Talk:2012 doomsday prophecy

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 Definition The year that Mayan calendars predicted to be the end of the world. Has become a meme associated with apocalyptic events fueled by booksellers, fearmongers and moviemakers. [d] [e]

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Traffic driver. Pop culture bunk. But causing much hysteria. Wrote fresh with references.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 16:53, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Just for readability, one citation per sentence is enough in the vast majority of cases. In like manner, if you keep repeating the same citation every few sentences, it tends to cause formatting problems in the footnotes -- they don't work well, especially in 2- or 3-column format, with long lists of the same note. Usually, if there are two citations in a row, the second citation, if relevant, has a different point or perspective to be brought into the article. Otherwise, it feels like WP defensiveness.
This is meant as constructive advice about style here. Thanks for writing the article. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:34, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for advice. My purpose in putting multiple citations was to emphasize how strongly the scientific thinking is. I have no doubt that some people will read this article and not get that 2012 is bunk. But if you wish to remove or eliminate refernces I have no problem with this. I noticed there were problems with two or three column referencing format so I always use single column. I have a habit of using the same citation repeatedly, since it is less typing on my part, and yet it points the reader to the source where it came from.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:49, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Remember you have the bibliography subpage. That can be more than just a list of references, their context and importance can be explained too. I don't think we have any really good exmples in CZ yet but I feel that will be the strength of that page in the future. Chris Day 18:53, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Supposedly there are over 200 books on 2012. Sheesh.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:56, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Not all will be important though. This is the case with any review, its job is to distill the story and separate the wheat from the chaff. Chris Day 19:03, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
It may be more relevant to mix the barley with the hops and drink the beer. Seriously, an annotated bibliography is an excellent way to deal with these multiple sources, which really don't lend themselves to being specific citations to text in the style of a main article. Thanks, Chris, for thinking of it. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:07, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not really getting what the problem is with the references. Is the suggestion to put the references on the bibliography subpage? Is this how to handle a citation to USA Today or the New York Times? Is there an example of an article that is done the "CZ way" which I could look at? In my view, the article is well done -- if readers doubt my sources, in two mouseclicks they can see where I got it from. Moving references to a secondary page like "bibliography" seems more work for both readers as well as myself. I'm comfortable using this referencing format; switching to a new format will slow me down. Is the problem that the finished article looks too much like a Wikipedia-style article -- is it a matter of appearance? I'm quite confused about what the suggestions are here. Here's another reason for multiple references -- sometimes a reference goes bad after a while, such as a link going dead; in this case, there's still one good reference. --Thomas Wright Sulcer 19:35, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
The issue is not one of trust but of brevity. The most pertinent references should be cited in the text, for sure. But if you want a more exhaustive approach then the bibliography represents a good page do that. I feel that our job is to direct the reader to the most important or relevant sources in the article, not give complete coverage. One could argue that the bibliography is the place to give a more complete coverage with some context about why some are more important than others. I do not think we have any well developed bibliographies but I think they should be far more than just a list of references. Chris Day 19:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Two general examples of what i think would be less desirable with respect to citations. First, one paragraph that cites the same reference multiple times. I note a few examples of that in this article. Second, six or seven references for one point. That is not really an issue here. In general one or two references should be adequate. If you cite a third then it should really add something that the other two do not. I guess this is a stye issue, and I'm not sure if this has been discussed in detail here. These are just the things that i try to avoid when writing. My reasoning is that over referencing is distracting to the reader. I would call both the examples above over referencing. This topic might be worth a thread in the forum. Chris Day 19:48, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I see what you mean. I looked over the article and what you're saying is -- one reference per paragraph is probably sufficient, usually at the bottom of the paragraph. And cool it with multiple uses of the same citation. I see what you're saying, like I went overboard somewhat.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 19:59, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively use the first usage in the paragraph and that will stand for the other sentences unless otherwise stated. I have no idea if there is a formal recommendation in a style manual in this regard. Chris Day 20:28, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that there are far too many references. All general sources on the topic should be given in the Bibliography (annotated, where possible). Only citations need to be referenced explicitly. Moreover, the introduction does not need any reference. The sources are clear from the context. --Peter Schmitt 16:56, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
As far as having the user take two clicks, I think one of the aspects of the "CZ Way" is that the community, and Editors on Approved articles, have already done basic reference checking. Yes, at WP, one is constantly challenged; not so here — we approach quality differently.
Further, a reader doesn't have a way to know, as he would on a printed page, that a given footnote contains a quote. I certainly don't click citations with the expectation of getting additional quotes, but to get to the original source. Quotes that are not in the main text, in my opinion, belong in the bibliography, with annotation, if they are useful anywhere. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:20, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
"a reader doesn't have a way to know, as he would on a printed page, that a given footnote contains a quote"
If this is a comment to my "Only citations need to be referenced explicitly", then it is a misunderstanding (due to poor language). I meant that usually only a quote needs a footnote reference. --Peter Schmitt 17:59, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
No, I was referring to having quotes in citations, so that clicking on the footnote reference would bring up additional content, rather than bibliographic citation. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

