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(Live Science)   1870, 1920, 1970, ... 2020? Seems those Mayans got it wrong   (livescience.com) divider line 42
    More: Interesting, United States, philosopher of science, Oscillation, number crunching, polarizations, unified theory, University of Connecticut, racial tension  
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5664 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Aug 2012 at 5:06 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-04 01:42:39 PM  
that crap is on a site that uses the word "science" in its name?
 
2012-08-04 02:04:51 PM  
Hindsight is always 20/20
 
2012-08-04 02:11:32 PM  
But, global economy yo. Shouldn't we be looking for the next big conflict around the globe that will plunge many into war? And I don't mean, trying to start one either.
 
2012-08-04 02:12:34 PM  
Circa 1870, the North fought the South in the Civil War.

1) Off by half a decade.

Half a century later, around 1920, worker unrest, racial tensions and anti-Communist sentiment caused another nationwide upsurge of violence.

2) Off my half a decade.


Then, 50 years later, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement triggered a third peak in violent political, social and racial conflict.

3) Forgot something there, didn't ya? Something rather substantial? Something about a bunch of guys in snazzy outfits? A couple of really big mushrooms? It was a bit of a to-do, as I recall.
 
2012-08-04 02:29:46 PM  

flucto: that crap is on a site that uses the word "science" in its name?


FloydA: Circa 1870, the North fought the South in the Civil War.

1) Off by half a decade.

Half a century later, around 1920, worker unrest, racial tensions and anti-Communist sentiment caused another nationwide upsurge of violence.

2) Off my half a decade.


Then, 50 years later, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement triggered a third peak in violent political, social and racial conflict.

3) Forgot something there, didn't ya? Something rather substantial? Something about a bunch of guys in snazzy outfits? A couple of really big mushrooms? It was a bit of a to-do, as I recall.


Keep it. I was hoping for early and complete ridicule for this asshat.

/subs
 
2012-08-04 02:30:57 PM  
I was also hoping to not have a dyslexical atckca

tomWright:
Keep it -up-. I was hoping for early and complete ridicule for this asshat.

/subs


FTFM
 
2012-08-04 02:33:30 PM  
The violent upheaval that was the 1970s is the stuff of legend. Riots in the streets, cities burning, and the fear at night... oh god, the fear at night...
 
2012-08-04 02:39:39 PM  
The apocalypse will happen in 2021 because Pod Six is jerks.
 
2012-08-04 02:59:57 PM  

unlikely: The violent upheaval that was the 1970s is the stuff of legend. Riots in the streets, cities burning, and the fear at night... oh god, the fear at night...


Our high-school class actually had a mushroom as the class symbol. Let's not even discuss how they permitted tobacco smoking on the school grounds, the monsters.

I have no idea how western civilization survived.
 
2012-08-04 03:22:37 PM  
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
 
2012-08-04 04:11:24 PM  
Scientists can't predict the weather correctly, so how can they predict history?

Hey, I wonder what percentage of the 2012 Mayan Doomsters are global warming deniers? And vice versa?

Seriously, the weather affects agriculture, tourism, industry, the stock market, politics, the economy, everything. If the weather a chaotic phenomenon, you can't predict anything that depends on it--even your mood tomorrow. If you wake up to an unexpectedly hot, humid, rainy day, you'll be a mood all day.
 
2012-08-04 04:14:03 PM  
I rumaging around for that Twain quote about statistics, but found something better:

"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
- Life on the Mississippi"
 
2012-08-04 05:09:19 PM  
Time Wave Zero, people, talk to the machine elves, they'll tell you. Time and history moving faster and faster until the galactic alignment rips our current "souls" from these meat bodies and brings us to the Planet Drewdalee-doo where TotalFark is always free.
 
2012-08-04 05:16:06 PM  
Hari Seldon will save us, just like he always has.
 
2012-08-04 05:25:21 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: The apocalypse will happen in 2021 because Pod Six is jerks.


Did Brad call?
 
