Well my friend, I think this is a subjective statement. So, let’s explore this concept a bit because it’s actually pretty fascinating and it’s directly relevant to our individual and collective perception of all human and systemic events.
Definition of “Catastrophic Collapse.” The value of analytical frameworks can be evaluated in numerous ways, but in this case, an analytical framework is helpful to the extent that it focuses our attention on risks and opportunities that are not already widely understood and/or not already widely accounted for in current decision-making processes. Additionally, we should define what we mean by “catastrophic collapse” to ensure that the risks we see actually match the solutions we present. In this case, I define “catastrophic collapse” as follows: The severe degradation, malfunction, or breakage of any social, economic, technological, or natural system.
Magnitude, Duration & Impact of Collapse. “Catastrophic collapse” should also be defined by its magnitude and duration, which enables us to measure the comparative impact of two or more catastrophic events. For example, we can compare the Great Depression, the “Forgotten Depression” of 1921 (shorter duration but higher magnitude deflation than the Great Depression), and 2008 crisis with other socioeconomic crises. The same thing can be said for geopolitical crises like the deterioration of civil, political, and cultural institutions, e.g., in WWII-Era Poland, Greece, Japan, London during the Battle of Britain, Jewish Communities in Germany (and throughout Europe), the Rwandan Genocide, Syria, Yemen, and many other war zones. (I know you have a lot of knowledge and experience in this area, which I respect and appreciate.)
Continuum & Phases of Collapse. A “collapse” is a process, not an event. What humans perceive as a catastrophic collapse is merely a perceptual trick that the human brain performs post-hoc to make a series of time-bounded events appear to be a singular event. In reality, every collapse progresses like the frames of a movie, one discrete and interdependent event after another. Individual events are usually imperceptible and/or unrecognizable in isolation, but they seem obvious in retrospect. This is an important concept because it helps us more accurately recognize when we are living through the different phases of a collapse.
Sudden vs. Gradual Collapse. Excluding natural disasters, e.g., volcanoes, tidal waves, plagues, and asteroid impacts that can destroy entire civilizations virtually instantly, human civilizations collapse over centuries. Human cultures collapse over generations. Human communities collapse over decades. Economies collapse over business cycles (~5-10 years, but can have multi-generational causal factors). Technological systems can collapse over any time frame, but systems with flawed designs tend to collapse relatively quickly. This is also true for political and economic systems.
Emotional Response to Collapse. Every human’s emotional response to a given event is dependent upon their individual perception of personal loss and their share of the collective suffering that may exist during a collapse. Of course, this is inherently subjective, but individual perception is reality; and collective perception fuels large-scale socioeconomic patterns of behavior, e.g., revolutions, civil disobedience, and geopolitical interaction between nations. It is certainly possible to discuss the process of any kind of collapse without being emotional, while simultaneously recognizing that all human events are fundamentally driven by human emotion.
Focusing on a Snapshot vs. a Movie Reel. With all those basic definitions and factors in mind, I don’t think anything you said in your post contradicts anything I said in my post. We both have a pretty detailed and nuanced understanding of the nature and diversity of collapse scenarios. Where we seem to differ is in our focus: My focus tends to be on the progressive deterioration of socioeconomic structures and political institutions, which we know from history inevitably culminates into truly catastrophic socioeconomic collapses. IMHO, it seems like you’re primarily focusing on the current frame of the movie and discounting the broader process of most collapses; while I’m focusing on the spinning movie reel as the collapse is unfolding over time.
For all those reasons, I don’t think my original post has anything to do with “emotional images.” I was simply presenting a summary of an analytical framework that I think is useful as a starting point for deeper explorations of specific catastrophic socioeconomic and/or geopolitical collapses that might be interesting to our community over time.
Is that a fair distinction or have I misunderstood your point?
The Purpose of this Thread: Save Humanity from Self-Destruction, of Course! In addition to my points above, the purpose of this thread is to create a forum for people to explore the many interesting consequences, implications, risks, opportunities, and solutions to all kinds of socioeconomic and institutional collapses that can hurt humanity. This is my primary interest in Cardano: To build the system and our community into a truly viable alternative to the many corrupt and obsolete political institutions and socioeconomic systems that are destroying capitalism and democracy on Earth today.
Do you want to sketch some scenarios? Do you want to explore how Cardano/ the blockchain could mitigate some of the effects of mayor events, and how, or is it about how to make a system based on Cardano more resilient to shocks?
Stimulate Thoughtful Exploration of Relevant Ideas. I can imagine many catastrophic scenarios beyond the ones I’ve already alluded to previously, but my role in this thread is primarily to provide a framework and conceptual platform to stimulate discussion, with the hope that others will contribute to the discussion over time. And of course, everything we do and say in these forums should always have a meaningful connection to Cardano. This is how we will evolve as a community, increase our awareness of Cardano’s strengths and weaknesses, and encourage the team to implement solutions to problems that we, as a community, believe Cardano can deliver to humanity.