I’ve never run a guest post before.
It’s primarily because most of the people who want to write them are PR flunkies looking to promote a product and homey don’t play that. Also because there aren’t all that many people I’d be comfortable having contribute to my site. I’m proud of the voice I have/am-trying-to establish here, and I like to think it’s unique among bloggers, and unique among parent bloggers in particular. Tell me I’m wrong in the comments!
But today I’m going to run my first guest post, for three reasons:
1) I’m moving today and tomorrow, and have no time to write anything.
2) Mom and Buried has plans to contribute something soon – she wanted to be first but, alas, she’s moving too – and I want to get everyone ready for the occasional new voice.
3) This guest poster is funny, and unlike the aforementioned PR flunkies, his sensibilities are in line with mine. Also he designed my logo so I owe him.
So, without further ado, please read and enjoy my talented, hilarious cartoonist friend The Glad Stork’s (follow him on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr!) take on parenting, perspective, and Pound Town.
But be prepared: Mom and Buried is coming.
And she’s bringing hell with her.
Seeking Perspective in Ancestral Statistics
Breaking news: 250,000 human beings were born yesterday, give or take. This isn’t exceptional. That’s the average amount born every day, give or take.
I’m not special, you aren’t special, and Detective Munch definitely isn’t special.
In the following image, each PIXEL represents a new human being that was born yesterday:
Contrast that with this version of the same image, where each PIXEL represents a week you have left to live (assuming you are 35 years old and will live to 75):
This isn’t meant to be morbid. Facts like these put things in perspective for me. These facts don’t make me sad; they make me thankful for every breath I take. They make me thankful for each day that I am one of those human beings alive in the most amazing time in human history.
And yet, my daughter just swung her tiny fist at my face because I wouldn’t let her watch “My Little Pony”. At times like these I seek this “perspective“.
I try to assure myself: my daughter actually IS special. My wife and I MADE her together. Actually, that sounds weird. It sounds like we went to a workshop with a set of K’Nex and followed the instructions. When in reality I just took my wife to Pound Town one night when we were bored because the electricity went out.
But really, that IS something, isn’t it? This little human being is a combination of me and my wife. She is the combination of two people. If you go one step back, she’s the combination of four people, our parents and her grandparents.
My wife and I each have 4 grandparents. We ourselves are the combinations of those 4 wonderful, diverse people. And my daughter is the combination of all 8 of them. A unique blend of 8 very different people, all coming together to create a single human being, who is now laying on her back slamming her heels into the ground shouting “I WANT TO WATCH EQUESTRIA GIRLS!”
If you take the math even further, you find that 11 generations back, reaching as far as the year 1800, my daughter is the combination of 1,024 individuals! Wow. In that generation alone, it took 512 specific trips to Pound Town just to get to the next generation of people that would eventually create the next 9 generations, my wife and me, and, eventually, this beautiful creature throwing her Twilight Sparkle stuffed animal at the wall.
And if you go even further back, you’ll see that at the start of the 2nd century, just 45 generations ago, my daughter is the combination of 17.5 trillion people, in that generation alone. (245)
That can’t be. The estimated world population in the 2nd century is 300,000, roughly the amount of people born EACH DAY in the 21st century. So where are the other 17 trillion people? What’s the problem in the math?
The problem is incest. Don’t worry, not like “backwoods first cousin”-type incest, more like “256th cousin 164 times removed”-type incest. You see, we all have shared ancestry at some point. Ancestors overlap and are shared amongst individuals’ ancestral lineage.
I’m no Evolutionary Scientist (Editor’s note: NO!), and most of this is probably not scientifically accurate (editor’s Note: Who cares?!), but at some point, the inverted ancestral pyramid above begins to invert the other way. Depending on your “beliefs”, it either collapses back down to a mutation in the previous species in our evolution, or back down to Adam and some Rib-based Frankenstein-esque female character named Eve. Either way, the foundation of the pyramid is a successful trip to Pound Town. (Editor’s note: Pound. Town. NEVER FORGET.)
My point, if one is to be had (?!), is that there may be 250,000 people born each day, but we’re not all that different, the 7 billion of us. We are all part of the same “family”. We share ancestors, to some extent. As recently as the 2nd century, we all probably shared a Great43 Grand Parent or two. How cool is that? There it is, that perspective I was seeking…
So remember to keep things in perspective the next time you are slighted in a small way by a stranger on the freeway, or your own offspring in your family room.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my daughter is screaming “I HATE YOU MORE THAN SUNSET SHIMMER!” And we all know Sunset Shimmer is the WORST.