According to Wikia Judgment Day was scheduled to have taken place on on April 21, 2011. "Kyle Reese and Derek Reese witness the launch of U.S. missiles while playing ball in their yard." It had been delayed for more than a decade:
As a result of temporal interference by Sarah Connor, her son John, Miles Dyson, and the T-800 destroying Cyberdyne headquarters and all backups of the research in 1995, the date for Judgment day is moved back to here. Skynet is destined to go online a few days earlier on April 19, 2011 at 20:11 .
Since we are reading this post, something else must have happened, some unknown action, which has delayed the self-awareness of Skynet by yet more years. The world has gotten a reprieve and we don't really know why.
Not everyone agrees that Wikia is right on the timing. One group of people believe that based on a calendar suggested by Biblical passages, Judgment Day is really on May 21, 2011 and the End of the World will follow soon after on Oct 21, 2011. Rival theories abound, the most famous being the 2012 series.
The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. A New Age interpretation of this transition postulates that during this time, Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.
Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth's collision with a black hole or a passing planet called "Nibiru".
Some Niburu is out there. NASA says there that a 10 meter wide asteroid is due to pass between the Earth and the Moon on June 2. The agency has told the public not to worry. "There is a roughly 50 percent chance of a 30-meter-plus asteroid striking Earth each century, according to NLSI team member Clark Chapman, space scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder." That's not Niburu yet.
What is peculiar about the Terminator Universe Judgment Day is that the date of the catastrophe can be altered by human action. Zap2IT says that the confusion over when it will actually occur is due to the changing fortunes in the battle between Man and Machine. It will happen, but nobody knows when.
How can something be fated and yet indeterminate? One argument is that the interdeterminacy is really the result of our lack of information. In that view, the mistake in believing that Skynet would awake in the 1990s was due to the failure to factor in the T800's actions against Cyberdyne. If we could know all the true facts, then it would be possible to say when Judgment Day will actually occur.
The alternative it to regard the Judgment Day as a possibility, but only a possibility, in a universe governed by Free Will and probability. In that view, the future has not yet happened and nothing is written. Skynet may one day arise, but it is not foreordained. It will only happen if we choose it and nothing else prevents it from occurring.
The interesting thing about these arguments is that are not really about the future, but the present. Our views of what is to come, indeed our belief in the existence or non-existence of freedom are not really about the "next life" or even about next year, but today. A future state with no memory of us implies that whatever happens in time T is not affected by events in T-1. We don't count. But a future that remembers us will be forever changed by what we do in time T-1. In which case we count more than we can ever know.
Therefore, as Pascal once argued, we live our todays as if we really mattered. The world we desire is the world that we build in the here and now. The gospel according to John suggests there are many gates to many places. And the doorways to each are open to us today.
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.
I think the T800 understood. We care, we hope, and we act. Therefore we live.
"No Way In" print edition at Amazon