Watching the interview with some of the more well known names in the “peak everything and downward slide worldview” world (mentioned last week), it seemed to be an ultimate summary of the troubles facing us. Every day, we can see examples of the general silliness/idiocy/complacency which surrounds us. Message received; we are in for an interesting ride.
This being a more-about-questions sort of blog – what isn’t being discussed, or discussed very rarely, in these kinds of discussions? My own small list:
- Are we totally ignoring the possibilities of AI, aliens, the ‘we are living in a simulation’ concept, true breakthroughs (in social science) and in the ability of more than 150 people in a group getting to know each other well? All are serious stretches of the imagination, but the world can get pretty strange some days.
- Some posit the stairstep decline in civilization, as Rome took centuries to fall. But will our interconnectedness cause a true TEOTWAWKI event, especially if it is triggered by something like EMP? Is fast collapse really so unlikely?
- We will always have “unknown unknowns”; by definition, we can’t know what they might be, but could these sorts of things accelerate or decelerate our demise? Asking for what these might be would seem to take away the ‘unknown’ elements (and make a bit of a paradox, since it wouldn’t be unknown any more).
- Would a die-off of affluent people be enough to make the world more habitable for humans?
None of these up there in the “probability of happening” department. If I “were a betting person”, my gut would say some combination of Kunstler/Greer/Orlov is our probable future. But are we missing something? These questions aren’t meant to be a laundry list of ‘deus ex machina’ events that would save us. If any of these things came to pass, there would still be a lot of predicaments to handle. My view is here is that we shouldn’t be too complacent in our worldview, even this one.