Why I'm looking forward to 2012
On December 21st, 2012, the world ends -- and begins anew, like a PC rebooted after yet another Windows software patch. Or at least that's the general idea. Like the Y2K phenomenon before it, the 2012 meme is only fractionally tolerant of agnosticism: either one accepts that Earth will undergo some vaguely defined transformation or one does not.
I take a cautious middle ground, choosing to view the end of time (or, rather, the ancient Mayans' conception of it) as a useful temporal rallying point, a juncture not unlike a hyperlink leading to some dodgy -- if tantalizing -- FTP site.