Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What is the destiny of humanity?

History is formed by a constant rise and fall of civilizations. Empires grow and are later overthrown. But as a species, humanity presses forward through innovation, creating new technology that lasts through the fall of a civilization. This innovation is constant, building upon itself; technology quickly sweeps from culture to culture like a plague.  But as civilization continues to fall, how is it that the human species continues to progress? Take a look at ancient Rome: an empire built on order. It flourished with innovative thought through it's numerous philosophers, mathematicians, and architects. Today, it lies in ruins. The great Colosseum succumbs to nature around it, crumbling into dust. The once great empire infiltrated by the chaos that brought its demise. Is the chaos inevitable? Is there such order that can triumph over chaos? Or is it necessary for chaos to exist as a counterpoint to order, much like Hegel suggests in the dialectic ideas "yin" and "yang"? But mankind perseveres, and innovations of those great empires continue on through the ages to inspire others. The wooden wheels of the Roman chariots transform into the tires of today's cars. Technology continues to progress, and innovation comes with a learned order of new science and mathematics. But even that order can be corrupted, a silent chaos as we become slaves to the advancements of our culture, so dependent that we can no longer exist without it. Without the technology, we would be reduced again to chaos, and that technology is more fragile than we like to think it is. The sun nearby emits electromagnetic pulses, most of which are deflected by the earth's magnetosphere (thanks to the molten iron core of the planet), but should one be strong enough, we can most certainly lose our technology to a mass power outage. What happens then? Will we return to chaos? Or is the order we perceive merely a construct of our very civilization? This leads me to the question I will be pursuing in this anthology: does humanity naturally move towards order or chaos?