From Wired, Scott Brown on why the Doomsday Clock needs to be abolished; if we’ve learned anything from Hollywood, it’s that the world will end in spectacular fashion — thankfully, it also schooled us on how to survive; you need the right reference books if you’re going to live to see the sun again; a look at the best vehicles for navigating the Apocalypse; and here are seven signs that Judgment Day is nigh. Dystopias are the hot, newish trend in the teen world; they've become so popular they're bumping vampires down a few notches in the bestseller lists — but are they just a passing fad? A review of Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Andrew Rimas and Evan DG Fraser. Colin Long on how utopianism could fix politics. An interview with Robert Jensen on the threat of environmental catastrophe. An interview with Slavoj Zizek: Wake up and smell the apocalypse. A review of From Utopia to Apocalypse: Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe by Peter Y. Paik. When will we face the planet's environmental problems? Failure to act on threats to global sustainability brings the world closer to disaster. No More Arcs: Is the West officially over? Why our agricultural empire will fall: An expert tells us how our food system is repeating the history of doomed civilizations. Heading for a world Apocalypse: Conditions that could lead to a planetary apocalypse are developing in many categories.


From Vice, a special issue on catastrophes. How geography explains history: Many reasons have been given for the West’s dominance over the last 500 years, but, Ian Morris argues, its rise to global hegemony was largely due to geographical good fortune. A review of Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilization by John R. Searle. An interview with J.C. Hallman, author of In Utopia (and more). David Roberts on the environmentalist’s paradox: We do better while the earth does worse (and more), but how bad are the next few years going to suck? More than a generation of Americans have been urged to save the Earth; after surveying the current climate and every H.G. Wells-inspired geoengineering project, Anthony Doerr says it’s time to pray for Homo sapiens. Michael Dirda reviews The Classical Tradition, ed. Anthony Grafton et al. David Brin, a scientist and best-selling novelist, explores the concepts and facts behind end-of-the-world tales and discusses how modern civilization can start limiting the risk. An interview with Mark Reid, senior radio astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, on Doomsday scenarios, considered. From Oxford American, a look at Ten Great Novels of the Apocalypse. Nina Paley and Mike Treder debate the merits of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Douglas Coupland on a radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years.


The introduction to Utopia/Dystopia: Conditions of Historical Possibility. A review of Why the West Rules — For Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris. Eternal fascinations with the End: Why we're suckers for stories of our own demise. Lady nerds and utopias: Speculative fiction is sociology's dream journal; nerds want a place to belong — all women want from these stories is a place where nobody cares if they're girls. If the world is going to hell, why are humans doing so well? Life in 2050: To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Smithsonian magazine, Big Think asked top minds from a variety of fields to weigh in on what we might expect our world to be like 40 years from now. The end is near, no? Two-thousand years and we’re still here. Cyber Armageddon: Robert W. Lucky reflects on the latest fashion in end-of-the-world scenarios. Of dystopia, utopia, Aldous Huxley, and true love: An interview with Mary Ann Braubach of the documentary film Huxley on Huxley. A review of Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature by Richard Mabey. Phil Plait outlines five things in the universe that could spell the end for humankind. Failed Utopia: Chris Higgins explains the Koreshan Unity Settlement. Lester Brown on the race to save civilization. History boils down to biology, and geography can be unfair, but the advantages they confer may not last forever.


We have long looked to novelists, artists, philosophers, and poets to articulate our yearning for a better world — as well as our dread of a worse one — and to conjure a geography of the possible; at this particularly anxious moment in our political and cultural lives, Bookforum sets out to explore this most placeless of places, including Paul La Farge on how perfect worlds are games to be played by following the rules to the letter; and is it time for dystopian novelists to end the reign of the free-market idealists? Keith Gessen wonders. An interview with Aton Edwards, executive director of the International Preparedness Network on simple steps to prepare for disasters, the types of threats to think about, and technologies that might help mitigate risks (and part 2). Cosmic accidents: 10 lucky breaks for humanity. From wipe-outs in life's deep history to future dead oceans, Earth sciences have no shortage of apocalyptic visions to offer. How much is left? A look at the limits of Earth's resources, made interactive. A review of Destination of the Species: The Riddle of Human Existence by Michael Meacher. Best Decade Ever: The first 10 years of the 21st century were humanity's finest — even for the world's bottom billion. A review of The Empire of Civilization: The Evolution of an Imperial Idea by Brett Bowden. JC Hallman on Jurassic Park and the Utopia Wars. Here's a history of the next millennium according to sci-fi.


From Discover, Razib Khan on the rise and crash of civilizations. A floating city, in its total disconnect from both humanity and nature as we know them, is inherently both dystopian and utopian. Crank up the gloom and doom: Global apocalypse could be just around the corner, and you might never see it coming — unless you read this article. The Earth's busted up, yet humanity's doing just fine — why is that? Toytown Utopias: Hitler and Stalin may have put paid to Thomas More's vision of hope, but Fred Inglis knows he can always rely on The Clangers. Death to Humans! An article on visions of the Apocalypse in movies and literature. A look at how a lack of energy may increase the size of human civilization (and more). The biggest of the Big Five extinctions is what is known as the end-Permian — it took place some 250 million years ago and is named after the geologic period that it brought to a disastrous conclusion. Here are some images from various archives on catastrophes. How far have we come, and where do we go from here? A look back at science during Discover's first 30 years, and some predictions for what the next 30 will bring. Utopian designs for the ideal society are both impractical and dangerous — only by finding the right balance between the "holy trinity" of the French Revolution may the world steer its way through the challenges of libertarianism and laissez faire. A review of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization And How to Save It by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

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