"We're going to take a quick voyage over the cognitive history of the 20th century, because during that century our minds have altered dramatically...We've gone from people who confronted a concrete world, and analyzed that world primarily in terms of how much it would benefit them...to people who confront a very complex world...and it's a world where we've had to develop new mental habits, new habits of mind..."
"The 20th century has shown enormous cognitive reserves in ordinary people that we have now realized. And the aristocracy was convinced that the average person couldn't make it, that they could never share their mindset, or their cognitive abilities..."
This is brilliant: Putting Time In Perspective. Just click it, it's amazing.
Here's my larger exposé:
I have a tendency to try and intellectualize time and mankind's place in the cosmos. Ultimately, when we're talking about pre-Big Bang or the apparent "death" of the universe many trillions of years from now, I think it's so far beyond human comprehension that it's absolutely not worth worrying about. In fact, it's so laughably ridiculous, that you're really only left with one logical choice: be happy, do something meaningful, and enjoy your life.
(Or, more simply, do whatever the fuck you want.)
Still, I appreciate understanding just where we stand in the grand scheme of things*, and this post on waitbutwhy.com does a brilliant job of putting it all in perspective.
From the past 24 hours all the way to the end of the universe and time itself, the post provides a humbling and beautiful way of understanding who we are and what life really is or means (at least in any absolute sense).
Ultimately, I don't think it means much of anything. But, I also find this incredibly liberating. It makes me more appreciative of the present moment and the immense potential for joy we have together, right now. It's up to us to choose how we go about crafting this existence of ours, as best we know how, ever onward, for however long we might be here.
Everything is changing. Come what may, be happy.
Click here for the full post. I had trouble embedding the whole thing, so there's a brief sample below.
*as best we can know given current scientific understanding...which, let's be honest, is very possibly totally wrong...I mean, I think that's kind of the point of this timeline thing--recognizing that we're really quite small and really don't know much.
**Juno Day drummer Mike Mahoney writes about a lot of these ideas in his book of poetry, Emergence.
Running the Philadelphia Marathon two years ago was one of the more inspiring and joyful community events I've ever been a part of. Beyond just the runners, I was particularly moved by the countless thousands on the sidelines cheering everyone on and offering total positivity and support...it really felt like the City of Brotherly Love that day. I do believe more runners = a happier world. At any rate, this is a really cool TED talk:
Recent high school grad talking about real change...this is beautiful.
A program I've been very fortunate to be a part of this past year--Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES! for Schools)--getting a shout-out in the USA TODAY. Awesome.
Read the full article here.
Looking at technological change from the perspective of the evolution of life itself. Really interesting.
I had seen this video once before--before the thought of teaching had even entered my mind. It's a funny talk, and Sir Robinson's ideas certainly resonated with me, as someone whose exposure to education philosophy was limited to Seth Godin. I was recently asked to watch this video for one of my grad courses at Drexel; to say the least, I viewed it through a much different lens this time.