If you live to 80 and devote your adult life from 20 onwards to meeting people, if you meet 10,000 people, you can devote about 50 hours to each of them -- a little over two days. That's sleeping or waking, working or resting.
The US House of Representatives has 435 members (add the hundred senators -- and 3 DC electors -- to get the famous 538 electoral college votes), each representing something like 720,000 citizens. Given a 2 year term, this means that each representative can devote a net total of ... just under 90 seconds per constituent.
If you wanted to dedicate your adult life to meeting everyone currently alive on Earth, 7.3 billions, you can dedicate just over a quarter second to each.
At the same time, in every second, there are 215 years of human experience lived, 14,000 years per minute, 830,000 years per hour, and 20 million years per day. Rounding somewhat.
How much of that experience can be distinct and individual, how much is shared? What are the consequences of forced attention, as with advertising, or with forced isolation?
How much can we know, and pass on, culturally? Is there a net effective intergenerational knowledge transfer bandwidth limit, and how close to that (or exceeding it) are we? How is that shared between culture, personal, technical, and poetic knowledge?
Yes, there is. I came to realize about this when my nephew born and started to grow. You need to teach him everything, literally. And there are so many things...
Add the District of Columbia's 3 electors to get the even more famous 538 votes.
If you think about it, people aren’t all that unique. Most people share the same personality, same hobbies, same interests and problems in life. Most of the things in life we think apply to us (for example navigating romantic relationships) are just common patterns that are repeated over and over again with millions of people. In fact we’re all a lot less special than we think we are.
Statistics is fun, isn't it?
If you're looking at a system in which elements require some amount of mutual interaction on some regular basis, this sets your maximum grouping size. To scale up you need clusters of groups (or, sufficiently large, supergroups, etc.) to be able to function. This acts similarly to Amdahl's law.
Or, if you are dealing with a system of some size and want it to spontaneously decompose to smaller units, change its ability (or requirements for) 1:1 exchange. Mass media accomplished this in reverse, enabling mass-scale coordination and culture.
We are all unique. There are no degrees to that, there's just a lack of resolution, and abstraction and simplification.
> dedicate your adult life to meeting everyone currently alive on Earth, 7.3 billions, you can dedicate just over a quarter second to each.
How many people you haven't meet would be alive when you are done?
Edit: based on current rate there would be about 7,884,000,000 people born in those 60 years.
I've played with the concept a few different ways, some variants:
* Count only your waking, working hours -- roughly 1/3 of your life.
* Take a lifespan and divide it either by people met, or time per person, to find the other.
* Dunbar's Number, 150, divided over 60 years, works out to 146 days per person. If we look at a more historically accurate lifespan of 40 years, that's closer to 100 days experience per person, in a pre-modern tribe or village.
* You can look at training or education and life -- how many effective careers can a person have if they must undergo a college-equivalent retraining between each? A working life of 40 years divided by 4 years gives an upper bound of 10 retrainings. Either we have fewer retrainings, or shorter ones, or both, if we need greater flexibility.
* The power of combined communications, and their limitations. Conversations are two-way, and rarely scale beyond 4-5 participants. Broadcast messaging, starting with lectures, are efficient, but at the cost of interactivity and accomodation betweeen speaker(s) and listener(s).
* The multiplicative power of mass media. The same message reaching hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of souls. Most of the most highly-repeated messages are propaganda, in the original or contemporary sense, or both.
* Time vs. repetition. Some messages become widely spread, but briefly (say, Gangnam Style, played over 2 billion times). Some have been part of cultural lore for tens of thousands of years, see Idres Shah's collection World Tales for numerous examples. What does it mean for a narrative to be truly embedded in a culture, or multiple cultures?
Another element is looking at the different dynamics of information poor vs. information rich environments. I'm starting to think that a healthy function in one is pathological in the other, and vice versa. This doesn't seem widely recognised.
So if you lived over 2 years old you were probably likely to live to be a lot older than 40.
I’ll try and find a source, but at the moment I can’t remember where I read this.
This makes me think that much of longevity is based both on establishing a good start (nutrition, health, and conditions during gestation, infancy, and childhood), and then generally on avoiding accidents, risks, and mishaps (exposure to disease, violence, injury) afterwards. Modern epidemiological and public health records somewhat bear this out, as a New York City Department of Public Health graph, "The Conquest of Pestilence", showing decreased mortality 1800 - 2000 (or 2015, in some versions) makes clear:
What's most interesting is how little impact "modern medicine" -- all increases since 1920 -- has provided. Though yes, by 1920 we did have germ theory of disease, and a basic understanding of nutrition.
And yes, the chart shows overall mortality, not life expectancy (through these are related). I'd like to see the latter for the same period.
I have run across several plots of life expectancy for the latter half of the 20th century. These show that most increase has not come from increasing top-end expectancy (though this has increased somewhat -- say, for white women), but by raising the life expectancy of disadvantaged populations -- the shifts for black and other nonwhite men and women have been far greater than for white men and women, in the US, for example, since 1960 and 1970. Again arguing that addressing the basics of healthcare access, hygiene, and risk avoidance offers the greatest benefits.
The mid-1850s peak suggests that modern cities, prior to notions of public health (the date of the NYC dept's formation is indicated, about 1860) were significantly worse than a more rural setting, from a health perspective. Ancient histories tend to support this notion, and there are books such as Kyle Harper's The Fate of Rome which explore the co-evolution of the Roman Empire and the diseases and plauges which, er, diseased and plagued it, with the formation of cities, trade routes, and exchange and incubation of disease vectors and agents via these.
Another thought is that the lifting of infancy / early childhood mortality represents a tremendous reduction in selective pressure on human populations, implications of which have not yet become clear. Though the possiblity that this is not entirely positive to humans occurs.