2012-08-04 05:46:09 PM  
Some of the reactions of other mathematicians sounded exactly like my 5th grade science teacher grading my science fair project that I did on the effects of volcanoes on my hamster. They even politely pointed out that out of his four data points, one of them didn't fit his pattern. Apparently in 1820 the United States had plenty of burrito coverings so all was well.
 
2012-08-04 05:47:39 PM  

FloydA: Then, 50 years later, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement triggered a third peak in violent political, social and racial conflict.

3) Forgot something there, didn't ya? Something rather substantial? Something about a bunch of guys in snazzy outfits? A couple of really big mushrooms? It was a bit of a to-do, as I recall.


WWII triggered political, social and racial conflict in USA?
 
2012-08-04 05:56:30 PM  
Oh, good. The "Elliot Wave Theory" applied to human upheaval.
 
2012-08-04 06:05:32 PM  
If they were so dang smart, why aren't they still around today?
 
2012-08-04 06:13:58 PM  
Stop moving the farking goalposts. When 2012 comes and goes, all the doomsday people need to STFU.
 
2012-08-04 06:22:08 PM  

LewDux: FloydA: Then, 50 years later, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement triggered a third peak in violent political, social and racial conflict.

3) Forgot something there, didn't ya? Something rather substantial? Something about a bunch of guys in snazzy outfits? A couple of really big mushrooms? It was a bit of a to-do, as I recall.

WWII triggered political, social and racial conflict in USA?



Ummm.... yes?

i105.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-04 06:22:32 PM  
For something that relies fairly heavily on having exact years, he sure screwed the pooch by making generalizations and rounding to the nearest decade.

1870
More like 1861 for the actual start of the Civil War; much earlier if you count the violent disagreements between the two sides on the slavery issue (Bleeding Kansas, Harper's Ferry, etc.)

1920
Closer, but still not precise. The First Red Scare began in 1919.

1970
1964-5 was when the protests began. I could see 1970 being used, what with the Kent State massacre, but '67-'69 seems to be when the protest really hit its stride. Plus, a good deal of the civil rights unrest falls in those years, as well.

So that's 58 years from the start of the Civil War to the First Red Scare, and 48 years from then until 1967. So does that mean that 38 years from 1967 will be another violent social upheaval? That's so 2005.
 
2012-08-04 06:32:03 PM  
FTFA: 'It sounds like pseudoscience, but it's a published theory.'

So, if you *publish* your pseudoscience, it becomes "theory". Got it.
 
2012-08-04 06:36:27 PM  

jayhawk88: Hari Seldon will save us, just like he always has.


As long as nothing completely unexpected happens, sure.

/putting my stock in robots
 
2012-08-04 06:40:52 PM  
To answer the question; yes, probably. But not because of some historical cycle of violence or other such hogwash. The US is becoming increasingly more polarized. Right vs. Left, producer vs. consumer, statist vs. individualist/federalist and so forth. It's not just competing ideologies on the line, where problems are simply hashed out in classroom debates and election campaigns. The future of the country is being fought over, and the ammunition is $$$. Those who produce it vs those who want to take it and consume it and other arguments. Add in the fact that certain groups are deliberately keeping racial tensions alive in order to foster more support and we have a recipe for a lot of violent upheaval in the US in the decade or so to come. Look at Greece, Spain, even parts of the UK. There will come a time when the tens of millions of people who have lived expecting everything to be provided for them will find that the next check isn't coming because the money just isn't there. Wait for them to take to the streets, all while their handlers are whispering in their ears that it's always someone else's fault. We will live in interesting times.
 
2012-08-04 06:42:36 PM  

FloydA: 3) Forgot something there, didn't ya? Something rather substantial? Something about a bunch of guys in snazzy outfits? A couple of really big mushrooms? It was a bit of a to-do, as I recall.


www.youcade.com
 
2012-08-04 06:47:25 PM  

D Cubitus: If they were so dang smart, why aren't they still around today?


