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August 11th, 2008

And Now…A Wee Moment Of Species Pride…

I’m copying the following from Brad DeLong’s blog comments in their entirety.  Some days you read the news and you just want to write off the human race altogether.  When those moments hit you, it’s good to be able to keep things in perspective…

Hoisted from Comments: The Dawn of Humanity

Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal: The Dawn of Humanity: What astonishes me is the speed. They’ve got the origin date at -56,000, and the oldest modern human remains in Australia are -40,000. The route from East Africa across Asia to Northern Australia is 10K+ miles, which means humans were expanding at close to a mile a year. That’s just unbelievably fast.

We have all sorts of branches of homo surviving stably for a million plus years all over africa, asia, and europe, and this new branch comes out of Africa and by the end of the Great Migration, only a little over ten thousand years later, they are building boats to sail to Australia. And wiping out or out-competing every one of our homo sibling species on the way.

The Singularity is truly in our past.

Posted by: tavella | January 23, 2007 at 05:15 PM

Here’s a link, in case you’re wondering about that reference to "The Singularity".  It was coined mostly to refer to advances in machine intelligence, but others have co-opted the term to refer to where the acceleration of change reaches a point where humanity itself simply becomes unrecognizable from anything we once were.  Those ancient branches of the humanoid family tree, long gone now, would certainly never comprehend us now, but they probably didn’t back when we first emerged, and they first laid eyes on us.

We can do this…we can survive.  We can endure.  We can find our way to the stars.  Maybe it’ll take another ten thousand years.  But we’ll do it.  And in another 56 thousand years they’ll be looking back in amazement at how quickly we did it…

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