The Journey of Knowledge By: Annie Kettmann

Introduction to Collective Learning

Of the four billion years of life on earth, humans are the only species to have communicated information between generations between each other. By gathering information, sharing it, and building upon it we have been the strongest and most productive race. Other species that have had opportunities to reign have had to live by trial and error. We are the species to have left each other recipes to follow to grow with fewer mistakes. Besides collective learning we have discovered and used language in the verbal, and physical forms like books and hieroglyphics. We continue to take our pre-existing knowledge and use it to create better technologies. But with all this knowledge we are able to manipulate other life forms and our environments, which we have seen been both scarring and beneficial.

Between the tumultuous times of World War 1 and World War 2, technology plans greatly advanced. Through the process of collective learning, engineers were able to create machinery to fly all over the world.

The first plane was built in 1903 and the first commercial sized airplane flew in 1935. World War One started in 1914 and World War Two started in 1939. Over this short period all nations worked with original information to quickly build this valuable machine.

Original design alike Prakash's design

A Stanford student has taken ancient knowledge and transformed it to a medical miracle. On January 10th Stanford's bioengineering student Manu Prakash published his work on an innovative centrifuge.

When used for disease testing, a centrifuge separates blood components and makes pathogens easier to detect. A typical centrifuge spins fluid samples inside an electric-powered, rotating drum. As the drum spins, centrifugal forces separate fluids by density into layers within a sample tube. In the case of blood, heavy red cells collect at the bottom of the tube, watery plasma floats to the top, and parasites, like those that cause malaria, settle in the middle.

Prakash, who specializes in low-cost diagnostic tools for underserved regions, recognized the need for a new type of centrifuge after he saw an expensive centrifuge being used as a doorstop in a rural clinic in Uganda because there was no electricity to run it. The design of the childhood toy, the whirligig, has been around for over 1,000 years and inspired Prakash’s new centrifuge today. One of Prakash’s centrifuges costs only 20 cents unlike originally machines that sell for a few thousand dollars.

Centrifuge used in labs today

In our story for this difference constitutes threshold six--the Amerge of the first to large species ever to change the face of the earth in such a short period of time. We humans are associated with greater impact and greater energy flows than ever before in planetary history. Experts have a long argued about was is distinctive about modern humans even after they agreed we used tools. Today they tend to think that our chief distinction is the way we use language, symbolically and grammatically, Which permits precise meaning to be conveyed. This story who began using the term "Big history” and “collective learning” was David Christian.

Additional Information about Humans journey to modernization

Humans are closest related to chimpanzees, over 98% of our DNA are the same. We are more closely related to them than any other apes species. Our species started to evolve when the global temperature declined and became more unpredictable. Our world had flipped from an ice age and back about seventeen times. From clear evidence of hominin fossils, it is now believed that humans originated in Africa. With the irritable weather our ancestors were forced to walk upright in new terrains, this was a major threshold into our existence. This new way of travel is called “bipedalism”, bones of the earliest known fossils are evidence of this. ‘Ardi’; a female dated at about 4.4 million years ago, although the most well known fossils are those of Lucy, dated about 3.2 million years ago. Next these apes learned and improved coordination and how to make and use tools. Then, about 1.8 million years ago, a new species appeared, Homo erectus. The size of their brains was increased, but only about 70% of the size of modern human brains. Finally after around 2 million years of the Homo Erectus, a new species of ourselves formed of about 200 to 250,000 years ago in Africa. Group began to separate and many minor genetic changes occurred that spread rapidly and formed more distinct types of humans.


Created with images by ulleo - "books books crate read" • acidpix - "Human Evolution" • 27707 - "fokker airplane warplane" • docoverachiever - "Whirligig in motion.jpg" • UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences - "Centrifuge" • krapalm - "android samsung samsung galaxy" • GerMai - "gorillas mammals young"

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