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SpideySense's avatar

What are different ways of measuring Earths current civilization?

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7 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

How kind they are to each other, how many people go to bed hungry each night, how many orphanages there are, how long since a war has happened, you could go to an inanimate list like superstructures…the list is endless. You are fascinating me!

CWOTUS's avatar

Well, the example you sent us to is about a technological / energy-use measure.

I’d say that for the next few millennia we could go with a simple “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down”, or “thumbs-stuck-in-our…” to measure whether or not we have any. Nah, just up or down for now, I suppose.

fremen_warrior's avatar

The Fluther question volume to world population increase over time index.

wundayatta's avatar

One popular quote says “the measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.”

This professor says that the moral measure of civilization is how it treats its enemies.

A Chippewa medicine man said, “I do not think that the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.”

J.N. Nielson proposes an adaptation of the Kardashev method:

It seems to me that a truly mature civilization could be measured by the extent to which both individuals and social groups take responsibility for their own destiny, and moreover pursue this proactive sense of responsibility to the extent that unintended consequences are understood to count against our efforts, and that the only honestly measurable “success” of a civilization are those intended consequences brought to fruition with a minimum of unintended consequences. Further, a mature civilization (or the measure of a mature civilization) might also involve steps taken in the amelioration of unintended consequences.

It seems there is no dearth of proposals about how to measure the success of civilization. This is only skimming the first two pages of the google search.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Michio Kaku’s Levels 0, 1, 2, and 3.

noraasnave's avatar

Numbers. How many people? How many are hungry? How many are unemployed? How many are educated? How many are ready for the invasion from an alien species?

the100thmonkey's avatar

What is civilisation?

I don’t think it’s coherent to answer the question until we can decide what exactly it is we’re talking about.

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