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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Nov 21, 2017

This Gene-Editing Tech Might Be Too Dangerous To Unleash

Posted by in categories: evolution, existential risks, genetics

With gene drives, scientists are trying to supercharge evolution to eradicate malaria and save endangered species from extinction. But is this DARPA-funded tech safe enough to test in the wild? One of its creators isn’t so sure.

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Nov 17, 2017

New Missile Defense Agency Interceptor Destroys Multiple ICBMs, Decoys

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

Wow!!


The Pentagon is developing an emerging technology able to track, target and destroy approaching ICBMs and decoys simultaneously — by attaching a new Multi-Object Kill Vehicle, or MOKV, to a Ground Based Interceptor.

Development of the MOVK is intended to evolve from existing tests with the EKV, however industry and Pentagon developers do not want to rush the system in order to ensure it is well suited to destroy emerging threats anticipated five, ten or more years from now, Norm Montano, Raytheon EKV Program Director, told Scout Warrior in an interview last year.

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Nov 15, 2017

Warning: N. Korea mapping specific plan for ‘devastating’ EMP

Posted by in categories: existential risks, government, mapping

Only a few weeks after a team of experts warned Congress that the nation faces an “existential threat” from North Korea from a possible electromagnetic pulse attack, a new report says the rogue nation is mapping a specific plan.

Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner wrote in his “Washington Secrets” column that the White House “is being warned that North Korea is mapping plans for a ‘devastating’ attack on the United States with an atmospheric nuclear explosion that would disable the nation’s electric grid, potentially leading to the deaths of virtually all impacted.”

He said President Trump “is being urged to create a special commission to tackle the potential for an electromagnetic pulse attack, one similar to the iconic Manhattan Project.”

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Nov 12, 2017

US Air Force Hires Two Firms to Start Developing America’s Next ICBM

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have each received deals to start developing a replacement for the Minuteman III.

The Trump administration placed orders with two major defense firms on Monday to start working on technology for new intercontinental ballistic missiles to replace the Cold War-era Minuteman III.

The deals come amid nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea and increased tension with Russia, which is upgrading its ICBMs.

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Oct 16, 2017

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, existential risks, military

While the world is fixated on its nuclear missiles, North Korea has also developed a cyberattack program that is stealing millions and unleashing havoc.

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Oct 15, 2017

Wiping Off all Life From Earth is Not Easy

Posted by in category: existential risks

Have you ever imagined what it would take to wipe of all life from Earth? It turns out that another mass extinction is highly improbable.

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Oct 3, 2017

Some Future 015

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, sustainability, transhumanism

New SomeFuture podcast out. My 45-min interview starts at 55 min and is on #transhumanism:


Introduction: (0:11–1:29)

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Sep 30, 2017

Why Futurist Ray Kurzweil Isn’t Worried About Technology Stealing Your Job

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, existential risks, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

Innovation will do more good than harm, he says.

You know a topic is trending when the likes of Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg publicly bicker about its potential risks and rewards. In this case, Musk says he fears artificial intelligence will lead to World War III because nations will compete for A.I. superiority. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has called such doomsday scenarios “irresponsible” and says he is optimistic about A.I.

But another tech visionary sees the future as more nuanced. Ray Kurzweil, an author and director of engineering at Google, thinks, in the long run, that A.I. will do far more good than harm. Despite some potential downsides, he welcomes the day that computers surpass human intelligence—a tipping point otherwise known as “the singularity.” That’s partly why, in 2008, he cofounded the aptly named Singularity University, an institute that focuses on world-changing technologies. We caught up with the longtime futurist to get his take on the A.I. debate and, well, to ask what the future holds for us all.

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Sep 21, 2017

‘I was just doing my job’: Soviet officer who averted nuclear war dies at age 77

Posted by in category: existential risks

A Soviet officer who prevented a nuclear crisis between the US and the USSR and possible World War III in the 1980s has quietly passed away. He was 77. In 2010 RT spoke to Stanislav Petrov, who never considered himself a hero. We look at the life of the man who saved the world.

A decision that Soviet lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov once took went down in history as one that stopped the Cold War from turning into nuclear Armageddon, largely thanks to Karl Schumacher, a political activist from Germany who helped the news of his heroism first reach a western audience nearly two decades ago.

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Sep 18, 2017

No, We Cannot Shoot Down North Korea’s Missiles

Posted by in category: existential risks

It’s time national leaders speak realistically about missile defense.

The number one reason we don’t shoot down North Korea’s missiles is that we cannot.

Officials like to reassure their publics about our defense to these missiles. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told his nation after last week’s test, “We didn’t intercept it because no damage to Japanese territory was expected.”

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