Saturday, December 20, 2008

The exponential rate of technological growth

Sometimes its easy to miss the degree to which our cultural and technological environment is changing when we are participating in it on a day to day basis. I recently ran across a video from NOAA that brings the degree of some of these changes home.

This is a video of all air traffic around the world in a 24 hour period. Really makes an impression.

A friend of mine had an interesting comment about it: "There is an odd thought I sometimes have that some of our problems are due to our evolutionary and cultural heritage in small groups and villages, and a simple inability to comprehend the scale and simultaneity of the modern world. we can intellectually manipulate information on large scale issues, but we don't really comprend things at a gut level. little videos like this seem to make the scale more real, at least for me."

All i can say is that it makes the scale of human endeavor a little more real for me as well.

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