Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category: Page 7

Feb 12, 2023

Berserker hypothesis

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks

A more frightening implication of the fermi paradox.

The berserker hypothesis, also known as the deadly probes scenario, is the idea that humans have not yet detected intelligent alien life in the universe because it has been systematically destroyed by a series of lethal Von Neumann probes.[1][2] The hypothesis is named after the Berserker series of novels (1963−2005) written by Fred Saberhagen.[1]

The hypothesis has no single known proposer, and instead is thought to have emerged over time in response to the Hart–Tipler conjecture,[3] or the idea that an absence of detectable Von Neumann probes is contrapositive evidence that no intelligent life exists outside of the Sun’s Solar System. According to the berserker hypothesis, an absence of such probes is not evidence of life’s absence, since interstellar probes could “go berserk” and destroy other civilizations, before self-destructing.

In his 1983 paper “The Great Silence”, astronomer David Brin summarized the frightening implications of the berserker hypothesis: it is entirely compatible with all the facts and logic of the Fermi paradox, but would mean that there exists no intelligent life left to be discovered. In the worst-case scenario, humanity has already alerted others to its existence, and is next in line to be destroyed.[4].

Feb 12, 2023

Turkey earthquake opened 190-mile-long fissure, satellite images show

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

Two enormous cracks in Earth’s crust opened near the Turkish-Syrian border after two powerful earthquakes shook the region on Monday (Feb. 6), killing over 20,000 people.

Researchers from the U.K. Centre for the Observation & Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Tectonics (COMET) found the ruptures by comparing images of the area near the Mediterranean Sea coast taken by the European Earth-observing satellite Sentinel-1 before and after the devastating earthquakes.

The longer of the two ruptures stretches 190 miles (300 kilometers) in the northeastern direction from the northeastern tip of the Mediterranean Sea. The crack was created by the first of the two major tremors that hit the region on Monday, the more powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck at 4:17 a.m. local time (8:17 p.m. EST on Feb. 5). The second crack, 80 miles long (125 km), opened during the second, somewhat milder 7.5-magnitude temblor about nine hours later, COMET said in a tweet on Friday (Feb. 10).

Feb 11, 2023

Artificial Superintelligence, AI in a Box & Machine Consciousness With Nick Bostrom

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

Artificial Superintelligence or short, ASI, also known as digital superintelligence is the advent of a hypothetical agent that possesses intelligence far surpassing that of the smartest and most gifted human minds.

If we as a species manage not to destroy ourselves up until the advent of true artificial general intelligence, the moment of the next phase for our survival in a post AGI world, will be even more paramount.

Continue reading “Artificial Superintelligence, AI in a Box & Machine Consciousness With Nick Bostrom” »

Feb 9, 2023

We May Have Had an Interstellar Visitor for Eons and Scientists Are Stumped

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

“I think it’s going to be inconclusive, if not impossible to demonstrate conclusively,” one physicist said of the possible interstellar comet.

Feb 8, 2023

Examining an asteroid impact in slow motion

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

For the first time, researchers have recorded live and in atomic detail what happens to the material in an asteroid impact. The team of Falko Langenhorst from the University of Jena and Hanns-Peter Liermann from DESY simulated an asteroid impact with the mineral quartz in the lab and pursued it in slow motion in a diamond anvil cell, while monitoring it with DESY’s X-ray source PETRA III.

The observation reveals an intermediate state in that solves a decades-old mystery about the formation of characteristic lamellae in material hit by an asteroid. Quartz is ubiquitous on the Earth’s surface, and is, for example, the major constituent of sand. The analysis helps to better understand traces of past impacts, and may also have significance for entirely different materials. The researchers present their findings in Nature Communications.

Asteroid impacts are that create huge craters and sometimes melt parts of Earth’s bedrock. “Nevertheless, craters are often difficult to detect on Earth, because erosion, weathering and cause them to disappear over millions of years,” Langenhorst explains.

Feb 1, 2023

‘De-extinction’ company to bring back extinct dodo bird to life

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


“Having focused on genetic advancements in ancient DNA for my entire career and as the first to fully sequence the Dodo’s genome, I am thrilled to collaborate with Colossal and the people of Mauritius on the de-extinction and eventual re-wilding of the Dodo. I particularly look forward to furthering genetic rescue tools focused on birds and avian conservation,” Shapiro added.

Jan 29, 2023

Scientists Warn Giant Asteroid Is Actually Swarm, Nearly Impossible to Destroy

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

Researchers have found that some asteroids that are largely made from small pieces of rubble could be very difficult to deflect if one were to ever hurtle towards Earth, a terrifying finding that could force us to reconsider our asteroid defense strategies.

It’s an especially pertinent topic considering NASA’s recent successful deflection of asteroid Didymos by smashing its Double Asteroid Reduction Test (DART) spacecraft into it last year, a proof of concept mission meant to investigate ways for humanity to protect itself from asteroid threats.

Jan 28, 2023

10 Reasons Aliens Might Not Contact Earth

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks

An exploration of 10 Reasons Aliens Might Not Contact Earth and what that might mean for SETI and science in general, and also the Fermi Paradox.

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Jan 28, 2023

Fermi Paradox: The Alien Life Biological Terminator

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks

An exploration of the idea that life can actually cause the extinction of previously existing life.

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Jan 27, 2023

“Extraordinary” video shows asteroid passing “extremely” close to Earth

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

An astronomer has captured “extraordinary” footage of an asteroid that made an “extremely close” approach to the Earth on Thursday.

The space rock, known as 2023 BU, zoomed over the southern tip of South America yesterday, while it was only around 2,200 miles above the surface of the Earth.

This is one of the closest approaches of an near-Earth object ever recorded. Data from NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies showed that the flyby of 2023 BU was the fourth-nearest of more than 35,000 past and future Earth close approaches in the 300-year period from 1900 to 2200.

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