Slow, but well worth the time.
Slow, but well worth the time.
In this broadcast we meet our hosts Jake Kettle and James Kent, who discuss the apocalypse that never came, the fate of the singularity, machine consciousness, the future of the human race, Downton Abbey, and more.
The best thing to come out of rumors that the world would end this past week? A former furniture maker, Liu Qiyuan of the small village of Qiantun became obsessed with the possibility of a Mayan calendar apocalypse and was driven to build what you see below for his family. The fiberglass pods cost $48,000 each to create and are equipped with oxygen, seat belts, food, and supplies allowing 14 people to survive inside for at least two months. I foresee a future in which we all float through life in these:
We may have dodged a bullet with the end of the Mayan long count calendar, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Via Addicting Info, several other compelling ancient doomsday prophesies may be approaching, including the Norse Ragnarök, Nostradamus’ Last Days, the Hindu Kali Yuga, and even the Zoroastrian apocalypse:
Yes, they have one, too. It is supposed to occur 3000 years after Zoroaster was born but since there is some dispute about that, who knows when it will happen? The whole thing will begin when the sun and moon are no longer seen and a long, dark winter kicks in. The usual fading of morality and religious values and such will darken our doorstep.
Then a big demon will break out of the cavern its been held trapped in and it will eat 1/3 of the world’s population. Then a virgin will bathe in a lake in which the long-ago ejaculated seed of Zoroaster is still alive and she’ll get pregnant and give birth to the savior figure, Saoshyant.
Apocalypse (n.): late 14c., “revelation, disclosure,” from Church Latin apocalypsis “revelation,” from Greek apokalyptein “uncover, disclose, reveal,” from apo- “from” (see apo-) + kalyptein “to cover, conceal”
December 21 did provide a minor doomsday of sorts for the Mayans, as a priceless temple was overrun and desecrated by hordes. The Telegraph reports:
Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilisation. More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colourful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.
“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, located 340 miles north of Guatemala City. ”We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site,” he told local media. Gomez did not specify what was done, [but] did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.
One imagines that a lot of apocalypse bunkers will be selling at a discount in 2013, but bidders for the fabled porn bunker may be disappointed to learn it doesn’t exist, reports Curbed LA:
We never believed in the Mayan apocalypse, but we sure did believe in the apocalypse porn bunker. Oh, we believed in it so hard. Well, just like the Mayan apocalypse: it’s not happening. Last year, Van Nuys porn company Pink Visual announced to the world that they were working on an underground bunker to be finished in fall 2012 in anticipation of today’s end of the world events–they figured that even if the world did not in fact end, “we will still have the coolest bunker on the planet, and we can use it as a location to shoot content in, rent it out to other studios - maybe even major Hollywood studios – to use, or maybe even open a big underground strip club.” (They insisted: “we really are building a great big underground bunker.”) The place was supposed to have several fully-stocked bars, a production studio, load-bearing stripper poles, and a damn microbrewery.
Via Salon, Daisy Yuhas on the fascination of impending collapse:
Neuroscientist Shmuel Lissek suspects that some apocalyptic believers find the idea that the end is nigh to be validating. Individuals with a history of traumatic experiences, for example, may be fatalistic. For these people, finding a group of like-minded fatalists is reassuring. There may also be comfort in being able to attribute doom to some larger cosmic order—such as an ancient Mayan prophecy.
There’s an even broader allure to knowing the precise end date. “Apocalyptic beliefs make existential threats—the fear of our mortality—predictable,” Lissek says. Lissek, in collaboration with National Institute of Mental Health neuroscientist Christian Grillon and colleagues, has found that when an unpleasant or painful experience, such as an electric shock, is predictable, we relax. The anxiety produced by uncertainty is gone.
Steven Schlozman, drawing both from his experiences as a Harvard Medical School child psychiatrist and novelist (his first book recounts a zombie apocalypse) believes it’s the post-apocalyptic landscape that fascinates people most.
Being in school is definitely weirder now than when I was a kid. Via NBC News:
More than 30 Michigan schools closed for the holidays two days early, in part because the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end on Friday, an official said. Matt Wandrie, superintendent for Lapeer Community Schools, said doomsday “rumors” are running rampant in several districts.
“Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students,” Wandrie wrote on his website. “Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced,” he added.
He noted that Twitter was lighting up with posts with sentiments like: “Friday would be a great day to go out w/ a bang.”
I spent my childhood going to an evangelical church and was taught that the apocalypse was just around the corner: beasts rising up from the sea, Satan, 666 on your forehead. The whole shebang, and all very literal – no room for metaphor. I could never swallow the doctrine and stopped going as soon as I could effect a strong enough resistance to my parents. Forcing me to go to church was a bigger pain in the ass to my parents than just letting me sleep in and after a while, they stopped going too.