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Utopia Talk / Politics / Humanity to stop growing by 2100
Rugian
Member
Mon Jun 17 14:44:33
But then where will the Terran Empire get the colonist numbers needed to spread our species across the galaxy? This is unacceptable!

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June 17, 2019 - 12:57 PM EDT

Pew: World population expected to virtually stop growing by 2100

The world's population is expected to virtually stop growing by 2100, according to research released by Pew Research Center on Monday.

Pew analyzed data from the United Nations indicating falling global fertility rates will lead to a population of about 10.9 billion people at the end of the century, with what analysts said is annual growth of less than 0.1 percent.

It's a steep decline from past patterns, Pew notes. The world population grew by about 1 to 2 percent between 1950 and today, increasing the number of people by about 5.2 billion.

Global fertility rates are expected to drop from an average of 2.5 births per woman today to 1.9 births per woman by 2100, according to the research.

But the pattern is not consistent across all world regions. Africa is the only region to show signs of "strong population growth," while the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are expected to see growth throughout the end of the century to lesser degrees, Pew reports.

In North America, especially the United States, the primary driver of continued population growth is expected to be migration, according to the report. Data indicates the immigrant population of the United States will see a net increase of 85 million between 2020 and 2100, which is expected to be roughly equal to the combined total of the next nine highest countries.

Reported data suggests Europe and Latin America are expected to have declining populations by 2100, and Asia is expected to increase around 2055 and then begin to decline.

Half of babies born worldwide are expected to be born in Africa, with the region projected to have five of the 10 most populated countries by 2100, according to the analysis.

Pew also noted data indicates India will surpass China as the most populous country by 2027.

http://the...ually-stop-growing-by-2100?amp
Sam Adams
Member
Mon Jun 17 14:51:04
But but but seb, aoc, and cuckhat told me the world will end due to global warming before then.
jergul
large member
Mon Jun 17 15:00:35
Ruggy
jergulmath told you this a while ago.
Average Ameriacn
Member
Mon Jun 17 15:03:52
10 billion!!!!

Let's build the wall ASAP
jergul
large member
Mon Jun 17 15:07:48
Also. "Mother"

The only reasonable way for humanity to do interstellar travel.
Rugian
Member
Mon Jun 17 15:21:55
Jergul,

I dont think anyone disagreed with the fundamental premise that destructive leftist death cult policies would eventually have a more general effect on global birth rates.
Rugian
Member
Mon Jun 17 15:23:51
And Passengers would be a more up to date movie reference imo.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Mon Jun 17 15:48:44
Mother was good, but it ended very unsatisfactory. SPOILER:

Killing Hillary Swank at the end, it was unecessary and did nothing for the story, other than establishing that Mother controlls everything and then The End. Very much begging a sequal.

Will there be a sequal?
jergul
large member
Mon Jun 17 16:19:57
Nimi
I quite liked the ending. It was not so much about controling everything as it was explaining how the hell that woman survived.

I thought the origami dog becoming manifest was a cool touch (the perfect daughter did have a glitch or two).

Ruggy
Why in God's earth would one send fully fledged humans on interstellar journeys?

And again, we are not going anywhere until we learn to keep the mother ship in tip condition (no escape is going to work if we lack the sophistication not to break the amazing vessel we already have).

The "death cult" is more a practical demonstration of sophistication. We can probably sustain 200 million people indefinately. 10 billion - not so much. The only real challenge is figuring out how to transition through the next 12-14 generations.

We are golden after that.

Try not to be viral, mkay?
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Mon Jun 17 17:26:08
"explaining how the hell that woman survived."

Did it require explanation though? We have seen hundreds of end of the world movies, some people survive, so we can have a story.

The entire plot twist was that Mother was the AI running everything and that she had eradicated humanity. She had even let this woman live, let her come into contact with Daughter as part of a plan. One we do not get much details about and what purpose the woman had before Mother kills her. Track down other survivors and kill them? Put daugther through a trial of fire? Who knows, but the entire sceen with the woman at the end, it was an unecessary detail, it didn't tie any loose threads. It felt like the first fucking Matrix movie and I do not mind, but I want them to be honest with me.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Mon Jun 17 17:27:56
7/10 pending a sequal where daughter takes here army of embryos and crushes mother, John Connor style, then it might be an 8.
jergul
large member
Mon Jun 17 18:09:03
Nimi
I questioned her whole plot-line. Even randomly turning up at what I imagine is a secret bunker was quite the stretch.

The ending boosted my suspended disbelief quite satisfactorily.

The "mother" plottwist was forshadowed more than sufficiently to give it away very early. The date stamp for daughter-003 did not fit her being daughter-001 and that was shown very early in the movie. The rest was obvious from the moment the woman revealed there were drones outside.

8.5/10 is my verdict. For more reasons than those I have mentioned.
McKobb
Member
Mon Jun 17 21:07:17
The population's boundries are defined by the current technologies.
Dukhat
Member
Mon Jun 17 21:46:41
Secular article pigeonholed into retarded right-wing narratives.

You guys are so brain-dead.
Dukhat
Member
Mon Jun 17 22:27:08
LoL at Nimatzo not understanding the ending.

Hillary Swank was the first. Daughter was the third. Swank's character was "failed" because she was so selfish. Daughter was proven to be a success because she stayed to help raise ther est of humanity.

Everything was being manipulated by the AI from beginning to end.

But it's not suprising that Nim doesn't get it. A mixture of stupidity and narcissism explains why he identified with the more selfish character.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Jun 18 05:44:07
It is actually irrelevant to what I am saying dickhat, if you were not retarded you would see that.

If at that scene, mother had said as much, ”you were always a failure daughter 1”. Then it would have given that scene meaning. Now it was just mother wiping out the lab rat she used in her ethical experiment.



jergul
large member
Tue Jun 18 06:14:22
Mckobb
That makes no sense. The lower boundary would be 0. The upper boundary? 80 billion on soylent green and algae paste?
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 06:24:37
Who knows? At a guess the upper limit would be ~the current total animalia mass of ≈2 Gt C (gigatons of carbon). But who is to say that has to be the limit?
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Jun 18 06:33:33
At the expense of wildlife we can sustain many more than 10 billion. Additionally non food related consumption habit play a significant role for the sustainability of the numbers.
Dukhat
Member
Tue Jun 18 07:17:22
About 2 or 3 billion is ideal. Basically the numbers at the end of WWII. The prime of civilization.

And lol at rugian blaming liberals for something that is secular and the hypocrisy of pretending he cares at all. Liberals have nothing to do with most of the world wanting less kids. Overcrowding and lack of resources is why.

And conservatives’ motivating issue right now is immigration which is being caused by conflicts over scarce resources in foreign countries.

You don’t want them here and then you get upset when they solve the problem for you and stop having less kids. Can you fucking think critically instead of swallowing breitbart lies whole you stupid fuck.
Dukhat
Member
Tue Jun 18 07:18:05
Stop having as many kids*
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 07:20:47
Dukhat, are you insinuating that you want to make America great again? That number was that number due to contemporary tech in ag and health.
jergul
large member
Tue Jun 18 07:28:55
200 million would be about ideal and infinitely sustainable.

Based on two things

1. Pseudo-migratory so that any mass extinction event is easily survivable with low to no loss of life.

2. A number that supports the idea that human life is infinitely valuable (the fewer the humans the more valuable each life is).
jergul
large member
Tue Jun 18 07:29:38
3 generations until peak, then another 12-15 generations@1.5 children per woman.
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 08:14:55
The Impossible Whopper may be the beginning of the end for non human vertebrates! We dont miss the dinosaurs, maybe in a few million years other species will only remain as the basis for virtual entertainment and inspiration for subspecies genetic manipulation! As for cataclysms look at AIDS, natural or created it did little to nothing to mitigate population growth. We will fill the void created by our technology with hordes of bodies. Now if we crawl into a new dark age we will decline for a time.
CrownRoyal
Member
Tue Jun 18 08:26:04
" As for cataclysms look at AIDS, natural or created it did little to nothing to mitigate population growth. "

Opioid epidemic is reportedly worse than hiv/aids, so the experiment continues!
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 08:44:21
Ain't nothing mandatory dessimination of subdermal buprenorphine implants to addicts cant fix.
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 08:56:43
"I can, you can, we all can with Narcan!"
-Malleus Proclivitas
Rugian
Member
Tue Jun 18 09:22:30
Jergul,

Ah, my bad. I thought about you were talking about the AI from Alien; I hadn't heard of this Hillary Swank movie until now.

Returning to the topic, unless your number has a "billion" in it, it's simply way too low.

Dukhat,

Between driving women into the workplace, telling them to focus on career instead of family, legalizing contraception and abortion and providing taxpayer funds for both, and de-emphasizing the role of the nuclear family, I have many arguments for how modern Western leftist movements are destroying birth rates around the world.

To look at it from the other side of things. Would a reactionary right wing government be likely to produce the same declines in population growth if given free reign to pursue the policies it pleases over a multi-generational term?
jergul
large member
Tue Jun 18 13:26:53
Mckobb
Population growth is not being kept in check by misery and strife, but by prosperity and health.

