In what is now a recurring theme, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has warned humanity that we are all going to die.
The last time he announced our impending doom was in November last year when he gave us about 1,000 years to leave Earth. Or else.
Prior to that, he told Reddit in a 2015 “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session that super intelligent AI might wipe us out.
Professor Hawking reiterated his position in an interview with The Times this week. It goes basically like this: We are all gonna die and it’s all our fault.
He pointed out that humankind now faces a bunch of super serious threats, such as climate change, mass species extinction and technology run rampant.
He told The Times:
Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages. It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.
Hawking claims that despite these dangerous hardwired tendencies, he is hopeful about our chances. He suggested that some form of world government could be a solution.
The problem with a one-world government is…everything.
Let’s be real here for a second: the idea is hopelessly idealistic. For example, voting would be a major issue – can you imagine that election process? We all saw the recent U.S elections and the outcome there. Think about the loons that would run for World President. Yup, somehow Donald Trump would probably win it.
As it is, we struggle to keep much smaller entities together. Just look at what’s happening in
Sweden Europe. We’ve already had Brexit and now there might be a Frexit on the way too. Earthexit anyone?
There is the old saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. In other words, there is a very real possibility that a world government would become tyrannical. Hawking himself admitted this, noting:
We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control. This might mean some form of world government… But that [world government] might become a tyranny. All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.
Despite Hawking’s seemingly constant reminders of our imminent destruction, he maintains that he is happy and optimistic about the future.
On March 6th, he received the Honorary Freedom of the City of London in recognition of his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics and cosmology.
Hawking- who turned 75 last month – also told The Times that he has travelled all over the world and is still hoping to make it on a Virgin Galactic trip to space. “It’s a great time to be alive”, he said.
Try to remember that as the planet is consumed by rising temperatures/sea levels and malevolent AI hellbent on destroying us all.
Happy Friday, everyone!