Magazine article Risk Management

Repent! the End Is Nigh!

Magazine article Risk Management

Repent! the End Is Nigh!

Article excerpt

A friend recently sent me a link to a website that he thought was interesting. According to the site, the Mayan calendar comes to an end in 2012 (specifically on December 21), leading many conspiracy theorists and new age philosophers to conclude that the world as we know it will be coming to an end as well. Whether this means a period of spiritual rebirth or a full-blown apocalypse seems to depend on whether you're a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of crazy person, but the fact remains that a lot of people are getting worked up over the suggestion of a 6,000 year-old calendar.

As a rational person, I found the whole report to be amusing but, ultimately, a waste of time and brain power. It is more likely that the Mayans ran out of stone when they were carving their calendars than it is that had inside knowledge of the cosmos. So I deleted the e-mail and wondered if it might be time to get some less gullible friends.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But soon, I started noticing 2012 warnings everywhere. First, I discovered that the Will Smith post-apocalyptic zombie thriller I Am Legend was set in 2012 and that movie producer Roland Emmerich, whose credits include the blockbusters Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, was already working on a 2012 apocalypse movie of his own. Then, the History Channel aired a documentary called Doomsday 2012: The End of Days that cited predictions from not only the Mayan calendar but the Book of Revelations, the I Ching, the real-life Merlin, the Hopi and an internet scanning program called the Web-Bot Project, that all pointed to 2012 as the doomsday date. They even tried to throw some pseudo-science into the mix by discussing the geological theory of pole shift, where it is postulated that in 2012, the Earth will align with both the sun and the center of the Milky Way galaxy, causing the North and South Poles to change position, resulting in massive natural disasters. …

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