Tag Archives: Entropy

Quick look at a few billion years of history (Intro to Big History Project)

(Full Disclosure: This video is over at 17:40 mark. Not even the full 18 minutes.)

I just watched the Ted Talk: David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes (seen below) and highly recommend it. Especially, if you are into science, history, collective learning, or well-managed presentations.


I was first drawn to this video because of the unusual title. I wanted to see if it was someone speaking like Micheal Stipe in R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” or what details they had decided to skip over.

I was then drawn in by the discussion of the Law of Entropy. I always have found this law to be some what suspect. That in biology labs the examples fit it nicely, but that our modern society and specie as a whole differentiate from the path that it should take us down.

The Goldilock Conditions was a great term to describe the necessary conditions. I also think it is a term that could be used for lots of subject matters, in a wide variety of classrooms and be understood. I was kind of disappointed I did not think of it already. 

Besides throwing out my new favorite teaching term, Mr. Christian does a fabulous job of presenting his material. He uses just enough scientific jargon to sound intelligent without putting off his audience. His visuals were very useful to his presentation. They were high end but not over the top. I was engaged the entire 18 minutes. 

He wraps up his presentation by discussing how all other animals have brains that have information that die with them but because of our complex language abilities, humans can provide a history.

This history we leave is then part of our “Collective Learning.” As communities we have been doing this since migrating tribes. Now we live as “one global brain learning at warp-speed.” He references the idea of how we might not be learning from our history with his comments on the same weapons that were the focal point of the Cuban Missile Crisis are still out there and armed.

His hope is to strengthen the human race’s understanding of our history with his Big History Project. I wish he had gone into this project in more depth, but I certainly will be looking into further. Stay tuned for a follow-up post. 


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