Posted by: Johan Normark | December 11, 2011

2012: Symptoms of a hyperobject

What will be my contribution to the “2012-meme” you may ask? I have reached a point where I feel there is no much reason explaining what is right or wrong in relation to 2012. 2012ers will not listen anyway.

My involvement in the 2012 phenomenon has primarily taken place on this blog so I will use it as the foundation for my little side-project. The blog is a medium, a constituting part of what Tim Morton calls a hyperobject, the 2012-hyperobject as I choose to call it (instead of the 2012-meme). A hyperobject is a particular kind of object. In the various forms of object-oriented ontologies that have emerged in last decade, all that exists are objects. The subject is simply one form of object.

A hyperobject is not occupying a singular time and space like your chair. It is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. For example, the 2012-hyperobject is manifested in various objects; Monument 6 at Tortuguero, the Aztec Calendar Stone, books (“The Maya” by Coe, “2012: Maya Cosmogenesis” by Jenkins, etc.), blogs, internet forums, facebook, etc. The 2012-hyperobject itself is always withdrawn. We can never reach its essence, only its sensual qualities. It can be inferred, deduced and abducted, but it cannot be encountered. Nevertheless objects that interact with the 2012-hyperobject are independent of it. Monument 6 at Tortuguero is independent of the 2012-hyperobject, it has many other sensual qualities and it has been and is part of other hyperobjects as well, such as the Classic period ajawlel (kingship). In my side-project I will focus on the interactions of different hyperobjects and show how they may enter conflicting relations with one and another.

On the blog I am not just dealing with people believing in religious apocalyptic narratives although they clearly dominate. There are also secular apocalyptic narratives of this 2012-hyperobject. I see these narratives as sensual objects that describe the 2012-hyperobject.

Object-oriented philosopher, psychoanalyst, and blogger Levi Bryant sees “apocalypticism in popular culture […] as a symptom. Recall that a symptom is often a compromise formation. While we do indeed suffer from our symptoms, with a psychoanalytic framework, symptoms are a solution to a deadlock of desire that allows the subject to attain jouissance under the mark of erasure. Symptoms speak a truth, but in disguised form”. In my side-project I will use part of Bryant’s description of apocalypticism and his onticology to analyze my and my blog’s interaction with other objects and hyperobjects.

The apocalyptic fantasies are nothing but utopian longings for a different order. This new order can only become possible when everything collapses through some divine-like agency and instigates the end of the current social world. Bryant asks what truth apocalyptic fantasies might express and what compromises are being formed in these apocalyptic fantasies. He suggests that “the sorts of apocalyptic fantasies we encounter in religion and popular culture are metonymical displacements or screens of real [… ] catastrophe’s that are facing us”. Indeed, in the past few years we have seen earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear disaster, the economic rise of the east, economic turmoil in the west, occupy the Wall Street movement, volcanic eruptions, sea-level rising, wars, Arabic revolutions, terrorism, etc. These events apparently spread anxiety among some people, looking for easy explanations and solutions.

In this view, the 2012 fantasy refers “to a real, but in disguised, screened, or fetishized form. There is a truth in these fantasies, without a knowledge of this truth […]. The truth of these fantasies is that we really are facing global catastrophe. Knowledge of this truth would entail seeing how this global catastrophe is deeply linked to capitalism, climate change, and the link between the two. Instead, within the popular imaginary, we get a distortion of this link, presenting impending catastrophe as the result of cosmic supernatural forces fighting a battle between good and evil” (Bryant). What better example than the “mysterious” calendar in the 2012 movement and the ancient collapse of the Maya in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto can one desire? This is the attraction of the Maya.

Why is this knowledge disguised in this way? Bryant states that “apocalyptic fantasies allow those that harbor them to simultaneously acknowledge the truth of the ravages of capitalism and impending environmental disaster, while simultaneously continuing to live as they wish, keeping the system in place that is leading in these directions.” Indeed, few of the online 2012ers are willing to put words into action. They are armchair revolutionaries that want “nature”, God, or the calendar itself to do the dirty work for them. Even Calleman’s peaceful transformation of consciousness demands mass extinctions.

In my side-project I will see how my blog and my blogging activity interacts with other objects within the 2012-hyperobject between April 2009 and April 2013. That is the plan for now anyway.

