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What about the Mayans?

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Tolerances and Prophecies


Any discussion about utilizing prophecy as a basis, or informational feed for preppers requires a quick overview of dimensional tolerancing.




Because any application of an ideal does not translate directly into the real world we all live in.

We live with tolerances every day. Nothing is ideal, although we strive for perfection, we only achieve it by chance.


There are powerful forces fighting us at every step.

There is ‘entropy’, the natural law that explains the degeneration of things from an organized state to a disorganized one.

Any person trying maintain a clean house can give everyday examples of this.

There is ‘friction’, which is resistance to a force.

Even in space, where there is ‘nothing’, there is actually plenty of material, from atoms and molecules to actual mass in the form of asteroids, planets and stars.


Here on our little planet, we assign tolerances to things every day. We expect a ruler to be 12 inches long, but is it?

How close to 12 inches does it need to be to be useful? Obviously we would not want to build a space shuttle using a ruler! The tolerances would be too big.

Our ruler might be accurate to about a sixteenth of an inch, plus or minus. A total spread of one eighth of an inch.  That’s about 1%.


Doesn’t seem like much on a short distance, but what about 1% of a mile?

That’s about 53 feet.


So here we establish our basis. Small tolerances, over large distances, can add up to some serious differences.



What does this have to do with prophecy?

As it turns out, quite a bit.


Short term prophecies are based on ‘feelings’, ‘visions’, or other non dimensional data, so we have no real application of tolerances here. As such, we expect them to be fulfilled on schedule, with no room for error.




Harold Camping predicted the world would end on October 21, 2011.  Being based on non dimensional data, he gets no tolerance on this prediction. What if it ended on October 22? Would you consider that close enough? Many people would.

What about if it ended on November 23? Probably not.

So we see that even in this type of prediction, we have a built in tolerance, assigned by ourselves internally.


Now lets see how this applies to the Mayan Prophecy.


The Mayan calendar spans 5,125 years. It is based on planetary movements, as well as Earths cyclical orbital period around the Sun.

Due to ‘friction’, and the accuracy of observation, we would expect some variation to creep into these calculations.

If we apply the 1% to this time period, we get 51 years!

Yet we consider 1% to be a fairly reasonable amount of error.

Granted, the Mayans were aware of observational error and took the average of many multiple readings , so lets assume their accuracy was even better, lets assume half of one percent.

We are still looking at plus or minus 25 years!


One could well argue that the prophecy on Monument 6 was recorded only 1500 years ago, so maybe we should scale things accordingly.


Still at 15 years. Plus or minus.


Interestingly, the Mayans also believed in the cyclical nature of civilizations, which they pegged at 256 years. Our current ‘western’ civilization has endured for 232 years, as of now, but add 15 years to that and we would be at 247.  What’s the 1% on that?


 2 ½ years.


Getting close.


My point with all this is simply that we cannot accept these predictions at face value, as there is no way to determine the variables involved. We all assign our own tolerancing systems to these predictions based on our individual experiences.


My gut feeling on the Mayan prediction is plus or minus (and there is no minus we now know), about 3-4 years. After that, I will be content to consign this prediction to the scrap pile.

 Then again, even being that close would require accuracy of two-tenths of one percent!


As I said, there is a lot of personal feelings that influence your own tolerance levels.







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