Vincenzo came up with a philosophical question for me that ties in nicely with the book I'm reading right now, In the Courts of the Sun, about the going back in time and the Maya and 2012, remember? A rise and fall to rival the Roman Empire. (The review pretty much mirrors how I feel about it, in case you were wondering.)
If you could choose to live in the ascent or descent of a civilization, which would you choose and why?
How about a plateau? I think that's where the U.S. is right now. But if I have to choose ascent or descent, then it's an easy choice: ascent. You'd likely have new technologies, conquest, discovery. You'd probably have plenty of resources to spread around. I like the fresh, the open, the adventurous.The feeling that anything's possible.
It's true that rapid advance can be reckless. And when a civilization ascends it's on the backs of people, so that's a downer. But there's oppression in any culture, is there not? Always a pecking order, and somebody's got to be on the bottom. And people tend to be more brutal when they have a lot to lose. An individual might not know they're in the ascent or descent of anything, so you almost have to look at the broad overview. An individual might not feel that sense of adventure in a rising civilization, nor the chaos of a falling one, because they have nothing to compare it to. Yeah, a lot can happen in a person's lifetime, but I'm assuming major changes taking place over hundreds of years.
I've really oversimplified here. What else should I consider? Discuss!