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Responses

  1. Hi Johan, I am an italian appassionate about the 2012 phenomenon. I know that you have a great knowledge about on the Mayan.
    Sorry for the not perfect english
    I have some questions:

    1) In this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_Long_Count is written, about the Pakal Distance Date, that ”THE INSCRIPTION NOTES[citation needed] that this day would fall eight days after the completion of the 1st piktun”… but it is correct?
    In this pdf http://www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0034.pdf is written (page 6) that ”the Palenque scribes ONLY NOTED the associated Calendar Round.”
    Thus… what is the truth? Is written only the Calendar Round… or is written that the day fall eight days after the completion of the 1st piktun?

    2) In this pdf http://www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0034.pdf is also written that number higher than 13 Baktun are expressed ONLY IN DISTANCE DATE.
    Why the existence of these Distance Numbers are proof that at 13.0.0.0.0 there will not be a new 0.0.0.0.0?
    For example, in Palenque we have the birth of K’inich Janaab Pakal 9.8.9.13.0 and the Distance Date 10.11.10.5.8. In the pdf is written that we arrive in 1.0.0.0.0.8… ok but why you assume that there is a cycle of 20 baktun and not 13 if in the iscription is reported ONLY THE CALENDAR ROUND? Only becouse there are Distance Date with this cycle?

    3) Why Mayans considered the creation date as 13.0.0.0.0? After the first baktun after the creation date why they didn’ t continue with 14.0.0.0.0 but they considered it as 1.0.0.0.0?

    Thanks

  2. Distance numbers are recorded in the same way as Long Count dates, there is no evidence that these dates also recorded X number of “13 Baktun cycles”. The distance numbers in themselves indicate a continuous count, not a cyclical one. That is why the Palenque date record an event in the next Piktun rather than in the 8th Baktun of the next cycle.

    Further, Stela 10 at Tikal set the current long count within higher time units: 1.11.19.9.3.11.2.? (the k’in position is eroded). Here we have a record of 19 piktuns.

    13 was an important number to them. Anyway, if you follow David Stuart’s analysis in his book The Order of Days you will find that the “creation” indeed was on 13 Baktun, but that the calendar will continue for several octillion years (27 zeros).

  3. I may think that Capitalism is a hyperobject, but maybe it is. In my opinion,
    The link between global catastrophe, climate change and Capitalism, is that Capitalism is bigger, more powerful, more magical, than any Global upheaval, the Maya calender, the 2012 hyperobject, or any religion, or new age prophet, And Capitalism could save the World, from disasters, climate changes, Global crop failures, Global infertility in all animals and Earthlings and even from the Aliens. This is lust my opinion , but my wife agrees with me also.

  4. Capitalism is indeed a hyperobject and of course it will outlast the 2012-hyperobject. Whatever happens in the next few years, with the economic decline of the west, will not destroy capitalism.

  5. I have to admit that I loathe new technical jargon, what we at SMU called “anthrobabble”, and I have to admit that “hyperobject” strikes me as anthrobabble. I am of the opinion that we should not expand terms beyond necessity, and “hyperobject” to me appears to fall under the already existing categories of “concept” or “phenomenon”. As such, your study of hyperobjects potentially conflicting does not strike me as very original or surprising. After all, it would appear that any and all religions could be “hyperobjects” and the fact that they conflict isn’t the least surprising. Perhaps you can explain to me the specifics of hyperobject and why this is a necessary term, rather than just being a superfluous one.

    • If it is babble it is non-anthrobabble, contrary to the “meme” which for sure is anthrobabble. Meme is disguised as being scientific because of its association with gene and Dawkins. As I indicate, in the OOO (object-oriented ontology) the distinction between subject and object is erased, all objects are “democratic”, based on a flat ontology. The whole point is to have a non-anthropocentric perspective where everything is not measured from the human. Obviously, the 2012 circus is primarily created by the vivid imaginations of some humans but it involves non-human objects (real or imaginary), such as supervolcanoes, polarshifts, Coe’s “The Maya”, etc. The important part here is to show that the 2012 hyperobject is dependent on a whole set of objects (books, blogs, ancient monuments, etc). If you use the terms you suggest I would say that Monument 6 at Tortuguero is not exactly a phenomenon or a concept, but it is an object, on the same level as one of Jenkins’ books, or my blog. The normal way is to set up a hierarchy/”monarchy” between lower objects and higher subjects and concepts. I refuse to do so since I believe this is an anthropocentric fantasy that for too long have affected anthropology and archaeology.

