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Is Civilization on the Brink of Collapse?

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
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At its height, the Roman Empire was home to about 30 % of the world’s population, and in many ways the pinnacle of human advancement. Rome became the first city in history to reach one million inhabitants and was a center of technological, legal, and economic progress. An empire impossible to topple, stable and rich and powerful.
Until it wasn’t anymore. First slowly then suddenly, the most powerful civilization on earth collapsed. If this is how it has been over the ages, what about us today? Will we lose our industrial technology, and with that our greatest achievements, from one dollar pizza to smartphones or laser eye surgery? Will all this go away too?

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Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
What We Owe The Future is available now - you can get 50% off and drive sales to local independent bookstores by using the promotion code KURZ50 at the following link: bookshop.org/books/what-we-owe-the-future/
Felipe Valencia
Felipe Valencia 15 saatler önce
Today: “I’ll take a venti Pikes, please.” Tomorrow: “Get your stinking paws off of me, you damn dirty apes!”
Felipe Valencia
Felipe Valencia 15 saatler önce
Civilization will collapse on exactly: 2832, Sept 7th. So, I’m okay with it. 😀
Damsen
Damsen 16 saatler önce
The title is misleading, please change it. Because the content of the video doesn't answer the question.
Citric Thoughts
Citric Thoughts 18 saatler önce
"We just need to actually do it." If history has proven anything it's that societies never prepare for problems until they're already collapsing from them.
The Secretary
The Secretary 15 saatler önce
History? No need to go that deep, that's me with college homework
Scientist Walter
Scientist Walter 15 saatler önce
@Crouching giraffe Hidden llama sus siety of imposters
Crouching giraffe Hidden llama
We live in a society....
MandJTV
MandJTV 16 saatler önce
I think this video needs a title change. It doesn't answer if we're on the brink of collapse at all. It simply talks about how civilization would recover if it does collapse.
Ez Ra
Ez Ra 15 saatler önce
I think means they think society will collapse, and we need educating to mitigate it.
Ben
Ben 15 saatler önce
@Bruno Silva No, it did not. If you believe it did, then you don't know what a Survivorship Bias is.
C.E.N.O
C.E.N.O 15 saatler önce
@Unduloid That doesn't change the fact that the title per se is wrong, does it now ? Or are you so eager to show that you, you are enligthened, you, you know, to actually acknowledge that ?
Spaceman Spaceman
Spaceman Spaceman 15 saatler önce
Collapse is a process not an event, so the title and the video's point a bit confusing as they're treating it like an event not a process and then arguing it'll be possible to recover from an event, when in reality what we do is recover over time also like collapse is over time... weird video but I like the art but yeah a couple of conflicting ideas. if Kurzgesagt is concerned about having a misinforming clickbait title to get clicks, I don't think they need to bother, they have a dedicated audience so no need to hustle like that
Unduloid
Unduloid 15 saatler önce
@Grawa 427 Two words: *Climate Change.* You may have heard about it.
Soffy Vlogs
Soffy Vlogs 15 saatler önce
Another amazing video! It has been so great to see this channel grow over the last 5 years or so. Happy more and more people keep discovering you guys. Keep up the great work!
Sception
Sception 16 saatler önce
if the question is "is civilization about to collapse?" then an answer of "don't worry, humanity will probably survive to rebuild over the following centuries" is maybe not the most reassuring answer.
Sev
Sev 15 saatler önce
you know things are looking bad when even Kurzgesagt is giving up on humanity
Ola Ke Ace? :v
Ola Ke Ace? :v 15 saatler önce
Just being realistic
Unveiled
Unveiled 16 saatler önce
A really interesting breakdown... of civilization breakdown! Thanks! And good to know there's some hope!
Jay Bird
Jay Bird 16 saatler önce
I am a huge fan of this channel, I've been following it for several years now and I always enjoy the content. I always find it intellectually stimulating and more often than not, I learn something new from each video I watch. I love the fact that the information is so well researched, and then explained in easily digestible, sometimes simplified terms so that it's easy for anybody to follow along with and understand - or at least get the very basic idea of the subject. I very rarely find myself disagreeing with the information presented here, or wondering why crucial points weren't mentioned - however, in this video, somewhere around 4:05, it was stated that although civilization collapses have happened regularly in the past, none of them have had the effect of derailing global civilization. This left me wondering why the Bronze Age collapse wasn't mentioned. It was my understanding that after that collapse, humans lost many technologies previously mastered by us, such as writing, plumbing, many agricultural techniques, and some of our knowledge of mathematics and carpentry. Granted, in time we re-learned these lost arts, but it took several generations, most likely over the span of centuries. Clearly, this event did not trigger the end of human civilization - but I think it's more than fair to suggest that it did 'derail' human civilization for a short time, at the very least.
Simon Gloutnez
Simon Gloutnez 15 saatler önce
It depends where, the bronze age collapse was the collapse of the hittite, mycean greeks and a lot of Levant city states. But Egypt, and most of the mesopotamian cities would keep going on for ceveral centuries. And even then, it wasnt as much of a "collapse" but rather more a gradual replacement of what was considered important, probably caused by immigration from climate change, who generated cultural shift who led (in some places) pretty quickly place to knew cultural dominance.
Astrid Fornhoff
Astrid Fornhoff 15 saatler önce
Because it wasn't a global collapse.
George Carpelan
George Carpelan 15 saatler önce
No, it wasn't a derailment as you put it. I study archaeology, and, looking at the evidence we do have, not a lot was lost apart from kingdoms and royal dynasties, which, in my opinion, isn't really a huge loss in the grand scheme of things.
