To be unscientific for a moment

All this stuff about the starting up of the Large Hadron Collider has had me thinking. I’m not the only one, obviously, but I wonder how many other people have thought this. The consensus seems to be that (a) it hasn’t destroyed the world yet, and (b) if it’s going to do so, it will do so in about three and a bit years. So, 2012. At which point, it will suddenly become clear which of us are really historians or not. Because the people who have their feet on the ground and minds in the present will be panicking, but those who spend their time mostly in the past will go into that great dark night still wondering: how on earth did the Maya know… ?

Aerial view of the Large Hadron Collider, Cern, Switzerland

Aerial view of the Large Hadron Collider, Cern, Switzerland

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3 responses to “To be unscientific for a moment

  1. Ann Thropologist

    Different knowledge-systems, mate. They run on different rails to (y)our own, and sometimes make our paltry epistemologies look rather narrow-gauge while they’re at it. Trust me.

  2. Narrow-gauge systems reach places others can’t go, and are much better at making tight turns in the face of obstacles. Trust me :-) (I’ll see your analogy and raise you one.)

    However, one would have to go a lot deeper before I was sure whether there was anything in the 2012 date that hasn’t been brought to it by modern-day Millennialists. My initial, Western, take would be that the point of the Long Count is not where it stops but where it began, and the rest is coincidence. The sort of coincidence that makes for excellent sci-fi though.

  3. Derek the Ænglican

    And, of course, we’ll leave unmentioned that the period between now and then is the apocalyptic favorite: a time, two times, and a half…

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