Step back

Tim Urban’s Wait But Why is so good. Each post takes an hour to really digest, and they’re entirely worth it. Here’s one on Elon Musk, SpaceX, and the future of humanity:

Not only might we be on the cusp of the great leap of life becoming multi-planetary, we may be on the cusp of a bunch of other great leaps as well.

There are other signs pointing to this being an extraordinarily unusual time to be alive:

For 99.8% of human history, the world population was under 1 billion people. In the last .2% of that history, it has crossed the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 billion marks.

Up until 25 years ago, there had never been such a thing as a global brain of godlike information access and connectivity on this planet. Today we have the internet.

After barely using any energy for the first 99,800 years of human history, in the last 200 we’ve suddenly thrust ourselves into the Fossil Fuels Era, blowing through a huge chunk of stored underground carbon energy, without fully understanding the implications of doing so.

Humans walked around or rode horses for 999 of the last 1,000 centuries. In this century, we drive cars, fly planes, and land on the moon.

If extra-terrestrial life were looking for other life in the universe, it would be dramatically easier to find us this century than in any century before, as we project millions of signals out into space.

With an average of one mass extinction event every 100 million years since animals have been around, we may be currently engineering a sixth one by accident.

If we take a step back and just look at the situation, it should be clear that nothing that’s happening right now is normal.