Movie Poster for Snowpiercer, about civil rights and justice in a closed-end civilization
What's the Point of Civilization?

​​Other posts about Civilization :

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​​The making of What's the Point of Civilization?

Civil rights and justice

What’s the point of fighting for civil rights and justice if it’s all going to be the same? Watch animation video inspired by Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice  

Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice (tome 3, chapter 12, extracts)

[…] “But what’s the point?  I mean, I understand why we‘re going back to Athoek.  That makes sense to me.  But farther ahead than that…  At first this all just seemed unreal, and it still does in a way.  But the Lord of the Radch is coming apart.  And if she comes apart, so does the Radch.  I mean, maybe she’ll hold herself together, maybe she pull these pieces back together again.  But, begging your forgiveness, sir, for my speaking very frankly, but you don’t actually want that, do you.”

“I don’t,” I admitted.

What's the point of civil rights and justice ?

“And so what’s the point, sir?  What’s the point of talking about training and promotions as though it’s all going to just go on like it always has?”

“What’s the point of anything?”

“Sir?” She blinked, confused.  Taken aback.

Cemeteries are filled with irreplaceable people

“In a thousand years, Lieutenant, nothing you care about will matter.  Not even to you—you’ll be dead.  So will I, and no one alive will care. Maybe—just maybe—someone will remember our names.  More likely those names will be engraved on some dusty memorial pin at the bottom of an old box no one ever opens.”  Or Ekalu’s would.  There was no reason anyone would make any memorials to me, after my death.


Tragedies and Triumphs

“And that thousand years will come, and another and another, to the end of the universe.  Think of all the griefs and tragedies, and yes, the triumphs, buried in the past, millions of years of it.  Everything for the people who lived them.  Nothing now.”

Ekalu swallowed.  “I’ll have to remember, sir, if I’m ever feeling down, that you know how to cheer me right up.”

I smiled.  “The point is, there is no point.  Choose your own.”

Build sense of ownership

“We don’t usually get to choose our own, do we?” she asked.  “You do, I suppose, but you’re a special case.  And everyone on this ship, we’re just going along with yours.”  She looked down at her plate, considered, briefly, picking up a utensil, but I saw that she couldn’t actually eat just now.

I said, “It doesn’t have to be a big point.  As you say, often it can’t be.  Sometimes it’s nothing more than I have to find a way to put one foot in front of the other, or I’ll die here.  If we lose this throw, if we lose our lives in the near future, then yes, training and promotions will have been pointless.  But who knows?  Perhaps the omens will favor us.  And if, ultimately, I have what I want, Athoek will need protection.  I will need good officers.”

Are civilizations doomed ?

“And what are the chances of the omens favoring us, sir, if I may ask? […]”

“When you’re doing something like this,” I said, “the odds are irrelevant.  You don’t need to know the odds.  You need to know how to do the thing you’re trying to do.  And then you need to do it.  What comes next”—I gestured, the tossing of a handful of omens—“isn’t something you have any control over.”

Ban Ki-moon: “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all" 

"The point is, there is no point.  Choose your own."

Ann Leckie Ancillary Mercy

Book cover for Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Read Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice Trilogy


Third book in the Ancillary

Justice trilogy, the un-

conventional space opera

about identity, power, and

civilization.  In tome 3 of

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

asks the reader what is the

point of civilization. The world history is a long stream of tragedies and triumphs with no obvious progress. The more fights for civil rights and justice, the more it stays the same.  What's the point to keep going? Well, the hope still resides in individuals to do the right thing, to build sense of ownership and make small differences that will impact our civilization. May the wisdom of AI be the force herding our sorry souls to peace, love and prosperity.

Tragedies and Triumphs


The soundtrack is directly influenced by the great composers of Russian romanticism, masters at orchestrating human griefs tragedies and triumphs.  The piece draws its bass line from the drone-like sections of Tchaikovsky' Symphony No 5 illuminated by violins and piano motives inspired by Glinka and Rachmaninoff, respectively.  

What's the Point of Civilization?

The Man Machine Fairy Tale

Watch + read fairy tale about meaning of life at the dawn of artificial intelligence. Will mankind and machines join forces to survive and gain purpose?

Watch Social Unrest Footage 


Are civilizations doomed?

The film is set in a future

where a failed experiment

to counteract climate

change plunges the planet

into a new ice age, killing

all except for those boarded

on a train. This train now

circles the globe on a constant loop and a tyrannical class system has taken hold.  The more social unrest, the less civil rights and justice.  The ensemble cast, good writing and high production create a world of its own, claustrophobic and uncom-fortable, in a seemingly doomed civilization.

All texts and visuals were selected and edited by to animate the following sequences of our original 90-second-short video:

  1. What's the Point of Civil Rights and Justice ?: Title credit for the video opening on a cloud of points solidifying to form the question "What's the point?" over the logo perspective.  The video is inspired from the Ancillary Justice science fiction trilogy written by Ann Leckie who questioned why continuing fighting for civil rights and justice to no avail...
  2. Social unrest footage:  The video shows various historic footage of civil rights movement in the US, uprising in the Middle-East and social unrest in Europe and Asia. Recurring events in all civilizations.
  3. Cemeteries are filled with irreplaceable people: how many people will be remembered in a thousand years?  The angel statue folds on itself and finally breaks down with the passage of time under the permanency of the full moon.
  4. Tragedies and Triumphs: the dinosaur extinction animation shows one of the main tragedy in our world history. But there are also a lot of triumphs like the control of fire by early humans or rocket launches to space that have or will change the course of civilizations.
  5. Build sense of ownership: only few leaders are able to show a clear direction, like Napoleon or Martin Luther King jr, but it is for all of us to take ownership to make small differences everywhere: on the road, in our cities, in our homes and on our tables to help make our civilization more just and sustainable. 
  6. Are civilizations doomed ?: Time will tell if we are a doomed civilization,  capable only to create our own death star, or if we have a brighter future to make our civilization last forever.