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News Link • Future Predictions

Oxford Institute Forecasts The Possible Doom Of Humanity

• Martha Harbison via

Most of us are content to just worry about the future of humanity in our spare time, but there's an entire group of academics at Oxford University in England who make that their professional mission.

Each member of the Future of Humanity Institute has his own focus. Some are concerned with climate change and its impact on humanity; others with the future of human cognition. Department head Nick Bostrom, whose paper Existential Risk Prevention As Global Priority has just been published, has a long history of being worried about our future as a species. Bostrom posits that humanity is the greatest threat to humanity's survival.

Bostrom's paper is concerned with a particular time-scale: Can humanity survive the next century? This rules out some of the more unlikely natural scenarios that could snuff out humans in the more distant future: supervolcanoes, asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts and the like. The chances of one of those happening within the very narrow timeframe involved is, according to the paper, extremely small. Further, most other natural disasters, such as a pandemic, are unlikely to kill all humans; we as a species have survived many pandemics and will likely do so in the future.

The Personal
The Personal: The first row of a full scale of misery, on a scale of "hellish." In the full version, the Y axis is on a scale of "cosmic-ness" Together, the extremes of these two scales form the conditions in which risk to the existence of the human race resides.  Nick Bostrom,

According to Bostrom, the types of civilization-ending disasters we may unleash upon ourselves include nuclear holocausts, badly programmed superintelligent entities and, my personal favorite, "we are living in a simulation and it gets shut down." (As an aside, how the hell do you prepare for that eventuality?) Additionally, humans face four different categories of existential risk:

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

I could play with this one all year. Yet, it is a great one to be reported on among politics. Here's why.

Anybody who focuses on the potential extinction of humanity as a whole falls into, basically, one of three categories.

1. He/she is TRULY worried about a time when there might be no people around at all. There are many "subs" that could be talked about this, like he/she loves people so much that he/she wouldn't want his/her grand-kids to die, or, he/she believes in some form of human to human reincarnation. Yet the point remains, that until we know way more than we do about life after death, after each of is gone individually, it won't matter to any of us individually if the rest of us remain, or if they all die as well.

2. Oxford people need to get their money somewhere. So, they along with a whole lot of other academians, constantly work into the laws of the nation, methods for gaining grants for work done in useless and foolish studies. From the article itself, "Bostrom, of course, can't help but come off a bit high-handed when he laments that there are far too many papers in the academic literature on 'less-important topics,' such as 'dung beetles' and 'snowboarding.'" Among the "less-important topics" is the topic of endangerment of the existence of the entire human species. Endangerment of individuals, YES. Endangerment of the whole, stupid. Endangerment of the whole doesn't mean anything to anybody if the focus is not on the endangerment of each and every individual. Of course, endangerment of the whole is financially profitable for you, if you can get Government grants to talk about it.

3. In #1 above, noticed how I use the pronouns "he/she" and "his/hers" rather than the pronouns "they" or "their." There is GREAT and IMPORTANT reason for my doing so. The reason has to do with politics. It has to do with the one-world government. The reason is this. All over the world people's focus is being drawn away from the individual towards the collective. Virtually all that big governments and big universities do is to attempt to focus the people away from individualism, and towards collectivism. Using pronouns like "they" rather than "he" or she," and "their" rather than "his" or hers," is simply another way to draw people into thinking, naturally, as part of the collective, rather than individually, for himself/herself, or for the individual's personal, private family.

WATCH OUT! It all has to do with politics. We are constantly being pushed and pulled forward into a one-world government as rapidly and as much as possible... pulled and pushed by those who want to rule the world and everything in it. And though the one-worlders go along with us, or if they ignore us entirely, they continue almost untiringly with their plans and actions for setting the ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT in place.

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