It’s the end of the world as we know it

Over at, Josh Levin is running the week-long series “How is America going to end?

This kind of thing is internet crack to science fiction writers, screenwriters, readers and moviegoers; survivalists; and those who are convinced that God Will Punish America For (giving rights to bad people, legalizing abortion and flag-burning and medical mar-i-joo-ana, putting a black man in the white house, fill in your own blank). And it’s also mighty sobering. I bet your average Roman didn’t seriously consider the dissolution of empire until it was breaking down his front door, and I don’t either — not because I lack imagination, but because most of my bandwidth is taken up with daily priorities and interactions with family and friends and my interior creative life.

But people who are not me are thinking about these things, and I’m going to follow them on their journey this week. Want to come along? Start with Levin’s introduction/overview — lots of interesting links — and then move on to a discussion with four futurists about their theories.

And be sure to play Choose Your Own Apocalypse! Scroll over the icons on the Apocalypse Board to see your options, and find more complete descriptions of each choice in this single-page list).

Let me know what you think.

10 thoughts on “It’s the end of the world as we know it”

  1. I’m guessing some of those Romans thought it did (grin). I see history as relative (like everything else…)

  2. That’s it! Avoid the apocalypse by striking first. Quiltbags unite and secede from the Union! Bring Conservative America to it’s knees economically with embargoes. Have them begging for mercy. Make them agree to sustainable living and free love before we give in.

  3. For me this ties in with that post Nicola wrote on her blog recently re people not believing in global warming. I’m not much different – my bandwidth is pretty used up with my own little corner – but still. When I talk about the water problems in the Southwest, people look at me like I am crazy. Seriously. They laugh and shake their head saying, ‘i’m not going to worry about things I can’t control.’ It’s happened a lot recently. That has convinced me that people will do nothing until it’s too late. Maybe we should move to Canada now…

  4. Jennifer, quiltbag folk need to unite and *seduce* the union…

    Kelley, nah, most Roman-romans, i.e. the ones in the city, felt it only gradually, over generations. (The non-Roman-romans felt it at one step removed, especially the non-toffs.) The city never collapsed, just got sadly reduced. That’s how it will happen here. (How it’s already happening, if you look at it slant.)

  5. Screw that. 🙂 (I’m not feeling very much like putting out honey today)

    And well, some of us may be feeling a collapse more than others…

  6. This quiltbagger from the midwest would like to point out that there are some rock-ribbed conservatives who are already on our side (and the side of humans in general) — thinking of farmers using sustainable farming practices so they can leave their farms in better shape for to their kids and grandkids, and the folks who shrugged and said, “OK,” when the Iowa supreme court legalized gay marriage earlier this year.

    And I have overheard grammas in polyester pantsuits right here in Kansas discussing the realities of global climate change.

    Their party got hijacked by wingnuts, and some have been slow to respond to that, but still. Seems like some progress has been made.

    Maybe it really *is* the end of the world — as we know it.

  7. Sarah, absolutely. The thing is, although the examples I gave in my post definitely point to conservative wingnut thinking, I know just as many liberal folks who have their own list of Bad People Who Deserve No Rights, and think that’s perfectly okay. The truth is, as always, somewhere in the middle, and all the folks I like are the ones who keep talking through the wackness.

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