Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 155 (8144 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 10-22-2014 9:49 AM
72 online now:
1.61803, Cat Sci, Dr Adequate, jar, PaulK, Theodoric, xongsmith (7 members, 65 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: MikeManea
Upcoming Birthdays: purpledawn
Post Volume:
Total: 738,266 Year: 24,107/28,606 Month: 1,408/1,786 Week: 270/423 Day: 30/77 Hour: 15/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev12
3
Author Topic:   Human Social Evolution (in the face of civilization collapse)
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 31 of 41 (519938)
08-18-2009 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Coyote
08-18-2009 12:09 AM


Re: A candle in the dark?
quote:
If the friendly neighborhood archaeologist knew all of these things, and you did not, you would be his slave!

If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Coyote, posted 08-18-2009 12:09 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2161
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 32 of 41 (519942)
08-18-2009 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Evlreala
08-18-2009 1:46 PM


With all due respect, would you please pull your head out of whatever orifice it's jammed into and just respond to what I'm saying instead of making up minutiae to quibble over.

dwise1 writes:

OK, here's a challenge. In 7th grade, my math teacher demonstrated to us a long-hand method to calculate the square-root of calculating any given number. Do not use any Internet resource.

You're challenging me to math? Are you serious? First of all, I didn't have your math teacher, so how am I supposed to know what metheod they taught you? You want to know how I was taught? First, its irrellivent to the topic, second it would take more effort then I'm willing to give you, and third, theres no way for me to prove that I didnt "use an internet resource" and to be honest, you don't come accross as the type of person to trust my word sence you've clearly already made up your mind about it.

Don't be an idiot! I was not challenging your math skills, but rather placing you in the situation of a post-collapse person who needs to calculate a square root in order to accomplish a task. Is it possible for you to stop and think for a moment?

I told you to not use any internet resource, because, guess what, in the post-collapse world there is no internet anymore! You got that?

No internet, no computer, no calculators. You would need to think your way to a solution. Our ancestors had methods to solve that problem, but -- and this was my point -- most, if not the vast majority, of us were never taught those old methods and those who were taught them never practiced them enough to remember them decades later.

So post-collapse man would either need to find some reference somewhere with that information or else he would need to reinvent the wheel from scratch. I have only encountered the technique I was briefly taught in 7th grade (similar in format to long division) one other time: in a US Navy correspondence course. The other night I tried to find it again, but couldn't. Also, nowadays those courses are published as PDF files and we all know how readable those will be in the post-collapse world.

There is one out, though. It is possible that this post-collapse man had found a slide rule. But how many people currently under 50 ever learned to use one of those, let alone learned what it was based on?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Evlreala, posted 08-18-2009 1:46 PM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Evlreala, posted 08-19-2009 3:48 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2161
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 33 of 41 (519944)
08-18-2009 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Evlreala
08-18-2009 3:24 AM


(sorry for the delay, internet time where I am is scarce at best and I have to copy/paste your posts when I get the chance and reply when I'm next on.)

No problem. That was SOP back in the day when CompuServe charged for every minute of connect time over a 300-baud modem. Get on only long enough to download replies and capture new posts, then read and reply to them off-line.

dwise1 writes:

He was obviously positing a global collapse, not a localized one as you are.


"Obvious" implies that the scenario was clearly defined, which it was not.

Well, while it seemed obvious to me, I guess almost anything is open to different interpretations. Though now DBlevins has explicitly stated in Message 22:

quote:
As far as your replies to my question, I would like to clear up any misconceptions about what it is I am asking. I am positing the collapse as one that is Global, for whatever reason, ...

So that issue is now rendered moot.

Evlreala writes:

Ex. ..It is safe to assume that the 3rd definition of civilization is applicable, considering Europe is only one specific place in the world. (correct me if my understanding is wrong.)


Show me where my reasoning was flawed.

So now you're arguing with yourself? I wonder who will win that one.

I fail to see how restating my own argument back to me is helpful. Did you misunderstand what I meant by "global influance?" I was trying to be as direct as I could while still being honest(considering I don't know how other countries would react with an unknown fall of civilization.)

. . .

That is, once again, kind of my point..

. . .

And restating my argument accomplishes..?

. . .

Pointing out my position to me over and over accomplishes nothing more then making your content look redundant. If I am wrong, then so be it, but where is the flaw to my logic?

Well if you agree with me, then what's the problem? If I've been supporting what you were saying, then what's the problem?

I correctly took the thread to be talking about a global collapse (this kind of discussion most commonly is on a global scale) while you mistook it to be about a localized collapse. So it appears that we were talking past each other. I saw you talking about this global collapse actually being localized, so I pointed out, quite correctly I believe, that the only way for this localized collapse having the same effects as a global one would be if for some reason those other surviving powers were to not intervene. You seem to agree with that, yet you keep opposing it. So what's the problem?

dwise1 writes:

The Western Empire was a case of a localized collapse that was rendered identical to a global collapse because the affected region remained isolated from the rest of the globe that was not affected. For about 1000 years after Rome had fallen, Constantinoble continued to function and to rule the Eastern Empire, Byzantium. Yet when Rome fell, Constantinoble did not come to its aid and so Rome's localized collapse effectively became a global collapse.

I'm afraid you are only partially correct. Rome fell, true, but groups did flee Rome taking their customs, knowledge, skills, and insight with them. Explain how this constitutes isolation.

{blink, blink}

OK, so groups fled Rome. And this alleviated the isolation of Rome exactly how? They were leaving Rome, not arriving with support to rebuild Rome. The outside world received those refugees and may have been affected by them, but not Rome. Rome remained isolated. For that isolation to be lifted, groups such as those refugees would have to have come streaming into Rome, bringing their customs, knowledge, skills, and insight with them. Which didn't happen for another 1000 years, when Byzantium herself started to fall.

BTW, do you have any information on those groups of refugees? Where they went? What they founded and what that eventually became? What effect they had on the regions where they eventually settled? Out of curiosity.

dwise1 writes:

Therefore, all your scenarios are rendered moot.

Also, your scenarios have nothing to do with the OP, which posited a global collapse.

Stating "therefore" doesn't make your argument sequential.

You assert a global colapse.. Okay, I'm open to the possibility that I am wrong, however, the example demonstrates a local colapse. Pointing out my position to me over and over accomplishes nothing more then making your content look redundant. If I am wrong, then so be it, but where is the flaw to my logic?

And it turns out that you are wrong; it was a global collapse, not a local one. And the OP also admits that Rome was perhaps not the best example.

The dynamics and recovery from a local collapse are different from a global collapse. All your scenarios were for a local collapse and are therefore moot for a global collapse.

However:

dwise1 writes:

Uh, hello????? A "post-apocalpse future" is hardly dissimilar to "the fall of civilization." In the case of a global collapse, the two are identical. In the case of a localized collapse, as I have demonstrated the point is completely and utterly moot.

Actually.. No..

Or should I start this off with a juvinial attempt to talk down to you with using a common phrase found in pop culture and signify its exaggeration with the use of several question marks.. No, I think I will step away from acting like I'm 12.

Even in the face of global collapse, the two are not identical. Post-apocoliptic refers to a specific kind of fall of civilization. Take for example if every world government were to suddenly fail. This is a type of a fall of civilization, yet it is not apocoliptic by any definition.

Despite your inappropriate ad hominem (and it would help if you were to at least appear to attempt to pay attention), you do raise a good point that is applicable to a global collapse: How did the collapse occur?

Just off the top of my head, I see two ... no, three ... factors here that would affect the extent of the collapse and the rate of recovery out of it.

1. How quickly did it happen? An over-night collapse would be more devastating than one that takes years or decades. Our local political and social systems would be better able to survive a slow collapse and so our ability to organize our survival and recovery efforts would be better. A rapid collapse would undoubtedly cause much of society to unravel, requiring us to rebuild much of it later as we try to recover.

2. How extensive was the damage? If a lot of artifacts and written knowledge survived, then our hopes of recovery and of regaining the old lost knowledge that we now need again will be much better. If virtually all of it has been destroyed, then we're basically back in the Stone Age having to reinvent all those old skills all over again. And there is a broad spectrum between those extremes.

In any case, our global and national and state infrastructure would not survive, though local infrastructures could still survive to varying degrees depending on the extent of the damage.

