Work and World

The History And Future Of Everything — Time

time makes sense in small pieces but when you look at huge stretches of time it’s almost impossible to wrap your head around things so let’s start small with minutes hours days you probably spent the last 24 hours mostly sleeping and working with some coffee in there somewhere please watch less TV now let’s look at 2030 relatively unnoticed Hitler’s bodyguard died at the age of 96 while in June Edward Snowden started the NSA scandal moving back a bit the 21st century is still pretty young and largely shaped by the attacks on 9/11 that ultimately led to the third Iraq war oh and Facebook and smartphones took over our lives but we’re just getting started let’s back up further the 20th century has seen its share of conflicts – after two devastating world wars the Cold War lasted for almost the whole second half of it an average human lifespan covers most of this stuff as well as the birth of the Internet and the beginning of the Information Age the oldest living person on earth is currently in the cell okawa who was born in 1898 which means that her birth was closer to Napoleon ruling Europe than to the current day the last 500 years of human history brought enormous changes to our lifestyles industrialization gave rise to new ideas like communism farmers became workers and knowledge became easier to distribute the theory of evolution changed how we saw ourselves and the world we live in a wall in a few hundred years the 15th century was very eventful Columbus’s discovery of america and the fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Middle Ages people in the Middle Ages were super into war over territory and religion but the Black Plague was far more efficient than war killing every third European in six years arriving in the Common Era let’s take a look where we came from our current century is tiny and 2013 is barely visible this is recorded human history the pyramids were constructed 4,500 years ago the peak of the Roman Empire was 2,000 years ago so to the Romans the pyramids were as old as the Romans are to us today history starts with writing but what happened before that about 12,000 years ago the Agricultural Revolution took place mankind began farming which gave rise to the existence of cities and larger communities the dominance of the human species over planet Earth really started here 90 thousand years ago Neanderthals and humans coexist in Europe fun fact this is roughly the time period a modern spacecraft would need to reach the nearest star Homo sapiens the modern human evolved 200,000 years ago looking at all of human history what we call ad seems pretty small doesn’t it six million years ago our ancestors and the modern chimpanzee shared a common ancestor for the last time and for 2.75 million years stone tools were all the rage a mere 65 million years ago the age of the dinosaurs ended in an enormous explosion which paved the way for the rise of mammals but the dinosaurs ruled the earth for an incredibly long time over 165 million years that’s so long that it means that t-rex that lived 65 million years ago is closer to seeing a live Miley Cyrus concert than to seeing a live Stegosaurus animal life on this planet started 600 million years ago the earliest animals were fish and other small simple sea creatures then came in sex than reptiles and finally around 200 million years ago mammals joined the party life itself began much farther back 3.6 billion years ago before any animals appeared there were two point four billion years when life consisted only of tiny microbes countless single-celled bacteria for 3 billion years all life on Earth was invisible to the naked eye it’s hard to understand how single-celled organisms could develop into complex life forms like fish or sloths the answer is time a whole lot of time 2.4 billion years is a lot of time to work with 4.6 billion years ago the Sun was born from the remnants of a giant explosion 60 million years later earth formed in those early years frequent bombardment by comets and asteroids supplied the earth with large oceans and a moon to send spaceships to but as far as the whole universe goes our solar system is pretty new thirteen point seven five billion years ago the universe was born and six hundred million years later our own galaxy formed from billions of stars but what was before the Big Bang the truth is we don’t know that yet and maybe we never will but we gave it some colors so at least we have that and there you have it the past now let’s take a look at what we know about the future in roughly 1 billion years the Sun will be so hot that life on Earth becomes impossible the death of the Sun 4 billion years later marks the end of the solar system ok so no more solar system and what happens after that a few trillion years from now star production will cease and one day the last star in the universe will die the universe will turn dark inhabited only by black holes long after the last black hole has evaporated power universe reaches its final stage something called heat death nothing changes anymore the universe is dead forever now you’re feeling some pretty weird feelings right now aren’t you we are – it’s only natural the good news is this is all far far away the only time that actually matters is now that cute girl you like ask her out time is precious make it count [Music] [Music]
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