The Mayans weren’t predicting the end of the world with their calendar. They just wanted you to buy the next age’s calendar.
Take, for example, my Justin Bieber 2010 photo calendar. It runs out at the end of March 2011. Am I speeding to the supermarket to stock up on canned corn, Space Shuttle ice-cream and bottled water? No. Just like the Mayans, Beiber Corp. Inc. LLC just wants me to dish out for a a new calendar—it’s how calendarmakers stay in business.
Six-thousand years ago, when the Mayan calendar was created, they were just making a calendar. This was pre-printing press, so making a new calendar every year, willy-nilly, wasn’t cost-effective. And, though the design of the Mayan calendar is amazing, they figured that after six-thousand years people would get sick of it and be ready for something new.
Throughout history all generations and nations have felt they were the chosen ones.
Ironic that being chosen ones always seems to entail experiencing the end of the world.
It’s really just arrogant. The Earth was here long before we showed up and will be here long after we die off. It will continue to have Ice Ages as it always has, then the ice will melt and ebb into another glacial period, then flow out again.
New Justin Bieber-equivalents will rise and fall, but I think that, in the tradition of hundreds of past end-of-the-world predictions, 2012 will just be another year.