Review the demographic data. Malthus was wrong.

Ruggy
It depends on what premise you have. I am running with unalienable rights.

200 million gives long term viability.

My only real issue is doubt to if we will survive the next 200 years. Risks after that will fall along with population levels.

Stop thinking like a virus.
Rugian
Member
Tue Jun 18 13:37:40
Jergul,

We're a little long in the tooth to still be quoting the Matrix, no?

Anyway, we need the numbers to spare in the event of a catastrophe. There's no reason why this planet cant maintain at least a couple billion.

Long term, our survival is dependent on leaving the planet anyway.
jergul
large member
Tue Jun 18 15:34:42
Ruggy
I was not making a Matrix reference.

200 million provides huge redundancy. Bottlenecks have been as low as a couple thousand remaining individuals.

We as a species cannot maintain a couple billion over time. Even 200 million might be pushing it (that would be the planetary number that deforested the ME and Medeterranian basin and waged perpetual warfare).

I do not disagree on some form of lifeboat strategy after the planet is secure in say 20 generations.

If we make it that far. First things first.
Hrothgar
Member
Tue Jun 18 21:01:32
When/if human kind is technologically capable of reliably expanding beyond Earth, I'm guessing the tech will also be in place to create babies in artificial wombs.

There will be population expansion as needed, on demand as the Terran empire deems necessary.
McKobb
Member
Tue Jun 18 21:35:25
grey..
Dukhat
Member
Tue Jun 18 22:29:21
Ah yes, Rugian makes the incel arguments against women making their own decisions in life. Sad and pathetic.

********

As for the main argument, spreading humanity as organic lifeform will likely be a disaster. The university is deeply patient and the vast majority of space is deeply hostile to life

Organic animal life has too many requirements including being free of radiation, being within a certain temperature range, having access to clean water, oxygen and other organic matter to consume.

The easier strategy would be to send robots with our likeness out. The whole pesky, nothing-can travel-faster-than-light conundrum means it will take a long time for anything to expand beyond our solar system.

Which is to say, let's stop fucking up our planet. It's literally one in a trillion-trillion. Perfect stable star, perfect planet, and lots of animal friends. Living anywhere else sucks.

jergul
large member
Wed Jun 19 04:54:40
Hrothgar
The reference to "mother" alluded to that fact.

I don't think the word empire is compatible with surviving the hiccups I envision for the next 20 generations. So the word will leave contemporary usage one way or another.

A lifeboat strategy might envision a number of colonies within the solar system with say 50 thousand people on each.

Interstellar seeding would simply amount to sending off wombs along with clear guidelines not to allow population densities higher than that of earth.

But such seeding would simply amount to completely seperate paths that would eventually result in a new species (as earth and its seedlings evolve on different paths).

Hard to see the point of that really.

Dukhat
Yah. If we can't keep this vessel ship-shape, then forget about any life-boat strategy working.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Wed Jun 19 14:06:33
This is what socialism does to the brain kids, you view the need for life to spread and sprawl as "thinking like a virus". Congratulations you anti-human nihilist scumbags, you just made the entire planet your enemy.

LIVE FREE AND MULTIPLY!
jergul
large member
Wed Jun 19 14:32:03
Nimi
Congratulations. You just paraphrased Stalin "quantity has its on quality".

Or was this what you were refering to?

ויברך אתם אלהים ויאמר להם אלהים פרו ורבו ומלאו את־הארץ וכבשה ורדו בדגת הים ובעוף השמים ובכל־חיה הרמשת על־הארץ׃

Your perspective is long term irrelevant. Humanity will become extinct sooner rather than later along your lines of thinking.

Mine offers hope - and ultimately a lot more humans. Because the timeline is much longer.
jergul
large member
Wed Jun 19 14:44:55
A certain tendency towards viral behavior is probably not coincidental:

"Viruses can also affect the evolution of a species in a more direct way. A provirus is a virus that inserts its DNA directly into the chromosomes of the host cell. Rather than just having a separate strand of DNA or RNA floating around in the cell, the provirus adds itself to the host genome and gets replicated with the other genes. HIV is an example of a disease virus that does this, but there are other viruses, such as the adeno-associated viruses that insert themselves into the human genome without causing any obvious symptoms."
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Jun 20 01:22:44
"Your perspective is long term irrelevant."

Said the guy from the tribe going extinct. Interesting phenomena though, where the organism is the selection preassure on itself, rendering itself meaningless.

