Friday, February 17, 2012

Reasons (not) to freak out: is the 2012 apocalypse bullshit or not?

I think it's best to lead off this article with a link to a article which clearly denounces all 2012 apocalypse nuttery as bullshit. is actually a surprisingly reliable source on some things, and the bias (everything is written with bias) is towards humor, which at the very least satisfies the critical rationalist's desire to see things examined with criticism and socratic dialectics. So, here you go!

My agenda in writing this is not to convince you of anything. Hell, I'm not convinced of anything! Science fiction author John Shirley has accused me of wearing an intellectual condom. He meant it as a dig at me, but I actually was sort of tickled by the allegation. So, before you roll your eyes at me for writing this article, please know that my only goal here is just to make information available.

If we are still here in 2013, I will, as penance, write a follow-up post ridiculing my past self for having any sort of an interest in the big picture!

So, let's see what they're saying about 2012: and let's start with Michio Kaku.

Famous and respected physicist Michio Kaku had this to say on August 19, 2010. Notice how he clenches his teeth while entertaining the moronic jabbering of the reporters he is talking to.

Here he is in December of 2010 chuckling dismissively about 2012 apocalyptic hysteria, emphasizing that people often forget the whole bit about "renewal" that goes along with the silly Mayan prophecies, and then saying that he's not really losing any sleep about it.

Here he is in early 2011 saying that he's been losing a bit of sleep at night.

Now, let's flash forward to November 4, 2011! Kaku, getting the brush-off from even stupider people, issues this warning! At about 2:15 he emphasizes, "We scientists made a mistake!" and then goes into some detail about how calculations of the forthcoming solar storm activity were off by at least a factor of 20. "We physicists are sounding the alert!"

Now, I know what you're thinking. If this was anything but total bullshit, surely NASA would be all over warning us, right? Or at least, they'd be warning their own people! Isn't it sort of weird to hear a government official babbling about a continuity of government exercise called "Eagle Horizon"?

Hrm. Well, I mean, if any of this was real, surely people would be noticing a real difference in their physical environment, right?

These Inuit fellas are probably about as sophisticated as the stupid Mayans, right?

Whatever. Let's have a look at what people in Antarctica think: oh, here's a guy who noticed a while ago that the sun was coming up at the wrong time of year.

Here's a guy who has noticed that compass headings are way off and that the sun is setting in the wrong place. But he's probably just another knob, right? Heck, maybe his compass is sitting on a magnetic rail.

Sooo, hell, I decided to go right to the source. Listed on my Twitter feed is Scott Maxwell, NASA's very own Mars Rover driver. Below is my tweet to him, and his response.

dude, inuit people are freaking out that the sun is setting in the wrong place and compass headings are off. reassure me.


Fear not. The sun will rise in the right place tomorrow, you'll see. All is well.


That was a pretty specific reassurance, but thanks! :)

So, there you have it. All is well!

I did notice last summer that the sun was setting in the wrong place, but I dismissed it as a brainfart. I think that's an important clue to the nature of consciousness. Just as well, I guess.

You know what? If I was one of the Secret Masters and was looking for a chance to blow up Iran, I'd probably piggyback it on some sort of big natural upheaval! They should hire me at the Pentagon to give them ideas.

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