SelfPropelledDestiny
SelfPropelledDestiny 16 saatler önce
While I really love all the videos and content that Kurzgesagt produces, I do want to mention something I've noticed periodically about them. I really just think this could be fodder for a topic of another one of their videos or just a discussion more than a criticism. To get to it, I've noticed that this channel's videos have a very "long-term humanity is good" sort of message and I wonder what exactly informs this philosophy. One could argue it comes from a scientific background, you know, with vocabulary like population, yields, stats, survival, etc. fresh on the mind. I suppose it is scientifically sound to say that a species collectively wants its continued survival, but what about individualistically? Are you a broken person if you naturally feel a bit of nihilism or fatalism regarding the subject? I guess more pointedly, what is humanity supposed to do or become exactly? Let's say we exist a million more years and harness fusion and wormholes to colonize the galaxy and beyond. Whether we are alone or not in the universe doesn't really matter. The point is that entropy will ensue. All the stars will die out. No matter our technological level, we will probably never find out inalienable truths about our place in the universe (God(s), good and evil, meaning, purpose). It honestly seems like any of those "real truths" are more likely hidden behind death, and not behind some technological barrier. So I sometimes find it difficult to be all "hurrah, hurrah" about the human species or Life in general. We are just a symptom of the Universe, and we will continue doing what we can to exist, but that doesn't really make any of it righteous. In fact, "righteousness" as a Platonic ideal may not actually even exist and the "story of the Good" simply goes to the victors. I don't want humans to fail, I just have no opinion about it. Everyone who ever lived is dead, and I will join them, and soon enough we all will, including the human race, most likely when we run our planet into the ground (haha, how do you run a planet (ground) into the ground?). I feel that I'm not being pessimistic, but merely realistic to the nihilism/fatalism that actually surrounds us. Other's thoughts?
Nightwyl
Nightwyl 16 saatler önce
Something too often overlooked (because of the Climate Change subject): What about the aftermath of the heavy pollution like plastic & other chemicals we are inflicting upon the planet and ourselves? Pollution takes a big toll on every species. It is one thing previous civilizations didn't really face (maybe in Rome, but it wasn't to our actual levels). Sure, even if 1% of the population survives, individuals will still face polluted grounds, crops, waters, air, etc. How will people realize that they drink, eat or breath chemicals that are harmful in the medium to long run? People will have health issues and most of the knowledge and capacities just won't be there.
FuckAmericanWomen
FuckAmericanWomen 15 saatler önce
Look at Western culture and here you are complaining about pollution. At this point, pollution is a good thing.
A R
A R 15 saatler önce
Maybe the future generations could survive the hell we leave them, but recognizing that will go against the Kurzgesagt's optimism and there would be no video. I used to like them, but they have shifted the topic from 'survival of the current population and avoiding horrible consequences' to 'someone in the future survived', in extremely poor conditions. Most of the well off survivors will be the rich of today, those who have hoarded land and resources. Rest of us, we can just boil over and die. I want to do something of impact, but my options are very limited.
ForMeToKnow 1
ForMeToKnow 1 15 saatler önce
Then it seems it won't be humans that recover from the collapse. Rats are already too smart.
t.
t. 16 saatler önce
Exactly what I was thinking as they pointed out that even 1% of the population would still have the means and the knowledge to maintain agriculture, technology etc. No civilization before has had to face nature itself turning on them as they tried to rebuild. Our species may be resilient, but they're not above the planet itself.
Michael Ashby
Michael Ashby 16 saatler önce
Ironically, the image of a city in a bubble they used here, is reminiscent of the walled cities which became more common in late western Roman history. Cities lost a cultural connection with Rome, no longer trusted Rome to provide security, (or Ravenna) and built walls to defend themselves. Collapse came soon after and in hindsight its easy to see why. Near the collapse of the western Roman Empire, the idea of what a Roman was had become a thin concept, really meaningless. The Roman Legion was staffed mostly by non-Romans. Yet the elites in Rome or Ravenna didn't think it mattered if they even thought about it. But this is like thinking you can replace everyone in your family with strangers and still live the same "family life" you had before. Obviously you can't. Family and nation are deep concepts. The "ship of Theseus" replaced plank by plank is not the same ship though it looks like a ship and may still sail, perhaps even better. Yet, its not the same ship and the deep attachments are lost in this process. The other phenomena of a late civilization is the rise of the "thinking man" who analyze and critique everything. I think we see the signs of this pretty clearly. Also the rise of the "world city" which are cities indistinguishable from every other "world city". These are the cultural centers of late civilization. They have cities with no attachment to the provincial. They've lost all connection to anything that could be called a "higher purpose", and are utilitarian at best. This is actually a fascinating topic and its too bad this video was really poorly researched...or perhaps its a really difficult topic. I mean, I can imagine the creators of this running into that problem...too much to unpack, and they had to get the video out.
Lemon
Lemon 18 saatler önce
as always I absolutely loved this video, but just personally I feel like it more answered “can civilization recover from a collapse” than “how likely is it for civilization to collapse?” Cuz honestly im worried more about the latter
SubtleSerpent
SubtleSerpent 15 saatler önce
@left4twenty I don't think you have a very high bar for accepting evidence for your firmly held belief system
left4twenty
left4twenty 15 saatler önce
@Nathan V I'm pretty sure it's not a strawman, as they ARE comparing an evidenced conclusion to "fortune telling"
left4twenty
left4twenty 15 saatler önce
@SubtleSerpent the great thing about science is it DOESN'T require faith. You don't have to have faith that the earth is heating up, or that the sun will rise tomorrow, because we have the damn EVIDENCE
SubtleSerpent
SubtleSerpent 15 saatler önce
@Wiczus I won't argue that. I was trying to be provocative, I really want people to question the narrative and step outside their echo chamber, also I am very much in the Kurzgesagt camp when it comes to hopelessness and doomer mentality. There are endless reasons to be hopeful that the future will be better than today, and more and more people seem to want to wallow in a depressive state that is constantly reinforced by the news cycle. I also think that as western society has become more wealthy overall, the detrimental effects of poverty are overlooked or understated. Poverty is a historically proven killer, and to move populations towards poverty in the name of countering climate change is a terrible plan. The effort needs to be to have corporations and the wealthy bear the cost of climate change policy while preventing more redistribution of wealth from the bottom towards the top.
notthere83
notthere83 16 saatler önce
I think the resiliency is overestimated. Survivors might still be able to make use of some of the things that are still around but amidst all the chaos, they probably won't have the time or capability to teach their children everything that they know. Especially since in a scenario of total collapse, intellectuals will probably die first. And so after 2 or 3 generations of fight for survival and the intellectual capital dwindling, there will be many things that people just don't know about any more.
