background preloader

The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence

The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence
In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use the word “hope” because we face risks, called existential risks, that threaten to wipe out humanity. These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history. Not everyone has ignored the long future though. Mystics like Nostradamus have regularly tried to calculate the end of the world. But had these pioneers or futurologists not thought about humanity’s future, it would not have changed the outcome. We are in a more privileged position today. Future imperfect Yet, these risks remain understudied. If humanity becomes extinct, at the very least the loss is equivalent to the loss of all living individuals and the frustration of their goals. With that in mind, I have selected what I consider the five biggest threats to humanity’s existence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Related:  high techPossible Ending ScenariosWhy PrepareInterest & Intrigue

Skype’s new service is like a Star Trek universal translator for the real world Star Trek Captains Picard and Kirk could talk to any alien, no matter how different it was from humanity, thanks to the universal translator, a magical sci-fi device that explained away why strange civilizations in far-away solar systems all spoke English. That future just got a little less far-fetched, thanks to Skype Translator, a new preview service that uses technology from Microsoft Research to translate two different languages back and forth in real time. This is heady stuff, as school kids in Seattle and Mexico City seem to instantly recognize when they chat back and forth in English and Spanish via the Skype service in the video below. <iframe width="640" height="360" src="<a pearltreesdevid="PTD150" rel="nofollow" href=" class="vglnk"><span pearltreesdevid="PTD151">http</span><span pearltreesdevid="PTD153">://</span><span pearltreesdevid="PTD155">www</span><span pearltreesdevid="PTD157">.

According To A Nasa Funded Study, We're Pretty Much Screwed Our industrial civilization faces the same threats of collapse that earlier versions such as the Mayans experienced, a study to be published in Ecological Economics has warned. The idea is far from new, but the authors have put new rigor to the study of how so many previous societies collapsed, and why ours could follow. Lead author Mr Safa Motesharrei is no wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. Information pollution Information pollution (also referred to as "info pollution") is the contamination of information supply with irrelevant, redundant, unsolicited and low-value information.[1] The spread of useless and undesirable information can have a detrimental effect on human activities. It is considered one of the adverse effects of the information revolution.[2] Overview [edit] The use of the term information pollution also draws attention to the parallels between the information revolution that began in the last quarter of the 20th century and the industrial revolution of the 18th-19th century.[2][5][6] Information pollution is seen as the equivalent of the environmental pollution generated by industrial processes. Some authors claim that we are facing an information overload crisis of global proportions, in the same scale of the threats faced by the environment. Others have expressed the need for the development of an information ecology to mirror environmental management practices.[4]

Secret clue on 400-year-old map may solve mystery of lost colony of Roanoke A secret clue on a 400-year-old map might solve the long-standing mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke. Researchers from the First Colony Foundation say they have found evidence that this lost colony went "native". The group of 115 people were sent to the New World to set up a new city in 1587 by Queen Elizabeth. She wanted to expand the British Empire and sent 90 men, 17 women and 11 children to do this – and they became known as the Roanoke Colony.

Another startup steps up to build the hyperloop Hyperloop Technologies, a startup formed by SpaceX alumni and well-known Silicon Valley executives, came out of stealth with $8.5 million on Wednesday to make the hyperloop reality, according to a report in Forbes. The hyperloop, a transportation system that would send capsules large enough to contain people or goods through tubes at 760 miles per hour, originated with a paper published by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and his team in 2013, but Musk said at the time that he didn’t have the time to pursue building it. He announced plans to build a test track last month.

New Study Suggests The World Is On The Brink Of The Next Great Extinction Just as we all die, all species eventually go extinct. However, the rate of extinction varies dramatically, and a new estimate suggests we are currently running at 1000 times the normal rate. This rate of extinction is only seen in the fossil record after incredibly dramatic and unusual occurrences, such as huge asteroid strikes or supervolcano eruptions. In order to calculate the effect humans are having we need to know two things – how many species are disappearing each year, and how many vanish as part of the normal background.

17 People Reveal The Disadvantages Of Being Smart Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are the disadvantages of being smart? Here are some of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread. 1. Marcus Ford More likely to suffer from depression.Difficult to relate to peers. This is especially painful during the younger years.School is not challenging, which makes it a boring prison.Teachers may love or hate you for your smartness.

The Australian news †Introductory offers to be billed 4 weekly as per the following - The Australian Digital Subscription $3 per week, $12 billed 4 weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + weekend paper delivery $3 per week, $12 billed 4 weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + 6 day paper delivery $6 per week, $24 billed 4 weekly. At the end of the initial 12 weeks, subscriptions will automatically renew to the higher price to be billed 4 weekly as per the following - The Australian Digital Subscription $6 per week, $24 billed 4 weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + weekend paper delivery $6 per week, $24 billed 4 weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + 6 day paper delivery $12 per week, $48 billed 4 weekly. Renewals occur unless cancelled. Payments in advance by credit/debit card or Paypal only. Offer is only available where normal home delivery exists and not where additional freight is ordinarily charged.

Intel: Moore's Law will continue through 7nm chips Eventually, the conventional ways of manufacturing microprocessors, graphics chips, and other silicon components will run out of steam. According to Intel researchers speaking at the ISSCC conference this week, however, we still have headroom for a few more years. Intel plans to present several papers this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, one of the key academic conferences for papers on chip design. Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr will also appear on a panel Monday night to discuss the challenges of moving from today's 14nm chips to the 10nm manufacturing node and beyond. In a conference call with reporters, Bohr said that Intel believes that the current pace of semiconductor technology can continue beyond 10nm technology (expected in 2016) or so, and that 7nm manufacturing (expected in 2018) can be done without moving to expensive, esoteric manufacturing methods like ultraviolet lasers. Why this matters: The discussion is anything but academic.

Top 10 Reasons We Should NOT Fear The Singularity Some people fear flying. Others fear sky diving. Others still loathe crowded spaces or elevators. Some can even give you 10 reasons to fear the singularity. Whatever the case may be, the feeling of fear is both healthy and normal, though it may or may not be always justified.

Raising Considerate Children in a Me-First World The problem. Many young adults entering the workforce seem ill-prepared to cope with adversity. Some are devastated by the slightest criticism. Others are finicky and will accept only work that meets their highest expectations. For example, in the book Escaping the Endless Adolescence, Dr. Joseph Allen tells of a young man who said to him during a job interview: “I get the sense that sometimes parts of the work can be a little boring, and I don’t want to be bored.”

Sir Francis and the New Temple of God Location is everything by Petter Amundsen Norway has for a couple of years been swept by an Anti-Stratfordian craze. Even in schools some teachers will blatantly inform their students that the authorship of Shakespearean plays is open for debate, and that there is no correct answer to quiz questions like: “who wrote Hamlet?”, apart from being “uncertain”.