Dr. Joseph Tainter is an anthropologist and historian who has studied collapse in numerous ancient civilization and penned The Collapse of Complex Societies. This is our first deeply historical episode and Dr. Tainter begins by offering his definition of complexity and taking us through the story of Western Rome's collapse. Extrapolating from the past, Dr. Tainter paints an alarming scene of our possible future. In our conversation, he critiques the primitivism of John Zerzan, the transhumanism of Max More, and the technological optimism of Ariel Waldman and Colin Camerer. What are we left with? Not optimism, not pessimism but, perhaps, Ragnarok.