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Has Civilization Peaked?

Is the Matrix correct that we peaked in the late '90s? We can certainly become more technically advanced, as long as society doesn't keep unraveling. But the driving point is, do we even know what human progress looks like anymore, beyond money? And though money and modernization have produced a more prosperous world, is there a cost by focusing so heavily on tech and finance that we're creating an imbalance that does not serve the greater good?

I remember how mature my parents were at a young age, way more than me, and I don't see the same intense focus on priorities in this generation. We're becoming confused with misinformation and emotional bias. Everyone is up in everyone else's business when they should be concerned about getting their own house in order.

We need to figure this out quickly before the problems get out of control and someone hits the reset button.


 

soylentgreen

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Just a quick quote

The average length of time that a civilization lasts is 349.2 years. The median is 330 years. The civilizations that lasted the longest seem to be the Aksumite Empire which lasted 1100 years and the Vedic Period of India which lasted 1000 years.

I would like to think america can be a contender here. Make it to a thousand at least.

Chin up people, you can do it. Just remember think maga and what could possibly go wrong.
 
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Bok_Tukalo

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No.

And since the 90s, hundreds of millions of humans have been lifted out of poverty. Get some perspective.
 

noonereal

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Is the Matrix correct that we peaked in the late '90s? We can certainly become more technically advanced, as long as society doesn't keep unraveling. But the driving point is, do we even know what human progress looks like anymore, beyond money? And though money and modernization have produced a more prosperous world, is there a cost by focusing so heavily on tech and finance that we're creating an imbalance that does not serve the greater good?

I remember how mature my parents were at a young age, way more than me, and I don't see the same intense focus on priorities in this generation. We're becoming confused with misinformation and emotional bias. Everyone is up in everyone else's business when they should be concerned about getting their own house in order.

We need to figure this out quickly before the problems get out of control and someone hits the reset button.



WW3 is around the corner. This will make one and two look like a walk in the park.
Yes, civilization has peeked.
 

AConcernedCitizen

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I don't think so. Civ VI is even better than Civ V was, but I am optimistic that Civ VII will exceed even that high bar.
 

multivita-man

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Our planet can probably sustain 8 billion (the population now) to 10 billion (the population in 2040-50), but it cannot sustain that population without major - and I mean major - changes to our levels of consumption and ecological destruction.

Unless things radically change, sometime between 2030 and 2050, it's going to seem like hell on earth.
 

grip

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Our planet can probably sustain 8 billion (the population now) to 10 billion (the population in 2040-50), but it cannot sustain that population without major - and I mean major - changes to our levels of consumption and ecological destruction.

Unless things radically change, sometime between 2030 and 2050, it's going to seem like hell on earth.

We made a big boo-boo when we pinned our whole financial system to endless growth. Growth requires more and more people to be sustained but we have limited resources. Without financial expansion, we risk recession, depression, or even worse.

The system at a certain point should've started to manage away from continuous expansion and transitioned toward balance. But that doesn't allow for as much super wealth, as we see now, and grows the middle class. The uber-wealthy, who can leverage the economy to support their gouging, don't want balance, they want to be greedy without paying the destructive cost.
 
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multivita-man

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We made a big boo-boo when we pinned our whole financial system to endless growth. Growth requires more and more people to be sustained but we have limited resources. Without financial expansion, we risk recession, depression, or even worse.

The system at a certain point should've started to manage away from continuous expansion and transitioned toward balance. But that doesn't allow for as much super wealth as we see now and grows the middle class. The uber-wealthy, who can leverage the economy to support their gouging, don't want balance, they want to be greedy without paying the destructive cost.

Agreed - 100%.

Everything is about growth, and the assumption is that markets will lead to technological innovation and innovation will come in time to help us deal with our ecological destruction. I am not convinced that this is the case, and there will be significant pressures and strains on our systems that begin to appear long before we've fully ravaged the earth.

Can we sustain 8-10 billion people on the earth? Maybe so. But can a significant portion of these 8-10 billion consume the way that we do? No, no way.
 

grip

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Agreed - 100%.

Everything is about growth, and the assumption is that markets will lead to technological innovation and innovation will come in time to help us deal with our ecological destruction. I am not convinced that this is the case, and there will be significant pressures and strains on our systems that begin to appear long before we've fully ravaged the earth.

Can we sustain 8-10 billion people on the earth? Maybe so. But can a significant portion of these 8-10 billion consume the way that we do? No, no way.

Just the pressure that the current 8 billion are placing on the environment is accelerating. At some point, the ecological calamities will become exponential, along with decaying infrastructure, wars, and food, and water shortages.