3. How much of the population survived? Just a few of us, small bands, entire communities? And how long did the decimation take?

And as for the rest of your inventing minutiae to quibble over, in this case "we knew for a fact", haven't you ever heard of Common Wisdom (AKA "Conventional Wisdom")? That is the generally held consensus of the community. That does not by any stretch of the imagination (except your own, apparently) mean that everybody held that view. Indeed, it is those who challenge Common Wisdom who lead us to most advances in knowledge and technology.

And thank you for pointing out how true that Star Trek story was. Most of those advances you mention, if not all of them, were inspired and motivated by Star Trek. Despite Common Wisdom, they want to find a way to make that technology happen.

Exactly my point. Again, since you agree with my point, what's the problem?

Edited by dwise1, : Added AKA


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Evlreala, posted 08-18-2009 3:24 AM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Evlreala, posted 08-19-2009 3:48 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 198 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 34 of 41 (519986)
08-18-2009 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by DBlevins
08-17-2009 6:34 PM


Re: A candle in the dark?
DBlevins writes:

I hope you'll forgive my late responses, and not mistake this for a lack of interest in my own subject but only due to a hectic schedule.

Not at all.. It is perfectly understandable that you have a life outside of an internet forum, thank you for responding at all. =D

Thank you, also, for clearing things up a bit for us.. I'll have to address this new model once I have more time. For now, I'll leave you with this.. We as a species, have something we did not have back in the past. Not only is our recorded knowledge widespread and easily accessable, but (the part that truely sets us apart) the ability to read and apply that information is not only almost as widespread, but has become a family tradition in most of the modern world to teach at home.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by DBlevins, posted 08-17-2009 6:34 PM DBlevins has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by DBlevins, posted 08-20-2009 6:39 PM Evlreala has responded

    
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 198 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 35 of 41 (520018)
08-19-2009 3:48 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by dwise1
08-18-2009 2:35 PM


dwise1 writes:

With all due respect, would you please pull your head out of whatever orifice it's jammed into and just respond to what I'm saying instead of making up minutiae to quibble over.

With all due respect, would you please stop acting like a child when someone disagrees with your premises? I am and have been addressing your arguments, the problem stems from your inability to functionaly present them in a manner that is both sequential and while restraining your temper.

I know its asking much of you, but would you care to share an example of a "minutiae" that you are refering to?

Continuing..

Don't be an idiot! I was not challenging your math skills, but rather placing you in the situation of a post-collapse person who needs to calculate a square root in order to accomplish a task. Is it possible for you to stop and think for a moment?

And so you resort to ad hominem attacks.. Pathedic.

Lets break it down;

OK, here's a challenge.

As of yet, this first sentance tells me there is a challenge, but not yet any specifics as to whom you are addressing. Without any other source to tell me the challenge is for another party (perhaps hypothedical) I must assume you are issuing the challenge to me as I am the target of this conversation from your end.
In 7th grade, my math teacher demonstrated to us a long-hand method to calculate the square-root of calculating any given number.
Specifics about the potential challenge have been given. parameters (however weak) have been made and defined.
Do not use any Internet resource.

Finally, the last bit, a restriction on the challenge. As this is the last sentance of the paragraph, it is reasonable to assume that this is the challenge in its entirety.

Even in placing me in your "situation" it is still a challenge of my math skills.. You are, afterall, challenging me to demonstrate how to use longhand to calculate the square root of a given number, thus.. math. I have demonstrated my thought processes in detail, ergo, I do think. Baseless insults wont work when I can break them down and demonstrate the fallacy. Might I recomend something akin to civility?

I told you to not use any internet resource, because, guess what, in the post-collapse world there is no internet anymore! You got that?

I "got" that, I'm not challenging why you added that restriction to the challenge. Go back and read my post again. I'm stating how the challenge is a moot point as I believe you to be the kind of person who would not take my word when I say I did not use "any internet resources."

No internet, no computer, no calculators. You would need to think your way to a solution. Our ancestors had methods to solve that problem, but -- and this was my point -- most, if not the vast majority, of us were never taught those old methods and those who were taught them never practiced them enough to remember them decades later.

