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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Nov 7, 2016

Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, existential risks, food, habitats, sustainability

The wealth gap worries Forbes, not your usual wide-eyed socialist.


How do we expect to feed that many people while we exhaust the resources that remain?

Human activities are behind the extinction crisis. Commercial agriculture, timber extraction, and infrastructure development are causing habitat loss and our reliance on fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.

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Nov 5, 2016

Is Stephen Hawking right: Could the rise of artificial intelligence mark humanity’s final chapter?

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI

Star physicist Stephen Hawking has reiterated his concerns that the rise of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) systems could spell the end for humanity.

Speaking at the launch of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Future of Intelligence on 19 October, he did, however, acknowledge that AI equally has the potential to be one of the best things that could happen to us.

So are we on the cusp of creating super-intelligent machines that could put humanity at existential risk?

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Nov 5, 2016

There’s big money to be made in asteroid mining

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, economics, existential risks

If humans were ever able to get their hands on just one asteroid, it would be a game-changer.

That’s because the value of many asteroids are measured in the quintillions of dollars, which makes the market for Earth’s annual production of raw metals – about $660 billion per year – look paltry in comparison.

The reality is that the Earth’s crust is saddled with uneconomic materials, while certain types of asteroids are almost pure metal. X-type asteroids, for example, are thought to be the remnants of large asteroids that were pulverized in collisions in which their dense, metallic cores got separated from the mantle.

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Nov 2, 2016

SoftBank Is Investing in a Microchip to Make the Singularity a Reality

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI, singularity

In Brief:

  • As part of a strategy to prepare for the Singularity, Japanese telecom multinational SoftBank spent $31 billion to acquire microprocessing company ARM.
  • This hypothetical day in the future when machine intelligence surpasses that of humanity may not be the doomsday it is portrayed as in much of pop culture.

Oct 27, 2016

World facing biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs — with two thirds of animals wiped out in 50 years

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, sustainability

Not all things future are for the best😑.


The world is facing the biggest extinction since the dinosaurs, with seven in 10 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles wiped out in just 50 years, a new report warns.

The latest Living Planet report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) estimates that by 2020 populations of vertebrates will have fallen by 67 per cent since 1970.

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Oct 25, 2016

From the X-Files Dept: “Quantum Tunneling May Trigger Destruction of the Cosmos” (VIEW VIDEO)

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics, quantum physics

Oh boy!


Space vacuum that appears to be stable due to the complete absence of substance in it, is likely to be fraught with great danger. The idea about the destruction of the universe is based on the hypothesis of vacuum instability. Any system in our world has a certain amount of potential energy. But, space vacuum is not as empty as it may seem to be. Vacuum in space is filled with quantum particles, which, in turn, may seek their own “stability” to annihilate the material world in its entirety during the process.

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Oct 2, 2016

Science, Technology, and the Future of Warfare

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, computing, economics, existential risks, governance, military, nanotechnology, policy, robotics/AI, science, security

Nice POV read.


We know that emerging innovations within cutting-edge science and technology (S&T) areas carry the potential to revolutionize governmental structures, economies, and life as we know it. Yet, others have argued that such technologies could yield doomsday scenarios and that military applications of such technologies have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power. These S&T areas include robotics and autonomous unmanned system; artificial intelligence; biotechnology, including synthetic and systems biology; the cognitive neurosciences; nanotechnology, including stealth meta-materials; additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing); and the intersection of each with information and computing technologies, i.e., cyber-everything. These concepts and the underlying strategic importance were articulated at the multi-national level in NATO’s May 2010 New Strategic Concept paper: “Less predictable is the possibility that research breakthroughs will transform the technological battlefield … The most destructive periods of history tend to be those when the means of aggression have gained the upper hand in the art of waging war.”

As new and unpredicted technologies are emerging at a seemingly unprecedented pace globally, communication of those new discoveries is occurring faster than ever, meaning that the unique ownership of a new technology is no longer a sufficient position, if not impossible. They’re becoming cheaper and more readily available. In today’s world, recognition of the potential applications of a technology and a sense of purpose in exploiting it are far more important than simply having access to it.

