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Putting Time In Perspective
Transcript of Putting Time In Perspective
Cold War ends
Internet becomes a thing
OJ Simpson trial
(Jan - Oct 1995)
Mobile phones becomes a thing
The 21st Century actually starts on 1/1/2001. All centuries start on the 1 year because there was no Year 0 in the First Century.
The Last Year
A Long Human Life (90 Years)
World War II (1939-1945)
Baby Boomers born (1946-1964)
Black Tuesday sets off the Great Depression (1929)
TV's begin to become widely used in homes (late 40's)
JFK Assassination (1963)
First man on moon (1969)
Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
First telephone call (1876)
First Car (1886)
Basketball invented by James Naismith in 1891
First Commercial Flight (1914)
One thing that surprises me is how much closer a current 90-year-old's birth is to Lincoln's assassination than it is to the current day. To me, Lincoln's presidency seems ancient, but it's not actually that long ago.
Post Civil War Era
George Washington's Presidency (1789-1797)
(for the purpose of keeping his football team in shape during the off-season.)
Four score and seven years
Death of John Adams & Thomas Jefferson
(they died the same day,
July 4th, 1826 - America's 50th Anniversary.)
American Civil War
Birthdate of the oldest living person (March 5th, 1898)
Misao Okawa is 115. Her birthdate is closer to George Washington taking the presidency than to today. Again—that’s weird.
European Colonization of the Americas
Columbus makes his first voyage to the New World, landing in the Bahamas
Jamestown marks the
first British settlement
The Mayflower arrives
In Plymouth (1620)
(1754 - 1763)
(1775 - 1783)
The most interesting takeaway here is that a lot of time passed between the first British settlers arriving in Jamestown and the end of the American Revolution—169 years, to be exact. That means that the beginning of the British colonies seemed as ancient to the forefathers as 1844 seems to us today.
Birth of Christianity
Common Era (AD)
Birth of Islam
Early Middle Ages (400-1000AD)
High Middle Ages (1000-1300AD)
Late Middle Ages (1300-1500AD)
Earliest Evidence of Writing; Oldest Wheeled Vehicle Found
(3150 – 30 BC)
(27 BC – 470 AD)
(400 – 1500)
The beginning of writing around 3,500 BC marks the beginning of us knowing anything about what went on in history.
(3200 – 1200 BC)
Behaviorally Modern Humans
Putting Time In Perspective
This Prezi will take you back 60,000 years in time.
A note on dates: When it comes to the far-back past, most of the dates we know are the subject of ongoing debate. For these timelines, it's cumbersome to put a ~ sign before every ancient date or an asterisk explaining that the date is still being debated, so I just used the most widely accepted dates and left it at that.
Humans migrate out of Africa for
The first time
considered to have complex language
by this point
First humans migrate over the Bering land bridge into the Americas
(the debate over when this first happened ranges from 40,000 – 15,000 BC)
Humans First Cultivate Wheat
Though humans had been anatomically modern for quite some time by this point, it wasn’t until 60,000 – 40,000 years ago that experts think humans stopped embarrassing themselves and became “behaviorally modern”—meaning exhibiting complex symbolic thought, cultural creativity, and all the other things that make humans humans. It’s widely believed that this rapid development is tied directly to the development of complex language in humans.
It’s also clear to see why so many modern people’s bodies have trouble with wheat or gluten products—the human digestive system evolved almost entirely before wheat products entered the situation.
Concept by www.waitbutwhy.com
Concept by http://waitbutwhy.com
Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It's not our fault—the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it's almost impossible to get a handle on it. If the Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, 24 hours later, modern humans have been around since 11:59:59pm—1 second. And if human history itself spans 24 hours from one midnight to the next, 14 minutes represents the time since Christ.
To try to grasp some perspective, I mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines (colors will help you see which timelines are which). All timeline lengths are exactly accurate to the amount of time they're expressing.