Monday, September 5, 2011

2012 and beyond

The sense of end times has been building up in the last few years given the approaching of 2012. Unless you are living under a rock, you might have heard that there is a saying that Dec, 21, 2012 will be the end of the world. Of course, if you read a little bit more about the background of this claim, it is coming from some scholars who study Mayan history and discover that the Mayans for unknown reason stopped their calendar on that date. Given the advance knowledge of the Mayan culture, someone interprets that mean Mayan foretold the end time is on that date.

As always, there are people in this world dissatisfy with their lives and felt powerless to make any change. So, they are prone to worship figures or god(s) to seek the comfort and guidance that they need. I’m not saying all religious people are like that, but being attracted to the ‘unknown’ has been part of our human nature throughout our known history. Thus, we have fortune-teller of all sorts, cuz we believe that if we know ahead what’s gonna happen, we have greater power to control our own destiny. However, if we are told that something so bad that we are more or less hopeless to make any change is gonna happen, then many people’s thoughts will go haywire, and that’s what 2012 is doing to them right now.

I don’t know much about religions, my impression is that many religions do have the concept of ‘the end of the world’ somehow incorporated in their texts. Maybe it is part of their stories, if they cover how the world starts, and then it is natural to say something about how the world will end. I guess that’s more or less about the cyclical nature of things, the karma, or to give people a sense of direction or fear, so they will behave. However, what I heard from Christians, though not word for word, Jesus did say something like, whoever claims to be able to tell you the exact time of the end of the world, he/she lies. Regardless you are Christian or not, I guess it makes sense, so interpreting that the end of the world will be on Dec 21, 2012, to me, is purely BS!

Does it mean that I’m optimistic about the future at all? The hell no! I’m not happy with our future. I just think that our world is a mess and it’s gonna be messier for sure. I don’t look at things one at a time in isolation. I simply look at things across the world in a time spectrum and form such opinion. Cuz, I believe the saying that our future is caused by our present which is the effect of our past, i.e. the karma. Human nature has not progressed much in the last hundreds of years. People are still too selfish and narrow-minded to think just for their ethnic group or religion. Globalization and technology helps, but they are double-edged swords as well. So, what happens hundreds of years ago will continue to take place now and future, until we are enlightened!

Just look around at what are happening right now, I don’t see myself an exact conspiracy-believer, but based on what I read in the news of all sorts, I can’t help thinking that many things are just taking place in isolation….

- The U.S. is going bankrupt; a hegemonic superpower with the best technology and strongest military is a dangerous combination. Will the U.S. exercises its military power to ‘jump start its economy’ like what happen before?

- The economy of the developed world is in bad shape. The U.S. is going down, the Japanese one is a zombie, Europe is in a rotten basket, though there is a bright spot in Germany, but it can’t save the rest. Asia ex-Japan is doing great, but they are mostly small and export-oriented. I still have doubt of Chinese economy, the biggest in the region. I just think that there are just lots of roaches underneath the carpet. Many figures are just fakes. China’s future can’t be viewed through the economic lens only; it is just a big country with big population. The environment damage and exhaustion with the massive social change just can’t be ignored. The development of this country will not be a smooth ride; the worst scenario would be the economic free fall with political fallout and social unrest. I just don’t think China is really as stable and strong as it looks simply so much uncertainty.

- Freedom in our world is diminishing rather than expanding. The U.S. is moving in the direction of a police state bit by bit. The Europe is turning right, and the rest of the world is getting more chaotic and unsafe. Don’t be fool by the Jasmine revolution. Libya will become another Iraq or Afghan or even worse. Who know what’s next? Syria, Iran, etc?

- The ‘discovery’ of new deadly virus that cause health panic over the world is getting more prominent in recent years, with globalization, they just spread easier and faster. I just think that the big one(s) are just coming. They will certainly kill more people, but some people will somehow be immune.

- Besides diseases, more people will die because of wars, arm conflicts, natural disasters, man-made famine, etc. It is because we just have too many people, so whenever those incidents happen, more people will be affected and result in higher casualty. Even regular folk on the street would understand and accept that, what would you think those in power would attempt to do with human population explosion? Resources are being controlled by those who won’t let go their power, as such, large population are going for the limited resources. As such, there cause inflation, social unrest, arm conflicts, property destruction and wars. I’m not just talking about oil; I’m also talking about land, water, and foods, which are more fundamental to our survival. With income inequality is getting worse in many developed countries, money become worthless, what would you thing people would do to feed themselves and their families?

All of these are happening and we should be worried. Talking about how we should deal with them, those would be book-long stories…

Going back to talk about 2012, I believe that ‘things’ will happen, maybe something ‘big’ that will affect many people in the world. However, I strong believe that the world with our existing human civilizations will remain to go through Dec 21, 2012, which will just be another day as any day before and after. When we look back, that date is just another Y2K as we know today.

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