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In which John shares the fastest things in the universe (according to him). PIZZAMAS IS ENDING SOON:
This is a response to Hank's video from yesterday:

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I think a bunch of different people could have this same title for a video and make very different videos.

Alright, challenge accepted.

Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday. Let's talk about the fastest things in the universe.

So, first off, if the cosmic inflation theory is correct, then in the first moments after the big bang, the universe was expanding faster than the speed of light, so it may be that the fastest thing in the universe was the literal beginning of the universe, which is weird to think about.

But it general, speeds around the universe are wild. Like, Hank, as you pointed out, until about a hundred years ago, no human had travelled faster than around 120 miles per hour. That is, of course, unless you consider that all humans were on a planet that is travelling around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour. And the Sun itself is travelling around 487,000 miles per hour as it orbits around the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and we are, of course, along for that ride.

So when it comes to speed, as you acknowledged, Hank, a lot depends upon your frame of reference; not just in astrophysics, but also in, like, everyday life.

So let me approach the question this way: I think the fastest thing I've encountered in my own life is the accelerating speed with which humans are generating and sharing information.

Like, for the first 99% of human history, all anybody knew about the value of pi was that it was like, 3.1 something. It wasn't until around two thousand years ago that mathematicians in China were able to calculate pi to the seventh digit. Fourteen hundred years later, the Persian mathematician, Jamshīd al-Kāshī, was able to calculate pi to about the fifteenth digit. By 1946, with the help of electronic calculators, we could calculate it to just over a thousand digits. And today we know the value of pi to 62 trillion digits.

A more human way of thinking about this: Around 48 terabytes of information flowed through the internet in 1992, the year I first got on online. That's all the e-mails, all the transferred files, all the chatrooms; everything worldwide. These days, vlogbrothers, just vlogbrothers, generates more information flow every year than the entire internet did in 1992.

You can see this speed increase everywhere. Like, in 2007, when we first started uploading YouTube videos, the quality was approximately this, but the videos took over an hour to upload, despite containing, you know, at most, like, nine pixels. This video is hundreds of times bigger, but will take less than 10% of the time to upload because the acceleration of information sharing is mind-boggling!

I've been thinking about this, Hank, because I had an unusual weekend. My friend, Craig, who is a high-school teacher and one of my favorite people, ran a one hundred mile trail race this weekend. He finished in just under 24 hours, and I had the privilege of pacing Craig-- like, running alongside him and encouraging him for about seventeen of those miles, which, I don't want to make myself the hero of Craig's run, but that was the longest run of my life!

Anyway, we were running in a forest, usually without cellphone reception, and so we were often alone. Like, alone in a way I hadn't been in a long time. I had no ability to transfer information except in the oldest-fashioned ways-- with my voice and my hands. I had no ability to text Sarah and say I was struggling but safe, no ability to check GPS if I made a wrong turn, and this, I realized, was the human story not just, like, a thousand or a hundred years ago, but fifteen years ago.

Like, when I fell in love with Sarah, I didn't have a cellphone. I thought they were a fad, like beepers. I've always been a genius at predicting the future.

Running in the dark with Craig on Saturday night-- in truth, he was pacing me more than I was pacing him, and we were running slow because, you know, that's the only speed I've got. And it was only in being separated from the internet that I began to glimpse its true speed; how it's ceaselessly churning, delivering information worldwide as fast as it can be ingested-- or even faster, really.

I love the internet and I am so grateful for it, but that evening, I will confess to feeling relieved that I was free from the deluge.

But of course, Hank, if there were no internet, there would be no Pizzamas!

All the Pizzamas stuff, including this wonderful hoodie, is available only for the next few days and only at . All our proceeds go to charity.
Hank, I'll see you on Monday.