Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Slick-Rock Research Report                                               Posting No. 10 -121

The Slick-Rock Research Report

             Will The World End in 2 1/2 Months?
There have been 142 different predictions calling for the end of the world since 1776 when our nation was founded,   So far, none of them has happened. The latest is the omen said to be predicted by the Mayan calendar.  First of all, there isn’t just one Mayan Calendar, there are three.   The end of the world prediction is a part of the Long Count calendar.  There are two others.  The calendar begins on Aug. 11, 3114 BC and even that depends on how it is reconciled with our calendar.   The Mayan Calander does not provide for leap years.  It has a 20 day month.   Eighteen months comprise a 360 day year.  Instead of a seven day week, there are thirteen days which have  been named as weekdays and a 260 day cycle which may or may not coincide with the human pregnancy cycle.  In the second calendar, the end of days comes on Mar. 23, 909 AD.  In the third version of the calendar, the bottom portion is broken and so the date is obscured. 
            The calendar is inscribed on a stone monument or stella but there are two sections of the carvings that have not been translated yet. In addition another section of the calendar was broken off and the bottom glyph date is unreadable. Only two of the glyphs refer to the end of an era or or bak’tum and depending on how the date it translated it equates to Dec. 21 or 23, 2012.  The second end-of-days date had already occurred – back in 760 BC.
The various eras can be likened to modern day horoscopes and such things as the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, or times when the moon is in the seventh house or when Jupiter aligns with Mars.   These days do not mark a date that is certain but rather usher in a new era when the deity B’olop Yokte (a crop enhancing deity) rises to power and influences.   Some eras coincide with the orbit of Venus which disappears as the evening star for a nine day period and then reemerges as the morning star just before dawn.  Venus is said to harbor a foul mood during that time.   This is one of several ends of an era that Venus and the Mayan calendar recognizes.
            Of course the end-of-days coming due next December coincides with the winter solstice which is the time that crop deities would rise to power and closely aligns with the advent of spring planting and a renewal of the earth. Even though the doom-sayers liken one of the three dates to the end of the world, it is curious that the latter day Mayan do not have any such date in their current record of time keeping.   Today’s Mayans, a number of whom are designated as “day-keepers”: and upon whom the daily events of the calendar depend, do not show any end of the world in their own time.  These modern day calendar keepers have been doing so since 909 AD and no such dire prophecies have made it into their record keeping. 
            The current site of the only remaining Mayan calendar is actually in a working gravel pit in Tortugero, Mexico. Significant damage was done to the steela that contains the calendar. One of the inscriptions to survive the gravel crushing machinery of the pit in Tortugern records significant events in the life of the Jaguar Lord who lived in the early seventh century.  It talks about significant events in the life of the Jaguar Lord including the end of his current era.  The only other end-of-days -actually the end of an era - prediction takes place at the end of his rule which took place sometime in the 860’s. 
            The Mayan Codices.    Much of what we know comes from early “books” made of bark-paper called Codices.   Early Franciscan Monks burned all but four of these books in an effort to eradicate their religion. These works were written in the twelfth
Century BC.  These books contain numbered references to predict lunar and solar eclipses, the phases of the moon and the movements of Mars and Venus.  The Mayans believed that Venus occasionally got angry and violent at certain times of the year.  When Venus ceased being the evening star, waited nine days and became the morning star, the time for a bad tempered Venus erupted.  Probably didn’t like being awakened so early in the morning. I know a modern-day, raven haired Venus who shares the same personality trait.
            In addition, the current day keepers believe that the world dies every day at sunset or when the crops are harvested. The new era starts out the next morning. The world is constantly dying and the role of the day keepers is to make sure it gets going again.  On the other hand, if you believe that on December 21st  the aliens will land, a rogue comet may strike or a devastating disease may be loosed on the planet, you may not need to pay on your credit cards.

This research comes from Zach Zorich, Senior Editor of Archeology Magazine; Oct. 2012; from the research William Saturno of Boston, University; Anthony Avendi an astronomer at Colgate University, Research on the Day Keepers by Professors Garth Lowe and Allen Christensen of BYU and a document written in Central Mexico in the late 1500’s called  the Annals of Cuaubitilan.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Next Time: The Mayan Calendar

For tomorrows review I want to take a couple of different approach. I have taken an enjoyable side track down the road of the Mayan Calendar. Some interpretations of the event calendar show that the world will end in December. There is a lot of fascinating research around the topic and tomorrows post will be a summary of some of what I have learned.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Time to Start Thinking - Edward Luce

The Slick-Rock Irregular Book Report                                         Posting No. 9-121

The Slick-Rock (Irregular) Book Review

             America in the Age of Descent
            By Edward Luce
Book Type:   Non-Fiction, Current Events, Political Commentary

