So anyway - I'm sorry. I didn't mean to flame you. I did actually start a fairly indepth reply as to the various merits of different construction materials, then decided it was all to long and (I thought - obvious), so I deleted it all and wrote that post instead in a fit of frustration.
Being really brief: There seems to be this mystical property applied to anything old and rustic, that it must magically be better than anything we do now. I hate that. I hate it because I've lived in enough places to know that plenty of 'old' things are complete shit heaps, and although there have been very clever things done in the past - really clever given the limits of technology - there are positively amazing things being done now. We truly live in a golden age, one that doesn't have any guarantee of survival into the future despite our optimism, and I think credit should be give to the talented people creating these wonders around us TODAY too.
Stone structure of ancient times don't fair particularly well in earthquakes. There are amazing records of destruction due to earthquakes all through civilization's history. Some structure DO survive - but only because they were intended to survive, or lucky.
It's exactly the same today. Plenty of buildings will survive - given appropriate care and attention (or luck). Just the same as 'old' stone buildings. Old stone buildings don't magically repair themselves, or magically keep water out due to deterioration - AND YES, they do deteriorate.
Other modern buildings will survive because they were designed that way. Some of these buildings are made out of steel, timber, glass and even more exotic materials. They are detailed and specified in a way that ensure this. Building and material technology is fairly sophisticated (in a 'robust' way) the weathering properties and details for durability are fairly well know.
There's ton's more to say, but you see where this is going. Give the modern world a chance!
Hope you get this, and can be bothered to read it. Fell free to email me at email@example.com if you want to chat more.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759