Bob Mortimer
Bob Mortimer 15 saatler önce
Without the educational support of academics, society would (will) quickly fail. Humans are too prolific and too good at dominating their environment, and far too wasteful and careless when it comes to food sources. The first things to die out would be law and order. Without those, the survivors would have to concentrate on fighting off the selfish, greedy, and plain nasty people who would come for them. If they managed to secure themselves somewhere, they would then have to fend off their beseigers. If they managed that, they would then need food and medicine that would be either scarce or non-existent. If they survived that, they'd need to find a source of high-calorie food, and most, if not all, of the large land animals would have been wiped out, either by the nuclear war and following winter, or from overfarming by the survivors themselves. Smaller game would shortly follow. The seas would be emptied of fishable/farmable food sources. What would happen next would be the stuff of nightmares. The only source of high-calorie diet would be each other. I wouldn't want to be around for that.
Liamjm
Liamjm 15 saatler önce
Similar thing happened during the Bronze Age Collapse. People forgot how to read and write for centuries. Still recovered from that and advanced into the Iron Age.
Paul Frederick
Paul Frederick 16 saatler önce
Most people could probably teach their children everything they know in just a few minutes. Because they know that little.
Joonas Pastila
Joonas Pastila 17 saatler önce
Mitigation of civilisational risks by making a contingency preparations is kind of like terraforming mars: while not impossible, preserving our current environment is way more appealing on every sensible metric. And we aren’t doing that at all, so it’s borderline ridiculous to expect us to do something less fruitful and more complex. Sure, we will not be wiped out. But we neither will not gather together and make long term preparations to reduce future human suffering in case of unexpected events, at least as long as we are unwilling to reduce future human suffering when facing very expected and predictable events. We lack the unity and foresight as a collective, and are lead by individuals and organisations that seemingly disregard our collective interests. We don’t make even the easiest of hard choices, and when the predictable risks actualise, our reaction is always to preserve the existing powers, make those without power carry the costs, and get back to taking new, greater risks to keep going. Building hope by pointing out what good we could do, when we keep refusing to do any good at all, is not a potential new solution we should feel hopeful towards. It’s rephrasing the same problem in a manner that obscures the core of the problem: a viewpoint that while on surface level acknowledges the problem, does so only to refuse it in a new unexplored manner. It’s just another unrealised potential of humanity, one where we don’t need to face the hard questions holding us back, or treat the issues restricting change. It appeals to those unwilling to ask “how must we change our economy, society and systems of power” when faced with climate catastrophe, by pointing out an avenue that hasn’t yet lead us to those underlying questions. “how to solve climate crisis” is not the issue. “how to change ourselves and start solving climate crisis” is. New solutions and new questions largely please those who don’t want to implement the old answers to old questions.
Kezzlish
Kezzlish 15 saatler önce
I love how they didn't even try to deny that we're, indeed, at the end of our times. What they did was sugar coat as much as possible our inminent death by saying: "hey, at least some of us will survive" Kindda stupid to think on "us" so late in the game, when the "me" has been the problem that brought us to this cheap distopian storyline
Jjames763
Jjames763 16 saatler önce
This demonstrates why it’s so important to have at least some degree of national and even local independence in terms of providing for the essentials. Things like manufacturing microchips obviously can’t be decentralized, but what about power? Food? Water? These are the important things to decentralize as much as possible.
lucassou
lucassou 19 saatler önce
I have no doubt that a new sort of civilization could emerge after a collapse. But still, the problem is what happens to us before there's a new civilization that emerges. I'd like not to spent the end of my life scavaging for food because our current lifestyle is not sustainable...
Gamete
Gamete 15 saatler önce
communist : thinks about the future of humanity . capitalist : thinks about how to rule over others .
Sirius Pope
Sirius Pope 16 saatler önce
it not a when or if we could recover. We're humans. If civilization collapsed, which it would likely only do so in certain parts of the world, and in "stages" if you will, humans would undoubtedly recover because that's how humans are. The only way EVERYTHING would collapse all at once is probably getting hit with a solar flare and that would just mean everyone is dead, so we have bigger problems to worry about. So it's not an if, it's a when, but since it's a when, we should probably sort out how to mitigate the amount of *suck* it's going to be for our children and their children, etc etc, until we can recover in the big picture
Vorcan Vorcan
Vorcan Vorcan 16 saatler önce
@Dreamkid What exactly are you referring to when you say "all that"?
Divine Linker
Divine Linker 16 saatler önce
@Nōtan Ok, lets put it this way: if you had a choice between saving your civilization or species and saving your family or yourself, YOUR genes, what would you choose? Its a tough call. I dont think that we are even equipped to properly evaluate that choice. Lets call it 50:50, its half about individuals and half about the species as a whole.(yeah, i know that saving the species helps your genes alot, but we are not built to think on that scale)
cr4yv3n
cr4yv3n 16 saatler önce
@EvilAng3la exactly. If we fall now we are fucked forever. We mined easy ore. We got easy coal and oil. These are CRUCIAL to kick start a true civilization. Without them we can't surpass 1bn people and without massive population no tech achievement can be made. We will be forever stuck in a low energy world, our great great great great great great great great... Great great grandchildren telling legends how their ancestors used to fly in the sky, visit stars, know everything from looking at magical stone tablets in their palms. And that will be our story until the sun goes red giant and cooks us.
Just Another Runner
Just Another Runner 15 saatler önce
I feel in this video he makes a huge assumption. That we will still have the resources we have today. The fact is, we won't. I think what will cause civilization to collapse is the exhaustion of natural resources, most notably fossil fuels. Fossil fuels power civilization. Solar, wind, and wave all rely on fossil fuels to build and maintain and can not be used without fossil fuels. The only thing that may sustain us for a little while longer is nuclear, but that will run out too eventually. And nuclear has a higher cost. Energy is only going to keep going up and up and up in cost until only the rich can afford it, the rest of us will be living in hovels with no water or electricity.
dsp4
dsp4 15 saatler önce
I'd love to learn more about the ethical implications of the obviously highly orchestrated PR effort for MacAskill's book. There are multiple channels doing it today so there is probably an exchange of value involved. It's not just that the people at Kurzgesagt think the book is "neat".
Prosamis
Prosamis 16 saatler önce
This video reminded me of how much I'd love to learn about how to make from scratch all the important infrastructures we need to survive From heating, making shelter, generating and storing electricity, making food, purifying food and water, plumbing systems, medicine, tool and device manufacturing, and many other things...