      Sure, a study could be done without this term, but part of my goal is to do an object-oriented analysis. If I use other terms the study will be a different one. When you say that religions are hyperobjects and that there is no surprise that they fall into conflicts with each other you partly misunderstood me. I see climate and capitalism as hyperobjects as well and it is the way such hyperobjects coincides in the same local objects, and sometimes in conflicting ways, that interest me. The Occupy Wall Street movement can be said to have emerged into a hyperobject once it emerged in other cities. It is partly related to capitalism, the climate debate, and on occasion even the 2012 circus. For me it is better to treat all these objects (humans and non-humans) from the same terminology than to set up a hierarchy between them (and usually it is mind over matter).

      • Thanks for the reply. That does help clarify the situation. It would indeed appear that the term hyperobject will only find use amongst those who espouse an OOO perspective. I don’t imagine I will find much use for it as I am not campaigning against anthropocentrism in anthropology and still do not find it useful to collapse real objects and ideas together into the same category of entity. The 2012 meme, for example, is very malleable and changed greatly with the 2012ers becoming aware of Tortuguero Monument 6. But Tortuguero Monument 6 didn’t change. Our perception of it changes as we learn more about it, but it is a true object. Conflating people, objects, and ideas could reveal new insights into the past, I admit, but I also see it as a danger, given that these concepts and categories are so vastly different.

      • Indeed, my publications are usually targeting similar minded people in archaeology and related disciplines, not Mayanists. Hence, I have so far not even bothered sending an article for review in Ancient Mesoamerica or Latin American Antiquity. My long-term goal is not to be dependent on Maya archaeology (my interest in the Maya has declined as my interest in ontological aspects of objects has increased). I see my water project as the first step away from Mesoamerica. However, my mind is already set on a future project idea and “unfortunately” it includes the Maya calendar(s)…

      • You’ve probably heard this argument before, because it’s so obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway:

        Isn’t it the human mind (or, in a given case, some people’s minds) that is responsible for organizing components into such hyperobjects? Would there be hyperobjects if there were no one to perceive/ construct them?

        Of course, this does not imply that the contents of a hyperobject are entirely arbitrary. One could validly argue that the Tortuguero monument is a better candidate for inclusion in the 2012 object than, say, a double-pepperoni pizza. Although, it’s also possible to imagine a way in which the pizza could factor in: for instance, John Major Jenkins or one of the other 2012 writers might have been eating such a pizza while composing his theories, & its effect on his digestion could have influenced the content of the writing.

        Indeed, hyperobjects sound a lot to me like fuzzy sets; they really have no definite boundaries, since everything is potentially linked to everything else by n degrees of connection. It is the limitations of the human attention span that determine where we place the assumed boundaries, and the focus of our interest which largely determines where we place the center (or, in a looser sense, the “nuclear bulge”, to borrow a Jenkinsian metaphor). As I see it, there is no way of escaping the perceiver in the equation, or the mind in the apparently material and objective.

        I’m wondering, how does OOO deal with these concerns?

      • OOO breaks with correlationism, i.e. the correlation between subject and object. Here only objects exist and they do so without our humans being able to perceive them or not. Indeed, hyperobjects are not easily defined in time and space like a pizza or a chair. Some of them are “natural” (bad word in this case) like climate or the water cycle, but some are related to humans, such as class. Sure, a class would not exist without its human components, but neither would climate exist without its components, such as water, wind, etc. Humans have no special place here. A class exist beyond the single human being, just as climate exist beyond the single water molecule, etc.

        You are correct that we cannot escape the perceiver but in OOO everything perceives, not just humans. It is rather “prehenseion”. To use Harman’s terminology: a real object only interact with the sensual object it makes of another real object. The real and sensual object forms a third real object and it is on the inside of the third object that interaction takes place, not on the outside. Hence, all parts of the 2012-hyperobject only interact on the inside, not with objects outside it.

  6. I have to say that while I don’t care for the term “hyperobject” (or perhaps just don’t understand it), I do find this topic of 2012 apocalypticism to be quite fascinating, especially in terms of understanding the kinds of people that are attracted to these fantasies. I have noticed that even Christian fundamentalists have jumped on the bandwagon. Jack Van Impe is a famous televangelist here in the US and he has a weekly TV show devoted to pointing out stories from the news that supposedly correlate with the Biblical End Times. However, a couple of years ago he put together a video in which he promotes the 2012 meme (see it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zclBbXusxo&feature=related ). It is clear he only saw a Discovery or History Channel documentary and buys the BS hook, line, and sinker. If that isn’t proof that this guy is a fraud and doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I don’t know what is.

