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Why do people think the world is going to end in 2012?

It can’t have escaped your notice that there seems to be a lot of talk and ideas about the world coming to an end in 2012.  There seems to be predictions of one sort or another about any year you might choose, so what’s so special about 2012?Well in short, nothing.

But why the big deal about Mayan calendars and 2012?  In brief, there has been analysis done on some of the calendars created by the Mayan civilisation.  These calendars go through cycles, which for some reason seem to end in 2012.  So by the interpretor’s understanding, that somehow proves that the world will end in 2012.  Despite the fact that this seems quite a leap to make, Mayan calendars have also been found which continue past 2012.  So, I guess that’s rubbish then!

Perhaps surprisingly, people seem all to0 ready to buy into predictions about the end of the world.  And it seems that if you throw in connections with ancient civilisations or Nostradamus, somehow it lends more weight to the prediction.  As far as ancient civilisations go, it’s all well and good trying to make them out as predictive geniuses.  I’m not saying they weren’t educated or intelligent, quite the opposite, some of their science and mathematics was well ahead of it’s time.  But whatever predictive powers we try to endow them with, it was obviously not enough to stop them going the way of the dinosaurs themselves.

And as for Nostradamus, have you ever actually sat and read any of the garbage he wrote?  Most of the books you can buy have to come with ten times more information about the ‘interpretation’ of what he wrote.  Because his ‘predictions’ were so completely vague and generic, and seemed to cover all possible topics under the sun without being specific about any of them, it is easy to see how modern people can look back at history and say that prediction X could be interpreted as this event Y in history.  But working the other way around and saying that something he wrote predicts event Z in 5 years time – complete nonsense I’m afraid.

For modern predictors of the end of the world, it seems it is more about getting people to join your cult, or buy your book.  And in a marketing sense, if you’re going to go for the big predictions about the end of the word, you want to give yourself a few years to spread the rumours, write the books that will sell and get the big movie deal.  So funnily, it always seems to be that the big event is still some years away.  And ideally, give yourself enough years to enjoy living off the profits, just in case it does happen!


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