Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 46 through 50 of 50 found.
Future > Old World
The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.
The Oxford University, Future of Humanity Institute scholar continues to astutely identify, as if we needed more worries, further high tech ways that bad guys can us destroy at will.
Scientific and technological progress might change people's capabilities or incentives in ways that would destabilize civilization. For example, advances in DIY biohacking might make it easy for anybody with basic training in biology to kill millions; novel military technologies could trigger arms races in which whoever strikes first has a decisive advantage; and so on. This paper introduces the concept of a vulnerable world: roughly, one in which there is some stage at which civilization gets devastated by default. A general ability to stabilize a vulnerable world would require amplified capacities for preventive policing and global governance, but offer a perspective from which to evaluate the risk‐benefit balance of ubiquitous surveillance or a unipolar world order. (Abstract)
Future > New Earth > second genesis
Vidiella, Blai, et al.
Engineering Self-Organized Criticality in Living Cells.
Six Barcelona systems theorists including Ricard Sole not only add increasing evidence for the universal presence of this optimum poise between more or less order, but goes on to consider how novel cellular phenomena can be designed and facilitated to reside in this beneficial mode. See also Criticality and Adaptivity in Enzymatic Networks by Paul Steiner, et al in the Biophysical journal (111/1078, 2016) as a cited example.
Complex dynamical fluctuations, whether molecular noise within cells, collective intelligence, brain dynamics or computer traffic have been shown to display behaviors consistent with a critical state between order and disorder. Living close to the critical point can have a number of adaptive advantages and life’s evolution seems to select (and even tend to) these critical states. Is this the case of living cells? It is difficult to test this given the dimensionalities associated with gene and metabolic webs. In this paper we seek to engineer synthetic gene networks displaying self-organized criticalities in intracellular traffic. (Abstract excerpt)
Future > New Earth > Ecovillages
Ecovillages Around the World: 20 Regenerative Designs for Sustainable Communities.
, 2018. A Norwegian architect and permaculture designer,
As the quote says, a Norwegian architect and permaculture designer offers a latest survey of how well this once and future sustainable human abidance is growing and flourishing everywhere.
This illustrated work offers 20 best practice designs from ecovillages around the world to show how we can live lightly on the land no matter where on Earth we live. It demonstrates how ecovillages have already achieved the climate goals all of us are now striving toward. Through their regenerative, sustainable, and peace-promoting practices, they continue the culture of traditional village living in a modern way. In regard, the book cites Hurdal Ecovillage, Norway; Svanholm, and Permatopia, Denmark; Solheimar, Iceland; Lilleoru, Estonia; Findhorn, Scotland; Sieben Linden, Germany; Tamera, Portugal; Damanhur and Torri Superiore, Italy; Kibbutz Lotan, Israel; Sekem, Egypt; Chololo, Tanzania; Tasman Ecovillage and Narara, Australia; Hua Tao Ecovillage, China; Auroville, India; Ecovillage at Ithaca, New York, Huehuecoyotl, Mexico; and Ceo do Mapia, Brazil.
Future > Self-Selection
Bryson, Steve, et al.
The Occurrence of Rocky Habitable Zone Planets around Solar-like Stars from Kepler Data.
Online November 5,
This document with some 46 coauthors from the USA and beyond is the main report from the copious Kepler planet hunter project launched in 2009. While NASA statistical estimates may seem to allow millions of potentially habitably worlds, as per the second quote, it is said to be too early to firm up. In addition, no real Earth analogs have yet been found. See also Looking for Another Earth? Here are 300 Million, Maybe by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times for Nov. 5, 2020.
We present occurrence rates for rocky planets in the habitable zones (HZ) of main-sequence dwarf stars based on the Kepler DR25 planet candidate catalog and Gaia-based stellar properties. We provide the first analysis in terms of star-dependent instellation flux, which allows us to track HZ planets. These bounds reflect two extreme assumptions about the extrapolation of completeness beyond orbital periods where DR25 completeness data are available. The large uncertainties are due to the small number of detected small HZ planets. We also present occurrence rates for various stellar populations and planet size ranges. (Abstract excerpt)
Future > Self-Selection
In an email, David Charbonneau, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said he was slightly skeptical of the results: “The Kepler Mission didn’t detect any true Earth analogues, i.e. planets with the same radius as Earth AND orbiting at the same period, AND orbiting sun-like stars.” As Dr. (Natalie) Batalha said at the time, “We don’t yet have any planet candidates that are exact analogues of the Earth in terms of size, orbit or star type.” We still don’t. As a result, the astronomers had to extrapolate data from the planets they did see. (D. Overbye)
Synder-Beattie, Andrew, et al.
The Timing of Evolutionary Transitions Suggests Intelligent Life is Rare.
Oxford University Mathematical Ecology Research Group and Future of Humanity Institute scholars including Anders Sandberg point out one more check-point for emergent life, mind and selves to cope with and pass through. They argue that these nested stages from earliest rudiments to aware sentience are dauntingly difficult. For an array of reasons they appear to be prohibitive filters. So another barrier is erected on the way to our possible EarthMost fitness.
It is unknown how abundant extraterrestrial life is, or whether such life might be complex or intelligent. On Earth, the emergence of complex intelligence required a series of evolutionary transitions such as abiogenesis, eukaryogenesis, sexual reproduction, and multicellularity. Some of these transitions could have been extraordinarily improbable, even in conducive environments. Using a Bayesian model we demonstrate that expected transition times likely exceed the lifetime of Earth. Arriving at the opposite conclusion would require very conservative priors, evidence for earlier transitions, multiple instances, and more. Our study provides an initial basis to evaluate how biological assumptions and fossil record data impact the probability of evolving intelligent life. (Abstract excerpt)