Timing History

History is divided into ages each of which is either twice as long or half as long as its predecessor. These ages exist in objective reality. Ages are twice as long if history declines, and half as long if history advances from the previous age.

What does it mean for history to "decline" or "advance"?

Our current age began near the start of 1993 and will run until the early part of 2021.

Here is a list of historic ages starting from the present and moving back:
 Started-Ended  Age Name      Advance or Decline
 -------------  ----------------------------------
 1993-2021                    we are now learning how to use computers and networks
 1937-1993      computer:     Computer developed, basic networks
 1825-1937      industry:     Industry developed
 1601-1825      political:    Political development in Europe, Japan, North America, and South America. 
 1152-1601      intellectual: European Enlightenment, science developed (huh? 18th century folks called the 18th century the "age of enlightenment". Does someone mean "renaissance" here?)
                This should probably be rerelabelled 'science developed, intellectual development in Europe and Japan'
 255-1152CE     measurement:  European Dark Age, Islamic Golden Age, Vedic science invents the zero
           decline probably caused by failure to invent the zero
 195BC-255CE                  Chinese knowledge canonized
           decline resulting from the failure of Chinese, Greek, Persian and Roman imperial political systems
 419-195BC                    Imperial system of Republican Rome developed
 868-419                      Philosophy developed in India, China, and Greece
 1765-868                     Invasions and wars, alphabet developed
 3559-1765      urban:        Cities and buildings developed
 7148-3559      agricultural: Agriculture developed
 14K-7148       extinction:   Most non-African megafauna become extinct
 29K-14KBC                    Neanderthals and all other non-current humans exterminated
 57K-29K        technology:   Technology developed (boats, ropes etc.)
 115K-57K       tribal:       Ability of humans to form tribes evolves
 230K-115K                    Last previous ice age
 459K-230K      language:     Language Develops
 919K-459K      old stone:    Stone Tools developed
 1.8M-919K      family:       Families Evolve
 3.7M-1.8MBC    big brain:    Brains Enlarge
 7.3M-3.7M      hominid:      Hominids Evolve
 15M-7.3M       ape:          Apes Evolve
 29M-14M        monkey:       Monkeys Evolve
 59M-29M        primate:      Primates Evolve (Lemurs)
 118M-59M       flower:       Dinosaurs become extinct, Flowers evolve
 235M-117M      dinosaur:     Dinosaurs dominant
 470M-235M      land:         Land Animals Evolve
 941M-470M      animal:       Multicellular Animals
 1881M-941M     oxygen:       Conversion to the Oxygen Regime
 3763M-1881M    life:         Origin of Life
 7526M-3763M    earth:        Origin of the Solar System
 15100M-7526MBC universe:     Origin of the Universe

Dividing history into eras or ages is arbitrary, subjective and dangerous. The above list seems to be written from a particular European perspective, and even among European histories I've never seen the Enlightenment end that early. Remember that the world outside Europe had entirely different "ages". After the Roman Empire transformed into the Roman Catholic Church and the "dark ages" started, the Islamic Empire flourished and expanded. Vedic science is not mentioned above. <OK, now it is>

The timing for Europe is completely off. The dark ages ended before 1152, and the Enlightenment didn't start until well after the Rennaissance. I agree completely that these eras don't have any correspondence with other areas, beyond that caused by expansionism and imperialism, and saying they exist in objective reality is exceedingly strange. And how could failure to invent a numerical system destroy an entire social and economic structure that had done fine for centuries without it?

Japan's development tracked European development rather closely.

Also, the list above gives the idea that primates evolved, then monkeys evolved, then apes evolved, as if they were all scheduling their evolution with each other. The truth is that organisms co-evolve. The common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees wasn't a chimpanzee. It was something that no longer exists.

It was an ape, though. Likewise apes did evolve from monkeys, just not any of the monkeys around today.

