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Articles: collapse of complex civilizations (13)

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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 Pretense

The decline and fall of a civilization isn’t a single event, or even a single linear process; it’s a complex fractal reality composed of many different events on many different scales in space and time.

John Michael Greer: The God Of Technological Progress May Well Be Dead

The stories running our heads influence everything from our beliefs to our values to our actions.

Planet of the Space Bats

As my regular readers know, I’ve been talking for quite a while now here about the speculative bubble that’s built up around the fracking phenomenon, and the catastrophic bust that’s guaranteed to follow so vast and delusional a boom.

Soil erosion may get us before climate change does

The real story is one of thousands of years of accelerating population growth, ruthless greed, countless wars, enormous suffering, and catastrophic ecocide. 

Dark Age America: The Hoard of the Nibelungs

Of all the differences that separate the feudal economy sketched out in last week’s post from the market economy most of us inhabit today, the one that tends to throw people for a loop most effectively is the near-total absence of money in everyday medieval life.

Achieving Sustainable Societies: Lessons from Modelling the Ancient Maya

The ancient Maya provide an example of a complex social-ecological system which developed impressively before facing catastrophic reorganization.

Dark Age America: The Senility of the Elites

The illusion of invincibility is far and away the most important asset a mature ruling elite has, because it discourages deliberate attempts at regime change from within.

Dark Age America: The Cauldron of Nations

It’s one thing to suggest, as I did in last week’s post here, that North America a few centuries from now might have something like five per cent of its current population. It’s quite another thing to talk about exactly whose descendants will comprise that five per cent.

Dark Age America: A Bitter Legacy

Civilizations normally leave a damaged environment behind them when they fall, and ours shows every sign of following that wearily familiar pattern.

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