The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
I'm old enough too, in fact I was recruited by the elites with my musket and powder to go save democracy and freedom in Vietnam.
Perhaps I might ask, can the entire biosphere of the world survive civilization? If civilization is an r-selected variant of the species various experiments with it's primary adaptive strategy, its ability to put together various systems we put under a category we call culture (in the anthropology technical sense of it, not just Beethoven or hip hop), if those strategies are themselves the characteristics that make the environment optimal for it's growth, is it perhaps like a cancer that is able to cultivate environments of the body, making it optimal for itself at the eventual detriment and demise of the body?
Despite that type of question, I look at all this with some degree of optimism. I think Joseph Tainter wrote a fine beginning to this study you suggest in his book: The Collapse of Complex Societies where he sets out basic characteristics of collapse that can be contrasted and compared.
I'm hopeful we humans can learn from understanding what we apprehend after studying ecology, and then recognizing that we too are adapting to this environment.
Low succession type environments where r-selected species thrive, have an abundance of primary energy sources in the food chain, which are generally limited in number. The genius of agricultural practice amounts to the conscious intervention of limiting of an environment to a few desired species. In other words a human originated strategy of reducing complexity to simplicity. If we see that the simpler, low succession environments are inherently unstable, and require energy expenditure to maintain, we could conceivably at least calculate the energy available to expend, and apply such calculations to our cultural strategies.
My hopefulness for the planet is based on the initial observation that we as a species seem to be able to do these things consciously, thus the vast array of cultural experiments by different groups that we've witnessed. But then there are a whole lot of human beliefs and entrenched institutions in between whatever results those calculations might be and their implementation.
"I would pillow myself on the stream, for I'd like to cleanse my ears" - Sun Chu (218-293) Chinese recluse
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 20 46 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 22 7 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 17 44 comments
by ARGeezer - Oct 17 20 comments
by Oui - Oct 15 71 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 14 4 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 15 2 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 14 10 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 227 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 2046 comments
by ARGeezer - Oct 1720 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 1744 comments
by Oui - Oct 1571 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 152 comments
by Oui - Oct 1420 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 1410 comments
by IdiotSavant - Oct 144 comments
by Oui - Oct 1146 comments
by ARGeezer - Oct 1111 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 1071 comments
by Oui - Oct 822 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 876 comments
by Oui - Oct 333 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 223 comments
by Oui - Oct 25 comments
by Oui - Oct 1
by Oui - Sep 2872 comments
by ARGeezer - Sep 2729 comments