    This doesn’t surprise me, actually, as 2012ers have in common with End Times evangelicals not just an interest in apocalypse, but a desire for it. Most of those who believe in this aren’t 1%ers. They are people who don’t buy into the capitalist system, or don’t buy into the secular world we’re in. They want change and if they can’t cause the change themselves, they’ll gladly believe that supernatural forces will do it for them.

    The failure of the 2012 meme won’t end apocalypticism any time soon. The hold these ideas (“hyperobjects”) have on people can be tenacious, and given how so many different Christian groups have reconciled their own failed predictions of the End of Days coming on a specific date, I wouldn’t be surprised to find some of these 2012ers twist their beliefs around to accomodate the coming failure.

    • Indeed, Christian fundamentalists are part of the mixture. What I wonder, though, is how widepread this meme/hyperobject is in non-Christian countries. On occasion I do get visitors to my 2012 posts from countries that are non-Christian (but I have of course no idea what religion the visitor believes in). The overwhelming majority of visitors are Americans, Canadians, Australians, and Europeans. Far fewer are from Mexico and other countries in Maya land, but I write in English so that may be one of the reasons. Very few are from muslim and buddhist countries.

      As for my study, I will look into neuroscience and see if someone has studied apocalyptic ideas from such a perspective since psychoanalysis a la Lacan feels a bit outdated.

  7. There are a number of Japanese scholars engaged in Maya scholarship, but other than that it is almost entirely a European/North American/Latin American endeavour. It will be interesting to see the Chinese get involved in this field. The traditional Chinese calendar offers an interesting comparison to the Calendar Round system of the ancient Mesoamericans. It doesn’t surprise that the majority of your readers come from English-speaking countries. I would love to see what kind of conversations the Japanese Mayanists have and if there are different foci of interests, perspectives etc. I know the Latin American Mayanists, by and large, are far less theoretically oriented than European and North American ones, except in terms of Marxist studies.

  8. China probably restrict the internet traffic with regard to 2012. I do not get much traffic from China (0.12% ,excluding Hong Kong). India is a different matter (1.89%) but they usually end up on my posts on India, rather than 2012.

  9. I think if water is a hyperobject, than all plants and animals and people are all hyperobjects, as we are water, and everything is water. And water is information, morphic fields, consciousness etc.These are the findings from Russia.

  10. I m planning on ordering and read; Save The World Within You, Creation of the Universe, trilogy by Arcody Petrov , and Igor Arepyev,
    The third volume not translated yet, it is in translation now.

  11. Axctually, from what I’ve seen, a lot of the 2012/New Age polemics /do/ focus on capitalism & global warming…. Reality Sandwich & evolver.net, for instance. The 2012 movement is strongly associated w/1960’s-style neo-hippieism, including psychedelics, environmentalism, cultural-Marxism, and even Anarchism (chiefly anarcho-communalism).

    I’m one of the weird exceptions who quotes Hayek & Ayn Rand. But then, my writing is really a form of anti-apocalypticism. My current project really started early this year when I read a real scary book, “The Everything 2012 Book”. It scared the **** out of me — for a while, at least. But one day, I looked out the kitchen window at my sunny backyard, and thought, “This is my life, and I value it. Whatever happens this year, I’m not giving up without a fight. It’ll be the end of the world over my dead body.”

    Then, when I read the Popol Vuh, I felt that Seven Macaw was saying basically the same thing. Perhaps that’s why the apocalypticists hate him so much. In my story, at least, he stands for the part of us that refuses to accept the fate that has been pronounced upon us by whatever “higher” authorities there may be. And underneath it all, most of the 2012’ers are just looking for an authority to obey, and projecting it outward upon a “higher power” such as space aliens or the galactic center deity.

  12. Yes, but do they seek the answers and solutions in science or do they resort to wishful thinking and action, not words?

  13. I think, perhaps, you mean “words, not actions”?

    From what I’ve seen (my experience w/ the 2012 “movement” is via books & internet, not face to face), some people in this “movement” (for want of a better word) are actually doing things, mostly at the grass-roots level, such as DIY, growing their own food, using “green” technology, supporting local charities and the like. IMO, all of this is well and good; it’s a good thing for people to take responsibility for their own survival in the current difficult times, which will also enable them to be prepared if worse disasters occur.

