Then why all the angst and fear when people speak of 2012? Maybe, the answer is within us. Perhaps it is as simple as basic human psychology. Nobody likes change, especially when it is preceded by great stress, trials, tribulations, and challenges, the likes of which we are already seeing in the years leading up to 2012.
Even if we were to ignore completely the Mayan Long Count Calendar and its Aztec sister version (which speaks of the very same end time transformation,) and even if we did not ascribe to the religious traditions that await total human annihilation at the hands of a final battle between the devil and the Christ (don't worry, the good guys will be raptured, we are told!), there is still ample evidence that the next few years will be rife with chaos, disorder and destruction. Why? Because what we resist persists, and often grows, and if there is indeed a wave of spiritual transformation gaining momentum, then coming resistance will be more than enough to make us wonder if we will, indeed, wake up to a brave new world on the first morning of 2013.
As we have seen over the last several years, global power is shifting to the east, with economic turmoil already gripping much of the West in a headlock of plunging home values, rising energy costs, shaky markets, and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. As we approach ( if we have not already) peak oil, the quest for easily extracted fuel will exponentially increase - even as the population skyrockets in urbanized areas as well as nations such as China and India which will only serve to further demand while supplies continue dwindling to depletion. Access to potable water threatens to plunge the entire globe into new wars, even as corporations scramble to privatize what little natural resources remain.
Global climate change is destroying indigenous and island lifestyles, and creating chaos all over the world as more nations are forced to deal with brutal drought, while others battle unprecedented flooding. Warm places are getting warmer, Arctic Ice is melting, and the unfortunate people of Tuvalu are watching as their entire island sinks mercilessly into rising ocean waters.
Malaria, a humid-weather disease, is moving into highlands where it never existed before while other diseases threaten to derail any attempts by our most cutting edge pharmaceuticals to fight them. West Nile Virus, SARS, MRSA and avian flu all seem poised to pounce upon nations of people unprepared for pandemics, let alone regional epidemics. And lest you think our public health and emergency preparedness systems will save us, let me remind you of the horrendous failings apparent during Hurricane Katrina.
But don't despair! The news is not all awful. Science, medicine and technology promise to explode into the stratosphere in the coming years. Computer technology historically follows an established pattern known as "Moore's Law" which describes an important trend in the history of computer hardware whereby the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuits increase exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. Some technologists believe that this increase is steadfastly moving towards a "singularity," when growth, development and transformation will come together in a climactic head, ushering in a brave new world of artificial intelligence. Before we know it, life itself will seem to be a sci-fi movie!
Quantum computers, bioengineering, human longevity experiments, and nanotechnology stand at the forefront of major advances in the way we live, and even die. With astonishing new genetic research, we may one day see the end of all disease. With the promising new exploration of bionics, we may never need worry about heart or liver failure again, knowing that we can order a new one that combines the best of both computer technology and biology - creating new types of living systems that promise to change not only our quality of life…but our whole culture itself.
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