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The Cimmerian Hypothesis, Part Two: A Landscape of Hallucinations

People raised in urban environments come to treat their mental models as realities, more real than the often-unruly facts on the ground, because everything they encounter in their immediate environments reinforces those models.

The Cimmerian hypothesis (part 1): civilization and barbarism

People in civilizations tend to cut themselves off from the immediate experience of nature nature to a much greater extent than the uncivilized do. Does this help explain why civilizations crash and burn so reliably, leaving the barbarians to play drinking games with mead while sitting unsteadily on the smoldering ruins?

Darwin's Casino

Our age has no shortage of curious features, but for me, at least, one of the oddest is the way that so many people these days don’t seem to be able to think through the consequences of their own beliefs.

The Dream of the Machine

The fact that one narrowly defined aspect of the universe seems to behave like a machine, though, does not prove that the universe is a machine, any more than the fact that one machine happens to look like a purple dinosaur proves that all machines are purple dinosaurs.

The Delusion of Control

I’m sure most of my readers have heard at least a little of the hullaballoo surrounding the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. It’s been entertaining to watch...

An Affirming Flame

According to an assortment of recent news stories, this Thursday, June 18, is the make-or-break date by which a compromise has to be reached between Greece and the EU if a Greek default, with the ensuing risk of a potential Greek exit from the Eurozone, is to be avoided

The Era of Dissolution

I suppose you could call the era of dissolution the Rodney Dangerfield of collapse, though it’s not so much that it gets no respect; it generally doesn’t even get discussed.

The Era of Breakdown

The fourth of the stages in the sequence of collapse we’ve been discussing is the era of breakdown.

The Era of Response

The third stage of the process of collapse, following what I’ve called the eras of pretense and impact, is the era of response

The Era of Impact

The era of impact is the point at which it becomes clear to most people that something has gone wrong with the most basic narratives of a society...
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