Mayan calendar, way off topic:
It has been about three years since I heard of the end of the Mayan calendar.  Either their calendar ends then or a single long cycle of the calendar does.  I find the whole thing rather charming, to tell you the truth.  Sometimes one reads that it will be a time of bad things happening.  Sometimes one reads that it will, or should be, a time of spiritual rebirth.

I always hold spiritual rebirth as suspect.  If memory serves (and my memory is not that good, so take none of this seriously) there was a time when archaeologists had discovered a mass of ancient texts.  Some good hearted person spent a lot of time looking them over and concluded that they were all about spiritual rebirth.  As I remember they finally turned out to be lists of things held in a warehouse. 

I have probably forgotten the facts, but I do remember the principle.  There is a strong urge on the part of people to see spiritual events even in things that in the end are anything but spiritual.  And this has become the bane of my existence.

Even professional journalists and scientists, who are paid to be skeptical and take a pragmatic view of the world, take the spiritual attitude.  Of course consciousness and spirituality are very closely kin.  So when I say, “Aha, fertility is determined by kinship,” I get the response, “No, that’s just free choice.”  It matters not how much evidence I amass nor how little they can come up with, it’s consciousness and nothing else that determines whether another conscious rational being will come into existence. 

Patently absurd, of course.  Many factors enter into the cause of any event.  So I must say that mating strategy is simply the most important.  But I get the rejoinder that mating strategy does nothing at all.

So alas, it seems that if there is any rational thinking on the part of humans, it is very rare indeed. 

Soo, here is the Mayan calendar, and there is a lot of interest in it, not all being rational.  In fact, maybe you remember Y2K or the year 2000.  That was when our calendar ended, or at least the calendar our computers were using, which is worse.  There was some interest in it, and some money had to be spent to make sure things underwent the transition into the new cyber calendar with difficulty, and so it was.  But from my treacherous memory there is a lot more interest in the Mayan change than in our own.  Ahh, well at least with Y2K we were spared the spiritual bit. 

So more on less at 11:11 AM (I assume that is Greenwich Mean time, or Zulu if you prefer) on December 21, 2012 the winter solstice sun is supposed to line up with the plane of the galaxy.  That will be about a year from now. 

Somebody speaking for the skeptic camp (Mind you, that person is probably skeptical ONLY with regard to the Mayan calendar being significant.  Try him with fertility and see how far you get.) announced that the alignment had actually occurred a few years ago, so tsk, tsk, tut, tut, nothing to it and all that.  Actually I was suddenly much more impressed with the Mayans.  They had figured out that there was something that corresponded with the galactic plane.  I had never even thought about it when looking at the Milky Way.  Pressed, I suppose I would have said, yes, there would have to be such a plane.  But it would be like identifying the exact center of a cloud or counting how many flames were in a fire in the fire place.  It is a complex concept that does not reduce readily to a single number.  In fact, we don’t even see the whole thing.  There are dust clouds in the way.  The fact that the Mayans even came close to what we think now is amazing.  Good for them.  But of course for practical purposes the great smudge of our galaxy, even had it any effect on us (barring the occasional magnetar) would not have an effect on any one day much different from the effect on the next day. 

So the world isn’t coming to an end of December 21, 2012.  However I shall make the bold prediction that within a couple of weeks after that, 2012 will come to an end. 

But I was interested enough to look around on the internet a bit, and the length of the long count was mentioned.  It was immediately obvious that the long count soon to end began in about 3114.  That struck me as odd, since a lot of things were going on about that time.  Looking around, I found that it was suggested that the first Egyptian dynasty, the rise of Sumer, the building of the megalithic structures on Malta and Brittany and the building of Newgrange in Ireland and the first version of Stonehenge were going on about that time.  These ambitious projects all seemed to be similar, including an interest in astronomy, heroic building and a tendency to be at or near modern people with somewhat higher numbers of Rh negative members.  Megaliths go all the way to the Faro Islands and there is a small area of increased Rh negative in Bergen, Norway.  It seems not far fetched that this is all one extended culture.  If so, the notion that these folks crossed the North Atlantic and they or their descendants made their way as far as Mexico and Central America is not so much of a stretch. 

So my notion is that something, I know not what, around 3114 struck a lot of people as a beginning.  Then, given they had an idea of the galaxy as being defined by a line, they chose next year as the end of a cycle, for good, ill or just to have a milestone.

So there seems nothing to worry about.  Things fall into place. 

The problem is that I have my own warning about the end of things we love, and that one has some evidence to it.  It’s not very helpful to have people fretting about something that does not seem to have any threat at all, when there is another threat that needs serious attention.  Maybe in another year, when the Mayan fad is over, somebody will care enough to do something about my own topic. 

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