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Sebastiani
04-22-2009, 08:11 AM
According to the ancient Maya culture, there is an important celestial cycle that runs 1,872,000 days (or roughly 25,625 years). This cycle was so central to their timekeeking that their Long Count calender in fact corresponds to the last fifth of it's period, the last day being December 21, 2012. There has been a lot of speculation about the significance of the cycle, but most likely it corresponds to the solar system's crossing through the plane of the galactic equator. The Mayans made several references to a 'spike of energy' originating from the center of the galaxy at this apex (interestingly, they were somehow aware of the fact that we orbit the Milky Way!), which could cause the sun to glow brighter, among other things. It's possible, I suppose, but then considering the shear magnitude of the galaxy, we are already so close to the juncture that we would probably be able to detect to some degree these changes already, wouldn't we? What do you think?

SlyMaelstrom
04-22-2009, 08:17 AM
(interestingly, they were somehow aware of the fact that we orbit the Milky WayYeah, the aliens explained a lot to us while they were building the pyramids among other things.

My opinion is that we don't understand nearly as much as we think we do. Like those centuries before us who thought they had it all figured out and thought they had the proof to back it up... we can be wrong about almost everything we think we understand. All you need is something wrong in the foundation and then everything that's evolved from that would have to make sense.

VirtualAce
04-22-2009, 04:40 PM
I think most of us are so bored that many of us sit around thinking up new ways that civilization will destroy itself.

I say its 100% bogus. Like I'm gonna listen to some ancient culture that practiced human sacrifice and did not have half the mathematics we have today. Complete and utter nonsense propogated by television channels that are more concerned with making a buck on hype and fear than broadcasting true scientific programs. Real science, if I recall, is far less dramatic than television.

DavidP
04-22-2009, 04:47 PM
2012 is a bunch of fiction.

The year 2012 will simply be the end of the current baktun in the Mayan calendar, and the start of a new baktun. This happens roughly every 400 years (394.3 to be exact). It's essentially like a Mayan new years celebration event except it's a new-400-years event.

SlyMaelstrom
04-22-2009, 05:05 PM
The year 2012 will simply be the end of the current baktun in the Mayan calendar, and the start of a new baktun. This happens roughly every 400 years (394.3 to be exact). It's essentially like a Mayan new years celebration event except it's a new-400-years event.We're gonna get soooo wasted.

cpjust
04-22-2009, 06:02 PM
That's nothing to get excited about. It's not like when the UNIX timestamp reached 123456789 or anything. :p

abachler
04-22-2009, 06:54 PM
Nah, the Vermanii fleet arrives in 2011, not 2012. By 2012 they will have cleansed orbital object 23R-4782 and it will be ready for seeding with new biomes.

BTW I got my CDL permit today, I'm getting my hazmat endorsement tomorrow ;) Imagine me driving a 40 ton death machine filled with lethal chemicals down the highways of america, YEEEEHAWWWWWW!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnRwQjTYfGI

cpjust
04-22-2009, 08:17 PM
BTW I got my CDL permit today, I'm getting my hazmat endorsement tomorrow ;) Imagine me driving a 40 ton death machine filled with lethal chemicals down the highways of america, YEEEEHAWWWWWW!!!!!!

YouTube - East Bound and Down (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnRwQjTYfGI)

Changing careers?
I thought you were a software developer.

abachler
04-23-2009, 06:07 PM
Yes, but this will give me the experience I need to write an AI that will drive the trucks automatically.

cpjust
04-23-2009, 08:39 PM
Yes, but this will give me the experience I need to write an AI that will drive the trucks automatically.

They already have those (but it's a big secret). Homer Simpson already uncovered that conspiracy. ;)

maxorator
04-23-2009, 11:17 PM
That's nothing to get excited about. It's not like when the UNIX timestamp reached 123456789 or anything. :p
It reached 1234567890. ;)

BobMcGee123
04-24-2009, 04:57 AM
I think most of us are so bored that many of us sit around thinking up new ways that civilization will destroy itself.

