Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ringing in the year of 252009

In reflecting on the amount of change I witnessed in this single year I realized that I didn't actually know how long man, in its current evolutionary form, has been around. Doesn't that seem odd? As self aware as humans are, we have a horrible perception of time that is entirely of our own doing. It is of course honorable and sacred to note the year of the birth of Christ, and yet it has also created a great time-warp in the perception of ourselves. According to the consensus reported in Wikipedia, Homo sapiens evolved around 250,000 years ago. Considering the order of difference between 250K and 2K and the convenience to be gained, I think it is fair to just say that the year of man we soon will ring is actually 252,009.

I don't mean to replace our current convention, but I do think this fact is something that should be widely known and celebrated yearly. Why exactly should we diminish 247,991 years of progress for a measly 2,009? In a time when things are changing ever faster, perspective is critical. Think about it this way; it took an estimated 50,000 years for speech to develop then another 170,000 to develop drawn symbols, but then only 24,700 to creating writing. From there it took only another 4,739 years for man to develop the Gutenberg printing press (1439), and then just 464 more to produce the first production Ford Model A (1903). Then in a measly 66 years, man landed on the moon (1969). Eight (8) years after that the Apple II personal computer (1977) arrived and another 6 years after that, the first US commercial cell phone (1983). The next eight years saw the growing use of computers, networks, and other technology leading up to the formation of the World Wide Web (1991). In the 18 years coming to a close since, we've undergone a massive revolution in technology where storage and computational power double every two years.

I think I've made my point. So with that in mind I hope all have a Merry Christmas and a happy new 252,009!