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:
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.