While I didn't believe it at first, Terence McKenna's Timewave Zero Theory is beginning to seem more and more likely to me.
Basically it has to do with the I-Ching, which has always surprised scientists with how much some of the concepts actually work. Tao, which is sort of the force which decides the difference between times where invention and innovation are booming (renaissance), which McKenna then sort of renamed Novelty, and times where there's a dead still and very little is being produced, which he called Habit. He and some colleages kind of worked certain formulas and "mapped" Tao for when is grows and when is contracts. The thing is, as time moves on, the wavelengths become much shorter.
A lot of it is mathematic stuff I don't really understand. But basically he set out this graph that found when the "omega point" will occur, which is basically the exact time the Tao will reach this sort of crescendo and never contract again. This omega point supposedly occurs on December 21, 2012. The basic way to say it is "all things imaginable with occur simultaneously". This could mean a billion things. Here are just few speculations:
1. The world will end (which is the main thought).
2. Time travel is discovered, causing time to longer move linearly.
3. Man and machine will create a symbiosis, meaning we won't know where our nervous system ends and the internet begins. You'll be sitting at home wondering the menu at a certain restaurant, and you wouldn't have to look it up on the internet, because by the time you've had the thought, the menu will already be in your hands.
4. Most unlikely, of course, the Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End sort of thing. An Alien race comes to Earth and speeds us up so much in technology there will no longer be innovation.
This all seemed pretty far-fetched to me at first. But think about how fast technology is going; how much invention is accelerating. Because of factors like the internet, times are speeding up so much than when they used to. The difference between 1810 and 1830 seems to be just as big of a difference as 2000 and 2005. I mean, there's got to be a point where it accelerates so much it sort reaches an event horizon or something like that.
I've still got my doubts, but you can't disregard the fact it does seem quite possible.
There's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going. There's no knowing where we're rowing or which way the river's flowing. Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing? Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing. Are the fires of hell a-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing? Yes, the danger must be growing 'cause the rowers keep on rowing, and they're certainly not showing any signs that they are slowing. AAAGGHHH!!!