Last weekend Chile was hit with an 8.8 earthquake. It had a devastating effect on the region and the people who live there. Their lives are forever irrevocably changed. My heart goes out to them.
But what you may not know is that it had an effect on our entire planet. The Earth's axis moved roughly 3 inches due to the plate tectonic movement, causing a mass shift in our planet. It sped up the rotation of our planet a tiny bit, and thus shortened our day by 1.26 millionths of a second.
Now I know what you might be thinking...that's an imperceptible amount to us. The human brain wouldn't even notice that right? So what's the difference? Six years ago we had another imperceptible shortening of our day by 6.8 millionths of a second, due to another earthquake mass shift changing our axis. These changes aren't anything we notice. But we have only been monitoring things of this type for a very brief period compared to the entire history of the planet. If we added up the total amount of every time the day got a bit shorter the change would be quite noticeable and a little bit shocking.
Scientists say the moon was 15 times bigger in our sky several billion years ago. It's moving away from us gradually, but the changes are so slow we don't notice.
Now if you've been reading my blog recently then you have read that I have been struggling to figure out my life lately. Something seemed different. As if something had changed in what I was doing or maybe not doing. I have been struggling to figure it out and fix it.
But I had a moment of clarity thanks to a comment my friend made and a trip to Best Buy. She wisely observed that we have so much technology bombardment that people are starting to get sick of it and won't want it. A week or so later I went to Best Buy and saw all these endless things that we don't need, some of which I couldn't even identify. I am sick of it. I realized I was sick of it when she pointed it out, and I agreed with her.
I also realized it's not just my life that has changed so much. It's our lives in general. Maybe the fall out of simple longevity makes you notice these things more accutely. But I do believe that we have changed our lives radically in the last decade or so thanks to technology. It's like that change in mass that is spinning us off our axis. It's imperceptible on a day to day basis, but when you look at the big picture it's shocking. I feel like I can't keep up lately. I don't want to.
That's the thing that is causing me discomfort. When the world and the way human beings as a whole live our lives change we don't have a choice. We either keep up the best we can or we move to a cave somewhere.
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, from my perspective it did for a while, and now it isn't. It's complicating it in ways we could have never imagined. But the machine will crank on and spit out new things we don't need. The earth will spin off it's axis again whether we approve or not.
All I can do is choose how to adapt so I don't feel lost and unbalanced by it. But I find myself wondering just for a moment...how much do you think it would cost to heat a cave?