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Why The Future Doesn't Need Us
Прислано Atec на February 29 2008 20:16:19


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In 1947,The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists began putting a Doomsday Clock on
its cover. For more than 50 years, it has shown an estimate of the relative nuclear
danger we have faced, reflecting the changing international conditions. The hands
on the clock have moved 15 times and today, standing at nine minutes to
midnight, reflect continuing and real danger from nuclear weapons. The recent
addition of India and Pakistan to the list of nuclear powers has increased the
threat of failure of the nonproliferation goal, and this danger was reflected by
moving the hands closer to midnight in 1998.

In our time, how much danger do we face, not just from nuclear weapons, but
from all of these technologies? How high are the extinction risks?

The philosopher John Leslie has studied this question and concluded that the risk
of human extinction is at least 30 percent,9 while Ray Kurzweil believes we have
"a better than even chance of making it through," with the caveat that he has
"always been accused of being an optimist." Not only are these estimates not
encouraging, but they do not include the probability of many horrid outcomes that
lie short of extinction.

Faced with such assessments, some serious people are already suggesting that
we simply move beyond Earth as quickly as possible. We would colonize the
galaxy using von Neumann probes, which hop from star system to star system,
replicating as they go

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