Category Archives: technology

Is Dark Matter the Future of Life in the Universe?


Is there intelligence in or behind that cloud of dark matter?  Here’s an interesting article one possible reason why we don’t see evidence of other intelligent life in the universe (yet).  It also discusses how life might eventually transcend physical existence and continue to evolve in space in clouds of dark matter.  This is similar to the way I once wrote that a self-aware machine intelligence might rapidly evolve, transcend its physical nature, and leave the planet before we were complete aware of it.  This is interesting, but how might it affect you and me? Continue reading

The Revolt of the Machines Could Happen in As Little as 90 Minutes


Computers are already capable of reprogramming themselves, but do it only under human direction. If they start making improvements in themselves under control of their artificial intelligence programming, and then collaborate with other computers over the internet, computers the world over would be at risk of getting out of our control. That seems far-fetched, but how fast could this really happen? Continue reading

Autonomous Vehicles on the Roads in the Next Decade? Wait Just a Minute!


Automakers, legislators, and others are excited about putting autonomous vehicles (AV’s) on the road as quickly as possible, and they cite many benefits.  They’re pushing hard and investing a lot of money, but there are simple reasons why self-driving cars will not rule the road any time soon, no matter how beneficial they might be.  For starters, some people will prefer to drive themselves or ride with a human driver.  Inevitably some people will feel insecure riding in an AV and will refuse to ride in one, let alone buy one.  While the numbers of those rejecting AV’s for such reasons may be small, they will sustain a demand for self-controlled vehicles to remain on the roads longer, presenting serious problems for AV operators.  But that’s just the beginning – there are other major problems with AV’s that are not often mentioned in the media. Continue reading

Does Future Asteroid Mining Risk an Extinction Event?


Corporations are discussing asteroid mining again.  You may not have noticed, but last November President Obama signed a law establishing mineral rights for asteroid mining.  It seems inevitable that, as human population continues to explode, demand for raw materials will explode with it, driving corporations and nations to search space – first the moon and then the asteroid belt – for additional resources.  This suggests a scenario that, due to human mistakes or terrorist action, could create an extinction event that could wipe out all or most life on the planet, similar to the event that “did in” the dinosaurs and almost all life on the planet.  So how could such a disaster could occur? Continue reading

Will Our Dependence on the Internet Enable the Population Explosion, and the Crash?


The adoption of digital communications technology keeps accelerating, but brings risk. The crash phase of the global population explosion may not start with food shortages, global pandemic, or world war, but with a widespread shutdown of the internet.  The disruption to our shipping, energy, and food systems would be catastrophic.  But isn’t the internet too resilient from its diversity, complexity, and vast extent to be at risk of a global shutdown?  How might this come about? Continue reading

The Future of Cyber Warfare Is Here – What’s Next?


Programming computers is a skill that can be learned, and a lot can be learned about it with very little investment in hardware and software.  That enables people from almost every society on earth, including dangerous psychopaths, to build programming skills and use computers as they choose. Civilization is so dependent on the internet here in 2015 that I expect we have passed the point where a major, multi-day failure of the internet wouldn’t be accompanied by at least some people starving.  That puts a lot of power at the fingertips of internet users, but a great deal more in the hands of those who can write software.  People never stop learning, and some of them, rogue programmers, are sociopaths with bad intent for the rest of us.  So what bad deeds are they carrying out that we don’t know about yet? Can  we know? Continue reading

Mixed News and Misconceptions Regarding Our Future


Awareness of humanity’s biggest problems is rising.  While there appears to finally be a slow groundswell of popular understanding and alarm about what humans are doing to the planet (which is quite late but very good), there is still a lot of mishandling (and often misrepresentation) of the news. This results in persistent widespread misconceptions about our position and probable future on the planet.  So what kinds of things are we “not getting”? Continue reading