Geeking out with a spreadsheet: How much I’ve lived through

October 13, 2017 by Joshua
in Awareness, Visualization

I decided to have fun with a spreadsheet and calculate how much I’ve lived of historical times.

I’m surprised to find I’ve lived a meaningful fraction of historical periods—all the more so if I live to 100. See the tables below. First, I’ll share some highlights.

How much of history I’ve lived

For example, I’ve lived 2.3% of the time since Jesus. 2.3% is small, but I wouldn’t have expected even a single digit percentage. To me, it feels odd and oddly satisfying to know that I’ve lived a meaningful part of all of a major religion’s existence.

If I live to 100, I will have lived nearly 1% since humans domesticated the first animals. I don’t know about you, but a percent seems like a significant fraction considering I’m talking about pre-history.

I’ve been alive for nearly 20% of the United States’ existence and may live to pass 1/3—meaning I will have lived for over 1/3 of my nation’s existence.

I’ve lived nearly 2/3 of the atomic age and nearly all of the time since a man first stepped on the moon.

Before I was born
Event Event Date Time since (years) Fraction I’ve experienced Fraction I’ll experience if I live to 100
Agriculture starts 15,000 0.3% 0.7%
Jesus 01/0001 2,018 2.3% 4.8%
Copernicus: sun at center 01/1515 503 9% 18%
Columbus 01/1492 526 9% 17%
U.S. declares independence 07/1776 241 19% 34%
World War 2 12/1941 76 61% 77%
Atomic bomb on Hiroshima 08/1945 72 64% 79%
First man on moon 07/1969 48 96% 98%

How much recent history has been a part of me

I was also curious how much of my life has overlapped with historical periods.

An early event growing up in Philadelphia was the Phillies winning the World Series. 80% of my life has been post that victory, so I’ve nearly always lived in a world where my hometown baseball team won a championship.

Sorry if it’s too much information, but I’ve lived nearly 2/3 of my life since first having sex.

I’ve lived 60% of my life since the Berlin Wall fell.

I don’t know if people think of me more as a physicist or entrepreneur, but almost half my life has occurred since conceiving of the invention that led to the first company I co-founded, Submedia. I’ve only lived 40% of my life with my doctorate in physics.

Only about 1/3 of my life has occurred since the World Trade Center attacks. It takes me some thought to imagine a purely post-9/11 world from my nieces’ and nephews’ perspective.

I’m surprised to see how much of my life has passed since the Great Recession—nearly 1/5.

I’ve done burpees for 13% of my life—a meaningful amount, over 1/8.

Finally, at 46 years old, I still have 54% of my life to live if I make it to 100.

After I was born
Event Event Date Time since (years) Percent of my life since Percent of my life since if I live to 100
Phillies win World Series 10/1980 37 80% 91%
First sex 06/1988 29 63% 83%
Berlin Wall falls 11/1989 28 60% 82%
Conceived of Submedia technology 06/1996 21 46% 75%
Medicinal Marijuana legalized 11/1996 21 45% 75%
Earned PhD 11/1999 18 39% 72%
9/11 attacks 09/2001 16 35% 70%
Great recession 01/2009 9 19% 63%
Started burpees 12/2011 6 13% 60%
Today 10/2017 0 0% 54%


How much of history I've lived through---my original spreadsheet

How much of history I’ve lived through—my original spreadsheet

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