Techemistry Blog

End of the World?

12/18/2012 4:18:00 PM -- Ted Krapf

So, the Mayan's 'predicted' the end of the world?  Seems strange that they would do such a thing.  I guess every civilization has thought of their beginning and their demise.  As advanced as the Mayans were, their mathematics didn't take leap year into account.  The actual number of days in a year is 365.2425, not 365.  This is because a day is not precisely 24 hours.

Now, since the Mayan's didn't take this into consideration, they had a rounding error.  Now after centuries of .2425 missing from their calendar, our perception of the 'end date' is WAY off.  In fact, if their calendar predicted the end of the world, it would of been sometime during the summer of 2011.  I don't know about you, but I'm still here.

I think what is interesting here is how this relates to the Y2K bug, and even Windows 7.  If you aren't old enough, the Y2K bug was simply computer engineers not realizing their their systems built years ago would ever stay in use after the calendar got to 2000.  So to save memory, their date was only two digits long.  As a result there was the potential for the computer to think it was Jan 1st, 1900 the day after Dec 31, 1999.  This (slippery slope) could of potentially caused horrible things to happen, like the power grid and communications systems to go bonkers.  Between foresight for fixing the bugs and dumb luck, nothing really happened.  But this begs the question... what about a current operating system like Windows 7?

In a not-so-scientific way, I opened my Windows calendar and arrowed over to the very end of it.  And by golly it stops at December 31st, 2099.  Now using the same logic as the Mayan theory..

1.) Microsoft is pretty smart, knows a lot of math, and to a degree is very forward thinking
2.) Microsoft is a super power in its own right
3.) Microsoft wields powers that seem like magic to many people
4.) Microsoft has a global influence

With all this knowledge, I've determined that Microsoft has predicted the end of the world as being December 31st, 2099.  To that affect, if you'd like to purchase special end of the world canned goods, please make your gold bouillon out to TKConsulting.

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