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Earls: Technology has increased complexity

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Say 12,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene, you know, the age which is supposed to have shaped human evolution fundamentally. When we became ourselves, I guess, became properly human. At the end of that period we were living in groups of about 120, 150. And again and again we see that. You have smaller subsections of that but about 150 seems to be the natural size. And that seems to be the way our... the scale which our brain has developed. So we can deal with about 150. But because of our... Which is great compared to chimps for example at 40, you know, which is not very many at all. It has allowed us to live in much larger groups than that because we can connect out from the 150. And that connection then leads to another set of connections, to another set of connections, and each of the people that we have connections with within the 150 have connections themselves.
So this creature that could live in very small groups suddenly lives in cities of 20 million. Extraordinary sort of... It’s an extraordinary merging capability and says a lot about our... about what happens with very simple bits of programming if you like in evolutionary terms. And we can... on the web it’s become almost infinite, the world in which we live. We don’t have to have direct connections with anyone. But within three, four, five degrees of separation most of the planet is engaged one way or another.
And if you think about it this way, right... If you go and buy a shirt today in a shop down the road they will have a shirt in your size in the colour and style you want. The number of people that have been involved in producing that, just the right thing for you, that you will never ever meet and you never could meet is just extraordinary. Think how many other human souls have touched that. That’s the kind of extraordinary... I think truly awesome feature of our species or achievement of our species, to create that kind of complexity and to live and benefit in different ways from it.

Added on 04 Apr 2017
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