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-emanresUesoohC- t1_ja1tff5 wrote

It’s crazy that of all times to be born, we were born at the cusp of this transformation. What are the chances?


Puzzleheaded_Pop_743 t1_ja4bwih wrote

Since the population is at an all time high if you look at the subset of all of human history divided into centuries then the 1923-2023 century is the most likely.


Zer0D0wn83 t1_ja2qzfa wrote

The same chance as being born at any other time in history


3_Thumbs_Up t1_ja31x94 wrote

If you are equally likely to be any one human throughout history, then you're most likely to be born in the time period that supports the most humans.


EndTimer t1_ja3q78e wrote

This doesn't seem to add up to me.

First, the future doesn't appear to be set in stone, and treating statistics like it's a spawn chance against every slot that might exist doesn't work. There may be a quadrillion people in 5000 years, or there may be zero. You can't roll dice against schroedinger's humans, at least not with this kind of intuitive math.

Second, demographers estimate 109 billion people have lived and died in the past 192,000 years. While you have a higher chance of being born in this period over any singular, specific period prior, the vast majority of human lives exist in the bulk who are already gone.

Put another way, there's more people than ever right now, but if you had even odds of being born at any time in human history up till now, there's a 92.7% chance you'd already be dead in 2023.


Zer0D0wn83 t1_ja3yg2s wrote

And for 92.7% of all the people who ever lived, that's what happened.


dmit0820 t1_ja6yy93 wrote

The only thing worrying about that is that the time period that supports the most humans isn't in the future, when we expand into the stars.


-emanresUesoohC- t1_ja3vipc wrote

Lol. Touché. I’m not a statistician but if there’s been 120 billion or so humans up to this point across history, then is it more likely to have been born in the past?


Zer0D0wn83 t1_ja3y1gu wrote

Well no, it doesn't work like that. There may be hundreds of trillions of humans born in the future, in which case you could say isn't it more likely you would be born then. You were born when you were born, there is no special significance to the time - it just had to happen at some point to be able to have this conversation.


Throwaway81094 t1_ja3lm98 wrote

I've wondered the same. How is it that we got to see this? Amazing that fate put us here.


Tall-Junket5151 t1_ja3whf8 wrote

Well the last 200 years or so have been incredibly transformative so I’m sure people living in that time thought the same. But yea, it’s crazy to think that most of humanity has lived such static and primitive lives, someone alive in the 1300s lived mostly the same type of live style that someone in the 300s did, same with 1000s years before that. Maybe some minor changes like bronze vs iron (which was major to them) but they still built the same type of tools. Reality was so static.

Imagine bringing someone from 1000 years ago into the modern world, it would be so alien to them that it would be like dropping us into a highly advanced alien civilization or post singularity earth. Maybe even more extreme because we understand that it is a possibility, for someone from 1000s years ago they never even imagined it to be such a possibility for the modern world to exist since things did not change that extremely from 1000 years before.


SeaBearsFoam t1_ja6bfrd wrote

I just imagined two cavemen, learning to reliably make fire, saying the same thing to each other.


UnionPacifik OP t1_ja3yd2m wrote

I think about this all the time. I was born in 1979 so my life has been defined by computers/the Information Age/the Internet/Social Media and that perspective- knowing my generation is the last to remember a world before the Internet, but also the first generation to be a digital native (we had computers in the house when I was five), I can’t help but see the exponential change, not just in our tech, but in how it’s transforming our society.

And while maybe in retrospect, connecting a species that for most of its history moved in groups of a hundreds to every single other person on the planet (more or less now) might not have been the wisest idea in terms of preserving our local cultures and communities, we’re sorting it out.