I say its 100% bogus. Like I'm gonna listen to some ancient culture that practiced human sacrifice and did not have half the mathematics we have today. Complete and utter nonsense propogated by television channels that are more concerned with making a buck on hype and fear than broadcasting true scientific programs. Real science, if I recall, is far less dramatic than television.

Yeah.

MK27
04-24-2009, 06:36 AM
I totally freaked out and forgot 2012 when I found out the polarity of the earth is reversing soon:
Grand Unification: Earth's Flipping Magnetic Polarity (http://www.grandunification.com/hypertext/Magnetic_Polarity_Flips.html)
NOVA | Magnetic Storm | When Compasses Point South | PBS (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/magnetic/timeline.html)
Earth's Inconstant Magnetic Field (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/Y2003/29dec_magneticfield.htm)
Sometime duration the transition we may lose our main sheild from cosmic radiation for a while -- now is the time to invest in solar power.

sean
04-24-2009, 08:09 AM
If I'm not mistaken the jews have a similar calendar set-up to the mayans, where there's a secular calendar and a religious calender, and whenever they line up in certain ways is when big things are supposed to happen. I wonder when THAT calendar thinks the world'll end.

Sebastiani
04-24-2009, 08:56 AM
I think most of us are so bored that many of us sit around thinking up new ways that civilization will destroy itself.

I say its 100% bogus. Like I'm gonna listen to some ancient culture that practiced human sacrifice and did not have half the mathematics we have today. Complete and utter nonsense propogated by television channels that are more concerned with making a buck on hype and fear than broadcasting true scientific programs. Real science, if I recall, is far less dramatic than television.

Typical cultural arrogance. The Mayans were neither barbarians nor mathematically illiterate. Their society was and is quite sophisticated, in fact. My first girlfriend was Mayan and her family still practiced many of the traditions (except sacrifice, I think). I gained some perspective in the workings of the culture and was actually very impressed with their level of social grace and refinement. Their mathematics may not have been quite as sophisticated as ours is today, but was hardly primitive. Using simple methods (that could be taught to a preschooler, by the way) they were able to manipulate extremely large numbers quite easily. Their astronomical knowledge was extensive. They understood that the earth was a sphere and that it circled the sun, that the sun was a star, and many celestial cycles to a high degree of precision. As a people, they seem to be embrace a peaceful, joyful, and helpful attitude, as a whole, which I find quite refreshing. Another interesting thing (if not unnerving to my European sensibilities) is how much freedom their children are given. For example, it isn't uncommon to see a 6 year old helping out in the kitchen with the job of cutting the vegetables (with a very sharp knife)!

I wan't implying an end-of-the-world scenario, either - just that there may be some cosmic significance to the cycle. But yeah, the more I research it, the more it seems that some of the claims may have been fabricated by New Age wierdos. :D

zacs7
04-24-2009, 09:35 AM
> I wan't implying an end-of-the-world scenario, either - just that there may be some cosmic significance to the cycle.
Nope. Still a big crock, sorry!

> They understood that the earth was a sphere and that it circled the sun, that the sun was a star, and many celestial cycles to a high degree of precision.
And NASA still gets it wrong, even with their trillions of dollars of stuff.

Speaking of which, I wonder how zacs7 is doing on counter earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter-Earth).

Yarin
04-24-2009, 03:00 PM
That's nothing to get excited about. It's not like when the UNIX timestamp reached 123456789 or anything. :p
Speaking of the UNIX timestamp... The OP should be more scared of 2038 than 2012. :D

VirtualAce
04-24-2009, 04:11 PM
Typical cultural arrogance....I gained some perspective in the workings of the culture and was actually very impressed with their level of social grace and refinement.

Comparing the modern Maya culture to the one we are talking about is ignorance.



Using simple methods (that could be taught to a preschooler, by the way) they were able to manipulate extremely large numbers quite easily.

