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By Lieutenant Breakfast

September 24, 2006

Suppose that an alien comes into orbit around our planet, and requests that a single human come aboard and in less than one hour brief the alien about the human history of planet earth. Here is Human History in a Hurry…

LB would first show the alien his 10 fingers, and explain that this is why we use a 10-based counting system. It is a nice coincidence that the exponential time series 5x10^9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0 works perfectly for the base 10, has 10 elements, and needs each element to be multiplied by 5 to fit the planetary, evolutionary, and post-Darwinian headlines.

To conclude the intro to the briefing, LB would note that mathematical concepts of Approximation and Scaling are embedded in the series, and that so far neither of these concepts can be simulated by Artificial Intelligence. Only the human mind can grok the informational value of approximation and scaling.

With 55 minutes to go, the briefing begins…

5x10^9 (about 5 billion years ago) – a supernova explosion just 1 light year away from the solar nebula sends a massive shockwave into the solar/planetary disc, resulting in a large number of planets (about 10, more at first in unstable orbits). Shortly thereafter one of these protoplanets crashes into the early earth, and like a billiard ball hit on its side, the collision produces a rapidly spinning earth, setting the stage for the evolution of a biphasic (waking and sleeping) system of learning, two time zones ahead.

5x10^8 (about 500 million years ago) – the first fish, our vertebrate ancestors.

5x10^7 (about 50 million years ago) – the first monkeys, beginning the brainbranch of evolution with a prominent cerebral cortex equipped with a biphasic/circadian system with its continuous interaction of learning from the waking state, reorganized during sleep. (LB now gives the alien a copy of the theory of learning, published by the University of Chicago Press, in 1969, when the first humans were landing on the moon. The moon is the result of collision described at 5x10^9.)

5x10^6 (about 5 million years ago) – the first humans, the big brained biped.

5x10^5 (about 500,000 years ago) – the first helpless offspring, for at least 5 years. The pelvic outlet within the hips of the human female can get no bigger, due to biomechanical restrictions for walking and especially for running. For the first time in evolution, there is huge brain growth after birth, inside the cranium of the helpless neonate/infant/toddler.

5x10^4 (about 50,000 years ago) – the first language and the first symbolic thought..

5x10^3 (about 5000 years ago) – the first writing, the first cities, the first top-down/top-dog hierarchies, and the first post-Darwinian dynamics inside cities, inside hierarchies, and from the military activities of permanent armies. (LB uses the example of pyramid building, where the afterlife of the pharoah is more important than the life of the slave who builds the pyramid. This is patently post-Darwinian.)

5x10^2 (starting about 500 years ago) – the first printed books with movable type, the merging of the hemispheres with the Voyages of Discovery, the modern world (Copernicus and Columbus et al).

5x10^1 (starting about 50 years ago) – the first computers for purchase, everything escalates, especially human population and environmental damage.

5x10^0 (the first 5 years of the 21st Century, 2001-2005) – global warring anywhere and global warming everywhere, bookended by 9/11 and Katrina.

With the briefing now completed, LB tells the alien of the converging consensus that the next 10 years (2006-2015) are critical to somehow avoid irreversible damage and even more human suffering, and asks the alien for help




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