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Oct 2, 2016

World War 3 Warning: Space War ‘Challenge’ Looming With China And Russia, U.S. Strategic Command General States

Posted by in categories: existential risks, government, military, robotics/AI, satellites

A top U.S. general has issued a sobering warning that both China and Russia, given their years of emphasis on upgrading and renovating their space war arsenals, could, in the future, place the United States in a position of weakness if matters were to degenerate into a state of war between the countries. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten believes that China and Russia have been attempting to outpace the U.S. in military matters with regard to space and that the Pentagon is now moving to counter the foreseen “challenge” of possibly being outmaneuvered and outgunned in space. If a World War 3 scenario were to actualize, he thinks the U.S. should be prepared to meet said challenge.

The Washington Times reported last week that Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, who has been chosen as the next commander of Strategic Command, told Congress’ Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. is moving to counter the threat of a space war disadvantage with China and Russia. He said China and Russia are currently in the process of developing anti-satellite missiles, laser guns, and maneuvering killer space robots that could, once deployed, knock out or incapacitate strategic U.S. communications, navigation and intelligence satellites. As military experts know, these craft are crucial to the maintenance and actionability of America’s high-technology warfare systems.

“The Department of Defense has aggressively moved out to develop responses to the threats that we see coming from China and Russia. I believe it’s essential that we go faster in our responses.”

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Sep 27, 2016

A Primer for Deterministic Thermodynamics and Cryodynamics

Posted by in categories: engineering, existential risks, general relativity, particle physics, philosophy, quantum physics

A Primer for Deterministic Thermodynamics and Cryodynamics

Dedicated to the Founder of Synergetics, Hermann Haken

Otto E. Rossler, Frank Kuske, Dieter Fröhlich, Hans H. Diebner, Thimo Bo¨ hl, Demetris T. Christopoulos, Christophe Letellier

Abstract The basic laws of deterministic many-body systems are summarized in the footsteps of the deterministic approach pioneered by Yakov Sinai. Two fundamental cases, repulsive and attractive, are distinguished. To facilitate comparison, long-range potentials are assumed both in the repulsive case and in the new attractive case. In Part I, thermodynamics – including the thermodynamics of irreversible processes along with chemical and biological evolution – is presented without paying special attention to the ad hoc constraint of long-range repulsion.Otto E. Rossler In Part II, the recently established new fundamental discipline of cryodynamics, based on long-range attraction, is described in a parallel format. In Part III finally, the combination (“dilute hot-plasma dynamics”) is described as a composite third sister discipline with its still largely unknown properties. The latter include the prediction of a paradoxical “double-temperature equilibrium” or at least quasi-equilibrium existing which has a promising technological application in the proposed interactive local control of hot-plasma fusion reactors. The discussion section puts everything into a larger perspective which even touches on cosmology.
Keywords: Sinai gas, chaos theory, heat death, dissipative structures, second arrow, Point Omega, Super Life, paradoxical cooling, antifriction, paradoxical acceleration, Sonnleitner numerical instability, dilute-plasma paradigm, two-temperature equilibrium, ITER, MHD, interactive plasma cooling, McGuire reactor, Hubble law, Zwicky rehabilitated, Perlmutter-Schmidt-Riess wiggle, mean cosmic temperature, van Helmont, Lavoisier, Kant, Poincaré, double-faced Sonnleitner map. (August 26, 2016)

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Sep 15, 2016

Scientists Baffled as Hundreds of Dead Horseshoe Crabs Wash Ashore in Japan

Posted by in category: existential risks

Horseshoe crabs are known as “living fossils” and for good reason. The blue-blooded, side-walking arthropods have been around for 200 million years, surviving the last five mass extinctions. But something appears to be wrong as hundreds of dead horseshoe crabs have recently washed ashore in southern Japan, leaving scientists confounded.

One population of horseshoe crabs, or “warrior helmet crabs” as they’re known in Japan, make an annual trek to their spawning grounds around the tidal flats of Kita-Kyushu. Some inevitably die in the process, but the number of dead this year is uncharacteristically high, prompting concern.

As reported in AFP, a local conservation group had been spotting upwards of five to 10 remains every day during the egg-laying period, prompting a more thorough investigation. By the time the conservationists were finished counting they tallied up about 500 dead horseshoe crabs. That’s about eight times higher than normal, and about 20 percent of the local population. It takes a long time for young horseshoe crabs to mature, so this is a major setback for a species already in trouble.

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