(First of all, sorry for bad english)

We know that “the formal end of the Roman Empire on the West in AD 476 thus corresponds with the time in which the Empire and the title Emperor no longer had value.” (wiki)

Centuries in the future. An alien is studying the falls of the “modern human era”, occured in the Gregorian year 20XX. There was no a “deus ex machina” single and short event like a total nuclear war, an alien invasion, a cosmic disaster etc.

But, for example, an economy recession period + other contributing factors (regional nuclear conflict and/or a pandemic and/or a bad programmed AI and/or a small volcanic winter etc) (What a great period to be alive, uh?). Modern human society (slowly) collapsed and never recovered. Humans are still alive but they never returned to a "technological society".

In that hypothetical future alien book of exo-history, what could be some formal events that declared the end of the “modern human era”?

  • UN shutdown?
  • The last day that the US President had some kind of power?

Let's say that this alien race has a vision of the "society" similar to us, then let's exclude too peculiar events ("the day that Facebook was shutdown", "the day that the CERN doors was closed", "the last chinese restaurant in NY" etc).

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Lupetto, this is an interesting question but it is not really a fit for what we do here on the site. We could categorize this as idea generation which has been decided as off topic. If you have questions let us know in Worldbuilding Chat and I would recommend checking out the help center to get an idea of what makes for good q's and a's around here. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 26 '16 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ And for the record your english is actually pretty good. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 26 '16 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you :) I'm sorry, I know the "idea generation" issue but I don't know how to ask the question in the right way. I've see many "scenario generation" answers in many hot questions :( sorry again (ps: i can't use the chat yet, I'm pretty new here :D) $\endgroup$ – Lupetto Feb 26 '16 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ I am trying to think of a way to make this question less subjective, but I am having trouble coming up with anything. The problem is we would end up with lists of events that couldn't really be objectively evaluated against each other in anyway. But for my money the event would be the end of the electrical grid, that is what makes modernity what it is... $\endgroup$ – James Feb 26 '16 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ There's no really good way to determine if any one list of possible event is better than another. This is an interesting idea but there's no objective way to pick a best solution. $\endgroup$ – Green Feb 26 '16 at 17:04

It has to be a distinct event, at least in hindsight. Failing again and again to stop climate change doesn't work. A specific failed climate conference might work, but it would have to be clear that it was the last chance.

People must think that they understand it. IPv6 running out would leave people baffled what went wrong.

How about

  • The last GPS constellation shutting down.
  • The US or EU failing to honor public debts.
  • The DPRK using a nuke and not getting their regime changed.
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The collapse of of modern society probably be economic in nature. Our society and government is depended on our economy so if it falls everything falls. And thanks to worldwide trade you can have an economic collapse worldwide. I would suggest a series of economic crises the spread worldwide that cause several major countries to collapse or fall into civil war that last generations. Usually though civilizations fall from more than one reason. Climate change for example could be a contributing factor in the collapse of modern society. It could even be what causes the economic collapse or it could just make the bad situation caused by the economic collapse worse.

How about. .The final first world country to declare bankruptcy. . The last transaction to ever be made with paper or Digital money. . The date of a major world player falling into chaos and Civil War without another world power strong enough the filled void left by the collapse.

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