Tagged: civilization


Big Data predicts Riots in 2020

Remember Psychohistory — the fictional science in Asimov’s FOUNDATION saga, in which Hari Seldon used mathematical models to predict the overall behavior of large human populations? Well, it’s a little bit real… Have you ever noticed that the United States has massive outbreaks of violence every 50 years or so? Remember the Civil War (~1870)? The Depression (~1920)? Civil Rights protests (~1970)? New historical data plus Big-Data tools are giving rise to a mathematical approach to human history. And oh yeah, it predicts that the years around 2020 could be a bit rough…


Jesus’ TED talk #5: When the Capitol is surrounded by armies

A day is coming when you will see the Capitol surrounded by armies. On that day, you may think that the time for violence has arrived; you may think that God will give you victory “because this is God’s country” or whatever. That will not be a day to fight; it will be a day to run. The day to bug-out and head for the hills. Because it will be a massacre the likes of which you have never seen. There will be politicians and demagogues who will claim that they can save us from this fate, if only we pledge our allegiance to them — along with their pet schemes, miraculous technologies, and scapegoats du jour. Don’t fall for that. Our civilization is unsustainable, so don’t believe anyone who tells you they can sustain it.


Genesis: Duck Dynasty with Sheep

I have loved the book of Genesis in the way I might love a crazy alcoholic uncle who ruins Thanksgivings. But since reading Genesis and the Decline of Civilization, I have begun to enjoy this uncle’s company again. He’s still crazy, but it’s a more of a Yoda-when-he-first-meets-Luke kind of crazy. The author develops a vision of Genesis as the book of a tribal revolution against empire. Think DUCK DYNASTY with sheep. There are even rumors that the real revolution never really ended, and that this revolution may in fact be the last best hope for 21st century humans who are tired of building other people’s pyramids.


Cain and Abel: 10,000 B.C.

It’s 10,000 B.C.  You live in a tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers who have recently added goat-herding to your food production repertoire.  But one of your neighboring tribes has started farming—planting and harvesting crops from their single permanent settlement.  Their slash-and-burn technique gave them a couple good harvests until it depleted the soil and stopped producing. They sacrifice a portion of their crop to El (just like you do with your goats), but El is no longer rewarding them with good harvests.  They work their butts off from sunrise to sunset every day (in contrast to your 14-hour work week), but...