Monday, January 18, 2016

99.9999% of Humans Who Have Ever Lived

Another excerpt from "Curse of the High IQ"


This status quo has been completely satisfactory for the vast majority of humans throughout human history.  Most people are perfectly happy in having a family, wasting two hours a day in a commute, eight hours a day in a cube, 25 years in school, seven years in a marriage, eight years in a second marriage, feeding their gullet, watching the game, drinking light beers, dying in a nursing home, making no notable or mentionable contributions to society their entire lives.  And while this may sound a bit harsh and judgmental it’s true, and much more than you realize.



List all the notable humans throughout recorded history that come to mind.  Now, grab all the history books or the resources of the internet and come up with a list of every notable person ever recorded in history.  Henry Ford, Julius Caesar, Erwin Rommel, Genghis Khan, Gilgamesh, Plato, large and small, you name it.  If you’re lucky you’ll come up with 10,000 people, but let’s be generous and say 100,000.



That 100,000 are the humans who have shaped and molded this world.  The ones who are 100% responsible for all the successes and tragedies of all of humanity.  They are the ones history will remember forever and the ones who will define this planet until it is consumed by the sun.



Now divide that by the 100 billion humans that are estimated to have lived since recorded history.    



The number you should get is .000001.  Or .0001%.



ONE TEN THOUSANDTH OF ONE PERCENT of the human population has achieved anything noteworthy in the history of the world.  That means 99.9999% of the population hasn’t, and have lived regular, ordinary lives that will be forever lost to obscurity, commonness, and mediocrity.  There is no record of them, nor any trace of them, ultimately meaning their fleeting existence in this universe served no purpose and was wasted.  It’s as if they never lived in the first place.  But we are alive here and now and have the raw intellectual capacity to not suffer such similar fates.  Thus, we owe it to ourselves to follow the wise words of Cypress Hill,



“We aint’ goin’ out like that.”

15 comments:

brian said...

MASSIVE flaw here:

There is no record of them, nor any trace of them, ultimately meaning their fleeting existence in this universe served no purpose and was wasted.

You won't find a list of every man that served in WWII in a history book. Nor will you find the names of all the people that worked on the Apollo program.

History remembers the leaders. History forgets those that were inspired by and worked to make that leader's vision come to pass, just as it forgets everyone that did nothing or got in the way.

So yeah, there's a lot of useless people wandering around out there. But value is not measured by being recorded in someone else's book.

Anonymous said...

Of course the people you're talking about are more important, but they would be nothing without the proles. These are the people that keep civilization running and allow the more notable men to accomplish.

Anonymous said...

While yes, those people have made a contribution to the world. Just because you may not end up on a WIki page does not at all determine your worth upon the earth.

These people would not have ever gotten where they were if it not for the people growing the crops they eat, creating their pens to write with, and fighting the wars to keep them secure.

There are many, many ways to contribute to society and many of them do not lead to a remembrance. Many of the people who you can list on that 100,000 made that list in the worst way possible.

You are correct in saying that many people settle and never find their true glory. However, there many millions throughout the world, the builders, planters, crafters, doctors who did the small things unnoticed.

grey enlightenment said...

And those are also among the smartest people in history, too. IQ keeps coming up again and again. If you want to leave a mark on society, it certainly helps to have a high IQ.

Anonymous said...

As one who is in that minuscule percentile of making a mark on history, I must disagree with your view of all the others. I believe that mankind was designed to work this way with most being followers/laymen and a small percentage leaders. As the old saying goes, nothing meaningful will happen if there's nothing but Chiefs and no Indians. Someone has to lead and most will follow. Unfortunately, with humans a good percentage that follow are excess baggage and put unnecessary burden on the rest. As with nature, if the natural order of things were allowed to play out then this would be corrected and mankind would be much stronger as a whole. This wont happen, because humans have a higher evolution of conscious thought and emotion that blocks the acceptance of nature's rules. This is the very thing that makes our existence a pain is the ass to most that lead and produce.

My views may be harsh to most, but I'm content in believing them accurate.

Anonymous said...

This is the best and most thoughtful blog post I've ever read. If it doesn't cause some self reflection, nothing ever will. Thanks.

ddddddd said...

I think you're exaggerating how bad the modern status quo is. for modern first-worlders, the status quo is better than kings and queens in the past had.

Plus there are no doubt many who did great things equal or even surpassing the ancient figures we've never heard of. And the people we know about, we just know about them. There are probably aspects of their lives that are unknown that make their current public image a sham.

standing out isn't so great, just being a good little peon is a good heritage, who cares if you aren't remembered? civilization is carried by the civilized and they have no memorial

Lexus said...

If everyone is going to die, Earth is going to be consumed by the Sun and eventually there will be heat death of the universe, then why does it ultimately matter whether what you do right now is written about in some newspapers/books or not? Who cares? Those books/records are going to be ultimately erased in the end.
Why not live minimalistic lifestyle, travel, play video games, enjoy some hobbies etc. ?

Florian Ulrich said...

Cypress Hill belongs to the 0.001% of music groups that I remember.

Dark Wolf said...

So with 330,000,000 people in the USA, there should be 330 such people alive right now in this country.
Say one-third are too young and one-third too old, that still leaves over 100 movers and shakers.
Interesting...

AM Apprentice said...

While I agree about the shitty existence that the "American Dream" teaches Americans to chase, just because you aren't part 0.00001% of humans, doesn't mean that your life didn't matter or that it is a waste. If all you did was father or birth children, provided and protected them until they were able to do the same, you might not leave a legacy in ink, but you left one in blood. Your name might be forgotten, but you still physically live on in others. That is the type of thinking that convinces women to pursue careers or being important over bearing and raising children, thereby becoming a genetic dead end.

Joe Miller said...

Eh.. Im on the fence on this one. Mixed with Clarey's and Brian's view. And it most certainly didnt help that there were book burnings throughout mankind's history.

The Library of Alexandria
Nero burning rome into the ground
Muslims burning and destroying Arabic and persian documents
And of course China.

There are lota of forgotten leaders, innovators, etc.

Anonymous said...

In the past vast numbers of relatively stupid young men were consumed in the various different wars which were continuously on going. The ugly-Bettys were servants and slaves. The hot chicks had babies until they died from it. Sounds very harsh but it kept the gene pool clean. Contrast with today and one can see we've messed in the gene pool.

Faithless Cynic said...

Ouch! You seem to be saying that a person who is a good employee, husband, neighbor, and small business owner is worth little. I do not own or manage MEGACORP, but, I provide for my family. I hope to have a good retirement without being too dependant on the Ponzi normally known as Social Security. Maybe I never designed a car, but, I have always supported myself and family without leaching off others. Is that enough in the grand scheme o things? It is for me :-)

Best of luck with the new book.

leeholsen said...

This post:
"Anonymous Lexus said...
If everyone is going to die, Earth is going to be consumed by the Sun and eventually there will be heat death of the universe, then why does it ultimately matter whether what you do right now is written about in some newspapers/books or not? Who cares? Those books/records are going to be ultimately erased in the end.
Why not live minimalistic lifestyle, travel, play video games, enjoy some hobbies etc. ?"

and the capt's post is true.

There is literally nothing you can do that will last beyond you besides children and even few family lines make it past 200 years.
About all you can do is find what motivates you or gives you passion and take time to enjoy your life. I recommend a good Newcastle beer, a good cigar and a good meal at the riva grill's deck on lake Tahoe or Kenosha steakhouse's deck in Breckenridge.