Each human generation believes that it is endowed with special importance, that it faced a particularly important challenge (for example, the “greatest” generation and World War II), that it has a special quality or character (for example, the baby boomers), or that it lived at a particularly important time (for example, the age of enlightenment). The term for this is chronocentrism. Although each generation earnestly believes in its own significance, there is objective evidence that those of us alive today actually are witnessing the most important time in human history. We truly stand at a crossroads.

From the dawn of our species some 2 million years ago until roughly 12,000 years ago, there were never more than some tens of millions ...

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