For Rees, then, and many other thinkers about the future, a central preoccupation is making sure that humans survive to see it. Only 0.01 percent of all species that have ever existed continue to do so. We happen to be one of them, for now. When Rees looked at the myriad ways in which the present is more perilous than the past in his 2003 book “Our Final Hour,” he set the odds of human extinction in the next century at 50 percent.
Bostrom, the Oxford philosopher, puts the odds at about 25 percent, and says that many of the greatest risks for human survival are ones that could play themselves out within the scope of current human lifetimes. “The next hundred years or so might be critical for humanity,” Bostrom says, listing as possible threats the usual apocalyptic litany of nuclear annihilation, man-made or natural viruses and bacteria, or other technological threats, such as microscopic machines, or nanobots, that run amok and kill us all.
It was difficult to pull a good teaser from this article. A snip worth reading on its own and yet still leaving a lot of interesting predictions about humanity’s future. Kind of a spoiler, but we probably do not have that long. Not in terms of the time that has passed since the big bang and the time until the last star in the universe burns out. I found the ends of movies like movies like Armageddon and The Day the Earth Stood Still a little sad, even though humanity got a reprieve in both. The end of A.I. showed an earth where humanity didn’t make it. The only remains of humanity some rumble from our once great cities and a humanoid who wished he was human. I tend to think we won’t make it for much longer, a couple hundred years at most, not because of wars or climate change. Those things, among others, are just symptoms. We will not make it because we can’t get past the underlying problem that produces wars climate change, undermining human rights, the anti-reason zealots…we cannot get past our pettiness.
The street scene is from Senegal and the chair from a Van Gogh painting.
The little nuances vary according to personality, but most Americans think the death of Osama Bin Laden is a good thing. On the other hand while many Republicans are also happy, there are quite a few far right Cons who are pissed that the Kenya Muslim Marxist Anti-Christ President succeeded in killing Bin Laden where they failed. It is just ruining their running narrative. A narrative based on fear, loathing, eliminationism and the kind of blood filled fantasy patriotism that used to piss off Mark Twain – back in the day when “Conservative” was an insult – FLASHBACK: Conservative Media Repeatedly Attacked Obama’s Commitment To Fighting Terrorism
Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.
– More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927