Vanished Edens ?
... "But there are also differences between the modern world and its problems, and those of past societies
and their problems. We shouldn't be so naive as to think that study of the past will yield simple solutions,
directly transferable to our societies today. We differ from past societies in some respects that put us at
lower risk than them; some of those respects often mentioned include our powerful technology (i.e. its
beneficial effects), globalization, modern medicine, and greater knowledge of past societies and of distant
modern societies. We also differ from past societies in some respects that put us at greater risk than
them: mentioned in that connection are, again our potent technology (i.e., its unintended destructive effects),
globalization (such that now a collapse even in remote Somalia affects the U.S. and Europe), the dependence
of millions (and, soon, billions) of us on modern medicine for our survival, and our much larger human
populations. Perhaps we can still learn from the past, but only if we think carefully about its lessons."
How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
by Jared Diamond