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Comment of the day

Ian Welsh (on his own great post):

Imagine living in the last days of the Roman empire, and knowing it (and many of them did) [I don't see how that's knowable. But fin de siecle? Sure]. Maybe even figuring you know how to save it, but knowing as well that the politics and economics are so dysfunctional that it just isn’t going to happen, even if it’s theoretically possible. Or imagine living in Sung China, as the Mongols bear down. You may have decades, but you can guess that they are going to win… (though the Mongols weren’t bad to be ruled by, it was the conquest that sucked).

Which is to say, well, humanity’s been there before (including one point where we were down to maybe 15K population, iirc.)

What could go wrong?

Well, almost everything. But who knows? Maybe the choke point that the 15K get through this time is somewhere out on the margins. And maybe Ian is wrong. Pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will. Because in the long run, we're all dead!

NOTE Slightly edited. It's going to be helpful, I think, to those who make it through the chokepoint that they be able to write. Though I don't know what language, or even what script. So it's important to save as many as possible...

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Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

The power of "nothing to lose"

Europe's Troubles Will Lead to the Rise of the Communist Left

 . . . it sounding hyperbolic, [but] it represents the vanguard of thinking about the European crisis.

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/art...

. . . in these final moments the rich are trying to get all they can while there is still time. The fusion of corporatism, militarism and internal and external intelligence agencies-much of their work done by private contractors-has given these corporations terrifying mechanisms of control. Think of it, as the Greeks do, as a species of foreign occupation. Think of the Greek riots as a struggle for liberation.
 http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_...

General Washington's picture
Submitted by General Washington on

Save all the Doctor Who DVD's (classic series being the highest priority)! I can't imagine those 15K will feel subsistence living is worth it without a little British Sci-Fi and a solar-powered TV/DVD player combo.

One can confidently rest assured - for various reasons that have more to do with current levels of food security and current levels of geographical dispersion than who has the most money or the largest nuclear stockpile - that English and/or Spanish will be the surviving languages, so we're safe there...

In a less humorous vein, it's rather irrelevant whether humanity (a sui generis concept entirely dependent on your definition of "humanity") survives or not. We may, we may not. Speaking only for myself, honestly - as a card-carrying member of the species - do not care any longer.

And while it would be a massive waste of 160-200K years of torturous evolution and effort, there's likely enough time before ole Sol decides the dust motes that buzz around it just absolutely need to be significantly warmer for another genus to produce something just as smart .

If not - in a less realistic vein - perhaps something a little smarter.