Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category: Page 14

Mar 7, 2023

New Results From NASA’s DART Mission Confirm We Could Deflect Deadly Asteroids

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

This larger-than-expected result shows the change in Dimorphos’ orbit was not just from the impact of the DART spacecraft. The larger part of the change was due to a recoil effect from all the ejected material flying off into space, which Ariel Graykowski of the SETI Institute and colleagues estimated as between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent of the asteroid’s total mass.

A First Success

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Mar 6, 2023

New results from NASA’s DART planetary defense mission confirm we could deflect deadly asteroids

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

What would we do if we spotted a hazardous asteroid on a collision course with Earth? Could we deflect it safely to prevent the impact?

Last year, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission tried to find out whether a “kinetic impactor” could do the job: smashing a 600kg spacecraft the size of a fridge into an asteroid the size of an Aussie Rules football field.

Early results from this first real-world test of our potential planetary defense systems looked promising. However, it’s only now that the first scientific results are being published: five papers in Nature have recreated the impact, and analyzed how it changed the asteroid’s momentum and orbit, while two studies investigate the debris knocked off by the impact.

Mar 5, 2023

Second Variety

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, government, robotics/AI, space travel

FULL AudioBook | GreatestAudioBooks | Science Fiction / Fantasy — Early victories by the USSR in a global nuclear war cause the United Nations government to retreat to the moon leaving behind troops and fierce autonomous robots called “Claws”, which reproduce and redesign themselves in unmanned subterranean factories. After six bloody years of conflict the Soviets call for an urgent conference and UN Major Joseph Hendricks sets out to meet them. Along the way he will discover what the Claws have been up to, and it isn’t good… — Second Variety was first published in the May 1953 edition of Space Science Fiction Magazine. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)

About the Author, Philip K. Dick:
Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer notable for publishing works of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, social, and political themes in novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, alternate universes, and altered states of consciousness. His work reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences.

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Mar 5, 2023

Brian Cox — Alien Life & The Dark Forest Hypothesis

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks, physics

The renowned physicist and science communicator, Brian Cox delves into the topic of alien life and in particular, the question about intelligent alien civilization.
With his trademark enthusiasm and engaging style, Brian Cox explores the possibility of extraterrestrial life and why we haven’t found any.

The video starts with a brief overview of what Brian Cox & astronomers call: “The Great Silence”. Cox then goes on to explain the Fermi Paradox and the Dark Forest Hypothesis, which suggest that intelligent life may be intentionally avoiding contact with other civilizations to avoid being destroyed.

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Mar 3, 2023

Where Are All The Alien Robots? Hart-Tipler Conjecture and What It Gets Wrong

Posted by in categories: alien life, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, existential risks, quantum physics, robotics/AI

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Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about new explanations of the Fermi paradox focusing on the Hart Tipler Conjecture that tries to disprove the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
Potential other resolutions of Fermi paradox:
Hawking radiation:
Penrose process:

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Mar 3, 2023

The rise and fall of the riskiest asteroid in a decade

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

For a few tense days this January, a roughly 70-metre asteroid became the riskiest observed in over a decade. Despite the Moon’s attempt to scupper observations, the asteroid is now known to be entirely safe.

*Join ESA, NASA and Asteroid Day LIVE from 19:00 CET this evening in “Killing asteroids — with the experts”, to find out more*.

Initial observations of an asteroid dubbed ‘2022 AE1’ showed a potential Earth impact on 4 July 2023 – not enough time to attempt deflection and large enough to do real damage to a local area should it strike.

Mar 2, 2023

Meet OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who learned to code at 8 and is a doomsday prepper with a stash of gold, guns, and gas masks

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, existential risks, robotics/AI

Well, I guess he just wants to be prepared in case there’s an AI revolt. 😁

Sam Altman is the CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, the buzzy AI firm he cofounded with Elon Musk. He’s also Silicon Valley royalty, and a prepper.

Feb 28, 2023

Better metric for prioritizing conservation of ‘evolutionarily distinctive’ species

Posted by in categories: biological, existential risks

An updated metric for prioritizing species’ conservation that incorporates scientific uncertainty and complementarity between species, in addition to extinction risk and evolutionary distinctiveness, has been published on February 28 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, authored by Rikki Gumbs from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), U.K., and colleagues.

In 2007, ZSL established the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) metric to prioritize species for conservation based on preserving embodied within . The approach allocates each species a score based on the evolutionary distance, measured in millions of years, that separates a species from its closest living relatives, and its conservation status in the IUCN Red List.

EDGE has since been applied to mammals, amphibians, birds, sharks and rays, corals, and flowering plants, and is used to allocate conservation funding. To update the EDGE metric to incorporate recent advances in and conservation, ZSL hosted a workshop for conservation scientists and practitioners, who reached a consensus on EDGE2—an updated metric that includes the of closely related species and uncertainty in species’ relationships and conservation status.

Feb 28, 2023

Dopamine in Fear Extinction

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, neuroscience

The ability to extinguish fear memories when threats are no longer present is critical for adaptive behavior. Fear extinction represents a new learning process that eventually leads to the formation of extinction memories. Understanding the neural basis of fear extinction has considerable clinical significance as deficits in extinction learning are the hallmark of human anxiety disorders. In recent years, the dopamine (DA) system has emerged as one of the key regulators of fear extinction. In this review article, we highlight recent advances that have demonstrated the crucial role DA plays in mediating different phases of fear extinction. Emerging concepts and outstanding questions for future research are also discussed.

Learning to associate stimuli and situations with danger or safety is critical for survival and adaptive behavior. In the laboratory, these forms of learning are typically studied using Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. Fear conditioning is an example of associative learning in which an initially neutral stimulus such as a tone (conditioned stimulus, CS) comes to elicit fear responses after being paired in time with an aversive outcome such as a foot shock (unconditioned stimulus, US). Once the CS-US association is learned, subsequently repeated presentations of the CS in the absence of the aversive US result in a gradual decrease in conditioned fear responses, a process known as fear extinction. In the last decades, fear extinction has attracted much interest in part because deficits in extinction learning are thought to underlie human anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias (Graham and Milad, 2011; Pitman et al., 2012; Craske et al.

Feb 26, 2023

Extinct-in-the-wild species in conservation limbo

Posted by in categories: existential risks, genetics

For species classified as “extinct in the wild”, the zoos and botanical gardens where their fates hang by a thread are as often anterooms to oblivion as gateways to recovery, new research has shown.

Re-wilding what are often single-digit populations faces the same challenges that pushed these to the cusp of in the first place, including a lack of genetic diversity. But without , experts say, chances of these species surviving would be even smaller.

Since 1950, nearly 100 animal and plant species vanquished from nature by hunting, pollution, deforestation, invasive lifeforms and other drivers of extinction have been put into by scientists and conservationists, according to the findings.

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