by Hans Ten Dam
Yes, what? The best forecast usually is more of the same. Boring? When I write this letter, it is still two weeks to the end of the world, at least of civilization as we know it. Meanwhile, an other special date is coming up: 12-12-12. Many people consider it a good day to marry. According to some others, this is the day the world will end, not 21-12-12. Twelve-twelve-twelve. A very special number. At least when you screw off your head and see the last vestiges of common sense receding behind the horizon. This is all poppycock. Why?
First, because abbreviating 2012 to 12 is a practical convention without any deeper meaning.
se it is 2012 according to the Christian calendar, not to the Jewish calendar, not to the Chinese calendar, not to the Islamic calendar.
Third, because it is a convention to start with the birth of Christ and not with his crucifixion.
Fourth, because the year of birth could just have been numbered one instead of zero.
Fifth, even worse, because the year of birth of Jesus is only an approximation from the fourth or fifth century, in which probably an error of four years has been made.
Sixth, because the start of any year is just a convention. Years are based on the revolution of the Earth around the Sun and, as everyone knows, circles don’t have beginnings or ends.
Seventh, because a more logical start of the year would be at the winter solstice, around December 21. And that is only meaningful for the northern hemisphere. Not for the tropics, not for the southern hemisphere.
Eighth, because the counting of the months, inspired by the revolution of the Moon around the Earth is just a Roman convention and the division in days over months of 28, 29, 30 or 31 days is also conventional and even somewhat illogical. It would have been more logical to give February also 30 days (and once each four years 31 days) and two months of 31 turning into 30 would give a more evenly distribution.
Ninth, because days, based on the revolution of the Earth around its axis are also circles without a beginning and end. To start a day at midnight is practical, but it is always somewhere on Earth midnight.
Tenth, because it may be practical to have the date change on midnight opposite the meridian of Greenwich, in a pretty empty stretch of ocean, but it is completely a convention without factual meaning.
Eleventh, because the date change in each country is according to the official time who differs considerably from solar time. For example, in Holland, midnight in winter is Berlin midnight, our midnight in summer is Moscow midnight.
Twelfth, the fact that we count in tens is just convention. We can count as well in any other number of digits. It goes just as well with jus the numbers 1 and O.
So the definition of days and counting of days is just a convention. The definition and counting of months is just a convention. The definition and counting of years is just a convention. The only things that exist are the length of years and the length of days.
That 12-12-12 is something special is poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock times poppycock.
Believing in past lives is infinitely more likely.
It can be worse. Some people derive your personal color from the date you were born. They add the numbers of your date of birth – this time taking the full year’s notation, like 2012 – add the numbers of that sum again and again, till you get a number between 1 and 9. Each number is related to a color. Or rather, each number is assigned a color. The seven classical colors are supplemented with two other colors, either white and black, or gold and silver. Completely arbitrarily. And dead wrong.
There are not seven basic colors, but six. The color circle is red – yellow – green – cyan blue and magenta. Red and cyan are complementary colors, just like yellow and blue, and green and magenta. How do we know these are real identifications? While it works like that. On a monitor all possible colors are represented by red, green and blue (RGB). When they are all 100%, we see white. When they are all 0%, we see black.
And when we print, we have yellow, cyan and magenta, and we have to add black, as we print on paper that is already white (CMYK). And again we can get all possible colors by mixing them.
The reason behind that, is that we have three different receptors in our retina. When we would have four, we would have a color circle of eight colors: four different ones with their complements.
So with identifying seven or nine colors with birth dates, we multiply incredible poppycock with even more poppycock.
It is possible to stay in business with poppycock. Poppycock gets a special flavor because so many people don’t believe in it. It is knowledge for the elected.
And that the Mayan calendar ends this year? Well, Mayan calendars where engraved in stones. You can’t go on forever. You run out of time, or out of masons, or simply out of stone.
I remember being a small kid, that the whole world would change in 1953, because of the calendar of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh was ending. Then, in 1963, the Age of Aquarius would start and everything would change. You can never define the moment that the Age of Aquarius would start. The so-called tropical zodiac is a construct and the sidereal zodiac consists of twelve star signs that have no clear-cut beginning and endings – if they have any meaning at all. In 1984 Christ would come back, also as the Maitreya Buddha. Then the year 1998 came, three times 666, the number of the Beast. Then 1999, prophesied by Nostradamus as the year the Great Lord of Terror would appear and a great fire would be seen in the sky (in the eight month). Astrologers pointed out that because of the alignment of the planets, they would shift their orbits and of course, again, everything would change. Then 2000 was an apocalyptic date, and again 2001. Now we have 2012. Will all this never stop?
Probably not. Expectations are not just intellectual, they are also energetic, because they are loaded with hope and fear. Politicians promise good things are going to happen when you choose them and bad things are going to happen when you choose the other party. Priests and would-be priests promise spiritual shifts with awful consequences for the many non-believers and impressive consequence for the chosen few. Wouldn’t it be nice?
Sometimes, gradual changes may shift a balance within a complex system. When we have a deep insight in the dynamics of a system we may reasonably expect what could happen, and when it happens we may understand why it happens. But this planet and especially mankind, is an incredibly complex system and our insights are always limited. And even if we have pretty good insight, we can rarely estimate in advance when exactly something will happen. As they say: forecasting is difficult, especially about the future.
The future is rarely what we expect it to be. Life is what is happening while you have been making other plans. Usually it turns out not so bad as we feared and not so good as we hoped. But once in a while, worse than we feared, or better than we hoped.
The best way to meet the future is to be sensible and confident, but not too confident, and above all, to live and work well in the present, as well as we can. Don’t over-extend yourself. And certainly don’t under-extend yourself.
Have a good 2013!