Crowd Sourcing Human Survival: Why Civilization Requires Constant Technological Progress

Every major technological achievement reconstructs our civilizational foundation into a new one better able to sustain the increasingly large population building on top. Why is this important? As a civilization changes, it loses the ideas and infrastructure that supported previous technological eras and if it runs out of the resources that maintain the current level, the collapse will lead to immeasurable death. The perilous situation is best stated by philosopher Ayn Rand (1999) in Return of the Primitive & The Anti-Industrial Revolution: “In real life, there is no such thing as a gradual descent from civilization to savagery. There is a crash-and no recovery, only the long, drawn out agony of chaos, helplessness and random death, on a mass scale” (Rand, p. 273). Technological progress has set humanity down a path it can’t turn back from without suffering catastrophic consequences, but history has proven that the very mechanisms that built up civilization also improved its sustainability and we have no other option than to take full and immediate advantage of all our material, labor, and human resources if we hope to survive long term.

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