It looks like we'll still be in denial, distracted by knee-jerk issues, shouting at each other "it's your fault!" Instead of coming to some intellectual consensus on how to seriously prioritize and address the most immediate problems and crises.
 

longview

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Agreed - 100%.

Everything is about growth, and the assumption is that markets will lead to technological innovation and innovation will come in time to help us deal with our ecological destruction. I am not convinced that this is the case, and there will be significant pressures and strains on our systems that begin to appear long before we've fully ravaged the earth.

Can we sustain 8-10 billion people on the earth? Maybe so. But can a significant portion of these 8-10 billion consume the way that we do? No, no way.
The only way forward is to find a way for all 8 to 10 billion to live the way we do, if they choose to.
Anything less will lead to massive wars between the energy haves and have nots.
It is not all pessimistic, there is a sustainable energy path forward, but I do not see it being embraced much.
Solar power is the answer (not wind), but it's poor density and duty cycle keep it from filling most of our energy roles.
The answer is to look at how nature stores energy, and copy it. Man made hydrocarbon fuels used as a storage medium,
could enable photovoltaic Solar to take it's proper place as a sustainable energy path.
We even the most remote village can make not only electricity, but also fuel from
water, atmospheric CO2 and electricity, the monopoly on energy will have ended.
 

Evilroddy

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Have the world's civilisation's peaked or are we talking just about America (the USA)? I don't think that human civilisation has peaked unless the nuclear-armed states decide to use their weapons in anger on us all in a global thermonuclear war. With that caveat, civilisations go through good and bad cycles before they collapse. I think that many places in the world are going through good or better cycles right now. However the West is somewhat in trouble and Western Civilisation is no longer the globally dominant civilisation it used to be for the last 450 years. What is that trouble? We are.

We have switched from being a productive manufacturing set of societies to a hybrid society of non-productive financial speculation and less productive and lower paying commerce based on services rather than harvesting resources and production. Both commerce and financial speculation have little real underpinning value and thus our economies are increasingly dependent on a foundation of playing cards teetering back and forth. This has made the business cycle more important and more damaging as we live through about seven to eight-year cycles of speculative boom and recession-driven bust.

The profits from the booms are privatised as personal or corporate earnings which are less taxed than income, but the costs of the busts are shouldered by tax-payers who are making less real income adjusted for inflation each year on average and are paying higher marginal rates on income taxes and consumption taxes. Governments have become machines for transferring public wealth held in tax coffers to private hands through the creation of artificial or otherwise avoidable crises such as wars, recessions, etc.

These self same governments are no longer as responsive to their voters as they used to be. The vertical connection between the voters and the elected has been eroded and substantially supplanted by the horizontal connections between the monied elites and the elected, through the elites generous political contributions and deferred payments to cooperative politicians who benefit from this sharing of the wealth around the apex of the political hierarchy pyramid. The voters now have far less control over their own government unless they can unify and vote overwhelmingly for a common purpose or change.

However those elites are also pouring money into public relations firms, think-tanks, special interest groups, NGOs and mainstream, corporate-controlled, mass-media and mass-social-media firms. The purpose of all that money is at least three-fold. First this money shapes the terms of of public debate, enclosing what people who are not willing to do research know, think, believe and discuss. This distraction goes deeper than just obscuring political issues. It also conditions voters to depend more on emotions and a pack-mentality which precludes cooperation and compromise rather than allowing reason and persuasion to allow voters to make cooperative change in who governs them and why.

The second facet of this horizontal flow of apex money is to divide the electorate into an archipelago of island-like, hostile, political factions in the sea of "democratic" politics. This division and worse still atomisation again makes it very, very difficult for the majority of the electorate to come together in order to challenge the interests and policies of the elites and to push through policies more suited to promoting the general welfare and opportunity of the many.

The third facet of this spending is to exacerbate existing crises or to create new crises in order to panic and shock the majority of voters into accepting emergency measures which transfer huge amounts of wealth from public tax coffers to private hands and which diminish voters' rights and freedoms. This is called the Shock Doctrine and has proved very useful for forcing through political and economic policies which favour the elites but harm the majority of voters in a democracy. These repeated shocks break the will of so many voters by using the perception of a state of emergency so as to get things passed in democracies that a calm voting public would never willingly accept to be passed. Thus disaster capitalism is going gang busters these days.

That is enough for now, but more will follow as well as suggestions for possible solutions.

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
 

Germinator

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Is the Matrix correct that we peaked in the late '90s? We can certainly become more technically advanced, as long as society doesn't keep unraveling. But the driving point is, do we even know what human progress looks like anymore, beyond money?