Colton Ratey
Colton Ratey 16 saatler önce
Love the hopefulness in this video, but if society collapses I say we just stop at agriculture and not re-industrialize
Just Some Guy without a Mustache
“Let’s counter existential dread with appreciation for humanity. Look how far we’ve come as a species.” This is the thing I always appreciate about these videos, they manage to make you feel hopeless throughout most of the video, only to offer you some encouraging words at the end.
Zooms
Zooms 19 saatler önce
I was wondering where you went when I stopped seeing your comments on Charlie's videos
Hi
Hi 19 saatler önce
@SomebodyHere Where?
Cain Toomey
Cain Toomey 19 saatler önce
One of the reasons some folks have said existential dread is the realization that this might be as far as we get to go as a species and that there will very likely be both a lot less humans around to appreciate humanity, and less accomplishments of humanity to appreciate.
Literally a 442nd clone trooper with a carrot
@MISHAN 🅥 curses don’t exist bro.
Vye
Vye 16 saatler önce
I was really hoping that this video would actually touch on the injustice and inequalities in the world and how lots of people feel like we are on a breaking point. It's not like you can't make a video like that, you showed us as much with the UBI video.
Mindflayer86
Mindflayer86 16 saatler önce
The title of this video should not be "Is Civilization on the Brink of Collapse?" but rather "Would Civilization recover after a Collapse?"
Lucas v.Drunen
Lucas v.Drunen 16 saatler önce
the way kurzgesagt is able to convey important information while making it intertainment and easy to absorb for anyone is amazing! thank you for all the work, its much appreciated. i always leave feeling more optimistic🙏
Lily Bertine
Lily Bertine 15 saatler önce
Yes it is. Some of the gears have already started to move (climatic changes, biodiversity collapse, economic burnouts, global tensions...). And when I see some people around me, it's hard to believe we ever even invented hot water, so I wouldn't hold my breath 🤷‍♀ Humans have increased everything from population to energy production and consumption, resources exploitation, goods possession, environmental destruction... everything on a scale never reached before by any civilization... But humility, wisdom, and compassion? They've been left behind when we decided to be more competitive, more individualistic, more productive, more, more, more. Good thing is we will have more records of our collapse for future archeologists. Hoping they won't find a tiktok video and conclude that was what we all used to be. The fall could be soften though, to avoid chaos and stuff, but i don't see the slightest sign of public organization yet, what-so-ever. So most likely it will be as us french people say: "Chacun pour soi, et Dieu pour tous"
S Jones
S Jones 17 saatler önce
An other interesting article. Well done. Although, the thought of 1% of the population surviving doesn't really make me optimistic. It's all very well planning for a thousand generations in the future, but my empathy lies most with the immediate and next few generations. I don't want either me, my family or community to suffer the pain, misery and hardship of societal collapse in whatever form it may take. This is where my immediate concerns lie.
ricewtf
ricewtf 16 saatler önce
the only reason your comment doesn’t look selfish is because you wrote my community, which is probably the reason you wrote it.
cr4yv3n
cr4yv3n 16 saatler önce
@ArcG3 They can time travel and sue me
Alienlover859
Alienlover859 16 saatler önce
@Saurav Bhandari Sure, but when you're making a presentation you want the audience to be able to understand. Since history books are filled to the brim with stories about the Romans and not the Indus River Valley Civilization they needed something the audience would recognize.
Saurav Bhandari
Saurav Bhandari 16 saatler önce
this is not about the world it's completely west video, i have read tons of books about advanced chinese and indus civilization about 2000 B.C. far before the Roman Empire
ArcG3
ArcG3 16 saatler önce
Damn think of all the people reading your comment in 1000 years you just did dirty
You Hanséo
You Hanséo 16 saatler önce
The problem with these recoveries is that the falls occured on some places and the other places could help them but what if all of us fell at once? We wouldn’t have others to help us
yesfredfred burger
yesfredfred burger 16 saatler önce
The REAL question is, will the nature of civilization go through significant change? Yes
Gustavo Teles
Gustavo Teles 15 saatler önce
In my perspective, the quote that sums up this video is: "It's easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism". Capitalism is the production mode that make human species explore Earth so unnecessarily violent. Is there no alternetive production mode? The concept around this topic is well written in the book "Captalist realism" by Mark Fisher.
Joey J
Joey J 16 saatler önce
I disagree with your conclusions. You're missing some very key differences, including the unprecedented proliferation of nuclear , biological and cyber weapons. Together or singly, any of these can end civilization. The Earth will endure - even global climate catastrophe. Human civilization? Not so much. Still, a neat little video. It's good to give people hope, even if it's false.
Bearded Bear
Bearded Bear 16 saatler önce
I mean, if by "The Earth" you mean a lifeless lump of rock, sure. But we're very much looking at the collapse of the entire biosphere. IE, the ability for the planet to sustain life. Any life.
Applos
Applos 19 saatler önce
I think one of the biggest advantages is that we have an overabundance of manual precision tools already produced. So if the population were to drop that bad we would have tools for a lifetime even before we need to start producing them again. How many nails and screws you think are already in stock, brand new?
Gamete
Gamete 15 saatler önce
communist : thinks about the future of humanity . capitalist : thinks about how to rule over others .
Gareth Baus
Gareth Baus 16 saatler önce
@bomen We have enough renewable energy and batteries to power 1% of the current population for at least a lifetime. That would get us a long way towards building other renewable energy sources which should hopefully reduce the value of coal.
MaverickBull
MaverickBull 16 saatler önce
Right... we'll rebuild the entire world with nails and gd screws...
May the Science be with You
Those things don't last forever, even unused
TheDapperDolphin
TheDapperDolphin 17 saatler önce
The amount of dads with tool sheds will allow us to come back.
