The World Made By Hand: a "time-out" from human progress
The techno-industrial age is winding down, and with it the financial armature that supports it. The proximate cause is declining affordable fossil fuel energy. Alternative energy will not compensate for that loss and the major systems that advanced civilizations depend on will not be able to carry on. This includes high-tech agriculture especially, the loss of which will lead to significant famine around the world. The scale of human activity will collapse.
Life will become economically and politically local, and many of the marginal regions, such as the American desert southwest, will not continue to support human settlement.
Electric service will be scant and irregular, where it exists at all.
The Internet revolution will prove to have been a short-lived phenomenon.
Much of the work of whatever civilization remains will be done by human labor — in effect, a World Made By Hand. (As I described in the four novels The Long Emergency, Too Much Magic, The Geography of Nowhere, the World Made By Hand novels). A great deal of knowledge and skill will be lost.
The net result will be a “time-out” from human progress, and it may continue for a very long time. There’s a possibility that the human race will never again match the dazzling technological achievements of recent decades.