34|Will future generations be crisis-resistant ? πŸŒ

“Only an apposite severance, renders absolute resistance.”

Crisis refers to a sudden shift in situation, posing a problem of high severity, needed to be resolved in a very short span of time. Apart from uncontrollable causes, the inadvertent intrusion of urgency into regular lives is virtually permitted by oblivious lack of preparedness before its occurrence and occasionally promoted by apparent surfeit of indulgence after its occurrence. The immediate availability of a strategic solution, poised for action both punctually and proximally, against a precedented and/or prognosticated large scale crisis, far ahead in future, is what I call, Readiness of Posterity.

This article is written so as to share my maundering while pondering on the imminence of immune eminent civilization. I request the reader, if is a polymath, to suggest answer to above question so that I can refine my understanding of the examples cited.

In 1894, the physicist Albert A.Michelson who took part in measurement of speed of light, expected the near end of theoretical Physics, (such remark often attributed to Lord Kelvin), presuming there were no stones unturned, no new principles left to be discovered, which was later confuted by the advent of enigmatic Quantum Theory and exquisite Theory of Relativity. Similarly, more the advancement of a civilization is, farther is the encroachment by older crisis, but nearer is the development of newer crisis, so that the net crisis rate could not decrease unlike any rising technological feat poses, depending on the habitational compromises, ecological sacrifices and novel alterations made beneath the foundation of next era. Hence, following are the 6 possibilities of ROP to guard against any crisis, not limited to a “medical epidemic like SARS, but including “political pandemic like world war, “ecological endemiclike coastal cataclysm, “economic crossroads like stagflation and so on.

  • Followed Readiness – When age confronts a crisis and its knowledge passes on to the youth, then the later generation is capacitated with such readiness against similar crisis in future, the effectiveness of which further subdivides this into 3 categories –
    1. Required Readiness – When the descendants witness their ascendants’ failure at withstanding the crisis, then the former is very well aware of symptoms of the malady but not necessarily methods of the remedy, which initially leave them behind with the option of caution alone.
      • E.g. [natural] The volcanic eruption at Mount Tambora in Indonesia on year 1815 killing atleast 71,000 people, is identified to have ultra Plinian/Vesuvian characteristic of VEI>=7, that can impact major ozone depletion whose natural recovery phase spans no less than 1-2 decades and has no man-made solution yet.
    2. Inspired Readiness – When forefathers figure out a solution too, which is drilled in their kinsfolk ancestrally, then the young settlers are equipped with its magic bullet as well, against similar problems in future.
      • E.g. [medical] Inoculation for smallpox since 1500 in China was adopted in Europe in 18th century, during a humongous fatality of 300 millions worldwide, that when reinforced by WHO, eradicated the disease by May 1980.
    3. Expired Readiness – When the solution, once successfully deployed by ancestors and learnt by successors, is no longer applicable after changes in environment and/or lifestyle, then the experience and past knowledge of resistance, is initially futile against relapse of the crisis.
      • E.g. [natural] Though regarding 1975 Haicheng earthquake, the public awareness claimed to have predicted (including false alarms) and enforced evacuations, the following 1976 Tangshan earthquake with death tolls of 240,000+ had no significant similar foreshocks.
    4. Reacquired Readiness – When the traditional solution employed by grandparents are overlooked by the grandchildren, either under the pretext of incompatibility or in the context of lost/forgotten knowledge, then the new age has to reinvent the wheel.
      • E.g. [economical] Out of as high as 6 recorded significant reoccurrences of Chinese Famines within a century, one was ‘China’s forgotten famine‘ of 1942-43 at Henan, overshadowed by the then war as well as contributed through grain requisition policies, in spite of which the Great Leap Forward campaign only 15 years later, repeated over-procurement through law-enforced agricultural collectivization policies, as extreme as banning private farms, for converting agrarian economy into communist society, that along with natural causes, eventually resulted in massive 15-43 million casualties, thereby devastating the economy a decade after civil war, during 1958-1961 Great Chinese Famine, that is reportedly the last one.
  • Acquired Resistance – When the crisis is new so that its solution is yet to be discovered, then there is no prior readiness and application of such successful discovery builds strong resistance among the firsthand experienced generation against the dissemination and transmission of that problem.
    • E.g. [technological] Unseen in past era, new technology run a risk of new issues, as The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine did face a disaster of highest severity scaled INE=7 on 1986, that led to decommissioning of remaining 3 reactors by 2000 with nuclear cleanup scheduled for completion in 2065, while design upgrades has reached Generation IV reactors, deployable no later than 2030, graded TRLΒ >=6 out of 9-point scale, for improved safety, sustainability, efficiency, cost.
  • Suspired Resistance – Contrary to above cases, there are unfortunate crises that last through more than one generation, such that it takes an agelong conjunctive struggle to gradually develop precautionary measures while recovering from the climacteric situation.
    • E.g. [political] The KMT-CPC hostility since 1927, reversed during Japanese invasion, resumed after WW2 till 1949, has later transmuted into diplomatic conflict between ROC at Taiwan and PRC at Mainland China under the One-China policy, while measures are bit-by-bit taken like updating The Three Noes from β€œno contact, no negotiation and no compromise” since 1979 to “No independence, No unification, No use of force” in 2008 so as to ease the tension.

However, by diversity of culture and complexity of infrastructure in a vast civilization, all of the above readiness/resistances tend to coexist differently at different regions for the same domain of adversity. Such complication can be simplistically zeroed in only through severance of inhabitation from unfavourable natural/ecological/medical/political/economical/technological conditions that nonetheless raises a question on feasibility.

Glossary :

VEI = Volcanic Explosivity Index
INE = International Nuclear Event Scale
TRL = Technology Readiness Level
WHO = World Health Organisation
KMT/ROC = Kuomintang/Republic of China
CPC/PRC = Communist Party of China/People’s Republic of China

Further Readings :

Lifeboat-is-the-wrong-metaphor

If you like academic papers or posts by its author, you may read this.

20191222-upheaval

If you like books and reviews per chapter, you may read this.

Case Lookup :

  1. GeoScienceWorld.org : Mount Tambora
  2. CDC.gov : Smallpox History
  3. ResearchGate.net : Predicting Haicheng
  4. BarnesAndNoble.com: “Remembering 1942”
  5. World-Nuclear.org : Chernobyl
  6. Britannica.com: Nationalists and Communists

8 thoughts on “34|Will future generations be crisis-resistant ? πŸŒ

  1. It seems like you’ve given this quite some thought. I must admit I don’t understand a lot of it, but I hope you find the answers to your questions!

    Like

  2. This scholarly write-up was one of the finest I have read in the recent past. Describing each readiness along with a suitable example was superb. My mind could never conceive that such concepts could be thought of and implemented. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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