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ZÓCALO PUBLIC SQUARE
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Is Civilization on the Verge of Collapse?

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Moderated by Edan Lepucki, Novelist and Author of California

Twenty-first century visions of the future now seem drawn from Hollywood horror films. Runaway climate change portends the wholesale destruction of economies and species. Scientists fear new mass epidemics. Old technologies are breaking down and new technologies are used for oppression and social control. The deluge of digital information makes it hard to separate truth from fiction. What are the risks of human society of entering a darker, less civilized age? Do the rise of authoritarians and political extremists portend greater barbarity in how societies are governed? Even if everyone agreed that the apocalypse is near, do humans have the capacity to save themselves? University of New South Wales global biosecurity scholar Raina MacIntyre, Stanford and École Polytechnique philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy, SCI-Arc speculative architect and futurist Liam Young, and RAND Corporation defense policy researcher and former U.S. Marine Jonathan P. Wong visit Zócalo to examine whether the future will take us backwards.

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