I truly believe we have lapsed into, or are lapsing into, another "Dark Age". Although technology is increasing, literature and high culture are in spiraling decline. As we continually make greater scientific discoveries, the religious zealots are quick to refute them. Religious faith is taking the place of reason and understanding. Individual rights and freedoms and the rule of common law are being stripped away. Think about it: What would happen if this tenuous economy of ours were to collapse, as it nearly did three years ago? What would happen if the governments in the US went bankrupt? I see police and military strongmen taking over administrative control in an emergency (theirs are the only government programs not being seriously cut). With dictators in charge, will science, commerce, common law, or the economy get back on track?--probably not. After that, all it would take is one good solar flare from our sun to render our satellites and technology useless and turn us back into cavemen who burn books to keep warm. If we lost our technology, we won't step back into the 18th or 19th Centuries. We wouldn't even know how to do that. I think the majority would go straight to bashing things with stones and wearing animal furs.