    As for science, however, this is where it gets more complicated. In my view, the world’s greatest global problems, like climate change & energy shortage, require technical solutions based on solid scientific knowledge. I see the best hope for humanity’s continued survival & progress in new, emerging technologies like hydrogen power, fusion, nanotechnology, robotics, bioengineering & the like. And this is decidedly not the case w/ most New Agers. Most of the sources I’ve read show only a vague knowledge of science, often liberally mixed w/ myth & metaphor, while others flat-out condemn & demonize it. In this respect, the New Age movement is quite close to Christian fundamentalism. Entire fields of new science like cloning, robotics & biocybernetics are either taboo or ignored.

    In place of a serious engagement w/ real science, there is generally a curious mixture of metaphor-as-science and science-as-metaphor. For example, the whole “Galactic Alignment” myth-complex in which (according to various versions of the story) some kind of mysterious energy is going to be emitted from the galactic core, transforming the world. It’s just such a cool idea that I stole it to use in my fiction. But it’s not science.

    (And, yes, I know that Mr. Jenkins did not promote nor endorse the more lurid versions of this scenario.)

    What I see here is a great deal of technophobia, masked by a preoccupation w/ fringe science. I think that what’s involved here might be a fear of the changes, the immense changes in thought & lifestyle that will be brought about by technological progress; and an attempt to sidestep awareness of such necessary changes by calling for a spiritual transformation instead.

    Mind you, I have no quarrels w/ the idea of spiritual transformation; but, to me, a spirituality genuinely based upon, or inclusive of, Nature must be able to grapple w/ what nature is /really/ like, according to what science has revealed. And that is currently very lacking in the “new spirituality”.

  14. From where we are today there is no other way out than a continued technological development. We might already have crossed the treshold as the melting of the Arctic is a self-generating process. Perhaps we cannot change that process now. To step away from technology would therefore be disastrous since we hopefully have learnt from our previous mistakes. Continued technological development can help us to deal with new problems. If we can learn something from the ancient Maya “collapse” it is that new technology and new infra-structure could have helped them survive droughts, etc. This did not appear.

    • I’m intrigued by your observation that “If we can learn something from the ancient Maya ‘collapse’ it is that new technology and new infra-structure could have helped them survive droughts, etc.”

      I’m curious–

      (1) What technologies and infrastructure would you have implemented had you been a Maya ruler back then?

      (2) I know that you know that the Maya people survived the collapse, so that you were probably referring to helping the pre-collapse Maya civilization survive. (I’m not an expert like you, so I can’t express any better than that, the meaning I infer from your post.) Apparently there were aspects of that civilization that you wish had survived. Can you give some examples, and your reasons?

      • 1. I should perhaps have clarified that I do find problems in the current sociopolitical models for the “pre-collapse” Maya. I believe the demographic figures are too high because I have reason to believe that people were more “fluid” even during periods when there were no droughts.However, the royal court was still too burdensome to uphold during the crises. For that “court” to survive they should have cut down on their tribute demands, etc., but that was probably impossible. The Maya got rid of their “divine rulers” in this process. In that sense, their was a change in infrastructure, but a negative one for the “divine kings”.

        2. No, there are no aspects of the “divine kingship” that I wish had survived. I am simply arguing how the people living at the time of the collapse may have wanted things to remain as they had been. In hindsight, maybe it was for the better for the majority of the population that the “diviné” kings disappeared. I am not sure the they could have fought better against the Spaniards than what actually happened (considering the fate of the Aztec rulers). It is simply the 19th-century idea of “high-culture” that makes many people of today (including achaeologists) to think that something extraordinarily was lost. Many ideas remain fairly intact among contemporary Maya. Huge monuments, writing, iconography, etc. are not everything that we should value.

  15. Hi Johan,

    I’m new to your comments section, though I’ve been following your blog for about two years now. I’m a Mayanist, but have a major secondary interest in New Age religion and the uses of indigeneity and “indigenous” vs. scholarly authority.

    I though it might be worth adding to your discussion with Stanley above that in my interviews with 2012 “laity”–that is, the people who consume rather than produce information about Maya calendars and the Wisdom of the Ancients and the like–there are actually very few solid ideas about what 2012 is, exactly. Most have this vague sense that something will happen or that the date is important, but very few offer what folklorists would call a “belief statement.”

    The fact that 2012 is such a hazy non-thing even in the minds of those who “believe in it” seems like a worthwhile addition to discussion of 2012 as a hyperobject. Perhaps there are distinct classes of hyperobjects: those that have some define-able composite aspect and those that do not?

