Tuesday, December 16, 2014


1. Apocalyptic super-villain scenarios Yesterday they were science fiction. Today, they're (almost) science fact!
Apocalyptic weapons are currently the domain of world powers. But this is set to change. Within a few decades, small groups — and even single individuals — will be able to get their hands on any number of extinction-inducing technologies. As shocking as it sounds, the world could be destroyed by a small team or a person acting alone. Here's how.
Just one of many delightful scenarios.

2. In keeping with today's End of the World theme - and also from the intermittently excellent io9 blog -  here's a handy-dandy, clip-and-save list of the Top Ten Horrifying Technologies That Should Not Be Allowed to Exist! My personal favorite comes in at Number Ten: Hell Engineering!
Some futurists make the case for paradise engineering — the use of advanced technologies, particularly consciousness uploading and virtual reality, to create a heaven on Earth. But if you can create heaven, you can create hell. It's a prospect that's particularly chilling when you consider lifespans of indefinite length, along with the nearly boundless possibilities for psychological and physical anguish. ... Why anyone would want to develop such a thing is beyond me. It's yet another reason for banning the development of artificial superintelligence — and the onset of the so-called Roko's Basilisk problem.
3. Tiz the season... for this intriguing look back at the real history of Christmas. There's a ton of intriguing historical trivia to be enjoyed in this document, just so long as you're not terribly attached to your presuppositions. For instance, did you know that Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association –  "guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE"? I don't know about you, but that sets yer old pal Jerky's conspiratorial little brain to spinning at 33 and 1/3 rpm.

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