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Unfortunately, the remainder of the country will soon be experiencing the despair that those communities are feeling.

I would say this right here is where the author goes wrong. I'm no good at predicting the future. But I do know a little (a very little) about the past. I know that wild dogs roamed the streets often enough to make it into 101 Dalmations and Lady & the Tramp. I know that New York City was once so dangerous that people didn't go out at night, there was trash everywhere, and the scent of urine was permanent. (They still have the urine smell. The rest is better.) I know that once upon a time, Seattle put up a billboard on I-5 south toward California saying, "Last one out, turn out the lights."

I know, too, going further back, that during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl whole counties dried up and blew away, their population going with them. And even further, I know that there are entire abandoned cities buried under thousands of years of sand, or jungle, or water.

I realize that we now have the ability to utterly annihilate ourselves in several spectacular ways. I recognize that w play with bigger fire all the time.

And yet.

We have been through these massive changes before. We have struggled. Not as a nation, but as a species. We've seen the population of entire continents decimated. (The Black Plague in Europe, Small Pox in the Americas.) We have truly. Truly suffered. As a species.

And we are still here.

Will the whole country fall to pieces and ruin because of economic turmoil? Maybe. But I don't think so.

Will the whole continent fall to pieces over drugs? Maybe. But I don't think so.

Will the whole world fall to pieces over an ugly, vicious, never-ending war? Yeah, probably someday. But we've made it nearly 60 years since we learned we could destroy ourselves utterly in a couple of hours, if we tried. I'm hoping we can make it through another 60 years, maybe another 60 million.

Some of this is optimism, it's true. And some of it is realism. Small scale awfulness (small being the size of a city) happens all the time. Large scale awfulness (large being the size of a continent) happens relatively rarely.

And the causes of small-scale and large-scale awfulness appear to me to be different and unlikely to be the sort of thing that grows.

So I'm really not thinking that economic collapse is going to lead to continent-wide ruin.

Yes, I could be wrong. So I read here.

But more and more, I think I'm right.

ThyPeace, getting better at handling at city-wide awfulness arising from nature's whims.
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