As it happens, the Mayans, as highly developed socially as they were, were phenomenally ignorant about two things that turned out to be critical to their survival:
1) Long-term agriculture
2) Magic

The Mayans didn't understand that aggressive, unmitigated agriculture eventually ruins farmland, resulting in crop failure, shortages, famine, all that. The invading Europeans did know a lot about that by then, but it had taken millennia to figure it out. The ancient land we call Sumeria suffered the same fate over time, and there are other accounts in history of great societies basically farming themselves to death, including elsewhere in the Americas.

What they did believe they understood -- but were of course completely wrong about -- was the magical powers of the king. It was firmly believed that a blood sacrifice by the kind could bring good harvests. This was tried over and over, inevitably without success. Because the Mayans bet their very survival on magic instead of science, they were already in decline by the time Europeans arrived. It might have taken them a very long time to figure it out, too, but my point is that they didn't even try; their entire philosophical approach was wrongheaded and doomed to failure.

Luckily, we know better than they did, and would never expect magic to solve our problems instead of scientific investigation.
 
2012-08-04 06:55:33 PM  
1970? Really? A few hippies got the old wood shampoo by the cops and a few crap bombs exploded. Hardly the stuff of terrifying, end-of-the-world nightmares.
 
rpl
2012-08-04 07:21:58 PM  
Well we certainly have all the ingredients for a repeat of the 20th century; China can play the ambitious and misunderstood Germany, the US will be tired ol' Europe and Russia will (as usual) be Russia. Not sure who will play the US though; could be Canada or Australia!

Heh, maybe it'll be Germany.

Now, all we need is a conflict (preferably a revolutionary one, even better if it coincides with a similar movement globally) in an unimportant country that sits in the middle of a volatile region and mere two world wars later we'll be all set for rebuilding for the next two. Now, where can we find such a country...
 
2012-08-04 07:35:28 PM  
I don't think the idea is wrong that there are cycles of peace and violence in civilization.

But narrowing that down to predictions of when that violence will next occur is not going to happen. Even the current data hardly finds any set time period despite author's attempt to squeeze his square theory into round data. Certainly if the data supported a set time between violent cycles, he wouldn't have been the first to notice anyway.
 
2012-08-04 08:29:18 PM  

flucto: that crap is on a site that uses the word "science" in its name?


"Any science that uses science in its name, isn't really Science. Examples: Physics, Thermodynamics Counter-examples: social sciences, computer science, that site."
 
2012-08-04 08:34:56 PM  

natazha: flucto: that crap is on a site that uses the word "science" in its name?

"Any science that uses science in its name, isn't really Science. Examples: Physics, Thermodynamics Counter-examples: social sciences, computer science, that site."


I like that rule.
 
2012-08-04 10:10:31 PM  
This is like that 'science' behind global climate warming right, er 'change', right? Pin two values that match your agenda and call it a day?
 
2012-08-04 11:00:18 PM  

jayhawk88: Hari Seldon will save us, just like he always has.


came for this. leaving satisfied.
 
2012-08-05 12:24:56 AM  
Obama getting elected to his 4th term will spark riots. The Tea Party and Occupy movement will join forces, heralding the coming of the end times.
 
2012-08-05 02:00:11 AM  

BumpInTheNight: This is like that 'science' behind global climate warming right, er 'change', right? Pin two values that match your agenda and call it a day?


Oooh, is that part in bold the climate version of calling the president "Taxbongo" or some other such thing? Damn you heat globening!
 
2012-08-05 03:01:04 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: FTFA: 'It sounds like pseudoscience, but it's a published theory.'

So, if you *publish* your pseudoscience, it becomes "theory". Got it.


Ohp, beat me to it =P
 
2012-08-05 09:06:24 AM  
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com


Pax Romana lasted 200 years. Pax Britannica lasted 100 years. These peaceful periods don't last forever.

We're due.

/I have no clue what that book is like, but it has the words "Pax Americana" in the title.
 
