I’ve often heard rationalist and EAs talk about civilizational collapse, or civilizational decay: the set of trends whereby society seems to be becoming increasingly less functional, and might at some point fail entirely.
In Eliezer’s Local Validity as a Key to Sanity and Civilization
Anna’s interview with Spencer Greenberg
A lot of the discussion around covid seems to claim or imply that the US used to be better at responding to that sort of thing.
Tweets like this one (which is not intended to be representative, but is just one that I is on top of mind)
Note that I’m not confident that all of these people are talking about precisely the same phenomenon. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they’re not, but they are all looking in a similar direction.
I’d like to get more orientation on how to thinking about these, and related ideas, including read whatever analyses, or speculations, that currently exist on this topic or cluster of topics.
Does anyone have suggestions?