There have a been a lot of hits recently on the New, Improved Positivist Calendar, prompting a re-think about what to do with the idea. I had intended to produce a calendar for the whole year, but life intervened, not to mention the hard labour of making 13 monthly pages and inserting the old style dates for comparison. I ended up with the first 3 months, and wasn’t very happy with them.
The forthcoming End of the World, as presaged by the end of the Mayan calendar, is the perfect opportunity to take the positivist calendar post-Apocalypse. Occurring on December 21, 2012, it is also the winter solstice. You will recall that the “new, improved” aspect concerns beginning/ending each year on the solstice, leaving 13 months of 28 days each, divided into 4 weeks. Clearly a coincidence made in the Heavens. Never mind using the 1859 publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species as Year One, the world going kerplooey in 2012 blows it out of the water.
August Comte (1798-1857) created a religion of humanity, founded on a positivist philosophy that saw the natural sciences as the basis of life, rejecting metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality. His logical calendar is part of that project, which I like for its elegance and versatility – it can be tweaked to mirror the seasons. The Gregorian calendar is 10 days late for the solstice.
Comte envisaged it stuffed with secular saints, people from all walks of scientific, political, artistic, and religious life, like a Catholic saints’-days calendar. I don’t want to do that, but it might include people I find interesting. Absurdity is probably the keynote of this and any future age, so eccentrics, artists, poets etc will feature. Lightly sprinkled, of course. No doubt I’ll think of other ideas. I can see it becoming a calendar plus, perhaps something like an almanac.
For the past 2 months I’ve been learning about digital art by making it, so this now sounds like a fascinating project and a chance to learn new skills. I’ll attempt to make a proper calendar, with different designs for the cover and for each month. Not necessarily seasonal ones – this is unknown territory, I can’t draw, and don’t know what I’m doing – yet. The deadline is obviously before December 21, and I’ll post updates as the work progresses. My inspiration is Nancy Farmer, a real artist who knows how to draw and paint and everything.
Whatever happens on December 21, the Post-Apocalyptic Positivist Calendar will see you through the aftermath.