We rarely see, or cannot predict potential dangers. Innovation and knowledge are expanding at unprecedented rates, but we individually understand an ever-smaller percentage of the entire.
The numbers of our daily exchanges of emails, phone calls, texts, photographs, and blogs were unimaginable just some years ago. We receive them but ignore, delete, or forget them far faster than we did with hand-written letters and pictures. Technological progress means the anticipation of stored data is rapidly shortening as our computer systems evolve and old data are incompatible with modern storage and software technologies. Stone carvings didn’t say much, but they exist.
Unexpected dangers lie in our reliance on computers and communications that are obsessed with wattage, glass fiber links, and satellites. Satellites are crucial for communications yet they need finite anticipation and might fragment into thousands of high-speed components that may destroy other satellites. This can be a runaway situation, and current plans to boost data rates by doubling the amount may mean satellite-based technology is doomed within some decades. Chunks as small as a transportable, at orbital speeds, can have K.E. 500 times greater than a military shell. Impacts are spectacular. Satellite technology may self-destruct; only the continuance is uncertain. Political, or terrorist, acts could rapidly remove satellites.
They create beautiful aurora within the night sky but have destroyed power networks. We are vulnerable as we are totally hooked to power, electronics, and satellites. Major solar emissions that intersect our Earth’s orbit are inevitable, and they can cause a complete loss of power in advanced societies, including the destruction of satellites.
To support almost eight billion people, our attempts to produce sufficient food are made with limited relevance to the land or other creatures, and we have destroyed cultures and many languages. Crop yields and health care have advanced with the help of medication and chemicals but they’re not, and can’t be, confined to their original locations. Food and water supplies are seriously contaminated with a cocktail of chemicals and medicines which no earlier civilization has ever experienced. This is often why we’ve got advanced. The difference now could be that we’ve outgrown our potential resources.
Our dependence on computers offers a clear example because the changing systems are expensive or too complex for such people. Rather than benefitting them, they’re sidelined. Further, the technologies are invariably designed by, and for, the young, who cannot appreciate how age has reduced sight, sensitivity to pale colors in display contrast, or deftness. Technology is spawning exponential growth in cyber-crime. This can be globally running at many billions of dollars annually, and steeply rising.
I am highlighting the hazards of the latest technologies that are often unexpected and unforeseen. they’re hidden by very positive aspects of the latest science but are placing advanced civilizations at risk of a sudden and total collapse. My comments aren’t anti-technology but are intended to boost awareness of our vulnerability to the risks that exist. it’s absolutely essential that we recognize this and actively make contingency going to minimize undesirable consequences. There’s urgency, otherwise advanced civilizations will crash within decades. Over-exploitation of resources is addressed if we’ve got the political will. It needs governments with intelligence to acknowledge that there are natural disasters, like sunspot emissions, that are inevitable. These can strike at any time, and we must have contingency measures in situ.