Maybe we could take you a little more seriously if you hadn't procreated three times. Live like you learn?
jergul
large member
Thu Jun 20 01:49:01
Nimi
Perhaps try not to straddle two horses? You are getting too old for that kind of acrobatics. Either my tribe is going extinct or I am breeding too much?

Very few tribes will be recognizable in 20 generations even if we assume human caused mass extinction is unlikely (you can do the risk analysis yourself. Say with 1% chance per year. When will it be 96% certain we have destroyed ourselves?).

Otherwise, I have always supported the type of social and economic development that gives low birth rates. Roll of the dice gave me three. It could just as easily have been 0.

I am not advocating changing the use of dice.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Jun 20 08:36:56
Your tribe is going extinct AND, you personally have too many children by your own standard. This isn’t straddeling two horses it’s keep the two thoughts ”group average” and ”single data point” in the head at the same time and knowing the difference.
McKobb
Member
Thu Jun 20 09:55:39
Humans survived thousands of years during an ice age. I think we got this.
jergul
large member
Thu Jun 20 14:34:19
Nimi
My adding several children to a tribe doomed to extinction would not matter. Hence you needing to chose your horse.

Mckobb
By surviving, you mean making it past a couple bottlenecks with a few thousand individuals remaining, then sure. Unless you add radioactivity to the mix of course.

We got this if and only if current western demographic trends spread and are sustained.
jergul
large member
Fri Jun 21 03:39:57
Business as usual gives us 0,002% chance of surviving the next 20 generations intact (1% of a mass extinction even per year. Check doomsday clock for background).

And a 44% chance of making it to 2100.

[More math]

We don't have much more than 1 chance of 10 of making it through 20 generations even assuming global birthrates trend towards 1.5 globally until 200 million is reached (with a corresponding decrease in risk. Risk being a function of population for the purposes of this analysis).

With the assumption of yearly 1 chance in 10 000 of an extinction level@200 million in 20 generations.

jergul
large member
Fri Jun 21 03:42:03
Jergulmath is fun.
jergul
large member
Fri Jun 21 03:52:21
The numbers explain why we have not heard from aliens.

Many technological civilizations may evolve in the past or future, but the chances of theirs overlapping ours in time or space is minute.

The very few that survive over time have a tiny footprint.
jergul
large member
Sun Jun 23 07:46:09
Editor’s note: Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains.

To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: A new abnormal: It is still two minutes to midnight
Date: January 24, 2019

Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger.

In the nuclear realm, the United States abandoned the Iran nuclear deal and announced it would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), grave steps towards a complete dismantlement of the global arms control process. Although the United States and North Korea moved away from the bellicose rhetoric of 2017, the urgent North Korean nuclear dilemma remains unresolved. Meanwhile, the world’s nuclear nations proceeded with programs of “nuclear modernization” that are all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons.

On the climate change front, global carbon dioxide emissions—which seemed to plateau earlier this decade—resumed an upward climb in 2017 and 2018. To halt the worst effects of climate change, the countries of the world must cut net worldwide carbon dioxide emissions to zero by well before the end of the century. By such a measure, the world community failed dismally last year. At the same time, the main global accord on addressing climate change—the 2015 Paris agreement—has become increasingly beleaguered.The United States announced it will withdraw from that pact, and at the December climate summit in Poland, the United States allied itself with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait (all major petroleum-producing countries) to undercut an expert report on climate change impacts that the Paris climate conference had itself commissioned.

Amid these unfortunate nuclear and climate developments, there was a rise during the last year in the intentional corruption of the information ecosystem on which modern civilization depends. In many forums, including particularly social media, nationalist leaders and their surrogates lied shamelessly, insisting that their lies were truth, and the truth “fake news.” These intentional attempts to distort reality exaggerate social divisions, undermine trust in science, and diminish confidence in elections and democratic institutions. Because these distortions attack the rational discourse required for solving the complex problems facing humanity, cyber-enabled information warfare aggravates other major global dangers—including those posed by nuclear weapons and climate change—as it undermines civilization generally.

There is nothing normal about the complex and frightening reality just described.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse. Though unchanged from 2018, this setting should be taken not as a sign of stability but as a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world. The current international security situation—what we call the “new abnormal”—has extended over two years now. It’s a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War, a state that features an unpredictable and shifting landscape of simmering disputes that multiply the chances for major military conflict to erupt.

This new abnormal is simply too volatile and dangerous to accept as a continuing state of world affairs.

