by Graeme Wood published in The Atlantic
Read original on The Atlantic's website
"Megahistories" are growing in popularity, Authors...Show description
Posted 845 days ago
There was so much to this article that just put me on edge. But I think that is the intention of this genre of work. Talking about the inevitable demise of society is alarmist at best, and just deeply flawed at worst. Doomsday sayers have been around since the beginning of time, and they can take on all sorts of masks from preachers to scientists. The things that they have to say can often hold truth, but trust is not extended when an article starts off with the following:
His models, which track these factors in societies across history, are too complicated to explain in a nontechnical publication.
At least try; I'm not saying to dive deep into, but a small paragraph would be sufficient. And if it cannot be summed up as such, it is common knowledge from many thinkers in the past, that not being able to explain something in layman terms either means that the author doesn't understand it him or herself, or the model itself is not generalizable (especially when discussing something that is supposed to explain all civilization).
That being said, I enjoyed this piece as an exploration into a controversial figure that is gaining traction in the public eye. Turchin was correct in predicting social turmoil in 2020, which we certainly have. His focus on the elite class becoming too large for the desirable positions in society for somebody of that stature is interesting.