December 21, 2012
December 15, 2012
Among the modern “scientific skeptics” movement – which is already small – I count myself (in the least arrogant way possible) among the even smaller subset who are actual career scientists. Being in that sub-set, a not uncommon question is: If you had no morals, what kind of scam would you perpetrate?
As in, if I wanted to go out and be on Oprah and Motel and Coast to Coast and sell hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions of dollars?) worth of pseudoscientific crap, what kind of crap would I shovel out to the masses?
To say that I haven’t thought about it would be lying. To say that I haven’t thought to try a social experiment would be lying. But this April, I unwittingly did just that.
Some of you may remember my April Fools post for 2012: “New Nostradamus Quatrain for 2012 Discovered.” The idea was that people keep making up new things that Nostradamus “said,” after some event, and then claim it applied to that event. This happened with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. And, as also happened with that attack, people “reinterpret” quatrains that Nostradamus actually did write in order to fit them to the event.
In that spirit, I wrote my post about a “newly discovered” quatrain. And of course, tied it very obviously to the 2012 doomsday stuff. I even posted it on April 4, but I set the date back in WordPress so that it appears I posted it on April 1. People started posting in the comments pretty quickly and sniffed it out as an obvious prank.
And that was that.
Fast-forward to the last week or two. WordPress is neat in that it tells you what people have searched for in search engines to get them to your blog. Usually, the top terms have something to do with Planet X or December 21, 2012. For a very brief few days about two weeks ago, the top term was “Glynis McCants fraud” — for which my blog is still among the top ten, and was briefly #2, in Google search results for that term.
But, for the last week, and indeed, now looking at the stats, for the past quarter (3 months), the top term outpacing all others by nearly a factor of 2 is “nostradamus quatrains 2012.” Ooops.
A few days ago, I added this disclaimer to my April Fools post:
Edited to Add (Dec. 09, 2012): Okay folks, one of the top search engine directs I’m getting to my blog is for stuff along the lines of “nostradamus quatrain 2012″ and folks are getting this post. Let me be clear: THIS WAS AN APRIL FOOLS POST. That is all. Now, on with the show …
Still on Forums
As of this writing, people on three different forums have picked upon this and are treating it as a genuine Nostradamus quatrain. One is a “Topix” forum, another is on a forum for people who own the Dodge Challenger (a car), and the third is Aantares.com forum. Intriguingly, none of them are cited, though the first two quote more of my post than just the quatrain I made up.
In fact, the last one made it up even more than I did. The poster took the first two lines that I wrote and then made up the last two lines.
Is this of large impact? No, of course not. Three people on random forums taking it and quoting me and thinking it was genuine does not a big issue make. And hopefully with this post, too, people coming to this blog will realize that there’s nothing to fear.
But, the fact that the most hits to my blog these days – and now every day for the past nearly two weeks – are for Nostradamus quatrains relating to 2012 … well, it does say something about the state of critical thinking in our society.
Exactly what does it say? Well, I know the answer, but if I told you, then you wouldn’t be thinking for yourself …
WordPress has just informed me that this has been my 300th post. That’s an average of 5.3 days between posts for the last 4 years 4 months I’ve been blogging. Not horrible, though not great, I suppose.
December 10, 2012
This post is headed up exactly 11 days before the winter (in the northern hemisphere) solstice of 2012, assuming I got the time zones correct.
You know … THAT day. The one “everyone” is saying – or at least “everyone” is saying that the Mayans said – that the world is going to end. Or we’re all going to become higher vibrational spiritual beings. Or Planet X will swing by. Or some such other stuff.
In other words, only 11 more days people can suckle the milk from the teat of a meme that has frightened people, bilked them from money, made them see a pretty bad movie, and various other things.
If you’re just finding this blog through an internet search and don’t follow me regularly, perhaps you can tell that I clearly put zero stock in such things. In fact, the main purpose of this post is to create a “master” post for the majority of my 2012-related posts and podcasts. I’ve been known to suckle a bit myself, and there’s no harm in doing another post that’s just a bunch of links … it’s a public service, ¿ya know? to have ’em all in one place.
After all, the majority of people coming to my blog these days are coming here due to searches for 2012-related doomsday stuff.
The Posts and Podcasts
The main blog posts:
- Planet X and 2012: The Real and Historical Story of Planet X
- Planet X and 2012: Primer on the Mayan Calendar
- Planet X and 2012: The PseudoAstronomy (or Just Plain Wrong Astronomy) About a Galactic Alignment
- Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Magnetic) Explained and Debunked
- Planet X and 2012: Proof Earth Is Not Experiencing a Pole Shift
- Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Geographic / Spin Axis) Explained and Debunked
- Planet X and 2012: Why Planet X Is NOT Coming in 2012
- Planet X and 2012: What The Sky Looks Like On December 21, 2012
- Planet X and 2012: Why a 3600-Year Planet X (Nibiru) Doesn’t Exist
- Planet X and 2012: Could Planet X Be a Planet Around a Binary Star to Our Own – a “Dark Star?”
- Planet X and 2012: The “Institute for Human Continuity” Is NOT REAL
- Planet X and 2012: “Even the Maya Are Getting Sick of 2012 Hype”
- Planet X and 2012: Why Gilbert Eriksen’s “Wormwood” Won’t Be Showing Up
- Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 1
- Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 2
- Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 3
- Planet X and 2012: When Is “2012,” Anyway?
- Planet X and 2012: The Myth of the Southern Approach
I have also written a few posts that are tangentially related to the 2012 subject:
- Planet X and 2012: Young-Earth Creationists Actually Can Do Real Science Reporting
- What Happens When All the Planets Line Up Against Us?
