Train of thought
Technology determines how we perceive time. Therefore, we find ourselves on a train, because Einstein’s thought experiment, about the absolute speed of light, takes place on a train. It shows us how time is moving slower, if we’re sitting on a moving train, then if we’re standing still outside watching it. What makes the past different from the present, on the other hand, is called entropy. Entropy is the second law of thermodynamics, and it says that the universe tens to go from order to disorder. At the beginning of time, called the big bang, all matter was tightly merged and there was order. As the universe expanded, matter moved further and further apart, and the universe become more disordered. The entropy can be described as a destructive force, in which, for example, you can break a vase, but not unbreak it. Another example of entropy is water that erodes away pebbles from the mountain. The mountain slowly but surely becomes felted down and shaped by the water over time. And here we have made a definition of life: Life is an active struggle against entropy, against the degradation. While the stone and everything that does not live are passive in the fight against entropy, all living things actively need to take up nutrients to continue the struggle a little longer. But in the end, we will all lose this battle, and we will die. But with the help of technology, we can continue this struggle even further, potently forever. The lobster doesn’t have a degenerative ageing process and we have managed to reverse old age in mice. This shows us that it is biologically possible to achieve eternal life.
According to legend, King Gilgamesh, from the ancient Sumer Empire in present-day Iraq, sought to achieve eternal life. This was one of the very first civilizations, which originated between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers about 9,000 years ago. According to legend, he swam down to the bottom of the ocean to find a plant that would give him eternal life. But this pissed off the gods and they sent a flood that drowned the world. What actually happened in the Sumer Empire at that time, was that they defined time. They were able to tame the water by excavating canals from the rivers, allowing them to grow more crops. Here there was a need to invent a unit of time in order to determine how much water each farmer should receive. Thus, they invented seconds, minutes and hours, which we still use to this day. Later we tamed the water again, when we invented the steam engine, and the industrial revolution was underway.
In the industrial revolution, trains where a clear picture of the theological development and it was precisely this invention that created a need for a common clock system in France, so that everyone could agree on when the time, and when the train would arrive at the station.
Back in the Sumer era, as now, there was global warming after the ancient Ice Age. As temperatures rose, glaciers around the world melted and oceans rose. At one point, the sea, in the area around present-day Iraq, rose by as much as one meter a year for a hundred and twenty years. This caused the people of the Old Empire to be forced to flee and the civilization was lost. Now history is on its way to repeating itself, as we have generated global warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Temperatures rise, glaciers melt, and oceans rise again to new heights. We as a global civilization are now threatened with destruction as 70% of the world’s population lives in exposed areas of the rise of the sea level. The mass exodus predicted as a result is going to be one of the greatest challenges, we as a civilization will face. And we must now work actively together to prevent us from being lost to the destructive entropy we have inflicted on ourselves.