4.2e-8 of All of Human Experience

About 107 billion people have ever lived.

Across all time, the average life expectancy of a person is just under 30 years.

So, there have only been 3.21 trillion person-years experienced. Total.

7.8 billion people are alive today.

The average age globally is about 30 years.

So living people today collectively hold about 234 billion years of experience.

That means that a little over 7% of all human experience is held by living people.

One day spent alone constitutes 8.5e-16 of all of human experience. A month is 2.6e-14 of all of human experience.

A year spent with a partner is 6.2e-13 of all of human experience.

Four years spent with 1500 other students is 1.9e-9 of all of human experience.

By a crude estimate, a whopping 4.2e-8 of all human experience was spent watching Game of Thrones. Humanity will never get that time back.

These are small numbers, but not that small. Thinking that my graduating class alone (not even counting the people a year above or below me) holds nearly 2e-9 of all human experience from our four years together is kind of mind-bending.

For comparison, let’s imagine that the surface of Earth represents all of human experience. Then 4.2e-8 of human experience (the amount dedicated to watching Game of Thrones) is represented by 8.3 square miles.

The 6.2e-13 of human experience held by you and your partner quarantining for a year? That’s over 3400 square feet. And a whole lifetime (est. 80 years) covers 3.141 acres.

These are not at all negligible!

All of this is to say: let’s treasure our existence, and let’s also not discount its significance.

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