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Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail. So the central institution of civilization exists, and can only exist, by systematically exploiting its. Civilization, for all its wonders and advantages, is destined to collapse due to its nature, writes Ophuls in this meticulously argued treatise. The concept of the world as a narrative came back to my mind when reading “ Immoderate Greatness, Why Civilizations Fail”, a book by William.

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The financial system is the epitome of a chaotic system, and generation after generation of highly motivated, talented, and well-capitalized individuals in both the public and private sectors have time and again failed to prevent intoxicating booms from becoming devastating busts—and this despite the lessons of economic history, which are quite well understood.

It’s either that or mirrors and smoke signals. Why is it that civilizations have tended to see the natural world as cornucopian—that is, as a banquet on which they were free to gorge without limit?

Ikiryo rated it really liked it Jan 20, Or take one of the great inventions of civilization: Is it fair to call a society decadent just because it has become diverse? Check copyright status Cite this Title Immoderate greatness: First, in a process analogous to ecological succession, each age creates socioeconomic greatnezs favorable to the emergence of the next. The irony of the Titanic metaphor is that we may be sunk by a lack of icebergs.


Nonetheless, he fails to prove this other than through personal analysis, his evidence isn’t as straight forward as some other texts on ecological failure relating to the civklizations of civilization. Solar rays will make hot water for a household but do not lend themselves to running a large power plant. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: This short book is an easy read that provides a vital context for humanity’s history and its future.

Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail – William Ophuls – Google Books

Prasun Raj rated it liked it May 05, This book doesn’t spell out details, but clearly outlines the broad trends that are shaping the future. They travel an arc from initial success to terminal decay and ultimate collapse due to intrinsic, inescapable biophysical limits combined with an inexorable trend toward moral decay and practical failure.

We like to think about one or at most a few cicilizations at a time….

I made my own division some years ago, which like the rest of my blog got no attention. June 2, at 4: Collapse could happen suddenly or gradually, sooner or later, so why act now?

Divilizations, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.

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Excuse me, but I must disagree. Excellent summary of the dynamics of the rise and decline of civilizations. Thanks for your comment. Lists with This Book. Again, the upshot is stagnation. It does remind Tainter. It is in the nature of civilizations to wax greater. It is both enlightening and depressing as it makes a convincing case that complex adaptive social systems like civilizations are typically doomed to destroy themselves.


Anyway, I will read the book. Set up a giveaway. Stealing resources from others is not a permanent solution, because conquest, too, has serious costs: What they can neither understand nor predict, they cannot expect to control, so failure is inevitable at some point. The narrative of hubristic self esteem appears to be written in philosopher-speak, not a language that resonates well with the common man.

Thanks for the pointer. For the hubris of every civilization is that it is, like the Titanic, unsinkable. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Gail February 14, at 7: Few take thought for the morrow or consider that they are borrowing from posterity.

But that is misleading as it is much deeper than a right wing rant. Also rice flour is crumbly, so it too can never be used alone or with a nut flour.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Anyway, it will allp;lay out in time. So the question is actually pretty simple: The society is in crisis. Sep 07, John rated it it greatnses amazing. Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. The author admits that he sees no feasible solutions because he doesn’t believe that civilisations can escape the dynamic processes that lead civulizations its collapse. Thank you this post. There are prior cases of the kind of action required: