News Summation in Anticipation of 2010

On January 1st 2000, the world did not end, because programmers wisely changed 99 to 1999 or 100 to 00. Doomsday was avoided. The apocalypse has of course been avoided several times in history. Just look at Nostradamus’ faulty predictions, the constant failings of Jehova’s Witnesses or the thousands of other predictions built on nothing but lies and water. Obviously the world will not end in 2012 either. There’s 1 simple reason for this and several more complex. The simple reason is that it is not possible to know the future, because time is a function of space. We can travel in time only by traveling in space and the only predictions we can make are predictions about the future based on past events. Like, I saw that ball roll towards me, I can expect it to continue rolling towards me in the future until friction stops it. That’s pretty far from watching the future happen in a crystal ball.

So, what did happen in the past? Before we get to 2000-2009, let’s recap. Some billion years ago a star formed a plasma of hydrogen and helium, producing heavier atoms, like iron, nitrogen, gold, silicon and stuff going supernova and boom the atoms spread into space, reforming into balls thanks to gravity and 9 balls went into orbit around our sun. On the iron ball called earth, there was lots of silicon compounds, like earth, dust, sands, rocks, minerals, mountains et cetera and a lot of other stuff. Life formed when strings of molecules reacted and eventually became cells. These first cells were single-cell organisms, organic meaning they mostly consisted of carbon and hydrogen. For a few billion years these cells breathed in carbon-dioxide  and breathed out oxygen, using photosynthesis, if I recall correctly. Dunno what they were up to to be honest. Anyway, the chemical process of copying cells is basically a matter of having a string of molecule and each molecule only attaches to certain other molecules and thus a specific new string is always created and being of a specific series of molecules it can when it breaks free from it’s catalyst only bind to a new specific set of molecules. Chemical reaction allow for anomalies and that leads to mutated cell copies, and voila, we have evolution. The plankton became animals and plants over the next thousands of millions of years and meteories, climate changes and volcanic activity were the only things that threatened the life on earth during all these years as the magnetic field of the solar system and the solar wind, and the magnetic field and atmosphere of the earth protected life from most of the horrors, like radiation, from outer space.

A few million years ago, the ancestors of the 7.5 billion great apes currently living on earth were eating fruits and stuff. 2 million years ago, the ancestors of the 6.8 billion humans on earth, started using hand-held stone tools. Several tens of thousands of years ago we used more fancy tools that helped in agriculture. A few tens of thousands of years ago big cities formed when agriculture was modernized. Trade and economy on a much larger scale occured as not everyone had to work in food production. 5000 years ago, the administrative level of society was sufficient enough to enable kings to rule 3 million people and build pyramids. The mystery of consciousness has been used as a tool for regimes to control the masses since before written language. The fear of death in particular is a very powerful tool. Monotheism grew popular a few thousands years ago, with the Jews in the Middle-East, Jesus protested against Judaism and was crucified. A few hundread years later the Roman Empire adopted Christianity and Luther protested against it a few hundred years ago. The anarchic trend continues today, but in contrast to the growing size of people being ruled over. The leader of a small village of 30 people some 20-30,000 years ago might potentially have been as despotic as Stalin, but the difference in population makes a big difference in impact on the world. Today, we have youtube, despite the superpowers and international corporations.

Nothing new under the sun, is a saying I’ve always liked. It’s as truthful as the idea of news, because they’re the two opposites in the same spectrum, with the exception that news often disregard the temporal context and thus a whole lot of truth. What was in the news 2000-2009? What did humans, evolved from bacteria, find most important? Deaths, wars, politicians, kings, food?

What will be remembered of this year in 50,000 years?

Well, nothing. Even the two “world wars” will be forgotten unless people stop killing other people during the next century, which seems a bit too optimistic. Jesus and Mohammed will be remembered as their effect on society spans over millenia, but the solving of the greenhouse gas problem will be forgotten along with the solving of the ozone layer problem. The problem of the environment will remain as long as humans interact with the surface of the earth and the organisms upon it. Also, anyone reading this during 2010 will be a monkey who will eventually be forgotten.

“What? Are you saying everything will be forgotten, even Obama, the first black president of the USA?”

Well, the Egyptian pharaohs reigned for 3000 years, the US has existed for 200 years, name 15 Egyptian kings.

By the way, sorry that my blog is Western-centric, I grew up in post-protestant Sweden, can’t really help it.

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