Origin Stories

Origin stories have preserved and transmitted the cultural heritage of peoples for millennia. To show our appreciation, today, we digitize them … and then we forget them.
(A woman standing and telling a story, while the audience sits around her. Cairo, 1911. Original source: Douglas Sladen; CC-BY-2.5)

David Christian, the main exponent of “Big History”, can tell an “origin story” of the Universe with mere eight thresholds based on a single criterion. This criterion comes from Physics, not History: it is called complexity.

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The Big History

With a big history of 13.8 billion years, how to content oneself with “mere” centuries?

I learned about “Big History” when wondering how to begin studying History (the “little” one). I had decided to begin in 1789, following the example of the famous Eric Hobsbawm’s series. I had already bought all four volumes, so I convinced myself it made sense for someone like me who wanted to grasp the present and not indulge infinitely in the idiosyncrasies of the past.

Nope. Not for me.

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