We need to figure this out quickly before the problems get out of control and someone hits the reset button.

human nature being what it is (i.e. self absorbed AND self centered) 99.999% of the population don't want to face the simple fact that there are limits to growth (on a finite planet),... if you have not heard of the concept it was a systematic model developed at MIT back in the early 1970s

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth

the limits to growth (on a finite planet) is typically illustrated using the info graphic that shows the relationship of various variables

on-a-finite-planet-1-of-2.png


but not everyone can relate so FWIW

on-a-finite-planet-2-of-2.png


as far as civilization peaking in the 90's personally find demographic arguments useful AND it points to the fact that 2019 (the year before covid) was the global economic, industrial output AND food production peak



AND since you mentioned "money" (here is a demographic argument that 99.999% of traders can't come to terms with)


as far as the reset button,... there is an expression,... "Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It"

thousands of years ago the bronze age collapse happened



in South Western part of the USA and in Central America (about a thousand years ago) there were periods of severe drought that caused organized societies to collapse



seems 99.999% of people don't know their history,... so the unfortunate truth is history will again most likely reset (just sayin)
 
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TypicalRussian

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Is the Matrix correct that we peaked in the late '90s? We can certainly become more technically advanced, as long as society doesn't keep unraveling. But the driving point is, do we even know what human progress looks like anymore, beyond money? And though money and modernization have produced a more prosperous world, is there a cost by focusing so heavily on tech and finance that we're creating an imbalance that does not serve the greater good?

I remember how mature my parents were at a young age, way more than me, and I don't see the same intense focus on priorities in this generation. We're becoming confused with misinformation and emotional bias. Everyone is up in everyone else's business when they should be concerned about getting their own house in order.

We need to figure this out quickly before the problems get out of control and someone hits the reset button.


western civilization peaked in the year 1912. Every year after that has seen some kind of degradation. Especially with two devastating world wars, and the social revolutions of the 60's and 70's
 

grip

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western civilization peaked in the year 1912. Every year after that has seen some kind of degradation. Especially with two devastating world wars, and the social revolutions of the 60's and 70's
I personally liked the '70s, just before tech took over. If we could've brought the late '90s style of PCs and cell phones to that era, it would be exceptional. They currently make tech too busy and distracting, with too many useless options.
 

TypicalRussian

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I personally liked the '70s, just before tech took over. If we could've brought the late '90s style of PCs and cell phones to that era, it would be exceptional. They currently make tech too busy and distracting, with too many useless options.
the 70's?? With the crime and sexual revolution? Surprising but it's your opinion
 

Germinator

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western civilization peaked in the year 1912. Every year after that has seen some kind of degradation. Especially with two devastating world wars, and the social revolutions of the 60's and 70's
I personally liked the '70s, just before tech took over. If we could've brought the late '90s style of PCs and cell phones to that era, it would be exceptional. They currently make tech too busy and distracting, with too many useless options.

huh,... IF civilization peaked/stopped in 1912 THEN would be no antibiotics (which was discovered in the 1940')

WRT tech being too busy and too distracting, with too many useless options,... ever consider it the weak link is actually weak minded people (not technology)???

think of it this way a scapal (which is a piece of technology) in the hands of skilled surgeon can save a persons life if for example an appendix burst and needs to be removed,... OR consider a scapal in the hands of a young child, which is a disaster in the making,... capeesh?!

IMHO the root problem humanity faces AND a problem few actually think about is not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need"

truth is from ancient times there have been not so subtle reminders that "wants" are evil and deadly,... for example consider the ancient story of king Midas (who wanted everything he touched, turn to gold)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midas

...then consider the New Testament story of the rich man asking Jesus what he needed to do to gain entry to heaven

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10:17-31&version=RSVCE

a more example of "wants" are evil and deadly, is the tolstoy story how much land does a man need

http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/2738/

AND yet another another example of "wants" are evil BUT actually turned into a false religious belief (AND political movement) is "the prosperity gospel"

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/p/prosperity-gospel/

political-prosperity-gospel-believers.png


actually should point out not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need" even applies to BLM,... in other words,... “buy large mansions” which is a greedy self serving misguided cluster phuck that is political in nature

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bl...ut-using-white-guilt-to-make-green/ar-AAVY6gT

http://www.foxnews.com/us/california-report-comprehensive-reparations

bottom line,... humanity is slowly but surely killing itself on spaceship earth because of consumerism AND greed,... in other words people in general are the weak link because 99.999% of the population is too self absorbed AND too self centered so they cannot differentiate a "want" from a "need"

said another way people are too self absorbed, too self centered AND short sighted to face the simple fact that there are limits to growth (on a finite planet) so collectively humanity is blindly walking off a precipice

OODA-loop-insurance-against-a-darwin-award.png
 

grip

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huh,... IF civilization peaked/stopped in 1912 THEN would be no antibiotics (which was discovered in the 1940')

WRT tech being too busy and too distracting, with too many useless options,... ever consider it the weak link is actually weak minded people (not technology)???

think of it this way a scapal (which is a piece of technology) in the hands of skilled surgeon can save a persons life if for example an appendix burst and needs to be removed,... OR consider a scapal in the hands of a young child, which is a disaster in the making,... capeesh?!

