Carl Zimmer, "Viral Time"

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What’s time to a virus?

A Summary by Stewart Brand

“Everything about viruses is extreme,” Zimmer began. The number of viruses on Earth is estimated to be 1 followed by 31 zeroes. Small as they are, if you stacked them all up, the stack would reach 100 million light years. They are the planet’s most abundant organism by far.

They’re fast. We take decades to reproduce. A flu virus can generate billions of itself in us within hours. And they evolve 10,000 times faster than us…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary here.

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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