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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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The Crises and Sacrifices Yet to Come

The Crises and Sacrifices Yet to Come

The timing of finally embracing risk and sacrifice as the only option left is exquisitely sensitive: finally caving in a moment too late leads to the system collapsing beyond recovery.

The sense that we’re approaching a tipping point into a crisis with no easy resolution is pervasive, a sense that beneath the veneer of normalcy (the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates and that will fix everything), we sense the precariousness of this brittle normalcy.

While many are uneasily scanning the horizon for geopolitical crises, others see the crisis emerging here at home, possibly a political crisis or a financial crisis that ensnares us all.

Few look at the decay of our social order as the source of crisis. Few seem to notice that corruption has become so normalized that we don’t even recognize the ubiquity and depth of our corruption; we tell ourselves that this isn’t corruption, it’s just healthy self-interest, the “invisible hand” of the market magically organizing our economy to optimize efficiency and productivity. This provides cover for our worship of self-interest, a polite phrase for limitless greed.

While the media glorifies illusions of salvation and grandeur (AI!), few look at what’s been lost in the decay of our social order, a list that starts with sacrifice for the common good and civic virtue.

The American Dream has a peculiarly truncated vision of sacrifice: we make individual sacrifices to advance our personal goals, but sacrifices for the common good are not part of the Dream: sacrifices for the sake of our fellow citizens are at best unnecessary and at worst a waste of money, something only chumps fall for.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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