As I have pointed out before, this is presumptious of you. You assume this to be the case, and for many it may be, however, your premise isn't based on real data but on a belief. Can you provide evidence to support this claim?

Until then, I reject your premise.

So post-collapse man would either need to find some reference somewhere with that information or else he would need to reinvent the wheel from scratch. I have only encountered the technique I was briefly taught in 7th grade (similar in format to long division) one other time: in a US Navy correspondence course. The other night I tried to find it again, but couldn't. Also, nowadays those courses are published as PDF files and we all know how readable those will be in the post-collapse world.

Like.. a book? Or someone who knows how to perform the same equation (assuming post-collapse man doesn't know)?

Ohh, and to counter your last point, these courses are still printed in book format.

There is one out, though. It is possible that this post-collapse man had found a slide rule. But how many people currently under 50 ever learned to use one of those, let alone learned what it was based on?

I assume you are refering to a slipstick? I'm not sure which the real name is, but there is a kid on my street who uses one, though not used as much in favor of the more accurate and quick to process scientific calculator there are still many out there who know how to use them. This argument is only valid if you first assume the "post-collapse" man is unable to perform math without one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by dwise1, posted 08-18-2009 2:35 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 198 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 36 of 41 (520019)
08-19-2009 3:48 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by dwise1
08-18-2009 3:04 PM


dwise1 writes:

Well, while it seemed obvious to me, I guess almost anything is open to different interpretations. Though now DBlevins has explicitly stated in Message 22:

Indeed, anything is open to interpretation especially when it is stated so vague. As I have stated all along, I have been open to the possibility that I was wrong.

So now you're arguing with yourself? I wonder who will win that one.

I'm honestly wondering if your reading comprehension failed you, you misrepresented my post to cause unnessessary ridicule, or if I just wasn't clear enough..

The "Ex." at the begining of the qs'd area was there to identify it as an example to the statement made before it, which was;

Using the example given by the OP, I presented a logicly sound reasoning as to how I interpreted the meaning whie admiting I could be wrong and asking for a clarification if one believed it were so.

The next statement was made in conjunction with the first two parts.

Thus;
Statement
Example of statement
then, follow-up question

Well if you agree with me, then what's the problem? If I've been supporting what you were saying, then what's the problem?

The problem is your understanding of the argument, your use of logical fallacys (non sequester and ad hominum to name a few), and your ability to make assumptions.

I correctly took the thread to be talking about a global collapse (this kind of discussion most commonly is on a global scale) while you mistook it to be about a localized collapse.
Yes, and the OP (DBlevins) admited their example was misleading, you still have not shown me where the flaw to my logic was.
So it appears that we were talking past each other. I saw you talking about this global collapse actually being localized, so I pointed out, quite correctly I believe, that the only way for this localized collapse having the same effects as a global one would be if for some reason those other surviving powers were to not intervene. You seem to agree with that, yet you keep opposing it.
Incorrect, I agreed to the premise, however at the time it was irrilevent. Until DBlevins made the clarification (after the fact, I might add) There was no reason to assume that anyone would not interfere. My reasoning for which has yet to be proven unsound, I'm still waiting.
So what's the problem?

Ahem..

Evlreala writes:

The problem is your understanding of the argument, your use of logical fallacys (non sequester, red herring and ad hominum to name a few), and your ability to make assumptions.

OK, so groups fled Rome. And this alleviated the isolation of Rome exactly how?

dictionary.com writes:

Isolate
verb, -lat⋅ed, -lat⋅ing, noun, adjective
1. to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.
2. Medicine/Medical. to keep (an infected person) from contact with noninfected persons; quarantine.
3. Chemistry, Bacteriology. to obtain (a substance or microorganism) in an uncombined or pure state.
4. Electricity. to insulate.
5. Television. to single out (a person, action, etc.) for a camera closeup.
–noun
6. a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study.
7. Psychology. a person, often shy or lacking in social skills, who avoids the company of others and has no friends within a group.
8. Biology. an inbreeding population that is isolated from similar populations by physiological, behavioral, or geographic barriers.
9. Also called language isolate. Linguistics. a language with no demonstrable genetic relationship, as Basque.
10. something that has been isolated, as a by-product in a manufacturing process: an isolate of soy flour.
–adjective
11. isolated; alone.