I doubt pre-school math would help you create a calendar and even if it did I'm not going believe pre-school math when it comes to the end of the world. Predicting cycles based on what you
observe over a few years is not rocket science but predicting those cycles far into the future means that even a small error becomes enormous when stretched over time.

So since you equated the math of the day to our current pre-school math and since said math predicts the end of the world then you are saying that a pre-schooler could predict the end of the world. Nice. Also one more reason not to believe the calendar is you said that it essentially boils down to math that a pre-schooler could understand so you just by your own admission stated that the Mayan calendar was not all that advanced compared to modern day calendars.

There are also those studying the calendar that say the end is not predicted by the calendar but that was simply where the calendar ended which was taken by others to mean the end of time itself when in reality it was probably something far less nefarious.

twomers
04-24-2009, 04:18 PM
2012's when the zombie apocalypse starts, right?

VirtualAce
04-24-2009, 04:20 PM
Nope that started when Left 4 Dead was released. :D

twomers
04-24-2009, 04:24 PM
No. Started far before that, come to think on it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_and_Prejudice_and_Zombies). Just bought it! I mean a novel with the opening "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains" has the research done. I think it should be reclassified as history, or biographical.

MK27
04-24-2009, 05:42 PM
Just bought it! I mean a novel with the opening "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains" has the research done. I think it should be reclassified as history, or biographical.

Wow, cboard isn't usually this highbrow ;)

Let us know how it turns out, I heard that guy on the radio the other day, I almost fell off my chair he was so funny. Except it was that "hmmm" kind of funny as opposed to "hahaha", so I got to keep my seat.

Sebastiani
04-24-2009, 09:15 PM
>> Comparing the modern Maya culture to the one we are talking about is ignorance.

Not necessarily. Cultures change, but they also pass along to their descendants some very distinct qualities. You may be different from your ancestors in many ways, but you nonetheless carry forward various mannerisms, behavior, and attitudes.

>> So since you equated the math of the day to our current pre-school math and since said math predicts the end of the world then you are saying that a pre-schooler could predict the end of the world. Nice.

That's was not my implication. I was simply conveying the fact that their math was so highly developed that even a preschooler could learn how to use it. In a similar manner, the computers we use perform very complex operations, but their current level of sophistication allows them to be used by small children.

>> There are also those studying the calendar that say the end is not predicted by the calendar but that was simply where the calendar ended which was taken by others to mean the end of time itself when in reality it was probably something far less nefarious.

Of course - it shouldn't be construed as the end of time any more than December 31 should be, simply because it's the last day. Calenders run in cycles.

abachler
04-25-2009, 02:56 AM
>> Comparing the modern Maya culture to the one we are talking about is ignorance.

Not necessarily. Cultures change, but they also pass along to their descendants some very distinct qualities. You may be different from your ancestors in many ways, but you nonetheless carry forward various mannerisms, behavior, and attitudes.


Yes, necessarily, the two cultures are not even remotely connected. The Mayan's of today where not the mayans that lived in the cities, they were the rural mayan's which were not a significant part of the mayan culture at the time.

Snafuist
04-25-2009, 06:31 AM
I mean a novel with the opening "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains" has the research done.

In the combined theory of propositional logic and common sense, the mentioned opening is indeed true: you can write it as "A -> B", where A="zombie X in possession of brains" and B="zombie X in want of more brains". Since zombies don't exist (that's the common sense part), A is false and hence A->B == false->B, which is a tautology, i.e. universally true. :-)



So since you equated the math of the day to our current pre-school math and since said math predicts the end of the world then you are saying that a pre-schooler could predict the end of the world. Nice.


Note that there's a difference between pre-school math and math performed by a pre-schooler. For example, I consider the Lambda calculus to be pre-school math in the sense that you can teach syntax and semantics to most persons above the age of 4 (one line of syntax, two lines of semantics). In fact, the rules of Lambda calculus are much easier to learn than the rules of Go, and I've been playing Go with lots of 5-year old guys. Now the Lambda calculus is Turing-complete, rougly implying that every possible computation can also be performed in Lambda calculus. Consequence: you can describe the whole universe in Lambda calculus at least as precise as you can do in any other language (English, math, physics). So you can do it with pre-school math, but probably not if you're a pre-schooler.

