Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 8, 2005

Rebuilding Civilization From A Garbage Dump

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:30 am

Clayton Cramer reflects on the possibility of rebuilding civilization after a catastrophic population loss — including, particularly, loss of people who make the technologies we rely on. He seems to have solved one of the major problems.

As usual, Clayton is so far ahead I had not even identified that as one of the key problems — nor would I be likely to do so if I had to rebuild civilization.

In the event of a civilization-destroying catastrophe — which I actually think is so unlikely as to be unworthy of consideration except as an intellectual exercise — the ability to rebuild would depend critically on the knowledge base of the people left, and their ability (or not) to communicate with each other. For example, if the Internet failed, I don’t know how I’d get in touch with Clayton — and even if I could work all the gas pumps between here and Idaho, I’m not sure I could find him. For one thing, he might have left to go looking for someone or something else by the time I got there.

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