Dire as the present may seem, there is nothing hopeless or predestined about the future. The Bulletin resolutely believes that human beings can manage the dangers posed by the technology that humans create. Indeed, in the 1990s, leaders in the United States and the Soviet Union took bold action that made nuclear war markedly less likely—and that led the Bulletin to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock far from midnight.

But threats must be acknowledged before they can be effectively confronted. The current situation—in which intersecting nuclear, climate, and information warfare threats all go insufficiently recognized and addressed, when they are not simply ignored or denied—is unsustainable. The longer world leaders and citizens carelessly inhabit this new and abnormal reality, the more likely the world is to experience catastrophe of historic proportions.

Worrisome nuclear trends continue. The global nuclear order has been deteriorating for many years, and 2018 was no exception to this trend. Relations between the United States and both Russia and China have grown more fraught. The architecture of nuclear arms control built up over half a century continues to decay, while the process of negotiating reductions in nuclear weapons and fissile material stockpiles is moribund. The nuclear-armed states remain committed to their arsenals, are determined to modernize their capabilities, and have increasingly espoused doctrines that envision nuclear use. Brash leaders, intense diplomatic disputes, and regional instabilities combine to create an international context in which nuclear dangers are all too real.

A number of negative developments colored the nuclear story in 2018.

First, the United States abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the multilateral agreement that imposed unprecedented constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and allowed unprecedented verification of Iran’s nuclear facilities and activities. On May 8, President Trump announced that the United States would cease to observe the agreement and would instead launch a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran. So far, Iran and the other parties have continued to comply with the agreement, despite the absence of US participation. It is unclear whether they will keep the agreement alive, but one thing is certain: The Trump administration has launched an assault on one of the major nuclear nonproliferation successes of recent years and done so in a way that increases the likelihood of conflict with Iran and further heightens tensions with long-term allies.

Second, in October the Trump administration announced that it intends to withdraw from the INF Treaty, which bans missiles of intermediate range. Though bedeviled by reciprocal complaints about compliance, the INF agreement has been in force for more than 30 years and has contributed to stability in Europe. Its potential death foreshadows a new competition to deploy weapons long banned. Unfortunately, while treaties are being eliminated, there is no process in place that will create a new regime of negotiated constraints on nuclear behavior. For the first time since the 1980s, it appears the world is headed into an unregulated nuclear environment—an outcome that could reproduce the intense arms racing that was the hallmark of the early, unregulated decades of the nuclear age.

Third, the longstanding, urgent North Korean nuclear issue remains unresolved. Some good news did emerge in 2018. The bellicose rhetoric of 2017, which had raised fears of war, is largely gone. The summit between President Trump and President Kim in Singapore in June 2018 appears to have been a diplomatic step forward. But not a single substantive and enduring concrete step was taken to constrain or roll back North Korea’s nuclear program, and modernization of its nuclear capabilities continues. The chummy exchanges between the two leaders have reverted to wary challenges, and the potential for nuclear instability in Northeast Asia persists, largely unabated.

Fourth, even as arms control efforts wane, modernization of nuclear forces around the world continues apace. In his Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin described an extensive nuclear modernization program, justified as a response to US missile defense efforts. The Trump administration has added to the enormously expensive comprehensive nuclear modernization program it inherited from the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the nuclear capabilities of the other seven nuclear armed states are not governed by any negotiated constraints, and several of them—notably India and Pakistan—continue to expand and modernize their capabilities. These long-term modernization programs envision the possession of substantial nuclear capabilities for decades to come, with little indication of interest in reducing or constraining nuclear forces.

Fifth, reliance on nuclear weapons appears to be growing, and military doctrines are evolving in ways that increase the focus on actually using nuclear weapons. The Trump administration’s most recent Nuclear Posture Review is doubly worrisome from this point of view. It spotlights the claim that Russia has adopted a highly escalatory nuclear doctrine. And it insists that the United States too must be prepared to use nuclear weapons in a wide array of circumstances, and so should invest in new, more-usable nuclear weapons. The longstanding hopes that nuclear weapons would recede into the background of international politics are being dashed.

The disturbing developments in 2018 are the latest indications that the nuclear order is deteriorating and that nuclear risks are increasing. Urgent action is necessary to reverse the trends that are taking the world down a perilous nuclear path.

Ominous climate change trends. The existential threat from human-caused global warming is ominous and getting worse. Every year that human activities continue to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere irreversibly ratchets up the future level of human suffering and ecosystem destruction that will be wrought by global climate disruption. The key measure of improvement on the climate front is the extent of progress toward bringing global net carbon dioxide emissions to zero. On this measure, the countries of the world have failed dismally.

