Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?

Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?

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The Collapse Will be Televised and Live Tweeted

wolvensnothere:;;playerWidth=645;playerHeight=363;isShowIcon=true;clipId=9829106;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=Weather;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=fixed If I might be allowed to paraphrase Moz: This joke isn’t funny anymore. FOX 5 News Atlanta: Winter Ice Storm Warning (Direct link to video, in case it decides not to work). Here in the Southern Archonic Protectorate days after the five year anniversary of the last great burnening of the Victorian countrycide, […]

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Environmental management requires long-term strategy which may not be profit-maximising; it requires outward-looking international co-operation; it requires taxation and state intervention. Such attitudes are anathema to a neoliberal. They refuse to believe there is a problem because the ideology to which they are devoted could not possibly begin to deal with it. (via grinderbot)

Or, how the west was destroyed from within by barbarians in bespoke suits.

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Let’s talk about the future of work. Let’s talk about Hacker Culture. Let’s talk about the radical democratization of knowledge and the near infinite possibilities available combining the tons of once cutting edge prohibitively expensive tech now sitting idle gathering dust available for nominal cost via a website this one guy and his pals used to literally bootstrap themselves into space.

Because we’ve managed to keep stumbling forwards, however much a mess we’ve made along the way. And there’s more aluminum sitting in rubbish dumps than mines, they say. Because we keep building new things. And then discarding them; throwing into drawers to rot objects that were for a moment the very highest of technology.

These are the moments I long for The Collapse. Apart from the mass deaths. Obviously.

What can we build when we stop trying. And start playing.

Scrapheap space programs. Fuck yeah.

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This was where a Galactic Civilisation was built from the ruins of the Twentieth Century…

The entry in the Multiverse TV Guide reads:

Twenty First Century: for the majority of timelines, this was where a Galactic Civilisation was built from the ruins of the Twentieth Century (and the Industrial Civilisation that preceded it).”

Here in Cosmic Anthropologist HQ we spend a lot of time contemplating a more fleshed out Kardashev Scale. Something that has more dimensions than just energy usage. Cultural factors. Ethical metrics.

Here in Cosmic Anthropologist HQ we’re looking forward to being able to have a bath without using a bucket.

“The Future Composts the Past.” ~ Bruce Sterling

In most of those other timelines, Giant Mutant Rats haunt a ruined Earth.


And in just one, we got to Mars in the fifteenth century. Thanks to time travelling posthumans willing to save the world by any means necessary. Obviously.


Some speculate we got there decades ago. Or rather, They did. Those with their secret space program.

History is a lie. Progress is an illusion.

The Truth, as ever, lies somewhere between what we think we know and what we fear and what we can’t even imagine.

It wasn’t until the fifth viewing of Cloud Atlas that I saw the Wachowskis are showing us more than the trap of eternal recurrence. They’re giving us glimpses of the path we’re on too. Neo Seoul and the drowning earth.

Cloud Atlas

And of course, a civilisation that just managed to reach the stars before the Collapse finally came. That managed to hurl bits of itself out into the void in one last push.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas

Which makes the plot of Jupiter Ascending all the more interesting.

from the Jupiter Ascending ‘look book’

I’m paying attention.

I’m standing here in the rubble of the World with a shovel, ready to build a Type 2 Civilisation.

Who knows, maybe the galaxy will meet us halfway?

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