Médéric Ragon
Médéric Ragon 16 saatler önce
Thanks for the good and hard work, top quality as always. The existentail dread i feel is not "Can humanity keeps growing after a colapse ?" because I surely know it can. As a specie we are more resilient than rat or cokroach imo. The dread i feel is more "In my lifetime and the lifetime of my child, will we live a constantly degrading quality of life with shittier and shitter social and environemental context ? And in a rate sufficiently fast that we notice pretty directly the decline ?". And as you said "Individual will live hardship", and that is super scary, i don't want to live in a mad max world or to bring a child in it. Even if in 300 years civilisation will come back. Another point : in the past the civilisation had easy access to a lot of ressources, and the environement was friendly; now we have consumed all that is easy to acces, recycling require technology that require civilisation, and the environement is now getting hostile (away from the ideal envrionement human kind need to thrive). So in case of colapse, recovering will be with more problems to handle, and less ressources to use. Sure we have more knowledge, but this knowledge require technology and civilisation to be fully exploited. It's a loop, civilisation needs civilisation. No civilisation = no civilisation. It took full Middle Age to recover from loss of Roman technologies and science. And said technologies were incredibly basic compare to a single smartphone from today. To recover without the support of civiilisation to a point were we can once again get to a today-like civilisation can be very long. Looking back in the past to make comparaison and projection is often a good source of information, but it is not always on point. What we need is a Asimov-like "Foundation", which needs to gather all the essential and interconected knowledge a basic society needs to recover from colapsing. From the scratch with a lot of details and all the fundamental explanations. So we know how it works, and WHY it works. Whith a very usable and clear index and content table. And this knowledge must be put on physical medium ! Like laser engraved metal sheets (non oxydable metal of course) , or plastified thick paper with UV proof ink. This ENCYCLOPEDIA, must be produced in large scale and number, and in all main languages, and be sent everywhere to be preserved. This was the orginal purpose of Asimov's Foundation Encyclopedia. I hope some people already thought about that ! I know paper copies of wikipedia are a thing. Because the knowledge in a library is either partial, or to precise. Ask an average person to go to a library and to learn precisely how to build an electrical engine. They can't. The knowledge is not presented correctly.
Jackson Green
Jackson Green 16 saatler önce
Humans and society have always been complicated, and complication can usually lead to chaos. But no matter how you look at it, that doesn’t mean we will never at least try to keep everything fine. I think I speak for everyone when I say we have a tendency to fix our problems.
Nether Freak Ultima
Nether Freak Ultima 16 saatler önce
@Astral well let's hope that a nuclear war doesn't happen then
Nether Freak Ultima
Nether Freak Ultima 16 saatler önce
True point there
Sireallius
Sireallius 16 saatler önce
I appreciate the amount of work making this video, however it doesn't talk about the question of are we on the brink of a collapse. Only touches on our adaptability.
SuperDuperBoy/SDB
SuperDuperBoy/SDB 16 saatler önce
This video is of course interesting and really well made like all Kurzgesagt videos but I feel like the title is a bit misleading. This is more of "Could humanity recover from a collapse?" than "Is Civilization on the brink of collapse?"
King Henry VIII Tudor
King Henry VIII Tudor 19 saatler önce
One thing to remember about Rome is that it was never a true societal "collapse" but a violent reshuffling of power as Rome became too bloated and began to balloon out. The Eastern Empire survived another 1000 years pretty much intact, pretty much as the same entity. By the year 1100, Europe was already more advanced than Rome in the year 400. A better example of a societal collapse was the Bronze Age Collapse.
Gamete
Gamete 15 saatler önce
communist : thinks about the future of humanity . capitalist : thinks about how to rule over others .
AngelMates
AngelMates 16 saatler önce
@quitchiboo that statement is absolutely correct. Rome is caracterized for little technological innovation, meanwhile in the middel ages technology started to advance much more notoriously.
Jonas Kircher
Jonas Kircher 16 saatler önce
Exactly, for over 2000 years there was a continuous society calling themselves Romans. The 523 years is from the fall of the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman empire neither of which is something I would call a societal collapse. Especially since a lot of the Roman institutions survived even in the previously Western Roman empire for often hundreds of years. More often than not the people conquering parts of the Roman territory kept the institutions and only made sure that they were in control of them, at least in the beginning.
Akronym
Akronym 16 saatler önce
@Maniae Official Volubilis was a roman city with 20 000 inhabitants in the middle of morocco at the sahara desert and there was a better way of life than in middle age paris, london or any other western europe city.
Philip Barton
Philip Barton 18 saatler önce
@Maniae Official Exactly. Rome itself had the benefits of it because the region itself allowed for it. The rest of Europe didn't have the environmental factors that allowed for the similar innovations to be developed. The only thing that really was a far reaching innovation Rome as an empire created was roads. Which oddly enough many of those same roads exist as literal roads today.
Caroline Apodaca
Caroline Apodaca 16 saatler önce
Could you cover what has been done to counter nuclear attacks and recover from them? Most of it seems to be education, regulation and politics to limit and prevent them being created and used in the first place. I'd like to know why we haven't achieved very many tools or tech to disarm or counter them if fired and what we have achieved to recover places if hit by one. Example Ukraines many sunflowers can be used to help recover an area if something like a plants failure or destruction occurs.
Theseus
Theseus 17 saatler önce
I'm not so worried about Civilization collapsing but rather our making of pollinating insects and other things we take for granted going extinct which would be a far larger crisis than everything else save nuclear winter. We wouldn't be able to just pick up where we left of with modern agriculture because agriculture itself would be so radically reshaped it would look nothing like what it currently does.
GC AmazingBR
GC AmazingBR 16 saatler önce
8:25 - 8:54 this single bit is something i always remember whatever something too catastrophic ever happen. Specially when it revolves around solar rays explosions, that in the blink of an eye would leave us with no circuit based tech left, or electricity for that matter.
Isaac Harvey
Isaac Harvey 16 saatler önce
If there’s one thing I’ve learned one thing from living in the US for almost 19 years, it’s that America will be the first to fall in the apocalypse, and will likely fall into a second (non-)civil war within the next few decades.
The Confounded Magister
The Confounded Magister 18 saatler önce
As an amateur marine ecologist i just wanna give a shout and massive thanks for mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes, and phytoplanktons for their contribution to sustain us with absorbing CO2 that we produce.
Magic Dinsmore
Magic Dinsmore 15 saatler önce
@Daniyal Khalid Yes, I saw your response in the Comments section and thought it was posed to me. Unfortunately you're special for some reason and get a highlighted comment. I guess it's the same as the blue checkmark which makes you part of the ministry of truth.
Daniyal Khalid
Daniyal Khalid 15 saatler önce
@Magic Dinsmore huh and you’re? I was responding to the marine ecologist.
