We are only 5 weeks away from the ‘end of the world as predicted by the Mayan Calendar’ scenario. I’ve never been able to buy into this apocalyptic vision; rather, I believe that their wording, something about the end of one great cycle, is worth pondering. Because right now, we seem to be heading in precisely that direction: the end of an entire way of living. If you don’t believe me, just read this Spiegel article http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/playing-poker-with-trillions-a-prison-of-debt-on-both-sides-of-the-atlantic-a-867404-3.html, which lays out precisely why the global financial and democratic systems are now in total deadlock, kaput, not working, whatever you want to call this ongoing malaise. The bad news is that nobody seems to have a Plan B at the ready. Well, there is always war; it’s been used before to divert the attention of people from what’s going on. And lo, the Israelis are happy to oblige, and to further inflame and destabilize an already precarious situation in the Middle East. Never mind that children are being killed; it’s the usual collateral damage. There are other bad omens, such as the sudden appearance of a ‘rogue’ planet in our celestial neighborhood. No, I do not believe in ‘Planet X’ but I don’t find this news reassuring. I keep thinking about what Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, says about our deep and abiding lack of real knowledge or ability to predict anything.