I’ve been busy this week as a result of a new idea for something at work — that’s why things have started out quiet. Yet there are two other ideas floating around my head begging to get out. This is one of them.
I listen to a lot of science podcasts. In them, I hear discussions about how the dinosaurs lived for millions of years, how the earth and the universe are billions of years old. I then look at us puny humans. As an intelligent species for which we have a record, we’ve been on the planet for what — perhaps 20,000 to 100,000 years. If you want a written record? Under 10,000 years. We are truly an insignificant blink the the life of this planet.
I think about this every time I drive down a street and look at the houses. Will our houses be here in 50 years? 100 years? 200 years? What will Los Angeles look like a million years from now. We don’t have any human artifacts that old. We consider something “historic” when is it 100 years old. That’s one lifetime. We have an over inflated view of our significance.
Contrast what our civilization looked like at the time of Christ. Compare our civilization to what it looked like even 200 years ago. In the past two centuries, humans have done so much. We have built so much, and we have destroyed so much. We have reshaped this planet for good and for bad in an astoundingly short time period.
Who knows what the future will bring? Consider the differences in society between 1813 and 2013 — a scant 200 years. Look at the differences in society between 1013 and 2013. Between the year 13 and 2013. How can we even guess what our society will look like in the year 3013 or 4013, let alone the year 10,000. If we are lucky enough to last as long as the dinosaurs, can you even imagine a world 400,000 years from now?
We’ve blundered into what we’ve got. We’ve built and destroyed without thought to the long term picture, counting on our ability to muddle through. I’m not sure whether that will be good enough in the future.