What defines a dark age; what would a dark age look like post-industrialization? When I say the future doesn’t seem bright and label that a dark age, am I meaning a collapse of technology into medieval living standards, or maybe I’m just complaining about technology making me unhappy?

This is to try to be specific about the types of problems I see in dark futures, that I feel I realistic, and suggest something has gone terribly wrong.

Birth rates only recover by intergenerational cultural evolution.

I share the worry of many non-idiots that below replacement rate births is terrifying. I however would like to point out that evolution does indeed love life inbetween its abusive outbursts.

I grew up Mormon, and believe me, some people do their part to keep humanity going, I simply need to consider my 6 siblings. I don’t think it’s possible to somehow kill off humanity this way. If nothing else the Mormons, Amish, JW’s, and other birth-happy religions will keep it going. It would take like 3 generations. But that’s 3 rather painful generations, where the young drop to maybe 1/8th the rate, in the non-religious communities.

If civilization isn’t able to find a better solution than letting evolution and its crude, bloody, and slow methods handle the problem, it will come with nasty side effects; namely religion, and drastic cultural shifts.

The end of the global internet

Undersea cables have an expected life of 25 years, are expensive, and require the political stability and planning of 2 nations.

During years of crisis, maybe you don’t get around to it. Maybe you only replace 1/2 the cables and year by year Europe and America find the other more distant. Europe also does just have different laws than America, and a great firewall is an option already explored.

Less stability of the ocean cables, makes local options better, local options may compete, and America and Europe may drift apart culturally, making a firewall of a sort palatable.

If there are fewer undersea cables every year, while they won’t go to zero; they will get slower, maybe international internet gets expensive, and Europeans no longer watch American Netflix thru VPNs. Cultures drift apart like it’s the 1980s.

China reintroduces full-blown slavery

China will be hit hardest by the population issues and is committing 3 genocides currently. And the solution offered by says American intellectuals is mass immigration. But China is incapable of treating immigrants well, they are openly racist and nationalistic and do not have a concept of humanism in the slightest. Oh, and they have forced labor as is.

Imagine, china that ships 50% of the computer chips and sends ships to central Africa to pick up some starving children, and imports them to the camps for the forced labor of Uyghur when they run out. And no one does a thing for the same reason most say nothing about the stupid Olympics.

Mild Kepler syndrome

Kepler syndrome is a known problem and it’s not like it’s not happening to a small degree, 2 satellites have collided. There is more and more dust each year, and zero plan to clean it up.

Maybe the USA stops its free GPS service, as it gets worse. No one says Kepler syndrome, but year by year the satellites die a little quicker. And there isn’t the political will to build the space lasers to fix the problem right now.

Maybe GPS’s service goes out every once in a while, maybe it’s expensive or for the military first. Maybe pirates predict the outages, target ships in the middle of the ocean. Maybe you need to carry arms to travel across oceans again.

Maybe the fairly unstable cell networks in the developing world don’t make payments to keep their dial-up speed internet connections.

America can’t reform all its cities, and never founds new ones.

America’s cities are insane. Chicago never recovered. NewYork and silicon valley are ill. While people are trying to make Austin a functional city. But even if that pans out; that one, compared to let’s say 3ish 50 years ago.

What if it doesn’t, at all, new york collapses, silicon valley does poorly, and Austin is infected soon enough.

Cities exist for a reason, they come with their problems I am more than happy to tell them city folk. But hyperdensity zones nicely offset America’s issues with big empty wilderness making economies of scale hard. A few bright-eyed cities that defined industries, burning every ounce of hope they could feed into metal teeth trying to shallow the sky; worked well for American younger years. but the frontier is gone, the hope is spent. And making a new city needs political will. Reforming them may be impossible.

Europes and most of the world’s cities have survived the rise and fall of empires, their ecosystems must have some balance of old vs new growth and a cycle of renewal, America’s cities are just young growth, and could easily prove unstable with a weakened America.

When sacrificing the young for the old, you can be reckless with costs and pretend everything is possible. But the bill will come due, with no means to pay. The next generation will be more socially inept than the last, those suicide rates are only increasing and the people in power only get more senile.

Maybe in 10 years, all the 90 years old politicians retire and 1/2 the bullshit goes away, and someone who used a computer is in every seat of power and they kinda understand reality. On the other hand, there is shit and needles in the streets in silicon valley the physical embodiment of the hopes and dreams of the computer age, the center of power if you believe in a tech deterministic path of civilization. And if you don’t believe in tech-driven civilization, the young humans are disappearing first and what’s left mentally ill.