Outside the Walls

Our civilization will eventually fail – through resource exhaustion, overreach, and hubris. The fact that many people counter that claim with the Panglossian insistence that we’ll think of something, that our technology will enable us to go on isolating ourselves from the laws of nature, is just proof of what I’m saying: a lack of exposure to the natural world makes humans stu– well, not as smart as we could be. And I predict that in the near future we will need to get smarter in a hurry.

America and Russia: Stirrings in the Borderlands

To my mind, one of the main sources of collective stupidity in modern American society is our pervasive bad habit of short-term thinking. It’s embarrassingly rare for anyone in American public life to stop and say aloud, “Hold it. What’s going to happen if we keep on doing this for more than a few more years?”

The Queen and the Philosopher: What we can Learn Today from the Story of Boudica’s Rebellion against the Roman Empire

We know very little about Queen Boudica of the Iceni (20 AD (?) – 61 AD) and most of what we know is probably deformed by Roman propaganda. But we may still be able to put together the main elements of her story and how it was that she almost threw the mighty Roman Legions out of Britain.

Perched on the Wheel of Time

The conventional wisdom of our era insists that modern industrial society can’t possibly undergo the same life cycle of rise and fall as every other civilization in history; no, no, there’s got to be some unique future awaiting us—uniquely splendid or uniquely horrible, it doesn’t even seem to matter that much, so long as it’s unique.