Now the Mayans probably didn't know Lambda calculus, but given enough time, there are lots of facts about the universe waiting to be discovered given just Euclidian geometry (i.e. common sense). I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the Mayans knew something about the universe that we don't.



In a similar manner, the computers we use perform very complex operations


Computers are about as complex as toasters, they are just bigger. Can you make an example of a complex operation?

Greets,
Philip

Sebastiani
04-25-2009, 10:24 AM
>> Computers are about as complex as toasters, they are just bigger. Can you make an example of a complex operation?

By 'computers' I mean the combination of hardware and software (converting electrical impulses on a wire into an interactive web page, for example).

>> In fact, the rules of Lambda calculus are much easier to learn than the rules of Go

Wow, really? I'm seriously going to check that out. :D

>> Yes, necessarily, the two cultures are not even remotely connected.

Pure nonsense. Life does not evolve in a vaccuum.

laserlight
04-25-2009, 11:18 AM
In the combined theory of propositional logic and common sense, the mentioned opening is indeed true: you can write it as "A -> B", where A="zombie X in possession of brains" and B="zombie X in want of more brains". Since zombies don't exist (that's the common sense part), A is false and hence A->B == false->B, which is a tautology, i.e. universally true. :-)
But of course, it is also a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must not be in want of brains :)


Consequence: you can describe the whole universe in Lambda calculus at least as precise as you can do in any other language (English, math, physics).
That may or may not be true, e.g., it may turn out that the universe cannot be described by a Turing machine. However, natural language and mathematics (and hence physics) in general can be adapted to describe the universe, however imprecisely, even in such a case.

elmutt
04-26-2009, 01:24 AM
10 fingers=base 10.

People just like how it looks on paper imo 12212012. Looks nice huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZeIqklHnew&feature=related --- sexyness

abachler
04-26-2009, 04:35 AM
YouTube - Canibus Beyond 2012 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZeIqklHnew&feature=related) --- sexyness

rap sucks, grow up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ELWgMp5Ik

Sebastiani
04-26-2009, 05:13 AM
Interesting. Around 3000 BC there is evidence that an impact event occurred somewhere near Madagascar (now known as Burckle Crater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burckle_Crater)). At around this same time, civilizations across the world record stories of "massive flooding" and the like, such as the Hindu Bhagavata Purana (circa 3100 BCE), the Great Flood of the Bible, etc. Incidentally, the Mayan Long Count begins in the year 3114! So, curious, I look into the Mayan's story of creation as told in the Popol Vuh. Lo and behold, it says the world was created after a great flood! That may very well explain the origins of their calender (or not - it could be just a coincidence, of course), but if so, and if they *did* happen to know about some celestial cycle we're not yet aware of, it could of course mean we're completely doomed. I'm just trying to be objective here, mind you. :D

abachler
04-26-2009, 05:14 PM
The so called '2012 problem' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_calendar#Long_Count)is an urban myth of no importance in mayan belief.

Snafuist
04-27-2009, 06:00 AM
>> Computers are about as complex as toasters, they are just bigger. Can you make an example of a complex operation?

By 'computers' I mean the combination of hardware and software (converting electrical impulses on a wire into an interactive web page, for example).


By complex, I mean stuff like psychoanalysis, which is hard to understand by itself and moreover full of different and possibly contradicting opinions. Converting electrical impulses into web pages is a long process, but it's not complex. It can neatly be divided into small subtasks which are by themselves astonishingly simple. After all, you only need two logical gates to implement the whole thing. But from a more sloppy point of view, I'd agree with you.



>> In fact, the rules of Lambda calculus are much easier to learn than the rules of Go

Wow, really? I'm seriously going to check that out.


Tell us about your progress. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on that matter.



