Note — Apr 11, 2021

Civilizations Don’t Really Die. They Just Take New Forms.

Annalee Newitz at the Washington Post (love the illustration!) argues that “in truth, our apocalyptic stories are far too simplistic to capture what actually happens when a society melts down.” They go on to presenting various examples of civilizations that are usually seen as dead but actually lived-on in other forms and through their descendants and the cultures of their neighbours. Also, take the first quote below and ponder it alongside the manoeuvre I mentioned for the first article. Maybe there’s too much talk about the risks of apocalypse, not enough about what’s needed instead.

Put another way, the stories we’re telling about our future all seem to end with apocalypse. […]

Over time, civilizations eventually morph into something else entirely, but they infuse future societies with their lingering traumas — as well as their hopeful ideals. […]

Activist Julian Brave NoiseCat, a member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen, told me that he thinks indigenous tribes and nations already live in a post-apocalyptic world. They were nearly wiped out by the violence and disease brought by foreign invaders — but they survived.