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Is Civilization on the Brink of Collapse?

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  • Publicado em 15 Ago 2022
  • What We Owe The Future is available now - you can get it wherever you get your (audio)books or here: www.amazon.com/What-Owe-Futur...
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    At its height, the Roman Empire was home to about 30 % of the world’s population, and in many ways the pinnacle of human advancement. Rome became the first city in history to reach one million inhabitants and was a center of technological, legal, and economic progress. An empire impossible to topple, stable and rich and powerful.
    Until it wasn’t anymore. First slowly then suddenly, the most powerful civilization on earth collapsed. If this is how it has been over the ages, what about us today? Will we lose our industrial technology, and with that our greatest achievements, from one dollar pizza to smartphones or laser eye surgery? Will all this go away too?
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Comentários • 24 975

  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

    What We Owe The Future is available now - you can get it wherever you get your (audio)books or here:

  • Citric Thoughts

    "We just need to actually do it." If history has proven anything it's that societies never prepare for problems until they're already collapsing from them. EDIT: Since this got so much of a response I'll add to this - society goes through cycles. The people that solve the problems are the ones that had to live with the collapse and have no choice. Sadly we're seeing the death of a golden age as the system we're in can no longer adapt to the problems we face. I like Kurzgesagt's optimism, but systems either work or they don't. Every system works until it breaks because it cannot change and ours is no different. I hope I'm wrong but if we match the pattern of history I will not be.

  • MKK4559
    MKK4559  +428

    The art and animation are honestly some of the best, if not the best, I've ever seen. It looks cartoonish yet realistic, the nuclear explosions, ruined buildings, and cities are absolutely stunning. My favourite parts were

  • meltdown537

    Great video! At around

  • - Neo -
    - Neo -  +149

    "We have all the tools, all we need to do is to use them" if only the people with the money and power over industry were altruistic enough to help along, then we could solve so many problems right now. But then again, these people didn't get into these positions of power because they ever intended to be altruistic, they ended up there by stepping on and sacrificing other people and the environment. I just hope that all the little people in the world can collectively manage to make a change before it is too late, because the rich and powerful sure as hell won't.

  • Dave L
    Dave L  +265

    At times like these, finding meaning is crucial. Ancient Stoic philosophy has some good ideas (though flawed) for this. Relying on trying to be comfortable won't cut it. We all die, we all get sick, we will all face pain (even in the best of times). We do not all truly live. Part of living a full human life is finding meaning and contributing to something larger than yourself (could be as small as a friend group or as large as humanity itself... maybe even every sentient being). We can actually be happier when we approach life by putting finding meaning first anyway.

  • Human Bean

    One thing we should really get rid of is the "just in time" distribution chains in industry, and overly complicated assemby processes (even if those are a bit cheaper). These make supply lines more vulnerable than necessary and also take a higher toll on the environment.

  • Sception
    Sception  +11

    if the question is "is civilization about to collapse?" then an answer of "don't worry, humanity will probably survive to rebuild over the following centuries" is maybe not the most reassuring answer.

  • kim mogensen
    kim mogensen 28 dias atrás +59

    The one about saving a lot of readily available coal for an emergency is a really good idea.

  • Lemon
    Lemon  +3

    as always I absolutely loved this video, but just personally I feel like it more answered “can civilization recover from a collapse” than “how likely is it for civilization to collapse?” Cuz honestly im worried more about the latter

  • Ashwynn Newkirk

    "We could still use modern agricultural products..."

  • Gunner^
    Gunner^ 21 dia atrás +18

    Admittedly, watching this made me enjoy my evening meal even more, like it might be the last bit of decadence I ever experience...And I realise how incredibly lucky I am to even be in this position. Watching a video like this while lazing about on holiday. I like to think that I do what I can to help civilisation remain sustainable but oh boy do we have a hell of a task ahead of us.

  • CloudierCloud

    I've been reading ancient history lately and it's amazing how much of a blink of an eye our civilization actually is. My friend and I talk about loads of subjects and literally your entire video was our conversation word for word. I loved it

  • Angus Yang

    Interesting that you guys didn't mention the Bronze Age Collapse, which is often the event that many people point to as the defining societal collapse. However, even the Bronze Age Collapse didn't entirely erase civilization, as major civilizations like Assyria, Egypt, and Babylonia were able to weather the storm and survive into classical times. I think the collapse of the Roman Empire was simplified here, because while the empire in Italy itself fell, the eastern half of the empire survived, all the way until 1453, and Italy, Spain, France, England, and North Africa were taken over by new kingdoms of Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Vandals rather than falling into total societal collapse. In fact, Italy in particular would see a resurgence under king Theodoric the Great. If anything, it was the Byzantines' invasion and reconquest of Italy that actually caused the bigger societal collapse than the fall of Rome itself.

  • Shysterling28

    It's genuinely reassuring to know that, once my loved ones and I are killed in the climate holocaust, the statistically wealthy remnants of humanity might still have coal.

  • JasonOfArgo
    JasonOfArgo 7 horas atrás +1

    I'm happy to learn that a mere four centuries after our horrible deaths from civilizational collapse, humanity might finally find life slightly more tolerable again before the cycle begins anew. Thank you Kurzgesagt!

  • Victoria 💋𝔽**СК МЕ - СНЕℂ𝕂 𝕄𝕐 Рℝ𝟘𝔽𝕀𝕃Е💛

    “Humanity is like a teenager, speeding around drunk corners, blind without a seatbelt.” What an outstanding way to describe the rapid growth of humankind.

  • ARocketScientist

    I love the optimism and encouragement that this video radiates. As a dad I really do hope that my daughters will live a thriving and thrilling, long life full of wonders of technology and social advancements. But then I look at the politicians, the alleged representatives of the people, and I see nothing but selfish imbeciles on puppet strings - but I cannot see the puppeteer. This is highly discouraging with regards to the future, even though I have to admit that I personally - apart from anonymously complaining on the internet - do not do much more than that. I complain but I don't actively resist because I'd rather live a comfortable life in a wealthy country than swim against the stream I hereby complain about. So what does this make me if not a selfish imbecile...

  • NiaLipwolfyt
    NiaLipwolfyt 16 horas atrás

    Man can we appreciate the effort in these animations they are so good

  • Gabriel Jordan

    As an electrician I get overwhelmed with work after a simple thunderstorm.. I couldn't imagine how stressed out I would be trying to rebuild society (assuming I live through the collapse)