Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why the world will not end in 2012.

Lately, there's been a lot of hoo-ha about "The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, they knew something!", and as always with apocalyptic predictions, plenty of films, TV shows, and other rubbish talking it up. Unfortunately for the doomsayers, it's all a load of hooey.

You see, the Mayan Long Count which is running out of numbers in 2012 is actually extensible. It merely needs another digit to continue on for far longer than it has done already. There aren't any predictions we've found in Mayan sources regarding the end of the calendar. All that's happening is a problem like the year 2000 bug: they thought they had plenty of headroom, but now people are still paying attention when they're running into a technical limit. A very similar issue is in store for 32-bit Unix-based systems (for those who don't know exactly what that is, it's not too important) in 2038, when their time storage system runs out of numbers; the time storage system used is very simple, being a count of nominal seconds (86400 per day, ignoring leap seconds) since 1/1/1970, but in 2038, it runs out of numbers.

So, please, don't worry about 2012. The worst problem that's likely to occur is possible riots because so many idiots believe the predictions of doom.

1 comment:

  1. Plus the Mayan culture "ran out" a long time before their long count did...


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