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What’s Under Your Bed?

John W. Pinkerton


What's under your bed?  What's lurking in the closet?

Is it Jason or Pumpkin Head or killer tomatoes?  I know these are real threats because I've seen them in movies.

I know we're afraid of these threats to our orderly world, but what is bothering the “big thinkers,” the ones who can peer into the future to see how it will all end?

A lot of our “big thinkers” are concentrating on what might end our world as we know it.  Personally, I'd like to see them working on how to get Jason out from under my bed, but no, they seem to like to think of “bigger stuff.”

These threats include  superintelligent  computers or robots which will take over the world.  The big buzz word is the “singularity.”  Hawking says that the singularity could,  “spell the end of the human race.”  Thanks for the warning, Stephen.

Biotechnology is another fear because it's easier to produce and harder to control than nuclear weapons.  Biological warfare and bioterrorism are real possibilities, and there is also the possibility of human accidents.  We don't want to hear a lab guy saying, “Oops.”

Here is one in the headlines: global warming, the warming caused by human technology.  Okay.

Ecological disasters are on the list.  Scarcity of water, pollinator decline (bees disappearing), overfishing, deforestation are on this list.

What about experimental technology accidents which might destroy the world.  That was a fear with the explosion of the first atomic bomb and the Hadron Collider which was feared might create black holes, not a good thing.

And let us not forget nanotechnology.  When we reach the point where nanotechnology can produce nanotechnology, well, stuff will be easy to produce including weapons.  What's this?  What's this?  Also nanotechnology may also be used to alleviate other global catastrophies---an unexpected ray of sunshine.

What are some of the other threats some of these “smarties” see as part of our possible future…or lack of?

Warfare and mass destruction through a nuclear holocaust.  Apparently we like living on the edge.

Overpopulation was a popular threat a few years ago.  Don't hear about it much now, but I suspect it really is a threat.  Remember, you got to feed all these folks.

Threats which are not man-made include asteroid impacts, an extraterrestial invasion (I thought I was the only one worried about this one.), climate change (You do know that not all climate change is man-made?), close encounters  with stars, planets, and black holes, gamma rays from our Sun, dark nebula (Who knows what that is?), a global pandemic (Remember the black plague?), geomagnetic reversal which would weaken the earth’s resistance to cosmic radiation, megatsunami (Do you recall the Tohoku or the Indian Ocean earthquake?), and supervolcanoes (Yes, these are real).

Well, after reviewing these threats to humanity put forth by the “smarties,” damn it,  I'm moving and I'm taking Jason with me.