Boo! The Top 5 Most Terrifying, Sinister and Downright Creepy Ideas
Boo! Scared you, didn't I?
I'm guessing not really. If you're a grown-up, Halloween has probably lost its edge. Or at least its scary edge. The old tricks simply no longer work on adults. Instead of scaring us, this tradition mostly involves handing out candy to children, visiting cheesy haunted houses and watching bad sequels like Halloween II.
That's why here at Big Think we've compiled a list of the scariest ideas that might truly make you tremble with fear this Halloween. A number of these ideas have to deal with how the world may end--a popular subject on Big Think--but some of these ideas are all the more terrifying because they have to deal with the way we may be forced to go on living in the 21st century.
Whether it is climate change, overpopulation, or an asteroid collision, Hawking says the party is coming to an end (or at least within roughly the next 7.6 billion years, when our aging sun will expand and swallow the Earth). That is why the famous theoretical physicist Hawking says it's time to free ourselves from Mother Earth and colonize space.
The NASA climatologist James Hansen tells Big Think how and when the accumulation of greenhouse gases will make Earth uninhabitable for our species—and (sorry Stephen Hawking) why human life cannot be transferred to a different planet.
The Villanova University astronomer and astrophysicist Edward Sion describes in great detail how a nearby star system might “go supernova” in 10 million years—far sooner than scientists once predicted. What would happen to the Earth? Such an event could destroy the ozone layer, and eventually the whole biosphere.
Forget half-human, half-wolf. When humans merge with machines, it will make for a much more interesting (and potentially scary) Halloween party. According to theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, if we were to meet our grandparents of 1900, they would view us "as sorcerers and wizards with our rockets and GPS systems and iPads." Kaku asks how we would view someone from 2100. "We would view them as the gods of mythology."
If we've scared you too much with this post, don't worry. Soon you will be able to take a pill that will erase your memory. This idea comes from Joseph LeDoux of the Center for Neural Science. According to LeDoux, if and when scientists perfect this technology, it will have tremendous potential for blunting painful memories in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and it may also help to combat addictive urges.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.