The Great Filter (Zero State)
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From the Zero State ARG Topic:
Looking back over the history of the 21st Century, we can see that turbulence was present from the outset. Weapons of Mass Destruction, resource shortages and climate change, civil conflicts and international tension, accelerating technological breakthroughs and spiralling socio-economic inequity. The developments started out in a way that were shocking to local observers at times, but which could be easily enough ignored by those not in direct contact with the consequences. Entire industries arose to preserve the profits of the status quo by keeping as many people in ignorance of their own fate, for as long as possible.
Eventually – at some point in the 2020s – the facade disintegrated under the pressure of exponential change, and people were forced to face their reality. At that point, all hell broke loose. Vast swathes of human life, knowledge, and potential were lost in the chaos. Certain communities survived, but they did not do so in accord with any allegiance to the norms or ethics of the societies which existed before the collapse. Their survival was instead a raw function of their preparedness and readiness to adapt, exactly as described by Darwin. Thus, the societies which emerged from the collapse were very different from those which existed before; from their resources, technology, and living conditions, to the very way they perceived Humanity and the universe.