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The Long View from 0 HE to 22,017 HE

Science informs us that the universe is 13.75 billions years old and that the earth and our solar system were formed 4.54 billion years ago. Homo sapiens have been found in Africa dating back 200,000 years, but it was not until the Neolithic Revolution, which started in 10,000 BCE, that Homo sapiens began to transition from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering into one of agriculture and settlement, thus ushering in the beginning of civilizations.

About 12,000 years ago humans started “building a world of our own,” and scientist Cesare Emiliani thinks it would be helpful to view our past from that point forward, adopting a Holocene Calendar starting at 0 HE, to reframe our history as a species and how we think about ourselves. That would help us “take the long view, to imagine what our civilization will be like in the next 10,000 years – in 22,017 of the Human Era?

Most of us have difficulty getting our head beyond the next four years, but it is helpful now to take a long view!

This video quickly reviews A New History for Humanity – from 0 HE (12,000 BCE) to the present 12,017 HE.

The Long Now Foundation was established to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. “We hope to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.” In addition to their clock and library projects, they have monthly Seminars “to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking; to help nudge civilization toward our goal of making long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare.”

Jonathan Rose is author of The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life. Rose was interviewed by Stewart Brand (of Whole Earth Catalogue fame) on September 20, 12016, and Rose concluded that cities are systems and “when a system is optimized, then all of its components do well. Cities that focus on the optimization of the whole for everybody are the ones that thrive the best.”

“Modern cities need to create their own “circular economy,” Rose stressed, not just of services and goods, but of greener waste treatment, of water recycling, of food creation (such as “vertical gardens”,) and especially of what he called “communities of opportunity”—where low-income groups such as immigrants get a chance to create prosperity for themselves and the city.”

“Cities and urban regions can make coherent sense, can metabolize efficiently, can use their very complexity to solve problems, and can become so resilient they “bounce forward” when stressed.”

“In this urbanizing century ever more of us live in cities (a majority now; 80% expected by 2100), and cities all over the world are learning from each other how pragmatic governance can work best. Jonathan Rose argues that the emerging best methods focus on deftly managing “Cognition, Cooperation, Culture, Calories, Connectivity, Commerce, Control, Complexity, and Concentration” – the nine C’s.

What will Redding CA be like in 22,017 HE? Can we even imagine what it will be like in 10 years in 12,027 HE? How do the nine C’s apply to Redding?

Happy 12,017!