The following talk was given on February 13, 2009, at Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, to an audience of 550 people. Audio and video of the talk will be available on Long Now Foundation web site.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for showing up. It’s certainly nice to travel all the way across the North American continent and have a few people come to see you, even if the occasion isn’t a happy one. You are here to listen to me talk about social collapse and the various ways we can avoid screwing that up along with everything else that’s gone wrong. I know it’s a lot to ask of you, because why wouldn’t you instead want to go and eat, drink, and be merry? Well, perhaps there will still be time left for that after my talk.
I’m not quite jaded and pessimistic enough to buy the whole scenario presented here, which might be a good thing considering
“[p]essimism is a luxury in good times… In difficult times, pessimism is a self-fulfilling, self-inflicted death sentence.” -Evelin Linder (as quoted by Jamais Cascio during his 2006 talk at the TED conference)
Still, an interesting “what if?”-piece.
Related: How are you coping with collapse-anxiety? (added 20/02/09). The crazy just keeps rolling.