[According to DNA analysis bonobo chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to common chimpanzees. This means that both kinds have a common ancestor which would likely have been classified as a chimpanzee also. Since humans are also descended from this same common ancestor (though a later branching with proto-bonobo chimpanzees), then humans probably are descended from chimpanzees. Perhaps they should all be placed together in the sapiens Genus: homo sapiens, bonobo sapiens, pan sapiens.]

(see CladisticVsLinnaeanTaxonomy)

To the extent that this analysis is wrong it is dangerous. To the extent that this analysis is right, it is useful. It is dangerous because our understanding of history affects our actions in the present. It is also useful for this same reason.

moved to TimingTheFuture:

It would be interesting to compare the number of Homo Sapiens that have ever lived with the number alive today 1B was reached only in 1800, in the 60s population was only 3B now it is over 6B projected to be 8B by 2025. Does that mean more significant historical events are happening now based on events/humans living? At what point did (will) number of humans alive exceed previous cumulative amount (not including ones living)? See http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/wp98001.html. 'Ages' also are not usually recognized by people in them - the 'Art Deco' movement was not labelled as such till the 60s even though it flourished in the 20s-30s. World War 1 was known as "the Great War" while it was happening. Da Vinci probably had no idea he was living in "The Renaissance"

The Renaissance was generally recognized by people living at the time, though I don't know about Leo. Indeed, the discontinuity with the Middle Ages wasn't nearly as significant as they thought, and were it not for them we might not ascribe so much significance to the period.
TimingHistory also reminds me of the problem of dealing with CallDetailRecords? (CDR) in telecom during DaylightSavingsTime? (DST) cutovers (especially with multiple switches in multiple TimeZones some of which don't have the same policy ie not all Canadian provinces are the same). The date/time and duration fields can get calculated wrong if switches, mediation and billing servers are not synchronized and provisioned with the appropriate logic leading to over or underbilling issues for customers. Ie a call started at 1:30AM local time just before cutover and finishing at 2:30AM (the actual customer may be 5 hours ahead so to them it is 7:30AM quite probable) and the clocks move forward the potential is that the CDR could record an EndTime? of 3:30AM because of faulty TimingHistory. If the CDR has a DST flag then 3:30 may be ok if not 2:30 may be better.

History as defined by historians comes only from written information that they can cite. Everything that isn't written or yet decipherable is in the realm of archaeology. Example: the Phoenecians had extensive trade networks throughout the Mediterranean Sea, but had no written language. Thus all their information comes from archaeology and later historians, starting perhaps with Heroditus. Their culture remains PreHistoric. -- ChrisGarrod

The Phoenicians had a written language, and in fact invented the first alphabetic script, though few records of it remain. There are contemporary references to them in works like the Iliad and Bible. And, actually, there were still plenty of Phoenicians around when Herodotus was writing, just not politically independent Phoenician cities. They are very much a historical culture. But the gulf between history and archaeology is much smaller than you seem to indicate, since both draw off of each other constantly, even for periods like the Middle Ages.

moved to TimingTheFuture:

The pattern above can be carried into the future assuming that historic ages continue to advance, whatever that means:

 Started-Ended  Age Name (from above)   Age-Pattern Description
 -------------  ----------------------  ----------------------------------------
  WarpDrive mastered
  LifeOnOtherPlanets contacted
 8/2048-10/2048                         distribution age of micro cybernetic development sequence
 3/2048-8/2048                          material     age of micro cybernetic development sequence
 4/2047-3/2048                          organization age of micro cybernetic development sequence
 7/2045-4/2047                          beginning    age of micro cybernetic development sequence
 1/2042-7/2045                          distribution age of macro cybernetic development sequence
 2035-2042                              material     age of macro cybernetic development sequence
 2021-2035                              organization age of macro cybernetic development sequence
 1993-2021      <unnamed>               beginning    age of macro cybernetic development sequence
 1937-1993      computer age:           distribution age of micro cultural development sequence
 1825-1937      industry age:           material     age of micro cultural development sequence
 1601-1825      political age:          organization age of micro cultural development sequence
 1152-1601      intellectual age:       beginning    age of micro cultural development sequence
 255-1152CE     measurement age:        distribution age of macro cultural development sequence
   time period during which there are two advances followed by two declines
 3559-1765BCE   urban age:              material     age of macro cultural development sequence
 7148-3559      agricultural age:       organization age of macro cultural development sequence
 14K-7148       extinction hunting age: beginning    age of macro cultural development sequence
 29K-14KBC      <unnamed>               distribution age of micro human species evolution sequence
 57K-29K        technology age:         material     age of micro human species evolution sequence
 115K-57K       tribal age:             organization age of micro human species evolution sequence
 230K-115K      <unnamed>               beginning    age of micro human species evolution sequence
 459K-230K      language age:           distribution age of macro human species evolution sequence
 919K-459K      old stone age:          material     age of macro human species evolution sequence
 1.8M-919K      family age:             organization age of macro human species evolution sequence
 3.7M-1.8MBC    big brain age:          beginning    age of macro human species evolution sequence
 7.3M-3.7M      hominid age:            distribution age of micro animal evolution sequence
 15M-7.3M       ape age:                material     age of micro animal evolution sequence

