The world is full of firsts

In the last 200 years, we are the first humans ever to go shopping for fun.

Before, shopping was stressful. When you bought something, you had to be sure it was used. If bought eggs and broke them, someone might go hungry at home.

Take a look at a list of other firsts in the last 200 years:

  • Computers
  • Internet
  • Web browsers
  • WiFi
  • Email
  • Fax machines
  • Camera
  • Telephone
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Film
  • Airplanes
  • 3D printing
  • iPhone
  • iPod
  • Amazon
  • Microscopes
  • Radar
  • Circuits
  • Lasers
  • GPS
  • Microscopes
  • Telescopes
  • Speakers
  • Bicycles
  • Touch screen
  • AI
  • Augmented reality
  • Megadata
  • Computer mouse
  • Jet Engines
  • Assembly lines
  • VCRs and DVDs
  • Robotics
  • Assembly lines
  • Your home
  • Social programs

And on, and on, and on. Contrast through the first 200,000 years of human history. And you have the painfully slow process of domestication of food and animals. With a more sedentary lifestyle, populations grow (and with it more food and animals). And now, with a population sitting around, you have the development of technologies. Trade develops and you see an evolution of germs.

Most of us have a hard time grasping what it means to grow a population from 320 million people in the 17th century to 1 billion in the 18th to 7 billion of today. The ratchet of capitalism: from moving to hunters to the fields to factories to skyscrapers to uncertainty and the internet, the network effect and globalization that ties us all together.

Those decisions people made over the last several centuries have held so much more significance than we realize. Our lives are so unrecognizable from previous generations, we forget that while change is scary, we also never want to go back to the way things used to be either.