Time Horizon

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Definition of Time Horizon

A time horizon is understood here as a cognitive structure in which planning and thinking about the future (and the past) can be effectively accomplished. The idea is that there is no intuition regarding an arbitrary time frame, but that we can make sense of things in approximate range groupings.

Time horizon past events

1,000 years ago

Longest-living human empires and institutions, some species; organizations and organisms * 476 (1533 years ago) End of Roman Empire in the West (begun 27 BCE) * 609 (1400 years ago) Muhammad began receiving revelations, giving birth to Islam * 800 (1209 years ago) Coffee invented * 1000 approximate date for when Irish begin using last names * 1066 (963 years ago) Normans invade England * 1440 (569 years ago) Gutenberg assembled printing press * 1463 (546 years ago) End of Roman Empire in the East (begun 27 BCE)

200 years ago

Stunning differences in human knowledge, social organization, and technological advancements * 1750 (241 years ago) approximate date of acceleration from marginal economic and human population growth; 1 billion population worldwide (6.6 billion in 2009) * 1776 (233 years ago) US Declaration of Independence from Great Britain * 1809 slavery exists; no germ theory; before the industrial revolution; no electric lights; no cars

40 years ago

Working career length; two human generations; legal and social values horizon * 1945 (64 years ago) World War II ends * 1969 (40 years ago) Man lands on the moon * 1959-1975 (50-34 years ago) Vietnam war * 1979 (30 years ago) First cellular phone system deployed in Japan * 1991 (18 years ago) HTTP/HTML web protocols invented

8 years ago

  • 1998 (11 years ago) Google founded
  • 2001 (8 years ago) Terrorists attacked the United States using four commercial jet aircraft as suicide bombs

2 years ago

4 months ago

1 month ago

1 week ago

Medium-term memory

2 days ago

Recent past; dream horizon


The present time in hours and minutes; a 10 hour time band; one work day

Time horizon future events

2 days from now

48 hours; two sleep cycles; today and tomorrow (today and yesterday)

1 week from now

Workweek cycle

1 month from now

Rent and lease payments due

4 months from now

Financial reporting quarter; school semester length; season

2 years from now

How long you will have a new cell phone or computer, if bought today; years to get an Associates degree, a Bachelors degree (after Associates), or a Masters degree (after Bachelors) * 2011 (2 years from now) Trailing economic indicators such as unemployment rate may reverse course at this point (from the 2008 recession) * 2012 (3 years from now) 1.5 billion mobile devices will be able to access the Internet; there will be 2 billion people with Internet access (up from 1 billion in 2004) and $1.2 trillion in online purchasing.

8 years from now

40 years from now

200 years from now

1,000 years from now

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