Diogo Caeiro
Diogo Caeiro 16 saatler önce
@Joenzinator Hey! Can you cite any reviewed paper or credible source with that info? Thanks!
Lars la Cour Poulsen
Lars la Cour Poulsen 16 saatler önce
The biggest problem with a rapid collapse of the global civilization (e.g. to 1%) is that it is unlikely that the remaining individuals would know how to administer nuclear facilities and weapons for a good amount of time, so that there is a substantial risk that many areas would be rendered inhabitable by spread of nuclear waste.
Tzarailukouai
Tzarailukouai 16 saatler önce
Not so keen on this one compared to your other videos - while I grant your scope is intended to be broad, it is a disservice to overly simplify humanity's development (particularly the rising and falling of societies) into a linear 'progression'. Just as one example, while Medieval Europeans may have forgotten how to make concrete or do indoor plumbing, they also engineered vast cathedrals and castles, designed machines, developed philosophies and sciences in a way the Romans never managed.
Everest Jarvik
Everest Jarvik 16 saatler önce
I would imagine the world as a whole will be fine for the foreseeable future But the US is definitely already collapsing as we speak and I would be shocked if that trajectory suddenly changed
Varox
Varox 16 saatler önce
I would love for you guys to record those discussions and publish them as is. I bet I could listen hours upon hours to them!
dark7element
dark7element 16 saatler önce
One thing to keep in mind: if we get a civilizational collapse so bad that we lose our industrial base and literally return to a sub-medieval society, that's *IT*. Humanity will almost certainly never re-attain this level of advancement again. The low-hanging fruit of energy sources and raw materials that fueled the industrial revolution has been plucked. If there's a global nuclear war or something similarly destructive to civilization, even if humans as a species survives, we will never be able to move beyond a medieval level of existence again.
Bryan Kutchens
Bryan Kutchens 16 saatler önce
"humanity is like a teenager, speeding around blind corners, drunk, without a seatbelt." I couldn't agree more
Byron Walker
Byron Walker 15 saatler önce
Even though I’m as much for Human growth and expansion to the stars as the next Sapiens here, technological development without ethical grounding in what makes us human (and gives us meaning) first will be a curse to the cosmos not a blessing if we don’t value that humanity most highly even over more “advanced” progress, or even base population. Sure we have more people and prosperity than ever but we also have more people living in slavery and poverty (not to mention depression or anxiety) than ever. The answer cannot simply be to push on no matter the collateral, hoping we’ll discover a solution in the future. If we enter interstellar space with this colonial consumerist (empire) mentality those numbers will exceed the trillions and we will not only be responsible for the expansion of human life but untold suffering. Do not forget, Rome (like America and many other empires) was a slave civilization with nearly 1/3 of its population being enslaved.
Akbarali Olimov
Akbarali Olimov 17 saatler önce
Around two days ago I searched information about collapses of civilizations and probability of recovery after these events. Now I'm very glad to see that Kurzgesagt gave some valid but positive information. Danke vielmals.
Akbarali Olimov
Akbarali Olimov 16 saatler önce
@Paul Frederick but I determine how fast or slow will the recovery be, saving or destroying the achievements of civilization.
Paul Frederick
Paul Frederick 16 saatler önce
The probability of you seeing any recovery is zero. That's all you need to know.
Angus Yang
Angus Yang 19 saatler önce
Interesting that you guys didn't mention the Bronze Age Collapse, which is often the event that many people point to as the defining societal collapse. However, even the Bronze Age Collapse didn't entirely erase civilization, as major civilizations like Assyria, Egypt, and Babylonia were able to weather the storm and survive into classical times. I think the collapse of the Roman Empire was simplified here, because while the empire in Italy itself fell, the eastern half of the empire survived, all the way until 1453, and Italy, Spain, France, England, and North Africa were taken over by new kingdoms of Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Vandals rather than falling into total societal collapse. In fact, Italy in particular would see a resurgence under king Theodoric the Great. If anything, it was the Byzantines' invasion and reconquest of Italy that actually caused the bigger societal collapse than the fall of Rome itself.
repGHOST
repGHOST 15 saatler önce
🤓ummmm achtuallyy!!!!!!!!!
Friedrich _
Friedrich _ 15 saatler önce
@Moi Pessoa Yes the legandary european Civilaziok like the Asian Hittits the African Egypt and the Pre indo-eurpoean in the Ageqs. All european Btw it Was name beacuse the bronze age is mostly concetradee here
Chillkrokette
Chillkrokette 15 saatler önce
@Moi Pessoa yes it was eurocentric, but the BAC shows how interconnected societies collapsed because trade routes are cut, droughts, earthquakes and ambushes of unknown sea peoples, all these things come together and make many societies fall at once (or during a short amount of time). I understand why they didn't include it in this video though because it is a good example but one that's soooo controversial and still needs decades of research.
Jacob
Jacob 16 saatler önce
That one Scene with the troops marching made me think how cool it would be if Kurzgesagt would create a real time strategy game like Age of Empires but in their style (mobile or PC version)
David Lubkowski
David Lubkowski 16 saatler önce
Love the idea of fossil fuels as 'emergency insurance'. This is how they should be framed, not a buisness opportunity for easy money.
Rishav Sarkar
Rishav Sarkar 16 saatler önce
This Video reminds me of the Metro Series of games, where Russia and probably the world as a whole got wiped out by both Nuclear Weapons and the surviving Bio-Sphere was infected with Biological and mutagenic weapons and the survivors inside the Moscow Metro still managed to pull through using the scraps left behind. So while I hope and want the Imperium of Man to go crusading against Xenos as soon as possible, I agree that even the Apocalypse would probably just be a Nasty Speed bump, not a dead end.
Nick Silvestri
Nick Silvestri 16 saatler önce
"Some people will probably survive." Thank you Kurzgesagt, very reassuring.
Joe McGonagle
Joe McGonagle 20 saatler önce
Another amazing video! It has been so great to see this channel grow over the last 5 years or so. Happy more and more people keep discovering you guys. Keep up the great work!
