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Icarus Interstellar Blog

Revising Civilization

28 Jan 2015, 05:09 UTC
Revising Civilization
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I first encountered Icarus Interstellar in 2012 and thought, “Yes! This is awesome!” I should be more articulate about “awesome”: Icarus is ambitious and grassroots and exactly the kind of effort needed to sustain profound—even transcendent—goals. When Project Astrolabe advertised its agenda, I leapt at the call for contributions. Over the previous decade, I had developed an somewhat rarified hobby: collecting research related to humanity’s broad historical experience. World history, international theorizing and the like, all of which intersected my doctoral work in international relations and US grand strategy. Thus, in Astrolabe’s statement of purpose, I saw exciting potential. Inspired by the hard work of Nick Nielsen, Heath Rezabek and others, I believed that my background could offer unique insights. What follows, then, is a two-part series proposing new approaches and shedding further light on how Project Astrolabe, Icarus Interstellar and the larger community can study and engage civilization, humanity’s most complex invention and its most necessary tool to know the universe.
My argument is that civilization must be revised. Of course, the concept enjoys a long history, and it has proven indispensable across generations grappling with the largest social, cultural and political questions. Far from arcane, it remains a ...

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