    And in reference to Stanley’s comment that 2012ers will almost certainly find some way of extending their prediction-based belief set beyond the date of the prediction: I personally think that a lot of flack is going to come back at archaeologists, because we came up with the date in the first place. I suspect that in some circles–the ones that remain concerned with the Maya, and not the Callemann-type folks–the failure of 2012 to properly “happen” will be used as evidence that we can’t in fact understand Maya calendars/writing as well as we claim, and whatever authority we retain in their minds will be transferred to indigenous of indigenista figures who, through exposure to Western New Age ideas, can offer them a story more in line with what they want to hear, and with the greater authority that comes with being indigenous to boot.

    • Hi Luke,

      Levi Bryant has just posted an interesting text on identity and boundaries that partly relates to your thoughtful comment:

      http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/transcendence-and-the-problem-of-boundaries-a-confession/

      By labelling something the “2012-phenomenon” we are obviously creating an identity of it. Here the date itself becomes One. In that sense we still have some “leaders” in that movement who oversees and decide what is the correct identity of it (I am here referring to the the private police, judge and jury in one person, aka JMJ).

      However, it is important to emphasize that as an hyperobject, 2012 is largely independent of the people and other objects that are influenced by it. Some have better knowledge about it than others. The boundary is transparent or not clearly defined.

      As for 2012 not “happening properly” in relation to people’s contemporary expectations, that will most likely shift the focus to a new date. I have suggested before that this date will be 2027 (the next time the Aztec Calendar Round comes to an end). I suspect that the 2012-hyperobject can be renamed as the 2027-hyperobject and still maintain most of its content. Hence, the hyperobject exists without a proper name. If so, JMJ’s attempt to maintain his hierarchical position in the 2012-phenomenon by creating dossiers of his opponents will ultimately put him in an awkward position when 2012 turns into 2027 (or whatever date the hyperobject attracts to). Perhaps a better name of the 2012-hyperobject is the “Mayanism-hyperobject” as people will still conflate Aztecs and Maya (and Hopi and Tibetans, etc).

  16. Johan;

    I tend to agree with you that when the various predicted events fail to materialize, that excuses will be made and that a new date will be selected. I tend to feel that whatever new date or dates are selected, that it will not have the traction that 2012 has had.

    My reasoning is that while the driving force behind the 2012 date is a new age (or neo new-age) misappropriation of an indigenous belief, and a projection of western new-age desires and assumptions onto that misappropriation, that its traction in popular culture was aided by the vague references made by the archaeological community in the early- to mid-20th century that the proponents referenced, and used to claim the mantle of “scientific” legitimacy. I think that there will be much less of that in any future date, and that the ultimate failure of the 2012 date will give the skeptics of the future date a very large lever to use in countering future apocalyptic predictions.

    If it does happen in the future, I think that 15 years is too short a time for it to happen in. Today’s concerned 11 year old will be the 26 year old parent or older sibling, reminding the future 11-year old that nothing happened in 2012. The misappropriation of an indigenous reference will still occur, I just think it will not gain the traction in the gestalt of the populace at large that 2012 has.

    I also think that Luke has a point. Because of those ‘vague references’ to the 2012 date that existed within the scientific literature, it may be easy for the proponents to shift the blame onto the scientific community.

    These are just my guesses, of course.

    • True, however, if you image google 2012 and Maya calendar you get more images of the Aztec sun stone than any Maya images. I am sure some people will draw attention to the Aztecs in the future. What is needed is that some major academic makes the connection in print. But I suspect the academics have learnt their lesson. Michael Smith (specialist on the Aztecs) has mentioned the 2027 date on his blog: http://publishingarchaeology.blogspot.se/2011/12/did-maya-predict-end-of-world-in-2012.html

      • If anyone tries to stick you academics with the blame for the screwups of 2012 proponents, you should just ask them what else you could have done. You said for years that the proponents were a few cans shy of a sixpack. You did your best to get that across to the media, and what happened? They ignored you or twisted your words to make it look like you agreed with the proponents. Were you supposed to win against a movie industry that can take in $700,000,000 at the box office for a $200 million 2012 disaster movie? I wonder how that compares with all financing for archaelogy work during the last 10 years!

        BTW, your outing of scholarly erudite JMJ as a crass extortionist might end up the “2012” story of the year. Unless it gets beat out by his no-show at Izapa on December 21st. According to his website he’ll be at Copan instead. Wonder if that’s related somehow to his desperation move of doing dossiers.

  17. [...] secular apocalyptic fantasies. In two recently finished articles I see the 2012-phenomenon as a hyperobject as [...]


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