Have we witnessed the peak of human civilization? If so, when was it? (1 Viewer)

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Even before this thing hit, I was always convinced that we had peaked out in terms of art/culture/quality of life/overall happiness sometime in the mid-late 80s.

But now I'm certain we will never again get to where we were. It was a blend of knowledge and innocence of comfort and satisfaction. Sure, we'll have new technology. But I don't think that's making things better in general. Even though technology and systems are in place that make things "easier" in a lot of ways, I think in general we're all less satisfied, less hopeful, more isolated, more stressed, more divided, etc. than 30 years ago. And I don't see it getting better. I do not believe humanity will see a better era than the late 1980s before our run is over.

Agree/disagree? And if you agree, when do you think we topped out? If you disagree, what do you think is looming on the horizon that's greater than Echo and the Bunnymen and Weekend at Bernie's?
 

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There was a theory that was briefly popular in the 1800s that the Earth was eternal and that given enough time everything that had happened before would happen again. Extinct animals would return, human civilization would fall, and the cycle would keep repeating for all time.

That theory is true and dinosaurs will be back within 100 years. That's what I believe.
 
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Let me guess you were born in the 70s?

don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot of truth in some of the stuff you have said. But I have also noticed a trend in every generation to reach a point when they think the whole world has gone to hell in a hand basket and reflect fondly on a time when they were younger and things were right. This could be the way getting old is defined in fact. I suspect that it has been that way for many decades and maybe centuries. More.

but the flip side is that technology is not making us better. Not right now anyway. Or at least not the technology that most of us have our hands on - literally- at all hours of the day. Do we own them or do they own us?
 

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There was a theory that was briefly popular in the 1800s that the Earth was eternal and that given enough time everything that had happened before would happen again. Extinct animals would return, human civilization would fall, and the cycle would keep repeating for all time.

That theory is true and dinosaurs will be back within 100 years. That's what I believe.


Geologists be like


 

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You sound like my grandparents when they talked about the euphoric 50s. Yeah, the great, Utopian 50s with McCarthyism, fear of the Bomb, rampant racism, all that wonderful innocent stuff.

So, yeah, disagree pretty strongly.

Just so you know, things weren't any less screwed up in the 80s than they are now nor any more or less screwed up then they were in the 50s. All that's different is the details of what is screwed up.

For all we know, human kind peaked when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. Honestly, you'd have to live several thousand years to be able to answer that question. Why worry about something that can't possibly be proven within one's lifetime?
 
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For all we know, human kind peaked when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. Honestly, you'd have to live several thousand years to be able to answer that question. Why worry about something that can't possibly be proven within one's lifetime?
Obviously this is opinion and guesswork, but in my opinion, no era without a minimum baseline of tech like running water, penicillin, guitars, movies, personal freedom, etc... can even contend. So this thing basically starts in the 1950s.
 

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Obviously this is opinion and guesswork, but in my opinion, no era without a minimum baseline of tech like running water, penicillin, guitars, movies, personal freedom, etc... can even contend. So this thing basically starts in the 1950s.

So what is on the other side of the balance from tech - because if tech has any kind of weight, we're still dramatically expanding tech all the time. If tech has to somehow plateau (for a number of possible reasons) before you get to the peak, we're not there yet.

Plus data like these provide the same suggestion:

1587959740588.png

 

Saint Jack

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Let me guess you were born in the 70s?

don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot of truth in some of the stuff you have said. But I have also noticed a trend in every generation to reach a point when they think the whole world has gone to hell in a hand basket and reflect fondly on a time when they were younger and things were right. This could be the way getting old is defined in fact. I suspect that it has been that way for many decades and maybe centuries. More.

but the flip side is that technology is not making us better. Not right now anyway. Or at least not the technology that most of us have our hands on - literally- at all hours of the day. Do we own them or do they own us?
Actually, I disagree. Technology has made us better.
 