A perspective

I was the external network architecture consultant for the U.S government Y2K information center, and saw things that were avoided by the effort -- and two scary incidents caused by noncompliant software. To put this in perspective, someone had made up a sign that got onto the wall of many offices:
The Dark Ages were caused by the Y1K problem
Cool quote. And Y0K led to the fall of the Roman Empire?--Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Wasn't it the Members' Meeting of 2012 that had one of the great crises for the Howard Families in Robert A. Heinlein's Methuselah's Children? Howard C. Berkowitz 18:34, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Don't know. --Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes there is a meeting. In Methusaleh's Children there was a "Families Meeting of 2012" but what is the significance?--Thomas Wright Sulcer 00:14, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, no one really knows. It may have been the decision to end the "Masquerade", but when asked about it in Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long, the only survivor, refused to discuss it.
Is there any chance that Glenn Beck is an avatar of Nebiru? Howard C. Berkowitz 20:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Who's Glenn Beck? --Thomas Wright Sulcer 20:22, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Title of the page

"2012" is not an adequate title. It is not on the number or the year, it is about a phenomenon related to the year. This should be expressed by the title. Something like "2012 prophecy/prediction", "2012 hysteria", etc. would be more appropriate. --Peter Schmitt 17:00, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

"2012 prophecy" makes sense, if it is a prophecy. Of the latter, I'm not clear, was coming to the end of the Mayan calendar significant to the Mayan's, other than as an excuse for a millennial-like celebration? Chris Day 17:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree about 2012 not being best title but don't know which is better. It certainly is 2012 foolishness. Whatever happens though the article driver according to Alexa is "2012" so there should be at least an article called "2012" which is a REDIRECT pointing to whatever new article title gets chosen.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:40, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
How about "The End is Nigh, Version 2012" :) Chris Day 18:45, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Or, "It's 2012 now what will we do?" :) --Thomas Wright Sulcer 18:48, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps there are warnings. I bought a butternut squash yesterday, and it was priced at $6.66. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:05, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I cannot follow your logic concerning "article driver". Google also lists "2012" in combination with other words, and -- regardless how it the page is called -- WP will rank much higher. So it may even help to have a well-chosen title that sticks out. --Peter Schmitt 19:09, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
About the article traffic driver stuff. If interested, look over my user page User:Thomas Wright Sulcer about article traffic driver rationales; basically these are sought-after articles with unusual names that seem to be driving Internet traffic, that is, my thinking is that a way to increase readership at CZ is to make extra effort to do better versions of hot unusual topics such as "2012". That's the thinking; it's based partly on doing an article called SEO; it's kind of an experiment I'm doing to see if it brings more readers here to CZ. I don't know if it will work; but if it does, hopefully we'll have more readers, and possibly get more authors and contributors. That's why I wrote articles like Elin Nordegren and Bromance (barf!) and Love and Brittany Murphy (who acted in, believe it or not, films like "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Girl, Interrupted" and "Deadline"). Otherwise I wouldn't be doing these articles since I'm not that interested in pop culture junk like that. If you look here -- Top viewed articles on Wikipedia Dec 2009 -- you'll see that "2012 (film)" "2012" and "2012 phenomenon" were all highly ranked articles in 2009 December. What I'm saying is that please name the article what you would like, and move it there accordingly; but please keep a redirect on "2012" so it feeds to the newly-named article. --Thomas Wright Sulcer 20:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

2012, the movie

Official movie site.

