Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TNS#85: Everything About 2012 with author Mark Heley

TheNextStep show #85 was taped 4/26/12 and featured bay area author Mark Heley, talking about his book The Everything Guide to 2012. Mark's book covered a wide range of topics and so did our discussion... ranging from the beginning of time in Mayan calendrics to the center of the Milky Way! In preparation for the show I reviewed my whole stack of 2012-themed books, which included The Mayan Factor/Arguelles, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012/Jenkins, The 2012 Story/Jenkins, 2012 and the Galactic Center/Page, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl/Pinchbeck, and 2012: Science or Superstition/Bruce. BTW, Mark's book is the best of the lot in breadth and clarity. Let's see, by way of summary, for starters I was just trying to clarify what the proper terminology for the end of the 13th baktun on 12/21/12 should be called. Each baktun is 5125 years, and the 13th baktun was described as -- somewhat like an IP address! -- but so does that mean 12/20 was since the Mayans used a base-20 vigesimal number system? Well, the answer to that was not forthcoming. The other topic I tried to clarify was the idea that this end of the 13th baktun was somehow coincident with our solar system crossing the central plane of the Milky Way, an idea that John Major Jenkins writes about at length. That topic didn't get much traction either, although I'd refer the reader to the Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet prepared by astrophysicist David Morrison, which he prepared for his talk on 2012 at SETI.org in Nov 2012. When asked, he did confirm that we believe our solar system cycles above and below the galactic plane, on a very long time scale that he wasn't very clear about w/r actual numbers. My comment was that, really, there was no way the Mayans could've even known about the galaxy we're in! Unless of course the extra-terrestrials told them. Yes, that's probably it... I liked Mark's recent article http://realitysandwich.com/215394/what-actually-happened-on-december-21-2012/ and his comment that "By the time we actually reached 2012, it had become very clear that the semantic battle for assigning meaning to this date had been steamrollered (at least in the western media) towards the ‘end of the world’." Indeed! I thought his best quote was this: "The December 2012 solstice has become a focal point for ideas about planetary change... A unique opportunity exists to harness this attention into a global event that celebrates the essential unity of humanity and the power of positive intention." Good summary Mark! BTW he continued the theme by being one of the organizers of peace2012.net which was a global day of peace on 12/21/12, and the unify.org World Spirit Day on 12/21/13. The show has been posted here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-85-everything-about-2012-6200103