Deep Time

The conceptualization of long periods and how they fit into our lives which was originated from studying geological strata.

Realizing that time is longer than we think was problematic in the 18th-19th century–the earth is not ~6,000 years old, there are no artifacts of humans in geological strata that were uncovered during the industrial revolution, even the dinosaurs had to be conceived of.

Darwin once said time is inconceivable, yet articulated evolution as the product of small changes over long stretches. It can be powerful to grasp inconceivable lengths of time.

See also:

  • Doughnut Economic Model

    A visualization of sustainability represented by concentric rings (hence the doughnut). At the center are twelve factors necessary to support life that array outward. The first ring closest to the center is the minimum required for society to function, but as it extends outward it reaches the ‘ecological ceiling’ such as climate change, pollution, etc.

  • Antikythera Mechanism Models the Sun, Moon, and Planets of Ancient Greece

    Antikythera Mechanism is a mechanical model of the positions of celestial bodies. What’s remarkable is the complexity of the device and it’s ability to predict astronomical events—it’s essentially a very old analog computer.

  • Roman Concrete Was Self-Healing

    Roman concrete used thousands of years ago is significantly more durable than modern concrete. One of the key differences is self-healing properties—when Roman concrete cracks, it reacts with water which quickly fills in the crack with calcium carbonate.

  • Thinking Better Thoughts

    I remember when I first started working at Stripe I felt like the dumbest person in the room. I was amazed at how smart everyone seemed and the writing…gosh, the writing! If I wanted to be like that too, something needed to change.