I often listed to NPR on talk radio. Today, there was a conversation going about Big History. Seems a college professor has given a TED talk about his way of teaching or talking about history. He had a grand idea that history should not just be what was written or passed down orally but should encompass everything from the founding of the universe to today. Some of us have different ideas about just what the Big Bang beginning was that started our universe, but surely any thinking individual already knows that our history surely began at the beginning. How one individual got it into his head that this was a novel concept he himself invented is confounding to me.
Anyway, they played a short recording from one instructor asking the students to think about the concept of obtaining food. Stating that at one time the search for food took up much of a person’s time while now we could just pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave and have it ready to eat in a matter of minutes. This is the little picture.
In the Big Picture of obtaining popcorn to eat today, it still is not a matter of minutes. First, we would consider the equipment, i. e. a microwave oven. In order to obtain this we would need to work a number of hours at some paying occupation to obtain the money to purchase that equipment. Then, to obtain the bag of popcorn, we would need to work a number of minutes to obtain the currency to purchase the product. I would need to purchase electric current to operate this equipment. Where I live, I would need transportation to get to the store where the equipment and the product is sold. I would need fuel to use in my transport machine. These purchases would require more hours at a paying occupation. Of course the microwave and the transportation equipment would not be used exclusively for popcorn so these hours would need to be prorated. All in all the Big Picture of searching out and eating microwave popcorn, is different than popcorn a century ago, but it still is a time consuming process well in excess of the few minutes the popcorn spends in the microwave.
Now, does anyone know what a TED talk is? Sometimes it is a speech, under a new pretentious name, recorded in front of an audience. But, more often today, it is one person speaking into one camera with no one else in the room, because no one other than the speaker has much interest in TED [the educated dolt].