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Computation 2014, 2(3), 83-101; doi:10.3390/computation2030083
Article

Cultural Collapse and System Survival Due to Environmental Modification

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Received: 3 March 2014; in revised form: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
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Abstract: We consider a simple mathematical approach to the rise and fall of societies based on population growth and its effects on the environment, both beneficial and detrimental. We find that in any simple model of population dynamics with environmental coupling, stable cultures are impossible. Populations inevitably grow or decline exponentially. Further, if the parameters defining a civilisation are allowed to evolve towards an evolutionarily stable state, the only possible solutions are those where each culture ultimately declines. However, computer simulation with multiple competing cultures show that while each eventually collapses, some are always extant and the system is robust. In this broad class of models, individual death is a requirement for system survival.
Keywords: environment; feedback; civilisations; history; anthropology; prehistory environment; feedback; civilisations; history; anthropology; prehistory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ackland, G.J.; Henry, A.Y.M.; Williams, A.; Cohen, M.H. Cultural Collapse and System Survival Due to Environmental Modification. Computation 2014, 2, 83-101.

AMA Style

Ackland GJ, Henry AYM, Williams A, Cohen MH. Cultural Collapse and System Survival Due to Environmental Modification. Computation. 2014; 2(3):83-101.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ackland, Graeme J.; Henry, Adrien Y.M.; Williams, Alexander; Cohen, Morrel H. 2014. "Cultural Collapse and System Survival Due to Environmental Modification." Computation 2, no. 3: 83-101.

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