I’ve been running restaurants for a little over 10 years now and employees have always been a fickle bunch; here today, gone the next. It’s a sad fact of the industry that employees, especially the more junior ones, hop between jobs. Sometimes they are just doing the work to fill in and earn some cash before their next real gig comes along. Sometimes they are just lazy and go back to claim benefits rather than work for a living to improve their situation over the long term. But over the last year, and especially this year, the new recruits-cum-leavers have been the worst I have ever seen.
An article posted in the Spring this year finds Stephen Hawking – just one of many scientists – who see the possible near-term demise of our species. The article on Salon.com took his arguments (and others) and did some analysis which shows he might not be far off.
There has been much discussed in the scientific community about the possible side-effects of genetic manipulation in insects and animals. The principle (in the video above) is that we can edit the genetic template of a species to introduce, for example, a kill switch that would allow us to selectively introduce a strain which would, over time, eradicate an invasive species. This promises a cure for malaria and many other grail-like gems.
An article posted today on Business Insider reminded me of my earlier post ten years ago referring back to the same period (the 80s) when the problem crystallised. Here we are 30 years later and little has changed.
Twenty-nine years ago, James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, told the US Senate that the question of the day – whether climate change was happening – was no longer in doubt. Hansen’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 23, 1988, is frequently considered the most important climate change hearing in history.
Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-year storms, and lethal heat waves have become fixtures of the evening news—and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.
We, the Aliens.
The Fermi paradox (or Fermi’s paradox), named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates, e.g. those given by the Drake equation, for the existence of extraterrestrial civilisations.