In his essay in the fascinating book 'Eternally Yours: Time in Design', Brian Eno throws in a quote from mathematician Freeman Dyson (originally published in Stewart Brand's book 'The Clock of the Long Now') which goes like this:
"The destiny of our species is shaped by the imperatives of survival on six distinct time scales. To survive means to compete successfully on all six of them, but the unit of survival is different at each of the six scales. On a time scale of years the unit is the individual. On a time scale of decades the unit is the family. On a time scale of centuries the unit is the tribal nation. On the time scale of millennia the unit is the culture. On tens of millennia the unit is the species. On the scale of eons the unit is the whole web of life on our planet."
An interesting explanation on the long-term context of life on a mathematical scale. On a similar note I stumbled on an ad for Glenfiddich whiskey (by 180 Amsterdam)which plays on a year scale of human emotions and motivations. The copy goes like this:
"A day is a step. A year is a tango.
A day is a tourist. A year is a traveler.
A day is a chance encounter. A year is love.
A day is a frustration. A year is a melody.
A day is a thought. A year is a philosophy."
Makes me wonder if the creatives for this ad had a stroke of inspiration from the Freeman Dyson quote. The ad can be viewed below.