USS Anime NCC-2400
USS Anime NCC-2400 19 saatler önce
Their video are great they're fun and informative
DOGS LOL
DOGS LOL 19 saatler önce
bot
a random medic main
a random medic main 19 saatler önce
@Mrbeast scams[proof on channel] no one asked, bot
a random medic main
a random medic main 19 saatler önce
@MISHAN 🅥 stop
MISHAN 🅥
MISHAN 🅥 19 saatler önce
Don't translate!! 😎 ເຈົ້າຖືກສາບແຊ່ງເພາະວ່າມັນຖືກແປຖ້າເຈົ້າບໍ່ທໍາລາຍຄໍາສາບແຊ່ງ, ເຈົ້າຈະຕາຍວິທີດຽວທີ່ຈະທໍາລາຍຄໍາສາບແຊ່ງແມ່ນເພື່ອຈອງຊ່ອງທາງຂອງຂ້ອຍລົງ​ທະ​ບຽນ​ດຽວ​ນີ້
John
John 16 saatler önce
I don't know exactly what our collapse as a civilization will look like or when it will occur, no one does. What I can say is that it is inevitable but nothing to fear. Future life, be they humanity or another species, will come, making what they will of the world they inherit and, if nothing else, the best we can do is to preserve and provide them with our little slice of knowledge and wisdom in the hopes that it serves them - even as little more than a cautionary tale - better than it did us.
Dumb Comment
Dumb Comment 16 saatler önce
We can be inspired by historic collapse of ancient empires but we also can't forget that most of the countries we're living in can not become self-sufficient, the amount of people we would lose could turn our society into madmax.
Mads Ryberg
Mads Ryberg 16 saatler önce
Just grabbed myself the audiobook version, looking forward to taking it for a spin
daman4567
daman4567 16 saatler önce
As long as computing protocols, especially the IEEE standards, are printed out on paper or otherwise still accessible, then loss of data due to incompatibility is much less of an issue than "its all gone".
Akila
Akila 18 saatler önce
The subject of this video is actually: "Can civilization recover after collapse?".
Augustus
Augustus 16 saatler önce
the interesting question is: are we too advanced to fail at this point?
Henry Wilder
Henry Wilder 16 saatler önce
I saw that merch plug coming and I was pretty excited for once. But I was a little disappointed that it was a map. Given the topic of the video, I thought it might be something more akin to a timeline of civilizations' influencial inventions like the smaller ones that were shown.
AppalachianWolf
AppalachianWolf 15 saatler önce
“The sooner society collapses the easier it will be to deal with it. The longer it takes to collapse the harder it will be.”- Ted Kaczynski.
Nick S
Nick S 15 saatler önce
I've noticed that people who prep for the collapse of civilization always do the most counter productive things because they have misguided veiw of collapse based off of post-apocalypse fiction. Like people who all they do stockpiling food, woodland survival gear and especially weapons. Which is good in the short term for immediately after a disaster if you want to be a roving band of raiders. No one ever plans for the rebuilding part like learning skills that would be useful to a small community of survivors or stockpiling seeds,farming equipment, and building materials, or even trying to preserve books and knowledge. Its something that I think we should emphasize and take away this veiw of after the collapse everyone turns into murderous lunatics. Even more we should form communities now who know how to provide for themselves so that we have those social ties afterwards that can be called on to rebuild.
David
David 17 saatler önce
This video is so optimistic while not really acknowledging that most of the "us" watching this, would still not survive.
Mailbox
Mailbox 15 saatler önce
@Liam Don Also, this video is purely speculative. They never stated that a collapse will happen specifically, only what would happen if collapse did happen, and why our civilization is more and less prone to collapse than older civilizations.
Mailbox
Mailbox 15 saatler önce
​@Liam Don "With enough collective effort." Said effort would require the governments of world superpowers (USA, India, China, etc.) which unfortunately we are almost never going to get until said collapse is happening already. Also, why the hell do you care? It's not like it's going to happen in your lifetime.
The Frog's Heart
The Frog's Heart 15 saatler önce
well, it is about the survival of the human race not us the individuals :/
Izuka 、
Izuka 、 16 saatler önce
@Tadeo Riveros Koloszwa literally like when they talk about human civilization in 1000 years I'm like.... We will not get to this point
horizontally spinning drill
@Jul W making multiple videos about the same subject isn't being repetitive, you'd have to point to what they are actually repeating. also they can be overly optimistic or pretty existential dread-inducing, depending on the specific video, this one might be optimistic because it looks at the civilisation-scale side of things, not the individual one. this is not delusion, and to be frank the point of view that we are on the verge of collapse right now is way more delusional, and probably a result of overconsumption of media/social media that tries to keep you hooked with sensational language. the title is not representative of the content, but for the video itself i don't know what else they're supposed to say except "a lot of people would die and that's really sad" (which would be the case in more than half of their videos anyway).
mhuzzell
mhuzzell 16 saatler önce
Astonishingly Eurocentric to call the Black Death the "last clear example of a rapid global population decrease". The plagues that ravaged the American continents in the first century or so following European contact directly contributed to the collapse of the Incan and Aztec civilisations, as well as causing major social collapse outside of them. Estimates for both the original numbers and the numbers killed vary, but plausible estimates range as high as 90% of the population dying in these plagues. The only reason I can think for skipping over them to the Black Death as the "last clear example" is that shakiness in the estimation -- but then it seems like the word 'clear' is doing an awful lot of work, there. Then again, if you call that the last example of a plague that decreased the global population by such a margin, your rosy bounce-back story becomes a much harder sell.
drevilatwork
drevilatwork 15 saatler önce
The downfall of the Roman empire has been caused by many factors acting at the same time. But some say that the biggest factor was slow communication along a large territory, basically at the apeed of a horse. That shouldn't be a problem today
Daniel 0009
Daniel 0009 16 saatler önce
The foundation novels by Issac Asimov, addresses this on a galactic scale, though in less details. Highly recommended.
Nell Bell
Nell Bell 16 saatler önce
there should be an addendum to the Hiroshima part because whilst yes Japan has recovered for this, Hiroshima largely avoids the crater and not only that but people are still in fact dying from the landslides produced by the crater.
terry scott
terry scott 18 saatler önce
I don't think this video addresses whether we actually are on the brink of collapse or not. It made no observations on how previous civilizations collapsed or on events that led to collapse. It could have drawn upon these observations and make a comparison to them regarding our current civilization. It also could have noted some trends unique to our civilization that may lead to collapse or provide protection against collapse. Sure, nuclear warfare and bioterrorism could be catastrophic, but does the current political, social, and economic landscape provide evidence for such an event to occur?