Provided the nature of being isolated is to be alone, then integrating into another culture is to be no longer isolated. Now, consider the context, I was refering to the Roman people, not the geological location or political power.

The location and political power are irrellivent when the topic is about the survival of skills and knowledge.

Are you using another definition of "isolation?"

They were leaving Rome, not arriving with support to rebuild Rome. The outside world received those refugees and may have been affected by them, but not Rome. For that isolation to be lifted, groups such as those refugees would have to have come streaming into Rome, bringing their customs, knowledge, skills, and insight with them. Which didn't happen for another 1000 years, when Byzantium herself started to fall.

Irrelivent. Why are you so fixated on the rebuilding of a civilization when its non sequential to the argument?

The argument was about the survival of the knowledge and skills, not that particular civilization.

BTW, do you have any information on those groups of refugees? Where they went? What they founded and what that eventually became? What effect they had on the regions where they eventually settled? Out of curiosity.

Not on hand, I did do a report on the subject in my freshman year of highschool, if I can find the paper, I'll be glad to cite the referances I used. It will take some time to find it, if I held onto it at all.

And it turns out that you are wrong; it was a global collapse, not a local one. And the OP also admits that Rome was perhaps not the best example.

Lets see if you pick up on it this time.. Bolded for emphasis.

Evlreala writes:

Stating "therefore" doesn't make your argument sequential.

You assert a global colapse.. Okay, I'm open to the possibility that I am wrong, however, the example demonstrates a local colapse. Pointing out my position to me over and over accomplishes nothing more then making your content look redundant. If I am wrong, then so be it, but where is the flaw to my logic?

The dynamics and recovery from a local collapse are different from a global collapse. All your scenarios were for a local collapse and are therefore moot for a global collapse.

And restating a point that we both agreed on does.. what exactally?

Despite your inappropriate ad hominem (and it would help if you were to at least appear to attempt to pay attention), you do raise a good point that is applicable to a global collapse: How did the collapse occur?

Once again, you are incorrect.. First, I made no ad hominem against you. Argumentum ad hominem is an argument directed at the person, I attacked your argument and presentation there of (a foundation of logical argumentation, might I add.) Second, the ironic part of it is, your very next statement was argumentum ad hominem against me.

Just off the top of my head, I see two ... no, three ... factors here that would affect the extent of the collapse and the rate of recovery out of it.

Playing along..

Point 1) I partialy agree (in conjunction with point 2)
Point 2) I agree.
Point 3) A moot point, this could be associated as an extention of with point 2.

And as for the rest of your inventing minutiae to quibble over, in this case "we knew for a fact", haven't you ever heard of Common Wisdom (AKA "Conventional Wisdom")? That is the generally held consensus of the community. That does not by any stretch of the imagination (except your own, apparently) mean that everybody held that view. Indeed, it is those who challenge Common Wisdom who lead us to most advances in knowledge and technology.

Sorry to say, pointing out how your statements were horribly incorrect is not, in fact, "inventing minutiae to quibble over." Your comments about "Conventional wisdom" would be valid, if you hadn't been stating what you were saying as a matter of fact.

wikipedia.com writes:

Conventional wisdom (CW) is a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field.

As the belief that we cannot exceed the speed of sound was not, in fact, generally accepted as true (as it was a well known fact at that time that this phenomona was observed in nature and it was well known why our planes kept breaking apart upon reaching the sound barrier.), it is then not accepted as conventional wisdom by its very definition.

And thank you for pointing out how true that Star Trek story was. Most of those advances you mention, if not all of them, were inspired and motivated by Star Trek. Despite Common Wisdom, they want to find a way to make that technology happen.

Your welcome, it still remains irrelivent.

For the record, your example of "comon wisdom" is argumentum ad ignorantiam (an argument to ignorance).

Exactly my point. Again, since you agree with my point, what's the problem?

Your understanding.

If I ended my post with "The Earth revolves around the Sun" unless you subscribe to a geocentric belief (or other opposing belief) then you would agree with me. Well, then whats the problem?

Its irrelivent, thats the problem.

