A good measure of humanity’s overall influence/power is “world product,” and history is reasonably well summarized as:
- Animals appeared about a half billion years ago, and very slowly grew in their range of capabilities. The biggest brains grew roughly exponentially.
- Roughly two million years ago, the niche filled by our human-like hunter-gatherer ancestors began to grow roughly exponentially in number (and in world product), doubling roughly every quarter million years,
- About ten thousand years ago, humans quickly adopted farming and transitioned to growing exponentially much faster, doubling in number roughly every thousand years,
- About two hundred years ago, human world product quickly transitioned to doubling about every fifteen years, as industry become common.
Robin Hanson, The Growth Groove Game