Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think you underestimate the probability of a sudden die off of a large share of the human population : they have happened regularly in the past, and our bio-medical technology might not be able to prevent a new, fast spreading disease.

See what is happening with AIDS in Africa ; the same could actually happen, as it did with the Plague before the Renaissance.

BTW, the Renaissance was literally a rebirth of population at the end of the middle ages ; it had been almost divided by two after the Plague and the Hundred Years wars. The subsequent social and cultural transformations, as humans became rarer, were major factors in starting up the Renaissance.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 09:50:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO the Renaissance is a textbook example of adaptive radiation following the 14th Century Extinction event, transposed from the context of biological evolution to cultural evolution.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 09:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why aI took a quite strogn definition of die-off at one fifth.. One fifth events are particularly rare.. even in human history... I wanted to indicate that human populations ..e ven in rare circumstances do not ahve one-fifth ratio fo deaths.. unless they are unleashed by other group of people killing them directly...

And I think that the probability of soem sudden global war among large groups of people is not taht high... but maybe I am being too optimistic.. the thing is that a global war could get ut of control and affect those in command of it.. making it much more less palatable.

ANd massive die off due to economic circumstance are very rare (although it can help to increase the risk of some population.. but frankly most of the people in the world already do).. and regarding soem kind of ecologic cataclism.. well it will be pattern based and local.. so there can be massive disruption ... refugwees... but not reaching the one-fifth threshold.... that was my point..

Of course ... the probability of major climate catastrophe includes an increase in the death rate... but not a massive die-off...... but I do not call 100 million people dying suddenly due to a rise water leves a "massive die off"... because it does not reach the 1 billion people threhold.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 01:03:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... governments are focused more on maintaining a political dialogue that supports their continued rule than in maintaining a political dialogue that supports a clear view of reality.

In that context, it is not necessary for leaders to pursue a course of action that they see has a serious prospect of causing their injury or death ... it is simply necessary for leader to pursue a course of action where becoming aware of those types of consequences requires people to say what is politically damaging to be heard saying.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 04:40:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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