Sunday, December 7, 2014

the history of human consciousness

It's weird to think about how it's an exciting time to be experiencing everything we take for granted.

It seems a lot harder to say this as time progresses, as we look back on previous eras, which may seem like simpler times on the surface when in fact we were only doing a very good job of lying to ourselves.

There were 2.5 billion of us in 1950. Today there are 7.1 billion. There are obviously way WAY more of "us" now than there were of "us" a hundred or a thousand years ago and earlier. So if we were to somehow measure the length of time within every moment of human consciousness that's ever happened...

We just googled "how many humans have ever existed?" and they threw 108 billion at us.

Which means that at least 6.5% of every moment of human consciousness (up until now) has been taking place within the lifetimes of everyone who is currently alive. That percentage should be higher because lifetimes are currently longer than they used to be. But either way, the percentage is constantly increasing. Over 6.5% of everyone (ever) has been experiencing 2014 and all it's various ups and downs. So as far as humans are concerned, this is actually a pretty huge moment in the history of our existence, since so many of us have been around to experience it.

So there's really two ways to view whether or not we - our actions and reactions, our efforts and our mistakes - matter. Scientists will note that humans are only a blip, and our lives really have no meaning if you take literally everything that's ever existed and will ever exist into context. But if you love humans as a species and care about humankind and the course of our history, then now really does matter a lot since an entire 6.5% of "us" (every one of us that has ever been here) is here within this moment and has been experiencing 2014 in all its glory. Now probably matters. It's a big moment.

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