Did the human RNA have an enjoyable week toiling in their work cells? Were they productive? How much money/reward did they earn? Were they dreaming of their next stop on the money/reward express – a trip abroad, granite counter tops, a new toy from Best Buy or just a quiet evening watching the incessant coverage of the wannabe Presidential candidates whose manifest destiny is to deliver more growth and jobs to the functioning cancer masses. As if we haven’t grown enough already, the crowd cries out for more and the politicians, like glucose plum fairies, prime their brains with hopeful expectation. How many election cycles of the hope and change bullshit will we have to endure before the populace figures out that the glucose plum tree is dying? As economic growth comes to a halt it will be interesting to see who gets the remaining sugar plums. Will it be the working man, the military-industrial complex, the medical/insurance industry, the youngsters or the oldsters?
How long can a society hold together when the energy necessary to its metabolism is diminishing? Can individual cells break apart and function independently? I suppose it depends upon how specialized and interdependent they previously were. Technological cells are almost as dependent upon distribution systems as their homologous eukaryotic cells are dependent upon the circulation of blood in humans.
Not enough glucose to the mitochondria, not enough ATP, not enough production of protein infrastructure like connective tissues to hold society together, weakening, weakening. Not only are some repairs not being made, some proteins are being converted into glucose to feed basal metabolism further weakening the system. Finally something gives way and an essential component stops functioning. Metabolism grinds to a halt. Human RNA, the ones that are still working, are standing in dark factory cells as the lights go out, water stops flowing and waste begins to build-up. It’s over. Go to your home cells and await further instruction, although the homes won’t be serviced by the technological organs of electrical generation or water distribution either. Then the immune system ceases to function and the opportunists move in to plunder the cells of whatever remains as clueless humans sit helplessly in front of their hand crank radios awaiting further instructions that never come.
The Easter Islanders were cancerous too. They had tools and used them relentlessly to maximize their rewards. More stone heads please. One is not enough, two are not enough. More stone heads, more dopamine, more opiods, more stone heads and so on until its over. The road to extinction is very rewarding. Humans will do some strange things with excess energy and then the excess is gone.
Moai Statue on Easter Island
Humans are a playful lot and as an apex predator often have enough surplus energy to play around and discover new ways and places to obtain nourishment and related rewards. As a matter of fact, if humans have an energy surplus they’re likely to blow it just a quickly as they can on anything that can augment their feel good state of mind. Not only food, but other creations that for some reason or another cause little jolts of joy in their brains. Sometimes the creations remain, like the Moai, long after the societies have collapsed.
What do the modern Moai look like? Perhaps something like a church, an exuberant use of excess energy. Perhaps some churches will survive the collapse of industrial civilization to be puzzled over by small bands of wandering humans.
Christian Church and those awaiting the Resurrection.
The energy surplus of industrial civilization is so great that the human population cannot breed fast enough to use it all up in creating more human flesh. Not the case with yeast in a nutrient broth. Instead we breed and eat as much as we can and still have excess energy to invest in various energy intensive endeavors which could be seen as rather poor investments except to socially condition the participants to achieve maximal rates of growth upon the energy surplus. Reinforcement of moral behavior amongst the herd that maximizes energy flow is a practical and mundane evolutionary development.
Anagata – Prophetess of Easter Island
In the end, after all the excess energy is used there will remain humans that still entertain mystical thoughts, but the energy for their elaborate rituals and temples will have passed. Perhaps amongst small bands of humans there will once again be that one special prophetess, medicine man or witch doctor working part-time because, well, that’s all they’ll be able to afford. The Easter Bunny won’t be delivering a complex basket of industrially made candies for very much longer but will be in the crosshairs of a protein-starved ape desperate to eat anything that flies, crawls or hops. But don’t worry, celebrate the dopamine that flows today, it will be in short supply in the future. Human population will adjust to the new reality even if their brains never quite make it.