By macro, what is meant is that the gross features or existence of something is being developed, for example larger brains. By micro what is meant is that the subtle architecture of something is being developed for example how the brain is organized in a human alive today.

StarTrek is an alternate universe rather than a possible future of ours. The genetic wars of the 1990's clearly disrupt civilization so badly that we decline into another material age where fossil fuels are used up and Warp Drive is invented. Civilization then declines once again as interaction with other intelligent species is too much to handle for our political systems and we need to have another organizational age to rebuild our political structures. The first series takes place during this period. The next generation series takes place during the following advancement period. None of them experiences an age like we are going through now.

My extrapolation above assumes the essence of StarTrek, StarWars etc, not an exact duplication. Jules Verne imagined A Trip to the Moon we went there but not fired from a cannon. Circumnavagation of the globe was achieved by aircraft first not balloons like Around the World in Eighty Days although Bertrand Piccard finally did it the Orbiter III in just 19 days. Someone said "ScienceFiction is the first draft of the future" we can imagine possible worlds long before we have the ability to participate in them. Obviously there were no genetic wars in the 90s so it won't happen exactly the same but it is likely if human civilization survives to expand beyond the solar system they will encounter LifeOnOtherPlanets, a quasi-federation will be formed if one does not exist out there like in StarTrek, and as more civilizations are encountered conflict, power struggles and their resolution will dominate as in StarWars not unlike WWI and II when technology allowed many nations to simultaneously move men and materials and communicate rapidly on a global basis. Other possible futures are: an asteroid takes us out or (god forbid) we take ourselves out by nuclear holocast; Also a OneWorldGovernment? (1984/BraveNewWorld) could emerge and stifle progress, or machines take over like in TheMatrix but being an optimist the projection above is hopefully a best case scenario. If such a thing as a GalacticWiki does evolve that would be amazing for millions of civilizations to share and argue ideas in real 'time' (whatever that is since physicists say simultaneity does not exist), and discuss how this galaxy will reach out to Andromeda (which by the way will collide with us in a few billion years according to a display at the Haydn Planetarium), the Local Supercluster and the billions of galaxies beyond. For serious analysis of galactic colonization possibilities see "Interstellar Strategies for Interstellar Colonization" http://hanson.gmu.edu/filluniv.pdf and "The ETH and the likelihood of Interstellar Travel" http://www.nicap.dabsol.co.uk/eth.htm. By the way happy 100th anniversary of the Wright's first flight (Dec 17, 2003)

Some (absurdly) think the Brazilian Santos-Dumont beat the Wrights to it in (see http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/12/10/brazil.santosdumont.reut/index.html) the late 1800s. "He would keep his dirigible tied to a gas lamp post in front of his Paris apartment at the Champs-Elysees and every night he would fly to Maxim's for dinner. During the day he'd fly to go shopping, he'd fly to visit friends."

See also HumanPopulationStabilizes, TimeTravel

EditText of this page (last edited February 25, 2012) or FindPage with title or text search