Cyclical history? September 17, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I happen to think humans will be around for 5,000,000 or 10,000,000 years, largely as we are now (the argument for why I think this is a good portion of Hot Earth Dreams, and I’m not going to repeat it here). After a few thousand years, our current global civilization be utterly forgotten. No one will speak anything like English, no one will practice anything like our current religions, current races and ethnicities will not exist, and so forth. Our distant descendants probably have agriculture, work iron, have guns, and so forth, but they’ll have no idea who invented any of these, how old their technology is, or how often it has been reinvented.
That’s our likely future. It’s not an infinitely static future of crystal spires and togas, nor is it a cyclic future. It’s a chaotic future where, even when civilization exists and there are archaeologists, they’ll only have fragments from previous millennia, and only know the history of the previous few thousand years, as we do now. Even now, our notion of history is basically the last 3,000 years of our 100,000 year history as a species. Civilization has been around for pushing 7,000 years, but most of us have no idea what happened before 1000 BCE, except that they pulled Tut’s brain out through his nose after he died.
I think I only agree with that in part. Is it likely that knowledge is gained and lost on such a basis? Is it impossible to see civilisations surviving sufficiently long to make such collapses – at least in terms of tens of millennia unlikely? Or is there a technological point where knowledge can be retained even in the teeth of some sort of global collapse so that future civilisations can gain access to it and use it subsequently.