Saw it, twice, DVD, Blue-Ray, terrific. Anthony.Sebastian 03:17, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Great graphics.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 10:27, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Hayford moved it to 2012 (film). Thought you might want to develop it in conjunction with your 2012 article, which I hope you will rename to 2012 doomsday prophecy, redirecting a blank 2012 to it, or setting up a disambig page to direct reader to both 2012 doomsday prophecy and 2012 (film). Anthony.Sebastian 20:31, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. 2012 is a popular Internet subject; the film 2012 (film) is popular as well. My only suggestion about naming is that according to Alexa, just the numbers "2012" -- that's it -- is what people are typing into their search browsers. But if it redirects to a different title, that will probably be fine too, I don't know. But I wrote this on a flawed experiment that writing "hot articles" would bring eyeball traffic to CZ; I've since learned that the way to get readers is to develop what HB calls "thickets of articles" -- lots of interlinking articles on subjects. So right now my subject is the Aeneid as well as Greek and Roman mythology, and I'm trying to see if the thicket strategy pans out.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 20:41, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
If you rename 2012 first, say to 2012 doomsday prophecy, then create a disambiguation page, 2012 (disambiguation), listing there 2012 doomsday prophecy and 2012 (film), then set up an empty 2012 article with a redirect to 2012 (disambiguation), readers searching on search term '2012' will reach 2012 (disamiguation) and then can choose 2012 doomsday prophecy, going right to your article. Let people type '2012' into their search engines or into CZ's search box, they will still get to your article, and have other '2012-related' choices as well.
If you do not do that, readers will not find 2012 (film) in CZ unless they know to type '2012 film' into the search box. Anthony.Sebastian 22:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Whatever you decide. You can also just put a line at the top of the 2012 article pointing directly to the movie, like:--Thomas Wright Sulcer 22:50, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
This is about the doomsday phenomenon. For information about the movie, see 2012 (film)--Thomas Wright Sulcer 22:50, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
In either event, the article won't drive much traffic here unless there are a slew of related articles on this subject, and I'm keen on developing other areas, not particularly this one.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 22:50, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Nevertheless, if you do not rename 2012 to something like 2012 doomsday prophecy, and follow the sugestions I made above regarding the disambig & redirect pages, you preclude anyone writing an article about the calendar year, 2012, named logically 2012, such as Wikipedia's excellent article, so named: Anthony.Sebastian 23:02, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
If you feel passionately about this, why not do it yourself? I'm interested in other stuff. And I don't think people are interested in the year as a year; rather, they're worried about the doomsday stuff. I trust your judgment overall.--Thomas Wright Sulcer 23:04, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Tom, I appreciate your passion about the year 2012 in relation to the doomsday prophecy, and in no way would want to deflect readers also interested in 2012 in relation to the doomsday prophecy away from your excellent article on the subject. I believe my suggested approach will not deflect readers/inquirers away from your excellent article, and indeed will direct them to it as well as to other knowledge bases related to the year 2012, such as that contained in WP's 2012 article (, when someone writes an article on the year 2012. (On further thought, I think 2012 should redirect to a disambiguation page (2012 (disambiguation) that lists the year article as 2012 CE, because potential year artcles CE have corresponding BCE year articles.)
CZ should have the opportunity to present readers a summary of notable aspects each year in history and in the future, as far as we have information, because people are interested in information related to years. Many people are interested in everything of note that relates to the year of their birth, or those of their parents, for example. For a project I am working on, I'd like to know the names of all the notable thinkers who were alive in the year 1600 CE, and wish I could search on '1600' and find that out.
I hope others will weigh in on this discussion, as I perhaps trust my judgment less than you so kindly indicated you trust it. Anthony.Sebastian 00:04, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Speaking as an author only, I think Anthony is on the best track. D. Matt Innis 00:48, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

(outdent)Agreed. Let me know if you need my help or what you want me to do. -Thomas Wright Sulcer 01:21, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, done, but one edit needed

This is great, but I think the first sentence needs a rewrite, as not every bookseller and moviemaker is a huckster - that means 'shyster', right? Anyway, not all of these people encourage public panic. Aleta Curry 00:11, 24 August 2010 (UTC)