoladen-Museum-24The fraudulent “Maya Apocalypse” is just under two weeks away as I type this. As one would expect — with humanity being a collective mass of ignorance and stupidity — this lie has touched off panics in various places around the world. The (UK) Telegraph reports on several of these (WebCite cached article):

Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year “Long Count” Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.

The article cites panics in places like Russia and China. But it adds:

Meanwhile in Mexico, where the ancient Mayan civilisation flourished, the end time has been seen as an opportunity. The country has organised hundreds of Maya-themed events, and tourism is expected to have doubled this year.

I say, good for the Maya in Mexico! Go ahead and take advantage of the “Maya Doomsday” fraud, and milk the idiots who subscribe to it for all you can get. When December 22 dawns, laugh at the fools all the way to the bank!

As I always do when I blog about this, I’ll make the situation as clear as possible. The Maya “Long Count” calendar will not “end” on December 21, 2012. All calendars are cyclical and perpetual. They never “end.” The Maya calendar can no more “end” than our own can. What will happen on that date, is that we’ll go from the 13th baktun to the 14th. That’s all. As for Nibiru, it doesn’t exist, it never has, and it will never collide with the earth. It’s a fantasy spun by a crank who claims to be the world’s only expert on Sumerian and Babylonian texts, but who actually knows nothing about them. Put bluntly, it’s a lie.

NASA has a very useful page explaining everything you need to know about the so-called “Maya Apocalypse 2012.” There’s also an excellent compilation of “Maya Doomsday” bullshit — and a thorough refutation of it all — at 2012hoax. I suggest going to either site and being educated about this presumed doomsday.

Photo credit: pakitt, via Flickr.

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InscriptionsOver the last couple of years, I’ve blogged a few times about the so-called “Maya apocalypse.” That’s the assumption that the Maya prophesied that the planet would be destroyed — or the universe grind to a halt — on December 21, 2012 because (supposedly) that’s the day their long-count calendar will “run out.”

Since this whole pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific scenario is predicated on Maya astronomy, the folks at NASA have, over the last several years, been barraged with questions about it. In response, they’ve periodically released information intended to calm the fears of many who actually believe all of this bullshit. As December 2012 arrived, they published an article on their Web site explaining the nonsense (WebCite cached version):

Dec. 21, 2012, won’t be the end of the world as we know, however, it will be another winter solstice.

Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the claims behind the end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.

Here’s a Newsy video report on NASA’s latest debunking effort:

They address a number of claims that have been made about what will happen on December 21, 2012. Among them is the wild-eyed claim that a planet Nibiru will collide with the earth. (That particular aspect of this lunacy owes its origins more to the laughable spew of Zechariah Sitchin than to anything the Maya left behind.)

That said, I have no doubt this will not actually calm the fears of the “Maya apocalypse” true-believers. Rather, they’ll decide that NASA’s efforts to debunk their delusions and lies are merely further evidence of their veracity (for instance, they’ll ask, “Why would a federal government agency spend so much time debunking ‘nonsense,’ unless there was something to it in the first place?”). The backfire effect is a powerful psychological force and it will certainly infect many, as the next couple of weeks go by.

As I’ve done previously, I’ll point out a few simple, obvious facts that explain how this whole “Maya prophecy” is pure bullshit:

  • The Maya calendar can no more “run out” than our own can. Calendars are by nature cyclical and perpetual. You always go from the last month of one year, to the first month of the next, over and over again, without letup. The Maya calendar works no differently, in this regard. December 21, 2012 will be the transition between the 13th baktun and the 14th. That’s all.
  • The idea that the Maya had any special knowledge of the future is laughable on its face. This is especially true when one realizes they never foresaw the collapse of their own civilization, which happened back in the 10th century. The upheaval the Maya experienced in the 10th century — a time in which they did not all “disappear” or “die out” as sometimes has been alleged, although many of their city-states declined measurably and in many cases precipitously — ought to have concerned them immensely, had they seen it coming.
  • Modern Maya (yes, the Maya still exist as a people!) don’t buy any of this bilge, themselves. Since they’re in a better position than the rest of us to know what the classic Maya thought and said, it’d behoove us to pay attention to them.

The bottom line is that the so-called “Maya apocalypse 2012″ is a flat-out lie, cooked up by an assortment of New Agers and cranks who have precious little knowledge of the Maya; they’ve taken that little bit of knowledge and extrapolated it to ridiculous proportions. It’s time for them to just fucking stop their lies.

Previously, I issued a challenge to the Maya-apocalypse-promoting cranks, and I’ll repeat it here: Will you state in advance — right here, right now, without reservation — that, once December 22, 2012 arrives and there’s been no “Maya apocalypse,” you promise to issue an unqualified apology for having lied to people, and without delay or equivocation donate the proceeds of your doomsaying to charity?