IMHO the root problem humanity faces AND a problem few actually think about is not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need"

truth is from ancient times there have been not so subtle reminders that "wants" are evil and deadly,... for example consider the ancient story of king Midas (who wanted everything he touched, turn to gold)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midas

...then consider the New Testament story of the rich man asking Jesus what he needed to do to gain entry to heaven

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10:17-31&version=RSVCE

a more example of "wants" are evil and deadly, is the tolstoy story how much land does a man need

http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/2738/

AND yet another another example of "wants" are evil BUT actually turned into a false religious belief (AND political movement) is "the prosperity gospel"

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/p/prosperity-gospel/

political-prosperity-gospel-believers.png


actually should point out not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need" even applies to BLM,... in other words,... “buy large mansions” which is a greedy self serving misguided cluster phuck that is political in nature

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bl...ut-using-white-guilt-to-make-green/ar-AAVY6gT

http://www.foxnews.com/us/california-report-comprehensive-reparations

bottom line,... humanity is slowly but surely killing itself on spaceship earth because of consumerism AND greed,... in other words people in general are the weak link because 99.999% of the population is too self absorbed AND too self centered so they cannot differentiate a "want" from a "need"

said another way people are too self absorbed, too self centered AND short sighted to face the simple fact that there are limits to growth (on a finite planet) so collectively humanity is blindly walking off a precipice

OODA-loop-insurance-against-a-darwin-award.png

I can't argue with most of this. Of course, ideally, I'd like to combine the best aspects of each era into one parousia.
 

TypicalRussian

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huh,... IF civilization peaked/stopped in 1912 THEN would be no antibiotics (which was discovered in the 1940')

WRT tech being too busy and too distracting, with too many useless options,... ever consider it the weak link is actually weak minded people (not technology)???

think of it this way a scapal (which is a piece of technology) in the hands of skilled surgeon can save a persons life if for example an appendix burst and needs to be removed,... OR consider a scapal in the hands of a young child, which is a disaster in the making,... capeesh?!

IMHO the root problem humanity faces AND a problem few actually think about is not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need"

truth is from ancient times there have been not so subtle reminders that "wants" are evil and deadly,... for example consider the ancient story of king Midas (who wanted everything he touched, turn to gold)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midas

...then consider the New Testament story of the rich man asking Jesus what he needed to do to gain entry to heaven

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10:17-31&version=RSVCE

a more example of "wants" are evil and deadly, is the tolstoy story how much land does a man need

http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/2738/

AND yet another another example of "wants" are evil BUT actually turned into a false religious belief (AND political movement) is "the prosperity gospel"

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/p/prosperity-gospel/

political-prosperity-gospel-believers.png


actually should point out not being able to differentiate a "want" from a "need" even applies to BLM,... in other words,... “buy large mansions” which is a greedy self serving misguided cluster phuck that is political in nature

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bl...ut-using-white-guilt-to-make-green/ar-AAVY6gT

http://www.foxnews.com/us/california-report-comprehensive-reparations

bottom line,... humanity is slowly but surely killing itself on spaceship earth because of consumerism AND greed,... in other words people in general are the weak link because 99.999% of the population is too self absorbed AND too self centered so they cannot differentiate a "want" from a "need"

said another way people are too self absorbed, too self centered AND short sighted to face the simple fact that there are limits to growth (on a finite planet) so collectively humanity is blindly walking off a precipice

OODA-loop-insurance-against-a-darwin-award.png
yes 1912 saw the peak of civilization
 

craig

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I don't think so. Civ VI is even better than Civ V was, but I am optimistic that Civ VII will exceed even that high bar.
I like CIV V better. Just conquered the world again.
 

craig

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Is the Matrix correct that we peaked in the late '90s? We can certainly become more technically advanced, as long as society doesn't keep unraveling. But the driving point is, do we even know what human progress looks like anymore, beyond money? And though money and modernization have produced a more prosperous world, is there a cost by focusing so heavily on tech and finance that we're creating an imbalance that does not serve the greater good?

I remember how mature my parents were at a young age, way more than me, and I don't see the same intense focus on priorities in this generation. We're becoming confused with misinformation and emotional bias. Everyone is up in everyone else's business when they should be concerned about getting their own house in order.

We need to figure this out quickly before the problems get out of control and someone hits the reset button.


It wasn't until the late17th century that the west thought civilization had recovered from the fall of Rome.
 
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