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Obviously this is opinion and guesswork, but in my opinion, no era without a minimum baseline of tech like running water, penicillin, guitars, movies, personal freedom, etc... can even contend. So this thing basically starts in the 1950s.

ok, so lets assume we all agree with you for sake of argument that any analysis of the peak has to start in the 50s. Why would you already have it cut off at the high end? You assume that it starts with tech and that tech is no longer helping us. Couldn't we just be in a fallow period with tech? People have not learned to use it for better than distractions from boredom, but that doesn't mean they won't. Think of emails early time when the only thing people knew how to do was forward the same jokes to everyone in their address book. You have chosen a rather short window, and one in which we all were just lucky enough to live in.
 
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Actually, I disagree. Technology has made us better.

technology has made us better in some ways but not always in the hands of the end users. We are not as a group using it very wisely. Some companies are and that is benefiting us. We have the potential to be better informed but we don't necessarily use it. And we certainly don't demand much from our reporting agencies anymore. Even if you look at old media, more than half the population will tune in to clearly biased networks.
 
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here is a thought about how devices might not be helping us. Many hours of the day very many of us are using them to distract us from boredom. What if boredom is a prerequisite for creativity? If huge chunks of the population is no longer being creative, what are the chances we are still progressing? This is something we can grow out of maybe but this is one way that technology may not be helping us.
 

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here is a thought about how devices might not be helping us. Many hours of the day very many of us are using them to distract us from boredom. What if boredom is a prerequisite for creativity? If huge chunks of the population is no longer being creative, what are the chances we are still progressing? This is something we can grow out of maybe but this is one way that technology may not be helping us.
Now longer creative? Have you seen the music that has been discovered on the internet? Or the TV shows/movies that started as a simple YouTube short?
If anything, it’s made everyone more creative.
 
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Now longer creative? Have you seen the music that has been discovered on the internet? Or the TV shows/movies that started as a simple YouTube short?
If anything, it’s made everyone more creative.

perhaps. But I think that creativity has always been there. So its made it easier for creative people to find creative ways to be discovered. That much is true. I don't have firm opinions on it. But when I see how many device addicted people there are, even within my circle, this is the kind of thing I wonder about.
 

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After “Tiger King” and with Jackass 4 scheduled for release in Spring 2021, the 2020s are starting off strong, aside from the plague thing.

Watch about 5-10 minutes of any Jackass and you've seen pretty much every Jackass. I've read the Tiger King thread and seen enough to know I'm not interested in watching it.

But hey, it floats some people's boats. To each his own I guess.
 

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This is a very interesting topic and something I don't have a visceral reaction to and want to think on before forming a particularly solid opinion.
here is a thought about how devices might not be helping us. Many hours of the day very many of us are using them to distract us from boredom. What if boredom is a prerequisite for creativity? If huge chunks of the population is no longer being creative, what are the chances we are still progressing? This is something we can grow out of maybe but this is one way that technology may not be helping us.
I remember reading somewhere that even though the internet is a great thing for a lot of reasons, one of the downsides is that it leads to a stagnation in creativity. For instance, if someone discovers the "best way" of washing a car and it is accepted as such worldwide, people stop innovating because we have discovered the "best way" of doing it. Some times in isolation, ingenuity and creativity can thrive. I thought that was rather poignant.

We also have more time-saving devices but more people seem to be stressed than relaxed with less time. And that can be for a number of reasons, one of which is that once something is considered cutting edge and "essential" it creates an inherent pressure to get it. Years and years ago, I was one of my last group of friends to get a cell phone and EVERYONE was pressuring me to get it. I didn't want to get it because I didn't want an electronic leash. It used to be when people called you at home and left a message if they didn't reach you, they would patiently wait for a call back, but now with cell phones people feel ENTITLED to your time when THEY want it.

But admittedly now, it's almost impossible to catch me without it, between social networking, chess, and other gaming apps, it's like another appendage.

But this is a very good question. I don't THINK off hand that the answer is yes, we've peaked but whatever the answer is, it will depend on what each individual person values.
 

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