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I recently read the most tangible example of how climate change is affecting our world. It put things into perspective just in that it wasn’t about sea levels or this or that part of the world being warmer.
In recent years, Russia has been experiencing drought much akin to southern California. It has been ravaging crops. Now usually, Russia is an exporter of grain and some of that grain goes to the Arab world. But just before the Arab Spring in 2010 there were spikes in grain prices due to the droughts that Russia was facing. And these droughts, argue climate experts, (http://rt.com/business/grain-prices-hike-crisis-464/) are directly linked with man-made climate change… if you so happen to believe in that mumbo jumbo.
And so climate change makes grain a little harder to grow, which makes it more expensive in Russia, which makes it more expensive to already-poor Arab populations, which in turn piles another reason on the camel’s back for people to revolt and create the Arab Spring. To me, that’s just such a clear and apparent chain reaction.
Now maybe the Arab Spring would have happened without the food price pressure. But I’d prefer to err on the side of caution when doing so, correct or wrong, brings a small downside, while not doing so, brings enormous downside risk (in the case of being wrong).
The idea is that time passes in your head relative to how old you are. So, a ten year old experiences a year as 10% of his life (1/10). While a 50 year old experiences one year as just 2% of his life (1/50). The child experiences time 5x slower than the older man.
Take this to our title today and further the calculus, as T. L. Freeman has done, and we arrive at the notion that by age 10 (for the average human life span in Canada), we have lived HALF our experienced life by age 10. I made a google doc to show how this works (though my, albeit, simpler version, shows the midway point at age 11).
So from age 1 to 10, time passes slowly. It feels longer. While after age 10, it passes quickly. It feels shorter. So years 10 to 80 feels the same as your first to tenth birthday.
For every single year that you live, time will seem to slip more and more quickly away. As you become older, time becomes ever more precious because you perceive it to be passing more rapidly.
So… do something with it. Anything. Just don’t sit there, because odds are, if you’re reading this, you are passed the halfway point…
This is taken from Daniel Tammet’s new work “Thinking in Numbers”. Tammet cites the originator of the idea as one American philosopher William James and his 1890 classic, “The Principles of Psychology.”
In Western Academics, it is taught that the ability to verbalize and describe something is indicative of the understanding one has regarding that topic.
If students are given three words and asked to answer what connection the words have, or if there is no connection, an interesting thing will happen. The students will be able to answer with a certain degree of accuracy. But, if in the middle of the exercise, if they are asked whether or not they think they will be able to find the connection between words, they will do so with uncanny accuracy.
So if you think about “water”, “salt” and “fish”, you will feel that they are connected. After feeling that they are connected, then you will say “sea” or “ocean”.
The point is that there is a great degree of merit in a naturalistic knowledge that is more basal for humans than is sometimes understood in Western understanding. With many more neurons in the brain involved in subconscious cognition, not to mention the millions located in the gut, it seems we’re smarter than we think, when we think, we are.
Also, if anyone can remember where this study was done, please comment! Thanks.
It’s 1957 in the highlands of New Guinea. A woman’s husband has just died. She is grief stricken as any wife would be. She is now a widow. She calls on her brothers (or her next closest male kin). She insists that they must do what is proper in her culture. And it is not because the rest of the village forces her. It is because for generations she has seen all new widows take these ritual actions.
It’s 1279 in the great Song empire of China. Unfortunately, the empire is falling. It’s disgraceful end requires an act of valour by its leader. He must take his own life. He likely knows this and I would further argue that he would have wanted to do this rather than live in, what he may have deemed, disgrace.
The widow makes her closest male kin strangle her to death.
The emperor takes his own life. He is 8 years old. 800 members of his clan do the same with him.
It is the power of culture. It is the power that a grouping of humans can have over the wants, motivations and actions of its individuals no matter how little or great, or, positive or negative, those effects have from a evolutionary perspective or ability to further their genes in subsequent generations. What other people think is exceedingly powerful.