The weekend after T’giving and I will post my usual FYI posts.
There is always some dude walking the streets of a city with a sign that reads “Repent! The End Is Near”….and when asked he will wax poetic and spew doom and gloom.
There are philosophers that believe that we humans have reached the pinnacle of our intelligence.
Despite huge advances in science over the past century, our understanding of nature is still far from complete. Not only have scientists failed to find the Holy Grail of physics – unifying the very large (general relativity) with the very small (quantum mechanics) – they still don’t know what the vast majority of the universe is made up of. The sought after Theory of Everything continues to elude us. And there are other outstanding puzzles, too, such as how consciousness arises from mere matter.
Will science ever be able to provide all the answers? Human brains are the product of blind and unguided evolution. They were designed to solve practical problems impinging on our survival and reproduction, not to unravel the fabric of the universe. This realization has led some philosophers to embrace a curious form of pessimism, arguing there are bound to be things we will never understand. Human science will therefore one day hit a hard limit – and may already have done so.
With that said is it possible that our decline may have already began?
As the world reels under each new outbreak of crisis—record heatwaves across the Western hemisphere, devastating fires across the Amazon rainforest, the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian, severe ice melting at the poles—the question of how bad things might get, and how soon, has become increasingly urgent.
The fear of collapse is evident in the framing of movements such as ‘Extinction Rebellion’ and in resounding warnings that business-as-usual means heading toward an uninhabitable planet.
But a growing number of experts not only point at the looming possibility that human civilization itself is at risk; some believe that the science shows it is already too late to prevent collapse. The outcome of the debate on this is obviously critical: it throws light on whether and how societies should adjust to this uncertain landscape.
If the end is near the next question will be….what cokes with the end of history?
We all have a sense, however vague, of our position within history: a set of assumptions about how the past, present and future join together. Our understanding of the world’s direction of travel – decline, progress, cycle, apocalypse – is shaped by the events we see happening around us, but also by politics.
Is the end near?
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
“Lego Ergo Scribo”