2012-08-05 11:28:32 AM  

andrewagill: [images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 375x500]

Pax Romana lasted 200 years. Pax Britannica lasted 100 years. These peaceful periods don't last forever.

We're due.

/I have no clue what that book is like, but it has the words "Pax Americana" in the title.


The question is if we're due because of some unknown social factor, or is it a giant clock Iin the sky?

Because this is suggesting the latter, and there are a number of things different about the former when comparing the US with the British or Romans.
The US political system allows for some pretty drastic change without the need for violence. Unlike Rome or Britain, military power is also decentralized as a safeguard against tyranny or invasion.
Our biggest single problem is dealing with a large economy that is dependent on non-renewable sources of energy, and the corruption that comes with that.
Assuming cooler heads prevale, we could draw that out for another century or two.

The author of this study has his causes and correlations all mixed up. If something does happen on or around 2020, it's a safe bet that it wasn't just because the time was simply right for a disaster.
 
2012-08-05 12:04:06 PM  

andrewagill: [images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 375x500]

Pax Romana lasted 200 years. Pax Britannica lasted 100 years. These peaceful periods don't last forever.

We're due.

/I have no clue what that book is like, but it has the words "Pax Americana" in the title.


Unlike the other two you mention, Pax Americana is not a definite period, nor does it even fall into a defined historical range. PA rather describes a general series of recurring events in different places and times, mostly as the result of a combination of chance advantages, particular doctrines, and the collusion (sometimes intentional sometimes not) of other nations. For example, the success of the Monroe Doctrine (one of many aspects of U.S. history linked to the term and concept of Pax Americana) was in no small part abetted by British sea power, and the UK's determination to disallow European interference in internal and local affairs of the Americas -- though this was never an actual policy of either power, either overt or covert, just a happenstance of history.

Pax Romana was very much a consequence of the ongoing power that Rome projected upon her holdings, protectorates, satellites, and client states, and is much simpler to understand for that. It also falls much more neatly into easily defined historical references of geography and time. Pax Britannica is less easily defined, but again predominantly a consequence of the UK's superior real power. Pax Americana is not fairly comparable to either, I'm sorry to say. And it's even more pointless to suggest that it might be coming to an end, as it never really started. You can point to a period in history when the U.S. had comparatively very little power and influence. But after that. Pax Americana is no defined period you can point to and show where it started, so you also cannot say where it does or 'will' end.

I appreciate the point you're trying to make. But it's not only Pax Americana that's a meaningless concept, from a temporal perspective. It's pretty much anything similar, even things like the Thirty Years War. History is never that simple, even in retrospect. We try to make it so, because it's easier and more comfortable for us. But the more we simplify it in our reckoning, the less we really understand about it, and the less useful it is for us to understand at all. We have to be sober enough to accept the reality, that these patterns really do not exist, never have, and never will.
 
2012-08-05 01:23:54 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Unlike the other two you mention, Pax Americana is not a definite period, nor does it even fall into a defined historical range.


Pax Americana[1][2][3] (Latin for "American Peace") is a term applied to the historical concept of relative peace in the Western hemisphere and later the Western world resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States starting around the turn of the 19th to 20th century. Although the term finds its primary utility in the later half of the 20th century, it has been used in various places and eras, such as the post-Civil War era in North America[4] and globally during the time between the World Wars.[2]

Honestly, I use it to refer to the time period after the Mexican Cessation of 1848, after which point there were no major land gains in the continental US. You could also make the claim that this period is only after the Civil War, though the Pax Romana also had a bit of a civil war in the middle of it.
 
2012-08-06 07:05:02 AM  

taurusowner: natazha: flucto: that crap is on a site that uses the word "science" in its name?

"Any science that uses science in its name, isn't really Science. Examples: Physics, Thermodynamics Counter-examples: social sciences, computer science, that site."

I like that rule.


Except that physics, chemistry and biology can all be lumped under the rubric of "physical science".

So there you go, unless you're going to deny that they work.
 
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