the preservation of knowledge might be rightly seen as critical to our darkly foreboding future, but there are factors that must be examined that will affect that knowledge, and the ongoing use of it. The complacency that somehow our future can be preserved as some kind of time capsule is dangerous, because when the fallacy of it is found out, humankind will react violently against all kinds of perceived injustice and conspiracies.
We should also bear in mind that the longest period of preserved and accessible information produced to date is on vellum, written 500 years ago. We all have files from perhaps only 10 or 20 years ago that can now only be accessed with great difficulty, if at all, after a succession of upgrades. Imagine trying to get hold of information when even the lights have gone out.
In our modern, (ie industrialised) society, knowledge can only be used if the physical means to support it is readily available. A doctor may know what ails you, but needs the physical means of a vast industrial complex to produce the penicillin necessary to kill off the infection that is trying to kill you. This applies to any of the thousands of remedial means that modern medicine makes available, that we demand as our right.
In a drastically downsized society your doctor will no longer have access to that ‘means’ when our industrial system goes down. The knowledge of such medication is stored by electronic means but that only makes sense within our own time; it will be useless without electric energy to drive the necessary devices to power it, and, like the production of penicillin itself, the factory system that backs up the ongoing use of that electronic media.
The same applies to every aspect of our existence. The chemical formulas necessary to produce nitrate fertiliser might be available, but useless without vast processing plants, and the means to move it around. Wind and solar farms are useless without the machines that utilise the electricity they deliver. Storage of information makes the assumption that there will be a resurgence of industry to make use of it. We can but hope.
But that is by no means the worst of it.
In 2012 North Carolina banned any mention of climate change and sea level rise in municipal business dealings: http://abcnews.go.com/US/north-carolina-bans-latest-science-rising-sea-level/story?id=16913782
An isolated case of loonytoons politics? Back then it was.
Suddenly it’s not so funny.
The new administration is trying to ban all adverse information from public access. Climate change officially no longer exists. How long then before access to or use of any undesirable information is prohibited? After all, it was the “Enlightenment” that went against religion and brought us to where we are now with science and industry. So why not reverse that, and return to the dictatorship of theology where the Earth becomes the centre of the universe once more and all other thoughts are made illegal? There are plenty of individuals who see the advantage of theocratic dictatorship, imposed after the breakdown of civil order which is certain post-collapse.
It will be initially welcomed, as a precursor to the returning Messiah. After all, 46% of Americans believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old. That mentality promises fertile ground for the seeds of theocracy. Deniers of my doomladen thinking should bear in mind that modern democracy has existed on, and in tandem with, the growth of modern industry. When our industry collapses, democracy will collapse with it.
My book The End of More (Amazon) is written with this endgame in mind, it might shed some additional light of the fast approaching future, it won’t let us avoid it though