The other thought that's occurred is that this decrease in mortality indicates a
It's easy to decry him for having sponsors, but that is a bizarre standard. Michelangelo had sponsors/patrons, but nobody disregards the Sistine Chapel because he was paid for it. Personally, I really want people to use the internet for weird, personal art projects that are shared with the world. Getting sponsored by WeWork instead of the Medicis doesn't change anything.
Subconsciously, you are being told whatever feeling you have about the content to associate with this brand or idea.
Sometimes the sessions are energizing. Sometimes they’re sad. Sometimes they’re deeply thought provoking... However, they are always worth the hour I put into them.
My calendar is booked up this month, but September is still mostly clear :) Hope some of you sign up for a session.
Yes, this post and his brand is full of “humble” values and what not. He may be genuine, but I don’t think it’s praiseworthy. It feels like a tool for virtue signaling.
Virtue signaling is when a person trumpets their moral stance without a willingness to make any significant investment in it. This guy investing 10,000 hours into the project disqualifies it from that moniker.
Perhaps the appellation is an empty way to dismiss someone without engaging them?
Your phrasing implies that dismissing someone without engaging someone is a bad thing. On the contrary it’s recognizing that most people’s opinions are based on nothing but their sense of community identity and aren’t worth engaging at all.
Of course not.
I was simply responding to the idea that a significant investment is all it takes to counter the claim that some activity is virtue signaling.
Buying a Prius vs. buying a non-Prius is hardly a significant investment for people who make that choice.
I guess the more proper word here would be sacrifice, something you never get back.
For the great majority of people $30,000 is a non-trivial investment, one they must live with for years. Other than buying a house or having children, it is the most expensive thing most people will buy.
(ignore the exact dollar figures below .. I'm not car literate, but hopefully you'll get the idea).
Say someone bought a Mazda Miata, did the paperwork, and the dealer then sent them home in a Prius. What are the odds they would shrug and say, "Oh, ok, one $30K car is the same as any other $30K car." Zero. If the had wanted a Prius he would have bought the Prius, but he valued the Miata higher. In your scenario, the Prius buyer really wanted a different car, but was willing to buy the Prius because they wanted the world to think they were green. Fine ... but then they gave up something of value to make the statement: they will not to get to drive the car they really desired.
Is it really so impossible to imagine that someone would truly prefer to buy a Prius on its merits and not because it is making a statement?
It's this sort of broad usage that makes me feel "virtue signaling" doesn't have any descriptive value any more.
There is nothing wrong with giving $100 to a person in need, while looking all smug and dressed up, and then... the world congratulates you by giving you a lot more than you gave. Rather than... I don't know, donate the $10k to several people in need to begin with? There is a disgusting fakeness associated with all of these things. A pretense of "Look at me! We are the good guys", while we are filthy narcissistic greedy people under the skin instead. Using somebody else's misery to feed our messiah complex.
Or like those shitty "SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS", will people enjoy being around a hot mom breastfeed in public, but look down on a non-attractive mom breastfeeding in public? Facebook is littered with crap, staged, cheap money-grab, "experiments" like this.
It's like, an action that is acted on seemingly selflessly but contains hidden catches and motives.
It's not bad... just.. icky. I call this the Valentines-day-complex. It pretends to be a celebration of love, but under the hood it's all about chocolates and flowers and spending. It doesn't have to be about spending... but about spending it will be!
In the end a person in need ended up with a hundred extra bucks, I’m hard pressed to think of negatively really.
Ideally we’d root out the societal issues which leave so many people outside in our nation’s big cities.
I don't understand your problem with people doing something tedious, somewhat interesting, that they might actually enjoy, that others might actually enjoy, and attempting to monetize it. Maybe the sponsorship works to make it worthwhile, maybe it doesn't, who cares?
But I don’t care what he does. It was just a comment. You’ve made several that imply I care a lot, which makes me seem unreasonable. If that was unintentional, please don’t do that. If that was intentional then go suck a different lemon, because I’m really not that bitter about this.
I think its completely benign.
I would be a little annoyed if the stranger’s life was a fake feel good story like the ones seen on Linkedin these days, but even then I would just accept the entertainment for what it is: entertainment. Ad supported entertainment.
By the time he got to me, it was the middle of our second (and last year). I was skeptical since I thought it was kind of weird, plus most friend groups had formed by that point.
Turned out to be one of the most intriguing conversations I ever had. We became very close friends after that.
No short cut to friendship. Sometimes you just gotta get face to face and see how things go.
This feels like a project I have planned with programmers the next time I'm in between jobs.
I thought it would have a really nice dual effect of pushing me to get to know a bunch of people and also teach me something about serving and helping others.
Then I started thinking about how to leverage social media to pivot it into meeting more and more interesting/important people and monetizing it. Quickly realized that would undermine the original intent of the project and make it into something else entirely that I did not like.
I don’t understand the appeal of meeting 10,000 different people as that sounds like too much quantity and not enough quality time but to each his own.
It is super interesting to see someone else living out a version of an idea that at 2am sounded like a pretty original concept.
You could use this approach to get into elected office, if you actually started now for an election four years hence then you could get in without party affiliation.
As it is there is something peculiar and narcissistic about this project, how can you build real friendships if you are spending all of your time doing these ten thousand one-off meetings.
He is not rock star enough to meet 10,000 people in an hour.
I actually scrolled through his IG to find your post - so cool!
Good on you for taking part.
I thought this article might have been about that guy. It's a bit different, though. The person I'm thinking about is independently wealthy and thinks this is a productive use of his time. I think he's gathering data for a new startup, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to talk to him about it.
I think I want some variety in my life :P
His project reminds me of Marina Abramovic “The artist is present” she held in MoMA (https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/marina-abramovic-ma...).