Its a red herring.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by dwise1, posted 08-18-2009 3:04 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 37 of 41 (520318)
08-20-2009 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Evlreala
08-18-2009 10:15 PM


Re: A candle in the dark?
Thanks for your replies. You’re correct I should have said “Global”. I wrongly assumed ‘large-scale’ would be sufficient to reveal the immensity of the collapse.

I think I am getting the gist of your position in regards to my OP. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken.

Your position is that in a post-collapse world, there would still be sufficient numbers of people able to pass on the knowledge they have to others. Either the knowledgeable members or access to written materials will allow the future descendants to continue living in some ‘vague’ form similar to contemporary society.

The reason I say ‘vague form similar to contemporary society’ is that I am not sure if you believe a collapse of civilization is even possible? Your argument seems to suggest that even if civilization collapses, it would be temporary or only localized, that, there will be others who will pick up the pieces if the original inhabitants could not.

I am confused with your example of the difference between today’s widespread knowledge and access to information and the paucity of same in the past. Rome, before and during its collapse, was not some wasteland of plebeian dolts held together by the thin thread of educated patricians. Neither was Easter Island or any other society which suffered a collapse, full of simpletons with little access to knowledge. Some were literate societies, with schools while others had oral traditions and ‘on the job training’ which might have allowed certain groups or individuals to retain knowledge lost by the society at large. What does seem to have occurred, as far as I my knowledge of history is concerned, is that there was a loss of knowledge, [bold]among those people affected[/bold], that occurred after those societies collapsed. For example, the loss of the knowledge of how to make cement as the classical civilizations had done. The loss of much knowledge about human anatomy, astronomy, and math, among others. (That these were regional or local collapses is not the issue, since there was still a loss of knowledge and society took a while to recover from that loss.)

I am not suggesting that this would be permanent. Knowledge lost can be rediscovered. What I am asking is the opinion, of those interested, about what amount of knowledge would be retained or rediscovered 1000 years after a global collapse?

Do you, Evlreala, feel by the virtue of today's vast mass of information and access to information that discussing a global collapse would be an exercise in fultility? That there is so much momentum in human civilization, that a global collapse would likely be a blip in history, to be discussed in some future forum?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Evlreala, posted 08-18-2009 10:15 PM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Evlreala, posted 08-26-2009 7:31 PM DBlevins has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 38 of 41 (520437)
08-21-2009 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by dwise1
08-14-2009 2:14 AM


Connections
This question has been discussed on many different level, from books to movies. It is a hard question to answer, and I can think of many anthropologists and non-anthropologists who have ventured into that unknown.

The question first came to me while reading the companion book to the 'Connections' series by James Burke. In the pre-face, he questioned how connected we are to our technology and disconnected we seem to be to how things work. Today's world is so interconnected with so many moving parts and pieces that it is impossible for one person to understand everything about how things work. It is so interconnected that the failure of even a small device can lead to massive failure of a system. His example is the blackout that hit the Northeast in 1972(?). A small electrical device which few people remembered being there and few people knew how it worked, tripped and shut down an eletrical line which then caused a cascade of failures to ultimately lead to the loss of electricty to a large part of the Northeast United States. People described being in elevators for hours on end, and stayed there because 'what else were they supposed to do?' They couldn't fathom a permenant change to their world and couldn't beleieve that the world would NOT continue just as it had been for all their life. They froze, waiting to be rescued. If civilization should collapse, how would we survive?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by dwise1, posted 08-14-2009 2:14 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 39 of 41 (520441)
08-21-2009 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Hyroglyphx
08-15-2009 1:50 PM


Re: The way I see it...
Thanks for your reply.

All I can say is that I think your scenario is one that I have also considered and I consider it one that would be very likely.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-15-2009 1:50 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 198 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 40 of 41 (521286)
08-26-2009 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by DBlevins
08-20-2009 6:39 PM


Re: A candle in the dark?
Sorry for the wait on my reply..

DBlevins writes:

I think I am getting the gist of your position in regards to my OP. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken.

Gladly..

Your position is that in a post-collapse world, there would still be sufficient numbers of people able to pass on the knowledge they have to others. Either the knowledgeable members or access to written materials will allow the future descendants to continue living in some ‘vague’ form similar to contemporary society.

