Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Inevitability of Modernity

Razib Khan offers up a subtle and fascinating look at the indicative equilibrium shifts in human history. He concludes that agriculture was basically inevitable and that capitalism probably was too. The inevitability of modernity has lots of anthropic implications. If getting from "intelligent, social species traveling and gathering resources in small groups" to "social species gathering resources in fixed location" to "massively specialized and coordinated resource producing across nation-states" was inevitable, then either "creating life" or "evolving intelligence" or "nation-states surviving and advancing to galactic space colonization" must be really unlikely, because last I checked I haven't seen any alien space ships consorting in the troposphere lately. Let's hope that the surviving and developing space tech option is not the relevant bottleneck.