99.99% of species go extinct. What is humanity’s future?

Mother Nature and the laws of physics have a death warrant out for humanity, says Michio Kaku. Can we escape it?

  • The great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov put a terrifying question on humanity's radar: Where will we be 50,000 years from now?
  • Humanity is close to exhausting the known laws of physics; it's the unknown – the unified theory of everything – that could dominate our destiny in the coming millennia. And that destiny is almost certainly tied to space travel. Why?
  • "Extinction is the norm," says Michio Kaku, 99.99% of all species on Earth eventually go extinct. "Mother Nature and the laws of physics have a death warrant for humanity," says Kaku. "[U]ltimately our destiny will be in outer space."
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Immigration: Why the well-meaning ‘successful immigrant’ narrative is faulty

We tend to promote foreigners by broadcasting their economic and scholarly value, instead of their intrinsic humanity.

  • There's a tendency to fight dehumanizing narratives about immigrants and refugees with stories about how much value they have to the United States, in terms of economic and academic achievements and abilities.
  • Though these counternarratives might come from a good place, Adam Waytz doesn't believe they "really consider people in terms of human dignity." They fail to call out immigrants and refugees inherent dignity.
  • The image of the deceased Aylan Kurdi washed ashore evoked immense sympathy for refugees. Besides showcasing their economic values, it highlighted their shared humanity.
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Computing history: From government secrets to a failed tech utopia

Historian Maragaret O'Mara explains why a tech utopia was, and still might be, a pipe dream.

  • Elon Musk isn't the first technologist to worry about robot overlords. The early computers of the '40s and '50s were referred to as electronic brains, and people regarded them with fascination and fear.
  • Until the 1960s, computing power was wielded only by corporations and the government. Then, out of the 1960s counterculture rose a generation of technologists with a techno-utopic vision: Give everyone a personal computer as a tool for empowerment and enlightenment, rather than being siloed machines of government secrets and war.
  • The personal computing movement thought technology would solve inequality, racism, and war – but as we now know, it did not. History seems to suggest that humans, not tech alone, must be the agents of change.
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How your immortal consciousness will travel the universe

Someday we'll beam to the moon for afternoon tea, and be back in New York for dinner.

  • In about 100 years, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku believes we'll explore the universe as pure consciousness — traveling at the speed of light, looking at asteroids, comets, meteors, and eventually the stars. "All of this within the laws of physics," he says.
  • Through recent brain imaging, we know know that the prefrontal cortex of teenagers is fully formed. This induces them to take risks. Also, when guys who talk with pretty girls, we also know it's that blood drains from their brains. Well, their prefrontal cortex. This makes them liable to act "mentally retarded."
  • The Connectome Project will map the entire brain in about 100 years.
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  • When it comes to moving forward, the slightly harder path — but in the long run, the way easier path — would be for us to develop the skill of grieving.
  • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's theories about the five stages may be off, but she gave us a lens from which to come to understand the process of grieving.
  • The fact that you grieve is a testimony to your love.
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