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« Human-Computer Interaction in 2020 | Main | Survey Update »

April 10, 2008


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Sounds like a lot of speculative conjecture to me. Human civilization has never collapsed in the past and I don't see a convincing reason on why it will collapse in the future, unless something more powerful comes along (posthuman). In the past, civilizations have collapsed, but not all of human civilization.

We are on the cusp of something in the very near future that will amaze humanity. Governments can and most certainly will collapse, but all of human civilization? I am unconvinced.

Al Fin

I agree with you for the most part, Mike. It's possible that there will be some rough times between now and when that next civilisation assumes control. I hope it is as amazing as most posthuman enthusiasts seem to believe. I suspect it will be a mixed bag, like all other civilisations have been.

I like the idea of a civilisation where as you describe "human-machine hybrids, gene engineered chimeras, superintelligences, and other things we can't imagine" all coexist peacefully.

In Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations", we are given a list of Huntington's civilisations--any of which might be destroyed without the others being lost. I think the New Scientist article was talking about modern advanced human civilisation, especially western liberal civilisation, being destroyed by its own excessive complexity.

If we are foolish enough to go to war with China--and Russia, the middle east, and South Asia get involved as well--perhaps only Latin America, Africa, and parts of Oceania would still retain most of the makings of working civilisation--such as they are.

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