An equally real possibility is that urban cultures go through phases of Twitter time, then slow down again for a while, essentially "resetting" the model. This resetting, according to the authors, happens after a singularity at which wealth changes the society so much that new resources are needed and new technology is implemented to create those resources. As populations grow, however, those singularities come at a more rapid clip. Can humans innovate new, sustainable technology in time to prevent urban collapse? Only time will tell. *
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd who lives in book time, with occasional forays into blog time.