Happy Apocalypse! What Else Are People Afraid Of?

First off, what’s all this Mayan stuff about anyway? NASA has a good intro: http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2012/articles/hoax.php
While it’s true the Mayans didn’t actually predict Armageddon, he conveniently ignores the MASSIVE FLOODS at the end of the Dresden Codex. (Ironically, Dresden was nearly destroyed by firebombing — for reasons still not quite clear — in WWII, and the Codex itself damaged by water used to put out the fires.)

Anyway, the big deal here is that today* marks both the end of a Mayan “Baktun” (144,000 day) cycle AND the “rolling over” of the Long Count after 13 Baktuns. So, is anything bad going to happen? Let’s look at what started the last time a “baktun” ended, in 1617/1618: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

* (Dec 23 if you go by the NASA guy, but playing off the popular hype is way more fun.)

Right, okay, correlation isn’t causation. Is there even the slightest possibility that astronomical observations could predict shifts in human society? Well, I mentioned the sunspot thing (
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/04/a-look-at-the-dow-jones-industrial-average-and-sunspots/) before. The 30 Years’ War did begin right at the peak of solar activity preceding the near total absence of it during the Maunder Minimum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sp%C3%B6rer_Minimum)

Of course, we too may be just a few years away from another Maunder Minimum-level low (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/29/frozen_euro_winters_linked_to_low_solar_activity/).

But wait! Before you go putting down your name on the Koolaid list, all’s not lost. I already pointed out there may be a correlation between low levels of solar activity and good things — or at least reasonably fun ones — coming about: the Protestant Reformation in the Spoerer Minimum, and the Golden Age of Piracy in the Maunder one. Even the “Pass/Fail!” crowd can trace their origins to a rather more minor solar minima.

So there’s my theory. Anyone else have any?

On to the link. A rather more prosaic infographic of what people these days fear with respect to electronic technology. Reads like a list of suggestions for Internet entrepreneurs… and the problems are a lot more solvable than what you get trying to service-inject cross-database transactional connections in the cloud, or whatever the buzzwords are these days.

http://fearlessweb.trendmicro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/fearfactors-web.jpg

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