Yes and no.. Here is where I have to speculate without knowing how the collapse happened in the first place. In most "collapse of a civilization" scenarios, there are still a sizeable amount of people. So, for the most part, I assume there are a lot of people strictlyt on an average basis.

The reason I say ‘vague form similar to contemporary society’ is that I am not sure if you believe a collapse of civilization is even possible? Your argument seems to suggest that even if civilization collapses, it would be temporary or only localized, that, there will be others who will pick up the pieces if the original inhabitants could not.

To clarify, I do believe a global collapse of civilization IS possible, just not probible or easy to accomplish. I'm trying to address both the initial fall and the end scenario a thousand years later (how long has it been sense the discovery of electricity?)

I am confused with your example of the difference between today’s widespread knowledge and access to information and the paucity of same in the past. Rome, before and during its collapse, was not some wasteland of plebeian dolts held together by the thin thread of educated patricians. Neither was Easter Island or any other society which suffered a collapse, full of simpletons with little access to knowledge.

I agree, and I have never said otherwise. In contrast, lets look at contemporary books and compair them to ancient written texts. Before the printing press, books were hand written and few in number accordingly. How many math texts do you suppose all of Rome had back before their fall? Now how many math books are in your city alone?

Speaking from personal experience, I can, within walking distance of my house alone, find hundreds of math books easily. The issue I'm raising isnt one of IF the knowledge is there, but one of how easy it is to find.

I am not suggesting that this would be permanent. Knowledge lost can be rediscovered. What I am asking is the opinion, of those interested, about what amount of knowledge would be retained or rediscovered 1000 years after a global collapse?

I hate to bring it up again, but that heavily depends on the question of how the civilization fell in the first place.

Do you, Evlreala, feel by the virtue of today's vast mass of information and access to information that discussing a global collapse would be an exercise in fultility? That there is so much momentum in human civilization, that a global collapse would likely be a blip in history, to be discussed in some future forum?

Quick answer.. No, not at all.

Once again, my time is up, or I would elaborate more. Until next time..


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by DBlevins, posted 08-20-2009 6:39 PM DBlevins has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by DBlevins, posted 09-08-2009 5:22 PM Evlreala has acknowledged this reply

    
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 41 of 41 (523162)
09-08-2009 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Evlreala
08-26-2009 7:31 PM


Collapse by any other name...
Yes and no.. Here is where I have to speculate without knowing how the collapse happened in the first place. In most "collapse of a civilization" scenarios, there are still a sizeable amount of people. So, for the most part, I assume there are a lot of people strictlyt on an average basis.

I think here is where I am having the difficulty in understanding how you understand a collapse might take place, and likely vice versa. As I look at the complexities of today's civilization, I began to wonder how demanding are these industries and technologies for our constant attention. As an example, New York's subway infrastructure would likely collapse within only a couple of decades because it requires constant upkeep to retard rust and to repair rusting parts. According to the civil engineers and other experts, the roof of the subway system would collapse and the subway would become a river of sorts. Or take books, for example. Without a dry environment, they would fall apart very quickly. The point being that, dramatic or slow, in any 'collapse' of civilization, there would be a dramatic loss of infrastructure and knowledge. Otherwise it wouldn't be a 'collase' and this discussion would be pointless. If you could explain to me how one collapse would be different than another I would definitly consider the ramifications, but as it stands right now, with what I know and learned about our resent civilization, I am having a hard time seeing it.

And finally...

In my mind, any 'global collapse' that came about it would have the an outcome something like this: a return to a more agrarian, perhaps hunter gatherer lifestyle, with a likely return hundreds if not thousands of years later, back to some resemblence of 'civilization' as we might describe it. Books, as fragile as they are, would have a tough time surviving the many riots, wars, civil wars, book burnings for warmth or religion, and infrastructure collapse that I at least envision a 'global collapse of civilization' entailing (among the many other depravations possible).

If I could summarize my post, I would just say this: if it was possible for me to find a book I required as easily as you suggest, in the face of any world-wide collapse of civilization, and use such a book (techinical or otherwise) to continue life as I know it, then I would suggest that no collapse would ever be possible except for the complete extinction of our secies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Evlreala, posted 08-26-2009 7:31 PM Evlreala has acknowledged this reply

  
Prev12
3
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2014 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2014