            In this work, Edward Luce offers a highly engaging and incisive account of America’s economic and geopolitical decline. He interviews people from US senators to health care workers and business leaders such as Bill Gates.  These interviews are candid and revealing.  One interview perhaps says it best.  When he interviewed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Admiral Michael Muller he was told; We are borrowing money from China to build weapons to face down China.”  Muller is just one of several people who believe that unless America evolves quickly we will face serious consequences.
            As the Washington Bureau Chief for the Financial Times (London) for the
past four years Luce has traveled the nation interviewing public figures such as US Senators and business leaders.  His research covers such areas as education, health case and politics.  He talks to national leader’s right down to the man in the street.  He treats foreign completion and tells how IBM and General Electric now employ more people outside the country than within it. 
            Politically, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is likened to the differences between Coke and Pepsi.  90% of people can’t really tell the difference.  America needs friends who tell us what we need to hear and who will suggest solutions no matter how much we don’t want to hear those concepts and ideas.  Luce fills the bill with his book.
            Often foreigners are the keenest observers of American life.  Edward Luce is one such man.  He paints a well researched picture of life in twenty-first century America.  It is a disturbing picture.   He details how the American political and wealthy elite have failed to come to grips with the real problems facing America.  Perhaps the single most decisive issue for the 2012 presidential election is that candidates simply do not understand the average American.  This work provides an insightful narrative on the state and origins of our current malaise.  This is a book that will transform the way you think about the country.
            This book that may be the smartest book yet or how and why America is broken.  Luce offers a critical, nonpartisan analysis of the issues facing America today.  He sets forth conclusions and a plan for what must be done.  Some of his conclusions are disturbing.  
            Luce is the anther or the international best seller In Spite of the Gods and lives in Washington DC.


This book is available in print, in a Kindle Format.        . 

Friday, August 24, 2012

NEXT TIME: Time to Start Thinking

NEXT TIME:  Time to Start Thinking
America in the Age of Descent
By:  Edward Luce

            The Most Dangerous Method
                        The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Speilrein
                        By: John Kerr

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DEBT – The First 5,000 Years

The Slick-Rock Irregular Book Report                                  Posting No. 1208-03

The Slick-Rock (Irregular) Book Review

 Title:      DEBT – The First 5,000 Years
             A Reversal of Conventional Wisdom Regarding National & Personal Debt
             By: David Graeber

Book Type:   Non-Fiction   Economics, Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology

Writing from London, David Graeber is the author of twelve books and is a contriributor to Harpers, The Nation, Mute and the New Left Review.  He has delivered the prestigious Malanowsky Memorial Lecture at London School of Economics which honors the outstanding anthropologist who has fundamentally shaped the study of culture.  He begins with a world-shattering concept:  Debt does not have to be repaid.
In this soon to be classic work, the author examines what constitutes debt, how is began and some of the modern features such as compound interest.  But the basic forgotten tenant behind debt is that it is not an economic statement, is it a moral statement, the concept of Debt has always taken into account the concept that there will be less paid back than was lent in the first place.  Hence, the idea of interest.  However, with modern commandments of debt andhow it works, this is nevertheless an understatement of the fact which falls woefully short of telling the whole story. 
            One of the first inaccuracies is that debt involves one lender and one borrower; One debtor and one creditor.  This is a gross over simplification. Very often debt involves entire populations.  The creditor was the conqueror and imposed huge tributes upon the defeated.  In fact, the very principal of exchange emerged largely as the result of conquest and violence.  The fact is that the real origins of money arose from crime, conquest and recompense, war and slavery, debt and redemption.
            The second myth is that money arose from a system of barter. Traditional economics from Adam Smith on down had held that unsophisticated people adopted a system of “I give you six bags of potatoes for that cow.” For centuries now, researchers have been trying to find this fabled land of barter. After years of research, none ever did.
The author quotes another pre=eminent economist from Cambridge, Carolyn Humphrey who says “ No example of a barter economy, pure and simple has ever been described.”
            Instead, going back for thousands of years, there has been w system of credit from even the more primitive of people.  Indeed, there is good reason to believe that barter is actually not a widespread phenomenon at all anciently, but is an invention of relatively modern times.  One of the popular fallacies is that a money saving device called credit was invented and before that all transactions were paid in coin.  A careful investigation shows that exactly the reverse is true.
            In fact, our standard account of the history of money is precisely backwards.  We did not begin with barter, discover money and eventually develop credit systems.  It happened precisely the other way around.

            Graeber then discusses the dark side of credit.  “ Living with massive debt has more of an effect that a college education.”   Living with never ending debt
Is like living with a terminal disease.   When a nation is defeated in war, to the victor belongs the spoils.  It has been a long reaching practice to enclave the vanquished.
            When the Romans defeated the Jews at Mosada, their mountain top fortress the 987 people who were left got together and elected ten men whose job was to kill every man; woman and child left living because death was preferable to living as slaves to the Romans.   One of the precipitating factors that started World War II was the huge wartime debt from World War I that the allies burdened Germany with and the inability for the Germans to ever pay it off.
            After treating the concepts of credit w. bullion and precious metal as the foundation for all money, the author looks toward what comes next.  His occlusion is that in the twenty-first century we have begun something as yet to be determined in the history of money and debt that extends Io the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomorrow's Review - DEBT – The First 5,000 Years

I know that I had promised the next review would be on The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward Wilson. The writing was a little less engaging than one might expect from “A Monumental Exploration of the Biological Origins of the Human Condition” I found my mind wondering and I was unable to really sink my teeth into the material. So tomorrows review will not be on Edward Wilson. I will be reviewing DEBT – The First 5,000 Years, A Reversal of Conventional Wisdom Regarding National & Personal Debt By: David Graeber

I may come back and revisit Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth at a latter date. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

NEXT TIME: The Social Conquest of Earth

NEXT TIME:  The Social Conquest of Earth
A Monumental Exploration of the Biological Origins of the Human Condition
By:  Edward O. Wilson

            The Most Dangerous Method
                        The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Speilrein
                        By: John Kerr