My guess is, none of them are sincere enough in their (crazy) beliefs to accept this challenge and make this pledge. More’s the pity.

Photo credit: selkie30, via Flickr.

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Veracicat has checked your facts and is not impressed with your lies.I’ve already blogged a number of times about the lies being told about the so-called “Mayan apocalypse” that supposedly will happen when the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. The hoopla about it continues, in spite of the fact that the Mayan calendar is not “ending” at all! Rather, the “long count” calendar is merely turning a page; the 13th baktun will end and the 14th will begin. There are also no “planetary alignments” or “rogue planets” which will destroy the Earth.

It’s not going to happen. And I repeat: It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen. Period.

The good folks at NASA have been trying to debunk all the lies, but to little effect. As Scientific American reports, they just released a video which they think will help (WebCite cached article):

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the “Mayan apocalypse,” a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.

In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios. [See video]

Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that this will coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: “Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; it’s just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. It’s just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendar begins on January 1.”

In case you’re curious, here’s the video in question:

As it turns out, this is not the first video NASA has released along these lines. Here’s one they did a while ago:

I have no doubt that neither of these videos will accomplish anything. All the “true believers” in the “Maya 2012 apocalypse” are going to continue to believe in it, regardless of anything NASA says about it … and in fact a lot of them will believe in it even more fiercely than they did before (due to the backfire effect, which coincidentally also figured into my previous blog post). They’re just too irrational — and too childish — to face the fact that their belief in the “Mayan doomsday” is a lie.

Update: Unfortunately I was right when I said NASA’s effort would be fruitless. The agency has had to continue its debunking efforts in the face of all the “Maya doomsday” lies.

Photo credit: PsiCop, based on original from quitor.com.

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Bell Rock, Sedona, AZNote: See below for a post-apocalypse update on this story.

I’ve blogged already about the various lunatic scenarios that New Agers and assorted wingnut cranks and crazed crackpots have been cooking up, over the last few years, about the so-called “Mayan apocalypse.” Supposedly the universe is going to end on December 21, 2012, when the Mayan long-count calendar runs out goes from its 13th baktun to its 14th. It’s one thing to beat the drum of the apocalypse in order to get media attention or sell books or videos. It’s quite another, however, to plan one’s own demise over it. As bone-chilling as it sounds, that’s exactly what Peter A. Gersten, Esq intends to do. He’s announced his plans in a page on his own Web site*:

On the Winter Solstice of 2012 at exactly 11:11 UT a cosmic portal will open in Sedona Arizona and a leap of faith — from the top of Bell Rock — will propel me through its opening.

That’s right, the man plans to leap from a cliff-face over the putative Mayan apocalypse.

Gersten provides details which — he thinks — justify his plan. As simply as I can put it, he believes the universe is a massive cosmic computer whose locus will be fixed on Bell Rock, Sedona AZ, at 11:11 (UTC) on 12/21/2012. His rationales are bizarre, a lot of hokum and supposition with only a bare sprinkling of fact, based on (in his own words) “genetically programmed intuition.” If you really want to understand his crazed ramblings, read them for yourself … I’m not repeating his nonsense and gibberish here. He closes with this:

Most of you will think that I am delusional and that my insane act will certainly result in my death. Death is inevitable — at least nowadays — and 100 years from now it won’t matter whether I died in 2012 or 2013 or even 2020. But I believe that some type of cosmic portal will be opening at that time and place and that an opportunity will present itself. I fully expect that it will either lead to the next level of this cosmic program; freedom from an imprisoning time-loop; a magical Martian-like bubble; or something equally as exotic.

In March 2012 I will reach 70 years of age and nine months later we arrive at the cosmic coordinate. I think it will then be time for me to move on — in one form or another. I’d like to see what else our Cosmic Computer has to offer.

We’re all going to die someday, so Gersten thinks he may as well take his “cosmic plunge.”

Now, I’m skeptical enough to wonder whether or not this is a hoax, some guy pulling our legs. It may well be a kind of Poe. I can’t say for sure. But I have looked into Peter A. Gersten, and from what I can see, judging from his appearances on the Art Bell/George Noory radio show (cached), he’s been at this for years — having told Noory and his listeners about the importance of 12/21/2012 11:11 as long ago as 2005 (cached). If this is a hoax or a Poe, it’s something he’s been maintaining for a long time. Since hoaxes are usually “flash in the pan” one-time events, my guess is, he’s sincere.

Sadly enough.

Update 1: Perhaps in order to avoid critique or attention to his self-destructive plan, Gersten has taken down the page I originally referred to from his Web site (i.e. http://www.pagenews.info/commentary/wintersolstice2012.php). However, I cached it using WebCite, and that’s the link I provide in this post.

Update 2: The Phoenix New Times reports Gersten never took his leap, because his vortex never opened up below Bell Rock (cached).

Hat tip: Apathetic Agnostic Church.

Photo credit: lawrence’s lenses.

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