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Its the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine Daniel Gilbert TEDxAcademy
Thank you for being here. In 1896, the London Society for the Preventionof Premature Burial was formed. It was formed specificallyquot;to prevent premature burial in general,quot; but specifically among the members. In 19thcentury London, physiciansdidn't always have the technology to distinguish between peoplewho were nearly dead and people who were very dead.
As a result, premature burialwas a problem, but it wasn't a big problem. In fact, the odds of being buried alivein London in 1896 were roughly the same as the oddsof being buried alive in Athens in 2014, which is to say roughly zero. Yet, this didn't stop Londonersfrom worrying about it. They wrote editorials,they formed societies, they lobbied their legislators
to pass extremely expensive legislation to prevent the horrorof premature burial. It's just thatit basically never happened. Why is it that we sometimes treatlittle threats as if they're big, and big threats as if they're very smallé That's the question I wantto answer for you today, and the answer really is quite simple. The human brain is nota general allpurpose computer
that rationally determineshow it should respond to threats by assessing the probabilitythey will occur and the magnitude of their consequences. The human brainis a very specialized machine, a computer that was evolvedto solve a very special set of problems, that were problemsfor a very small number of hunters gathererswho were living on the plains of Africa 200,000 years ago.
When the threats that face uslook like the threats that faced our ancestors,we respond swiftly with great force,with great resolve. When they don't,we find it very hard to care. Take two examples.Two threats that face us today. Terrorism and global warming. Terrorism is a threat.It's a very real threat. It threatens the fabricof a peaceful civil society.
It threatens our peace of mind,and it threatens human life. Sometimes dozens of people,sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands. What it does not doby any stretch of the imagination, is threaten all life on Earth. Global warming does exactly that. And yet we will spendbillions of dollars this year, preventing the premature burial of terrorism. And we will not even be able to getthe industrialized nations of the Earth
Is It The End Of The World As We Know It Talk Nerdy To Me Ep 2
Hi, I'm Kara Price, and this is Talk Nerdy To Me the HuffPost science show,in which we boldly go where scientists have gone before. You may or may not thinkabout this on a daily basis, I certainly don't, but the Earth is extremely old. Like, 4.5 billion years old.
Think about how manyLaw Order: SVU reruns you could watch in that time. Probably not all of them. (Law Order them plays) To keep track of this long history, scientists created what theycall a geological time scale. This is like a Facebook wall for stuff that has happenedin the history of the Earth.
Within this scale we have eons, eras, periods, epochs, and tupacs. No I'm kidding, we have just epochs. Our current epoch is namedafter a Bon Iver song, the Holocene Epoch. The Holocene Epoch startedaround 11,700 years ago as the Earth exited the ice age and began a period of warming.
You may have realized that since then, there has been an explosionof human activity. I don't just mean that wemerely inhabit the Earth, but have been adding on to it with the good, the bad, and the criminally insane. With this in mind, manyscientists are proposing
that a new epoch has begun, and they call it the Anthropocene. So the Anthropocenerepresents a chapter heading. It gives us a way to label the human influence on the planet. This is a chapter break, this is a time whenthe natural system ends and the increasinginfluence of human activity
continues and amplifies into the future. How do we know we'veentered the new epoché What are the telltalesigns of the Anthropoceneé Just think about pollution. Just think about our nuclear bomb tests from the late 40s until the 70s. Those released radioactiveelements into the environment and those are circulating inthe atmosphere and the oceans