But of course, it is also a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must not be in want of brains :)


That's the whole problem with propositional logic. It doesn't have semantics, so you can actually prove any statement to be true. See the Curry paradoxon:

Greets,
Philip

Sebastiani
04-27-2009, 06:12 AM
>> The so called '2012 problem' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_calendar#Long_Count)is an urban myth of no importance in mayan belief.

But the calender itself is not a myth, and (all Mayan calenders being celestial-based) the fact that it renews in 2012 has *some* significance. It may be as simple as a star visually aligning with a planet. But the fact that it coincides with their creation event is just a little unnerving to me. And this start date is not unique. Egyptian historical records begin at this point, as well (3080, I believe, ie: the First Dynasty). Even Chinese history begins after this date (2852). Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But to rule it out without investigation would be foolish.

abachler
04-27-2009, 04:26 PM
>> The so called '2012 problem' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_calendar#Long_Count)is an urban myth of no importance in mayan belief.

But the calender itself is not a myth, and (all Mayan calenders being celestial-based) the fact that it renews in 2012 has *some* significance. It may be as simple as a star visually aligning with a planet. But the fact that it coincides with their creation event is just a little unnerving to me. And this start date is not unique. Egyptian historical records begin at this point, as well (3080, I believe, ie: the First Dynasty). Even Chinese history begins after this date (2852). Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But to rule it out without investigation would be foolish.

The creation date is a logical choice for when to begin a calendar, you can then choose any arbitrary cycle length and there will exist a date in the future when that cycle will complete and restart, that does not give any signifigance to the date. It's meaningless and any conjecture to the contrary is nothing but pseudo-scientific numerology.

sean
04-27-2009, 07:56 PM
But then of course, that's the difference between someone that believes in creation and someone that doesn't. If you the type of person that believes that an inteligent Deity created the world within the fairly recent past, you're probably also the type of person that belieces that eventually Deity's going to call it good and end the world.

The kind of people that think it's all a load of garbage also don't believe the world was created less than 10,000 years ago, am I right?


And this start date is not unique.

Mormons (and other Christian denominations, depending on their understanding of the Bible) generally put it at 4,000 B.C.

MK27
04-27-2009, 08:05 PM
The kind of people that think it's all a load of garbage also don't believe the world was created less than 10,000 years ago, am I right?


Don't you mean: Couldn't it be that many of the people that believe all this is garbage also believe the world was created <10000 years ago?

Sebastiani
04-27-2009, 08:21 PM
>> The creation date is a logical choice for when to begin a calendar

First of all, I should clarify that the Mayan "creation" date does not mean "the beginning of time". According to their legends, the world was "created" several times, the last occuring in the year 3114.

>> you can then choose any arbitrary cycle length and there will exist a date in the future when that cycle will complete and restart, that does not give any signifigance to the date.

If the cycle is arbitrary, then that would be a first for the Maya.

>> It's meaningless and any conjecture to the contrary is nothing but pseudo-scientific numerology.

It's easy to write off things that you don't understand (or don't care to); ironically, the very act of doing so is *categorically* unscientific.

Sebastiani
04-27-2009, 08:30 PM
>> Mormons (and other Christian denominations, depending on their understanding of the Bible) generally put it at 4,000 B.C.

The flood, or the "beginning"?

One more thing about the Mayan "creation" date. Another reason to think that they themselves did not consider it to be "the beginning of time" is the fact they were known to use dates going back several million years (though I'm not sure what they were dating).

Sebastiani
04-27-2009, 08:35 PM
The truly frustrating thing about all of this is that all but four of their many books were destroyed. The Mayans basically used the same writing system for thousands of years, which is one reason why they are so easy to decipher. Had these books been preserved, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

MK27
04-27-2009, 08:38 PM
If the cycle is arbitrary, then that would be a first for the Maya.


What do they feed you in NC? Tulips?

Sebastiani
04-27-2009, 09:32 PM
>> What do they feed you in NC? Tulips?

