Monday, January 21, 2013

Viral Video

Joe Bush's viral video about the history of the world in 2 minutes is interesting. This kid is 19.  He did this for a highschool project.  He is exactly the sort of kid that some firm such as Google, BGI, or whatever, should say "Screw college.  Come work for us."

The time compresses insanely as he moves forward - so would we all in his shoes - and it is interesting the relative importance he attaches to WWII and the 1960's.  That 9-11 and Obama's election are big seems automatic for a teenager, and I don't attach importance to that.  But those of us over 40 should note that this is clearly a highly perceptive young man who has absorbed what adults have told him is important and fed it back.  This is a State Of The World report from the near-future.  This is the picture of reality that is passing forward to the next generation.

The progression seems to be First, physics was important, then biology. Then physical anthropology, then Renaissance history, social history, then technology.

We thought we were passing down particular ideas about Life, and Western Civilisation.  This is what we actually passed down.  Report card?

Update:  The time compression, and our inability to accurately portray long periods of time in our narratives, was a part of the middle essays in my Creationism-Evolution series July 2010. It does affect our understanding.


james said...

Your link needs a little editing; it has a blogger prefix.

I suppose you have to de-weight the emphasis on WWII and 60's stuff--there was just so much more documentation (and pictures) than from earlier eras. It is hard to resist the temptation to use it.

But yeah, there are important swaths of Western Civ missing, and some of what was included (AIDS) seems less significant that what was left out (smallpox).

Larry Sheldon said... is the link that works.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Fixed. Thanks.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Neat job on the video. But a bit too doomsdayish at the end. Did Al Gore write the script?

Earl Wajenberg said...

Such a project almost has to be a "perspective study" in which closer objects look nearer, and then, given the brevity, you have to pick your objects. I mean, did you want to spend most of the film looking at stars, and most of the rest looking at single-celled organisms?

I like how his Renaissance art was full of religious themes, thus thriftily combining Renaissance with Christianity and late Antiquity.

The doomsdayish bit looked at least as astronomical as environmental to me. Maybe just a memento mori?

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Earl - Good point about the perspective study. If the video's photo subjects were presented in proportion to geologic time, and you blinked, you'd likely miss all of mankind.

Anonymous said...

He just blew right past the Middle Ages! Then, after lingering way too long on the Sixties (which I lived through and which weren't one-tenth as cool as so many of my contemporaries thought they were, but rather were cruel, abusive, and chaotic), he showed what I presume to be the destruction of Earth either by atomic energy or some other human agency.

Talented kid. Too bad he had such a horrible education.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

elc, it may comfort you to know that the link was sent to me by my quite anti-conservative uncle who lives in San Luis Obispo. The others on the mass mailing are mostly liberal, including retired professors. I made comments to similar effect as those here, and a few looked again and were...disquieted.

Too late to change minds with most of them, but I remain hopeful that others, wiser and more persuasive than I, will be able to get a larger audience to look objectively at the current world.

I have believed for years that all it takes is that first step back in objectivity. Smart people do very well on their own after that. But the first step seems indeed to be very expensive.

Sam L. said...

Leaves out Roman Empire? Middle Ages? Or did it just beat my eyes? Killings by the millions by Communists, too, without which the Berlin Wall makes no sense.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Sam L - true, and significant. I think there is stock footage out of the USSR, less from China, but not as much as of Nazi Germany.

marie said...

The evolution of man is off. Africans did not come after Caucasians they came before. First human life was in Africa. First humans were black people, not as portrayed in the film.

Clearly the teacher did not edit or critique this film or he or she was ignorant.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Africa was in there at the beginning of man section. First.

I think you are looking for an argument.