My brother wrote:

> The insight of the day was that civilizations decline quickly
> after reaching their climax ... due to a polytheism that mutates from
> original monotheism. (Wonder what will happen to the current Global
> Monoculture?)

I replied:

SciFi authors have been saying that we are close to the edge for the past few years. Till the '80s, much of SciFi was rocket ships and computers. But (at least the stuff I've seen -- there could be stuff I've missed), in the past two decades SciFi has gotten considerably darker. Consider a lot of (non-comic) SciFi movies. "The Terminator", for example. That is a dark future. There was another that I saw recently ("The Monkey's Paw"?? No... that wasn't it...) in which future civilisation is destroyed by a virus and so they send convicts back to the past to try to get rid of the person who starts the virus. A facinating, intruging ending to that one.

[Star Trek could be considered the exception, but then, Star Trek started in the 60s and is really just an extention of that. Same for Star Wars. There are other SciFi TV shows, but most of those serve merely to distract -- they do not have the prophetic voice of the darker members of the genre.]

We seem to have a new utopia right now. At least, we would like to think so. Affluence everywhere and Technology redeems us all. This Technology and affluence, though, serves just to isolate us from those who aren't affluent -- those who don't have the technology.

You mentioned that you met and talked to someone in the park. The funny thing is, many people don't even go to the park. They are too busy with their "stuff."