- The Sun’s Binary Companion, Nemesis – Fact or Fiction?
- Astrologers Take Note – We Are Nowhere NEAR the “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius”
- Planet X and 2012: Sun Returns to Greenland … Two Days Early!? And a Major Fail by Time Magazine
- The New-Age Conspiratorial World of Gregg Braden
- Mike Bara’s New-Agey Anti-Science Beliefs, from Bad Geometry to Astrology to Exploding Planets
- New Nostradamus Quatrain for 2012 Discovered (my April Fools 2012 post)
- Some Boring New Results Show We’re Still Not Going to Cross the Galaxy In December 2012
And my podcast episodes so far on 2012 and Planet X:
- Episode 14: The Mayan Calendar and What the Mayans Think of 2012
- Episode 15: Galactic Alignments, Part 1
- Episode 16: What the Sky Looks Like on December 21, 2012, Part 2
- Episode 21: The Geographic Pole Shift, Part 1
- Episode 22: Proof We Are Not Experiencing a Pole Shift, Part 2
- Episode 25: The Magnetic Pole Shift
- Episode 13: The True Story of Planet X
- Episode 23: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 1 (Zecharia Sitchen)
- Episode 28: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 2 (Gilbert Ericksen’s Wormwood)
- Episode 43: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 3 (The Myth of the Southern Approach)
- Episode 51: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 4 (Nancy Lieder)
- Episode 54: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 5 (IRAS Discovery in 1983)
And podcasts on which I have been interviewed on 2012:
- Conspiracy Skeptic: 2012 and Planet X (10/03/2009)
- Point of Inquiry: The End of the World as We Know It (26/12/2011)
Why would you be going to other sites?
Well, if you must, I highly recommend 2012 Hoax.org.
My one main regret is not doing my planned eBook on the subject. It was going to be free, but I just never got around to writing it. Even just as a compilation of blog posts. 😦
I suppose my other main regret is that I have yet to do a post or podcast episode on the sun and 2012. The podcast episode will be coming out in 5-6 days, though … so, still have time, and it’ll come out.
Saving Face – Help Me Look?
All that said, there are lots of people who have made several explatives’-worth of money on 2012 stuff. I have to think that some of them are going to try to save face and back-pedal and make excuses.
If you find any, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! You can do this very easily by posting a comment in the Comments section below this post. I want to do a podcast episode on it early in 2012 (like February-ish).
So far, I really haven’t seen too much escalation of this stuff now that we’re less than two weeks away. Supposedly some people in Russia are worried, but I don’t know if that’s just the press making a big deal out of a few people.
Even Coast to Coast AM hasn’t really ramped stuff up — I almost expected that the producers would be having a 2012’er or Planet X’er on several times a week, but that hasn’t happened. Looking at their schedule for this week, Dec. 9-12 (what’s posted), we have Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the fiscal cliff, some mob-JFK show, and the “Watchers” and a cosmic battle with L.A. Marzulli. Only the last one is remotely 2012-ish. Perhaps “not with a bang but a whimper” is apropos.
Oh, and NASA’s come out with their “nothing’s going to happen” stuff, but the people who believe that “something” in 2012 is going to happen are rarely going to believe anything that NASA or any other part of any government says. It’s perhaps unfortunate, but that’s the case.
So that’s that for now. See ya on December 22.
Edited to Add (11/12/2012): Apparently now, even the Vatican is getting in on this, saying nottin’s happenin’. Which makes sense, considering that their holy book contains text that states no human (fairly sure it says “man,” but I’m generalizing here) will know the day nor the hour of the end stuff it talks about. Well, and the Maya, to them, are pagans so nothing they do should be taken seriously since the Vatican has a monopoly on spirituality, or some such thing.
April 1, 2012
Edited to Add (Dec. 09, 2012): Okay folks, one of the top search engine directs I’m getting to my blog is for stuff along the lines of “nostradamus quatrain 2012” and folks are getting this post. Let me be clear: THIS WAS AN APRIL FOOLS POST. That is all. Now, on with the show …
I usually don’t pay any heed to alleged prophecies or stuff like that, and I have written extensively about the 2012 stuff that won’t happen, but I was just made aware of this quatrain of Nostradamus that talks about 2012 and is uncannily foretelling:
In the year the sun shows his phases
And the second planet eclipses the brightest star,
The grand empire’s calendar foretells
The secret death of the world.
Now, as an astronomer, I found this particularly interesting. The first line seems crazy – the sun can’t show phases because it’s a star and is always “lit” relative to, well, any vantage point. But … during a solar eclipse, when the moon starts to cover it, it does sorta look like the sun is going through different phases. There’s a total solar eclipse in May 2012.
The second line also seems interesting. The brightest star in the night sky is Sirius, which is at a declination of -16° 43′, meaning that Venus could never eclipse it – pass in front of it. But, then I remembered a joke that we sometimes play on people. Ask someone on the street what the brightest star in the sky is, and most won’t know and they’ll throw out random guesses. The answer, of course, is the sun! (This also works for the closest star, though most will guess proxima Centauri.) And, in June 2012, Venus passes in front of the Sun as viewed from Earth, an event that won’t happen again for over 100 years.
So we have two lines that seem to uncannily point towards 2012. The third one, if we want to go with 2012, seems to point towards the Mayan calendar, though one could argue about how “grand” the Mayan civilization was. After all, they let themselves be destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors.
And then there’s the fourth line (I did mention this was a quatrain, right?). Doom and gloom in 2012? Kinda raises goosebumps on your skin, even if you don’t believe in 2012 stuff. After all, how could a guy writing in the 1500s know about this?