Mon Jan 04 21
Should it be that years are sequential? Perhaps the laziest, and in some sense most efficient system of numbers is the incremental arabic numerals we're all familiar with. What, then, do we do when we approach another species with our idea of a year number? Which planet counted the passage of time correctly? Indeed we already have this on the planet earth in a primitive sense with the societal customs of "calendars". As a staunch buddhist I welcome you next month to the year 5132. It's also not practical to talk in terms of years when we speak about the age of the dinosaurs (what does 4.5 million years even look like anyway? What's 4.5 million years ago in March?)
It's much more practical for all intents and purposes to count years as any good database would - with a universal system that's irrespective of planet or culture. I welcome you then to the year <9d1873df-9181-478b-a413-7045ffcd8f3e> Happy new year! This Guid was generated at my Mac Address UTC 1PM. It now represents the next 365 day period. This system is as good as any other, and as we move on to the next computer-human species hybrid it's a much more practical way to map time periods. Especially since our eternal machine celebration will have to deal with year numbers far in excess of 10 or so billion. Having an integer representation just won't cut it for proper indexing and cataloguing.
Another way we could deal with passage of time is by doing a version of Earth. If we consider the molten rock ball to be pre-alpha, and the Cambrian explosion to be beta-testing of life. Then surely dinosaurs were on the version 1 series, the brief period of avian dominance would be version 2, mammals version 3. With us as a mammalian offshoot of monkey, we're still in version three, but we have periods of evolution. So version 3.1 would be intelligence, 3.2 endless tribal society, 3.3 tools and basic agriculture, 3.4 advanced civilisation (i.e. the start of the Meso + Egyptian societies). There's not that much difference between Egyptians and us except for tech advancement and philosophical development. We get into a problem though as societies all advaced at their own pace, so we need a letter signifier to demarcate general areas. So we get to 3.4.1eg as Egypt, 3.4.1ch as ancient China, 3.4.1am as ancient America, 3.4.1ru as ancient Russia etc. Here we are making a statement that the civilisation had a cooking pot, and then was developed from there. In this system, all of Australia, Canada and America are counted in the "me" version counter since its people philosophically and culturally descended from the mediterranean/european continent. Yes, this includes English society due to early Roman conquest. Counting up Western Civilization (since I'm most familiar with it) 3.4.1me (mediterranean) would be the Greek city states, 3.4.2me would be the Roman empire, 3.4.3me would be the dark ages, 3.4.4me as the age of kings and queens, 3.4.5me as the rennaisance and apex of the vatican's power, 3.4.6me the enlightenment, 3.4.7me empires and global exploration.
We're currently up to "the modern period" which started a good 400 or so years ago. The main difference between us and the people of that period is innovation level. Society advanced exceptionally quickly over the next period, and so the next version set is demarcated by tech level. - 3.4.7me.1 we still had wooden boats and leeches - 3.4.7me.2 we had basic steam engines - 3.4.7me.3 we had vaccines, guns, scientific method, trains - 3.4.7me.4 we had production lines, automobiles, rudimentary flight, the Charleston - 3.4.7me.5 basic jet engines, nuclear weapons, cars - 3.4.7me.6 population explosion, modernization, indoor plumbing and widely distributed electricity - 3.4.7me.7 mainframes, spaceflight, plastic
Other than "it's faster and smaller" there's not much difference between the mainframes of 50 years ago and your tablet. So what's the next demarcation? It must have to be arbitrary period of time. For that we can use a traditional 365 revolutions of Earth and say that 3.4.7me.7 is about 50 periods ago.
Welcome then to Earth's incremental patch 3.4.7me.7.51! Some patch notes
- Donald Trump is no longer president
- Measures have been taken against the "Coronavirus" glitch, the patch is currently being deployed across societies, we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused to everyone.
- Total US Mortality was roughly 300k higher than usual last patch
- The feature "Peace in the Middle East" is still in test
- Linux is still a sub optimal desktop experience.
- Brexit has hit production!