Kuin
Kuin 15 saatler önce
@A Z Now I've heard people simplify the migration period before, but I've never seen someone blame "gender focus" as the cause of collapse lmfao... Women were *never* given the right to vote or hold office for the entirety of the Western Empire, and there's only one hotly debated instance of a woman ever ruling, very briefly, Ulpia Severina - so what are you referring to? Or are you just making a 1:1 comparison with modern western political trends because you don't know any history?
Winston Poplin
Winston Poplin 16 saatler önce
I think the point of the video was that it doesn't really matter if it collapses or not as recovery is almost ensured.
Landen Moudy
Landen Moudy 15 saatler önce
Could you ever imagine a world where the Black Death never occurred? Moving the starting line for the industrial revolution to the 1500’s with no decline in population. We would either be 200 years ahead with advancements that seem like magic, or we might have ended civilization. A future that we know can and is very likely to happen.
janey
janey 15 saatler önce
If I had to mark this video, it'd be "4/10, nicely produced but insufficient focus on the question". This video doesn't offer any serious commentary on how likely a civilisational collapse currently is; instead it ruminates on older civilisations that are so many degrees removed from us by exponential technological advancement that their situations simply aren't comparable, before waffling about how people post-collapse might rebuild. Kurzgesast's science videos are good, but whenever they do a video about social issues, it's frustrating, surface-level rubbish that boils down to repackaging futurist-y, centrist ideas as scientific inevitabilities and offering very little meaningful beyond that. The ideas proposed to avoid a collapse aren't insane, but they're diametrically opposed to how the current system operates, and there's no evaluation of how you would overcome that to meet these objectives. Instead it asks you to abstract away your own existence, and think about hypothetical future people as a sort of cold comfort for the fact that people are suffering and dying right now.
jvms 17
jvms 17 16 saatler önce
Its good to talk about the threat of pandemics and a nuclear war, but I think even with all in all none isnt greater than the threat of climate change, never before in our history we have been suffering with drastic changes of temperatures, droughts, recurring big and not normal floods and storms, even in places that shouldnt have them, rapid heating and catastrophic fires - all in a trend that is becoming more exponencial ( things are happening faster and faster with few space between or even none), causing more extinctions and just starting to destroy ecosystems in such a way that is suppressing many (bad) predictions by scientists and causing many to believe im an endgame connected to complete extinction of the human race
Gummy Newt
Gummy Newt 15 saatler önce
7:51-8:00 basically saying "things wouldn't be that bad on evolutionary time scale" isn't really as optimistic as you think it is. It's like "Sure people may be having a subsistence living without good sanitation or medicine for a few thousand years, but it's only a few thousand." Feels like downplaying suffering more than optimism.
Notar Ealname
Notar Ealname 19 saatler önce
I’m so impressed by how smooth the animation is. You guys have been improving and doing so well, and always so informative. Thank you
Nicola Pelos
Nicola Pelos 17 saatler önce
@Marco Westphal every bias they try to sell as fact to start with. It could be a great topic just what we belive to be a "pinnacle of civilization". Surely their ideas is very far from mine. Is quantity better then quality?
Marco Westphal
Marco Westphal 17 saatler önce
@Nicola Pelos pls explain what is not passable in this vid
Finn Tran
Finn Tran 17 saatler önce
@Arihant Kochar they didn’t even touch on the question they brought up in the tittle 😵‍💫
Nicola Pelos
Nicola Pelos 17 saatler önce
The animation Is the only passable thing in this video...
Disgruntled Doomer
Disgruntled Doomer 18 saatler önce
I wish more channels would embrace the 60fps magic, but for some reason many people prefer to mimic TV or movie standards, from a hundred years ago.
Tyler Verkaik
Tyler Verkaik 17 saatler önce
One thing to remember about Rome is that when the western part collapsed, peoples lifespans actually increased. Rome was a parasitic clusterfuck sucking health and wealth from their people. Never understood why people look to Rome or Britain or Ottomans or Mongols or America or some other empire as peak human civilization. We are almost always better off during periods of less centralization.
TheGreatMoonFrog
TheGreatMoonFrog 15 saatler önce
I already figured humanity as a whole would continue going if our current world's civilizations collapse. I'm just more worried about the billions of deaths and unspeakable hardships part that a collapse would bring since I'm, you know, alive now.
Baur Ravenblack
Baur Ravenblack 16 saatler önce
Civilization is on the brink of great knowledge, actually. If humans end up losing their minds over it - that's when the collapse devours all.
Setoki
Setoki 16 saatler önce
I think Chinese expansionism might deteriorate globalisation over time, if the western nations see themselves trying to put economic pressure on them, as China tries to archive their imperial ambitions.
HAHAHA HAHAHA
HAHAHA HAHAHA 19 saatler önce
Question for kurzgesagt: There are tons of videos detailing our today, tons detailing the past, a bunch thinking about the future, and a couple detailing the very end of our lifecycle. I was wondering if maybe there'll be a video detailing our hypothetical path throughout the future and what events will follow if our civilization was ended by various of the most plausible endings. A sort of future map, or trail perhaps.
Keenfire
Keenfire 18 saatler önce
@HAHAHA HAHAHA Its a lot of details. I'd provide a link but YT deletes them. There are a few good YT videos to check out that can explain it better than I can.
Keenfire
Keenfire 18 saatler önce
@SmilingCorpse The point being is there are more similarities than difference between the mice experiment and us. "We are not animals that act on instinct". But we are. Your instinct tells you to eat, sleep, shit, and have sex. Your fear tells you to act right. Fear is a natural animal instinct. So you proved yourself wrong by your own admission. Odd.
Trimp Fortress 2
Trimp Fortress 2 18 saatler önce
for that, I want to know what nebula (or maybe a closer star cluster) we're trying steering our sun towards in the next few hundred million years
Griggori rasputin
Griggori rasputin 18 saatler önce
That sounds like their “what if humans disappeared” video or Lemmino’s “grazed by the apocalypse” video
HAHAHA HAHAHA
HAHAHA HAHAHA 18 saatler önce
@xyzpdq1122 one of my favorites
Sonraki
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