The Tilted Glass
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New Study Shows Ancient Rome Destroyed by Staring at Screens All Day

Jul 16, 2018

They thought they’d never fall.  With all their great technologies, the empire thought it would last forever.

Pax Romana.  200 years of peace.  A guarantee of law, order, and security within the empire, even as it meant separating from the rest of the world, even as it defended and expanded its borders through a military now understood as being way too expensive.

Can’t happen here.  We will never fall.

But in a new study, sociologists have pieced together evidence how the empire slowly decayed from within, by a product of their own creation: the very screens of their great technologies.

See, ancient Roman children had begun to use the screens as soon as they were physically able to.  Teenagers were even called screenagers.  The full ramifications were felt years later.  

They’d become inundated by videos and images of naked gods and goddesses.  They didn’t want to train. They didn’t interact well with their neighbors.  They didn’t learn to play the lute.  They didn’t go to the theatre for poetry and debate.  They got less sleep since the Coming of the Screen.  The need to connect in person disintegrated.  They had less sex and traveled less.  Soon they mostly laid around all day in their togas, feeding themselves grapes, staring at that screen, reading memes about carpe diem.

They increasingly became victims to these screens…. quite literally.  On a chilling note, when Mount Vesuvius exploded near the Bay of Naples, many died and were entombed by volcanic ash with their screen in hands, watching videos of the volcano explode around them as the volcano exploded around them.

They never did quite learn how to self-regulate their use.  Instead, they became plagued by mounting physical and emotional health issues.  And soon came the barbarian hordes....

Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and the people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedoms.
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 
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