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Stephen Wolfram Joins The Life Boat Foundation and Bets On Singularity 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the whimper-or-bang dept.
kodiaktau writes "This week The Lifeboat Foundation announced that Stephen Wolfram would be joining its organization. The purpose of the group is to think through scientific solutions to existential problems that might be used to save humanity from such risks as asteroids hitting the earth or some other diabolical disaster. Wolfram brings computational science to the table and has posited that the earth and universe can be understood as a computer program that can be significantly altered as we continue to advance in technology."
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Stephen Wolfram Joins The Life Boat Foundation and Bets On Singularity

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  • He's a nut (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wisebabo (638845) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:21PM (#38218234) Journal

    Like Kurzweil and Co., he's a nut. But a smart nut!

    Who said that all progress comes the crazy ones (or something vaguely like that). So maybe they're right (and I'm hoping for it). But (unlike him, lacking a legacy) I wouldn't bet my retirement fund on it.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catchblue22 (1004569) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:30PM (#38218330) Homepage

    The purpose of the group is to think through scientific solutions to existential problems that might be used to save humanity from such risks as asteroids hitting the earth or some other diabolical disaster.

    ...or perhaps Global Warming?

    And the fact that I wonder whether or not this will be modded as flame bait or troll should be disturbing to all of us.

  • Re:Hilarious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:38PM (#38218438)

    Okay, let's have a list of Wolfram's accomplishments. ::crickets chirp::

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:42PM (#38218488)

    When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    And when you have a 20th-century binary computer, everything looks like a 20th century binary computer program.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clausiam (609879) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:47PM (#38218558)
    Global Warming (whether caused by human activity or natural cycles or whatever) is by no means an existential threat to humanity. If worst case scenarios come true it will have a massive socio-political impact as large areas of attractive coastal areas may be threatened and fertile vs un-fertile land (deserts etc) will move around, but that's rather an inconvenience compared to a large meteor impact or some of the other scenarios mentioned in the article. That's not to say that nobody should be concerned about global warming, but it's not what the Lifeboat Foundation is.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JoeMerchant (803320) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @06:33PM (#38220206)

    Global Warming (whether caused by human activity or natural cycles or whatever) is by no means an existential threat to humanity.

    Depends on how you define humanity. If you mean homo-sapiens continuing to exist in numbers of a few tens of millions or more, then, no, global warming won't wipe us out the way a massive asteroid or gamma ray burst would.

    If, on the other hand, you take the Jim Morrison quote "I want to get my kicks in before the whole shithouse goes up in flames," to talk about the end of humanity as the end of being able to live in a shelter without worry for your safety, the ability to easily secure food for the winter... global warming could do that a whole lot easier than the Vietnam war ever could.

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