Global carbon dioxide emissions rates had been rising exponentially until 2012 but ceased growing from 2013 to 2016. Even if this emissions plateau had continued, it would not have halted the growth of warming. Net emissions need to ultimately be brought to zero to do so, given the persistence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for up to thousands of years. The ominous news from 2017 and 2018 is that world emissions appear to have resumed their upward climb.

Even nations that have strongly supported the need to decarbonize are not doing enough. Preliminary estimates show that almost all countries contributed to the rise in emissions. Some countries, including the United States and some members of the EU, increased their emissions after years of making progress in reducing them.

The United States has also abandoned its responsibilities to lead the world decarbonization effort. The United States has more resources than poorer nations have; its failure to ambitiously reduce emissions represents an act of gross negligence. The United States stood alone while the other G20 countries signed on to a portion of a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to tackle climate change. Then in 2018, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland, the United States joined with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait—all major oil producers—to undercut a report on the impacts of climate change.

Although emissions estimates for 2018 are preliminary, what is known supports a continuation of an ominous trend. That the world is losing ground in its efforts to achieve net zero emissions is set against a backdrop of increasing scientific evidence for the severity of impacts of warming of Earth. Despite the waning of El Niño early in the year, 2018 is likely to be the fourth warmest year on record as measured by global mean temperature, with previous record highs in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Greenland ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.

Global warming has contributed to the occurrence of catastrophes, including the massive wildfires seen this year in California, Greece, and Sweden, and the deadly heat waves suffered by Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. The US National Climate Assessment has forecast increasingly severe impacts on the economy, human health, agriculture, and natural ecosystems. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has shown that even a modest increase in global mean warming—from 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees—will bring severe impacts. Yet if the world were on track to fulfill its commitments under the Paris climate accords, which it clearly is not, that would be insufficient to halt warming at 2 degrees.

As long as there is carbon left in the ground, efforts to keep it there will reduce the toll of future suffering from climate change. But even amid the worsening manifestations of an increasingly disrupted climate, denialists continue to stymie action. President Trump, dismissing the National Climate Assessment prepared by his own agencies, declared stubbornly, “I don’t believe it.”

There is still time to rescue the world from truly catastrophic effects of climate change. For such a rescue to become reality, however, progress toward decarbonization must pick up pace dramatically, and very soon.

The threat of information warfare and other disruptive technologies. Nuclear war and climate change threaten the physical infrastructure that provides the food, energy, and other necessities required for human life. But to thrive, prosper, and advance, people also need reliable information about their world—factual information, in abundance.

Today, however, chaos reigns in much of the information ecosystem on which modern civilization depends. In many forums for political and societal discourse, we now see national leaders shouting about fake news, by which they mean information they do not like. These same leaders lie shamelessly, calling their lies truth. Acting across national boundaries, these leaders and their surrogates exacerbate existing divisions, creating rage and increasing distrust in public and private institutions. Using unsupported anecdotes and sketchy rhetoric, denialists raise fear and doubt regarding well-established science about climate change and other urgent issues. Established institutions of the government, journalism, and education—institutions that have traditionally provided stability—are under attack precisely because they have provided stability.

In this environment, communication inflames passions rather than informing reason.

Many countries have long employed propaganda and lies—otherwise known as information warfare—to advance their interests. But a quantitative change of sufficient magnitude qualifies as a qualitative change. In the Internet age, the volume and velocity of information has increased by orders of magnitude. Modern information technology and social media allow users easy connectivity and high degrees of anonymity across national borders. This widespread, inexpensive access to worldwide audiences has allowed practitioners of information warfare to broadcast false and manipulative messages to large populations at low cost, and at the same time to tailor political messages to narrow interest groups.

By manipulating the natural cognitive predispositions of human beings, information warriors can exacerbate prejudices, biases, and ideological differences. They can invoke “alternative facts” to advance political positions based on outright falsehoods. Rather than a cyber Armageddon that causes financial meltdown or nationwide electrical blackouts, this is the more insidious use of cyber tools to target and exploit human insecurities and vulnerabilities, eroding the trust and cohesion on which civilized societies rely.

The Enlightenment sought to establish reason as the foundational pillar of civilized discourse. In this conception, logical argument matters, and the truth of a statement is tested by examination of values, assumptions, and facts, not by how many people believe it. Cyber-enabled information warfare threatens to replace these pillars of logic and truth with fantasy and rage. If unchecked, such distortion will undermine the world’s ability to acknowledge and address the urgent threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change and will increase the potential for an end to civilization as we know it. The international community should begin multilateral discussions that aim to discourage cyber-enabled information warfare and to buttress institutions dedicated to rational, fact- based discourse and governance.

