Cycles – the one constant throughout all known history. Expand, consolidate, decline, renew, expand. Nothing had become more obvious. The ever growing ever available history, recorded from human times, had confirmed this one pure fact. With all the changes accomplished or endured life had consoled itself to this one fate; cycles. The consolidations brought confidence; the declines were managed; the renewals were heady times. Cycles were mere seasons to a civilisation that was beyond natural vulnerability. Cosmological events were too puny, too slow or too rare to dent it.

And the collective memory was so detailed, so secure, that history was no longer a science – no need to investigate, to hypothesise; it was recorded and spread to the reaches of civilisation; it could not be lost; each event disseminated itself throughout.

It was said that this memory, this connected information, this culture, constituted a consciousness of its own. It wasn’t a suggestion taken seriously. That was a mistake.

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