Friday, August 7, 2015

Zone 10, Zone 10, come in please

The weather is hot and sunny, almost 40C, and the sprinkler is running every other day to keep the plants alive.

The control panel is flashing Zone 10, it has an error. Zone 10 is the front flowerbed. Not good.

I do not know the location of the Zone 10 control valve. It was buried over 15 years ago, long forgotten. The install of the sprinkler system precedes digital pictures, and was installed by someone else.

It is going to take a lot of prodding and digging to find the valve. Fun times.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind

A wonderful book, carefully researched and written. The author has an interesting stance on history and culture. What happened a mere 70,000 year ago that made us what we are today, the dominant large creature that controls all others? How did we overcome the 150 limit of stable relationships?

Argentina cave paintings 13,000 to 9,500 BCE

Timeline of History  

(Years Before the Present) 
  • 13.5 billion Matter and energy appear. Beginning of physics. Atoms and molecules appear. Beginning of chemistry. 
  • 4.5 billion Formation of planet Earth. 
  • 3.8 billion Emergence of organisms. Beginning of biology. 
  • 6 million Last common grandmother of humans and chimpanzees. 
  • 2.5 million Evolution of the genus Homo in Africa. First stone tools. 2 million Humans spread from Africa to Eurasia. Evolution of different human species. 
  • 500,000 Neanderthals evolve in Europe and the Middle East. 
  • 300,000 Daily usage of fire. 
  • 200,000 Homo sapiens evolves in East Africa. 
  • 70,000 The Cognitive Revolution. Emergence of fictive language. Beginning of history. Sapiens spread out of Africa. 
  • 45,000 Sapiens settle Australia. Extinction of Australian megafauna. 
  • 30,000 Extinction of Neanderthals. 
  • 16,000 Sapiens settle America. Extinction of American megafauna. 
  • 13,000 Extinction of Homo floresiensis. Homo sapiens the only surviving human species. 
  • 12,000 The Agricultural Revolution. Domestication of plants and animals. Permanent settlements. 
  • 5,000 First kingdoms, script and money. Polytheistic religions. 
  • 4,250 First empire – the Akkadian Empire of Sargon. 
  • 2,500 Invention of coinage – a universal money. The Persian Empire – a universal political order ‘for the benefit of all humans’. Buddhism in India – a universal truth ‘to liberate all beings from suffering’. 
  • 2,000 Han Empire in China. Roman Empire in the Mediterranean. Christianity. 
  • 1,400 Islam. 
  • 500 The Scientific Revolution. Humankind admits its ignorance and begins to acquire unprecedented power. Europeans begin to conquer America and the oceans. The entire planet becomes a single historical arena. The rise of capitalism. 
  • 200 The Industrial Revolution. Family and community are replaced by state and market. Massive extinction of plants and animals. 
  • The Present Humans transcend the boundaries of planet Earth. Nuclear weapons threaten the survival of humankind. Organisms are increasingly shaped by intelligent design rather than natural selection. 
  • The Future Intelligent design becomes the basic principle of life? Homo sapiens is replaced by superhumans?
Harari, Yuval Noah (2015-02-10). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.