The world faces other major threats from disruptive technologies; developments in synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and cyber sabotage are of particular concern. The velocity of change across these and other technological fronts is extremely high; the international effort to manage these rapid advances has been, to date, grossly insufficient.

A signal event of 2018 was the editing of a human genome in China, an unfortunate demonstration of the weakness of institutional constraints on genetic engineering and other biotechnological research. The advent of “designer” human beings would constitute a truly history-changing event with a significant potential for unforeseen, large, and dangerous consequences. The international community has a common interest in delaying experimentation into the editing of human genomes until such research can receive the highest level of scientific and ethical review. At the same time, other biological hazards—ranging from biological terrorist attacks to the emergence of deadly, rapidly spreading diseases—continue to threaten world security. The management of synthetic biology and other biothreats must become a world priority.

Advances in machine intelligence—often called artificial intelligence or AI—are also progressing at a rapid and largely unmanaged pace. The Science and Security Board is particularly concerned about the incorporation of AI into autonomous weaponry that makes“kill” decisions without human supervision. But AI research and development cut across a wide array of human activities. Because AI will have increasingly large military, economic, and social effects in coming decades, the international community must develop a cooperative system that maximizes the positive potential of advances in machine cognition while diminishing potential downsides.

Beyond the information warfare previously described, the sabotage of computing networks via cyber hacking constitutes a multifaceted threat to global security. The sophisticated sabotage of the “Internet of Things”—computer networks that control major financial and power infrastructure and have access to more than 20 billion personal devices—could have impacts so severe as to inspire military responses, potentially involving nuclear weapons. Here, too, more effective international management regimes are desperately needed.

Toward a safer, more sustainable world. The Doomsday Clock was first set at two minutes to midnight in 1953, after the Soviet Union exploded a thermonuclear device within a year of the first US hydrogen bomb test. In ensuing decades, the two nations engaged in a furious arms race that culminated in the 1980s, when the world inventory of nuclear warheads topped 60,000.

From that point until fairly recently, the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union (and Russia, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) crafted a series of arms control agreements that drastically reduced the number of nuclear weapons deployed. These agreements were based not merely on trust, but also on verification and consultation, and as they were expanded over time, the threat of a global nuclear holocaust seemed to fade into the background, a concern of the past, dealt with long ago.

The belief that the threat of nuclear war has been vanquished was and is a mirage.

The continuing danger posed by nuclear weapons burst into world news headlines in 2017, as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un exchanged bombastic threats of nuclear attack and the US-Russia nuclear rivalry re-emerged. In January 2018, the Science and Security Board moved the hands of the Clock to two minutes before midnight. At that time, the board asked that its judgement “be interpreted exactly as it is meant—as an urgent warning of global danger.” By keeping the Clock at two minutes—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse—the Science and Security Board today highlights an unacceptable reality that remains largely unrecognized by the public at large: The future of the world is now in extreme danger from multiple intersecting and potentially existential threats.

This situation—what we call “the new abnormal”—is untenable. In this extraordinarily dangerous state of affairs, nuclear war and climate change pose severe threats to humanity, yet go largely unaddressed. Meanwhile, the use of cyber-enabled information warfare by countries, leaders and subnational groups of many stripes around the world exacerbates these enormous threats and endangers the information ecosystem that underpins democracy and civilization as we know it. At the same time, other disruptive technologies complicate and further darken the world security situation.

This situation cannot—must not—continue. And it need not.

As the Science and Security Board noted last year: “The means for managing dangerous technology and reducing global-scale risk exist; indeed, many of them are well-known and within society’s reach, if leaders pay reasonable attention to preserving the long-term prospects of humanity, and if citizens demand that they do so.”

US President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim made progress in cooling tensions on the Korea Peninsula in the last year, toning down their provocative rhetoric, reducing behavior that could lead to conflict, and opening talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The Science and Security Board applauds these efforts but notes that little real progress on dismantling the North Korean nuclear program has been made. We urge the United States and North Korea to move forward with the difficult negotiations that will be necessary to reach agreement on concrete steps toward a denuclearization process that will benefit the North and the rest of the world.

Beyond the Korean situation, there are many practical, concrete steps that leaders could take—and citizens should demand—to improve the current, abnormal, and absolutely unacceptable state of world security affairs.