I'm suprised that you chose such a non-descript statement as "If the cycle is arbitrary, then that would be a first for the Maya" rather than something like "a 'spike of energy' originating from the center of the galaxy at this apex" to point out my eccentricity. :D

But to (sort of) address your question, I think it's just that I'm not afraid to consider unorthodox or unexplored ideas. I *usually* reach the same conclusions as others; the path I take to get there is just slightly different. If this appears to some to be insanity then so be it.

The fact of the matter is, I would love to discount all of this, and if someone were to put forward a convincing argument against it, I would gladly accept it. But so far I have heard nothing of the sort; only presumptuous statements based on ignorance and weak logic.

Sebastiani
04-28-2009, 08:28 PM
When I started this thread, my intent was simply to debate the possible meaning of the Mayan calender; their being an astronomical culture I felt perhaps there may be some correlation between it and some celestial cycle. But perhaps I went too far. There simply isn't enough hard evidence to corroborate my theories; they were highly speculative and I apologize for the apocolyptic tone that this thread has developed. I hope that it is clear to everyone here that I am prone to arrive at wild assumptions from time to time, but they really shouldn't be taken too seriously; instead of reading between the lines I have simply been filling in the blanks, which really proves nothing. In the future I will try to temper my statements with rationality to avoid falling into such ridiculous discussions.

MK27
04-28-2009, 08:52 PM
//besides, everyone knows that 2012 is the year Terence McKenna comes back

abachler
04-29-2009, 04:31 AM
Mormons (and other Christian denominations, depending on their understanding of the Bible) generally put it at 4,000 B.C.

While I may be wrong :rolleyes: , lets go ahead and dismiss the 'theories' that depend on having an invisible friend in the sky that grants wishes.

sean
04-29-2009, 07:55 AM
While I may be wrong , lets go ahead and dismiss the 'theories' that depend on having an invisible friend in the sky that grants wishes.

Well that's what I meant above. If you think it's a load of crap, of course you think it's a load of crap that someone knows about cataclysmic events ahead of time, unless it's by modern science. Arguing it's just dumb. You believe one thing, the people who believe that the mayan calendar signals the end of the world believe another. More than that, it's just a repeat of that 40+page "God" thread we had on here once.

anon
04-29-2009, 04:48 PM
Perhaps they meant the swine flu (expect it to get serious in a couple of years)?

abachler
04-30-2009, 05:26 AM
Perhaps they meant the swine flu (expect it to get serious in a couple of years)?

It's meaningless, pigs are naturally part of the flu vector, they always have been along with birds. This strain is no different. People die of the flu every year, the numbers are no higher now than they have ever been, its just the latest shockertainment masquerading as 'news'.

DavidP
04-30-2009, 11:49 AM
>More than that, it's just a repeat of that 40+page "God" thread we had on here once.

Ahhh...memories :) I love those heated debates we get into, even though they absolutely go nowhere :)

From a Christian (and Mormon) perspective, I don't deny that the year 2012 could be significant in some way, but I definitely do not believe that it's the year in which the apocalypse will occur (as I stated in my previous post).

Christian belief is clear on the matter and can be found in Matthew 24:42-44 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4. It states the day will come as a "thief in the night" and "no man knoweth". Although we might all have our estimates (and who knows how good the year 2012 is as an estimate), I don't think any of us know the exact time or day, and thus I do not believe 2012 has any substance as a date for the apocalypse.

It is true that it will be the start of a new 400 year baktun cycle on the Maya calendar. That is significant. It could mean other things too...things that I don't know because I have not extensively studied the Maya, but I don't find any evidence for an apocalyptic event.

psychopath
04-30-2009, 12:22 PM
but I don't find any evidence for an apocalyptic event
But it'd be pretty neat though, don't you think? I mean, witnessing the end of the world is a pretty once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. :p

SlyMaelstrom
04-30-2009, 12:54 PM
But it'd be pretty neat though, don't you think? I mean, witnessing the end of the world is a pretty once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. :pPatton Oswalt beat us to this bit by several years now.