Committed to a Cause

New understanding of the Mayan calendar has got me thinking about what it means to take a long-term view , and the commitment required!

Slashdot published an article today discussing new findings by scholars regarding the 819-day Mayan calendar.

This new research has demonstrated that in order to understand the nature of the 819-day calendar, a 45-year perspective had to be used; taking into account the movements of 5 different planets – Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter

The calendar caters for multiple cycles of each planet’s differing-length synodic periods. with individual synodic periods ranging from 117 to 780 days per cycle, it takes a total of 20x 819-day cycles (or 16,380 days) to fully explain the calendar

I’m in awe at how an ancient civilisation such as the Mayans was able to create such a calendar. We live in a world where our attention-span is ever reducing, as-is our tolerance for delay … we want immediate gratification for objects and services. Yet here we are discovering that the Mayans took a 45 year perspective in order to align their calendar

Where my mind explodes however, is that they didn’t just take a single 45 year view of this. In order to establish this as a calendar across their culture … they must have spent literally generations of their population, committed to the research into the planetary movements, to then document their findings, to then convince first their leaders and then their people – to adopt such a calendar

I’m going to have to remember this, next time a web page takes longer than 1-2 seconds to load in my browser !

Original Post

This post was originally authored on this blog, you can also see the corresponding LinkedIn Article here