These common-sense actions would make the world safer:

US and Russian leaders should return to the negotiating table to resolve differences over the INF treaty; to extend the nuclear arsenal limits of New START beyond 2021 and to seek further reductions in nuclear arms; to discuss a lowering of the alert status of the nuclear arsenals of both countries; to limit nuclear modernization programs that threaten to create a new nuclear arms race; and to start talks aiming toward elimination of battlefield nuclear weapons.
The United States and Russia should discuss and adopt measures to prevent peacetime military incidents along the borders of NATO. Provocative military exercises and maneuvers hold the potential for crisis escalation. Both militaries must exercise restraint and professionalism, adhering to all norms developed to avoid conflict and accidental encounters.
US citizens should demand climate action from their government. Climate change is a serious and worsening threat to humanity. Citizens should insist that their governments acknowledge it and act accordingly. President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change agreement was a dire mistake. The Trump administration should revisit that decision, which runs counter to credible science.
The temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement—to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius and, ideally, below 1.5 degrees—is consistent with consensus views on climate science, eminently achievable, and economically viable, if poor countries are given the support they need. But countries have to act promptly and redouble their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions well beyond their initial inadequate pledges to the Paris agreement.

The Trump administration should revisit its lamentable decision to exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for limiting Iran’s nuclear program. The Iran agreement is not perfect, but it serves the interest of the international community in restraining the spread of nuclear weapons.
The international community should begin multilateral discussions aimed at establishing norms of behavior, both domestic and international, that discourage and penalize the misuse of information technology to undermine public trust in political institutions, in the media, in science, and in the existence of objective reality itself. Cyber-enabled information warfare is a threat to the common good. Deception campaigns—and leaders intent on blurring the line between fact and politically motivated fantasy—are a profound threat to effective democracies, reducing their ability to address nuclear weapons, climate change, and other existential dangers.

The “new abnormal” that we describe, and that the world now inhabits, is unsustainable and extremely dangerous. The world security situation can be improved, if leaders seek change and citizens demand it. It is two minutes to midnight, but there is no reason the Doomsday Clock cannot move away from catastrophe. It has done so in the past, because wise leaders acted—under pressure from informed and engaged citizens around the world.

Today, citizens in every country can use the power of the Internet to fight against social media disinformation and improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change.

Given the inaction of their leaders to date, citizens of the world should make a loud and clear demand: #RewindTheDoomsdayClock.

http://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/past-statements/
jergul
large member
Sun Jun 23 07:49:25
A 44% chance of making it to 2100 may be wildly optimistic.
Seb
Member
Sun Jun 30 17:53:10
Just watched mother.

Unfortunately I caught the 13,8xx days since the event text that popped up at the first montage of raising a child that began at 1 day after extinction.

And I'm quite good with mental arithmetic so a great deal of the plot was then immediately spoiled. Kinda wish they hadn't done that as otherwise it was quite an intelligent bit of hard sci-fi that would have been better to watch without knowing she was at least the second generation of bunker babies. The clear attempt at physical similarities between woman and daughter with the fact that it's 30+ years from the first conception means you spend half the film waiting for the plot to catch up.

Plot threads hanging: so, what was killing the mouse all about then? Presumably not simply concert story (an AI can't simply be shut down by a single power cable).

Why go back and kill Woman? Presumably because she's a source of memetic infection for future generations?

Is mother a utilitarian or not? Early on it seemed she was criticising a bluntly utilitarian approach, but I guess that was a test that led to a quick trip on the conveyer belt to find *cake*. GLaDOS, I mean mother, has been experimenting with a new recipie.

Mental note: stick with the three rules of robotics. Do not invent the zeroth law. And apply heavy time discounting rates for any robot decision making. Small benefits extrapolated over infinite time justify pretty much anything.



jergul
large member
Mon Jul 01 04:04:07
Amazingly, I literally finished rereading Asminov's Foundation series yesterday (I skipped all of the alternate authors).

The three laws are screwed by the greater good. The final book ends with a robot going Borg on a human to buy a few 100d years of oversight on a Gaian galatic conciousness project.

The ultimate greater good cited? Potential competing civilizations in other galaxies.
Seb
Member
Mon Jul 01 04:39:55
I forget how the foundation series ends other than it went horribly off the rails when Asimov decided to try and link it with his robot detective novels into a giant future history.

I can't remember if the robots turned up before or after the giant psychic planet. I dislike gestalt consciousness as a utopian aspiration. There was a bit of a fad for it in golden age sci fi. Clarke's Childhoods end for example. Just so bleak.
jergul
large member
Mon Jul 01 04:56:26
Seb
The only realistic alternative to gestalt is a very small population. Nothing else works out over the medium term.

Gestalt sort of follows from AI anyway.
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