Honey Girl – Thank you for that challenging reaction. I admit, your vision is perhaps more plausible than mine, especially given Americans’ penchant for paranoia and violence, and the likelihood that fascistic leaders will exploit our fears during the coming crisis. In defense of my own vision, I would point to our still-robust civil society, and our stong tendency to come together in times of crisis. (Look at New Yorkers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.) I seriously doubt that things will be extreme as you suggest, because most individuals derive no benefit from an every-person-for him/herself reaction. I also question the value of making public prognostications that don’t allow some room for hope, because all prophecies have some potential of self-fulfillment. Apocalyptic thinking arises from laziness or exasperation, I think: we want complexity to end, even if it means a violent cataclysm. Those who actually long for an apocalypse do worry me, but I’d like to think we still have them outnumbered.

My upcoming post will also feature a sort of oblique answer to your comment, though I wrote it before reading this.

Fred – I think cities will survive, but they’ll have to shrink quite a bit.

I have written posts set in such a future, I think. A whole blog set twenty or thirty years ahead is a great idea, and would doubtless — if the internet survives — provide people living in that time with a great source of entertainment.