Monday, April 30, 2012

Big History--I Mean BIG History

I finished listening to Professor David Christian's Big History course from the Teaching Company (courtesy of ICPL). When he says "big" he means from the Big Bang (now pegged about 13.7 billion years ago) to peering deep into the future (where does this story stop?). This project, and he's now one of many that are pursuing this new line of thinking, is really quite entertaining and fascinating. You may recall that I posted on his TED Talk on the subject, but in this course he gives 48 one-half hour lectures. They are organized around theme of complexity, how from the Big Bang, the simple in the universe has become more complex, entropy notwithstanding. The early science is interesting, but I'm most into the human history, and Christian does a fine job here. Of course, as human society has become more complex, so the story tends to back load. That is, since about 1700, and the oncoming of modernity, change to humanity has come fast and furious (literally furious in some arenas). In fact, one measure of how complex we have become is the density of energy use. Of course, this may prove our downfall, as well. We shall see: the story isn't over yet! If like me, you're in the car and have more than enough news, why not take a trip down memory lane! This was enjoyable and informative. Recommended. (And thank you, ICPL!)

No comments: