I suspect that, if we don't survive past the current century, at some future date in time some galactic entity will dispatch an exploratory team to earth...with anthropological experts who will dig through the rubble and try to figure us out.
I predict this will be some of their observations: The Chief Anthropologist will radio back to galactic control and say "Galaxy Central, we've been studying these earth men for six months now Our findings indicate that the North American Continent hosted the wealthiest of the human species. The key to their wealth seems to have been some form of capitalism built on human greed. As compared to the rest of the world, this "greed thing" was not so bad; greed seems to have driven all economic activity and indeed produced a wealth of goods and services and kept the human population employed, and living a higher lifestyle than the rest on the planet."
Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer: "How did you figure this out?"
Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control: "At first we were at a loss to evaluate their civilization. Then we came upon a refuse dump replete with the Sunday editions of their newspapers. Seems more than 75% of their papers consisted of commercial advertising! And when we began examining these papers in depth we found some strange phenomena....it seems that, from the first of November of an earth calendar, extending all the way to their New Year's Day, these human ads promoted materialism and staging orgies of food consumption. Then, beginning the day after the earth New Year, the ads began touting weight loss foods and exercise equipment! And the papers were bountiful with ads promoting fitness centers and something called a "treadmill."
Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer: "Hmm...how very odd!"
Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control: "Yes, these human feeding habits were quite remarkable! They seemed to have emulated the process by which they raised their domestic animals...creatures called "chickens" and "cattle" and "pigs". Seems that, before they were put to slaughter as a food source, their handlers fattened them up for the kill. Ironically, humans seemed to have fattened themselves up over that end of year period too! Then, perhaps in fear of being slaughtered themselves, they went on diets and tried to lose all that weight they had put on during their "festival season".
Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer: "How interesting!" "Did you find out anything else about these North American humans?"
Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control: "Well, we're still evaluating, but it appears these humans did have a sense of humor....it seems at one time they elected a Community Organizer as their leader...whatever that is. Guess he wasn't very good cause it took those people fifty years to recover from his inadequacy!"
"Earth Explorer Out!"