There are already clear patterns in history. The Warring States period of Chinese history shows us how empires grow out of grass-roots movements, become beaurocratic and then corrupt and are overthrown by the people.
There are many things to learn by history, but history up till now is mostly anecdotal evidence, (once upon a time *this* happened, and *that* followed). There are simply *no* past societies which can be fully compared to anything in the world today. At best we see similarities.
The patterns I see in history primarily concern basic human psychology, and basic society structures. Your example of China illustrates the way some societies under given circumstances may change in certain cyclic patterns. But *none* of this can tell us how the world will look in 2050.
Why the implicit assumption that in ten thousand years we won't be in 'uncharted waters'? And why the assumption that WE will still be here?
Actually I didn't assume that, if you'll read my post again, but lets just say that it's the premise for this whole debate. 10 000 years may be a bit short to recognize some of the more subtler patterns in history, but at least we'll know much *more* than we do today. We'll propably know, for instance, more about the development of capitalist democracies like our own, unless they're made obsolete by technology.
We'll also know more about the mental limits of homo sapiens, and the relationship between genes and cultural influence. In 50 000 years, we'll know even more.
But of course, this is only true if we're still here, and all this data is actually available to us, which isn't certain at all. Like in another Asimov story, Nightfall, part of these historical patterns might include destruction of the historical records themselves.
[ Threepwood '01 ]
[ Parent ]