πŸ’ We are all still primates

500 of our direct ancestors make up the entire history of humankind, going back to hunter-gatherer times.

πŸ’ We are all still primates

Today’s chart is more of an infographic than a classic data visual.

Tim Urban, one of my favorite accounts to follow on Twitter, shared this piece, which is an excellent reminder to us all:

πŸ’‘
We are all primates living in unnatural environments, doing our best to make sense of it all.

Tim’s graphic illustrates how everything we know and identify as civilization was created or invented in the previous 12,500 years, a blip in human history.

Even more eye-opening: the past 12,500 years roughly span 500 generations only.

In other words, 500 of our direct ancestors make up the entire history of humankind, going back to hunter-gatherer times.

Why is this important to keep in mind?

  • 500 generations are way too short a time for our bodies and brains to re-optimize.
  • Civilization is still a new experiment. Modern democracies are a brand new idea, currently in beta testing.