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Showing posts from July, 2011

Through a glass, skewly

I always had this idea that we were a trifle self-absorbed when we studied history. Spending most of the time on the last century or two seemed wrong, and what there was of earlier times seemed to have huge gaps in the narrative. (let's forget about nationalistic obsessions for now) But somehow - probably the influence of xkcd - I realised that our scale was odd. After all, if we measure in years, human history is irrelevant (100,000 / billions); what we should be thinking about is the amount of human experience in those years. Perhaps we might see that all the waffle about the dramatic rate of progress is not so much a factor of industrialisation and western-society magic, but more about the number of people around. Thus, a hand-wavy human history where the intervals are normalised by considering the number of people living at the time. The interesting part is the dates - the rest is just me having fun. Apologies for the embarrassingly Eurocentric view. Not sure what I t