How bad or good is 2020 by historical comparison? Should we stop moaning and just be glad we weren’t living through 536 AD or 541 AD?
We mull over how to go about determining the overall amount of suffering in a given year and what constitutes the worst year ever. How should it be measured? Is the size of the human race at the time relevant? And are we predisposed to recency bias, where terrible events in the past are largely ignored?
A few things we mentioned in this podcast:
- Is 2020 the worst year ever? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECfXI_A39bA
- List of natural disasters by death toll https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters_by_death_toll
- List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll
- The Toba Catastrophe Theory https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/toba_catastrophe_theory.htm
- The ‘536 AD’ theory https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/why-536-was-worst-year-be-alive
Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44
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