Broke: ‘two types of people…’ Woke: ‘two types of bots…’

Broke: ‘the world is full of two types of people…’
Woke: ‘the world is full of two types of bots…’
Hardware bots: drones, industrial machinery, robots
Software bots: artificial intelligence, machine learning and everything in between such as robot ethics and other juicy philosophical stuff.
Machiavelli diagrammed Roman history as a solution to his time’s issues and problems.
My look back is architected of four assumptions:
human societies are problem-solving organizations
sociopolitical systems require energy for their maintenance
increased complexity carries with it increased costs per capita
investment in sociopolitical complexity as a problem-solving response often reaches a point of declining marginal returns
As a complex society initially develops, there is a very high return on investment in complexity. The resources made available through that adoption of complexity are far higher than are used up through the complex organization itself.
Over time, the ‘low hanging fruit’ problems are solved, and for every increase in complexity there is a lower and lower resource return until there comes a point where simply maintaining the existing complexity has a negative impact upon available resources. The resources are more efficiently deployed through a less complex system.
Collapse is a de-complication of society.
For several centuries, Rome was able to sustain its growing complexity by a “loot and pillage.” Rome subjugated its conquered peoples and appropriated the surplus resources which those peoples had accumulated.
All these resources were the product of converted solar energy:
Minerals, metals, agriculture
Human energy/labor (slaves, soldiers and other annexed populations)
In high gain systems there is no reason to have energy efficiency. The resource looks inexhaustible.
Every strategy has a plan until it gets punched in the nose. Empires run out of areas to conquer, the administration of the acquired resources, territories and populations demands more a vast middle manager, bureaucracy class of people and that, in itself, requires more energy. Low energy gains impose high costs per capita. Military operations and armies must be increased to acquire other regions surplus of energy. Sometimes you lose wars.
Shit happens
(In no particular order)
Emperors tried to cope through reforms that increased complexity and bureaucracy. Laws proliferated
A shortage of skilled labor, families not having the finances to acquire new skills sets.
Provinces were subdivided
The number of capital cities multiplied. The empire was ruled and administered from Constantinople, Trier, Milan and Ravenna
The size of the army doubled
Emperors tried to freeze prices and manage inflation. I wrote about the debasement of the coin  in this post: From the denarii to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
Taxes (on a largely farming economy) rose to one-third of gross yields, which amounted to 100% of surplus, leaving the population essentially at subsistence level
Income and wealth became polarized, debts skyrocketed and society ate up its principal
Poverty and plague caused population decline and labor shortage. Peasants abandoned their lands. Children were sold into slavery
What happens when we are vulnerable to problems that we can no longer afford to solve. And what happens when the population becomes disaffected.
Are we there yet?

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