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As with so many civilizations of the past, we live in a time of crisis. Contemporary culture is caught in a cul-de-sac, a battle zone of competing ideologies and dogmas. Although the human race has a long history of generating millenarian hype and apocalyptic panics, for many people the state we’re in right now really does have an air of gathering gloom and a palpable sense of ‘something’s got to give’ unlike any in the past. Leaving aside religious rapture fantasies and the techno-utopian view which posits a future of immortal human-machine hybrids populating the galaxy, there are two basic schools of thought concerning what lies ahead. The first essentially predicts the extinction of most if not all life on Earth due to environmental collapse. Lights out, game over. The second envisions a sort of slow-motion apocalypse as the natural and man-made systems upon which modern society depends gradually disintegrate making life as we know it, with its endless expansion and perpetual growth, simply impossible. With obstacles lying in every direction, where do we go from here?
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