By David Brin
If and when our civilization expires, we may not even agree on the cause of death. Autopsies of empires are often inconclusive.
Sixty years ago, a German historian Alexander Demandt collected 210 different theories for the fall of the Roman Empire, including attacks by nomads, food poisoning, decline of Aenean character, vanity, mercantilism, a steepening class-divide, ecological degradation, and even the notion that civilizations just get tuckered out after a while.
Some were opposites, like too much Christian piety vs. too little. Or too much tolerance of internal deviance vs. the lack of it. Other reasons may have added together, piling like fatal straws on a camel’s back.
Now it’s your turn! Unlike those elitist compilers over at the Pandora Foundation, our open-source doomsday system invites you, the public, to participate in evaluating how it’s all going to end.
Using World Model 2035 as a shared starting condition, we’ve seed-slotted a thousand general doom scenarios. Groups are already forming to team-reify them. So join one, bringing your biases and special skills. Or else, start your own doomsday scenario, no matter how crackpot! Is Earth running out of phlogiston? Will mole people rise out of the ground, bent on revenge? Later, we’ll let quantum comparators rank every story according to probabilities.
But for now, it’s time for old-fashioned, unmatched human imagination. So have fun! Make your best case.
Convince us all that your chosen Failure Mode is the one that will bring us all down!
To get you started, let’s review the vast range of doom scenarios that have already been cataloged by the good (though dour) folks over at Pandora’s Cornucopia: ...
Via Artur Coelho