Hear, All Ye People; Hearken, O Earth (Part One)
This is the first installment in a two-part series. The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes… — Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” NOTE: This is a follow-up to my quiz that ran in The Times, “Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?” I would like you to read my essay and then take the quiz. Wikimedia CommonsThe Torino Impact Hazard Scale Here is my confession. I picked a passage from David Deutsch’s second book, “The Beginning of Infinity” — a passage about “unprecedented safety” — and embedded it in my quiz for The Times, “Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?” If a one-kilometer asteroid had approached the Earth on a collision course at any time in human history before the early twenty-first century, it would have killed at least a substantial proportion of all humans. But for the moment, I was interested in something somewhat less apocalyptic. Wikimedia Commons (Greg Robson) Don’t get me wrong. Renaud had written 52 essays in total. G.C.